In July 2013, we prototyped a website where people could collaboratively transcribe Sanskrit texts. Since the platform would store texts in a digital cloud and create texts from a metaphorical cloud of human activity, we called the project "Ambuda," which is one of the many Sanskrit words for "cloud."
Work ended on that prototype two weeks later, and little of it survives today. But when we started work on the project you see before you now, we needed a name, and we were happy to reuse the name "Ambuda" and move on.
Although we chose this name purely out of convenience, it has an unexpected resonance that makes it well-suited to this project.
As a practical name, "Ambuda" is short and memorable, and it was available as a domain name. It is non-sectarian and easy for people around the world to say and spell correctly. On these grounds alone, it is a fine name.
As a Sanskrit word, it is simple and delightful to the ear. As Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita,
Of sounds, I am a. Thus Ambuda starts auspiciously from its very first sound.
As a poetic symbol, the cloud is rich and evocative. The clouds mark the beginning of the monsoon season and bring life-giving rain to the parched land. In the Vedas, the cloud is the vehicle of Indra, the king of the devas. In the epics, Krishna is said to be as dark as the clouds.