Wednesday, December 21, 2016

373. On the trail of morpheme ‘Nu/ Noo’

“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words”. These are words of Sufi mystic Jal-al-Uddin Rumi of Istanbul (erstwhile Anatolia ) [Post-348], the famous philosopher.
Words are merely a symbol or shorthand to understand things – natural and mental.  Some are onomotopic, associated with objects or actions to be named by natural sounds.  Each tribal group develops its own language, assigning meanings to such words.  Hence human languages are many. Hidden meaning of one tongue is notunderstood by another tongue, lest they should live in close proximity for a long time.
It is assumed that whole Earth had one language, according to Genesis. Coded meanings of words and names can be decoded but it cannot be substantiated with original meanings attached to such ancient words (The Theories of Language Origin- Edo Nyland).
It is now firmly thought by linguists that there was one proto language, which was originated from Africa,and to be more specific from Saharan Nile Valley and Ethiopia.
“…. all existing human speech is one in the essential characteristics which we have thus far noted or shall hereafter have to consider, even as humanity is one in its distinction from lower animals – the differences are in non-essentials”. [Encyclopedia Britannica]

It spread toMediterraneanregion and from thence to other Eurasian countries, thanks to migrations on account of many sudden and wide-spread disasters, misfortunes, mishaps or failures. Exodus of mankind is a continuing phenomenon from pre-historic days to the present for various reasons. Boat people of yore (Eg. Manu and Noah’s stories during Great Deluge and also similar stories in Inca, Mayan and other civilizations) and the Boat people of recent history are striking examples of migration (Eg. Hapless refugees of war-torn areas of Mediterranean region or of stateless people elsewhere).

A genetic relationship is observed among diverse family of world languages. As a language branches-out, base meanings of words in the original (proto) language remains under-current in the branched-out language but difference widens eventually along with the evolutionary trend. Thus, each speech-group becomes stranger to one another as the time passes. This stranger-ship is assigned,in scriptures, to esoteric design of the God.  These scriptures are in classic and refined languages (Eg. Sanskrit, Pali, Latin, etc.), developed  from various preexisting contiguous languages.

Morpheme Nu/Noo in Tulu
There are many common heritage words, invariably found in world languages.  We have pointed out some of them in our earlier Posts.  We have explained that ‘Nu/Noo’ denotes a place around, above or near water body in our recent Post-362(29.08.2016) on Morphemes in Tulu Place names. 
Further ‘Na or Ni’ refers to ‘water’ as evidenced in Naravi, Narve, Nārayana, Naga (ship), Nāga (serpent, denizen of water capable of moving in water swiftly), Nanja, etc. In Tulu, ‘Nanja’ means ‘a wet soil, fit for cultivation’.
The Na also has a connection, nay relation, with ancient India vis-à-vis with European countries.
What is then the inner bond that word unit ‘Nu/Noo’ that prevails in Euro-Asian languages?

Danu, an aquatic Goddess
It is said that the Europeans originated from Vedic woman called Danu.   It is also said that she is mother of Vritra, a Danava. Vritra was killed by his brother Indra, a Sudanava.    Vritra is a serpent, who is capable of taking any form. 
Danu means:  Da (to flow, flowing) + Nu (water) = River. ‘Da’ (= Dra)also means ‘water’ in most of the old dialects (as in words: Bandar, Dharavi, Dadar, Dariya, Bhayandar, etc).

In Rigveda, ‘Danu’ is the mother of Danavas, both Su-danavas and Ku-danavas.  She is the daughter of Daksha Brahma and the wife of Sage Kashyapa.  According to legends, Daksha marries off his thirteen daughters (out of 62) to Rishi   Kashyapa. From Aditi, Kashyapa begot Indra, Lord of Heaven and other Devas, who are collectively called ‘Suras’. Daityas, Danavas and Nagas, born to Diti Danu and Kadru, are collectively called as Asuras. Birds Aruna and Garuda are born to Vinata. Mythical species, such as Yakshas, Gandharvas, Kinnars, Kimpurushas, are born from other wives. (Note: According to legends Moon, the Lord of Night, married 27 daughters of Daksha, who are known by 27 star names of a month).
In Balinese scripture, she is a Hindu Goddess.
Irish Goddess ‘Dānu’, a cognate of Danu of Indo-European legends, is an aquatic Goddess.  The Goddess, mother of mystic warriors linked to Danu, is known as Ana, Anu or Annan in Wales.  In Avestian language, it denotes ‘river’.
Acharya David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) of American Institute of Vedic Studies, tells: “In fact, the term Danu or Danava (Plural of Danu) appears to form the substratum of Indo-European identity at the base of the Hellenic, Illyro-Venetic, Italo-Celtic, Germanic and Balto-Slavic elements.  The Northern Greeks were also called Danuni.  Therefore, the European Aryans could probably all be called Dānavas”.
Charles Squire says in his book “Celtic Myth & Legend” (page 31): “Danu herself probably represented the Earth and its fruitfulness. Other Gods are her children.  She is comparable to Greek Demeter.  She is source of essentials, like water, milk and corn”.
So, Danu is considered to stand for fertility, a Progenitor – a mother.  

Celtic Origin of Ireland
The cult of Danu reached Ireland with the Celtic people during Iron Age. The Celtic is the first language, having a bearing on Indo-European languages.  The Inhabitants are known as ‘Tuatha De Danann’, which means ‘People of the Goddess Danu’.
In Celtic religion, the Anu or Danu is Earth Mother goddess or the female principle, who was honoured under many names from Eastern Europe to Ireland.  She is also considered as the Goddess of Death.
In Celtic Society, priestly caste is known as ‘Druids’ (Dru+vid = one who is immersed in knowledge).

