DEVEL, DEL, DEVLA, DOL / GOD
A research done by linguists has concluded that Roma come from India and they say that the word Devel is of Sanskrit language, therefore we will closely analyze this word seeing where it came from and how do linguists explain it.
The original word Devel cannot be found in Sanskrit language, but it is used as Deva. In Devanagari writings, it shows that deva is a Sanskrit word and indicates God in masculine whereas -devi- indicates the God in feminine. The word deva, does not indicate the Greatest God as Roma think and use it, but as ghosts of good deeds who were created by a pure energy, who help and are against wrongdoers.
In India it is believed that Brahma is the eternal God and the one who created everything in the Earth, whereas the other that are mentioned as deva or devi or by other names are having great powers or are good creatures.
The Sanskrit word Deva, derives from Indo-Iranian word –dev which the same derives from Proto-Indo-European word deiwos which is an adjective and means “stellar” or “brightener” and the affix ”diwi” means “lighten” as the Star lightens in the day (here we see the Romani word dive/day).
As we may see the word Deva does not derive from Indian language but it was borrowed. The same word in Indian is used in feminine gender as well, and as we know Roma do not mention this word in feminine gender and the same word in Romani is only of masculine gender.
Apart from this, in Avesta writing close to this word is deava which is used as negative, in contrary of good, bad ghosts that in Zoroastrianism the word Deava is used for bad ghosts but this does not stand in old Indian writings.
The core of the word Deva is also mentioned in Indo-European pantheon for example Lithuanian - Dievas, Latvian–Dievs, Prussian - Deiwas, Latin - Deus, French –Dieu, Portuguese –Deus, Spanish – Dios, Italian – Dio and Greek - Dias who are mentioned as the fathers of the God.
From this comes the noun Dyeus the God of heaven or the main God in Indo- European pantheon.
As the word Devi indicates the queen-lady in Sanskrit, the same in masculine gender is used as, Deva indicating the King-gentleman.
Roma use the word with the same allusion mentioning the God as the King of Kings or the King of everything, but here is known only as a King who has a name, this is more like a title whereas the name is not being mentioned.
But as we see when Roma mention the King of Everything, they take only the first three letters Dev as a stem and further come the suffix El, La, Ol. However, in many cases only the letter D is used as a base and El, La, Ol as suffix, therefore I think that this must be analyzed further.
First of all let us see some examples where these words appear/are used:
•Dev + el = Devel/ God
•O Devel si but baro./ God is Great
•O Devel kerela so mangela./ God can do anything he wants.
•Te mangol o Devel, delama baht./ If God wants he may give me health.
•Sa so si ano Sumnal o Devel kerya…/ Everything on Earth was done by God.
The above examples may be also expressed as:
•D + el = Del
•O Del si baro.
•O Del kerela sa so mangela.
•Te mangol o Del delama baht…
Here we see that the base Dev is shorten to D whereas the suffix El does not change.
Some roma the above example use it this way as well:
•O Dol si baro.
•O Dol kerela so mangela.
•Te mangla o Dol delama baht.
We can see that the base D is of Dev and let us see where does the suffix Ol come from.
When we want to speak directly to God, then again the stem Dev remains but the suffix is La, as for example:
•Dev + La = Devla!
•Devla, dema baht!
•Devla, Tu siyan may baro!
•Devla, Tu kereya so mangeya!
In these examples you may see that after the stem Dev comes the suffix La which must be seen.
In Romani language the above shown suffixes are found in other expressions as well but not as in shown examples of nouns.
They may be found in verbs:
•Ker + el = Kerel, - Do/ Does
•Mar + el = Marel, - Beat
•Khuv + el = Khuvel – Hit
•Thar + el = Tharel… - Burn
Some Roma express these words differently:
•Ker + ol = Kerol,
•Mar + ol = Marol,
•Khuv + ol = Khuvol,
•Thar + ol =Tharol…
It is also used as: (command)
•Mar +la! = Marla! ( mar ola )
•Khuv + la! = Khuvla! ( khuv ola)
•Thar + la! = Tharla! ( thar ola)
As you have seen in given examples, in verbs we add the suffixes el, ol and la, which correspond to Romani grammar, but when using to express nouns, then we may see that these suffixes cannot be used as they are two words put in one.
In Romani language-grammar words do not take suffixes el, la or ol.
Now let us see which words became one when mentioning the Only, Greatest and Almighty King.
