Update: 2012-06-22 08:41 PM +0630


A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary


by A. A. Macdonell, 1893, http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MDScan/index.php?sfx=jpg ;
1929, http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/macdonell/ 110416 , 110611 

downloaded and edited by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA) and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL) . Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL  Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR :  http://www.tuninst.net , http://www.softguide.net.mm

MC-indx | Top

Contents of this page

{na.Ba.} : notice {na.ba.} is skipped

UKT notes :
Bur-Myan Lunisolar months
Chandragupta's military strategy : the story of the child and hot rice-cake
Elysium - the Greek idea of afterlife
King Nanda - the foster father of Krishna
Nameru tree Mammea longifolia in Kalidasa's work
The problem of Sa & Da graphemes : my theory of the right-handed {sa.Da.ba.wa.}-rune
Varuna and Makara - the Constellation Capricornus

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[NAD] I. P. (.)
-- nda , resound, reverberate; roar; cry; utter a sound or
( end p135-2c3-b16 ) ( p136c1-top )
cry (ac.) ; nadya , P. . cause to resound, - quake; ...






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नद nada [ nad- ] {na.da.}
-- m. roarer, bull, stallion (fig. of man); river.

-- m. sea; -rga , m. id

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नदी nadi [ nad-&isharp; ]
-- f. river: -kla, n. river-bank; -tara, m. swimming across a river; -tra, n. river-bank.


नदीन nadina [ 1. nad‿ina ]
-- m. sea; Varuna.

See my note on Varuna and the Makara
(aka Capricorn or Sea-goat in Astrology -- UKT120506)

नदीन nadina [ 2. na-dna ]
-- a. not insignificant.


नदीनद nadinada [ nad-nada ]
-- m. pl. and n. sg. rivers female and male; -pat, m. lord of rivers; sea; -pra, m. swollen river; -mtrika, a. nourished by i. e. abounding in rivers: -t, f. abst. N.; -mrga, m. river bed: -mukha, n. river mouth; -vsa, m. staying in a river (a penance); -vki, f. ripple of the river.


नदीश nadisa [ nad‿sa ]
-- m. lord of rivers, sea.

नदीष्ण nadisna [ nad-shna ]
-- a. (bathing in i. e. familiar with rivers); expert, experienced, versed in (lc.).

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नदीसंतार nadisantara [ nad-samtra ]
-- m. crossing a river.


नदेश nadesa [ nada‿sa ]
-- m. lord of rivers, sea.


नद्ध naddha [ nad-dh ]
= न द ् ध {nd~Da.}
-- pp. √nah; n. cord.

नद्धि naddhi [ nad-dhi ]
-- f. tying, binding.

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नना nana [ nanấ ]
-- f. mother (familiar like tata).

UKT: See my note on familiar-pairs as an indicator of the linguistic origin of the speakers on p105.htm .

-- f. husband's sister


ननु nanu [ na-n ]
-- ad. not (emphatic); inter. pcl. not? (=nonne), surely? with inter. prn. or impv. pray; nanu ka, surely (at the begin ning of a sentence); nanu‿astu--tath‿api, well, even granting--yet; nanu m bhut tath‿api, well, even granting that--is not the case -yet (nanu here to be taken with the apodosis); nanu is frequently used by commentators to state a supposed objection, which is disposed of with a following ukyate, to this the reply is as follows.

apodosis -- n. pl. apodoses 1. The main clause of a conditional sentence, as The game will be canceled in The game will be canceled if it rains. -- AHTD


[NAND] I. P.
-- nnda , be pleased or glad, be delighted with, rejoice in (in., sts. ab.); cs. nadaya , gladden: pp. ...







नन्द nanda [ nnd-a ]
-- m. joy; son; N., esp. of Krishna's foster-father and of a king of Ptaliputra, put to death by Knakya (who raised Kandragupta to the throne).

See my note on the Bur-Myan saying: {sn~da.goap ming:kri: sic-taik a.lo} 'like Chandragupta's military strategy' -- attacking the central stronghold leaving the surroundings which can attack you from all sides.

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नन्दक nandaka [ nanda-ka ]
-- a. rejoicing in (--); m. N. of a bull; N. of a village.

