Wednesday, 30 July 2014

THE WORD 'ELEPHANT', ITS SANSKRIT SOURCE, AND THE CRESPI ARTIFACT COLLECTION OF PERU AND ECUADOR

English etymological dictionaries like etymonline.com trace the source of the word 'elephant' to 'ibhah' (इभ), which is a Sanskrit word meaning 'elephant'. The elephant-keeper is known as 'ibhapa' (इभप).

German linguist Kurt Schildmann (1909-2005), in his work, 'The Schildmann Decipherment', stated that his research on ancient inscriptions discovered in Peru and Ecuador had revealed that they were similar to ancient Indus Valley' inscriptions. He had deciphered the inscriptions with the help of sanskrit.

As mentioned in the previous post Schildmann was particularly struck by one artifact from the 'Crespi Artifact Collection. This ancient artifact is pyramid shaped and has the inscription of an elephant and the sun on top followed by three rows of text-characters.

The Elephant Pyramid Artifact, Ecuador/Peru.
The inscriptions have been decoded 
with the help of Paleo-Sanskrit

Schildmann deciphered the first row as 'pil' which is the same as 'pilu' (पीलु). It is one of the many Sanskrit words for elephant.

Schildmann decoded the second word as 'alepi' and said that 'alepi' is Semitic for 'elephant'. Though if one were to decode the second line in reverse order it still reads close to 'pila' or 'pilu'. The 'third line is decoded as 'hosti' which is the same as Sanskrit 'hasti' (हस्ती) meaning 'elephant'.

Vinay Vaidya says, "We see that the one who looks after an elephant is called piluvAn or piluvantaH (one riding a 'pilu') in Sanskrit. Then transformation of a 'piluvantaH' into the word 'elephant' is just a twist and turn of the tongue. And I am sure, this Alepi is like-wise a cognate of the same word." 

A slight tweaking of the three words 'pil', 'alepi' and 'hosti', to 'pIt' (पीत), 'Alepa' (आलेप) and 'hasti' (हस्ती), - changes the meaning to 'golden', 'smeared', 'elephant'. In Sanskrit 'pIt' (पीत) means 'yellow' or 'gold', 'alepa' means 'smeared', and 'hasti' is 'elephant'. The inscription would then read,  'gold smeared elephant' or 'the golden elephant' - which probably also explains the 'sun' inscribed on the top section of the artifact.

Schildmann's Paleo-Sanskrit:









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