The elephant naLagiri/nalagiri

Swaminathan Madhuresan smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM
Thu Apr 15 14:40:30 UTC 1999

Prof. Deshpande wrote:
>   Some clarification on nara -> nArAyaNa may be useful.  While such
>a derivation of the word nArAyaNa from nara- may be theoretically
>possible, cf. ->,   the tradition does not derive
> from nara-.  It derives the word from the word
>naaraa (f. 'water', cf. aapo naaraa iti proktaa.h) by adding ayana.

  Vishnu sleeps usually in the Ocean of Milk, how do we reconcile this?
 Since nara -> nArAyaNa is allowed and is quite possible, can we propose
 a hypothesis: nala -> nara -> nArAyaNa. Sanskrit lacks retroflex L (.l).
 Dravidian naLa (black) becomes nala in Sanskrit.
 Vishnu is known for his black color always (so, are his avatars,
 Ram and Krishna).

'l' to 'r' changes are fairly common in Sanskrit.
For example, Ta. ciRRampalam (pronounced as cittambalam, citrambalam)
becomes citambaram. Note: Ta. 'ambalam' transforming to 'ambara'.

Dravidian naLa (black) -> nala -> nara -> nArAyaNa.

Once this process was complete and forgotten, philosophical explanations
using nara and naaraa could have arisen afterwards.

Sanskritists can look for words with nala/nAla/nAlA/nara/nAra/nArA/ ...
and tell us more.


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