[INDOLOGY] Two terms

Artur Karp karp at uw.edu.pl
Mon Sep 12 12:24:05 UTC 2016

Dear Madhav,

The PTS,s Pali-English Dict.:

*Vāḷa* - [cp. late Sk. vyāḍa, see Geiger, *P. Gr*. § 54⁶] I. a snake Vism
312 (so read for *vaḷa*).- 2. a beast of prey [...] *vāḷa-miga*, a beast of
prey, predaceous animal, like tiger, leopard, etc. [...]

When in search for the Elixir of immortality Garuda enters the underworld,
he kills *two serpents* hidden under the [eternally] revolving wheel. (Mbh.
I, 29. 3-9).

When the relics of the Buddha are hidden by Ajatasattu in the underground
chamber, Vissakamma places over them, for their defence the [eternally]
revolving *vāḷa–saṅghāṭa–yanta.*

If *vāḷa* would mean "snake, serpent", then this could be one of the tropes
linking both the narrations.

*Yanta *means "contrivance, artifice, instrument, machine, mechanism" - in
what way could it be constructed/pegged together - using serpents? Ataching
it to serpents? Giving it a serpentine look?


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