Turtle Channels Sanskrit

Well, no. Fact is, we have only 26 letters to transcribe every word in any language ever written — Sanskrit, for example, has a much more sensible 53 — so the probability of finding a word to match a combination of English vowels and consonants is pret-ty high. Besides, I thought it was Hebrew.

Lemme explain. I awoke from a dream this morning, in which I was discussing Judaism with a Jewish woman about my age. We were in her rec room. I was sitting on the rust-coloured shag carpeting beside a coffee-table-sized memorial, on which sat a cylindrical, pewter urn with the letters CHAYAM inscribed around the top. I tried to remember such a word from my Biblical Hebrew course, but couldn’t come up with one.

On awaking, I decided the word was meant to be “chaim”, which means “life”. You may recall Tevye and his neighbour with their wine glasses, toasting each other with the words, “L’chaim! To life!” in Fiddler On the Roof.

But I decided to google the letters I’d seen anyway, since I so rarely manage to read anything in dreams. Is there a Hebrew word transcribed this way?

Nope; but there’s a Sanskrit one. According to Vedabase ,

chāyām means: shelter; darkness; shade.

ańghri-chāyām means: the shade of His feet.

In some ways, chaim and chāyām are in opposition: life, celebration, darkness, shade. But in both terms there is peace, gratitude, acknowledgment of the Most High. And Turtle, always one for wordplay, thinks that’s kinda nifty.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden hankering for Kosher butter chicken.

8 Responses to Turtle Channels Sanskrit

  1. Alyson says:

    Isn’t that funny, because when I read the sanskrit definitions – I thought of it in terms of relax; stop and rest. Maybe the Universe is trying to tell you to take a moment to rest in the shade and shelter from the busy? That’s life alright!

  2. lavenderbay says:

    Yes, that’s how I read those definitions too, Alyson. But graves, for example, are dark and shady, and it was that kind of opposition I was seeing, the “resting in peace” that differs from the brouhaha of a wedding reception.
    I am stopping and resting now, after four hours spent cleaning the building today (we live in a housing co-op), and it’s too late to look for butter chicken in the grocery stores; but there’s leftover soup in the fridge. Ah, peace.

  3. goodbear says:

    the world is my rec room.
    i know that doesn’t apply…but it is true.

    how’s little fergus feeling?

  4. lavenderbay says:

    I like that sentiment, Goodbear; it’s certainly an improvement on “I’m stuck in the 70s” (wall-to-wall shag carpeting? Eek!)
    Fergus appears to be back to his usual piss-and-vinegar self. Our dog trainers (they’re a couple) are coming this week, and we’ll be sure to discuss Fergus’s “animal attraction” — his ability to get into tussles that Cai never did — and what might be done about it.

  5. almostgotit says:

    Maybe if you stopped slathering Fergus with butter chicken before you go out…

  6. lavenderbay says:

    Oh, hang it, you’re right, Almostgotit! Why is it always the simplest things that are easiest to forget?

  7. Shelley says:

    Kosher? butter? chicken? You cannot use these three words together in the same sentence.

    Chai is life 🙂 L’ a prefix actually meaning “for”. How this brings back the days of Hebrew school – “Yaish li chalah l’shabat” – I have chalah for the Sabbath 🙂

  8. lavenderbay says:

    Maybe not, Shelley, but “Margarine Chicken” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
    Now, “chalah”, there’s another great word that would work in this piece: it goes into the hot dark, and comes back as breakfast! 😀

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