[Advaita-l] Sources for some statements

Siva Senani Nori sivasenani at yahoo.com
Tue May 30 02:14:11 CDT 2006

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy <annapureddy at gmail.com> wrote:
  -- Also, while talking to a Vaishnava friend of mine, he was mentioning how
Narayana is a proper name and not a title because of the "second" na used at the end (in accordance with a grammatical rule of Panini). He also
mentioned that Appaya Dikshita gave up on establishing the Siva
Sarvottamatva because of this. Could someone provide more background on the grammatical issues involved and the source for Appaya Dikshita's statement?

  Siddhartha gaaru
  I am sure that if you ask something, that would usually pertain to root or moot issues. I eagerly await replies to your questions.
  Meanwhile, what is the difference between a 'Proper noun' and 'Title'. My first instinct was that where a Title would admit of a derivation, a Proper noun would not. My understanding of the English usage of 'Proper noun' is that it is a given, which need not follow any grammar or other rule in spelling or pronounciation - and by extension, in meaning. Thus John, Jhon, Jhno and so on can all theoretically be 'Proper nouns' and once so labelled are beyond any rules. Now this is quite different from the case in Sanskrit.
  My Sanskrit teacher told me that a Sanskrit scholar is expected to give vyutpatti or etymology of whatever word he is asked of. In other words, every word in Sanskrit except 2,220 odd roots, 22 upasargas or prepositions, 84 or so kridantas, the less-than-hundred secondary affixes, and a few others - say all put together less than 2,500 elements - every other word admits of at least one derivation. And, Narayana definitely admits of derivations (the one who moves in waters - nAra).
  The second 'na' is equally baffling. What is the second 'na' meant here? Is it the last syllable of the word 'ayana' or does it refer to the fact that instead of the palatal 'na' (that is the na of ta-varga - ta tha da dha na), the cerebral 'Na', as in prANa, is used? The reference to pANini would indicate that the cerebralisation of na is referred to here. That is pretty straight forward: whenever 'na' follows ra, sha, Ri (as in Rishi) in a single word, even if intervened by vowels, semi-vowels (y, r, l, v), or characters of ka- or pa- vargas (i.e. k, kh, g, gh, ~N, ch, Ch, j, jh, ~n) the palatal 'n' transforms into the cerebral 'N'. Example: prayANa, viSeshaNa, but prArthana as the palatal 'tha' intervenes 'ra' and 'na'. Here, as long as nArAyaNa is one word - be it a compound - the last syllable is constrained to be a cerebral one, ie. 'Na'. My knowledge rules out the possibility of a 'nArAyana' except if we borrow the English concept of 'Proper' names being beyond


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