Gold-digging ants; and soma

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman MDSAAA48 at GIASMD01.VSNL.NET.IN
Thu Nov 28 05:59:45 UTC 1996

It may also be added tha pIlikai also refers to an ant; pIlu in Skt and Kannada
is an atom; a worm. If we look at the photographs of the 
vancouver island marmots, they look like small
bears. In Tamil pIrukam, pIlukam refers to a bear.
Yes, it ispossible that the place names may have derived from
pippala, the berry of ficus religiosa, cf. R.L.Turner. 
What is a thread, what is brelated and what is not?
regards. Kalyanaraman.

At 06:19 PM 11/27/96 GMT, you wrote:
>Kalyanaraman's message seems to combine several unrelated items into one. 
>The place-name Pimpalner is to be understood in Sanskrit as
>Pippala-Nagara, where the first item refers to the Pippala tree, which is
>rendered as PimpaL in Marathi.  Many Marathi place-names are connected
>with trees, cf. Va.dagaav, Skt. va.tagraama.  Secondly, the Atharvavedic
>name Paippalaada is unrelated to Pipiilikaa, but is again related to
>Pippala + the verb atti in Sanskrit, cf. Upanishadic passage:  dvaa
>supar.naa sayujaa sakhaayaa samaanam v.rk.sam pari.sasvajaate / tayor
>anya.h pippalam svaadv atty ana"snann anyo abhicaaka"siiti //
>	Madhav Deshpande
>On Wed, 27 Nov 1996, Dr. S. Kalyanaraman wrote:
>> Hi,
>> 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
>> Maharashtra.
>> pipIla refers to an ant in RV (x.16.6); is a large black ant in Chandogya
>> Upanishad.
>> 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
>> world.
>> 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)
>> smelting.
>> 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
>> >economies??)
>> >
>> >Best regards,
>> >
>> >Lars Martin Fosse
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >

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