N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 25 15:15:22 UTC 1999

The jewels given out by nAgas' mouths is a very ancient pan-Indian
myth. NaagamaNi is a common personal name among the South Indians.
Sangam tamil texts speak many times of the gemstones engendered from
snakes. Vishnu's snake couch has gemstones made up of gems issuing
out of its multiple heads. Does the legend of nAgas giving rise to
precious gems appear in vedic literature or it begins in the
epic period and buddhism/jainism? Buddha gets protection and is
seated under the nAgam also.

Word-initial k-/c- alterations are common in Dravidian
(Eg., Hand=kai(ta./kan.) & ceyyi (tel.);
ear=cevi(ta.) & kivi (kan.); cEralam (ta.) & kEraLa (mal.) )
and word-initial c in tamil is pronounced as s
in northern dialects. Karko.taka is pre-Aryan in India.
"karko.ta(ka)" is a snake appearing in the RVKh 2.14.8 and as
"'sarko.ta" in the AV. (p. 30, Witzel, 1999, EJVS).
karkoTa/sarkoTa/zarkoTa is present in Monier-Williams.

All Dravidian tongues has "kal" (stone/ gem stone) and "ko.tu"
(to give). Tamil sandhi has -l+k- => -.rk-, or using the commonly
found l-r changes, is Sanskrit karko.ta(ka) from dr. kalko.ta whose
meaning is gemstone-giver?

N. Ganesan

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