Anyone heard of a flower called "aniccam?"

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Sun Mar 21 12:09:56 EDT 2010


The whole discussion (here and in Tamil) reminded me of the little  
yellow  flower,  called 'noli me tangere' "don't touch me!" in Latin.

For some details see: <http://www.aboutflowers.org/ 
giantbalsamim_xal.htm>  (also in N. India)

(Leaves of certain trees also do that: they fold on touch).

Cheers,
MW


On Mar 21, 2010, at 11:54 AM, rajam wrote:

> Dear Whitney,
>
> The poems don't indicate that the flower perishes, though. The  
> emphasis is on its delicateness, softness, and gentleness. So I  
> wonder whether the flower's "reflex" action ("to wilt" when someone  
> smells it) fascinated the poet. Maybe one could find a similar  
> flower somewhere -- I hope!
>
> Thanks and regards,
> VSR
>
> On Mar 21, 2010, at 1:18 AM, Whitney Cox wrote:
>
>> Dear Rajam,
>>
>> In line with your observation that the flower is supposedly "super
>> sensitive", it seems possible to me that the derivation of the name
>> might be from a-nitya ("impermanent," "perishable"), rather than
>> an+icchā (I see that the MTL, p. 191 thinks the same thing).   
>> However,
>> I don't know of any flower called anitya in Sanskrit.
>>
>> Best regards,
>>
>> Whitney
>>
>> On 21 March 2010 06:00, rajam <rajam at earthlink.net> wrote:
>>> Has anyone on this list come across a plant/flower type named  
>>> "aniccha" in
>>> any non-Tamil literature?
>>> Has anyone seen it (in person or in a picture)?
>>>
>>> "Aniccam" is listed just as a flower in early Tamil poetry. Later  
>>> on, the
>>> focus is on the flower's super sensitivity--about how it would  
>>> wilt at the
>>> contact of human breath, how it would harm a woman [with a  
>>> slender waist] if
>>> she wears the flower without removing its stem, ... and so on.
>>>
>>> There is a thought that the term "anicca" is derived thus: a +  
>>> iccha (a +
>>> icchaa - Without Desire/Wish).
>>>
>>> What is your thought? Are there similar flowers extolled in non- 
>>> Tamil poetry
>>> for such super sensitivity?
>>>
>>> Thanks and regards,
>>> V.S. Rajam
>>> < (www.letsgrammar.org)>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -- 
>>
>>
>> Dr. Whitney Cox
>> Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia,
>> School of Oriental and African Studies
>> Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
>> London WC1H 0XG

============
Michael Witzel
witzel at fas.harvard.edu
<www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm>

Dept. of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
1 Bow Street,
Cambridge MA 02138, USA

phone: 1- 617 - 495 3295, 496 8570, fax 617 - 496 8571;
my direct line:  617- 496 2990



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