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The evolution of word Raja

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  • kishore patnaik
    Dear all, The word Raja could be connected to Rex, a straight line, with word go or proceed and with the word shine . While connecting a king with Rex, a
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 27 7:46 AM
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      Dear all,

       
      The word Raja could be connected to Rex, a straight line, with word "go or proceed" and with the word "shine" . While connecting a king with Rex, a straight line, or more appropriately proceeding in a straight line could have had tribal connotations – say, in his search for the lost cows or even a new herd of cows that he can win over from other tribes. This  thinking was  probed by Kosambi who tried to see the connection between Sanskrit words meaning search for cows and the fight.

       

      On the other hand, the classical meaning of Raj with "going in a dharmic straightline" and not adopt crooked means in his rule could be a later development and not necessarily that of an RV connotation.  If this is an RV connotation, it only means the kingship has developed well by the time of RV and   functions of a King were  well laid down.  This is more evident if we consider the meaning of Rajas is to excel. The king is seen as  leader, who has got  to be better than others in every aspect.


      The world Raja in the context of a cattle fight may be requiring some more discussion, especially if you consider the word being connected with Shine, then it will have to  be connected with such elements as Sun, Agni (fire) and Indra (lit. ignite) also. (RV, iii.6.7). Perhaps this is the reason why the word Rajas is connected with the transit of the Sun and sometimes, taken to mean Space,the space where Sun moves in a " Straight line", because the space which marks the transit of Sun would be shining.  

      However,  I personally think the word Raj is connected  more with the word "worlds"(Rajainsi or Rajamsi ) which itself might be connected to the word Rajas (water), as worlds have evolved from water(more correctly, cosmic waters) This meaning is highly evolved covering a gamut of spiritual, cosmological and political understandings.

      Last but not least, the sociological meaning of Rajas may be considered to be connected with the word "color".  That Indra had fought the Purusa (people living in Puras) and after 'sacrificing' them, he could evolve a social order called Varna. Certainly, here Varna should not be taken as color but connected with Rajas, the cosmic Order or the Order of Royalty.

      This is very appropriate since the pre Varna societies were ruled by Prajapatis (Leader of men) on one hand and by chieftains called Raja on the other. Assimilation of these kind of States, which were interestingly fighting over water and cattle ,  might have led a new Social Order called Varna.

       

      Understanding the evolution of the word Raja will help us understanding the evolution of State in Vedic history and in turn, help us to understand the complex  rituals such as Aswamedha.

       

      I invite comments from the learned members of the group.

      with best regards,


      Kishore patnaik

       

       

       

    • Piotr Gasiorowski
      ... If you take other languages into account, the derivation becomes quite clear. The root is *h3reg^- go in a straight line, stretch out and figuratively
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 29 2:24 PM
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        On 2008-09-27 16:46, kishore patnaik wrote:

        > The word Raja could be connected to Rex, a straight line, with word "go
        > or proceed" and with the word "shine" . While connecting a king with
        > Rex, a straight line, or more appropriately proceeding in a straight
        > line could have had tribal connotations – say, in his search for the
        > lost cows or even a new herd of cows that he can win over from other
        > tribes. This thinking was probed by Kosambi who tried to see the
        > connection between Sanskrit words meaning search for cows and the fight.

        If you take other languages into account, the derivation becomes quite
        clear. The root is *h3reg^- 'go in a straight line, stretch out' and
        figuratively (already in PIE) 'guide, give directions, rule'. Note that
        such verbs commonly have to do with drawing a straight line,
        etymologically speaking (I suppose ruling tends to be identified with
        planning or deciding the course for others).

        *h3reg^- had a so-called Narten present in the protolanguage, with a
        long root vowel in the strong forms (like *h3ré:g^-ti 'he rules'), hence
        probably the long vowel of the nasal stem *h3ré:g^-on- (Ved. rá:jan-),
        which may be a fossilised present participle in *-on(t)-, and the
        generalised long vowel found throughout the paradigm of the root noun
        *h3re:g^-s (Lat. re:x, OIr. rí [also Gmc. *ri:k-, borrowed from Celtic],
        Ved. rá:j-).

        Piotr
      • Arnaud Fournet
        ... From: Piotr Gasiorowski ... ============ Are there traces of the initial H3 in compounds ? I mean xx-v+H3reg xx-v:-reg as it
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 29 2:54 PM
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...>

          > If you take other languages into account, the derivation becomes quite
          > clear. The root is *h3reg^- 'go in a straight line, stretch out' and
          > figuratively (already in PIE) 'guide, give directions, rule'. Note that
          > such verbs commonly have to do with drawing a straight line,
          > etymologically speaking (I suppose ruling tends to be identified with
          > planning or deciding the course for others).
          >
          > *h3reg^- had a so-called Narten present in the protolanguage, with a
          > long root vowel in the strong forms (like *h3ré:g^-ti 'he rules'), hence
          > probably the long vowel of the nasal stem *h3ré:g^-on- (Ved. rá:jan-),
          > which may be a fossilised present participle in *-on(t)-, and the
          > generalised long vowel found throughout the paradigm of the root noun
          > *h3re:g^-s (Lat. re:x, OIr. rí [also Gmc. *ri:k-, borrowed from Celtic],
          > Ved. rá:j-).
          >
          > Piotr
          >
          ============

          Are there traces of the initial H3 in compounds ?
          I mean xx-v+H3reg > xx-v:-reg as it sometimes happens in Skrt.

