[INDOLOGY] vārja 'lotus'

Arlo Griffiths arlogriffiths at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 22 07:17:43 UTC 2016

Dear colleagues,

I seem to encounter the word vārja in the meaning 'lotus' in an 8th-century Sanskrit inscription. I don't find any entry vārja in the usual dictionaries. However, I do find it in Narahari's Rājanighaṇṭu (10.173):

pāthojaṁ kamalaṁ nabhaṁ ca nalināmbhojāmbujanmāmbujaṁ 
śrīpadmāmburuhābjapadmajalajāny ambhoruhaṁ sārasam |
paṅkejaṁ sarasīruhaṁ ca kuṭapaṃ pāthoruhaṁ puṣkaraṁ 
vārjaṁ tāmarasaṁ kuśeśayakaje kañjāravinde tathā ||

This is from GRETIL: I am unable to check any printed edition. But the meter (Śārdūlavikrīḍita) seems to guarantee that vārjaṁ here is not a typo for vārijaṁ (on which, see Rau, 'Lotusblumen', 1954, p. 510). According to C. Vogel, Indian Lexicography (1979), pp. 376-7, this Rājanighaṇṭu would be no older than 1375.

Does anyone know a first-millennium attestation of vārja- 'lotus'?

Is it more likely that we confront here a phonetic development from vārija-, or the use of the Vedic stem vār- in a post-Vedic compound vār-ja-?

Thank you for any comments and further references.

Arlo Griffiths
École française d'Extrême-Orient
Université de Lyon 3 – Jean Moulin

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