The elephant naLagiri/nalagiri

Swaminathan Madhuresan smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM
Thu Apr 8 14:02:23 UTC 1999

 >Turner's CDIAL 6936 for 'naDa' suggests :'possibly through contact with
 >Dravidian Kannada naLLu 'reed' , Tamil nel 'hollow' and cites
 >Thomas Burrow.
 >There are many words in Tamil like noLLai, nALam  etc. which will
 >show that the a hollow or tubular structure is the root sense.

   There are two meanings for 'naL-' present always in Tamil literature,
   naL- = black as well as center. By the L -> D change, observe
   'naDu' = center or middle. We call the 12 noon as 'naL pakal' (naNpakal
   with sandhi) or 'naDu pakal'. Any reed with hollow hole through the
   "middle"(naL) axis is called Ka. naLLu or Ta. naLam, nALam, coined from
   naL = middle. Sanskrit 'naDa/naLa' representing 'reed' may stem
   from Ta. naDu/naL- 'center'.

   To me, MBh. Nala/NaLa and NaLagiri/Nalagiri in Jataka myths appears
   to represent 'black' in contrast to 'good'(Emeneau), 'reed', 'roaring'.


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