          Another question :
          Are there roots with Narten-present and the plain shape CeC- ?

          Arnaud
        • G&P
          ... Don t know, but the h3 is shown by Greek orego: Peter
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 30 12:35 AM
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            >>. The root is *h3reg^- 'go in a straight line, stretch out' and
            >> figuratively (already in PIE) 'guide, give directions, rule'.

            >Are there traces of the initial H3 in compounds ?
            >I mean xx-v+H3reg > xx-v:-reg as it sometimes happens in Skrt.

            Don't know, but the h3 is shown by Greek orego:

            Peter
          • Arnaud Fournet
            ... From: G&P To: Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:35 AM Subject: RE: [tied] The evolution of word Raja
            Message 5 of 8 , Sep 30 12:52 AM
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "G&P" <G.and.P@...>
              To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:35 AM
              Subject: RE: [tied] The evolution of word Raja


              >
              >>>. The root is *h3reg^- 'go in a straight line, stretch out' and
              >>> figuratively (already in PIE) 'guide, give directions, rule'.
              >
              >>Are there traces of the initial H3 in compounds ?
              >>I mean xx-v+H3reg > xx-v:-reg as it sometimes happens in Skrt.
              >
              > Don't know, but the h3 is shown by Greek orego:
              >
              > Peter
              >
              =========
              Yes, I agree,
              But I'm just asking for a complement,
              to make sure that the initial H in *Hre:g is confirmed.

              Arnaud
            • Piotr Gasiorowski
              ... A good question. I don t know of any, but the initial *h3 seems guaranteed by the Greek cognates. ... Yes. *ste:w- praise, *le:g^- collect , *h1e:d-
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 30 2:28 AM
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                On 2008-09-29 23:54, Arnaud Fournet wrote:

                > Are there traces of the initial H3 in compounds ?
                > I mean xx-v+H3reg > xx-v:-reg as it sometimes happens in Skrt.

                A good question. I don't know of any, but the initial *h3 seems
                guaranteed by the Greek cognates.

                > Another question :
                > Are there roots with Narten-present and the plain shape CeC- ?

                Yes. *ste:w- 'praise, *le:g^- 'collect', *h1e:d- 'eat', *g^ne:h3- 'know'
                etc.

                Piotr
              • kishore patnaik
                If you take other languages into account, the derivation becomes quite clear. The root is *h3reg^- go in a straight line, stretch out and figuratively
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 30 10:17 AM
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                   If you take other languages into account, the derivation becomes quite
                  clear. The root is *h3reg^- 'go in a straight line, stretch out' and
                  figuratively (already in PIE) 'guide, give directions, rule'. Note that
                  such verbs commonly have to do with drawing a straight line,
                  etymologically speaking (I suppose ruling tends to be identified with
                  planning or deciding the course for others).


                  I have not understood much about the second paragraph. While you need to explain it out, I can comment on the first paragraph.

                  I am not sure if you are understanding it in the context of a more primitive tribes, where the cattle raids are important aspect of the life.

                  For eg., one famous authority has commented to me that you should understand Rex, the straight line in a figurative way too. He has said Rex/Rajah were indeed    royal titles, although the model of kingship was hardly that of later centuries, but emphasized political and moral leadership.   The etymology of the title emphasizes the ability to set things right (straight lines being associated with morality and crooked ones with deviations from what is right). He goes on to agree with Benveniste. 

                  But this is not what the modern historians of India, such as R S Sarma  have in mind. For your information, the likes of R S Sarma are diametrically opposite to Hindutvan thinking.

                  I invite further comments.

                  Kishore patnaik


                • Piotr Gasiorowski
                  ... It isn t all that difficult. So-called Narten verbs are those with presents conjugated like Sanskrit . In PIE they had a long vowel in
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 30 11:36 PM
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                    On 2008-09-30 19:17, kishore patnaik wrote:

                    > I have not understood much about the second paragraph. While you
                    > need to explain it out...

                    It isn't all that difficult. So-called "Narten verbs" are those with
                    presents conjugated like Sanskrit <stáuti/stávati>. In PIE they had a
                    long vowel in the singular (*sté:w-ti) and an accented full-grade vowel
                    in the plural (*stéw-n.ti). Similarly, we have *h3ré:g^-ti 'he
                    directs/rules', *h3rég^-n.ti 'they direct/rule'. There are traces of
                    such forms in Vedic. The RV shows rá:s.t.i < *h3ré:g^ti and the
                    corresponding injunctive rá:t. < *h3régt .

                    Piotr
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