Saraswati... (nairukta)

S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Sat Mar 18 09:40:20 UTC 2000

Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:
>snip> Those who proceed in Nirukta fashion, --as opposed to the severe
linguistic > method of Panini who distinguishes clearly between root, suffixes
and > endings, as does modern linguistics...

I submit that 'nairukta etymologists' is a tautology. Let me cite Ya_ska
(Nirukta 7.5.5-7):

"'[tisra eva devata_ iti nairukta_h)There are three deities only' (see AB
2.17; KB 8.8) say the etymologists: (1) Agni, whose sphere is earth; (2) Va_yu
or Indra, whose sphere is atmosphere; (3) the sun, whose sphere is
heaven...Now (we shall discuss) the appearance of the gods. Some say that they
are anthropomorphic...Others say that they are not anthropomorphic, because
whatever is seen of them is unanthropomorphic...As to the view that their
panegyrics are like those of sentient beings, (we reply) that inanimate
objects, beginnign from dice and ending with herbs, are likewise praised..."

I also submit that Pa_n.ini or modern linguistics and IE reconstructions can't
help in these semant. of divinities, assuming that semant. is as important as

Regards, Kalyanaraman

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