collection of hauma hamiddha's scattered posts

Archive for May, 2011

Is Ayurveda really scientific?

This report on the downgrading of Ayurveda raises the important issue
of whether Ayurveda is really scientific. If we define Ayurveda as the
school Hindu medicine that is described in the charaka and sushruta
saMhitas then one can make a very direct textual analysis to establish
its scientific content. Even a casual reading of the sushruta
saMhita suggests that it can definitely be considered a serious
part of the Hindu scientific tradition even as Galen and Hippocrates
can be considered a legitimate part of European scientific tradition.
Ayurveda is merely a phase in the long line of development of the
Hindu medicine from the time when the Aryans were still in the Asiatic
steppes to the time of their conquest of Outer Asia. Roots of Hindu
medicine traced through the atharvan-Angirasa literature can be pushed
back to the common Indo-European period resulting in similarity with
basal Greek and Europic folk medicine. However it was only after the
Aryans had fully expanded in India that their pharmacopeia developed
to the extant seen in Sushurta’s saMhita. This continuous tradition of
Indian science shows remarkable ideas and hypothesis even in the
Atharvan period, followed by remarkable insights into physiology due
to the school of the vaisheshika sage panchashika asurAyaNa and
sulabhA. In sushurta’s treatise we can see a scientific treatment of
the following: 1) Diagnosis and description of disease and relevant
anatomy. 2) Theories of disease causation due to biological organisms
and 3) Parasite transmission. While much of this shows a remarkably
modern approach to the problems thus making ayurveda qualify as a work
of science. However like any other work of science it contained
concepts that might be falsified in the future- leading to them being
termed misconceptions. There were two devasting flaws of Ayurveda: 1)
the trihumoral theory and 2) the hypothesis of pulse diagnosis. While
this falsification of the underlying hypothesis for treatment may have
destroyed Ayurveda’s relevance it actually did not. Much of
pharmacopeia development is an emprical process and the AV and
Ayurveda excelled at this. Thus a significant part of Ayurveda’s
pharmacopeia may have relevance even today. However, I feel for
Ayurveda to re-enter the scientific mainstream it must adopt the more
modern theories of physiology and medicine and cut down the
frivolous aspects of pulse diagnosis. Hence we need to defend Ayurveda
along with the necessary ground work to revamp it and bring it back
to the mainstream. Keeping it where it froze in the 8th century AD and
insisting on the unnecessity of change may make it go extinct. Nor is
it keeping with the spirit of the great Hindu sages of yore.

Talageri’s analysis of the RigVeda

Shri Talageri’s work is indeed provides the first major model of Aryan
origins within an OIT framework. Importantly Talageri destroys the
scholars with a consistently flippant attitude towards the vedas. He
decimates Michael Witzel, D. Kosambi the buddo-communist and the Arya
samaj brand of scholars. The result is a very solid work on R^ivedic
history many points of which are likely to hold good for a time to
come. The Iranian connection of the kANva angirasas is quite
undeniable given the names like medhathiti, priyamedha and medhya.
This gives us a critical direction to understand the milleu within
which Zoroasterianism, i.e Mazda worship arose- it was within the
fold of the Anu. Thus the origins of Iranian were within Indo-Aryan
and not as an equal level sister group of it. Furthermore Talageri,
quite convincingly demonstrates the association of the R^igveda with
the pUru mainstream. The good part of his research is that unlike many
OITists he argues within a linguistic frame work. Many OITists
persistantly make a fool of themselves by rejecting the monophyly of
IndoEuropean languages and some times even lingusitics itself. He
rightly maintains that Linguistics is a very solid historical science
unlike what some people imagine. He also does not labor under the false
notion that nothing can be ‘proved’ by lingusitics. However, a
careful analysis of his work reveals some problems. I shall detail
these over time.

I do not intend to negatively criticize or attack Shri Talageri’s
research, i am just raising issues that need to be addressed.

