Is vENu from Ta. vEL?

Swaminathan Madhuresan smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM
Sun Apr 18 19:02:29 UTC 1999

>  There is an early Tamil Brahmi inscription mentioning a
>  chief vEL, as vEN kOsipan. BeLagAm, cognate with vEL gRama,
>  is mentioned in several copper plates as vENugrAma.
>  Rigveda 133.3 refers to a vailasthAna and scholars
>  have written that it refers to the place of vEL-s.
>  Traditional explanation of the name vENu occuring in Sanskrit
>  is 'cane, reed' etc., For example, "Heinrich Lueders
> (Philologica Indica, p. 555), who compares the old king's name Nala
> (according to him originally "cane" [still Na.da in "SB. 2,3,2,1.2];
> cf. naa.dii, naala, nalina, etc.) with names like etc."
>  Even though names like nala, naalaayanii, nalagiri(nalAgiri, nAlAgiri),
>  nArAyana (<nAlAyana) are very likely to be related to Dravidian
>  naL (black), the traditional explanation had been to link with
>  'reed'. In similar vein, vENu is usually explained with 'cane,reed'.
>  Given the tendency in Sanskrit to change Ta. vEL to vENu,
> does the name vENu signify the title of Chiefs related to/cognate with
> Tamil vEL?
> Sincerely
> SM
> Dr. S. Palaniappan wrote at different times,
> >> one can see how  vEL with an
> >> enunciative vowel can become vENu in Sanskrit provided we allow for the
> >> alternation of vEL with vEN in the local area.
> [...]
> > Lionel D. Barnett, in his article, "Two inscriptions from Belgaum, now in
> the British Museum", EI, vol. 13, p.18, says,"The places mentioned in this
> record are not many...vENugrAma (II. 38, 44, 48, 50), or vENugrAme
>(II. 41, 42), is BeLgaum itself; in other inscriptions its name occurs as
> vELugrAme; and it is known from other records to have been the chief town of
a > small district of seventy villages; it seems to have been a second capital
> of the rATTa princes." The inscription belongs to 1204 AD.
> <<<The beNDigEri plates of the Yadava king Krishna  dated to be
> reveal some interesting information about the name of Belgaum. In "A Copper-
> Plate Grant of the Yadava King Krishna" K. B. Pathak says, "And the chief
> object of it is to record that MalliseTTi, the minister of kRiSNa, bestowed
> the village of tAmbrapurI, in the district of vENugrAma or Belgaum, upon a
> number of brAhmaNs" (The transliteration 'vENugrAma' follows that of K. B.
> Pathak.) also confirmed by the Sanskrit name.
> We are fortunate to have the form vEN occurring in a Tamil-Brahmi inscription
> tentaively dated by T. V. Mahalingam to be from 3rd to 2nd Century B.C. The
> inscription is found in a cavern in Marugaltalai near Tirunelveli. It reads,
> "vEN kOsipan kuTupita kal kAJcaNam". (See "Early South Indian Paleography",
> p.221) Here vEN stands for vEL.>>>
> [....]
> <<The following are RV 133.3 from the Vedavid website.
> avAsAM maghava� jahi shardho yAtumatInAm |
> vailasthAnake armake mahAvailasthe armake ||
> A scholar by name Dr. R. Mathivanan interprets "vailasthAna" to refer to a
> city of vELs or Dravidian chiefs. Can the Vedic scholars give what in their
> view is the correct interpretation?>>

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