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Vedic Index of Names and Subjects[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।

Dant, Danta, ‘tooth,’ is frequently mentioned from the Rigveda onwards.[१] Cleansing (dhāv) the teeth was an ordinary act, especially in preparation for a sacrifice, and accompanied bathing, shaving of the hair and beard (keśa-śmaśru), and the cutting of the nails.[२] A hymn of the Atharvaveda[३] celebrates the appearance of the first two teeth of a child, though its exact interpretation is doubtful.[४] In the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa[५] there is a reference to a child's first teeth falling out. The word seems in the Rigveda[६] once to denote an elephant's tusk. Whether dentistry was practised is doubtful. The occurrence in the Aitareya Āraṇyaka[७] of Hiraṇya-dant, ‘gold-toothed,’ as the name of a man, is perhaps significant, especially as it is certain that the stopping of teeth with gold was known at Rome as early as the legislation of the Twelve Tables.[८]

  1. Rv. vii. 55, 2;
    x. 68, 6;
    Av. v. 23, 3;
    29, 4;
    vi. 56, 3, etc. The more usual form is Danta, Rv. iv. 6, 8;
    vi. 75, 11;
    Av. iv. 3, 6, etc.
  2. Maitrāyaṇī Saṃhitā, iii. 6, 2 (not exactly paralleled in Taittirīya Saṃhitā, vi. 1, 1, 2 et seq.).
  3. vi. 140.
  4. Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, 321;
    Weber, Indische Studien, 5, 224;
    Grill, Hundert Lieder,^2 176;
    Bloomfield, Hymns of the Atharvaveda, 540, 541;
    Atharvaveda, 71;
    Whitney, Translation of the Atharvaveda, 386.
  5. vii. 14;
    Śāṅkhāyana Srauta Sūtra, xv. 18.
  6. iv. 6, 8;
    Pischel, Vedische Studien, 1, 99;
    Oldenberg, Sacred Books of the East, 46, 341, 342.
  7. ii. 1, 5.
  8. Keith, Aitareya Āraṇyaka, 206. See Wordsworth, Fragments and Specimens of Early Latin, 537.
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