Rgveda from Magadha, Canon and bandhu-s

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Thu Jan 23 23:38:20 EST 2003

It may be obvious, but just to underline:

the RV is of course from Greater Panjab (as Madhav also said earlier),
but the "final" redaction was made only in the late Vedic period, by
S'aakalya, in N. Bihar.

Dean Anderson:
>> Why is it thought that there is a Magadha source for ZAkalya?

More arguments for the whole process of canon formation in the east (N.
Bihar) in my paper:

66. ---, The Development of the Vedic Canon and its Schools: The Social and
Political Milieu. (Materials on Vedic çâkhâs 8).
In: Inside the Texts, Beyond the Texts. New Approaches to the Study of the
Vedas. Harvard Oriental Series. Opera Minora, vol. 2. Cambridge 1997,

see http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwbib.htm
no. 66,    with pdf.
details in chapter 6.2 p. 322 ff.

And cf. same website,  no.  41 (1989) on some gramm. features in S'aakalya,
i.e. where he differs from his forebears in  E. Panjab, the S'akala, (found
in the *early* part of Aitareya Br.)

For the late Vedic move of (some) Aitareyins (and AitBr in general)
eastwards into Bihar,
see same website no.  37. (1987)and no. 66.

NB: Steve Farmer and I have been kicking back and forth (between the two of
us)  some ideas about canon formation, the role of Gandhara , Panini,
Bihar  etc., and we hope to get out a major article on this topic later
this year - as always, time permitting.


Incidentally, since we indulging here in  giving references, -- eh, placing
plugs, here another one: which both of us (and others) regard as
fundamental for an understanding of the bandhu, homologies,
"identifications", better: "correlations" of the middle and late Vedic
period in India (but also in similar texts of early  China, medieval
Europe, Meso-America etc.;)  see:


88. S. Farmer, J.B. Henderson, M.Witzel. Neurobiology, Layered Texts, and
Correlative Cosmologies: A Cross-Cultural Framework for Premodern History.
Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities (BMFEA) 72, 2002, 48-90

88a. S.Farmer, J.B. Henderson, M.Witzel , P.Robinson. Computer Models of
the Evolution of Premodern Religious, Philosophical and Cosmological
Systems.-- Companion piece to No. 88, ON THE NET ONLY:

cheers,  mw


>Thank you. I have the book on my shelf, but haven't read it yet. I'll pull
>it down now.
>Dean Anderson
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Madhav Deshpande" <mmdesh at UMICH.EDU>
>To: <INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk>
>Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2003 5:06 PM
>Subject: Re: Rgveda from Magadha?
>I have discussed in some detail the connection of the ZAkalya RV to the
>MANDUkeya tradition in my article "Genesis of the RV Retroflexion" which
>appeared in the volume Aryan and Non-Aryan in India edited by myself and
>Peter E. Hook.  This article is also included in my book Sanskrit and
>Prakrit: Sociolinguistic Issues.  The connection to Magadha is based on a
>reference in the SAMkhAyana AraNyaka VII.13 (Keith's edn of the Aitareya
>AraNyaka, p. 309) which says that Madhyama MANDUkeya, the son of PrAtibodhI,
>was a MagadhavAsI "resident of Magadha.
>Madhav Deshpande
>> ----------
>> From:         dean_anderson at SACARI.ORG
>> Reply To:     Indology
>> Sent:         Thursday, January 23, 2003 3:25 PM
>> To:   INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
>> Subject:           Rgveda from Magadha?
>> Deshpande says:
>> -".ZAkalya was only one of the editors of the Rgveda, and that his
>> represents only one of several. We know that ZAkalya based his recension
>> part on the earlier recension of MANDUkeya which was prevalent in the
>> northeastern region of Magadha, while the original Rgvedic hymns were
>> composed in the northwestern region."
>> Deshpande, Madhav M. 1995Vedic Aryans, non-Vedic Aryans, and non-Aryans:
>> Judging the linguistic evidence of the Veda. In George Erdosy (Ed.), The
>> Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and
>> (pp. 67-84). New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
>> Why is it thought that there is a Magadha source for ZAkalya?
>> Dean Anderson

Michael Witzel
Department of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138, USA

ph. 1- 617-496 2990 (also messages)
home page:  http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm

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