Update: 2019-04-22 08:54 PM -0400


Nighantu and Nirukta

The oldest Indian treatise on Etymology, Philology, and Semantics:
Differentiate the word "nirukta" from the name of the text "Nighantu" निघण्टु.


by Lakshman Sarup , Oxford Univ Press, 1920
from downloaded file in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries
- LSarup-NighantuNirukta<> / bkp<> (link chk 180830)

Edited by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), Daw Khin Wutyi, Daw Thuzar Myint and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL) . Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL Research Station, Yangon, MYANMAR 
 - http://www.tuninst.net , www.romabama.blogspot.com

index.htm | Top

Contents of this page

Etymology :
Nirukta : Can Etymology (Eng-Lat) and Nirukta (Skt-Dev) be the same?
Predecessors of Yaska and his contemporaries
Language of Gautama Buddha


Contents of this page


Refer to Dictionary of Pali-derived Myanmar words (in Bur-Myan) - UTM-PDMD by U Tun Myint, Univ. of Rangoon Press, 1968, p302.

- UKT 180901: The whole body of ancient knowledge of the East - particularly the Indian subcontinent extending in Myanmarpr - is made up 6 divisions, commonly known as the six auxiliary disciplines. or limbs of the main body. I object to the word auxiliary because of its inference to it being as not so important. As limbs of the Vda {w-da.} वेद veda, they are described as Vedanga {w-dn~ga.} वेदाङ्ग vedāṅga

auxiliary - adj. . Giving assistance or support; helping. . Acting as a subsidiary; supplementary: the main library and its auxiliary branches. . Held in or used as a reserve: auxiliary troops; an auxiliary power generator. - AHTD

Bdn {b-dn} - n. astrology (which has no place in modern Science), derived from Skt-Dev Vda {w-da.} वेद veda - UKT

UKT 180901: The mix-up of Tib-Bur (Bur-Myan) Bdn {b-dn} with the Skt-Dev Vda {w-da.} is due to the deficiency of Skt-Dev not originally having r1c5 and r5c3 aksharas. It has to rely on borrowed aksharas:

r1c5: ड + dot --> ङ
r5c3: व + diagonal --> ब

In fact both Asokan and its intermediate Pyu have both these aksharas as dedicated glyphs:

Whereas for Skt-Dev (IE), borrowed glyphs have to be used:

r1c5: ड + dot --> ङ
r5c3: व + diagonal --> ब

For an Skeptical Chemist like me, there are only 4 branches of Ancient knowledge worth studying and Nirukta "etymology" is one.

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedanga 180901

1. Shiksha शिक्षा śikṣā {aik~hka} : phonetics, phonology, pronunciation. [1] This auxiliary discipline has focussed on the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, accent, quantity, stress, melody and rules of euphonic combination of words during a Vedic recitation. [3] [4]

2. Chandas छन्द chandas {hsn~da.}: prosody. [5] This auxiliary discipline has focussed on the poetic meters, including those based on fixed number of syllables per verse, and those based on fixed number of morae per verse. [6] [7]

3. Vyakarana vyākaraṇa {bya-ka.ra.Na}: grammar and linguistic analysis. [8] [9] [10] This auxiliary discipline has focussed on the rules of grammar and linguistic analysis to establish the exact form of words and sentences to properly express ideas. [11] [12]

4. Nirukta nirukta {ni.roak~ta.}: "etymology", explanation of words, particularly those that are archaic and have ancient uses with unclear meaning. [13] This auxiliary discipline has focussed on linguistic analysis to help establish the proper meaning of the words, given the context they are used in. [11]

BPal: - UHS PMD 0540
UKT from UHS - f. explicit statement, to profess, to decide in a cross-linguistic study, which meaning of a word with similar pronunciations is correct, to elaborate.

UKT 180903: Gautama Buddha praised Shin Kicsi {shn kic~s:} as the foremost grammarian who could explain his statements in Magadhi (Tib-Bur) to others of a different linguistic group (IE and Aus-Asi). Rev. Mason quoting Gautama Buddha: "Monks Priests, from among my clerical disciples who are able to amplify in detail that which is spoken in epitome, the most eminent is the Great Kachchayano."

There are two issues in the above note of mine:

#1. The word "epitome" is not suitable, because what Buddha's has said is in one language (Tib-Bur), which has to be expressed in a different language (IE or Aus-Asi).

#2. The name "Kachchayano" in Pali-Lanka is not correct. I maintain the name is Shin Kic'si {shin kic~s:} in Bur-Myan spelled with Nya-major under-viram which has broken up into two Nya-minors.

epitome - n. . A representative or an example of a class or type: He is seen . . . as the epitome of the hawkish, right-of-center intellectual - Paul Kennedy . A brief summary, as of a book or an article; an abstract. - AHTD

What Shin Kic'si {kic~s:} had done is to place the written word Akshara(s) above its pronunciation in a different language. His motto: "The meaning is known by the Akshara". What the reverend grammarian-monk had done is translation.
See, Section 2, Translation from one script into another - Translation.htm - update 2018Oct

The 5th and 6th deals with Astrology and Prayers directed to unseen axiomatic entities. With these diciplines, the Poannar {poaN~Na:} who profess to have secret knowledge, had subjugated the rest of the population of India and places where Hinduism the Axiomatic religion had come to dominate. The rest of the population including the ruling class (who are responsible for maintaining law and order), and the people, like the agriculturalists and artisans (the real economic force of the society).

