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From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Thu Jul 15 1999 - 13:55:35 PDT
[ A readers asked privately what the word 'adiyEn' means. I thought this may be of general interest, so I am posting my reply to the list as a whole. ] 'adiyEn' is Tamil for 'Your servant'. It has been used for years in Tamil as a humble way of saying 'I', since the usage of 'I' presumably signifies the ego. It was commonly used by servants in old Tamil society when they needed to refer to themselves in front of a king. The Alvars drew from this model and often referred to themselves as 'adiyEn' when speaking to God. Even today Sri Vaishnavas say 'adiyEn' when speaking to respected elders and swamis. However, we should be careful not to overuse this expression. As Sri Anbil Ramaswamy wrote over a year ago, "an indiscriminate use of expressions such as 'Adiyen' and 'Dasan' without understanding their meaning and purport also tend to make them look artificial." Or, as another member privately expressed, sometimes it seems that people say 'adiyEn' (Your servant) so vociferously that it actually seems like they mean 'adippEn' (I will hit you). :-) Mani ----- > Hi > I am sorry But I have to ask a really basic question: > > What is Adiyen? Why do people use it in place of "I" (at least it looks as > though that is how it is used). > > Thanks in advance !!