Skt vocabulary for: Hail

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sat Jan 22 17:30:32 EST 2000


In Tamil literature, acan2i (=Skt. azani) has been used in numerous
instances. kamparAmAyaNam alone has more than 50 instances. One can see that
the original meaning of thunderbolt and an extended meaning "missile/weapon"
can be seen from the usages. One can also see that in its original meaning,
it is distinct from hail. But, then arrows as well as hail can be seen as
missiles. Some examples are given below.

iTikkin2Ra acan2i en2n2a iraikkin2Ratu, irAman2 pOr vil;
veTikkin2Ratu aNTam en2n2a, paTuvatu tampi vil nAN;
aTikkin2Ratu en2n2ai vantu cevitoRum an2uman2 Arppu
piTikkin2Ratu ulakam egkum, pariticEy Arppin2 veRRi.   (kam.6.18.277)

Here we see acan2i is thunder.

pon2 neTug kun2Ram an2n2An2 pukar mukap pakazi en2n2um
man2 neTug kAla van2 kARRu aTittalum, iTittu vAn2il
kal neTu mAri peyyak kaTai ukattu ezunta mEkam,
min2 oTu um acan2i oTum vIzvatE pOla vIzntAL.           (kam.1.7.73)

In the above, one can see hail is distinguished from acan2i.

kun2Ru nin2Ratu pErttu eTuttu, irunilak kuTar kavarnten2ak koNTAn2,
cen2Ru viNNoTu poRiyoTum tIccela, cEvakan2 cen2i nErE,
'ven2Ru tIrka' en2a viTTan2an2; atu vantu paTTatu mEl en2n2a.
an2aiya kun2Ru en2um acan2iyai, yAvarkkum aRivu arum aran2mEn2i       (kam.
6.15.332)

Here a mountain which is uprooted and thrown by a person is called acan2i.

aiya! vem pAcam tan2n2Al ArppuNTAr; acan2i en2n2ap
peyyum vejncarattAl mEn2i piLappu uNTAr; "uNarvu pErntAr
uyyunar" en2Ru uraittatu uNmaiyO? ozikka on2RO?
ceyyum en2Ru eNNat teyvam ciRitu an2RO? teriyin2 ammA!
(kam.6.18.292)

Here the arrows are equated to acan2i.

toTagkiya Arppin2 Ocai cevi pulam toTartalOTum,
iTagkaLil vayap pOttu an2n2a eRuzvali arakkar yArum,
maTagkalin2 muzakkam kETTa vAn2kari ottAr; mAtar
aTagkalum acan2i kETTa aLai uRai aravam ottAr.
      (kam.6.18.284)

Here the common Tamil motif of the snake (aravam) getting scared of thunder
(acan2i) is referred to. I think nAgAnanda's usage of azani may also be a
suggestion of the motif of danger posed by thunder to snakes.


Regards
S. Palaniappan



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