Who was divodAsa of the R^igveda?
One of the prominent rulers of the R^igvedic horizon was divodAsa and
Talageri rightly identifies him as associated with the bharadvAjas.
Talageri calls him a pUru. This is supported by the observation hymn
RV I.130.7 by parushcchepa daivodAsi that identifies him as a pUru.
Yet when one looks at the Aryan regnal genealogies we get:

divodAsa as the 49th king in the pUru lineage- successor of bhArata in
the ajAmiDHa line. Talageri identifies divodAsa as an early period
king.
3 generations after him we get sudAsa, sahadeva and somaka in
succession identified by Talageri as belong to Middle an Late period.
So is the entire R^ig compressed into this little window with no other
king’s names surviving in the list?

Now if we look at the kAshirAja dynasty that emerges from nAhusha but
not yayAti and pUru we get the kings:divodAsa and pratardana some way
down this dynasty about 7-8 generations from nahusha. Thus this pair
of divodAsa and pratardana are the most likely ones mentioned in the
R^igveda. Formally they are not pUrus but nAhushas. None of the
correspondng pUru rAjas of that period mentioned in the R^ig
suggesting that main activity of the early R^ig composers occured in
the patronage of the kAshi dynasty.

Similarly if we correctly trace the descent of vishvAmitra from
pururavA through amAvasu and jAhnu we get him to be contemporary of
jamadagni that matches the corresponding generations in the bhArgava
tree. Furthermore we also get him as a contemporary of trishanku of
the ikshvAkus with whom he is traditionally associated. Hence the
original vishvAmitra of the RV maNdala III is not a bona fide pUru as
stated by Talageri. There is one corrupt genealogy in the mahabhArata
that supports Talageri’s claim but it is an anachronism in every other
respect.

sound changes in prakrits etc.

Skt Pali/Pkt
grIShma gimha summer
kR^ishNa kaNha dark
ashman amha stone
vismaya vimhaya wonder
prashna paNha question
prasnava paNhava flow
a~nkusha ankusa goad
shanti santi peace
agni aggi fire
abimathnAti abhimatthati to whirl
Atman attA
Apnoti appoti reach
tattva tatta reality
dR^iShTva diTTha having seen
loptra lutta to loot
mantra manta
chandra chanda moon
dvipa dIva island
apAra avAra boundless
nakha naha nail
megha meha cloud
AkAsha AkAha atmosphere
kathayati kahei say
krodha kova/koha anger
shubha suha good
rAShtra raTTha nation
vastra vattha clothes
matsya maccha fish
satya saccha true
lakshmI lacchI
tIkshNa tikkha sharp
pArshva passa side
kapha kabha phelgm
markaTa makkaDa monkey
bhakta bhatta food
dugdha duddha milk
ShaTka chakka six
utkara ukkara filth
mudga mugga mung bean
sapta satta seven
Ajya ajja goat butter/cheese
ramya ramma pleasant
sarasvati sarassai
vipra vippa brahmin
ratri ratti night
pakva pakka cook
Arya Ayya Aryan
vajra vajja
dharma dhamma law
chakra chakka wheel
jvalati jalati burns

tatsama and tadbhava in dravidian languages

It should be noted that many of the examples that were given as tadbhavas in
dravidian tongues are actually mere
transfers from the southern Prakrits. So they may appear as tadbhavas with
respect to sanskrit but are tatsama with
respect to the parent prakrit. To give an example tamils say: khAyaM (wound). In
sanskrit it is kshata. So it appears
tadbhava in Tamil (S. dravidian). However, if one examines prakrits both
northern and southern one finds the following
forms: Pali: khata, Prakrit1:chaya Prakrit2: khaya. So Tamil is actually tatsama
with respect to the neighboring prakrit.
These prakritic forms are seen even in northern areas (even central Asia) that
have no detectable dravidian substratum.
Hence these forms arose independent of Dravidian. The observation that most of
the tamil borrowings (beyond the
“brahminical terms”) are from MIA rather than OIA support an initial fringe
(and/or) late contact between the IE and D
worlds in India. This fits very well with the mahArAshTri prakrit area being the
zone where the (originally hunter-gatherer/
pastoral- like the Gonds) Dravidians formed the syncretic megalithic horse
culture along with the prakrit speakers of more
northern origin. This culture then moved south to establish the old Tamil states