By myths and legends, the Poannar {poaN~Na:} claim they are the only ones who can acquire Knowledge - the Vda. Gaudama Buddha asserts that through steadfast study with a concentrated mind (acquired by self-training using Yogic {a.ma.hta.} methods using strict logic without any Axiomatic assumptions - such as the existence of a God. In that way one can become enlightened - the self achiever. He respects the ancient Vedic rishis, such as Vishvamitra {wai~a mait~ta. ra..}.

I maintain that these ancient Vedic rishis had existed before the Poannar {poaN~Na:} and their followers wielding iron weapons infiltrated into the Indian subcontinent through the north-west (over mountains) and from the south (over the ocean). The new comers over-came the bronze weapons of the indigenous peoples. They brought about the change from Bronze-Age to Iron-Age. The Poannar {poaN~Na:} brought with them, their male gods and male-dominated attitudes, rewrote and rewrite the Vedas and subjugated the Bronze-Agers into the status of slaves, and rewrote that the female Mother-goddess of the Bronze-Agers are mere wives of their gods. They demoted Indra, the King of Heaven, and his messenger, Agni, to subordinate positions. However, to this day, the number of hymns directed to Indra and Agni, far exceed the number of hymns to Vishnu and Shiva. See Wikipedia (with active links intact):
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rigveda 181026
"The Rigvedic hymns are dedicated to various deities, chief of whom are Indra, a heroic god praised for having slain his enemy Vrtra; Agni, the sacrificial fire; and Soma, the sacred potion or the plant it is made from. Equally prominent gods are the Adityas or Asura gods Mitra Varuna and Ushas (the dawn). Also invoked are Savitr, Vishnu, Rudra, Pushan, Brihaspati or Brahmanaspati, as well as deified natural phenomena such as Dyaus Pita (the shining sky, Father Heaven), Prithivi (the earth, Mother Earth), Surya (the sun god), Vayu or Vata (the wind), Apas (the waters), Parjanya (the thunder and rain), Vac (the word), many rivers (notably the Sapta Sindhu, and the Sarasvati River). The Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Sadhyas, Ashvins, Maruts, Rbhus, and the Vishvadevas ("all-gods") as well as the "thirty-three gods" are the groups of deities mentioned."

Contents of this page


See also Linguistic observations of Yaska, Shodhganga@inflibnet Centre
- Shodhganga-08ch3Yaska<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180905)

- UKT 180902:

Etymology is a linguistic term not important enough for me to study before I came across the Skt-Dev Nirukta nirukta {ni.roak~ta.}. Of course I was interested in the "origin of words" since my early childhood - as early as 2 or 3, when I used to draw attention of the elders who as traditional Buddhists who believed in reincarnation. My mother used to tell how one of her distant aunts Daw Sin Mhw {dau-sn: mhw:] had called me {ka.l:ko-n. lu-kri:pa:sp} "implying an old man reincarnated as a child'. And I was pleased.

On one of our family outings to a distant village known as MunSSait {mn:hs-hsait rwa}, I was in the middle of a ring of elders, and I had said: "This place is named after an incident, when a village goat {hsait} fell into the river. An old man came and chanted a spell {mn:}, and immediately the goat was saved {hs}. Overtime, the village came to be known as {mn:hs-hsait rwa}."

As I grew up, I started writing short stories - short made-up stories - to attract the attention of the readers culminating in stories that resembles stories of the Arahats {ra.hn~ta}. After writing the story of the Shin Thu'maitta , I showed it to my co-brother, U Aye Maung, a noted scholar in Buddhism (author of Buddha and Buddhism - in which he expressed his candid analysis and which was on the brink of being condemned as "heresy" by Myanmar Senior Sayadaws.).  See Buddha and Buddha Warda (in Bur-Myan), by U Aye Maung, 2006
- UAyeMg-BuddhaBuddhaWarda<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180903)

U Aye Maung was convinced that my story was authentic and he exclaimed: "From where did you get the story?"

Now, I have a personal question, how did a young child under 5 came up with make-believe stories? You should look into the Sphoṭa theory of language : a philosophical analysis in which I referred to H G Coward.

UKT 181027: I'm still looking into the work of Coward, which I got piecemeal:
  Section 4: Language, meaning, religion and thought > spho-cwrd-indx.htm (link chk 181027)

Read Sphota Theory - a philosophic and psychological analysis, Harold G. Coward, B.A., B.D. M.A., Ph.D thesis, McMaster Univ., 1973, in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries
- HGCoward-SphotaTh<> / Bkp<> (link chk 181026)

Part One. Chapter 2.

In this chapter, a conceptual survey of Indian thought regarding language and revelation is undertaken. The purpose of this survey is to make clear the metaphysical background against and out of which the Sphota theory of language as revelation develops.

The Indian literature on the nature of language is vast. Each of the different philosophic systems has put forth its own view of language and its revelatory power, and criticized the views of others. Consequently, a comprehensive review of the whole debate cannot possibly be undertaken within a single chapter. Such a study would be a work of enormous compass.

