Re: Sarasvati

From: VAgarwalV@...
Message: 9180
Date: 2001-09-07

Many people have indeed argued and continue to argue that Harauxvaiti
and Sarasvati are analogous river cults (apart from the obvious
linguistic similarity aspect). However, such views have been disposed
off (although rather in a somewhat dismissive manner) in the
reference cited by me [de Jong 1997]. In fact, the author has quoted
the opinions of numerous Iranists who associate the cult of Anahita
more with middle east cults (rather than the Indian Sarasvati),
contary to the earlier consensus.

The scenario of AMT and acculturation, which is now said to have
replaced swift, rapid and tumultous invasions, would in fact seem to
argue against a name transfer from Helmand to Ghaggar. Migrations and
Acculturations are very slow and the distance between Helmand and
Ghaggar is great. 'Aryans' would have taken several generations and
even centuries to reach Ghaggar from Helmand. The proposed
Acculturation models all indicate that the 'Aryans' would have got
submerged in the population of the Sapta Sindhavah region. Therefore,
it is quite illogical to think that they would retain the memory of a
river in S Afghanistan and transfer it to Ghaggar when they could
easily coin another name.

There is no archaeological evidence from the region also to suggest
any migration from S Afghanistan to greater Punjab. On the contrary,
genetic evidence indicates a net migration from Punjab towards
Afghanistan around 2300 BCE. Note that this data is close to the
supposed capture of headwaters of Drshadvati by Yamuna, reducing the
water flow of Sarasvati. The period is also roughly contemporaneous
with the start of Mature Harappan culture. The Rigveda contains some
indications (as shown by Talageri and numerous people before him)
that the Bharatas etc. pushed out some tribes in the N W. How Witzel
interprets Bharatas-Purus as invaders from the NW into India is a
mystery - the data indicates otherwise.

In the Rigveda, there is no indication that Drshadvati was not a
perenniel river. (Although references to the stream are admittedly
few and unclear). But in the Sutras, it is distinctly mentioned as a
seasonal stream. (e.g. in the Latyayana Srautasutra). The sactity
attached to the region between Drishadvati and Sarasvati is difficult
to understand if the Aryans were acquainted only with a season stream
in Drishadvati and a tiny rivulet in Sarasvati.



--- In cybalist@..., cas111jd@... wrote:
> Not to argue in favor of the Helmund as the original Sarasvati, but
> hasn't anyone ever suggested that the Zoroastrian water-goddess
> Haurvatat is synonymous with Sarasvati? If so, this would, to me,
> strengthen the arguement for the Hauraxvaiti/Helmund as being the
> original Sarasvati river.