bAvari in the land of the assakas

The sutta nipAta, which is the oldest of the bauddha Pali texts gives a
remarakable account of the brAhmaNa penetration
of southern India. A brAhmaNa named bAvarI lived in srAvasti in the realm of the
ikshvAkus prior to the time of the
buddha. He is said to have borne 3 marks of a great being and was a purohita of
the ikshvAkus and a teacher of the
prince. He however, lost interest in his comfortable position and sought to
become a recluse teacher. He along with his
students travelled to dakkhinApatha and entered the realm of the horse tribe,
the assakas (ashvakas). Their land lay in
the basins of the godAvarI and the mUlaka (mULa) rivers. The rAja of the
assakas was a certain andhakarAjA, who gave
the bAvarI a plot of land for a 1000 coins. bAvari and his team lived here
subsisting on roots and fruits. They encouraged
the settlement of a large village of local in their vicinity. By visiting this
village bAvarI and his students collected a large
amount of offerings from the village and conducted a great vedic sacrifice.
After that he was apparently informed by a deva
of the coming of the Buddha. Now in his previous janma bAvarI was supposed to
have been the yadu king kattavAhana
who ruled north of those regions.

Who were the assakas of the godAvari region? Being the horse tribe they were
clearly the megalithic horse men of the
vidarbha region whose archaeological sites are extensive from the 800-600BC.
They appear to have spread from here to
the entire southern penisular country. Now the deities of the of pastoralist
tribals of south India are all horse riding
deities similar to the assakas. Further the mahAbhArata alludes that the abhirAs
overtook the yadu realm after the
intercine killing and the fall of dwAraka. Now the same abhirAs and other
pastoralists of peninsular India called gollas,
yadavas, abhirAs etc associate themselves with the yadus. The name of the king
of the assakas andhakarAjA is also a
yadu name, so also is kattavAhana. It may hence be reconstructed that after the
fall of the Indo-Aryan yAdavas their
native mercenary cattle breeders gradually took on the yadu paraphernalia and
expanded southwards. By 800 BC they
appear to have formed the powerful assaka state that had alread assimilated many
elements of the Indo-Aryans, probably
including prakrit and some elements of the Aryan religion. They still
predominantly maintained their own deities, who were
now depicted in horse borne form. They may have also transfered the names of
some ancient yadu heros, like kArtavIrya,
to their deities. This may also explain certain tamil ruler claim decent from
the yadus of dvAraka. They probably were in
reality descendent of the assaka complex. However, the fact that bAvarI had
reached their land and instituted brAhminical
practices suggests that the brAhmin presence was probably carried to the Tamil
regions directly with the expansion of
these megalithic people. Hence it is no surprise that the earliest Tamil
literature already shows a brAhminical influence.

> Is assaka < azvaka or asmaka? Many history books give only the latter
> name. Since some Prakrits comtemporary to Pali confuse the palatal and
> the dental sibilants, <asmaka> could be later hyper-sanskritisation of
> assaka. What do you think?

I could come up with the following:
OIA>Pali/Pkt
vismarati>vissarti (forget)
rashmi>rassi (rein, hindi: rope)
So we have a very occassional sm/shm>ss. Hence theoretically asmaka can give
rise to assaka.
However, there is some evidence to support your proposition that asmaka was
reconstructed back from Pkt by using
templates like rashmi or vismarati. There is another ashvaka tribe that lived in
the NW. They were a sub-branch of the
kambhoja, aNu lineage and are called as such in the Pauranic sources. They are
refered to as the assakenus by the
Gandharan Greeks. But the later writer asanga terms them as asmakas, suggesting
that he reconstructed it from assaka
into asmaka.

