Mnemonics in Ancient India - AitAar

Arlo Griffiths griffithsa at RULLET.LEIDENUNIV.NL
Sun May 21 18:37:58 UTC 2000

On these lines:

> there are all those pesky references to early
> writing in Vedic texts that can't *all* be explained away by pointing
> to ambiguities in Sanskrit. Perhaps the best-known of these is the
> reference in Aitreya Aranyaka 5.3.3, which even Staal (see _Nambudiri
> Veda Recitation_, p. 15) accepts as referring to writing. As you know,
> the reference says -- here I'm giving Staal's translation -- that "A
> pupil should not recite and study the Veda "when he has eaten flesh,
> or seen blood, or a dead body, or done what is unlawful... or had
> intercourse, or written...". However you date that passage, it is
> clearly long before the last third of the first millennium BCE.

Please consult Harry Falk's article "AA 5.3.3.: Nollikhya Naavalikhya" in
IIJ 35 (1992), 1-17.
    The passage you mention can now be cancelled as evidence for early
writing. Which other 'pesky' places have you come across?

-- Arlo Griffiths

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