Discussion:
Sa for Sanskrit Pop: Sid Harth
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Sid Harth
2010-01-26 15:45:50 UTC
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China claims to have '1st pop singer in Sanskrit', may present her
during World Expo

Saibal Dasgupta, TNN, 25 January 2010, 07:05pm IST

BEIJING: China's official media is promoting what it describes as the
first pop singer who sings in Sanskrit. She is one of the singers
being considered to sign at the inauguration of the World Expo in
Shanghai, which is expected to draw the glitterati from the world of
business next May.

This could be the reason why Sa Dingding, who won the BBC Radio 3
Award for World Music in the Asia Pacific category in 2008, is
suddenly being promoted by the provincial government of Tibet. The
provincial government has indicated it wants to reshape her image and
get her to focus on Sanskrit singing.

"She is also called the 'first Chinese Sanskrit singer'. To Sa
Dingding, who she was in the past is not important now... To preserve
her new image, she must eliminate all distractions," the local
government of Tibet said on its website.

Sa, who graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts run by the People's
Liberation Army, sings in the language of Inner Mongolia, Tibet and in
Sanskrit. Sa is not a Tibetan although she sings in Sanskrit and
Tibetan and dresses in grandiose Tibetan clothing.

"We should pay more attention to her music, to the Zen sensation and
Buddhist spirit in her music," it further said. The official site went
on to say that "Her musical inspirations all come from Chinese
civilization and culture."

Apparently, the local government is pushing her to give up song
writing and singing in languages other than Sanskrit so she can be
presented to the world as a symbol of China's rich cultural heritage.

"It is possible China may be trying to show that Sanskrit is part of
its cultural heritage. What better way to draw world attention than to
get a lovely voice to sing pop?," a Shanghai based expert on Chinese
culture told TNN.

During major events like the Olympic Games and the celebration of the
60th anniversary of the Chinese republic, Beijing usually makes a big
display of the culture and arts of Tibetans and other ethnic people.
It is expected to do the same during the opening and closing
ceremonies at the World Expo.

Sa also won praise from Grammy Award judge Eric T. Johnson. She is the
first Chinese citizen to be invited for a tour of the United States by
the Grammy organizing committee.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/China-claims-to-have-1st-pop-singer-in-Sanskrit-may-present-her-during-World-Expo/articleshow/5499452.cms

and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-26 15:54:18 UTC
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Padma Bhushan for a Chinese Sanskrit expert
Saibal Dasgupta , TNN, 27 January 2008, 12:01am IST

Indologist Ji Xianlin(left) has been conferred the Padma Bhushan by
India (TOI Photo)

BEIJING: For the first time, a Padma Bhushan has crossed the Himalayas
to reach out to a scholar who introduced the Ramayana and other
aspects of Indian tradition to China.

The decision to honour widely-respected Indologist Ji Xianlin, coming
within 10 days of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to China, is
seen in Beijing as a strong and reliable hand of friendship.

"This is a big initiative on the part of Prime Minister Singh to
develop the friendship between the two nations. It will make a lot of
difference in the way a lot of Chinese view India," Jiang Kui, vice
director of the Centre for Indian Studies at Beijing University told
TOI in chaste Hindi.

The political dimensions of the award are as evident as the fact that
Ji Xianlin, the guru of all Indologists in China, is a highly
deserving case. If informed sources are to be believed, Chinese
premier Wen Jiabao told Singh in mid-January that Ji was his mentor.

The Indian government had been in the process of examining Ji's case
since December 2006 when Nirupama Rao, the ambassador in Beijing,
obtained a rare interview with the 97-year-old scholar who lives in a
military hospital and hardly ever meets outsiders. But Wen's remarks
might have given the final push for the government to decide in favour
of honouring Ji.

"This is a great event. The award will have a very positive effect in
the manner ordinary Chinese look at India," Wang Bang Wei, a professor
of Sanskrit at Beijing University said. Ji is the most suitable
Indologist to be chosen for the purpose, he added.