In the Hathigumfa inscription one line is said to state that khAravela sent a
large army westwards to strike terror amidst
the assakas. This confirms the position of the assakas of bAvarI. Apparently
this was an out flanking operation to prevent
the assakas from making common cause with the draviDas attacking kalinga by sea.

3 types of Western scholarship

A proper classification and analysis of Western Scholarship on the
dharma of the Hindus is necessary in order to encourage some of its
branches and smash the rest.
1) The first kind of Western scholar is one who has made positive
contributions to the Hindus with respect to the understanding and
progress of their religion. To name a few in this class we have people
like Edwin Bryant, Timothy Lubin, Fritz Staal and perhaps George Hart.
We need to see more of this kind and ther presence in academia is
generally a good sign.

However the Hindus must keep an eye on them to make sure that they are
up to no mischief.

2) The second variety is the scholar with some positive contributions
but several misleading and negative contributions. The colonial and
old fashioned scholars like Max Mueller, Keith and Oldenburg are the
early representatives of this category. The modern representatives of
this group include Richard Goldman, van Buitenen and Michael Witzel.
These guys must be carefully monitored for their output and dealt with
on a case by case basis. They may be admonished privately, engaged in
scholarly debate and defeated or simply uprooted and flushed out
depending on their response. If they show signs of correction they
must be channelized towards being better scholars.

3) Sadly the most common form of scholarship is the gutter scholarship
category. nArashamsis of the Indologist may well occupy a whole book
worth of material. They go hand in hand with the dharma drohi- Indian
gutter progressives. Examples include Wendy Doniger, Jeff Kripal,
Sarah Caldwell and Victor Mair. The aim is to destroy their ilk
systematically and never let them rise again. This must be undertaken
by persistant exposure of their activities to the Hindus followed by
the countering. They have rich patrons who must be as far as posible
squelched and their funds cut off. Wide spread lobbying against and
public denouncement of these scholars with the fear of the
consequecnes of Hindu defamation should be put into them.

Why are there so many Indian studies departments in the Western world
and why are there hardly any traditional Hindus in these departments.
The aim should be to destroy the gutter scholars and replace them with
real Hindus. May be we should prepare a short list of these Western
scholars and classify them according to their orientation and start
targeting them systematically.

Staal’s statement on the vedic mantras should be viewed in light of
his general hypothesis of the musical effect. I am not trying to
defend this hypothesis but his sin is of much lower magnitude and
generally counter-balanced by the detailed documentation of the vedic
ritual. Thus he can remain in the class 1 of professional Western
Scholars.

JAB van Buitenen’s contributions to understanding the evolution of
Krishnaism is very significant. But his partisan stance in the issue
of the brahmin- bhagavata debate cannot be denied. In this way he has
presented to Indians and others not familiar with matter at hand only
on side of the debate. Please read the 18th chapter of the Garuda
purANa, brahma kANDa and form ones own opinion. van Buitenen’s
pauranic reader does worse than the illustrated comics that where once
available in India: the Amar Chitra katha. Finally his study of the
Mahabharata shows his inner disdain for the Hindu culture. Thus van
Buitenen despite his great contributions falls in class 2 though lying
above Witzel and Parpola in that class.

Certain rotten rascals in this list would do better by studying the
Hindu texts more seriously rather than compose poems contrasting the
greatness of the Western Indologists with ignorance of the Indian
scholars.

> statement “anarthakAh vai mantrAh” “Verily, mantrasare meaningless”.
> This was said by Kautsa, a regular topknot, kuDumi, bodhiwala, juTTu
> etc of ancient times and a redoubtable pUrvapakSin to more orthodox
> vaidikas of his time.

