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Regarding God and Goddess Persona Names

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  • Remzi
    Sorry if this has already been brought up in the past, but the message search isn t working for me (does it work for anyone?) and that makes looking through
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 1, 2009
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      Sorry if this has already been brought up in the past, but the message search isn't working for me (does it work for anyone?) and that makes looking through the years and years of backlog on this list sort of difficult (after the first page, I have to go message by message).

      Anyway, I was wondering why it is so difficult to register names inspired by gods, goddesses, and legendary figures? I read the Collected Precedents webpage for India and it sort of implies that there isn't enough evidence to support regular people being named after deities. Is this the reason or is that the reason they rejected a few of the names listed?

      Maybe I am just missing something and they actually allow deity-inspired names now and just don't update the website?

      I bring this up because I was a little confused by the discrepancy between the popularity of deity-inspired names on the List and the report on the Collected Precedents website, so I'm working on a project. So far I've collected around thirty names built around deities or legendary figures as major elements (Lalitaditya, Kalidasa, Ramanuja) and a few that have simply the name with no suffix (Bharata, Narasimha, and Krishna I). Then there are the two or three sculptors named Sri. Some even have two or three deities (Sri Sankuka...okay, the second name is more legendary or folk figure than deity...).

      It's a work in progress and I still have a lot more research to do (plus there is the possibility that the book "5000 Years of the Art of India" won't be considered an acceptable source) but I'm pretty excited.
      I just sort of wanted feedback early so I know I'm not going about this the wrong way.

      What do you think, guys? Is this a good idea or should I just leave well enough alone?

      ~ T
    • Larisa Allen
      ... The Collected Precedents are slightly out of date at this point. My name (Vairavi) passed on a recent LoAR. I included in my documentation that deity names
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 1, 2009
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        On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 8:26 PM, Remzi <yourdilettante@...> wrote:

        > Sorry if this has already been brought up in the past, but the message search isn't working for me (does it work for anyone?) and that makes looking through the years and years of backlog on this list sort of difficult (after the first page, I have to go message by message).
        >
        > Anyway, I was wondering why it is so difficult to register names inspired by gods, goddesses, and legendary figures? I read the Collected Precedents webpage for India and it sort of implies that there isn't enough evidence to support regular people being named after deities. Is this the reason or is that the reason they rejected a few of the names listed?
        >
        > Maybe I am just missing something and they actually allow deity-inspired names now and just don't update the website?

        The Collected Precedents are slightly out of date at this point. My
        name (Vairavi) passed on a recent LoAR. I included in my documentation
        that deity names were common given names for the particular
        region/time period I was aiming for and provided several examples.
        You can actually read my name submission if you want to get an idea of
        what sort of thoroughness would be required. The only hiccups with my
        name submission was that we had to prove "significant contact" between
        Europe and Tamil-speaking India. The submission PDF link and the
        commentary from the LoAR are here:
        http://sites.google.com/site/vairavisca/Home/creations/name-submission

        So yes, they will allow deity names if you can prove that a particular
        deity name was in use during the time period desired, in the region
        desired.

        > It's a work in progress and I still have a lot more research to do (plus there is the possibility that the book "5000 Years of the Art of India" won't be considered an acceptable source) but I'm pretty excited.

        I guess it would depend on how the names are presented? I'm not
        familiar with the book, but if it has things like "The inscription on
        this statue reads 'this statue of Kali was carved by the sculptor
        Ramanathagappan'" that would seem acceptable for both the name Kali
        and Ramanathagappan. But if it's a modern scholar saying "this is a
        statue of Kali", that's a modern interpretation of the statue based on
        the scholar's knowledge of Hindu symbolism, and provides no evidence
        that the people carving the statue would have referred to the deity as
        "Kali".

        Hope this helps a little.

        - Vairavi

        --
        "I don't know what 'blithely' means, but I'm going to get some coffee.
        You want some coffee?"
      • Remzi
        ... Yeah, it looks sort of out of date but I couldn t be sure as I m relatively new to the Society. From what I understand, non-Western personas don t seem to
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 1, 2009
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          > The Collected Precedents are slightly out of date at this point. My
          > name (Vairavi) passed on a recent LoAR. I included in my documentation
          > that deity names were common given names for the particular
          > region/time period I was aiming for and provided several examples.
          > You can actually read my name submission if you want to get an idea of
          > what sort of thoroughness would be required. The only hiccups with my
          > name submission was that we had to prove "significant contact" between
          > Europe and Tamil-speaking India. The submission PDF link and the
          > commentary from the LoAR are here:
          > http://sites.google.com/site/vairavisca/Home/creations/name-submission
          >
          > So yes, they will allow deity names if you can prove that a particular
          > deity name was in use during the time period desired, in the region
          > desired.


          Yeah, it looks sort of out of date but I couldn't be sure as I'm relatively new to the Society. From what I understand, non-Western personas don't seem to be top-priority. I read your submission info (congrats, btw) and the related thread on the List and the site. I saw the related hiccup and result but didn't draw a line to deity-inspired names.


          > I guess it would depend on how the names are presented? I'm not
          > familiar with the book, but if it has things like "The inscription on
          > this statue reads 'this statue of Kali was carved by the sculptor
          > Ramanathagappan'" that would seem acceptable for both the name Kali
          > and Ramanathagappan. But if it's a modern scholar saying "this is a
          > statue of Kali", that's a modern interpretation of the statue based on
          > the scholar's knowledge of Hindu symbolism, and provides no evidence
          > that the people carving the statue would have referred to the deity as
          > "Kali".


