Skip to main content

Full text of "The etymology and meaning of Sanskrit garútmant"

See other formats


STOP 



Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world byJSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 
purposes. 

Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.istor.org/participate-istor/individuals/early- 
journal-content . 



JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 
contact support@jstor.org. 



Brief Notes 203 

merely go back to dr. t (U. 3, 550, T. 29, 32, P. 6, 113, M. 781, 
N. 179, 1138) but to dry. t (so Becueil de Travaux, 31, 30), 
which again in turn goes back to the root idr, idr, idl, edelu, 
'to lock, to close' etc. The same root bl^, edelu must, there- 
fore, also underlie the Hebrew ^^ 'hand', which underwent 
practically the same deterioration as the Egyptian d. t. 

H. F. LuTZ 
University of California 

The etymology and meaning of Sanskrit garutmant 

In the post-Vedic literature and in the native lexicons ga- 
rutmant is a noun and signifies sometimes bird in general, 
and sometimes the mythical bird Garuda in particular. The 
word appears twice in E.V., once in VS., and twice in AV. 
(but AV. 9. 10. 28 'is RV. 1. 164. 46). In the Veda it always 
occurs with suparna; the latter word is usually taken as a 
noun, and the garutmant as an adjective with the meaning 
'winged'. But I consider suparna the adjective and suggest 
that in the Veda, as in the later literature, garutmant is a 
noun, and that the phrase should be rendered 'the beautiful- 
winged (mythical) bird' or 'the beautiful-winged (xarutmant 
(= Garuda)'. The adjectival usage of suparna and its literal 
meaning were too familiar in the Veda to permit the probability 
of the meaning 'winged' for gariitmant: 'the winged beautiful- 
winged one'. In addition to vs. 46, with its combination sd 
suparno garutmdn, the word suparna occurs five times in RV. 
1. 164, each time with distinctly adjectival force, modifying 
nouns like sdkhi, hdri, vdyasd. Moreover, Garuda and Garut- 
mant are united by their common association with the sun, 
an association that is clear, at least as to the fact. 

The Western translators do indeed occasionally render ga- 
rutmant by Garutmant, and the Hindu commentator of the 
AV. suggests at 4. 6. 3 the equation Garutmant = Garuda, 
but the suggestion is not accepted by Whitney-Lanman, and 
they, together with Monier-Williams, Uhlenbeck, Brugmann, 
and other scholars, are inclined to agree, by statement or by 
inference, upon 'winged (garutmant) bird or eagle (suparna/. 
Pet. Lex. is non-committal as to meaning, but considers the 
Vedic garutmant an adjective, as does Grassmann. 



204 Brief Notes 

The interpretation 'winged', for garutmant, apparently owes 
its persistence, and probably its origin, to the Vedic association 
of the word with suparna, which often means 'bird'; to the 
general predominance of the adjectival use of the suflBx -mant; 
to the frequency of the possessive idea in mant- derivatives 
(nearly two-thirds of all examples); ^ and to the fact that 
wings are the most obvious possession of birds. It is required 
by Ragh. 3. 57, where flying arrows are likened to winged 
serpents, but it is not required by any passage in the Veda. 
And, as Pet. Lex. says, 'die Bedeutung "gefiiigelt" scheint fiir 
den Veda schon deshalb zweifelhaft zu sein, well sie Nir. 7. 18 
ganz fehlt'. It has no linguistic basis unless c/arut means 'wing', 
and there is no evidence of an independent garut 'wing', save 
as it is assumed to explain garutmant. 

Grassmann, RVWh., explains garutmant as meaning 'die 
Hohe des Himmels innehaltend, in der Hohe schwebend', and 
derives the garut from *gar, gir, which means 'to praise, honor', 
and which he takes to mean basically 'to raise, exalt'. Uhlen- 
beck, AiWb., and Brugmann, Orundrifi^, 1. 599, are inclined 
to compare the word with Lat. volare 'to ily'. But neither of 
these etymologies is semantically and phonetically convincing. 
Nir. 7. 18 connects garutmant with garana 'swallowing', but 
this derivation has not won any measure of the acceptance 
that it deserves. There seems to be no reasonable objection 
to considering garut a derivative in -t — like RV. marut(vant), 
niyut(vant), vidyut (vidyunmant), vihut(mant) — from the 
strong form of the root gr, gir (girdti; Lat. vordre, Gk. ^opd, 
Lith. gerti) 'to swallow', which one finds in the noun-derivatives 
gard, etc. The force of -mant would be that of a noun-suffix 
of agency,^ or one expressing the idea 'connected with' or 
'relating to'.^ From this root is usually derived garuda, which 
is likewise the name of a mythical bird: 'das alles verschlingende 
Feuer der Sonne' (Pet. Lex.). Garuda may even be a corruption 
of garutmant; cf. Roth's Urlauterungen zum Nirukta, p. 107. 

Haeold H. Bender 
Princeton University 



1 Cf. Bender, The Suffixes mant and vant in Sanskrit and Avestan, 
pp. 60, 61. 

2 Cf. Bender, op. cit., p. 68. ' Ibid., p. 66.