While Mr LS is normally worthy of a response soaked in acerbity, this
point about the Angirasa’s statement raises an important one that I
have always conceded: There have always been both historical and
theoretical misunderstandings of the saMhita mantra pAThas even amidst
traditional students. The traditional theories suggesting the
meaningless-ness and purely musical value of the mantras have
approximated what Staal has said to varying degrees. This may stem
from the historical misunderstanding of the saMhita mantras right from
the brAhmaNa period. For example the famous tale in the JaiminIya
brAhmaNa of the kutsa-Indra encounter or the uma-haimavati saMvAda of
the kena are clear examples of this lack of understanding of the
mantras by the circum-vedic authors. This misunderstanding essential
suggests a fragmentation of tradition between the Samhita period and
its successors and may present a major problem for historical
reconstructions that seek to avoid invasion (migration) of IE speakers
into India.

> So where does Kautsa rank in your list?

The Western scholars with an impact on the politico-social interests
of the modern Hindu and not the predecessors of the modern Hindu are
under scrutiny.

The pravargya ritual

The pravargya is an exalted vedic sacrifice performed by an Arya to
the ashvins and offers a glimpse of the fusion of the two ancient
ritual streams of the ancient Aryan past. One component of it is the
ancient gharma rite to the Ashvins probably instituted by the bhR^igus
under the great atharvan chyavAna. ChyavAna was revived from
decrepitude and disease by the ashvins and went on to win sukanya the
daughter of shAryAti and accordingly in their honor offered the great
sacrifice of milk. Then the bhArgava dadhichi, gained the madhuvidyas
from the ashvins who had fixed on him the head of the horse, hence he
worshipped them as the gods of medicine. These ancient memories
resulted in the atharvans instituting a sacrificial pouring for the
Ashvins with the mantra AV 7.73 (Shaunaka SaMhita of AV,
samiddhoagnir…). Simultaneously in the Vedic stream of the bhAratas,
the school of the prAjapatya vAishvAmitras instituted a rite to
commemorate the twelve month year also known as prajapati, with a
twelve day pouring two the deities: savitA, agni, mAtarishvAn, the
Adityas, the nakshatras, the R^ita, dhAtA, bR^ihaspati, mitra, varuNa,
indra and soma. The end of the year was marked symbolically by the
beheading of prajapati by rudra. The restoration of his head in the
new year was through the surgery of the ashvins.

The myth of the cephalic surgery on prajapati and dadhichi served as
the fusion point of these rites during the early settlement of the
bhAratas in the sub-continent. This resulted in the pravargya rite in
which marks the restoration of the head of yagna or the prajapati also
called makha’s head in the brAhmaNa literature. Thus the taittiriya
AraNyaka states:
te devA ashvinAvabruvan.h | bhishhajau vai staH | idaM yagnasya shiraH
prati dhattameti |…
The head in the pravargya rite is symbolically denoted by a parvargya
pot. Thus is the rite performed:
The adhvaryu first set up sacrficial fire and offers ghee to savitA.
Then he mixes clay and makes the pravargya pot with an hour glass like
shape with a spout in the top half from three pieces of clay. He also
makes the other chamasas and the ladles for the rite with the
remaining clay. They are sun dried and then the adhvaryu fumigates
them in a fire fueled by horse dung. Then they are heated in the fire
in the sacrificial pit taken out and cooled by the pouring of goat’s
milk. On the day of the rite the adhvaryu uses his forceps to hold the
pravargya pot over the AhAvaniya fire and melts ghee in it and the
prastotA priest sings the pravargya sAmans during this process. The
pot is then place on a raised altar on a silver disk. Ghee is poured
again into it and its heated by the adhvaryu and then surrounded by
samids and covered with a gold lid and a fire lit. It is fanned with 3
fans till the pot becomes redhot and all except the yajamAna’s wife
look at it chanting yajushes. Finally the other participants leave and
the pratiprastAtA priest and yajmAna’s wife not looking at the pot
chant the fertility yajushes to tvashTa. Then a goat and a cow are
milked and the milk is poured into the pravargya pot. It is then held
by tongs and taken to the AhAvaniya fire and the gharma offering to
the ashvins is made. An indra pouring with the formula “svAhendrAya
svAhendrA vaD.h” is made and the milk is made to overflow from the pot
into the fire. The pourings to pUshaN and rudra are made. Then after
performing the agnihotra and worshiping the prANa as indra and agni
with the formula “prANa evainaM indratamegnau juhoti” the yajamAna,
his wife and priests eat the congealed milk of the gharma with honey.
The adhvaryu then disposes the sacrificial implements used in the
rite: the forceps, the tripod, the fans, two fire pokers in the east
by arranging them in the shape of a man. The prastotA priest sings the
rakshoha sAmans during the process. Then singing the shukra samans,
the yajamAna, his wife and the priests dispose the pravargya pot on
the east on the west sides of the uttaravedi platform. If he desires
to slay his foes he lays a death-dealing charm invoking
agni-vaishvAnara and disposes it on the branch of an audumbara fig
tree. He may also dispose it near a termite heap with darbha grass for
successful farming.

