[On Agastya and Aryanization-3]

Dr.S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Sat Oct 3 04:38:47 UTC 1998

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan wrote in 4 postings:
[snip]> kOtu cannot be a Tamil word, because the meaning "fault" does not
apply to the> tirumantiram verse. So we have a borrowed and nativized word. It
looks like> the words kOti and kOtu stand for Sanskrit words kvAthi and
kvatha. According> to Monier-Williams, kvAthi refers to Agastya (fr. kvatha,
'boiling pot', cf.> kumbha-janman). The cluster kvA- and kva- can become kO-
in Tamil analogous to> Skt. svAti > Ta. cOti, and Skt. svastika > Ta.
cOttikam. Of course -th- > -t-> as in Skt. tithi > Ta. titi. The word-final -a
in Sanskrit can become tamil -u> as in Skt. soma >  Ta. cOmu.> > This
Sanskrit-Tamil equivalence seems to suggest that Agastya is associated> with
kOtukulam, the potter community. ziva, as kOtukulavan2, is also> associated
with the potter community. The Tirumantiram verse quoted also> offers clues
supporting this identification. The relevant line reads,> "kOtu kulattoTum
kUTTik kuzaittan2ar">[snip]

The observations are scintillating and thought-provoking indeed. The postings
are as relevant as the observations made by KV Sarma in the Adyar Bulletin on
vedic culture in San:gam literature to evaluate the cultural contacts in
ancient South Asia.

The following lexemes may perhaps also be relevant in the context of kOtu =

got.ri = muddy, dirty (Kui)(DEDR 2067); kut.t.am = pond, depth (Ta.)(DEDR
1669); kun.d.a = pit (Skt.)

khuda_, khoda_ = to dig (B.); godu = hole (K.)(CDIAL 3934) khot.ranu = to dig
(S.); khotar = burnt sediment of milk (N.)(CDIAL 3512) kot.ara = hollow of a
tree (Skt.)(CDIAL 3496) khod.ra_ = id. (Kur.)(DEDR 1660).

kottan- = a mason (Ta.)(DEDR 2091).But, cf. od.ru = a caste that make mud
walls (S.); od. = a caste of Hindus who dig and carry earth and build mud
houses (G.)(CDIAL 2549)

In legend, Agastya is also known as the sage born of the pot. Another issue,
however, is the date of Agastya. 

Best regards,

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