The state of Minnesota is named after the Minnesota River. In ‘Dakota’ (the language of the Native American Sioux tribe) the root word ‘mni ‘ means, ‘water’. 

In the ‘Dakota’ language, Minnesota translates as ‘Clouded Water’. It is said that the Native Americans demostrated the meaning of Minnesota to the European Immigrants by adding milk to water.

In Sanskrit the root word ‘mi’ (मी) means flowing or moving. The Sanskrit ‘mIm’ (मीम्) is also the root word for ‘mimati’ (मीमति) which means Move. 

Another Sanskrit cognate is ‘mih’ (मिह्) which means ‘downpour of water, fog or mist’.

The second syllable ‘Sota’ could be a distortion of Srota (स्रोत) which means ‘ocean’ or ‘stream’. ‘Srota’ also refers to the ‘source of a water body’. Another cognate of ‘ Sota’ in the context of water is Sarit (सरित्). Sarit or Sarita is a versatile word which means, stream, ocean or river.

The Sanskrit ‘Miha-Srota’ (मिह्- स्रोत) or ‘Miha-Sarit’ (मिह्- सरित्) would therefore translate as ‘Cloudy-River’ or ‘Misty River’. Could it be that the ancient Asian immigrants (who are believed to have crossed into the Americas roughly 30,000 back) named the river Moha-Sarita or Miha-Srota.

Or maybe its ancient name was just Maha-Sarita (महा-सरित), but then that would change its meaning to the ‘Great River’ (like the River Maha-Nadi of India).


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