Yet, for the Western reader especially, some background knowledge is a necessary prerequisite for an adequate understanding of the Sphoṭa theory. To draw out such a brief conceptual survey from the voluminous Indian debate over language has necessitated the adoption of some method of selection. Here I have adopted the approach of Professor T. R. V. Murti. (Coward-fn01). He suggests that in the Indian debate regarding the nature of language two principal traditions may be identified: the Brahmanical tradition stemming from the scriptures, (p019end-p020begin) which holds that language is divine in origin; and the Naturalistic tradition of the Cārvāka and earlier Buddhism, which holds that language is an arbitrary and conventional tool. This categorizing of the various schools of Indian thought into two traditions is not done without difficulty. For example, there are often strong and definite differences between two schools categorized within the same tradition, and sometimes even within a single school major quarrels erupt. Then again, certain schools such as the Jaina and Nyāya seem to occupy an intermediary position between the two traditions. Yet in spite of these difficulties, the purpose of achieving a brief but representative overview seems best pursued by examining selected schools from each of these two traditions. 

Coward-fn01. T. R. V. Murti, Some Thoughts on the Indian Philosophy of Language. Presidential Address to the 37th Indian Philosophical Congress, 1963. - Coward-fn01b
UKT 181027: In the original type-written paper, the footnotes appear at the end of each page. Thus the above is at the bottom of p019. But, in order to preserve the continuity of each paragraph, I've moved it down to the end of the para.

The chapter begins with an outline of the Brāhmanical tradition as it is evidenced in the Hindu scriptures, as well as in the Mīmāṁsā, the Sāṅkhya-Yoga and the Vedānta schools of Indian philosophy. In section two, the Naturalistic tradition of the Cārvāka and early Buddhism is examined, along with the Jaina and Nyāya as occupying a somewhat intermediary position. The development of the Sphoṭa approach is traced against the "two traditions" background in section three.


(roman02) "In Part Two. of the study a psychological interpretation was view of language (as logically conceived) is practically possible. The psychological interpretation was developed in two steps.[UKT ]

In Chapter (roman02end-roman03begin) Four, attention was focused on the psychological processes that take place within the mind of the speaker [a child under 5] showing how the Sphota can cognize itself' into the two aspects of uttered sounds and inner meaning. [UKT ]

Following through the practical experience of language communication, Chapter Five analyzed the psychological processes that occur within the mind of the hearer [an elder listening to the child] in his cognition of the uttered sounds and their correlate revelation of the same meaning-whole or Sphota from which the speaker originally began. [UKT ]

The major conclusion reached was that the Sphota theory of psycholanguage as revelation is both logically consistent and (when interpreted by Yoga) psychologically realizable in practical experience."

No wonder the child was pleased!

After the incident of fooling U Aye Maung, I realised that with jokers like me throughout history over thousands of years, history written on palm leaf, paper, or even stone should always be scrutinised, which means that nothing is precisely true but at the same time can be accurate. It reminds me, as a scientist, the Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. See Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle 180903

For the hearer or reader to scrutinise a subject is to hear or read it in his own language! This the Gautama Buddha must have recognized. However, if the disciple of the Buddha (the preacher-monk), did not clearly understand the message, he would resort to reciting in a language (such as Sanskrit) which the listener (say a Westerner) does not understand, insisting that Faith is more important than understanding the Meaning.

A related paper on translation of Literary Chinese (LS - wen-yen [-wen]) and Vernacular Chinese (VS - pai-hua[-wen]), on Buddhism can be seen in Buddhism and the Rise of the Written Vernacular in East Asia: The Making of National Languages , by Victor H. Mair, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, is available in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries
- VHMair-BuddhWrittenVernacular<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180904)

(p708) "... Going from LS to VS or in the other direction definitely requires a process of decoding/encoding or translation; witness the burgeoning number of VS translations of LS texts from all ages that are being produced in Taiwan and the People's Republic of China. If LS and VS were merely two variants of the same language, there would be no compelling need to translate the one into the other. [UKT ]

The confused notion that ( p708end-p709begin) LS and VS are simply constituents of a single language is due to their frequent borrowing from and mixing with each other. More of this is done by VS from LS (e.g., ch'eng-y ["set phrases," commonly referred to loosely as "idioms"] whose LS grammar, syntax, and lexicon are noticeably distinct from the VS matrix in which they are implanted) than by LS from VS, since writers of LS tend to be more conscious of maintaining the integrity and purity of their highly mannered style, while writers of VS often aspire to affect an LS aura without really mastering the entire artificial language."

On (p722) we find: "Two brahman brothers convert to Buddhism and join the saṃgha. Having a background in Vedic recitation, they are concerned that other monks of diverse backgrounds will corrupt the Buddha's teachings by reciting them in substandard ways. They go to the Buddha ( p722end-p723begin) and propose that they standardize his word in chandas. [UKT ]

Although there are numerous interpretations of the word chandas, this presumably signifies mannered, metrical verse and in this context probably just means "Veda," which is how the famous grammarian, Pāṇini (fifth or sixth century B.C.E.) uses it. In any event, the brahman brothers are surely proposing an elite style of delivery for which their training suits them. The Buddha will have none of it. Roundly rejecting them, he emphatically advocates the propagation of his teachings in the vernacular. "

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymology 080902

Etymology IPA /ˌɛtɪ'mɒ ləʤi/  [1] is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. [1] By extension, the term "the etymology (of a word)" means the origin of the particular word. When talking about place names, there is a specific term, toponymy.

For a language such as Greek with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during earlier periods of their history and when they entered the languages in question. Etymologists also apply the methods of comparative linguistics to reconstruct information about languages that are too old for any direct information to be available.