नन्दन nandana [ nand-ana ]
-- a. gladdening; m. son, descendant (--); n. joy; Elysium, the pleasure ground of Indra.

See my note on Elysium - a Greek idea of afterlife


नन्दपर्वत nandaparvata [ nanda-parvata ]
-- m. king Nanda as a mountain.

See my note on King Nanda - the foster father of Krishna.
   The word "king" need not be taken at face-value. It merely means "chief" -- Nanda was the chief of the cowherds. -- UKT120507
   Nanda the king might be another person - the king of Ptaliputra who lost his kingdom to Chandragupta. -- UKT120515 

-- (pr.pt.) f. N.


-- f. N.

नन्दात्मज nandatmaja [ nanda‿tmaga ]
-- m. Krishna.


नन्दि nandi [ nand-i ]
-- m. Gladsome, euphemistic ep. of Vishnu or Siva; f. joy: -kara, a. causing joy to (g.); m. son (--); -kshetra, n. N. of a sacred region; -gupta, m. N. of a king; -grma, m. N. of a village; -deva, m. N.


नन्दिन् nandin [ nand-in ]
-- a. (--) rejoicing in; gladdening; m. son (--); ep. of Siva; N. of an attendant of Siva; N. of Siva's bull.

नन्दिनी nandini [ nandin ]
-- f. daughter; ep. of Durg; N. of a fabulous cow.


नन्दिमुख nandimukha [ nandi-mukha ]
-- m. N.; -rudra, m. a form of Siva; -vardhana, a. increasing the joy of (g.); m. son.

नन्दीश nandisa [ nandi‿sa ]
-- m. a form of Siva; N. of an attendant of Siva; -‿svara, m. id.

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-- (V. only in strong cases), m. [unprotected, orphan], son, descendant; grandson (only the last meaning in C.).


नपुंसक napuṃsaka [ na-pumsa-ka ]
-- a. neither man nor woman, emasculate; of neuter gender (gr.); m. hermaphrodite; eunuch; n. neuter word, neuter gender: -liṅga, a. of the neuter gender.

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UKT: The following 3 entries are obviously derived from
नप्त = न प ् त  {np~ta.}
   न प ् त ी = नप्ती -- non-rhotic medial
   न प ् त ृ = नप्तृ  -- highly rhotic creak (or short)
   न प ् त ् र ी  = नप्त्री  -- lightly rhotic medial

नप्ती napti [ na-pt- ]
= न प ् त ी
-- f. daughter, granddaughter.

-- m. (weak base of napt in RV.), descendant, son (V.); grandson

नप्त्री naptri [ naptr- ]
= न प ् त ् र ी
-- f. grand daughter.

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Notice {na.ba.} is skipped. Why? Didn't Skt-Dev speakers had a {ba.} sound before they came into contact the original inhabitants of northern India? See my note on
the problem of Sa & Da graphemes .


[NABH] I. .
-- nbha , burst (tr. & int.); cs. P. nabhaya , cause to burst, tear open. 

नभनु nabhanu [ nabh-an ]
-- m., &usharp;, f. spring.

नभश्चर nabhascara [ nabhas-kara ]
-- a. moving in the sky; m. celestial, god; fairy.


नभःशब्दमय nabhhsabdamaya [ nabhah-sabda-maya ]
-- a. consisting of the word "nabhas"; -srit, a. reaching to heaven.


नभस् nabhas [ nbh-as ]
-- n. [bursting forth], cloud; mist, vapour; fragrance (of Soma); atmosphere, sky; Srvana, the first rainy month (July-August); m. N. of a son of Nala.

Srvana, the first rainy month (July-August) corresponds to {wa-hkaung}
See my note on Bur-Myan lunisolar months .


नभस्तल nabhastala [ nabhas-tala ]
-- n. sky-surface, nether sky, vault of heaven.

नभस्य nabhasya [ nabhas-y ]
-- a. misty; m. Bhdra, the second rainy month (August-September).


नभस्वत् nabhasvat [ nbhas-vat ]
-- a. cloudy; m. wind.