Also finally the soma while not directly offered in the Taittiriya
AraNyaka form of the rite, it was possibly originally present as in
the soma offering of the bhR^igus to the ashvins. A relic of this is
seen in the pavamAna sAmans sung in course of the rite.

Now the issue is that the pravargya pot is a very distinctive
structure that necessarily must appear in the archaeological record.
Especially given the gold/silver base and lid of the pot finding such
structures may be possible. I would like to hear from list members
regarding any pottery that may fit into the parvargya apparatus and
their possible dates and associations. Is there any such material from
Kalibangan for example? Sankalia mentions some pot associated with the
Malwa culture would anyone have details on it?

Interested readers may also consult: J Houben, J Gonda and J
Buitenen’s works on parvargya. Houben’s is a good brief summary with
English translation. Buitenen’s interpretations of the rite are in my
humble opinion completely flawed. Gonda talks of psychic effects of
soma, and ghee drinking in the rite…. But i doubt these were really
relevant.

Danava and other issues with OIT

>7. The main and older Rig Vedic struggle, however, was the rth-south
>conflict, the Turvashas and Yadus (the people of interior India the
>south) with the Vedic Purus of the Sarasvati River to the north. It
>continued long after the period of the Rig Veda as Puranic stories of
>Purus or Ikshvakus struggles the Yadus reveal. The Turvashas and
>Yadus were also called Rakshasas and Yakshas.

Shri Vamadeva Shastri: a very interesting essay expounding views
Talagerian genre. I will try to address all your points in detail as a
when time permits. But first this point: How did you infer that the
major and older R^igvedic struggle was between the pUrus/ikshvAkus and
the turvashas and the yadus. I noticed that in your earlier work you
even went as far as claiming that rAvaNa was yadu. Do you still stick
to this claim. On what basis do you make this claim? when it is not
really supported by any of the traditional genealogies. There is
paurANic evidence for the struggle between the bhR^igus and their
cousins the yadus in the so called haihaya period culminating in
hostilities under rAmo bhArgava. But the vedic evidence does not (at
least to me) really present a prolonged struggle between the bhArata
center and the yadu/turvasha periphery. There was possibly one major
episode during the sudAsa expansion but beyond that there are even
references to the yadus and turvashas coming from far to aid the
pUrus. Also note the reference them in the long gayatri to Indra:
nakirindra tvaduttaro na jAyan asti… ityAdi by vAmadeva gautama, a
pUru priest; it is hardly hostile.

While the druhyus, anus, purus, t and y are often mentioned in one
breath the ikshvAkus are kept aside on most instances. So they are
possibly a peripheral people with shorter phases of more widespread
dominance of the Aryan heart land like during the periods of mandhAtA
and trasadasyu.

How would you explain this with respect to you geographical model?

