A few indological inquiries

Narayan S. Raja raja at galileo.IFA.Hawaii.Edu
Tue May 2 02:28:09 UTC 1995

On Sat, 29 Apr 1995, Gerard Huet wrote:

> Greetings to distinguished indology scholars.

Include me out!  :-)   But I will put in my
2 cents anyway...

> 1. In Orissa, the main structure of a temple, as well as its inner
> sanctuary, is usually called "deul". This does not appear to be a sanskrit
> word, although it could plausibly be derived from the root dIv/dev.
> What is the accepted etymology of this term?

Interestingly, "deuL" is also the Marathi
word for temple.  I would guess that it is
indeed from Sanskrit.

> 2. The room next to the deul is called "jaganmohana", which is sanskrit
> for "Illusion of the World" or "World Illusion" if I am not mistaken, although
> this word does not appear in Monet-Williams. What is the standard explanation
> for this terminology?

Although not a Sanskrit scholar, based on
my Indian background I would have understood 
"Mohana" as "enchanting" or "enchantment"
(in a positive sense), rather than "illusion."  
E.g., a popular word for Krishna is "Manmohan" 
("one who enchants the mind" -- NOT "one who creates 
an illusion")!

> 1. The halo of flames that sometimes frames idols such as Na.tarAja is
> usually called "prabhAma.n.dala" which means "Circle of Light". This
> etimology is pretty clear, although it is not clear to me whether the
> substantive prabhA comes form the verb pra-bhA or from pra-bhAs, since
> the roots bhA and bhAs have very close meanings.
> Sometimes this halo is referred to as "prabhAvali" where "vali", which
> usually means wrinkle in sanskrit, is sometimes spelled "valI" or even
> "vallI". Which is the correct spelling, and is the proper translation
> "festooned with light"?

Again, though not a Sanskrit scholar, I
would have guessed that it (I think it is
AvaLi, not VaLi) means "row" or "line."  

E.g., "DeepavaLi" is the
festival of "rows of lamps."  "Rangoli"
(actually, "Rangavali", I would guess)
is the designs one draws on the floor, 
with "rows" or "lines" of colours.


Narayan Sriranga Raja.


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