[INDOLOGY] pināka meaning triśūla of Śiva

Asko Parpola aparpola at gmail.com
Tue Feb 14 17:42:45 UTC 2023

According to Mayrhofer’s Etymological dictionary (Bd. II, 1992, p. 132) pínāka- n. means ’stick, staff’ (Stab, Stock) and ‘bow’ (of Rudra/Śiva) (attested since Atharvaveda and Yajurveda). According to Mayrhofer, the word has not been convincingly explained, but the connection with Greek pínaks m. ‘wooden board, writing tablet, painting, etc’ and Russian pen’ (gen.sg <http://gen.sg/>. pnya) ’stump’ of a tree (Frisk II 539 with literature) remains possible. — In my opinion, the word can be convincingly explained: pi = api ‘upon’ + nāka- m. heavenly vault, sky = rainbow seen upon the sky and understood as the bow of Rudra/Śiva.

The abbreviations for the lexicographers are Ak. = Amarakośa, Bhar. is a commentary on Amarakośa, H ) Hemacandra, an. is Hemacandra's  Anekārthasaṅgaho, Med. k. = Medinīkoṣa (Medinīkara’s Nānārthasaṅgraha). 

Best wishes, Asko Parpola

> On 14. Feb 2023, at 17.49, Harry Spier via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> Dear list members,
> 1) Both Monier-Williams and Apte define pināka as the bow or staff of Shiva but then they both also define it as the trident of Shiva. Though M-W notes the meaning is from the lexicographers and I suspect he is refering to this note in Bohtlink-Roth. Nach den Lexicographen ist pināka m. n. = śūla ( Ak. 3, 4, 1, 14 ), = śaṃkarasya śūlam Bhar. zu Ak. Śkdr. = triśūla H. an. 3, 65. Med. k. 119.
> 1. Can someone clarify the abreviations in the above quote. I'm not a german speaker.
> 2. Does anyone know any textual references to pināka meaning triśūla of Śiva?
> I also found this on-line definition in wisdomlib https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/pinaka <https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/pinaka>
> Pīnāka was formerly the three-forked spike of Śiva. Once it fell down from the hands of Śiva and on falling down took the shape of a bow. From then onwards it was used as a bow.
> Does anyone know the textual source for this story.
> Thanks,
> Harry Spier
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