Potala(ka) etymology

Fri Feb 26 00:44:18 UTC 1999

Lighting a fire and brilliance are not the same. The word pottu has
the meaning of kitchen in tamil. In Tirumala the place where they
cook naivedyam for the diety is called "srIvAri poTTu".

Even assuming that the word pottu means brilliance,
once gaungming mountain is taken as Sriparvata, the etmology
of Potala is only of academic interest. Telugu people might have
called it Potala by the the neighbouring "etti potala".
Tamil buddhists could have reinterpreted it with a tamil etymology.
The existence of tamil etymological meaning does not make the
place tamilian. Multiple etymologies are not uncommon.



At 11:09 AM 2/25/99 PST, you wrote:
>[Begin quote]
>Buddhabhadra(420 AD)'s rendering is 'Brilliance'. It refers
>to its etymology: Tamil *pottu (potti-)* 'to light (as a fire)',
>Kota pot- (poty-) id., Kannada pottu n. 'flaming',
>Ka. pottige 'flaming, flame', Tulu potta 'hot, burning',
>(Burrow/Emeneau 1961:298 no. 3691). In Kannada analogous
>words are: pottige 'flaming, flame', pottisu 'to cause to
>burn with flame, to kindle, to light', pottu 'to begin to
>burn with flame, to be kindled, to catch fire, to flame',
>pottu '1. flaming, 2. sun 3 time' (Kittel 1894:1020).
>[End quote]
>I have some quotes from Sangam texts where pottal
>is used for lighting a flame.
>eri potti en2 neJcam - kalittokai 34.11
>iRai iRai pottiRRu tI - kali. 145.58
>kATu tIp piRappa kan2ai eri potti - cilappatikAram 4.122
>tiNNin2 tiruki tI azal potti - maNimEkalai 2.53
>So, potti for lighting a flame is used in Tamil
>for atleast 2000 years. According to Lokesh Chandra,
>this Ta. 'potti- pottu-, pottal' forms the basis for Guangming.
>N. Ganesan

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