mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU
Fri May 20 14:49:36 UTC 2011

Dear Hal,

I received your query from Elena. Others will be
better poised than I to help you with Chennai and Kolkata
(often said to derive from Kalighat), but
at least one point of interest concerning Bombay/Mumbai
comes to mind.

In a Buddhist tantra called the .Daakaar.nava
(ed. N.N. Chaudhuri, 1935), we find reference to 
a local divinity called (if I remember correctly - I
don't have the text at hand) Mombaadevii, whom Chaudhuri
posited as a first reference to the location that in
his day was officially called Bombay. The language of the
.Daakaar.nava is a variety of Eastern Apabhra.mza,
certainly not Marathi, nor even a direct ancestor
thereof. I don't think that it can be dated precisely,
but ca. 900-1100 would be a good bet. 

Hope this is of some use.

Matthew T. Kapstein
Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies
The University of Chicago Divinity School
Directeur d'études
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

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