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Unity in Names

There are so many ways humanity expresses an inner unity even with differences of history, language, country and culture. Here I point out just one area of such unity of thought.

Way back in 4th century BC, Patanjali, the author of a great work on grammar (Mahabhashya), repeatedly mentions a name that seems equivalent of John Q. Citizen. Devadatta. All sorts of things happen to Devadatta. The name means ‘God-given’. Vyasa, the commentator par excellence on Patanjali’s Yogasutras, also uses that name.

The author of the work on grammar also gives a synonym of that name: Devadaana, in the same sense of ‘God-given’. When studying the text at the age of 8, I was confused why I had never heard such a name because one does not find that name in India.

Then I went to Bali Island of Indonesia with a rich Sanskrit heritage. That was 1988. Lo and behold, the name of my travel agent was ‘Davadaana’, ‘God-given’.

In Hindi, names not sounding like the Sanskrit Devadatta are ‘Daataa-deen’, ‘deen’ here being simplified form of ‘deenh’ and the name means ‘Given by the Great Giver’. So also ‘Rama-deenh’, ‘Given by Rama’. This because the parents like to thank the Divinity for giving them this treasured child.

Then there are Arabic/Urdu/Farsi ‘Allah-baqhsh’ and ‘Qhuda-baqhsh’, again, ‘gifted by God’.

Then we come to Greek name Theodorus, ‘God-given’. Which is the origin of the English name ‘Theodor’, ‘God-given’.

Different languages and cultures and languages but the same intended meaning.

I have found similar examples of unity in other words in different languages.

If we look. Such examples abound.