Extr. xiv. Pt. i. 437.

[c. 1590.—“In the winter season there is no need of poshtins (fur-lined coats). …”—Ain, edition Jarrett, ii. 337.]

1862.—“Otter skins from the Hills and Kashmir, worn as Postins by the Yarkandis.”—Punjab Trade Report, page 65.

POTTAH, s. Hind. and other vernaculars, patta, &c. A document specifying the conditions on which lands are held; a lease or other document securing rights in land or house property.

1778.—“I am therefore hopeful you will be kindly pleased to excuse me the five lacs now demanded, and that nothing may be demanded of me beyond the amount expressed in the pottah.”—The Rajah of Benares to Hastings, in Articles of Charge against H., Burke, vi. 591.

[1860.—“By the Zumeendar, then, or his under tenant, as the case may be, the land is farmed out to the Ryuts by pottahs, or agreements. …”—Grant, Rural Life in Bengal, 67.

PRA, PHRA, PRAW, s. This is a term constantly used in Burma, familiar to all who have been in that country, in its constant application as a style of respect, addressed or applied to persons and things of especial sanctity or dignity. Thus it is addressed at Court to the King; it is the habitual designation of the Buddha and his images and dagobas; of superior ecclesiastics and sacred books; corresponding on the whole in use, pretty closely to the Skt. Sri. In Burmese the word is written bhura, but pronounced (in Arakan) p’hra, and in modern Burma Proper, with the usual slurring of the r, P’hya or Pya. The use of the term is not confined to Burma; it is used in quite a similar way in Siam, as may be seen in the quotation below from Alabaster; the word is used in the same form P’hra among the Shans; and in the form Prea, it would seem, in Camboja. Thus Garnier speaks of Indra and Vishnu under their Cambojan epithets as Prea En and Prea Noreai (Narayana); of the figure of Buddha entering nirvana, as Prea Nippan; of the King who built the great temple of Angkor Wat as Prea Kot Melea, of the King reigning at the time of the expedition as Prea Ang Reachea Vodey, of various sites of temples as Preacon. Preacan, Prea Pithu, &c. (Voyage d’Exploration, i. 26, 49, 388, 77, 85, 72).

The word p’hra appears in composition in various names of Burmese kings, as of the famous Alomp’hra (1753–60), founder of the late dynasty, and of his son Bodoah-p’hra (1781–1819). In the former instance the name is, according to Sir A. Phayre, Alaung-p’hra, i.e. the embryo Buddha, or Bodisatva. A familiar Siamese example of use is in the Phra Bat, or sacred foot-mark of Buddha, a term which represents the Sri Pada of Ceylon.

The late Prof. H. H. Wilson, as will be seen, supposed the word to be a corruption of Skt. prabhu (see PARVOE). But Mr. Alabaster points, under the guidance of the Siamese spelling, rather to Skt. vara, ‘pre-eminent, excellent.’ This is in Pali varo, “excellent, best, precious, noble” (Childers). A curious point is that, from the prevalence of the term phra in all the Indo-Chinese kingdoms, we must conclude that it was, at the time of the introduction of Buddhism into those countries, in predominant use among the Indian or Ceylonese propagators of the new religion. Yet we do not find any evidence of such a use of either prabhu or vara. The former would in Pali be pabbho. In a short paper in the Bijdragen of the Royal Institute of the Hague (Dl. X. 4de Stuk, 1885), Prof. Kern indicates that this term was also in use in Java, in the forms Bra and pra, with the sense of ‘splendid’ and the like; and he cites as an example Bra-Wijaya (the style of several of the medieval kings of Java), where Bra is exactly the representative of Skt. Sri.

1688.—“I know that in the country of Laos the Dignities of Pa-ya and Meuang, and the honourable Epithets of Pra are in use: it may be also that the other terms of Dignity are common to both Nations, as well as the Laws.”—De la Loubère, Siam, E.T. 79.

„ “The Pra-Clang, or by a corruption of the Portugueses, the Barcalon, is the officer, who has the appointment of the Commerce, as well within as without the Kingdom. … His name is composed of the Balie word Pra, which I have so often discoursed of, and of the word Clang, which signifies Magazine.”—Ibid. 93.

„ “Then Sommona-Codom (see GAUTAMA) they call Pra-Boute-Tchaou, which verbatim signifies the Great and Excellent Lord.”—Ibid. 134.

1795.—“At noon we reached Meeaday, the personal estate of the Magwoon of Pegue, who is oftener called, from this place, Meeaday Praw, or Lord of Meeaday.”—Symes, Embassy to Ava, 242.

1855.—“The epithet Phra, which occupies so prominent a place in the ceremonial and religious vocabulary of the Siamese and Burmese, has been the subject of a good deal of nonsense. It is unfortunate that our Burmese scholars have never (I believe) been Sanskrit scholars, nor vice versâ, so that the Palee terms used in

  By PanEris using Melati.

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