"samsara" meaning "life"

Dipak Bhattacharya dbhattacharya2004 at YAHOO.CO.IN
Tue Feb 3 11:41:25 UTC 2009

03 02 09
The usage cannot be very old. Satyajit Ray's employment of the world in the sense of household and family life should not create any wrong impression about usage. Till now it is mostly dialectal and more common in  feminine dialect than in general usage. The general meaning of 'life including nature' is literary.and quite strong. For example Premendra Mitra's 
Samsaar siimaante "On the edge of the world"( the story of a thief and a prostitute), employs the word in the more common sense.
The Marathi usage deserves enquiry. Quite a few modern usages have spread from one region to others. Samskrti "culture" is of Marathi origin. Samsaar could have been the result of a Kolkata Mumbai journey.
--- On Tue, 3/2/09, Allen W Thrasher <athr at LOC.GOV> wrote:

From: Allen W Thrasher <athr at LOC.GOV>
Subject: "samsara" meaning "life"
To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
Date: Tuesday, 3 February, 2009, 4:00 AM

In some modern Indian language samsar(a) can mean something like "one's
personal world" or "family life."  For instance there are the
novel and movie Apur sansar of Bibhutibhushana Bandhopadhyaya and Satyajit Ray,
and the Maharashtra State Family Planning Bureau's magazine Sukhi sansar. 
How widespread is this usage, and how far back does it go, I wonder?


Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian
Team Coordinator
South Asia Team, Asian Division
Library of Congress, Jefferson Building 150
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732; fax 202-707-1724; athr at loc.gov
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of

      Add more friends to your messenger and enjoy! Go to http://messenger.yahoo.com/invite/

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list