Nira-Narsingpur Narasimha, Lakmii-n.rsi.mha-sahasra-naaman

ashok.aklujkar ashok.aklujkar at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 13 23:36:29 UTC 2007

On 11/13/07 2:16 PM, "Deshpande, Madhav" <mmdesh at UMICH.EDU> wrote:

> [The question of whether the Skt word niira for water historically originates
> from Dravidian is a rather different question, from how the author of this
> stotra probably indends his words to be understood.]

Agreed. And even if the author had thought of niira as an originally
Dravidian word that entered Sanskrit (it seems unlikely to me that he
thought along these lines), he would probably not have hesitated to derive
it as if it was a Skt word.
> Having said this, it is by no means clear what these words mean, and we are
> left to speculate with imagined Sanskritic etymologies:  nir+ra > niira;
> ni+ira > niira; ni+ra > nira; and nir+a > nira.  What meanings we assign to
> 'a', 'ra', and 'ira' is anybody's guess, unless a commentary from the author
> of this sutra comes forward.

I share the feeling of uncertainty to some extent. However, as
qualifications, I would point out (a) that the author's intent to engage in
word play is evident, (b) that there is sufficient indication of his
expectation that we should use traditional grammatical devices, including
the ones found in the Nirukta and U.naadi traditions, to extract
contextually fitting meanings from several of his words and (c) that some
support for taking nis/nir and ni as prefixes (as pointed out by Madhav) and
raa/ra as a noun following them (as pointed out by me) exists. The
uncertainty is not as open-ended as Madhav's wording may imply.


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