Xu Ke Qiao, an expert on Sino-Indian cultural communication at the
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, sees it as a clear signal that
India looks at the relationship from a holistic viewpoint covering
history, cultural traditions and contemporary trends.

"A lot of what Chinese know about India's tradition and culture has
come from Ji. He translated from the original Sanskrit and rendered
them in poetry in Chinese. It is a tremendous achievement covering
most of his life," Xu said.

Readers' Opinions
Comment

Padma Bhushan for a Chinese Sanskrit expert

TOP COMMENT

Niral Ekka,India,says:

Well deserved award by scholar Ji Xianlin. One of the Universities in
Delhi should name their Sanskrit department as Ji Xianlin Sanskrit and
Sanskriti department.
(27 Jan, 2008 0056hrs IST)

Dev,U.S.A,says:

This is so wonderful to read given all the Bharat Ratna stories and
shameless lobbying.
(27 Jan, 2008 0259hrs IST)

suryanarayana,bangalore,says:

Ji Xianlin, for whom Govt of India gave, Padma Bhushan award is really
praiseworthy news. After P.V. Kane who received Bharat Ratna, no
Sanskrit scholar got civilian award. Chamu Krishanashastry deserves
Bharat Ratna because he is the man behind spoken Sanskrit idea which
is gaining moment all over the world.
[27 Jan, 2008 2201hrs IST]

Imran Ahmed,UAE,says:

Very good gesture by the Government. Appreciating similarity is the
first step towards lasting trust and relationship.
[27 Jan, 2008 1738hrs IST]

Munna Prasad,Vancouver,Canada,says:

I am so happy to read that Dr Ji was awarded Padma Bhushan for his
dedication towards the Sino-Indian scholarship and cultural
understanding.
[27 Jan, 2008 1309hrs IST]

AMIT SINGH,CHINA,says:

Really a warm gesture of friendship of Indian government to Chinese
scholar and china. I suggest, china should follow the same path.
[27 Jan, 2008 1016hrs IST]

Gopal Pandey,Charlotte, NC, USA,says:

The Author of "Wisdom of India and China", Lin Yutang, deserves to be
given similar recognition. His is a book par excellence!
[27 Jan, 2008 1012hrs IST]

P.VENKATASUBRAMANIAN,Chennai,says:

It is really ironical that the government chose to honour a Chinese
ideologist who introduced Ramayana and other Indian cultural
traditions to China while in India the very same government dithered
in the Ram Sethu controversy.
[27 Jan, 2008 1002hrs IST]

Gautam De,New Jersey,says:

Very good decision. Let more and more awards are decided keeping aside
politics and concentrating on the contributions of these distinguished
individuals.
[27 Jan, 2008 0947hrs IST]

shekar,madurai,says:

Commendable act. But will those who oppose Ramayana in our country
realise it. And those who in the name of rationalism only criticise
this great epic come to terms with it. It's a big question yet to be
answered. But, certainly it is sure that Ramayana still is the bread
winner for many.
[27 Jan, 2008 0837hrs IST]

kkkkkkk,what ever,says:

When is India going to send all the Tibetans back to China. May be
after the fate of Arunachal is decided.
[27 Jan, 2008 0833hrs IST]

Vasu,Australia,says:

It's good that government which filed a case questioning Lord Ram'
existence is honouring a person who spread Ramayana outside India.
Along with this the government also has to take steps to spread the
Indian culture among Indians. Who knows how these politicians will
behave?
[27 Jan, 2008 0641hrs IST]

Dilip,Los Angeles, California,says:

Our dear most & respectable Asha Bhonsle really deserves BHARAT RATNA.
Her exemplary service to the Indian music & to the nation is
unforgettable. We Indians, living in USA requests Indian Government to
consider highest civilian award to this maverick singer of all times.
Remember if we have one Lata Mangeshkar then we have only one Asha
Bhonsle.
[27 Jan, 2008 0556hrs IST]

AA,|Canada,says:

