"The Tale of the Indo-European Horse Sacrifices."

Girish K Beeharry gkb at ICARUS.UOM.AC.MU
Tue Oct 20 13:09:33 UTC 1998


Dominique THILLAUD wrote
>        I suppose uneasy for some Indians, not knowing Latin, to see jnA-
>in the "gni" of incognita. But I've found interesting the sentiment of a
>>link between jan- and jnA-. I don't know if an early identity of the two
>roots is true, but curiously they have almost merged in French where 'to be
>born, birth' are 'naitre, naissance' and 'to know, knowledge' are
>'connaitre, connaissance' (the loss of initial 'g' is from Latin). Not felt
>by common speakers (other forms differ: 'born, known' are 'ne, connu') but
>the poet Jean Cocteau gave in "Art Poetique" a theory of knowledge based on
>"connaitre = co-naitre", hence "to know is to be born with".

I am not Indian, I have done some elementary Latin and I did not feel
uneasy. :-) I gave the example of a French word so that you 'see' the
'clivage' of con-naissance. I am assuming that you are French, please
correct me. I am glad that Cocteau said that about 'connaitre'. He
said quite a few interesting things besides this, eg:- 'Le mirroir
ferait bien de reflechir avant nous renvoyer notre image' (or
something to that effect) = 'It would be better if the mirror could
reflect before sending back our image'. :-)

I have just been educated on the difference between 'jan' and
'j~naa' by Dr Wujastyk!

I was just giving the traditional explanation from a Banarasi paNDita:
'j' is the vyanjana connected with birth; in the broader sense. In
this context, there is no big difference between 'jan' and
'j~naa'. However, please bear in mind that I am an astronomer... :-)
I know that some people like to use Panini's grammar for many root
derivation purposes. The traditionally educated paNDitas think
otherwise. They have a more ahistorical approach.

Best wishes,


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