Etymology of Malay berhala

Geoffrey Wade geoffrey.wade at ANU.EDU.AU
Wed Jan 21 16:34:12 UTC 2009

Dear AN-Lang list members,
A colleague is seeking  ideas as to the etymology of  the Malay term "berhala", a term used for "idol, image". Wilkinson provides no etymology.

He has proferred the possibility of derivation from Sanskrit/Pali "vihara" and would appreciate any comments on the phonetic feasibility of this suggestion, and/or the occurrence of the term "berhala" in other Austronesian languages.
Many thanks
Geoff Wade
geoffrey.wade at
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