Beautiful move by Mr Singh and party. Great diplomacy. Win-win for
everyone.
[27 Jan, 2008 0549hrs IST]

Manu,NY,says:

Great job, It is nice to know Sanskrit is being learned by others
while we (shameless Indians) are busy losing a language (which is
considered mother of most languages). Good for China bad for India.
[27 Jan, 2008 0355hrs IST]

SoftWords BigStick,USA,says:

"It will make a lot of difference in the way a lot of Chinese view
India". This hardly counts in a country where popular public opinion
does not influence government policy even in the tiniest way. So what
if the Chinese people see India in a friendly way? The Chinese
government's India policy is still based on a mixture of overt and
covert hostility and that will not change in the foreseable future.
[27 Jan, 2008 0110hrs IST]

Irvinder Babra,Canada,says:

Another Chinese scholar and India expert, Lin Yutang, also deserves to
be recognized in the future. His major work, "The wisdom of China and
India".
[27 Jan, 2008 0102hrs IST]

Vibs,Mumbai,says:

Can the government please clarify what the eligibility for these
awards is with respect to nationality/ citizenship? I am at a loss to
understand Sunita William's inclusion in this years list especially
after all searches yielded results stating "honoring a civilian/
Indian" all the proclamations that she is an Indian-American don't
know what they mean by that she is a born US citizen married to a US
citizen. Her mother is a Slovenian and the only link to India is her
father who was/is Indian (by nationality). How does that make her an
"Indian" from any angle? It is simply ridiculous as to how the country
wants to jump and proclaim an achiever to be "theirs" and bestow her
with so much honor only to publicize their country. As far as I know
even a born Indian is refused recognition as an "Indian" if he
willingly takes up a citizenship of any other country - he stands to
lose all his rights and is termed as a "foreigner". Hope the
government looks into this and clarifies once and for all the precise
eligibility criteria.
[27 Jan, 2008 0044hrs IST]

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/Padma-Bhushan-for-a-Chinese-Sanskrit-expert/articleshow/2734382.cms

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-26 15:56:55 UTC
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National Sanskrit seminar begins in city
TNN, 24 January 2010, 10:43pm IST

SURAT: A two-day national Sanskrit seminar for research in science and
technology was inaugurated at Arts and Commerce College, Amroli near
here on Sunday.

About 266 expert professors, supported by the University Grants
Commission, from across the state and 200 students doing research in
different subjects are taking part in the seminar, organised under the
presidentship of Prof Pankaj Jani, vice-chancellor, Somanth Sanskrit
University, Veraval.

About 380 papers on subjects like veda, science, ayurved, commerce,
economics, technology, medical engineering, chemistry, agriculture and
water resources in Sanskrit language were presented. Prof Jani in his
lecture stressed on the need for science and technology education in
Sanskrit.

Papers on different subjects in Sanskrit will be presented on the
second day of the seminar also, which is being held to stress the need
of Sanskrit in contemporary time and to make people realise the
importance of the language which has solution to most modern
scientific problems.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/surat/National-Sanskrit-seminar-begins-in-city/articleshow/5495845.cms

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-26 15:59:35 UTC
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Dept of Sanskrit lexicography at Deccan College
Swati Shinde , TNN, 2 November 2009, 03:08am IST

PUNE: The Deccan college post-graduate and research institute will set
up country's first-ever Department of Sanskrit Lexicography, starting
from academic year 2010-11.

The department which will initially offer masters and doctorate
courses in lexicography, will allow students to gain hands-on
experience on the mammoth Sanskrit dictionary project, undertaken by
the college way back in 1948.

Lexicology is the science of the study of word whereas lexicography is
the writing of the word in some concrete form i.e. in the form of
dictionary. It also includes the history, theory, methodology and
typology of dictionary-making.

Director of the college Vinayaka Bhatta said, "For several years we
have been working on the Sanskrit dictionary project. So, we realise
the potential of lexicography in Sanskrit. Hence, we decided to set up
a separate department for the subject. Also, the fact that there is no
lexicography department or courses available exclusively for Sanskrit
led us to set up one."

