Skt. preta, drav. pEtu, and vaitaraNi

Swaminathan Madhuresan smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM
Wed Apr 4 15:07:39 EDT 2001


"the land, as it seems, was not clean enough for them. It is true, Arjuna
himself continued his travel and, having reached the Ocean coast, even married
the daughter of a local king (CitravAhana of MaNalUra) - but this episode may
interpreted as reflecting the leading role of non-brahminical elements
(kSatriyas) in establishing cultural and political contacts with Southern

Indologists may know that Tamil word for "sand" is maNal. maNalUr
is the village on the banks of (vaitaraNi?) river. Hindu tradition
is to do tarpaNa on a river bank. After this, cows are gifted to brahmins
even today. Look at the riverbanks in towns like KoDumuDi (on Kaveri),
Bhavani (on vAni) and Perur (on Noyyal/Kanchi).Monier-Williams
entry on vaitaraNi " ...
 a cow (given to Bra1hmans) that transports a dead man over that river".

Is the concept of golokam adjascent to svarga-lokam formed so that
these donated cows need to have a residence after depositing spirits
in the heaven? This looks the reason to donate cows to the priests.


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