On the name Pitchumani

Lakshmi Srinivas lsrinivas at YAHOO.COM
Tue Dec 26 13:17:31 UTC 2000

--- Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan <Palaniappa at AOL.COM>
> Yes.  Love for the child seems to overcome any
> zrIvaiSNava misgivings about
> potential association with zaivism. But the love of
> parents irrespective of
> sectarian affiliation also seems to cheat the evil
> forces by sneaking in a
> very positive "gem" to attach to the apparently
> unattractive facade presented
> by "pictchu/pichu/piccu".

Emeneau has a long article in the JAOS of the mid 80's
titled South Asian Onomastics (or the Onomastics of
South Asia). I remember he gives examples of
apotropaic names e.g., "vEMpu" etc. It might be
interesting to know if he includes the "piccu"
prefixed name therein. That this name is intended to
be apotropaic seems to me to be beyond doubt.

This name is found among Kannadiga's too as
'hutchappa', 'hutchamma' etc.. I wonder in the Kannada
context if this name means a generic 'crazy' or ziva.
Even among Tamil women, the name pichammal is quite
common. Wonder if it is after ziva the woman is named
or as a generic 'crazy' or a 'beggar'?

As for the other point, Srivaishnavas imho do not
avoid association with ziva/rudra altogether. For
example, as part of the zrAddha rites, the rudram is
chanted albeit briefly.

Thanks and Warm Regards,


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