There are several universities in the country that offer lexicography
courses in various other languages namely - Punjabi, English and even
Tamil. But not Sanskrit. The Sanskrit lexicography course will get
underway from next year even as the department will be set up on the
premises of Deccan college.

"Once the course gains publicity and the department expands, we intend
to build a separate building and add more courses," Bhatta said.

The Deccan College has undertaken the Sanskrit dictionary project
which is described as one of world's biggest lexicography work having
started in 1948 and expected to be completed in another 30 to 40 years
from now.

Unlike conventional dictionaries which deal with word meanings as
static, one-item entries, this Sanskrit dictionary adopts a historical
approach, a special feature in the field of lexicography. The project
has already seen three generations of lexicographers at work and many
more to go.

The students applying for these courses will also gain hands-on
experience on this mammoth project and further still they swill also
get a chance to prepare their own dictionary as a project.

"There are several opportunities in the field today and a number of
universities and colleges in the country and outside are involved in
various projects related to lexicography. Also, students who pass out
of this course can take up an initiative and prepare their own
dictionaries," Bhatta said.

Presently, the Deccan College has three departments functioning,
namely the department of archaeology, department of linguistics and
the Sanskrit dictionary project.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Dept-of-Sanskrit-lexicography-at-Deccan-College/articleshow/5186988.cms

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-26 16:03:19 UTC
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Ex-CEC has a new mission: Serve Sanskrit
TNN, 3 May 2009, 04:05pm IST

VARANASI: After becoming free of the responsibilities of the chief
election commissioner, N Gopalaswami is now all set to serve
Sanskrit.

He has decided to join hands with a leading Sanskrit institute of
South India while he has also give his consent to the vice-chancellor
of Sampurnanand Sanskrit University to become a member of the
varsity's advisory council, proposed for the promotion of its
historical Saraswati Library internationally.

"The present scenario is a hint that after 50 years Sanskrit would
exist but in countries like US instead of the place of its origin,"
said Gopalaswami, who looked concerned for the most ancient language.
Disclosing his future plans to TOI on Sunday, he said presently he was
joining hand with a prominent Sanskrit institute of South India, but
he would be in contact with all the prominent institutions working for
the survival and promotion of Sanskrit.

The former CEC, who retired on April 20, arrived in the city with his
wife on Saturday after visiting Gaya. The local administration had
reserved a room for him at Circuit House but he preferred to stay at
Jnana-Prava, a centre for cultural studies. He visited several temples
and also participated in Ganga Aarti. Before leaving the city on
Sunday, he visited the SSU on the invitation of its vice-chancellor
Prof V Kutumb Shastri, who had worked with him as the director of
Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi.

After viewing the condition of 150-year-old Saraswati Library of SSU,
where the ancient manuscripts were lying decaying, he was shocked.
Though, he avoided commenting on the apathy of the government towards
preservation of the library, he nevertheless pointed out: "This is the
heritage of Varanasi and UP." But, during his meeting with SSU V-C, he
discussed the plans of varsity regarding the library.

Prof Shastri revealed that Gopalaswami had gave his consent to join
the proposed advisory council of SSU to make recommendations for the
up gradation of library, preservation of ancient manuscript and
utilise the government of India's cultural bureaus across the world to
get international recognition for it. The V-C said apart from
Gopalaswami, some other top academicians and experts of the country
would be a part of the proposed advisory council.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/Ex-CEC-has-a-new-mission-Serve-Sanskrit/articleshow/4478814.cms

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-26 16:07:05 UTC
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Cambridge closes door on Sanskrit, Hindi
Rashmee Roshan Lall, TNN, 12 October 2006, 09:12pm IST

LONDON: Cambridge has finally closed the door on Sanskrit as a
hallowed subject of undergraduate study, nearly one-and-a-half
centuries after it first established a chair in the 3,000-year-old
language. The Times of India sought – and received - confirmation of
the university's decision within hours of Cambridge honouring Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh with a doctor of law degree, in what some
scholars believe to be the most cynical form of "tactless academic
marketing".

