Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Sat May 2 23:53:41 UTC 1998

On Tue, 28 Apr 1998, Srinivasan Pichumani wrote:

> It first occurs in the vArttika of Katyayana as an instance
> of aluk-compound having, as is now proved, no bad meaning
> whatsoever.

Unfortunately, devaanam priyaH occurs already in the Atharvaveda:


<18.54.2>   ...  devaanaam  priyo bhuuyaasam
<18.54.3>   ...  prajaanaam priyo bhuuyaasam

cf. also:

<16.124.3> vizveSaaM tvaa  devaanaam priyeNa dhaamnaa

and Zaunaka:

15.1.4. bRhataz ca vai sa rathaMtarasya caadityaanaaM ca vizveSaaM ca
devaanaam priyaM dhaama bhavati ya evaM veda //4//

> The expression continued to be used as a courteous
> substitute of the 2nd person pronoun tvam for centuries...

obviously neither this nor the ironic meaning are found in the early Vedic

Michael Witzel                       witzel at
phone: 1- 617 - 495 3295 (voice & messages), 496 8570, fax 617 - 496 8571

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