Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

The etymology of bagh

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 22, 2014

Armenian language, which is partly Hurro-Urartian (Aryan) and Indo-European (might be the first Indo-European language) is closest to Greek and Sanskrit, Indo-Aryan. It is not strange that Armenian and Sanskrit share a lot of words

Bhagavan literally means “possessing fortune, prosperous” (from the noun bhaga, meaning “fortune, wealth”, cognate to Slavic bog “god”, Russian bogatyj “wealthy”), and hence “illustrious, divine, venerable, holy”, etc.

The Bhagavad Gita, literally meaning The Song of the Bhagavan, often referred to as simply the Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

Bhagavan, (alternate spellings including Bhagvān, Bhagwan or Bhagawan, from the Sanskrit nt-stem bhaga-vant- nominative भगवान् Bhagavān) is a term for God used in Hinduism particularly in the Vaisnava traditions where God is conceived as a caring, compassionate person concerned for the welfare of his creatures. It is generally translated by the English word Lord.

Bhagavan can also be an honorific title for a God-realized (i.e. fully enlightened) human being or an incarnation of God in human form (avatara) such as Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. In the Pali scriptures Gautama Buddha is referred to as Bhagavan Buddha (translated with the phrase ‘Lord Buddha’ or ‘The Blessed One’).

In Hinduism it indicates the Supreme Being or Absolute Truth conceived as a Personal God. This personal feature indicated by the word Bhagavan differentiates its usage from other similar terms such as Brahman, the “Supreme Spirit” or “spirit”, and thus, in this usage, Bhagavan is analogous to the Christian conception of God the Father. In Vaisnavism, a devotee of Bhagvan Krishna is called a Bhāgavata.

Bhagavan used as a title of veneration is often directly used as “Lord”, as in “Bhagavan Rama”, “Bhagavan Krishna”, “Bhagavan Shiva”, etc. In Buddhism and Jainism, Gautama Buddha, Mahavira and other Tirthankaras, Buddhas and bodhisattvas are also venerated with this title. The feminine of Bhagavat is Bhagawatī and is an epithet of Durga and other goddesses.

The title is also used by a number of contemporary spiritual teachers in India who claim to be Bhagavan or have realized impersonal Brahman.

The name Baghdad is pre-Islamic and its origins are under some dispute. The site where the city of Baghdad came to stand has been populated for millennia and by the 8th century AD several Aramaic Christian villages had developed there, one of which was called Baghdad, the name which would come to be used for the Abbasid metropolis.

The name has been used as Baghdadu on Assyrian cuneiform and Babylonian records going back to at least 2000 BC. An inscription by Nebuchadnezzar (600 BC) describes how he rebuilt the old Babylonian town of Bagh-dadu. There used to be another Babylonian settlement called Baghdad, in upper Mesopotamia, near the ancient city of Edessa. The name has not been attested outside of Mesopotamia.

Even though the name has been attested in pre-Persian times, a Persian origin has been accepted by some scholars. It has been proposed that the name is a Middle Persian compound of Bag “god” and dād “given”, translating to “God-given” or “God’s gift”, from which comes Modern Persian Baɣdād. This in turn can be traced to Old Persian.

Another proposal is the Persian compound bāğ “garden” and dād “fair”, translating to “The fair garden”. However, a Persian explanation remains somewhat problematic, given that the name was used long before the Persians arrived in Mesopotamia.

When the Abbasid caliph, al-Mansur, founded a completely new city for his capital, he chose the name Madinat al-Salaam or City of Peace. This was the official name on coins, weights, and other official usage, although the common people continued to use the old name. By the 11th century, “Baghdad” became almost the exclusive name for the world-renowned metropolis.

Bāgh or Baug, usually translated garden, refers to an enclosed area with permanent cultures (many types of trees and shrubs) as well as flowers. It usually has Irano-Islamic architectural elements. Also known as Bageecha or Bagicha.

Bāgh is a word common to the Iranian languages Persian, Pashto, Kurdish, Lurish, and means garden and orchard, specifically one containing fruit- and flower-bearing trees. In Persian, the plural of bāgh is bāgh-hā and in Kurdish, baxan.

The word bāgh is encountered in both Pahlavi and Sogdian. In Farizandi, Gilaki, Shahmirzadi and Sorkhei bāk, and in Natanzi bāg stand for bāgh.

The word bāgh is often met in place-names in conjunction with a word in which the notion of garden is already implicit, such as Bāgh-e Ferdows, Bāgh-e Jannat and Bāgh-e Rezvān.

Bāgh is also a constituent part of the place-name Karabagh, a geographic region in present-day eastern Armenia and southwestern Azerbaijan, extending from the highlands of the Lesser Caucasus down to the lowlands between the rivers Kura and Aras, which is often said to mean ‘black garden’ but probably means ‘many gardens.

The Russian language utilizes the words bakhcha, from the Tajiki Persian word boghcha/bāghche (Tajik and Persian meaning small garden) to designate melons and gourds.

Bagmashtu (also known as Bagparti, Bagvarti, Bagbartu) is an Araratian (Urartian) goddess, and the consort or wife of the chief Urartian god Haldi.

Although throughout most of Urartu Arubani is known as Khaldi’s wife, at the excavation of Musasir references to “Khaldi and his wife, Bagmashtu” were found inscribed on some of the items.

It is assumed that when Urartu expanded its territories to include the area Musasir, local gods were incorporated and a new pantheon was created for that region. The locality and addition of Bagmashtu are supported by the fact that her name is of Armenian origin.

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