On Thursday, Dr Gordon Johnson, Director of the Centre for South Asian
Studies at the University of Cambridge confirmed that "Sanskrit and
Hindi will no longer be offered to undergraduates within the Oriental
Studies Tripos". But Johnson insisted that "South Asian Studies are
thriving at the University of Cambridge and an agreed plan for their
expansion is underway. Students continue to study specialist papers
with a South Asian content in History, Geography, Economics, Social
and Political Sciences, Social Anthropology, Divinity and Archaeology
".

Even so, Dr John Smith, reader in Sanskrit at Cambridge, told TOI that
it is "not a trivial decision...this is a decision about letting the
subject wither on the vine. It is an administrative decision but
should actually have been an academic one".

Smith, who has taught Sanskrit to Cambridge undergraduates for 22
years said the decision was "tactless" in its timing and skewed in its
objectives. "They are doing this at a point of time when they are
honouring Manmohan Singh, soliciting benefactions from wealthy Indian
businessmen and seeking students from South Asia," he said. He said he
had no new undergraduate students seeking to learn Sanskrit in this
academic year, which began a week ago.

Smith added with unconcealed anger at Cambridge and other Western
universities' increasing propensity to run themselves as businesses
that employ MBA-speak: "There are some subjects simply worth doing.
This is a language that has been going 3,000 years and hasn't stopped
yet. You cannot understand the culture of the Indian sub-continent and
the world outside it without learning Sanskrit".

As expected of a Sanskrit scholar, Smith's fulminations are thought to
be in line with the well-known Sanskrit proverb that enjoins one to
think about the effect of disasters before they actually occur because
it is not appropriate to start digging a well when the house is on
fire.

The tradition of teaching Sanskrit in England – from undergraduate to
higher level goes back to 1831, when the first chair in Sanskrit - the
Boden - was set up at Oxford.

Smith, who counts amongst his predecessors such internationally-
acclaimed Sanskrit scholars such as John Brough and Harold Bailey,
said that when he retires and his Sanskrit-scholar colleague does as
well, a dozen years from now, Cambridge may be left with no one to
teach this liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism and Janinism. The
effect on Sanskrit scholarship will be marked, he warned, because of
the useful joint initiatives British Sanskrit scholars are able to
work through with their counterparts in India.

"I was able to put the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune's
criticial edition of the Mahabharat on the web in 1999," said Smith,
"but all this may soon stop".

To many, the Cambridge decision is an incontrovertible sign of the
times and an acknowledgement that most undergraduate Indian Studies
courses at major European universities have a single-figure intake.

Smith admits the logic of this. Sanskrit is a small subject, he says,
"last year – the last to take undergraduate Sanskrit students – we had
two".

But he argues that universities and academics need to recognise their
place in the world. "We are not here to sell ourselves, but to be
scholars".

In a careful omission of the Sanskrit intake, Johnson said "the number
of graduate students doing research on a South Asian subject remains
high, at between 80 and 90 at any one time (overall)".

By all accounts, many see the university's decision to withdraw
Sanskrit from its Indian Studies undergraduate course as part of a
wider plan to re-deploy Cambridge's increasingly resource-starved
academic troops in other areas, notably East and West Asia and Arabic
studies.

But in a broad hint to wealthy British Indian, corporate Indian and
official Indian entities, Cambridge 's Sanskrit scholars say it may be
time to move to the Japanese model of academia. Japanese, another low-
intake 'special interest' subject like Sanskrit, is thought to be safe
from cut-backs and cut-offs because it has a multitude of endowed
posts.

But Cambridge University insisted South Asian studies were "set to
expand significantly in the near future at Cambridge, with the filling
of two lectureships in modern South Asian history. The Centre of South
Asian Studies is developing a new MPhil course, to extend its reach
within the University and to develop further its outreach work within
the UK, south and south-east Asia."

