anjana (was: Graha epithets)

Georg von Simson g.v.simson at EASTEUR-ORIENT.UIO.NO
Thu Dec 4 15:41:27 UTC 1997

Dominique Tillaud wrote:
>     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 ?
Beside nIlAnjana-giri or -caya (this is used several times in the
Mahabharata, too), prabhinnaAnjana is often used in sanskrit-literature in
similar contexts, when something dark or greyish or a mixture of white and
black (zyAmAvadåta!) is described. About this latter term, meaning 'mixed
collyrium', Claus Vogel has written an article in Indo-Iranian Journal 10
(1967/68): 171-176.

                Georg v. Simson

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