s. kalyanaraman s._kalyanaraman at mail.asiandevbank.org
Wed Feb 22 14:48:17 UTC 1995

On kumuda and lilies: 

Let me present a 'bhaashaa' perspective to the interesting, superb and lively 
exchanges on this subject. 

First, why is kumuda linked to yaagaa? Perhaps because, both close by day?

Second, if kumuda = white water lily is etymologically linkable with kuvala = 
blue water lily, a fascinating link with Kurux language exists. kumbRu'uu = 
half-open as a bud. Of course, Tamil kuvaLai is a blue nelumbo which also closes
by day.

Third, the metaphors in the various verses seem to refer to the full moon day of
As~vina-kaartikaa as suggested by Prof. Aklujkar and also to this characteristic
of the lily's closure by night and opening of the bud as it draws in the sun's 

Fourth, another 'imaging' characteristic is absorbed semantically, for e.g. 
Tamil kuuppu = joining palms in a lotus-like closure-posture to salute. 

Thus, I suggest that kOvaL, kOhaL, kOmaLe of Kannada can be 'semantically 
clustered' with Skt. Pali. kumuda, kaumudii as a classic example of semantic 
expansion around the images of a lily and its bud's unique blossoming features.

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: "kaumudii"
Author:  indology at liverpool.ac.uk at INTERNET
Date:    22/02/1995 1:20 PM

While we're on kumuda/kaumudii, etc., I wonder if anyone can help with 
the following problem, which has me and some of my colleagues stumped:

Verse 11.35 of the Hammira-mahaakaavya of Nayacandrasuuri contains the 
following description of the lakes as part of a kulaka describing the 
city of Ra.nastambhapura (Ranthambhor; here referred to by yat-):

anaarata.m kaumudam aadadhaanaa.h sa.msevyamaanaa dvijaraajibhis' ca /
mi.s.tai.h payobhi.h pratibhaasamaanaa vibhaanti yaagaa iva 
       yat-ta.daagaa.h //

The problem is what exactly is the sense, or rather senses, of kaumuda- 
here.  Presumably it is meant to have a double sense, like dvija- 
'birds/brahmans' and payas- 'water/milk', referring to both the lakes 
(ta.daaga-) and 
to sacrifices (yaaga-) to which they are being punningly compared.  The 
primary sense of kaumuda- is obviously 'water lily'; but what does it mean with 
reference to something characteristic of a sacrifice?

Any thoughts?

Rich Salomon
University of Washington

On Tue, 21 Feb 1995, L.S.Cousins wrote:

> Dominik Wujastyk writes:
> >Also, does the lotus, kumuda, *really* blossom in the moonlight, as is
> >implied by the common term "kaumudii"?
> In Pali komudii is also taken as 'the full moon day in the month kattikaa'
> (PED). On this Buddhaghosa comments (Sv I 139):
> tadaa kira kumudaani supupphitaani  honti.
> Lance Cousins.
> Telephone (UK): 0161 434 3646


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