Interestingly, Indologists said the Cambridge decision may be
consistent with Britain's initial reluctance to realise the importance
of teaching Sanskrit at all. They said that the early history of
Sanskrit studies in Britain contrasted sharply with that on the
continent with the first European chair of Sanskrit founded not in
Britain, as might have been expected of the country that had the
greatest engagement with India, but in Paris, at the College de France
in 1814.

Bonn was next to follow France's leadership in initiating the teaching
of Sanskrit language and literature, they said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Cambridge-closes-door-on-Sanskrit-Hindi/articleshow/2161235.cms

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-26 16:08:57 UTC
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16 century Sanskrit manuscripts being digitised
Laxmi Birajdar, TNN, 23 May 2009, 03:49am IST

PUNE: The 10,000-odd Sanskrit manuscripts archived at Anandashram
Sanstha at Appa Balwant Chowk are currently being digitised under the
National Mission for Manuscripts, which was established in 2003 by the
Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India.

The Sanskrit manuscripts being digitised date back to the 16th and
17th centuries, and are based on the Ramayan', Mahabharat',
Vastushastra', Kaamshastra', astrology, ayurveda, creative arts like
fine arts, music, poetry and literature, among other topics. Each of
these is being scanned and copied on to a computer. Finally, the
pictures files will be stored in a DVD format.

Besides Sanskrti, Anandashram also has 400 manuscripts in Marathi and
400-odd palm leaves in Tamil. Currently, only the Sanskrit manuscripts
are being digitised by a team of experts from a Mumbai-based company.

"Around 2,300 Sanskrit manuscripts, that is, over four lakh pages,
have been digitised so far. It will take the team another six months
to complete digitising all the 10,000-odd Sanskrit manuscripts here,"
says Prashant Nijampurkar, librarian and accountant at Anandashram.

Anandashram, in order to propagate the Sanskrit language, plans to
offer short-term and long-term courses in the language this July
onwards. Two scholarships, each of Rs 250 per month, will be given to
two students who will undergo a year-long course on foundational
sciences in Sanskrit.

"We plan to start with four courses with the objective of making
college students well-versed in Sanskrit, and there is a specific way
of teaching this subjects. We plan to work in coordination with other
historical research organisations in the city to train students in
Sanskrit," said Saroja Bhate, Sanskrit scholar and Anandashram's
trustee.

Anandashram Sanstha was founded by late lawyer Mahadev Chitanmani Apte
in 1888. So far, the Sanstha has published some 193 books in Sanskrit.
"But due to lack of funds, we are reprinting the original volumes that
were previously published. These are in high demand even now," says
Sushama Mane, who looks after the manuscripts at Anandashram.

Research scholars and PhD students often visit Anandashram to refer to
the manuscripts here. However, lack of funds does not allow the
organisation to have a steady pool of researchers to translate its
manuscripts. "We don't have the funds to pay scholars on a regular
basis. Also, we don't get government grants, that's why we have to
sustain on our own on the basis of honorariums," says Nijampurkar.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/16-century-Sanskrit-manuscripts-being-digitised/articleshow/4567255.cms

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-26 16:10:44 UTC
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Sanskrit neglected in its own country: Bhagwat
TNN, 27 October 2009, 07:02am IST

JAIPUR: The saffron show in Pink City continued for the third day on
Monday. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and many BJP stalwarts addressed a
gathering to mark the 88 years of sanskrit magazine Bharti' founded by
Pandit Giriraj Shastri Dadabhai.

Addressing a felicitation function (Amrut Mahotsav) at Birla
Auditorium, Bhagwat said Dadabhai was a true nationalist who worked
tirelessly for the nation through the RSS.

Speakers used the occasion to urge that efforts should be made not
just to preserve Sanskrit but popularise it.