नभःसद् nabhhsad [ nabhah-sad ]
-- m. celestial, god; -sthala, n., , f. vault of heaven; -spris, a. reaching to heaven.


नभोऽङ्गण nabho&100;ngana [ nabho-&zip;ṅgana ]
-- n. vault of heaven.


नभ्य nabhya [ 1. nabh-ya ]
-- a. misty, cloudy.

नभ्य nabhya [ 2. nbhya ]
-- n. nave (of a wheel); centre.



In Bur-Myan, the 3 registers are well differentiated: {nm.}, {nm}, {nm:}.
The first is the creak, the second the modal, and the third the emphatic. Eng-Lat cannot distinguish these 3 sounds, which makes transcription difficult. -- UKT120508


[NAM] I.
-- nma , bend, incline, bow, submit, to (ac., d., g.); sink; aim at (g.) with (in.); subside, become silent; pp. nata , bent, curved, crooked; bowing to (ac. or g.); ... ( end p136c2 )
( p136c3-top )



















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नमन namana [ nam-ana ]
-- a. bending (--); n. id.; -anya, fp. to be bowed to.

नमस् namas [ nm-as ]
-- n. bowing, obeisance, adoration (by word or gesture): often as an exclamation with the dat.; -kri, utter "namas", make obeisance, to (ac., d., lc.).


नमस्कार namaskara [ namas-kr ]
-- m. the exclamation "namas"; obeisance, salutation, adoration, homage: -vat, a. containing adoration; -kr ya, fp. to be adored; -krita, pp. adored; -kriti, f., -kriy, f. adoration, reverence, homage.


नमस्य namasya [ namas-y ]
-- den. P. adore, do homage to, bless (ac.). sam, id.

नमस्वत् namasvat [ nmas-vat ]
-- a. reverential; inspiring reverence.


-- a. id.

नमुचि namuci [ n-muki ]
-- m. [not letting go the waters], N. of a demon subdued by Indra: -dvish, m. ep. of Indra.


-- m. a tree

See my note on Nameru tree (Mammea longifolia)


नम्र namra [ nam-r ]
-- a. bent, crooked; bowed (by, in.); bowing, to or with (--); humble, sub missive: -t, f., -tva, n. bowing; respect; lowliness, submissiveness, humility, towards (lc. or --): vintair namratm samkaret, one should be courteous towards the well-bred.


UKT: p136c3-b07 moved to next page


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UKT notes

Bur-Myan Lunisolar months

-- UKT 120515 based on various sources, including what I remember from my childhood days.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_calendar 120515

The Buddhist calendar is used on mainland Southeast Asia in the countries of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma (officially known as Myanmar) and Sri Lanka in several related forms. It is a lunisolar calendar having months that are alternately 29 and 30 days, in regular years. [UKT ]

In leap years, an intercalated day and a 30-day month are added at regular intervals. All forms of the Buddhist calendar are based on the original version of the Surya Siddhanta, which dates to the 3rd century CE (both the original and medieval forms of the Surya Siddhanta are used by the various Hindu calendars). [1] [2]

Names of the months

Sanskrit :

01. Caitra, 02. Vaisākha, 03. Jyaiṣṭha, 04. Āṣāḍha,
05. Śrāvaṇa, 06. Bhādrapada, 07. Āśvina, 08. Kārttika,
09. Mārgaśirṣa, 10. Pauṣa, 11. Māgha, 12. Phālguna.


01. Citta, 02. Visakha, 03. Jeṭṭha, 04. Āsāḷha,
05. Sāvaṇa, 06. Poṭṭhapāda, 07. Assayuja, 08. Kattikā,
09. Māgasira, 10. Phussa, 11. Māgha, 12. Phagguṇa.

The Bur-Myan [the number of days in a regular year are: odd-even-odd-even]:
[Note: the following English transcription may or may not tally the official MLC names]
The festivals in Western solar months are from: Dr. Khin Maung Nyunt -- http://myanmartravel.org/festivals/ 120515 Dr. KMNyunt writes:
   "Living in one of the Nature's most favored lands, the Myanmar are lively and enjoyable people. With agriculture as their main occupation they make an easy livelihood as their natural environment. Inhabiting in various parts of their country, which is endowed with natural assets of forests, streams, lakes, mountains, hills, and sea coast, Myanmar lifestyles are amphibious in character which is reflected in their cultural activities. Every month of the Myanmar lunar calendar has its own season, its own flower, its own zodiacal sign, its own constellation and its own seasonal festivals. Classical poets have composed verses on twelve seasons describing the natural beauty of each season, its seasonal flower, its seasonal zodiacal sign, that appears in the sky in this season, and the festival which is held."

