Srinivasan Pichumani srini at ENGIN.UMICH.EDU
Tue Apr 28 20:59:12 UTC 1998

A while ago there was a discussion on "devaanaam-priyaH".
While looking thru the book "amRtadhArA: Professor
R.N.Dandekar Felictation volume" I found the following
article of G.B.Palsule "Devaanaam-priyaH : Has it any
Vedic antecedents ?"... where he also refers to another
article of his on the subject "Devaanaam-priyaH" in
Indian Linguistics, Vol. 30, (Katre Felicitation Volume),
part II. pp. 134-161.

His main points are : "the expression has a long and
chequered history in the later Sanskrit literature.  It
first occurs in the vArttika of Katyayana as an instance
of aluk-compound having, as is now proved, no bad meaning
whatsoever.  Patanjali links that word with other honorific
expressions such as tatra-bhavAn and also himself uses it
as such.  The expression continued to be used as a courteous
substitute of the 2nd person pronoun tvam for centuries in
belle-lettre like HarSacarita, PadmaprAbhRtakA, ... "

"On the other hand, the expression has been found only in an
ironic sense in the scientific literature on different systems
of philosophy, commentaries on the sutras, works on poetics,..."

"Finally the word came to mean a fool in which sense the word
first occurs in MammaTa's kAvyaprakAs'a and Abhinavagupta's
TantrAloka.  This change first occured around 1000 AD and this
change of meaning is reflected in the grammars and lexicons
subsequent to this date."

"I have suggested elsewhere that a misunderstanding of the
MahAbhASya passage under Panini 2.4.56 mentioned above,
primarily by Kaiyata and possibly also by MammaTa, was
responsible for the new directly derogatory meaning that
came to be attached to the expression under discussion."

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list