June 15, 2007

Sri Aurobindo’s essay, The Origin of Aryan Speech has remained totally unstudied

Fri 15 Jun 2007 02:33 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Yes, Ron, I did see the Wikipedia article, albeit hurriedly; in fact, I had just scrolled it down to get the general drift of the presentation. Your query should mean, I should go back to it and read it quite carefully. But perhaps this I shall do later while, presently, I will simply make reference to Sri Aurobindo.
In The Future Poetry (pp. 12-13) he speaks of association of ideas with words, rather with sound. The connection is not based on agreed equivalences, intellect building a kind of dictionary or check-list. It “started from an indefinable quality or property in the sound to raise certain vibrations in the life-soul of the human creature, in his sensational, his emotional, his crude mental being. An example may indicate more clearly what I mean. The word wolf, the origin of which is no longer present to our minds, denotes to our intelligence a certain living object and that is all, the rest we have to do for ourselves: the Sanskrit word vŗka, ‘tearer’, came in the end to do the same thing, but originally it expressed the sensational relation between the wolf and man which most affected the man’s life, and it did so by a certain quality in the sound which readily associated it with the sensation of tearing. This must have given early language a powerful life, a concrete vigour, in one direction a natural poetic force which it has lost, however greatly it has gained in precision, clarity, utility.”
Sri Aurobindo gives the same example of the Sanskrit word vŗka, in The Secret of the Veda: (pp. 54-56)...
In this regard I may also point out that Sri Aurobindo’s essay The Origin of Aryan Speech has remained totally unstudied. And what a wealth it contains! With it the Science of Language can become discoverable. I think one of these days we should post this full article at the sciy. Here again he gives the same example of wolf the tearer, connecting it with vŗka of Sanskrit; there are a few additional examples also. Maybe Vladimir can tell us more about this aspect.
Indian tradition speaks of the fourfold speech, starting with our common speech called Vaikhari and ascending through Madhyama (medial) and Pashyanti (seen speech) to Para Vani, corresponding to the phrase Transcendental Speech we have in Savitri. There is an amusing mention by the Mother that, when Goddess Durga used to visit her they were not talking with each other in French! It was another way of communication. How sweet! RYD

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