Skt vocabulary for: Hail

Swaminathan Madhuresan smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jan 20 12:31:16 EST 2000


Sangam texts mention hail-storm, Eg., pati.r.ruppattu 84:22-23:
"vi.n.tu mu_n_niya puyal ne.tuG kAlai
kal cErpu mA mazai". Hailstorms are "kalmazai"/"kalmAri", both mean
'stone-rain' and are usually accompanied by lightning, etc.,
"kA.r.rum, veGka_nalum, kArum, iTiyum, kal mazaiyum eGkum" -villipAratam
(="Heavy winds, powerful lightnings, dark clouds, thunder and
hail-rain everywhere"). Kambaramayanam calls arrows released from a bow
as "azani-rain" (cilai vazaGku aca_ni mAri).

The 8th century Jaina epic, cIvakacintAmaNi compares the
Benares king to Krishna lifting govardhanagiri to save people:
"kal mazaip po_n ku_n.ru Entik kaNa nirai a_n.ru kAttu
ma_n uyir i_n.ru kAkkum vAra.navAci ma_n_na_n-"
Later examples are many: "ko.n.tal kalmAriyai, mu_n_nam,
kOvartta_namE ku.taiyAka" - villipAratam.
Indra hurting cattle, yadhavs with hailstorms is common
in tamil. Does the motif of "VajrapA.ni creating hailstoms"
in the Krishna legend have anything to do with hail being called ashani?

Regards,
SM

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