I think that the word “Dev“ and “ El “ were blended in one ( Devel) as well as the words “ Dev “ and “ La “ were blended and are used as one word ( Devla) and the words “ Dev “ and “Ol” were blended and are used as one word, even though here only the initial “ D “ is pronounced, the short form of the word Dev (Dol).
We have seen before what does the word Dev indicate but let us see a litlle more what do the words El, La, and Ol mean.
In order to know this, we must reflect the old times and see how did the people speak when there was no spelling or whatever was written back then on crystal plates.
First we must see why are these words connected with God and see where were these words used in relation with God and see what do these words mean.
The word “El ” is found in old times in Kanaan religion, Levents belief. The word comes from the Proto-Semitic language which includes many African and Asian countries and today are also known as Afro-Asian languages who count more then 370.
The word El was found in old writings (plates made of soil) and is one of the first names of the God and was believed to be the father of God`s and the one who created everything.
These writings were found by king`s houses of Ebla civilization people in Syria 2300 BC.
It is interesting to say that this was found in Tell Mardik which is 30 km away from the city of Syria Alep, and above we have mentioned that Roma were called as Alep.
Roma even today have the same name and since the old ages was not changed. The Dev El is the one who made everything and if the father of all. The word El is also used for the strongest.
The spelling that we have shown may be found in India when people spell their names. But as you know, people in India believe to many God`s, then they consider the word as for the small god or for mister or for the goddess or lady because women are also called as devi/goddess.
For example: Dev Bhardwaj (our friend from India), for male, whereas for female as Devi Parikh etc. If we see this by today’s Roma we may say that Roma call the Dev El as the King El, as the greatest and the strongest who rules the Cosmos. Here the word El is noun (substantive) and with such expression we indicate that El is the word for the one who has created everything.
In order to explain such Roma belief, we must consider also the word “ Ol “ that was mentioned before, which is related to this name because in old times the word “ El “ was also used as El Olam, as El + Eternal, this may be found in today`s Jewish language. Therefore Roma shortly say Dol, which indicates the Dev Ol (eternal).
But as the same belief is in other Afro – Asian language then we must also see how this is explained.
In Africa there is a belief of the Yoruba people who say that Olorun was the one who has created everything, the same as Roma and monotheists believe, but the word Olorun in Yoruba language is indicated as Ol – King and Orun heaven which means the King of heaven, as one word which the same believe Roma as well.
This word corresponds with Roma belief and calling because Roma say as well that Dev El is the greatest king and is the eternal king of heaven who leads from the heaven. Therefore when Roma pray to God look at the heaven (the same as the others do) believing that he is above.
Now let me explain my argument about the word/exclamation LA.
The base of the Proto-Semitic word “ I ” which indicates the one and only God with its name, as the Kannans were using it as El, it may be used in other versions as well as different nations do, but we Roma use this exclamation also as La as it may be heard by Roma ( Dev La ).
the same applies to the base of Semitic language lh which is read differently in different languages, as for example: Ilah, Alah, Ela, Eloah etc. we may say that this word is closer to Roma version and when these two letters are put together “ l “ and “ h “ becomes lah, and the h is very soft in Romani language, although it may not be heard it still stands there. Dev Lah is the common used expression and should be used as we have demonstrated.
If we consider the spelling by Proto-Semitic languages and the Romani pronunciation, then we may see that Roma are very close to Afro-Asian speaking, when talking about belief, because Roma as well pronounce and spell without space Devel, Del, Devlah, Dol as the Afro-Asian countries do, as we saw above. it is important to note here that the word Lah today is used by all Muslims, because Al in Arabic language means the same as Dev or gentleman in Romani language, when the divinity is meant, and the same as we say Devlah in one Muslims as well say Allah in one.
We must also mention the fact that these Afro-Asian nations believe that people may build contacts with the ghosts of the dead people and deal with the magic, the same as Roma were known as good magicians. This may be seen the best by Yoruba and Voodoo African belief that are old 6000 years.
There is one distinction between these Afro-Asian nations and Roma.
They believe that people cannot build contacts with God as his great energy may ail the human and say that God does not deal with small issues therefore they contact others ghosts who enjoy close contacts with God, and everyone has its functions, therefore they pray to them, whereas Roma do it with God, thinking that they are building direct contacts with God. However, it is known that in magic Roma seek help from other creatures having supernatural power the same as Afro-Asian nations. Some darveshes who are Muslims who believe St. Ali to be their leader, when dealing with magic, they have a contact with ghosts or jinns…
From all the above said we may see that Roma lived with these people and believed the same as they did.
Therefore we have written these words separately and explained where they derive from in order to have a clear picture. IN future we will still spell the words together and support the above explained opinion.