By analyzing related languages with a technique known as the comparative method, linguists can make inferences about their shared parent language and its vocabulary. In this way, word roots have been found that can be traced all the way back to the origin of, for instance, the Indo-European (IE) language family.

Even though etymological research originally grew from the philological tradition, much current etymological research is done on language families where little or no early documentation is available, such as Uralic and Austronesian.

The word etymology derives from the Greek word ἐτυμολογία (etumologa), itself from ἔτυμον (tumon), meaning "true sense", and the suffix -logia, denoting "the study of". [2] [3]

In linguistics, the term etymon refers to a word or morpheme (e.g., stem [4] or root [5]) from which a later word derives. For example, the Latin word candidus, which means "white", is the etymon of English candid.

The Sanskrit linguists and grammarians of ancient India were the first to make a comprehensive analysis of linguistics and etymology. The study of Sanskrit etymology has provided Western scholars with the basis of historical linguistics and modern etymology. Four of the most famous Sanskrit linguists are:

Yāska {yaaS~ka.} (c. 6th5th centuries BCE)
Pāṇini {pa-Ni.ni. hsa.ra} (c. 520460 BCE)
Kātyāyana (2nd century BCE)
Patajali (2nd century BCE)

UKT 180905: My interest at present is only in Vdic changing into Classical Sanskrit of Pāṇini {pa-Ni.ni. hsa.ra}. As a predecessor of Pāṇini {pa-Ni.ni. hsa.ra}, I presume Yāska {yaaS~ka.} to be a Vdic grammarian. Since I have been finding Pali-Myanmar words with short vowels changing into long vowels, I presume the name of Yāska {yaaS~ka.} has been changed from Vdic (Tib-Bur} {ya.a.ka.} to Sanskrit (IE) with the incursion of Sanskrit speakers (Iron-Agers) into the land of Vdic speakers (Bronze-Agers)

These linguists were not the earliest Sanskrit grammarians, however. They followed a line of ancient grammarians of Sanskrit who lived several centuries earlier like Sakatayana of whom very little is known. The earliest of attested etymologies can be found in Vedic literature in the philosophical explanations of the Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads.

UKT 180908: Is Sakatayana the same as {ak~ka.Ta.}?
   See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9A%C4%81ka%E1%B9%AD%C4%81yana 181026
He is not mentioned by Yaska in his Nirukti (see below)
- Agrayana, Audumbarayana, Aupamanyava, Aurnavabha,
- Kathakya, Kautsa, Kraustuki,
- Gargya, Galava,
- Carmasiras,
- Taitiki,
- Varsayani,
- Satabalaksa, Sakapuni, Sakalaya [UKT: notice the commonality of "Sata-Saka"]
- Sthaulasthivi
Please note I am basing my observations on very limited resources and they can be dead wrong.

The analyses of Sanskrit grammar* done by the previously mentioned linguists involved extensive studies on the etymology (called Nirukta or Vyutpatti in Sanskrit ) of Sanskrit words, because the ancient Indo-Aryans considered sound and speech itself to be sacred and, for them, the words of the sacred Vedas contained deep encoding of the mysteries of the soul and God**.

UKT 180905:
* Since Vdic and Classical Sanskrit are different   - the term Sanskrit grammar should be more specific.
** The word God can mean 1. Creator - an axiomatic being who can be male, or female, or neuter, or simply Unknown. 2. Deity - an axiomatic being, 3. Deified human like Rama (spouse of Sita), etc.
   Note: I differentiate the word God from Buddha. When a young person like my grandson Maung Hpo Thit (born in Canada and who has received Canadian education) asserted "there is no Bu'ra (Bu.ra:}, I agreed with him. I told him to differentiate Bu'ra (Bu.ra:} from Buddha {boad~da.}.
   Bu'ra (Bu.ra:} to ordinary Burman-Buddhist is the Christian God, or Muslim Allah. God is axiomatic - I emphasize that we need not quarrel with Christians and Muslims, because Gautama Buddha was born a human being. As any human he slowly aged, suffered disease, suffered the effects of weather (hot and cold), he needed sleep, food and water. He had to defecate and urinate, and finally died a human death from a common human disease - presumably chorea. His body was cremated to bits of bones and ash. At a relatively young age, after becoming a wandering ascetic, through extreme practice of self-control, he gained the ultimate Knowledge of Time & Space, and discovered the Cause of Human Suffering and its End. He formulated the method of Deliverance for all humans. Only then he declared himself to be Buddha. He was the foremost Scientist in the modern sense. 

BPal: {byoap~pt~ti.} UHS PMD0716
  UKT from UHS: - f. showing the gender, origin of the grammatical term, to show special qualities
Compare this to
  BPal: - UHS PMD 0540
  UKT from UHS - f. explicit statement, to profess, to decide in a cross-linguistic study, which meaning of a word with similar pronunciations is correct, to elaborate.


Contents of this page


- UKT 180906

Can Etymology (Eng-Lat) and Nirukta (Skt-Dev) be the same or almost?

