Grains of the Hindus

Driven by the curse of khANDava we were wandering. We decided to drown our sorrows in an early dinner at the dimly lit haunt of yore. We spoke about the traditional grains of the Hindus– we of course debated the issue of which of these were of Indo-Aryan origin and which were non-Aryan. We did of course finally get into in the issue of language X of Masica. A new linguistic concept came to us, but I shall not go into any of that and only record the list of grains we drew up lest we forget it in the future when we revisit these matters:

vR^ihi: rice. It is also known by other names like shAli and TaNDula.

yava: Indologists translate this as barley. But in modern Indian languages we have jowar which is a derivative of yava. It is a proto-Indo-European word meaning grain, so it might have meant grain or even jowar that was traditionally cultivated in India from the earliest agricultural phase.

godhUma: Wheat. It’s cognates are seen in many Asian languages unrelated to IE, e.g Dravidian and Semitic. It is a much travelled word though the exact source of it is unclear.

masUra: The Masur lentil. Spread from India to Africa but its linguistic origins in India are mysterious.

mudga: The green gram or Mung bean.

mAsha: The black gram or the urad dal.

tila: Sesame. The main oil seed of the Hindus, occurs in black, white and red colors, grows extensively in India.

chaNaka: The chick-pea, may have been used as food for horses.

aNava: Ragi millet (It may mean other millets in local customs throughout India)

priya~Ngu: Foxtail Millet

kodrava: Kodo Millet

mayuShThaka: a kidney bean or black-eyed bean= Vigna acontifolia.

ADhakI/ tuvarI : tuvar dal

kalAya: pea

kulattha: horsegram

bha~nga: hemp










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