N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 3 14:41:24 UTC 2000

Dear Sanskritists,

E.B. Cowell, The Sarva-Dar"sana-Sa.mgraha, MLBD, 1996,
gives in Ch. I The Chaarvaaka System.

"In this school the four elements, earth & c., are the
original principles; from these alone, when transformed
into the body, intelligence is produced, just as the
inebriating power is developed from the mixing of
certain ingredients; (1) and when these are destroyed,
intelligence at once perishes also. "

(1) KiNwa is explained as "drug or seed used to produce
fermentation in the manufacture of spirits from sugar,
bassia &c." Colebroke quotes from "SaGkara: "The faculty
of thought results from a modification of the aggregate
elements in like manner as sugar with a ferement
and other ingredients becomes an inebrieating liquor;
and as betel, areca, lime and extract of catechu
chewed together have an exhilarating property
not found in those substances severally." "

I was told "bassia" refered here is "iluppai" (in tamil) tree
products here. There is an old proverb, "aalai illaa
uuril, iluppaip puu carkkarai". But, what is kiNva? Is it "mountain
ebony"?, "Mountain ebony" is called "taataki/aatti"
(tam.) and, is the royal tree of Cholas.

Also, I need help with the "SaGkara's quotation: Where from?
What is "catechu"? Is it different from areca?
What is the Sanskrit word that Sankara uses for
"extract of catechu"? If possible, please give me the tamil
equivalent too.

Thanks a bunch.

N. Ganesan

PS: I am working on a commentary of a 11th century tamil
lokAyata text. It is written by Kavichakravarti JayamkoNTAr
who was the court poet of Kulottunga Chozhan I. Last
quarter of the 11th century. The patron of this
rare text was AdinAthan of the Kaaraa.nai vizupparaiya_n
lineage. The text is rare and very beautiful.
This is one of the original lokayata texts in all of India.
Oftentimes, what we have is portrayal of lokaayatikas as told
by their traditional enemies.

The buddhist epic, MaNimEkalai and this kArANai vizupparaiya_n
maTal compare the production of life/intelligence ("uNarvu") from the
proper mixing of 4 basic elements (earth, water, fire, air)
with the inebriation produced in fermentaion process.
and they do not accept aakaasham as a basic element.
Both maNimEkalai and K. maTal compare these four elements with
1) mountain ebony ('tAtaki/Atti') 2) jaggery ('vellam')
3) days-old cooked rice ('Odanam') and 4) water (rice-water 'kazinIr'
used in cleaning).

The relevant lines from kArANai vizupparaiya_n maTal:

"tAtakiyi_n mellarumpum taNkarumpi_n kaTTiyumiT
Ota_namnIr e_n_num orunA_nki_n uRpavikkum
kAtal matuvi_n kaLippu veLippaTTARpOl
mEti_niyum appum viLaika_nalum kARRume_num
pUtamoru nA_nki_n puNarcci vicETattAl
cAta_nmAy uLLa carIratti lEyuNarvu
pOtum e_navaRiyIr;" [...]

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