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirukta 180906

Nirukta निरुक्त  {ni.roak~ta.} means "explained, interpreted" and refers to one of the six ancient Vedangas {w-dn~ga}, or ancillary science connected with the Vedas the scriptures of Hinduism. [1] [2] [3] Nirukta covers Etymology, and is the study concerned with correct interpretation of Sanskrit words in the Vedas. [3]

Nirukta is the systematic creation of a glossary and it discusses how to understand archaic, uncommon words. [1] The field grew probably because almost a quarter of words in the Vedic texts composed in the 2nd-millennium BCE appear just once. [2] [4] [5]

The study of Nirukta can be traced to the last centuries of the 2nd-millennium BCE Brahmanas layer of the Vedic texts. [3] [UKT ]

UKT 180906: As to the question of Layers of Vedic texts, read Wikipedia:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedas 180906
"The Vedas वेद veda "knowledge" are a large body of knowledge texts originating in the ancient Indian subcontinent. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. [2] [3] "

UKT 180906: Because the area of Indian subcontinent is wide, we have to be more specific. I maintain Vdas originates in foothills of the Himalayas extending into Myanmarp by lonely men and some women dedicated to the study of a single subject. Some of their objectives are bizarre such as trying to absorb the "knowledge" from the Sun: see inset picture from the platform of Shwdagon Pagoda in Yangon which I saw with my own eyes. They are known as {I.i.} or Rishi {ra..}.

From the very name of Vda वेद veda we ran into the problem of language scripts. First there is no plural in the word "Vedas". The s appears because of the use of Eng-Latin language which has plurals. Next the problem of Skt-Dev script where the grapheme for {ba.} ब /b/ has to be borrowed from {wa.} व /w/ or /v/. In Bur-Myan there are two different words {b-da.} 'science' (such as "the Science of Chemistry" {Da-tu. b-da.} and {w-da.} 'astrology'. Thus the sciences {w-dn~ga.} are more important than {w-da.} 'astrology'.
Thirdly, my hesitancy of using the English labial-dentals in Skt-Dev words.
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labiodental_consonant 180907, lists only /f/ and /v/ in English.
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedas 180907, gives the IPA transliteration of "Vedas" as  Vedas /'veɪdəz 'vi:-/ वेद veda, because of which I will transcribe the word as {v-da.} and gloss it as "prayers". Thus:

{b-da.} 'science'
{w-da.} 'astrology'
{v-da.} 'prayers' and 'supplications'

See Dictionary of Pali-derived Myanmar words (in Bur-Myan), by U Tun Myint, p.302 in which he gives the definitions of both {w-da.} and {w-dn~ga.}.

Inset shows the Myanmar Astrological chart: #1 - Aries, #2 Taurus, etc. We count the Signs, and Houses anti-clockwise. On comparing to Tamil (South Indian - Aus-Asi speakers), and Hindi (North Indian - IE speakers), the Myanmar-Vdic is independent of the Indic systems.

The Bur-Myan word {b-dn} 'astrology' derived from {w-da.} is not important for me as a scientist. However, remember, I used to be a part-time Astrologer specializing in Astakavarga, and I had charged my clients in US dollars. I told them I am practising astrology not because of income but to come up with case studies of real humans with whom I am meeting face to face soliciting personal information to check the predictions. Vdic astrology is still in use in Myanmarpr, Northern India, and Southern India.

Wikipedia: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedas 180906 continues:
"The Sanskrit word vda "knowledge, wisdom" is derived from the root vid- "to know". This is reconstructed as being derived from the PIE (Proto-Indo-European) root *u̯eid-, meaning "see" or "know". [22]

Vedas are called Maṛai  or Vaymoli  in parts of South India. Marai literally means "hidden, a secret, mystery". [30] [31] In some south Indian communities such as Iyengars, the word Veda includes the Tamil writings of the Alvar saints, such as Divya Prabandham, for example Tiruvaymoli. [32]

However, the most ancient complete surviving text of this field is a commentary on Nighantu by Yāska, who probably lived about the 7th century BCE. [6] His text is also referred simply as Nirukta.| [2] | [6] [UKT ]

The study of Nirukta has been closely related to the ancillary Vedic science of Vyakarana, but they have a different focus. Vyakarana deals with linguistic analysis to establish the exact form of words to properly express ideas, while Nirukta focuses on linguistic analysis to help establish the proper meaning of the words, given the context they are used in. [3] Yaska asserts that the prerequisite to the study of Nirukta is the study of Vyakarana. [3] [7]

The texts of the Nirukta field of study are also called Nirvacana shastra. [8] A critical edition of the Nighantu and the Nirukta was published by Lakshman Sarup in the 1920s.

The field of Nirukta deals with ascertaining the meaning of words, particularly of archaic words no longer in use, ones created long ago and even then rarely used. [2] The Vedic literature from the 2nd millennium BCE has a very large collection of such words, with nearly 25% of the words therein being used just once. [2] By the 1st millennium BCE, interpreting and understanding what the Vedas meant had become a challenge, and Nirukta [the book by Yaska] attempted to systematically propose theories on how words form, and then determine their meaning in order to understand the Vedas. [2] [9]

UKT 180907: The above para presupposes that the language has not undergone drastic change, whereas I maintain it had been changing from Tib-Bur to IE with the coming of the Iron Age. Yaska was probably a bilingual whose mother tongue L1 was Tib-Bur and who came into contact IE at a very age (years before puberty), and therefore IE was not an L2, but a second L1. I base my assumption on my own experience of having Bur-Myan as my first-L1, and Eng-Lat as second-L1.

