How a buck/stag could have become a lion!

g.v.simson at g.v.simson at
Tue Jul 1 15:42:31 UTC 1997

>n Tue, 1 Jul 1997, Georg von Simson wrote:
>> >A vyaala is a hunting predator: lion, tiger, etc.
>> >A m.rga is a not a predator: mongoose, jackal, cat.
>> I fail to understand this. Mongoose, jackal and cat are also hunting
>> predators, or do you think they eat grass? :-)
>You're right, of course.  Umm.  I'm not sure how to express this any
>better in English.  "Big predator v. ordinary animal?"  There *is* a
>sensible difference between, say, a lion and a cat.  Is is just a matter
>of the danger level?  We talk about "Big cats" meaning much more than
>"large moggies".  There must be a way of capturing the Sanskrit
>distinction in idiomatic (not my idiotic) English. :-)
>Best wishes,
Yes, I think you are right: the opposition is obviously 'dangerous animal'
(vyaala) v. 'not dangerous (or, perhaps, as you say 'ordinary') animal'
(m.rga). vyaala may, in ordinary sanskrit, also mean 'vicious elephant',
'poisonous snake', so 'predator' might just not be the right word.

Best wishes


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