Although Roma by calling Devel, Dol and Devlah even by alluding the Only King, they direct by three different names or three different functions of God, or his attributes, and we know that one cannot from the rules of Romani grammar make familiar contact with the word Devel and Dol (these words appear only as substantives in nominative) therefore it remains that Roma contact or pray only the word Devlah which is the same in vocative case, and we see that the word Devlah does not conjugate. From the language grammar it is seen that neither Roma, nor Afro-Asian nation do not have familiar contact with God as they pretend to have, but if they would use the words separately then the intended contact may be possible as in example:
Dev El, dema baht!
Dev Ol, dema baht!
Dev Lah, dema baht!
Now let us see how in Romani language declension scheme are declined the substantives, in our given example of the noun Devel.
We will see the table only of masculine gender, as this noun does not exist in feminine gender as well as in plural, and we will do the declension as all Roma speak but we will also show the declension table in plural in order to show that the word can be declined in plural but Roma do not use it as they believe there is only one God and personal names do not have plural. After this table I will show the declension of my personal name, and there we may see the reality.
1. Nominativ O Dev-el
2.Genitiv e Dev-l-esko-eski-eske
3.Dativ - e – Dev-l-eske
4. Akuzativ – e – Dev-l-e
5. Vokativ - Dev-lah!
6. Instrumenta- e – Dev-l- eya
7. Lokativ - e – Dev-l-este
8. Ablativ - e – Dev-l-esta
1. Nominativ- - o - a
2. Genitiv - e – engo-i-e
3. Dativ - e - enge
4. Akuzativ – e - en
5. Vokativ -a-len!
6. Instrum - e - ensa
7. Lokativ - e – ende
8. Ablativ - e - enda
1. Nominativ O Selahetin
2. Genitiv - e Selahetin-esko-eski-eske
3. Dativ e Selahetin - eske
4. Akuzativ e Selahetin-e
5. Vokativ – Selahetin!
6. Instrumenta- e Selahetin -eya
7. Lokativ e Selahetin- este
8. Ablativ - e Selahetin- esta
When seeing the declension table which is the same for all Roma and which is common for Romani grammar, then it appears something that shows the originality of this name.
We see that in genitive the suffix or the word of second declension takes another suffix and becomes different word and el becomes l. Here the substantive Devel becomes Dev-l-esko. Here we see that the letter e disappears before L and is not pronounced.
This is not only for the genitive but also for another form, with the exception of nominative and vocative.
When we talked about the word L (in our example letter) as the Kannans used to read the same was done by Proto-Semitic languages then out statement has a great base. Even today when we use the letter L we read it as el or le, but when the words is between other letters then we pronounce it with L as for examples in genitive or other declension.
The same when we see the Fenik hieroglyphs, (a group of Kannans nations) and there we see the letter L ( lamed) which indicates God with the symbol of cow, and we know that EL as the greatest God was symbolized with the cow symbol, then you may see that our statement is true.
When having in consideration that in early ages Afro-Asian languages were considered under Hamito - Samitic group of languages, and here is the expression Ham which was mentioned before, by what were called Roma in Egypt, and nations that were called Kannans, (Kannan was Ham`s son cursed by St. Noah) and the word of Devel which were mentioned, then we may surely conclude that Roma were really present 3000 years BC in these places where they are present today.
These words for Devel were mentioned 3000 years ago and were put in Romani language which is a great evidence to indicate the truth.
We cannot say that these words were borrowed after 1000. years BC, when they were present some 1000 years before. Therefore the fact that Roma derived from India 1000 years ago, as some linguists state is not true.
We cannot say that Roma believed God the same as Hindu believe today because Roma do not know Indian gods. Until today I haven't heard any Roma to mention Brahma, Shiva or another Indian god which are mentioned in India or around India.
Roma don’t know about Vede, who is mentioned in old religion. Roma don’t know about Ramayana, Mahabharata or another Indian stories.
At the same time we may not say that Romani language is not a new language when in Romani language are being mentioned words which were used 3000 years ago BC in today’s places.
Many Roma and researchers believed that the word Devla, derived from the word Dela, indicating the state of giving and relate it with God who gives/provides, but we believe this statement not to be true as we have shown above where do these words come from and what do they indicate. We believe that God is the one who gives but also takes, therefore we may not consider only one aspect and omit the other.
In this section we have clarify the most important issues for us to have a better picture and here you may clearly see that everything we have said must be further investigated as we have also considered the linguists opinion, archeologists investigations, the religion and Romani language which is an important element to know the homeland of Roma.
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