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Etymology of shudra

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Srisa Chandra Vidyarnava in "A Catechism of Hindu Dharma" (AMS

Press, New York 1974 [1919] remarks that the Chandogya Upanishad

derives the term shudra from shubha=grief; i.e. one who having heard

of grief melts; one who is affected by small things and is ruffled by

trifles (p. 39).

He also points out that in later grammars and lexicographies

shudra is derived from the root shuc=to purify, ca being changed to

da and the vowel emphasized (p.39). I would like to know the

reference in Panini for this kind of operation. Thanks,

Shrinivas Tilak

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INDOLOGY, shrinivast@h... wrote:

> Srisa Chandra Vidyarnava in "A Catechism of Hindu Dharma" (AMS

> Press, New York 1974 [1919] remarks that the Chandogya Upanishad

> derives the term shudra from shubha=grief; i.e. one who having heard

> of grief melts; one who is affected by small things and is ruffled

by > trifles (p. 39). > He also points out that in later grammars

and lexicographies > shudra is derived from the root shuc=to purify,

ca being changed to > da and the vowel emphasized (p.39). I would like

to know the > reference in Panini for this kind of operation.

 

According to Kaut.ilya's Arthas'a_stra, s'u_dra may be derived from

ks.udraka, one engaged in making miniature beads.

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INDOLOGY, shrinivast@h... wrote:

> Srisa Chandra Vidyarnava in "A Catechism of Hindu Dharma" (AMS

> Press, New York 1974 [1919] remarks that the Chandogya Upanishad

> derives the term shudra from shubha=grief; i.e. one who having

 

zubha = grief?? Anyway, chAndogya upanishad hasno such etymology.

The king, jAnazruti pautrAyana, goes to learn from one raikva.

The latter calls the king "zUdra". Later commentators try to find

an explanation for why someone who is obviously a kshatriya is

called a zUdra here.

 

It is in brahmasUtra 1.3.34 (not in the upanishad itself) that

one finds an explanation based on the root zuc = to grieve (not

to purify). As for Paninian sanction for changing the terminal

-c to a -dr, I leave it to experts, but I suspect there is none

for zuc. Note that the brahmasUtra derives it from zuc + dravaNa,

deriving from root dru = to become fluid.

 

Vidyasankar

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INDOLOGY, shrinivast@h... wrote:

> Srisa Chandra Vidyarnava in "A Catechism of Hindu Dharma" (AMS

> Press, New York 1974 [1919] remarks that the Chandogya Upanishad

> derives the term shudra from shubha=grief; i.e. one who having heard

> of grief melts; one who is affected by small things and is ruffled

>by trifles (p. 39).

> He also points out that in later grammars and lexicographies

> shudra is derived from the root shuc=to purify, ca being changed to

> da and the vowel emphasized (p.39). I would like to know the

> reference in Panini for this kind of operation. Thanks,

> Shrinivas Tilak

 

Historians of Religion and Anthropologists argue that

two axes of key themes are at work in building the Hindu

hierarchy. It is noteworthy that Prof. Tilak uses the very

same words used to define these axes to define Hindu frame of

reference.

 

These basic axes for Hindu hierarchy in a complex interaction

of Dravidian motif of caste-jAti and Aryan idea of varNa,

need not be orthogonal in the strict sense of the word.

Homo Hierarchicus system, as Indians were called by L. Dumont,

works on a concept universe built on two axes:

1) pole 'pollution' - maDi 'purity' axis superimposed with

2) 'maGgalam' 'auspicious' - 'amaGgalam' 'inauspicious' axis.

Note that the key words are of Dravidian extraction.

This has to do with development of Vegetarianism in India.

Distancing oneself from the animal sacrificers sanctioned

social status.

 

maGgala 'auspicious', maGgai '(dancing) auspicious woman',

maJcaL 'turmeric', mAGkAy 'mango' are Tamil.

The equivalents of maGgala is used to refer to the primary

axis of hierarchy by different castes in different regions, and

they are zuci-azuci, zubha-azubha, ...

 

Interestingly maGgala and pole axes interact at different

samskAras or people in traditional India:

Let me give some examples:

1) a child birth - auspicious but polluting

2) Devadasi - auspicious but impure

3) death at say 90, all children married off -

called kalyANa cAvu in tamil. auspicious death.

4) forefather rites - ambivalent, in a sense auspicious

because of the connexion across generations.

 

Regards,

N. Ganesan

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I read in another list sometime back that Sudra is derived from

Sudreh, an upper garmenr worn by old iranian priesthood. After Indian-

Iranian split, anything connected with Iranian priestood was a term

of abuse and so sudreh attached itself to sections of Indian non-

elite?

 

Can it be true?

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