[INDOLOGY] The Mirror in Vedic India: Its ancient use and present relevance in dating texts

Asko Parpola aparpola at gmail.com
Thu Mar 7 02:37:40 EST 2019


Dear Nagaraj,

I do mention in my paper that high tin bronze mirrors were made in India already in the Indus Civilization, and that the technique was known in South India in early first millennium BCE.  But the complete absence of any reference to mirrors in the Saṃhitā, Brāhmaṇa, Āraṇyaka and Śrautasūtra literature (excepting the Upaniṣads later added to the ŚB and the Ṛgvedic Āraṇyakas and the late KŚS) very strongly suggests that the mirror was not know in early Vedic times in North India.

With best regards, “Asok"

> On 4 Mar 2019, at 20.53, Nagaraj Paturi <nagarajpaturi at gmail.com <mailto:nagarajpaturi at gmail.com>> wrote:
> 
> Dear Prof. Asko Parpola,
> 
> You rely for your dating on " the mirror was not known in Vedic India until it was introduced to South Asia by the Persian Empire at the end of the sixth century bce."
> 
> For this, you seem to rely just on the occurrence of words in texts.
> 
> But historians of mirror have said with enough non-textual evidences that high tin bronze mirrors were known in India at least by  1000 BCE. 
> 
> On Sat, Mar 2, 2019 at 8:16 PM Matthew Kapstein via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:
> Dear Asko,
> 
> Yes, it's a great paper, an important addition to the evidence that some of the UpaniSads are later than we had been taught. On lexical grounds, I had earlier concluded that some parts of the Ch.U. are post-Buddhist, particularly the eighth book, which most interestingly, in the light of your conclusions, also concerns mirrors. It now seems clear (as a mirror!) that a revision of dating is warranted.
> 
> thank you and best regards,
> Matthew
> 
> 
> Matthew Kapstein
> Directeur d'études, 
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
> 
> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
> The University of Chicago
> From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info <mailto:indology-bounces at list.indology.info>> on behalf of Joanna Jurewicz via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
> Sent: Saturday, March 2, 2019 7:14:45 AM
> To: Asko Parpola
> Cc: Indology List; +++RISA ACADEMIC DISCUSSION LIST+++
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] The Mirror in Vedic India: Its ancient use and present relevance in dating texts
>  
> Dear Asko, 
> 
> Thank you for the important paper. 
> 
> regards, 
> 
> Joanna
> 
> ---
> Prof. dr hab. Joanna Jurewicz
> Katedra Azji Południowej /Chair of South Asia
> Wydział Orientalistyczny / Faculty of Oriental Studies
> Uniwersytet Warszawski /University of Warsaw
> ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
> 00-927 Warszawa
> https://uw.academia.edu/JoannaJurewicz <https://uw.academia.edu/JoannaJurewicz>
> 
> 
> pt., 1 mar 2019 o 11:53 Asko Parpola via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> napisał(a):
> 
> Some time ago there was a query about the date of the Upanishads.  I have a new answer to this question in my paper 
> 
> The Mirror in Vedic India: Its ancient use and its present relevance in dating texts
> 
> published today in: Studia Orientalia Electronica vol. 7 (2019): 1-29. A pdf is downloadable at
> 
> https://journal.fi/store/issue/view/5490 <https://journal.fi/store/issue/view/5490>
> 
> Here is the abstract:
> 
> The major first part of the paper collects as exhaustively as possible all mentions of words for ‘mirror’ occuring in Vedic literature (c.1200–300 bce). The occurrences are presented with sufficient context in Sanskrit and English in order to show how and why the mirror was used in Vedic rituals and Vedic culture in general, and what meaning was ascribed to it. The second part of the paper discusses a fact of major significance that emerges from this documentation: in the extensive older Vedic literature of the Saṃhitās, Brāhmaṇas, Āraṇyakas and Śrautasūtras (excepting the late Kātyāyana-Śrautasūtra), there is no reference to the mirror at all. This suggests that the mirror was not known in Vedic India until it was introduced to South Asia by the Persian Empire at the end of the sixth century bce. The later Vedic literature, starting with the early Upaniṣads and comprising also the Gṛhyasūtras and Kātyāyana-Śrautasūtra, would therefore postdate 500 bce. In other words, the ‘mirror’ words seem to offer a criterion that for the first time enables a division of the Vedic literature into two clearly separate phases of development. Equally important is the firm historical basis that the mirror provides for dating the transition point. 
> 
> 
> With best regards and wishes, Asko
> 
> 
> Asko Parpola, Ph.D.
> Professor emeritus of Indology 
> University of Helsinki
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> 
> -- 
> Nagaraj Paturi
>  
> Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.
> 
> 
> Director,  Inter-Gurukula-University Centre for Indic Knowledge Systems. 
> BoS, MIT School of Vedic Sciences, Pune, Maharashtra
> 
> BoS, Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth, Veliyanad, Kerala
> 
> Former Senior Professor of Cultural Studies
>  
> FLAME School of Communication and FLAME School of  Liberal Education,
>  
> (Pune, Maharashtra, INDIA )
>  
>  
>  

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