Sanskrit: ‘not causing or feeling sorrow’, the name of a common Indian tree. Emperor Asoka ruled c.269–232 bc over most of the subcontinent, from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka; he converted to Buddhism after a particularly bloody military campaign, and marked this by erecting thousands of inscribed pillars.
Indian (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka): Hindu and Parsi name which goes back to an official title meaning ‘village headman’, pəṭel in Gujarati, Marathi, and Kannada (where it is paṭēla). It comes ultimately from Sanskrit paṭṭakila ‘tenant of royal land’. Among the Indians in the U.S, it is the most common family name.