01. Tagu, Mar-Apr - Thingyan (water festival)
02. Kason, Apr-May - Kason (banyan tree watering ceremony)
03. Nayone, May-Jun - Nadaw - Festival of religious examination
04. Waso, Jun-Jul - Waso (Festival of ordination of monks)
05. Wagaung {wa-hkaung}, Jul-Aug - festival of giving religious charity by lot
06. Tawthalin, Aug-Sep - Regetta
07. Thadingyut, Sep-Oct - Thadingyut (festival of lights)
08. Tazaungmone, Oct-Nov - Tazaungdine (Kahtein festival - offering robes to Buddhist monks)
09. Nataw, Nov-Dec - Mahapeine nat  * UKT disagrees
10. Pyatho, Dec-Jan - Equestrian tourney
11. Tabodw, Jan-Feb - Festival of bonfire
12. Tabaung,  Feb-Mar - Festival of sand pagodas
   * Dr.KMNyunt, a modern historian is one of my contemporaries in the University of Rangoon. He was trained by British-colonial historians the last of who was Prof. Luce. Dr.KMNyunt is probably biased towards the picture presented by the colonialists that Bur-Myan culture was being wholly imported from Hindu-India. The month of Nattaw is dedicated to the Nats {nt} the dead notables  (who died tragic deaths) of Myanmars who were Buddhists -- not Hindu. Mahapeine nat aka Ganesh - the elephant-headed Deva is not worshipped by the Bur-Myan in general. I have never heard of a Ganesh puja in rural Myanmar.

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Chandragupta's military strategy

UKT note 120515: Most Bur-Myan are familiar with the saying "{sn~da.goap ming:kri: sic-taik a.lo}" and most would know the story behind it. It tells how a mother had scolded her young son who had been scalded by eating the hot center of {moat-paung:} 'rice-cake' she had just made. The following is the story from
http://ragulan.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/is-chanakya-a-good-marketer/ 120515

Business strategies and their counterpart military stategies

The ever known warfare strategy used by Chanakya in the battle with Nandas is attacking the enemy by not his core area but from other areas than the core. Chanakya initially employed several strategies focusing to attack the core of the city which was strengthened well by Nandas. This strategy failed and made Chanakya think further. In the meantime he came across a conversation between a child and a mother. The mother was scolding her child for burning himself by eating from the middle of a food item which is hotter rather eating the cooler edges first. The king maker realized his initial error and started to attack Nandas not from the heart of the city but from the edges of their territory. He also realized attacking them from the edges and moving forward is not useful unless the conquered villages surrounding the heart of the city are stationed by troops so that the enemies cant rise again and attack them back. This is how he destroyed a powerful kingdom of Nandas.

The same philosophy employed by him in war is suitable for the current marketing phenomena as well. There is another lesson from Chanakyas life which is suitable for the contemporary marketers. When Chanakya was thrown out of Nandas court, he was walking in the Patlipura streets with the thought to destroy the kingdom of Nandas. His hurried walk with anger made him to stumble upon a stump of grass. Chanakya who has his own approach to doing things and who never lets anger overwhelm him sat on the ground and started to remove the grass from the roots itself, so that the grass would never grow again. This action of Chanakya which clearly showed determination impressed a youth to approach him and tell him his problems for whom Chanakya later created a kingdom.

Following are some of Chanakyas philosophies from the book Chanakya Neethi though they are telling about war strategies and life they are apt for the marketing warfare also:

A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.

Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.

The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.
There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.

Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.

As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.

The worlds biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.

Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.

Once you start working on something, dont be afraid of failure and dont abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.

Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.

Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends.