          The names are those of prominent figures and are included in the actual text. The pictures of sculptures (which are gorgeous, by the way) include place names, a short description, and dates. Several names, such as Kalidasa, are writers and some are donors or patrons. Unfortunately, a heavy number appear to also by royalty or high in status. Some of the names fall out of period (depending on if you consider contact with Greece and Rome valid) but other than that, I think it's interesting.

          > Hope this helps a little.


          It helped a lot, thanks. =D You said you're not familiar with the book, but I would recommend it, if not as a historic resource (you likely have a better eye than I do), then because the sculptures and artwork throughout are simply breathtaking. I also recommend "India" by Radhika Jha and Olivier Follmi because pictures are awesome. =D

          My only complaint is that it is difficult to understand the context that the names fall under. Once I got used to the suffixes, it was easier to tell the difference between place names and people.

          ~ T
        • Elizabeth
          ... I think Vairavi nailed that one! :) ... Vairavi had great guidance on this, and I concur absolutely. I also applaud anyone willing to do this kind of
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 2, 2009
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            > Maybe I am just missing something and they actually allow deity-inspired names now and just don't update the website?
            >

            I think Vairavi nailed that one! :)


            > I bring this up because I was a little confused by the discrepancy between the popularity of deity-inspired names on the List and the report on the Collected Precedents website, so I'm working on a project. So far I've collected around thirty names built around deities or legendary figures as major elements (Lalitaditya, Kalidasa, Ramanuja) and a few that have simply the name with no suffix (Bharata, Narasimha, and Krishna I). Then there are the two or three sculptors named Sri. Some even have two or three deities (Sri Sankuka...okay, the second name is more legendary or folk figure than deity...).
            >

            Vairavi had great guidance on this, and I concur absolutely.

            I also applaud anyone willing to do this kind of research! It definitely helps us all!

            One caveat, though -- watch out for translations that use the name "Sri". Sri is typically used as a sort of honorific and it's attached to a lot of things:

            - "Sri Ranganatha" means the sacred temple of Ranganatha. Ranganatha is the diety of the temple, as well as the word that defines the temple. "Sri" is the thing they stick in front of the name, and it just tells you its holy.

            - "Sri Purandara dasa" is the name attached to the sage Purandarda dasa. Sri is the honorific. Purandara or Purandaradasa is the person's name.

            I'm not a linguistic expert, but this one has always been pretty clear in the poems I know of and in the conversations I've had with speakers of various Indian languages.

            I've never gotten a great translation - I generally translate it loosely as "the holy <insert thing here>".

            I would be concerned that if the translation said an artist's name was "Sri", that the translation was not complete and that the translator had mistaken the artist's honorific for his full name. I've seen this in the case of Purandara dasa, where he's called "Sri Purandaradasa" so much that some Western websites confuse the order, thinking "Puradaradasa" is the last name, not the given name.

            Although... modernly, to make it all even more confusing, I have a coworker named "Sri" as a nickname. His whole first name is "Srikumar".

            -Lakshmi
          • Remzi
            ... I considered that. I mean, it d be quite a coincidence if there were four sculptors in the same period with the given name Sri, even if she s a pretty
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 2, 2009
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              > One caveat, though -- watch out for translations that use the name "Sri". Sri is typically used as a sort of honorific and it's attached to a lot of things:


              I considered that. I mean, it'd be quite a coincidence if there were four sculptors in the same period with the given name Sri, even if she's a pretty popular goddess.


              > I would be concerned that if the translation said an artist's name was "Sri", that the translation was not complete and that the translator had mistaken the artist's honorific for his full name.


              I think in this case I've mistaken it for their names and the book just gave the name as it would appear most often in historical texts.


              > I've seen this in the case of Purandara dasa, where he's called "Sri Purandaradasa" so much that some Western websites confuse the order, thinking "Puradaradasa" is the last name, not the given name.


              Exactly. That's likely what I've done.


              > Although... modernly, to make it all even more confusing, I have a coworker named "Sri" as a nickname. His whole first name is "Srikumar".


              I have a female friend named Krishna. I know it's a little insensitive (Krishna is sort of important) but I think it's prettier as a girl's name...

              I was going to say something else, but I have so many SCA/India/Siddi-related windows up that I can't remember the phrasing or the content. So I'll cut this off here and hope for a spark of realization tomorrow.

              ~ T
            • Elizabeth
              ... I can see that... I have quite a few female Indian friends, many of whom have names that end in a or i (ahhh or eee if your saying it). Aparna,
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 3, 2009
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                > I have a female friend named Krishna. I know it's a little insensitive (Krishna is sort of important) but I think it's prettier as a girl's name...
                >

                I can see that... I have quite a few female Indian friends, many of whom have names that end in "a" or "i" (ahhh or eee if your saying it). Aparna, Smitha, Preeti, for example. I've started to get a general sense of when a name is female or male, and "Krisha" sort of defies that general sense.

                Many of my male friends have consonants for the end of their names - Ram, Pradeesh, Anil, Shankar, Srikumar.

                Granted, when you meet most of your male Indian acquantainces through geeky work, and most of your female acquantances through dance - guessing names based on context becomes easier still. :)

                -Lakshmi
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