nAraNa_n, the tamil word for nArAyaNa (was: Vishnu)

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 14 01:29:48 UTC 2000

Briefly, my response to some points by Vidyasankar:

a) Check Online TL for naalikam 'crow' and 'water buffalo'.
Obviously these names denote black, as in telugu nalla and tamil
naLLiruL, nALmIn, etc.

b) I did not say zayana is from tamil s- at all. It is
from k- => z-.

c) -aNa like tamil -aNan is Dravidian; Names like
MuttaNan, RaamaNan, KaruppaNan, RangaNan, PeriyaNan, Cin2n2aNan,
PaccaiyaNan, KongaNan, CembaNan, ... are common tamil male names.
If one wants an attestation prior to sAyaNa (which is an
'akam'/'interior' name and, maadhava which is a 'puRam'/
'exterior' name, if Burnell-Cowell theory is correct) consult
CilappatikAram. The aTiyArkku nallAr wrote his commentary
under the patronage of "poppaNa kAGkEyan" . Without
aTiyArkku-nallAr's work, we would have missed precious lot on ancient
Tamil music, ATiyArkkunallAr thanks PoppaNan profusely in the pAyiram:

  "kURRait tavirttu aruL poppaNa kAGkEyarkOn2 aLitta
   cORRuc cerukku allavO tamiz mUn2Ru urai colvittatE!"

In literature, pAmpaNan/pAppaNan/poppaNan can be found.
pAppu/pAmpu/poppu all refer to snake, and hence these
names refer to Shiva Nagalamkarar.

Gowda-Emeneau is right to point out -aNa in sAyaNa as Drav.
Do you think they are not Tamil?

d) Probably, Emeneau has not seen Burnell's work a century
ago. Has he? Foll. Burnell-Cowell, sAyaNa is Dravidian.
Note the tamil cognate cAy- = 'reclining', 'sleeping stretched
out the limbs'; Also, it has the meaning: to grow thin, to be
emaciated, etc., This all has to do with the Drav. naming
customs when many children have died off earlier, and parents
desparately want to make the remaining kid(s) survive into
adulthood. Now medicine and public health improvements
have reduced the problem greatly.

e) I understand  that Balarama, Vali, Indra, ZeSa et al. are white and
'cool' gods. Doesn't Balaraama hold tAla tree and a toddy goblet?
BTW, Mayrhofer gives tAla as coming from Dravidian.

N. Ganesan

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