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Elysium - the Greek idea of afterlife

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elysium 120507

Elysium or the Elysian Fields (Greek: Ἠλύσιον πεδίον, Ēlsion pedon) is a conception of the afterlife that evolved over time and was maintained by certain Greek religious and philosophical sects, and cults. Initially separate from the realm of Hades, admission was initially reserved for mortals related to the gods and other heroes. Later, it expanded to include those chosen by the gods, the righteous, and the heroic, where they would remain after death, to live a blessed and happy life, and indulging in whatever employment they had enjoyed in life.[1][2][3][4][5][6] The Elysian Fields were, according to Homer, located on the western edge of the Earth by the stream of Oceanus.[1] In the time of the Greek oral poet Hesiod, Elysium would also be known as the Fortunate Isles or the Isles (or Islands) of the Blessed, located in the western ocean at the end of the earth.[1][7][8] The Isles of the Blessed would be reduced to a single island by the Thebean poet Pindar, describing it as having shady parks, with residents indulging their athletic and musical pastimes.[1][2]

The ruler of Elysium varies from author to author; Pindar and Hesiod name Cronus as the ruler.[9] While the poet Homer in the Odyssey describes fair-haired Rhadamanthus dwelling there.[6][7][10][11]

UKT: More in the Wikipedia article

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King Nanda - the foster father of Krishna

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanda_mythology 120507

Nanda (Skt: नंद) or Nandagopa, according to the Harivamsha and the Puranas, was the head of the gopas (a tribe of cowherds referred as Holy Gwals). It is said that Nand Baba owned 9 lakhs of cows [1]. Nandvanshis or Ahirs [2][3][4] are descendants of Nand. The night of Krishna's appearance or birth, Vasudeva (Krishna's [natural] father) brought Krishna to Nanda for Krishna's childhood years. [UKT ]

At the time of Krishna's birth, his parents were in custody at the hands of the usurper. Krishna's natural father Vasudeva वसुदेव, brought the newborn baby in secret across the river Yamuna to Nanda and his wife Yasoda to raise his children in secret. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasudeva 120507

Nanda brought up both Krishna and Balarama. Nanda was married to Yasoda. Krishna derives his name Nandanandana (meaning son of Nanda) from him. According to the Bhagwat Purana Nand Baba was a Vaisya by caste.[5][6]

Nandvanshi Ahirs are found in Central Doab,[7][8] West of Yamuna.Claims origin from Mathura.[9] Central or Middle Doab consists of Etah, Aligarh, Mainpuri, Etawah, Kanpur, Hathras , Farrukhabad, Firozabad, Mathura and Agra.[10]

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Nameru tree

From: http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search/display.do?f=2003/IN/IN03002.xml;IN2003000442 120508

A study of Kalidasa's description of Himalayan flora , Pant, R.; Mahila Vidyala Degree College, Lucknow 226 018 (India)) , Asian Agri-History (Apr-Jun 2002) , ISSN 0971-7730, v. 6(2) p. 149-156.


Kalidasa, the great Indian poet, shows a fascination for the Himalayas in his works and has descriabed various types of trees, shrubs, herbs, and several flowering plants growing there. Kumarasambhava specially mentions many Himalayan trees such as devadaru (Cedrus deodara) and sarala (Pinus roxburghii) with specific environment in which they grow in. An effort has been made to compare the floristic distribution of species with the present-day situation to analyze the content of fact and poetic license taken by the poet in his narration. It is interesting to note how the poet has shown the Inner Himalayan plants like bhurja (Betula untilis) growing in the vicinity of low level flora of nameru (Mammea longifolia). He also shows kasturi mriga (Moschus moschiferus; musk deer), an animal exclusively of very high elevations (above 2,500 m above sea leve), also cohabiting near nameru trees. But, he does not mention oaks, which are an integral part of the social economy of Central Himalaya and find an important place in the local folklore and poetry. Such inconsistencies make one wonder whether the poet has based his narrations on actual facts or has used a poet's prerogative to create an exclusive world of his own as a perfect setting for his stories overlooking certain mundane factual details.