> Afghanistan at an early period. The Europeans called themselves
‘Danavas’,
> the sons of the Goddess Danu. Danava was originally a positive term
reflected
> in the name of the Maruts and other Vedic Gods as Su-Danavas (good
Danus). It

There are many issues with dAnava first and problems for OIT with it.
dAnava had already accquired a negative context by the R^ig veda. To
understand this note the epithet dAnava-han applied to Indra fairly
early in the Rigveda itself. Indra’s hostilites with the son of dAnu
are also mentioned on multiple occassions especially in the hymns of
the mainstream pUru angirasas like hiraNyastupa and shaunahotra.
SudAnava is traditionally interpreted by teachers of vedic sanskrit as
good (su) givers (dAnavaH). There is a pauraNic myth that the maruts
were born of diti through an embryo cut up by mahendra. This myth
while probably having some Indo-European root is likely not to have
been an ancient one for it is contradicted in the RV by the tale of
the maruts being the sons of rudra through pR^ishNi. Thus
interpretation of sudAnava as connected to danu is less likely than
the explanation of good givers. Now let us see where the rivers that
derive their name from dAnu are seen: predominantly in the
circum-Pontic region: Dnieper, Donets, Don, Dniester and Danube
(joining Black sea somewhat to the south). There is a sporadic
presence further west like Don in Scotland and the name in the Tuatha
de Daanan of the Celts. This is contrasted with a relative paucity of
the Danu river names to the far east of the Circum-Pontic region. The
two important lessons that we learn from this are one: the
Indo-Europeans river names can be mobile so there can be Don in the
Pontic steppe as well as Scotland: so also for Sarasvati- there could
have been many sarasvatis and that of bharadvAja need be the same as
Hakra. Secondly we see no trail of Danu river names from India to the
Pontic region. So the fundamental split between the danu/dAnava
worshipping population: what may be termed in Indic vocabulary a
Druhyu-early- branching-Anu admixture occured in the Pontic region
rather than in Gandhara. This early danu/dAnvava- split mirrored in
many respects the later asura split. This taken together with the
later surviving Indians in the Black sea regions suggests that the
Indians and the Iranians were most possibly once in this region where
the basic theological construct of dAnava as demon occurred.

The conclusion OIT is far from explaining all the issues of IE origins
and migrations.

West East
Time Danu+dAnava|Asura/Deva
| Split
| Danu+dAnava<———[BOTH]—>Asura/Deva
|main river name main river name
| {danu} {sarasvati}
| Split
| Asura <——- ———–>Deva
| Iranians Indians
\ / {middle vedic period}

> a historic aura, and when the Danu-worshippering people had
> subjugated the Old-European natives/Finno-Ugric people and became
> masters of the land.

The point is that Danu was an ancient river goddess/Demoness and so
she was always worshipped by at least a section of the PIE community.
So you should see her worship associated with this community except
the portion that stops worshiping her. Thus we explain the observed
pattern: hence I do not immediately understand why she has to acquire
a historical aura to be invoked.

> Shouldn’t we also see a plethora of Sarasvati-derived names in the
> the Proto-Indo-Iranian homeland in the Pontic region ifIranian-Indo-
> Aryan split occured there?

On etymological grounds I postulate that the name Sarasvati was
applied to the trans-functional IE goddess only after the
Indo-Iranians had split from the Europeans. After this occured after
the former had started drifting from the Pontic region and invented
sarasvati in this period. One of the Pontic rivers Bug may be derived
from the god bhaga suggesting there were some alternative river names.
This god was common in the slavic branch where many of the gods are
called ‘bogs’.

> The Vendidad does talk about the Vanguhi Daitya river in Eranvej or
> Airyana Vaeja (modern Oxus?), where Daitya=’one who has received the
> Law’. The Avestan corpus should provide with many interesting
threads.

Correct, but this is to do with the much later split of asura and deva
worshippers: Note dAnu and diti are essentially different, though
later they may have been synonymized unifying asura and dAnava. In the
RV dAnava is always negative and asura is still positive. So I was
expressing doubt regarding vAmadeva shAstri’s theory.

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