The elephant naLagiri/nalagiri

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 15 11:29:29 UTC 1999

My heartfelt thanks for scholars telling the description
of the elephant in the Crab jAtaka (#267). What is the name and
 description of the elephant there?. Does nala/naLa or naalaa/naaLaa
 figuring there?

My friend, Sri. M. G. Srinivasan, who worked for decades
at Fermi National Labs and now settled in Srirangam to
see Ranganathasvami daily, wrote this.
Just happened to be reading a Jataka tale, the Crab Jataka (#267). In
describing an elephant (an incarnation of Bodhisatta) the English
translation reads, " he was like a purple mountain of collyrium."
 I wonder why 'purple' and not 'black'?
Too bad I am ignorant of Pali, the language of the original Jataka
tales. Perhaps there were Sanskrit versions of these stories too.
I have been translating some of these stories from English to Tamil.
That is like journeying form Tiruchy to Benares via London.
Occasionally it is possibe to guess the original construction, but
not so for the most part.

N. Ganesan

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