INDOLOGY FAQ. Re. Varanasi

Richard P. Hayes rhayes at UNM.EDU
Mon Feb 15 15:07:05 UTC 2010

On Mon, 2010-02-15 at 08:49 -0600, Gary Tubb wrote:

> I should have been clearer.  I was referring to the way that native 
> speakers of English often pronounce the name of the city, Varanasi.

All this discussion of pronunciation prompts me to report a lecture I
went to recently given by a Franciscan brother to an audience of 1200
people, most of them Catholics. To his great credit, the Franciscan was
talking about how much modern Catholics have to learn from other
spiritual traditions. I was compelled, however, to cringe repeatedly as
the earnest Franciscan told us about Patanjaali (rhymes with "fat an'
jolly") and Samkaara (Sam who?). The high point of the talk for me was
the explanation of how mandaalas (rhymes with "man dollars" as
pronounced in Boston) are used in the Hindi religion. It was with mixed
feelings that I reflected on how the seeds sown by careful Indologists
are now being reaped in quotidian popular culture around the world.

Richard P. Hayes
Department of Philosophy
MSC03 2140
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

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