saMsAra

Robin Kornman rkornman at pucc.Princeton.EDU
Thu Feb 16 02:42:36 EST 1995


Is there in this list of roots anything which would explain the Tibetan
'khor ba, which literally means "to circle."  I have heard Tibetan
commentaries on this term in Buddhist Tibetan which make it seem as if it is
a word for "whirlpool."  Any basis in Indo-European linguistics for that? 
Robin Kornman

>     The root is perhaps, sR. sarayatE = begins to flow (Rgveda); saarun =
>     to transport gradually from one place to another (e.g. grain from
>     threshing floor to house), collect (Kashmiri); saarNo = to convey,
>     transplant, separate grain from dirt (Kumaoni); saarnu = to move
>     (Nepali). In classical Skt. there is an apparent, abrupt semantic
>     expansion; cf. MaitraayaNi Upanishad: saMsAra = undergoing
>     transmigration; Manu: secular life, the world; Pali, Pkt.: the round
>     of birth and death; Sinhala: sasara = transmigration; Hindi: sa~sArA =
>     the world; but cf. sara = going (PaaNini). I suppose that when a
>     reference to secular life is made by someone to a married person, in
>     colloquial Tamil, saMsAram does certainly connote 'family' (hence,
>     'your wife'; this may be a polite way of avoiding saying the blunt,
>     perhaps uncivil, directness: 'your wife'! It is analogous to saying:
>     'my wife is in the family way' as a substitute for: 'my wife is
>     pregnant'.) To revert to saMsAra: if a philosophical proposition
>     exists propounding 'a cyclical continuum or motion of births and
>     deaths', theories of transmigration cannot be far behind.
>     s._kalyanaraman at ctlmail.asiandevbank.org
>
>
>

 




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