" Don't memorize, seek the meaning "
"What has been taken [from the teacher's mouth] but not understood,
is uttered by mere [memory] recitation,
it never flares up, like dry firewood without fire.
Many a one, [although] seeing, do not see Speech,
many a one, [although] hearing, do not hear Her,
and many a one, She spreads out [Her] body, like a wife desiring her husband.
The meaning of Speech, is its fruit and flower."
Yaska, Nirukta 1.18-1.20 [11] [12]

UKT 180908: I've been trying to get hold of Yaska, Nirukta 1.18-1.20  as cited by Ram Gopal in his History and Principles of Vedic Interpretation, 1983, to find out what "Speech/ Her" means. I presupposes it is Vac or {wa-kya.} where c {c} (as in {tic}) is pronounced as {kya.} which has been killed. I've defined for BEPS {wa-kya.} as 'sentence' which has to follow {wa-kya.s:} which is the  human speech differentiated from animal calls.

Because of "Speech/ Her", it is obvious that Yaska was referring to the Vac वाच् vāc - the Goddess of Speech. For Goddess of Speech, see Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C4%81c 180908
"Vāc वाच्  vāc is the Sanskrit word for "speech", from a verbal root vac- "speak, tell, utter". [1] Vāc is the stem form of the word, which is the dictionary form in Skt-Dev. In English, the word is often referred to as vāk, the nominative singular form, which would be the dictionary form in accordance with English grammatical conventions. ... Vāk is also a Vedic goddess, a personified form of speech. She enters into the inspired poets and visionaries, gives expression and energy to those she loves, she is called the "mother of the Vedas" ... She is identified with goddess Sarasvati in later Vedic literature and post-Vedic texts of Hindu traditions."


Contents of this page

Predecessors of Yaska and his contemporaries

- UKT 180905

See Etymological approach of Yaska's predecessors, Shodhganga@inflibnet Centre
- Shodhganga-YaskasPre<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180905)

In 2.1 Introduction to Etymological approach of Yaska's predecessors we find:
(p046) In India, scientific treatises on various sciences like linguistics, philosophy, music and even literary criticism have their own traditional methodology. This methodological approach in various disciplines, exhibit the views and notions of early writers on the subject matter. The observations and speculations of predecessors and contemporaries are helpful to understand the different attitudes of various disciplines. [UKT ]

Some times these observations are providing some cultural (p046end-p047begin) and sociological data. Panini, Pataiijali, Katyayana, Jaimini, Badarayana and others always establish their own views on various topics quoting from their predecessors or contemporaries. These remarks on early scholars are quoted by the writers for various purposes. Among them three are important:

1. To establish their own views.
2. To oppose the established views.
3. To respect the preceptors.

This tendency of Indian writers is a valuable source for an awareness of early history and educational tools of the society. There is always a slackening of (lack of) historical approach in the works of Indian writers - such cross references to the ancients will help to imbibe the awareness of the time factor.

In the Nirukta Yaska quotes valuable views of some sixteen predecessors or contemporaries on various linguistic problems. Some views of these scholars are referred to by Yaska to firmly establish his own view. He shows respect to the preceptors on such occasions by mentioning them individually. He quotes the (p047end-p048begin) varied views of his preceptors eulogizing some and criticizing others.

The scholars quoted by Yaska in the Nirukta [in Akshara order] are:

Agrayana, Audumbarayana, Aupamanyava, Aurnavabha,
Kathakya, Kautsa, Kraustuki,
Gargya, Galava,
Satabalaksa, Sakapuni, Sakalaya [UKT: notice the commonality of "Sata-Saka"]

All these Scholars had expressed their observations on many linguistic problems. [UKT ]

Yaska shows real interest in quoting them. The Nirukta thus introduces a strong background of linguistic thoughts of ancient India. These quotations reveal the society life of Vedic period. [UKT ]

UKT 180905: I'm interested in the Society life in the Vedic period in subcontinent of India extending into Myanmarpr. I opine that the geology and geography of the area reflects the period of mounting building at the end of the Permian Geological Period (299 - 251 Ma ago), when the land of Myanmarpr is being formed.
See Section 8: Geography, Geology, and Fossils - permian.htm (link chk 180905)

I view the Vedic period when the religion was the worship of Indra the sky king and Agni his messenger between the sky-dwellers and terrestrial peoples. It was a period of Mother Goddesses. The period was when Vishnu Dva and Narada नारद nārada with vina (a string musical instrument) hasn't appeared.

There is one Bodhisattva with the same name Rishi Narada {na.ra.da. ra..}. He  was one of the ten told in Ten Great Birth Stories. See a Thai version from Mahanarada Kassapa Jataka:
- http://www.buddha-images.com/narada-jataka.asp 180905

"[Guna the false ascetic ] spoke in this way: "There is no right or wrong way to behave. Whatever you do, whether it be virtuous or evil, has no effect on your future, for your life is arranged in advance of your birth. Whether a man thrusts his sword into his enemy's heart or whether he gives alms is irrelevant to a life over which we have no control. Hell? Heaven? Nonsense ! There is no other world than this. So follow your own will and seek your own pleasure. ... At that moment the Bodhisatta, whose name was Narada and who was the Great Brahma of that time, was looking earthward from his seat in his heaven. He happened to hear Ruja's [righteous daughter of the king] supplications [for help from Heaven to dispel Guna's teachings] and decided to help her. ... I go to the king in some unusual garb ... [to] arrest his attention. King Angati values ascetics. I will dress like the most striking of them, and when he sees me, he will listen well. ... Narada then told him ... "Let your mind guide your body, making you a sure but self-restrained man," he said. "Only then will you find the path to heaven. "

UKT 180906: In the Thai version, Narada was made into Brahma Narada, but in Bur-Myan version he was Rishi Narada {na.ra.da. ra..} who carries two baskets hung from a shoulder-carrying pole when he seeks alms to last him for extended periods. With his provisions he goes into seclusion in a forest away from human habitation.

