pA, panuval, pAvai;; tantu, tantra, tanU etc.,

Mon Jul 14 15:38:34 UTC 1997

The root meaning of "pA" and "tantu" is 'to extend'.
Then, it is used by S. Palaniappan in derivation of
words like "paavai" (figurine, goddess, pupil).

This reminds me of "eye-opening" ceremonies in Hindu temples.
There is a major ritual done by Sthapatis during Kumbhabhishekam
events. When the Sthapathi/Shilpi/image-maker makes a black spot
with anjanam on eyes of bronze or stone image, it is supposed to
be imparted with life and the paricular Devata starts to reside
in the idol.
It appears a similar practice existed in Sumeria too.
Many years ago. Dr. Irene Winter, Harvard university once went to Madras
to study this ritual and talked to Dr. R. Nagaswamy.
I saw the title of a lecture by her in Univ. of Penn home page
last year.

N. Ganesan

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