[INDOLOGY] Tukaram and the name Tuka

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at aol.com
Sat Apr 4 21:54:35 UTC 2015

When Sanskrit words are borrowed into Tamil, the cluster -kra- can sometimes be simplified as -kka-. See Tamil Lexicon entry below:
சக்கவாலர் cakkavālar, n. < cakravāla. Devas residing in Mt. Cakkaravāḷa; சக்கரவாள கிரியிலிருப்பவரான வியந்தர தேவர்கள். (மேருமந். 574.)

As for ś- > t-, we have the possible case of Śrī > Tiru. But, I do not know of any word Ta. tukka <  Skt. śukra per se. 

On the other hand, we have Skt. Durgā > Ta. Tukkai as in the Tamil Lexicon entry below.

துக்கை¹ tukkai, n. < Durgā. Durgā; துர்க்கை. துக்கைபட்டி பிடாரிபட்டி. (S. I. I. i, 91).

Is it possible the name of the goddess was a similar Dravidianized form of Skt. Durgā, which was later re-interpreted as Tukāi? It will be interesting to know how Kannada naturalized ‘Durgā’.


> On Apr 4, 2015, at 8:43 AM, Martin Gansten <martin.gansten at pbhome.se> wrote:
> Thank you, Madhav. I'm not sure if your reply reached the Indology list, so I'm copying it below. I find it prompts two more questions: first, whether Tukā was a common name before the time of Tukārām, or whether people bearing the name today are largely named after him. (Or perhaps after the goddess -- is it a name used by both sexes?) And second, whether any Dravidian scholar on the list can confirm or deny the development śukra > tukka (in one or more Dravidian languages -- I'm not sure the same sound laws apply everywhere).
> 'My' author is typically called Tuka, with a single k and short a. In one place, however, I did notice the Devanāgarī spelling Tuvaka, where I suspect the -vaka may be a misreading for -kka (which in some forms of the ligature would look very similar).
> Martin Gansten
> Madhav Deshpande wrote:
>> Tukā/Tukārām is still a common personal name in Marathi.  While the origin of the name Tukā is not quite clear, there is a popular goddess in Maharashtra named Tuḷjā Bhavānī, also known as Tukāi (Tukā + āi), where "āi" is the Marathi word for mother, and the first part "Tukā" in her name is explained traditionally as being made up of "tu" (you) + "kā" (why), and there is a story saying someone asked this goddess "why did you come, O Mother", which gave her the name Tukāi. Another explanation I have heard is that "tukka" is the Dravidian form of Sanskrit śukra, and since Friday (śukravāra) is auspicious for this goddess, she came to be known as Tukkāi. While this may not be a true historical explanation of the name Tukāi, the name of this goddess may have made the name Tukā popular in Maharashtra.
>> Madhav Deshpande
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