Saturday, 28 February 2015

INDIC NAMES IN ANCIENT WEST ASIA

In his book 'The Wishing Tree: Presence and Promise Professor Subhash Kak writes, "Over 50 years ago, Roger T. O'Callghan and W.F.Albright published Analecta Orientalia of Rome, a list of 81 names (13 from Mittani 1500-1300 BC), 23 from the Nuzi (an ancient Mesopotamian city), & 45 from the Syrian documents) with Indic etymologies....". 

Here is the list of names Roger Callaghan and W.F. Albright collated which reveal the Indic connection to the names in ancient West Asia. To

1. Abirata - Abhirata (अभिरत) - pleased, contented
2. Aitagama - Etagama, eta (एत) 'antelope', gama (गम) 'to go'-with the gait of an antelope
3. Aitara (the son of Itarā)
4. Artamanyu (Ṛtamanyu, ऋत-मन्यु - revering the divine Law)
5. Ardzawīya (Ārjavīya, आर्जव straight, honest)
6. Bīrasēna (Vīrasena, वीरसेन possessing an army of heroes)

7. Biridāšwa (Bṛhadāsva, possessing great horse-
bradhna ब्रध्न or horse)
8. Bardašwa (Vārddhāśva, the son of Vṛddhāśva)
9. Bāyawa (Vāyava, the son of Vāyu) - Vayu (वायु) 'air'.
10. Bīryašura (Vīryaśūra, the hero of valour - virya (वीर्)- courage)
11. Bīryawādza (Vīryavāja, owning the prize of valour). Again 
virya (वीर्)- courage)
12. Bīryasauma (Vīryasoma, the moon-god of valour)
13. Indarota (Indrota, upheld by Indra)
14. Kalmašūra (Karmaśūra, the hero of action) Kar
ma - action
15. 
Purdāya (Purudāya, giving much) - Purdaya (पुरुदय) - full of compassion
16. Ručmanya (Rucimanya, revering light)-  
ruci (रुचि) light
17. Satuara (Satvara,'सत्वर  'swift')
18. Šaimašūra (Kṣemaśūra, the hero of security)
19. Subandu (Subandhu, 'सुबन्धु' being good kinsmen)
20. Sumāla (
having beautiful garlands)
21. Sumīda (Sumīḍha, bountiful)
22. Swardāta (Svardāta, given by heaven)
23. Tsitriyara (Citrya-rai, having distinguished property)
24. Urudīti (Urudīti, having wide splendour)
25. Warasama (Varasama, equal to the best)
26. Wāsasatta (Vāsasāpta, possessing seven dwellings)
27. Wasdāta (Vasudāta, given by the Vasus)
28. Yamiuta (Yamyūta, favoured by Yamin)

Professor Subhash Kak further presents the analysis of Dumont who concluded that the names are Indic and not Iranian mainly because the initial 's' in the names is maintained. That is to say the names that begin with the initial 's' stays with the initial 's' and that it does not change to 'h'. In Iranian, Indic names that begin with 's' change to 'h'. For example 'Sindhu' changes to 'Hindu' in Iranian or Persian. 


Second, most of the names are 'bahuvrithi' or 'tatpurusa'. A bahuvrihi (बहुव्रीहि) compound, literally means 'much rice' but is the equivalent of  'a rich man' is a type of compound that denotes a referent by specifying a certain characteristic that the referent possesses. For example the name 'Viryavaja' that means 'owning the prize of valour' is a bahuvrihi. 

In 'tatpurusa' (तत्पुरुष) compound one component of a word is related to the other component. An example of 'tatpurusa' is the name 'Aitara' which means 'the son of Itara' and shows the 'relationship' between the first and the second.


Names of the 'bahuvrithi' and 'tatapurusha' variety are seen mostly in Sanskrit literature and were prevalent and seen commonly in the ancient Indian tradition rather than in other civilizatons.

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