Kaladi and Sankara

Lakshmi Srinivas lsrinivas at YAHOO.COM
Tue Nov 16 00:01:48 UTC 1999

--- Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan <Palaniappa at AOL.COM>

> The interpretation of the name is based on the Tamil
> naming convention found
> in the inscriptions. Brahmin names can have four
> parts, i.e., place name,
> gotra name, father's given name, and the person's
> given name.

Dr SP has made a very persuasive and indeed
fascinating argument. I do however have one question
and that is to do with onomastics.

Is the type of name <<distinguished person's village
name + distinguished person's name>> common in the
Tamil epigraphic record or even literature?

Let's consider the name kAsivisvanAtan for a moment.
It is basically an analogical example. As a name it
primarily serves to distinguish that deity from other
visvanAtan's such as those of tenkAsi and other
places.  The onomastics in such an example as
kAsivisvanAtan involves the name, the whole name and
nothing but the name of the deity. The  entire name in
this case is atomic or one indivisible unit. That is
why a name such as tenkAsivisvanAtan is hardly to be

In the time frame in question, whenever a person was
named after another, he either took the distinguished
predecessor's personal name or the name(s) he was
known by. It does not seem to have been common
practice to qualify the predecessor's name with his
village name. For example, after AcArya Ramanuja, any
number of people were named after him. They usually
were called RAmAnuja or emperumAnAr but none was
called perumputUr RAmAnuja. When one of these had to
be distinguished from the  AcArya RAmAnuja, the gotra
came in handy. For example, AtrEya RAmAnuja as opposed
to the AcArya RAmAnuja. At any rate, when a boy was
named RAmAnuja, no one would think the boy was named
after Lakshmana, rAma's brother.

Now in the context of the hypothesis in question, if a
boy were to be named after the distinguished AcArya,
wouldn't it be more expected to call him kAlaDimunivan
or something similarly generic in the suffix position
rather than kAlaDiccankaran. The latter i.e., personal
name after place name as in kAlaDiccankaran is a
possibility I guess only if there was a need to
distinguish the AcArya   from another Sankara. But we
do not have any record of another distinguished
Sankara after whom boys may have been named or do we?

Warm Regards,


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