A detailed note on the earliest Indian writers on language studies is noteworthy in the present context. Observations of these scholars are valuable information about the earliest linguistic perspectives of ancient India. (p048end).


From Wikipedia: Śākaṭāyana - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9A%C4%81ka%E1%B9%AD%C4%81yana 180905

Śākaṭāyana (814 867) [1] was the name of two Sanskrit grammarians, one who was a predecessor of Yaska and Panini in Iron Age India,[2] and one who was a Sanskrit grammarian (fl. c. 9th century, during the reign of Amoghavarsha). [3]

UKT 180905: Both Buddhism and Jainism were founded by Ksattira 

Śākaṭāyana was an early "etymologist" or nairukta. He is the oldest grammarian known by name, even though his work is only known indirectly, via references by Yaska and Panini.

Śākaṭāyana apparently claimed that all nouns are ultimately derived from verbal roots. This process is reflected in the Sanskrit grammar as the system of krit-pratyayas or verbal affixes.

Bimal Krishna Matilal in his The word and the world refers to the debate of nirkuta vs. vyakarana as an

interesting philosophical discussion between the nairuktas or etymologists and the pāṇinīyas or grammarians. According to the etymologists, all nouns (substantives) are derived from some verbal root or the other. Yāska in his Nirukta refers to this view (in fact defends it) and ascribes it to an earlier scholar Śākaṭāyana. This would require that all words are to be analysable into atomic elements, 'roots' or 'bases' and 'affixes' or 'inflections' better known in Sanskrit as dhātu and pratyaya [...] Yāska r eported the view of Gārgya who opposed Śākaṭāyana (both preceded Pāṇini who mentions them by name) and held that not all substantival words or nouns (nāma) were to be derived from roots, for certain nominal stems were 'atomic'. [4]

Sakatayana also proposed that functional morphemes such as prepositions do not have any meaning by themselves, but contribute to meaning only when attached to nouns or other content words:

(The ancient grammarian) Sakatayana says that prepositions when not attached (to nouns or verbs) do not express meanings ; but Gargya says that they illustrate (or modify) the action which is expressed by a noun or verb, and that their senses are various (even when detached). [5] This view was challenged by Gargya. This debate goes to the heart of the compositionality debate among ancient Indian Mimamsakas and Vyakaran/grammarians.

His work might have been called the Lakṣaṇa Śāstra, in which he also describes the process of determining gender in animate and inanimate creation.


Contents of this page

The Language of Gautama Buddha

- UKT 180902

UKT 180507: Adapted from Language problem of primitive Buddhism, by Chi Hisen-lin
(季羡林 , 1911 2009) - lang-probl.htm (link chk 180902-
UKT 140112, 151125, 180507: The Language problem of primitive Buddhism, a photocopy, was provided to me, sometime in 2004, by Daw Papa Aung, lecturer in Pali, Yangon Univ. Until I can come up with a photo copy of the original paper in pdf format, I request the reader to look into:
- the original in JBRS, or
- online on the Internet - http://phathoc.net/PrintView.aspx?Language=en&ID=76C213 151125 (not available on 180507)
- or in css format in TIL SD-Library - lang-problem-css<> (lost link 180507)
- or in Chinese language, and English on bookpreview from Dharma Drum Publishing Co.,

Chi Hisen-lin's paper has also been referred to by U Aye Maung, in his Buddha and Buddha Warda, 2006, p006
- UAyeMg-BuddhaBuddhismBur<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180903)

See also Along the Ancient Silk Routes: Central Asian Art from the West Berlin State Museums. 1982. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, by B D Kelleher (publisher), 1982
- BDKellcher-AnciSilkRoute<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180902)


From: Buddhism and the Rise of the Written Vernacular in East Asia: The Making of National Languages, by Victor H. Mair Source: The Journal of Asian Studies,Vol. 53, No. 3 (Aug., 1994), pp. 707-751
- VHMair-BuddhNationalLang<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180922)

(p722) As Buddhism swiftly expanded from its original base in Magadha (Rajagrha, Pataliputra) and gained converts even from among the Brahmans, the founder of the religion was faced with the pressing issue of linguistic usage. Should a single prestige dialect be designated to ensure respect for the Buddha's word? Or should a plurality of language be permitted to enable the unimpeded spread of the dharma among those who were not privy to the priestly tongue? Judging from all accounts, the Buddha made the wise decision to allow Buddhist practitioners to transmit his teachings in their own respective languages. fn4. This scenario, at any rate, is repeatedly maintained by most extant versions of the vinaya (monastic rules) and must represent one of the earliest layers of Buddhist literature.
  fn4: Due to the misleading, if not wholly erroneous, commentary of Buddhaghosa (Cullavagga 5.33; Vinaya ii, 139, 1-16), there has been a small amount of scholarly controversy over whether the Buddha enjoined his followers to use his own native tongue or their own native tongues in spreading the dharma (Brough 1980). It would seem that the operative Pali word sakdya (or sakkiya = Sanskrit satkdya), under the given circumstances, is more apt to function as a third-person reflexive pronoun than as a first-person reflexive. Furthermore, it has not previously been pointed out that the passage in question would seriously contradict itself if we accepted Buddhaghosa's explanation ("Lord, here monks of miscellaneous origin are corrupting the Buddha's [i.e., your) words [by repeating them) in your own dialect"[!}). This simply does not make sense. Only when we understand sakdya as "their" is the entire passage comprehensible. Cf. Edgerton (1953:1-2) and Lin Li-kouang (1949:216-27). Finally, no one seriously disputes the claim that the Buddha was in favor of the vernaculars at the expense of the classical, priestly language. Of one thing we can be certain, linguistic diversity was present in ancient Buddhism almost from the very beginning of the religion (Bechert 1980:15).
Go back fn4-b



