Gold-digging ants; and soma

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman MDSAAA48 at GIASMD01.VSNL.NET.IN
Wed Nov 27 09:57:07 UTC 1996

pipIlika has two meanings: an ant; a kind of gold supposed to be collected
by ants(MBh.Kannada).
piippalanagara is the name of a town (Jules Bloch 368); pimpalner in
pipIla refers to an ant in RV (x.16.6); is a large black ant in Chandogya
pipRi is a black ant in Santali language and in almost all Indian languages
with slight
phonetic stylizations. 
pippalADa is the name of a school in Atharva Veda. pipIlavAdam, paipIlavAdam
is explained in
Sangam tamil as: a philosophical explanation of the atom as the cause of the
An important ingredient in the soma process described in the vedic texts is the
earth from ant-hills. 
I have suggested elsewhere that soma refers to electrum (gold-silver ore)
The gold dug up by the ants could have an important bearing in this process.
Regards, Kalyanaraman.

At 08:09 PM 11/26/96 GMT, you wrote:
>Some years ago I looked into the puzzle concerning the gold-digging ants,
>and among other things collected some entological papers on Afghan ant
>species. It might interest you to know that some ants make anthills out of
>sand and small stones, and that they carry the bigger pieces of rubble to
>the top of the anthill in order to catch and keep the warmth of the sun. On
>ground with gold particles among the sand and rubble, such particles may
>easily have have been put on top of the anthills. The matter has been
>treated in a major zoological work on ants (don't remember the name of it
>right now), that refers to Herodotus and sees this kind of behaviour as the
>basis for Herodotus' story. I suspect that it is possible that stories about
>gold-digging marmots and gold-digging ants have been mixed up, producing the
>monster ants described by Herodotus (otherwise, one would expect the Greeks
>to know the difference between a marmot and an ant). It seems obvious to me
>that animals digging and throwing up soil would tell people where gold was
>to be found in the ground. In other words, if marmots - or ants - bring up
>small nuggets of gold, all you have to do is to go on digging! (Should
>countries in economic trouble introduce ants and marmots to boost their
>Best regards,
>Lars Martin Fosse

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