Raaladesha and more

Ashok Aklujkar ashok.aklujkar at UBC.CA
Fri Jun 18 14:00:32 EDT 2010

On 2010-06-18, at 1:08 AM, mkapstei at UCHICAGO.EDU wrote:

> I agree that raala must be raaDha.
> The 11th c. play Prabodhacandrodaya
> unambiguously places raaDhadeza in gauDa
> (act 2, verse 7),
> so I do not think that the location in Bengal
> should be in question. 

Dear Matthew,

Thanks for drawing my attention to the occurrence of Raa.dhaa in the Prabodhacandrodaya verse (2.7). The expression used there is raa.dhaa-purii, not raa.dhaa-de;sa (which would not fit the metre anyway). This gives rise to a new question: Did Sircar in fact have unambiguous evidence in early sources to suppose that Raa.dha/Raa.dhaa was a country name, as distinct from a city name? I keep my mind open on the issue. Perhaps Richard Salomon, who knows Sircar's writings better than I do, can explain why Sircar (and possibly others) thought of Raa.dha/Raa.dhaa as a country name associable with Bengal and for how long this view is current among scholars.

Secondly, Sirkar has separate essays on Gau.da, Va:nga, Va:ngaala etc. in the volume I referred to earlier. On pp. 125-128, he makes a good case for a wider meaning of Gau.da, 'eastern countries/regions (of India),' mainly on the basis of post-10th century sources. The lifetime of the Prabodhacandrodaya author, as you note, is the 11th century.  It is, therefore, not implausible that in his perception Raa.dhaa extended up to the eastern region of Kaaverii's flow (if Raa.dhaa was primarily not the name of that region).

(Wikipedia: "The origin of the river is traditionally placed at Talakaveri, Kodagu district in theWestern Ghats in the state of Karnataka, flows generally south and east through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and across the southern Deccan plateau through the southeastern lowlands, emptying into the Bay of Bengal through two principal mouths."


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