maRai, its meaning; WHOSE VEDA? - Bhaashya

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman MDSAAA48 at GIASMD01.VSNL.NET.IN
Mon Feb 12 03:00:10 EST 1996

What is the meaning of maRai in Tamil?

maRai = concealment (puRanA.50); secret (kuRaL, 590); the vEdas, as secret
(tol.ezhut.102). It would appear that the secrecy is the key attribute of
the vedic
tradition continued by the siddhas of Tamil alchemical lore. In Tamil vedi-iyal
connotes alchemy.

The links with veda and Tamil may also be found thru Malayalam.

Dr. Kalyanaraman, Indus Sarasvati Research Centre, Madras.
mdsaaa48 at

>This is just a note on one of M. Witzel's comments. It goes without saying
>that every one in this forum is interested in any serious work that
>discusses the actual content of the Veda and its actual impact on Indian
>One of his comments might be construed as saying that Tamil texts held in
>reverence comparable to that given to the Veda are actually influenced in
>form by the latter. I am sure he did not mean to imply this.  Also, there
>is no reason here to single out the Periya-purANam in preference to the
>other fundamental texts in the 12 Tiru-muRai. 
>An interesting related point is that the Tamil word used in this
>connection is not vEda but *maRai*, which has been fittingly translated in
>French by *Arcanes* (F. Gros). Whether the word was supposed to refer to
>the veda itself, or was a generic term for important, esoteric texts is
>not clear. 
>                                Satyanad Kichenassamy
>                                School of Mathematics
>                                University of Minnesota
>                                127 Vincent Hall
>                                206 Church Street, S. E.
>                                Minneapolis, MN 55455-0487
>                                E-mail: kichenas at
>                                Phone:  (612) 625-2352

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