Walter Slaje slaje at kabelmail.de
Sun Jul 3 14:55:18 UTC 2016

You might wish to consider this:

ṚV 10.96 praises Indra’s pair of dun horses (*hárī*). The god is described
as having *hári-śmaśāru* and/or *hári-keśa *(10.23.4b; 96.5b;8a). The
colors related to Indra there are said to be *harita*. Geldner identified
the god’s horses as “*Falbenpaar*” and translated the color of Indra’s hair
and beard as “*goldgelb*” (“golden yellow”).

In their introductory comment on this Sūkta, Brereton & Jamison speak
of “*fallow
bay horses*” and “*an extended pun between the words **hari/harita
tawny*”. Despite the color as they defined it, Brereton & Jamison decided
to “*render the former as “golden,” even in reference to the horses* […]”.
Indra appears in their translation of that hymn accordingly as
golden-haired*” (X.96.8).

In 10.23.4b, however, where Indra’s beard is also referred to (*índraḥ
śmáśrūṇi háritābhí pruṣṇute*), Brereton & Jamison translate its color more
acceptably as “tawny”: “*Indra sprinkles his tawny beard*.“ It should be
noted that the color name remains the same in the RV.

Although it is certainly most difficult to determine the semantic coverage
of color designations from words and their etymologies alone, it is perhaps
possible to approach it in the present case from the angle of comparisons
made of Indra’s hair and beard color with the coat of animals:

*Hari* is used also as a designation for animals the fur of which is
yellowish or tawny, such as monkeys, (dun or bay) horses, or lions. Their
color could have hardly been perceived as “golden” in the sense of deep red
gold, but, if at all, as “stray yellow”. The latter rather seems to match
pale yellow gold. This kind of gold was widespread and has commonly been
perceived in the West as gold per se, which might have inspired Western
translators to introduce the gold metaphor. “Goldhaar / with golden hair”
is a well-known poetic expression for blond girls in Western literature.

There is no attested primary meaning in the ṚV of *hari*(*ta*) connoting
“gold(en)” in the sense of the precious metal, at least not to my knowledge.

In addition to the evidence of Ṛgvedic Kavis depicting the phenotypic
appearance of Indra as they saw it, I would like to draw attention to
another one, which appears to confirm that Indra’s hair and beard color was
imagined as fair also in the Vājasaneyī Saṃhitā (19.91-92). The text adds
some more color comparisons taken from the animal and plant kingdoms:

*índrasya rūpáṃ* […] |
*yávā ná barhír bhruví késarāṇi* […] || 91 || (Mahīdhara: *yavā barhiś ca
bhruvi* [=] *bhruvoḥ*)

*ātmánn upásthe ná vŕ̥kasya lóma múkhe śmáśrūṇi ná vyāghralomá | kéśā ná
śīrṣán yáśase śriyái śíkhā sihásya lóma tvíṣir indriyṇi* || 92 ||

In brief, eyebrows [of the color] of barley and sacrificial grass; body and
pubic hairs [dense] like a wolf; his beard: the hair [color] of a tiger;
his hair: the shine of [the color of] a lion.

Heinrich Zimmer sen., who from the evidence he had collected at the time
described Indra as with blond hair („Indra wird bärtig gedacht; wie er
blondes Haupthaar *(harikeśa) *trägt, so auch einen blonden Bart *(hariśmaśāru)
*Rv.10, 96, 8“ – „Altindisches Leben“. Berlin 1879, p. 265) translated the
VS quote in the following manner (p. 266):

„Wie Gersten(ähren)und Grasbüschel sind die Haare an seinen Brauen, am
Körper, in seinem Schooss hat er Haare wie ein Wolf, im Antlitz einen Bart
wie Tigerhaar (blond, *hari), *die Haare auf dem Kopf sind zur Zier, zum
Schmuck der Haarbusch, wie Löwenhaar sind Glanz und gewaltige Erscheinung“.

*índrāyendo pári srava*!


Prof. Dr. Walter Slaje
Hermann-Löns-Str. 1
D-99425 Weimar

Ego ex animi mei sententia spondeo ac polliceor
studia humanitatis impigro labore culturum et provecturum
non sordidi lucri causa nec ad vanam captandam gloriam,
sed quo magis veritas propagetur et lux eius, qua salus
humani generis continetur, clarius effulgeat.
Vindobonae, die XXI. mensis Novembris MCMLXXXIII.

2016-07-03 11:02 GMT+02:00 rainer stuhrmann <r.stuhrmann at t-online.de>:

> Sūrya is once said to be hári-keśa (10,137,7) and also, in association
> with the rising of the sun, hári-keśa is once said from Savitar, RV
> 10.139,1ab:
> sū́ryaraśmir hárikeśaḥ purástāt savitā́ jyótir úd ayām̐ ájasram /
> “With rays of the sun, with yellow-red (golden) hair, from the east
> Savitar has just raised up the unfading light.”
> Also Agni is once, RV 3,2,13,  said to be hári-keśa and RV 1, 79,1, to be
> of "golden hair" (híraṇya-keśa).
> This seems to be metaphoric in contrast to Indra´s anthropomorphic
> descriptions.
> Rainer
> Am 03.07.2016 um 01:20 schrieb Allen Thrasher:
> Were the other RV deities hari- in their hair, or just Indra?
> Allen
> Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
> <https://overview.mail.yahoo.com/mobile/?.src=Android>
> On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 12:36 PM, rainer stuhrmann
> <r.stuhrmann at t-online.de> <r.stuhrmann at t-online.de> wrote:
> Dear Howard,
> Indra`s visible appearence:
> according to RV 10,95,8 Indra is *hári-keśa* and *hári-śmaśāru*, of  “yellow-red
> (golden) hair” and “yellow-red (golden) beard”.
> *hári  *is also used of the fire, the sun, of lightening and of Indras
> horses - and of the Soma plant.
> According to Falk, however, *hári * denotes  “yellowish-green to green”
> (Falk, p.85, Soma I and II, BSOAS, Vol. 52, No. 1,1989, pp. 77-90 ),
> because this - he thinks - makes that colourful epitheton fit to the
> “bluish green” (Falk, p.85) colour of the ephedra plant. That would make
> Indra the first punk of history.
> Rainer Stuhrmann
> Stuttgart
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