ghaTikA as college

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 29 20:46:47 UTC 1998

kalA, the Sanskrit word for "arts/learning" comes from
Dravidian word, "kal-", to learn, to dig deeper, ... (cf. DED)
Always thought that kalA from Dravidian will have a wider significance
in Indian protohistory.

"kalam" - a vessel, pot would have been coined from "kal-", (to
learn). After all, one of the major advances of humankind is to
learn to make pottery.

This "kalam" from the root 'to learn', is specically used in Tamil as
"inscribed palm-leaf" also. This specific usage could easily be
 extended to a "school", because it has to do with "kal-", (to learn).

Sanskrit authors translated the Dravidian "kalam" meaning school
as "ghaTikA" perhaps mistakenly. But "kalam" in Dravidian means
"school", rather than "vessel" in this context. Otherwise, how else
one would explain the term, ghaTikA "vessel/water clock" for "school"?
In Tamil, kalam means both vessel and palmleaf manuscript.

Any instances in early Tamil literature where "kalam" is
used as inscribed palm-leaf?

N. Ganesan

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