Matrilineal System
It is not a wonder why matriarchal custom prevailed in Mediterranean region and other Aquatic Mother concept practicing regions. The system thrived in Sindhu civilization and western coasts, especially in Tulu Nadu and other Eastern and Southern States.

Rivers named after Danu
As we know, water is the primeval matter, a flowing one.  From this meaning of ‘flowing one’, we can compare it to other rivers of the world:
Nepal: Danu, Bangla Desh: Dhanu, Wales: Don, Germany, etc: Danube. Russia & Ukraine: Dnieper, which finally debauches into Black Sea.
Eastern Europe: Dniester, passing first through Ukraine, then Moldova and finally heading to Black Sea., The name is based on Proto-Indo-European root ‘dnh’, meaning to run, to flow.
Danube is the longest river originating in Germany and passing through ten countries in Central and Eastern Europe – first through Ukraine, then Moldova and finally, heading to Black Sea. So, water mode of transport is very famous in these countries. It has been a major route for trade and tourismfrom Middle Ages.

Worship as Holy water
Our interpretation is confirmed by this study that ‘Nu/Noo’ has the root meaning of ‘water’ (i.e. a life force, a sustainer). Water is the medium of purification in most of the world cultures, especially in India, irrespective of primitive, tribal or civilized society.  In India, presence of seven major rivers is invokedby Sacred Mantra as under:
“Om Gange cha Jamune, chaiva Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu, Kaveri Jale’asmin sannidihim kuru”
(Let the Deities of Seven Rivers be present in the water inside Kalasha)
Celestial water is called Nnu or Nun (Goddess of water) in Egypt, comparable to Neera, Niharika (= Akashaganga) in Indian context. Also, the Egyptian meaning of ‘Nun’ is ‘flood’.  In adoration of Nile, it is the Deity of Heavenly water that is invoked as mythical source of life and not simply as the ‘flowing of water’.

Conclusion
We have traced an etymological connection. There must be some ethnical similarity owing to migrations out and in since ages.  Racial differences must have occurred on account of distance and ecological conditions.  Consider the vanishing of Nile Valley civilizations, Sumerian civilizations, Sindhu Valley civilizations and the so-called Dravidian and Aryan Divide, standing distinct compared to Western culture. In spite of this, certain ancient terminologies and customs are understood universally. This speaks volume of Universal oneness.

* * * *
Terms and their meanings
Mantra =Sacred Seed Syllables or Words, to be uttered to draw energy by repetition.  (There are different Mantras for different Gods)
Kalasha =Small Pot/vessel to keep water during Pooja, i.e. Worship of Gods.Earlier it was made of mud and later on,preferably Copper, as it can destroy virus and bacteria in water, which are detrimental to health.Immediately on getting up, drinkingof cold water, stored at bed-time in a copper mug/cup, is recommended by Ayurveda.
Wives of Kashyapa: Aditi, Diti, Danu, Arishta, Surasa, Surabhi, Vinata, Tamra, Krodhavsha, Ira, Kadru, Vishwa, and Muni.
***
Suggested Reading:
·         Vedic  Origins of the Europeans:  The Children of Danu, David Frawley  (Pandit  Vamadeva Shastri)
·         The Sacred Isle – Belief & Religion in Pre-Christian Ireland, Daithi O’ Hogain (1999).
·         Gerald Massy:  (1) The Ark, the Deluge, & the World’s Great Year, (2) Ancient Egypt, Light of the World,  2nd Vol  set


-  Hosabettu   Vishwanath, Pune

Blog Archive

Books for Reference

  • A Comparative Study of Tulu Dialects By Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya. Govinda Pai Reserach Centre, UDupi. 1994
  • Koti Chennaya: Janapadiya Adhyayana. By Dr. Vamana Nandavar. Hemanshu Prakashana ,Mangalore.2001.
  • Male kudiyaru. Dr B. A.Viveka Rai and D.Yadupathi Gowda, Mangalore University,1996.
  • Mogaveera Samskriti By Venkataraja Punimchattaya. Karnataka Sahitya Academy.1993.
  • Mugeraru:Jananga Janapada Adhyayana. By Dr Abhaya Kumar Kaukradi.Kannada & Culture Directorate,Bangalore & Karnataka Tulu Academy, Mangalore,1997.
  • Puttubalakeya Pad-danagalu. Ed: Dr B.A.Viveka Rai,Yadupati Gowda and Rajashri, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Tulu Peeta. Mangalore University.2004
  • Se'erige. Ed:Dr K.Chinnapa Gowda.Madipu Prakashana,Mangalagangotri,2000.
  • Studies in Tuluva History and Culture.by Dr P Gururaja Bhat (1975).Milagres College,Kallinapur,Udupi.
  • Taulava Sanskriti by Dr.B.A.Viveka Rai, Sahyadri Prakashana,Mysore 1977
  • TuLu naaDu-nuDi By Dr.PalthaDi Ramakrishna Achar, Puttur.
  • TuLu NighanTu. (Editor in Chief: Dr U.P.Upadhyaya, Govinda Pai Research Centre,Udupi. Six volumes. 1988 to 1997
  • Tulu Patero-A Philology & Grammar of Tulu Language by Budhananda Shivalli.2004.Mandira Prakashana Mangalore. p.317. (The book is in Tulu Language using Kannada script)
  • TuLunadina ShasanagaLa Sanskritika Adhyayana. By Shaila T. Verma (2002) Jnanodaya Prakashana,Bangalore, p.304.(Kannada)
  • Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999

A Coastal estuary

A Coastal estuary
Holegadde near Honavar,Uttara Kannada dist, Karnataka

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