Chih Sheng (688-740 AD)

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Wed Feb 24 22:33:37 UTC 1999

In a message dated 2/24/99 9:55:48 AM Central Standard Time, lengqie at GMX.NET

> What does the Naancil Naadu means? Actually the word "Nan2" in
>  Nan2 tien1zhu1 and Nan2 Yin4du4 above was Chinese word for
>  "south".
>  I was just curious why someone would say that name of that area
>  should mean GuangMing = "Bright"?
>  Is there anything that is called La.Nka in that area except La.Nka-
>  DvIpa "Ceylon"? Is this word anyhow else associated with South
>  India, is it known in ancient Tamil literature? I read that Vajrabodhi
>  before going to Ceylon, SriVijaya and finaly China made pilgrimige
>  to la.Nka mountain, what could that be?

Ta. nAJcil corresponds to Sanskrit lAGgala. See DEDR 2907.

If, indeed, the brightness referred to the country rather than the mountain,
there is an explanation also. The larger country in which Potiyil was situated
was ruled by Pandyas whose name has been sometimes interpreted as derived from
Sanskrit pANDu meaning "white". The more immediate area including Potiyil was
ruled by vEL chieftains of Ay dynasty during Classical Tamil period. The most
famous of them was Ay aNTIran2. In later period, the coast to the western side
of Potiyil was called vENATu (vEL + nATu), the country of vELs. Because of
well-known Dravidian quantitative alternation, I have come across an alternate
form in an inscription as veNNATu. This can be interpreted as veL + nATU. DEDR
5496(a) gives the meaning for "veL" as "white, pure, shining, bright".
According to Sreedhara Menon's "A Survey of Kerala History", The Paliyam
Copper Plate of Vikramaditya Varaguna (885-925), a later Ay king of South
Kerala, "records the grant of an extensive landed property in the south to the
celebrated Buddhist temple of Sri Mulavasam (Tirumulapadam)..." (p. 40)

S. Palaniappan

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