Robert P. Goldman sseas at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU
Thu Feb 3 19:40:54 UTC 2000

The RAmAyaNa commentator GovindarAja in his RAmAyaNabhUSaNa on VAlmIki
RAmAyaNa offers no fewer than three (fanciful or otherwise) etymologies for
the name NArada.

1. narasya saMbandhi nAram "narAc ceti vaktavyam" ityaN. ajJAnam ity
arthaH. tad dyati khaNDayatIti nAradaH.  do avakhaNDane ity asmAd dhAtoH.
"Adeca upadeze 'ziti" ityAtve sati "Ato 'nupasarge kaH" iti kapratyayaH
ajJAnanivartaka ityarthaH.  ( Go. then quotes a vs. from the NåradIya to
the effect that N. does, in fact, destroy the darkness born of ignorance
for men.)

2. yad vA nAraM jJAnaM . tad dadAtIti nAradaH.

3. yad vA narati sadgatiM prApayatIti naraH paramAtmA. nR naya ity asmAd
dhAtoH pacAdyac. ( Go.then quotes  a vs. from the BhArata substantiating
the equation of nara and paramAtman and continues) sa eva nAras taM dadAty
upadizatIti nAradas tam...

So we see that (acc. to Go.) far from rejecting or opposing the world,
NAradamuni is really rather a useful chap to have around, destroying
ignorance, giving knowledge and setting our feet on the path of the
virtuous etc. Clearly Vålmâki (and his commentator) is not interested in
foregrounding N's reputation as kalahapriyaH.

>On Wed, 2 Feb 2000, Jan Brzezinski wrote:
>> Any etymologies, fanciful or otherwise, for nArada,
>> the RSi?
>I remember that Parbu Bhopo, the Pabuji bard with whom I worked in the 70s
>and 80s, explained the name (with reference to Narada's notoriously
>quarrelsome nature) as meaning "jo duniyAM ko *radd* kartA hai" -- he who
>rejects/opposes the world.
>John Smith
>Dr J. D. Smith                *  jds10 at
>Faculty of Oriental Studies   *  Tel. 01223 335140 (Switchboard 01223 335106)
>Sidgwick Avenue               *  Fax  01223 335110
>Cambridge CB3 9DA             *

Dr. R. P.  Goldman
Sarah Kailath Professor in India Studies
Professor of Sanskrit and
Center for  South Asia Studies
7303 Dwinelle Hall MC #2540
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
email: sseas at
Phone: (510) 642-4089
Fax:     (510) 643-2959

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