Graha epithets

Dominique.Thillaud thillaud at UNICE.FR
Thu Dec 4 11:17:51 UTC 1997

At 21:54 +0100 3/12/97, Girish Sharma wrote:
>For Shani, Niilaa~njanagiriprakhya, which to
>mean something like the One who has the appearance
>of a <giri> of blue ointment.  What does giri
>mean in this context?

        I remember, a long time ago, not knowing the Sanskrit and reading
the rAmAyana in the Roussel's translation, I was astonished by the
metaphora 'semblable a une montagne de collyre bleu' used frequently to
describe the rAkshasas.
        Hence, I was very excited by your question and threw an eye on the
R. (thanks Tokunaga sensei).
        It appears that:
1) in nIlAnjanagiri, nIla can altern with kRSNa (R,VI,73,15) and,
frequently, giri with caya.
2) the compound is allways used as the second part in a metaphoric context,
followed by iva or composed with -upama, -AkAra, -nibha, &c. Hence, the
context is unable to give the meaning.

        nIla and kRSNa beeing almost synonymous, giri beeing an hyperbole
of caya, the problem seems to be anjana.
        The MMW dict. give many meanings for this word and nothing enforce
us to choose 'ointment, &c.' in this context; nothing enforce us to believe
the unicity of the root anj- (how explaining anjali ? how anjalika (the
arrow who slew karNa) ?).
        Internal analysis fails here, except perhaps if you can explain a
passage where anjanagiri (beeing Vishnu, not the Rakshasas!) seems to be
linked with the storm:

The first zlokas of R.VII,7 show a fight between Vishnu and the elite of
the Rakshasas:

nArAyaNagirim te tu garjanto rAkSasAmbudAh /
avarSann iSuvarSeNa varSeNa adrim ivAmbudAh.//1
zyAmAvadAtas tair viSNur nIlair naktamcarottamaih /
vRto'njanagirIvAsId varSamANaih payodharaih //2

        zyAmAvadAta can be the key ?


Dominique THILLAUD
Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list