ha.msa in parama-ha.msa and ha.msa-sa.mde/sa

Dipak Bhattacharya dbhattacharya2004 at YAHOO.CO.IN
Wed Apr 22 02:55:33 UTC 2009

The following is relevant to the LP story mentioned by Christophe Vielle
ékam pā́dam nót khidati salilā́d dhamsá uccáran/ yad anga tam utkhidet naivādya na ;sva.h syān na rātrī nāha.h syān na vy ucchet kadā cana
t etc. (AVS 11.4.21; AVP 16.23.1). The swan is divine and also the connection between heaven and earth. This should be the earliest expression of the Brahmā-Swan complex. I shall be glad to know of any other instance known to anyone 
Best for all

--- On Wed, 22/4/09, George Thompson <gthomgt at COMCAST.NET> wrote:

From: George Thompson <gthomgt at COMCAST.NET>
Subject: Re: ha.msa in parama-ha.msa and ha.msa-sa.mde/sa
To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
Date: Wednesday, 22 April, 2009, 7:44 AM

Dear List,

I am sure that some of the previously mentioned books refer to the Vedic material regarding hamsa, but maybe it will be useful to those who don't have access to the earlier literature to mention these Vedic facts:

The puranic and late upanisidic texts mentioned in earlier posts have clear antecedents in earlier Vedic.  These Vedic antecedents include not only the oldest upanisads [BAU, ChU], as well as later upanisads [KaU & ShvetU] but many YV texts as well [KS, MS, VS, TB].   But even in oldest Vedic [RV] the term hamsa  is already well-attested [16 times] and in every stratum of the RV. 
What is evident from this evidence is this:

Iranian attestations of the Indo-European word, which is attested in Latin 'anser', Germ.' Gans', etc., are tenuous.  But Indo-European origins of this word nevertheless seems secure.  Of course, these linguistic origins do not tell us what sort of bird the Sanskrit term hamsa refers to, but they do suggest

Christophe Vielle wrote:

> There is also the story of God Brahmaa going to the top of the sky in the shape of a ha.msa (looking for the end of the li;nga, while Vi.s.nu goes under the Earth in the shape of a boar) as reminded by Puur.nasarasvatii:
> ruupa.m bibhran na.ta iva sakhe rocamaa.na.m tvadiiya.m
> maatu.m dhaataa madanadamanajyotir uurdhva.m gato 'bhuut | 7ab
> (the story is at least told in Li;ngaP 1,17,5-52)
> I wonder what are the oldest (textual or iconographical) sources for the ha.msa(s) as vehicle of Brahmaa, and what is the original symbolical relationship between the god and the bird.
> Christophe Vielle

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