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On the ṚG Vedic Riddle of the Two Birds in the Fig Tree (RV 1.164.20-22), and the Discovery of the Vedic Speculative Symposium

Willard Johnson
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 96, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1976), pp. 248-258
DOI: 10.2307/599827
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/599827
Page Count: 11
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On the ṚG Vedic Riddle of the Two Birds in the Fig Tree (RV 1.164.20-22), and the Discovery of the Vedic Speculative Symposium
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Abstract

This paper discusses the translation and interpretation of RV 1.164.20-22, arguing that it is a speculative bráhman verse sequence whose primary Ṛg Vedic tenor is the speculative symposium (sadhamá̄da) discussed by Renou and others. It applies to the reading of the parabolic or enigmatizing image of the two birds in the fig tree the text critical concept of I. A. Richards which distinguishes for any metaphorical use of language an image vehicle from the image tenor, attempting thus to introduce a structural basis for clarity and precision in translating and interpreting the passage and hence to solve this particular double riddle of Vedic scholarship.

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