Palaniappa at aol.com Palaniappa at aol.com
Wed Apr 16 05:23:07 UTC 1997

In a message dated 97-04-14 15:42:43 EDT, wgw at dnai.com (WILLIAM G WALL)

 In Rupa Gosvami's Vidagdhamaadhava there is a reference to a "ra.ngana"
 garland (Act II). This does not appear to be a flower. Etymologically, it
 seems to come from "ra.nga" ("play," perhaps sport, but also in the sense
 of drama). 
 Can anyone shed more light on this garland?
 Bill >>

In Tamil and other Dravidian languages, there is an affective-effective pair
of verbs, i.e., 'araGku'-'arakku'. The basic meaning is 'to undergo rubbing-
- 'to rub'. It is commonplace in Tamil literature to find this pair of words
being used in the context of someone wearing a garland. (Remember, even
English 'to wear' has a sense of 'to rub'.) Two years back, I did some
research on this word 'araGku'. At that time, I collected the usage data
regarding this word. Unfortunately, I do not have access to that list now.
But from the hard copy of a part of it, I can give you an occurrence of the
effective form of the word in tEvAram

"tAr arakkum tiNmuTikaL UnRiya caGkaran Ur"

It can be translated as "the town of caGkaran who pressed down the crowns
which garlands rubbed".

I am sure a text search of "tEvaram" and may be "nAlAyirat tivviyap
pirapantam" may turn up examples. A search of "cIvaka cintAmaNi" or
"kamparAmAyaNam" will also turn up examples of such usage.

I am sure the origin of the word 'raGgana' is from the sense of "that which
'araGku's" (i.e, garland). Even though the Tamil word has a 'k', following
the nasal 'G', it is pronounced just as a 'g'. 

The reason both the affective and effective forms are possible in this usage
is due to the fundamental nature of rubbing. When two objects move with
respect to each other with friction being present, both objects undergo the
result of the action, i.e., both get worn away.

I wonder if bhAgavatapurANa has such usage, since it was supposedly produced
in Tamilnadu.


S. Palaniappan

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