[Advaita-l] asura etymology

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Wed Apr 29 17:02:56 CDT 2009

On Tue, 14 Apr 2009, Michael Shepherd wrote:

> Namaste
> The Vedic verbal roots suggest that to be bright (like the sun), to press
> out, and to generate, are all closely linked.
> So an asura would be dark, unproductive and withholding !

But note also that in Persian mythology ahura mazda is the good 
God associated with light, truth etc. and the devas are the bad guys. 
Ahura = asura.  The avestan use of h instead of Sanskrit s is well-known 
i.e. homa = soma, hindu = sindhu etc.   This has led some historians to 
suggest some kind of proto-Indo-European civil war between deva and asura 
worshipers.  (In both cultures they are depicted as brothers.)  But note 
also that there is no archaeological evidence for this whatsoever.  And 
even the literary evidence has problems because while the Vedas were 
preserved with fidelity, the Avesta was heavily edited by Zoaraster. 
Still its an interesting theory.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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