- UKT 150923, 170425, 180726:

I have been on the Language problem of primitive Buddhism, since I received a photocopy sometime in 2004, from Daw Papa Aung, lecturer in Pali, Yangon University.

From: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirukta 150923

Nirukta निरुक्त {ni.roat~ta}, "explanation, etymological interpretation", is one of the six Vedānga disciplines of Hinduism, treating etymology, particularly of obscure words, especially those occurring in the Vedas. [1] [2] [3] [UKT ]

The discipline is traditionally attributed to Yāska, an ancient Sanskrit Vedic grammarian. [UKT ]

UKT 180830: Since Yāska preceded Pāṇini, I presume he was dealing with Vedic, and not the Classical Sanskrit of Paṇini.

Yāska's association with the discipline is so great that he is also referred to as Niruktakāra or Niruktakrit ("Maker of Nirukta"), as well as Niruktavat ("Author of Nirukta"). In practical use, nirukta consists of brief rules (sūtras) for deriving word meanings, supplemented with glossaries of difficult or rare Vedic words.

Nirukta is also the name given to a celebrated commentary by Yāska on the Nighantu, an even older glossary (dated before 14th Century CE) [4] which was already traditional in his time. Yāska's Nirukta contains a treatise on etymology, and deals with various attempts to interpret the many difficult Vedic words in the Nighantu. It is in the form of explanations of words, and is the basis for later lexicons and dictionaries. [5] The Nighantu is now traditionally combined with the Nirukta as a unified text.

etymology - n. pl. etymologies  . The origin and historical development of a linguistic form as shown by determining its basic elements, earliest known use, and changes in form and meaning, tracing its transmission from one language to another, identifying its cognates in other languages, and reconstructing its ancestral form where possible.

A critical edition of the Nighantu and the Nirukta was published by Lakshman Sarup in the 1920s. See TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- LSarup-NighantuNirukta<> / bkp<> (link chk 170425)
(p054) "There is a great difference of opinion among them about the precise date of Yaska, but at the same time there is also the unanimity which sets down his lower limit as not later than 500 BC. As this limit has not been questioned so far (while his upper limit is carried as far as 700 BC.), it may therefore be safely assumed that Yaska lived at least about a century earlier than Plato. Both Yaska and Plato sum up as it were the results of their predecessors in philological and etymological investigations in the Mrukta म्रुक्त mrukta म ् र ु क ् त {mrauk~ta.} and the Cratylus [Dialog by Plato] respectively. Both stand pre-eminent with regard to their age, and have dominated the thought of succeeding generations in their respective countries."

See Buddha's conversation with two Brahmin-Poannars, on p075. He used the Socratic manner of argument to make the Poannars to reject their beliefs in axiomatic entities.
See what the Socratic method is in Wikipedia:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method 170425

(p075) "





The question of meaning of Niruta is also connected to how it is pronounced. I cannot get its pronunciation. What I could get is निरुक्ति nirukti. How would a lay Hindi-speaker, or a Poannar whose L1 is Hindi pronounce the word 
Niroakti निरुक्ति nirukti = न ि र ु क ् त ि --> {ni.roak~ti.}?

Now, listen for निरुक्ति nirukti: BkCnd-VIDEO<))  (link chk 180726)
| from: https://www.howtopronounce.com/hindi/निरुक्ति/ 180726
Just for fun, I went on line to hear how the website would pronounce my name KYAW. I could not identify it myself.

I don't know how another Hindi-speaker would hear it. But it sounds  {ni.roak-t}
- BkCnd-VIDEO<))
to me. No wonder we are all confused!

If I continue relying on pronunciation and hearing, I would never get away from the CURSE of BABEL, and I've decided to settle on script as Shin Kic'si had done, and which Gautama Buddha would approve.


Remember there are at least two kinds of Brahmins who speak Skt-Dev: Vaishnavite-Poannar {braah~ma.Na PoaN~Na:} (mostly with Hindi as L1) and Shaivite-Poannar (mostly with Tamil as L1). Their Sanskrit pronunciations are different. Since, Hindi speech written in Devanagari script is the directly related to Skt-Dev, I would like to rely more on the Sanskrit speech of the Hindi speakers taking note that Hindi syllables that should end with coda are shown without the Virama sign, which has a bearing on their Sanskrit pronunciation. It results in a change in the nuclear vowel of the syllable. Thus Asoka has become Ashok, which in Bur-Myan means 'confusion'. And we are doubly confused!