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Re: Birbal - as a personal name

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  • lsrinivas
    Thank you. One question however - how does Birbal come to mean Brave Heart ? It s not very clear. Lakshmi Srinivas
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 2, 2006
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      Thank you. One question however - how does Birbal come to mean 'Brave Heart' ? It's not
      very clear.

      Lakshmi Srinivas

      --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "Amol N. Bankar" <ancientcoinsofindia@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Raja Birbal (1528-1586) was a courtier in the administration of the
      > Mughal emperor Akbar . Born Maheshdas, Birbal grew up in an
      > impoverished Brahmin household. He was a poet and author whose wit
      > and wisdom led the Emperor Akbar to invite him to be a part of the
      > royal court and to bestow upon him a new name - Birbal. Akbar also
      > conferred on him the title of "Raja", meaning "king" (The meaning of
      > Birbal means " Brave heart " ). The exchanges between Akbar and
      > Birbal have been recorded in many volumes. Many of these have become
      > folk stories in the Indian tradition. Birbal's collections of
      > poetry, published under the pen name Brahma, are preserved in the
      > Bharatpur Museum, Rajasthan, India. Raja Birbal died in the battle
      > of Malandari Pass, attempting to quell unrest amongst Afghan or
      > Pashtun tribes in Northwest India.
      >
      > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "lsrinivas" <lsrinivas@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > I have not known too many Birbal's in my life but of course one
      > knows
      > > the famous minister of Akbar's as also the renowned botanist, Prof
      > > Birbal Sahni.
      > >
      > > Have there been other Birbal's in history? Btw, does this name in
      > > terms of semantics same as Balbir i.e., Balarama?
      > >
      > > Also, is this a one-off kind of name or was it well known in the
      > > medieval times? Here I'm making the asssumption that any post 17th
      > > century Birbal has really been named after Akbar's famous
      > minister.
      > >
      > > Can somebody shed some light on this,
      > >
      > > Lakshmi Srinivas
      > >
      >
    • david_russell_watson
      ... I don t really know what the official etymology is, so don t quote me, but I wonder if birbal isn t derived from a Sanskrit compound of vIra- brave or
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 5, 2006
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        --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "lsrinivas" <lsrinivas@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Thank you. One question however - how does Birbal come to
        > mean 'Brave Heart' ? It's not very clear.

        I don't really know what the official etymology is,
        so don't quote me, but I wonder if "birbal" isn't
        derived from a Sanskrit compound of vIra- "brave or
        eminent man, hero" and pAla- "guard, protector".

        David
      • adhin88
        oops, my first reply hasn t got through (perhaps my own mistake with send ). Here a new attempt: Rather, David, it is derived from Viira and Bala = strength.
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 6, 2006
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          oops, my first reply hasn't got through (perhaps my own mistake
          with "send"). Here a new attempt:

          Rather, David, it is derived from Viira and Bala = strength. In a
          karmadharaya setting we get "heroic strength", but it more probably
          it seems to be a tatpurusha: "strength of the hero".

          regards,
          ishwa

          --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "david_russell_watson"
          <liberty@...> wrote:
          >
          > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "lsrinivas" <lsrinivas@>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > Thank you. One question however - how does Birbal come to
          > > mean 'Brave Heart' ? It's not very clear.
          >
          > I don't really know what the official etymology is,
          > so don't quote me, but I wonder if "birbal" isn't
          > derived from a Sanskrit compound of vIra- "brave or
          > eminent man, hero" and pAla- "guard, protector".
          >
          > David
          >
        • Ram Varmha
          Another version is: History has shown that Akbar had respected non-Islamic traditions unlike his contemporaries, and one of such respects was to bestow
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 6, 2006
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            Another version is:
            "History has shown that Akbar had respected non-Islamic traditions unlike his contemporaries, and one of such respects was to bestow appropriate titles to courtiers in line with the Hindu culture. It was due to Mahesh Das' exemplary display of bravery during one of the Emperor's expeditions of war, that he was conferred with the title of 'Veervar'. As time passed, his original name was forgotten and his title, though in a corrupt form (Veer Bal, Bir Bal, Birbal), stuck forever."
             
            Here, Veer (Veera) would mean brave and var (vara) would mean: the best, superior etc. 
            Perhaps the name would mean: Best of the Brave.
            I cannot see the specific term "heart" fitting this unless in a figuritive sense or a loose Western translation, as Brave Heart(?). 
             
             
            Ram


            david_russell_watson <liberty@...> wrote:
            --- In IndiaArchaeology@ yahoogroups. com, "lsrinivas" <lsrinivas@. ..>
            wrote:
            >
            > Thank you. One question however - how does Birbal come to
            > mean 'Brave Heart' ? It's not very clear.

            I don't really know what the official etymology is,
            so don't quote me, but I wonder if "birbal" isn't
            derived from a Sanskrit compound of vIra- "brave or
            eminent man, hero" and pAla- "guard, protector".

            David


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          • munnubanerjee
            We dont need to resort to pAla bal is a common word across north indian languages meaning strength. There are many names in panjab that have bal as part of the
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 6, 2006
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              We dont need to resort to pAla

              bal is a common word across north indian languages meaning strength.

              There are many names in panjab that have bal as part of the name.
              balwant, balwinder etc...

              so birbal may simply translate as brave strength. BIr is ofcourse the
              more common colloqial form of sanskrit VIra

              --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "david_russell_watson"
              <liberty@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "lsrinivas" <lsrinivas@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Thank you. One question however - how does Birbal come to
              > > mean 'Brave Heart' ? It's not very clear.
              >
              > I don't really know what the official etymology is,
              > so don't quote me, but I wonder if "birbal" isn't
              > derived from a Sanskrit compound of vIra- "brave or
              > eminent man, hero" and pAla- "guard, protector".
              >
              > David
              >
            • david_russell_watson
              ... Oh yes, from Sanskrit bala- . I incorrectly assumed that Birbal contained a long a , and so considered only Sanskrit bAla- , boy, child , which of
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 8, 2006
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                --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "munnubanerjee"
                <munnubanerjee@...> wrote:
                >
                > We dont need to resort to pAla
                >
                > bal is a common word across north indian languages meaning strength.

                Oh yes, from Sanskrit 'bala-'. I incorrectly assumed
                that 'Birbal' contained a long 'a', and so considered
                only Sanskrit 'bAla-', "boy, child", which of course I
                rejected.

                David
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