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The problem of Sa & Da graphemes

-- UKT 120507

Notice {na.ba.} is skipped. Why? Didn't Skt-Dev speakers had a {ba.} sound before they came into contact the original inhabitants of northern India? I have been intrigued by the grapheme ब ba which probably have been borrowed from व va and then a stroke added. For comparison we can look into Bur-Myan in which both are present: {ba.} and {wa.}.

The case of Bur-Myan pair, based on the way the right-handed {sa.Da.ba.wa.}-rune is written, I take {ba.} to be a deformed {wa.}. {sa.} is the first imperfection - the imperfection of the 'heart' signifying the imperfect emotion of a Man towards everything around him. This must be overcome. {Da.} is the second imperfection -- of his obsession with sex. This is based on sexual organs, and must be overcome. {ba.} is the third imperfection -- incorrect views on theories situated in the brain. This must be overcome. When all the three imperfections are overcome he becomes perfect -- the fullness of the circular shape or {wa.} which can be seen in perfect coolness of the light of the Moon. This is my own theory on the right-handed {sa.Da.ba.wa.}-rune based on my religious experience during my life-span of over 70 years.

To shed more light into the problem, we should look into the Brahmi script and the way it was used to present the ideas of Asoka to various speakers spread across India. Though these convey the same meaning, yet because they were in different languages, there were difference in inflexions. These difference have been studied in the study of ancient languages.

However, with an ancient language such as Burmese which is free or almost free from inflexion, there is no way to compare it to the inflected Indic languages. The only way, perhaps, is to study it through the system of sounds recorded in the grapheme shapes and the POA of various sounds.  -- UKT120507, 120616

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Varuna and Makara - Constellation Capricornus

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varuna -- 120406

In Vedic religion, Varuna (Skt: varuṇa वरुण, also written Waruna) is a god of the sky, of water and of the celestial ocean, as well as a god of law and of the underworld. He is the most prominent Asura in the Rigveda, and lord of the heavens and the earth.

In Hindu mythology, Varuna continued to be considered the god of all forms of the water element, particularly the oceans.

UKT: More in Wikipedia article.

UKT: I am interested in how various artists would represent a mythical animal. Imagine that the artist is one of the grandsons of the immigrants in a new land. His ancestors in the old land had imagined a creature based on the actual creatures around them. Suppose there were no similar animals in their new home and no matter how well the grandparents had described the original animal to his or her grandson, all that the grandchild could "see" would be something with various distortions. And so what he would draw would be very un-similar to the pictures of the mythical creature in the original homeland. I contend that is how the picture of the mythical Makara has become different in different in lands: something similar to a crocodile, something similar to a  goat, and something similar to a fish, but never to a shark and their various combinations. -- UKT120506

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capricorn_astrology 120506

Capricorn () is the tenth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation of Capricornus. It spans the Zodiac between the 270th and 299th degree of celestial longitude. In astrology, Capricorn is considered an introvert sign,[1] an earth sign, and one of the four cardinal signs. Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn. In the Tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area of the zodiac from December 22 to January 20 each year. In Sidereal astrology, the sun currently transits the constellation of Capricorn from January 15 - February 14 (approximately).

The constellation is usually depicted [in Western Astrology] as a goat with a fish's tail. One myth says that when the [Greek] goat-god Pan was attacked by the monster Typhon, [Pan] he dove into the Nile; the parts above the water remained a goat, but those under the water transformed into a fish.

UKT 120506: The Greek god Pan was already a composite: partly man and partly goat. In the above episode between Pan and Typhon, Pan and other Olympian gods and goddesses had to hide in Egypt among the animals. Pan had tried to hide himself in the River Nile in the form of a fish. However in his haste he turned himself only half-goat and half-fish. 
-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_god 

Capricorn is sometimes depicted as a sea-goat, and sometimes as a terrestrial goat. The reasons for this are unknown, but the image of a sea-goat goes back at least to Babylonian times. Furthermore, the Sumerian god Enki's symbols included a goat and a fish, which later combined into a single beast, the goat Capricorn, recognized as the Zodiacal constellation Capricornus.

UKT: I conjecture that Astronomy-Astrology was invented in a land where there were crocodiles, but no sharks. So the people involved were those who have seen crocodiles.

UKT: More in the Wikipedia article.

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