"Our students should be taught Sanskrit exhaustively and made to
understand the importance of this language," said former union
minister Murli Manohar Joshi. Taking this further, Bhagwat said: "It's
disheartening to see the state of Sanskrit in our country. Scholars
from overseas and developed countries like the US, Germany etc come to
learn Sanskrit in India, whereas the language is neglected in its own
country and no one seems to be concerned or doing anything to save
it."

Former Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and and a number of
sants attended the function.

Dadabhai in his long association with the Sangh Parivar has held
various posts in VHP, Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Rashtra Sevika Samiti and
Bharatiya Govansh Samraksan Samiti Parishad among them.

The RSS chief, while lauding the contributions of Dadabhai, said
though he had not got very deep knowledge of Dadabhai, an RSS worker
is known for his certain character and believes, and in that way he
could be easily identified and distinguished from the rest of the
people. Dadabhai was a true nationalist and worked tirelessly to
spread the message of the Sangh in various various capacities. He had
completed 67 years as an active volunteer of the Sangh.

Applauding the works of swayamsewaks, Bhagwat said: "Yahan jeevan
jalta hai, deepak nahi. (A swayamsewak burns his life and not lamps to
spread light). The lifestyle of a swayamsewak is such that it sets an
example for others to follow."

Former Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Murli Manohar Joshi
recalled their association with Dadabhai, calling him a man who set an
example for his generation and others to follow.

Earlier in the day, Joshi went to meet Shekhawat and speculations were
that the two veterans discussed the situation in BJP. But Joshi
dismissed them all saying it was just a courtesy call and nothing
should be read into it.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Sanskrit-neglected-in-its-own-country-Bhagwat/articleshow/5166322.cms

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-26 16:12:39 UTC
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Salaries not paid to Sanskrit teachers, staff
B K Mishra,
THE TIMES OF INDIA NEWS SERVICE,
25 February 2001, 11:24am IST

PATNA: Sanskrit education in Bihar got more official patronage during
the British rule than in the independent India. This is exactly what
the frustrated teachers of the Sanskrit schools in the state feel
today in view of the ever-deteriorating condition of the Sanskrit
institutions. The teachers and the non-teaching staff of all the
Sanskrit schools in the state are living in penury as they are not
getting their salaries for the last 15 months. A number of lofty
decisions for ameliorating the sufferings of Sanskrit teachers and
improving the lot of Sanskrit institutions have been taken by the
government in the past, but they only proved to be "an eye wash." The
government, at a high-level meetings held under the chairmanship of
the chief minister on October 14, 1999 and July 8, 2000, decided to
pay the same salaries and arrears of the dearness allowance to the
Sanskrit staff as given to the teachers of other schools. Even as per
the agreements reached between the government and the representatives
of the Sanskrit teachers on March 31, 1984, February 20, 1990,
February 9, 1992 and August 22, 1994, the Sanskrit school staff were
to get the same pay and dearness allowance as given to the teachers of
the general schools. But, on the contrary, the government issued a
notification on April 12, 1999, implementing the Fifth Pay Revision
Committee recommendations with only 71 percent DA and without
mentioning other facilities to them. The most regrettable aspect of
this notification is the non-payment of the revised pay to the
Sanskrit teachers with effect from April 1, 1998. To add insult to the
injury, the government has stopped payment of the salaries to the
Sanskrit teachers with effect from April, 1999, forcing them to
starve. A number of teachers have died and others have retired during
the period. The reported callous attitude of the state government
towards the Sanskrit institutions becomes evident from the fact that
it has been depriving them of the Central assistance. The Central
government had sanctioned a sum of Rs 88 lakh for the creation of one
post of science teacher each in 291 Sanskrit schools during 1998-99,
but the money has not been released by the state government so far.
The government is allegedly contemplating to surrender this fund to
the Centre. So far as the working of the Bihar Sanskrit Education
Board is concerned, the less said the better. The Board has neither a
full-time chairman nor a full-time secretary. Consequently, the
results of 40,000 Madhyama students have not been published even six
months after the completion of the examination. The examination of
prathama (Class VIII) students has not been held till date and they
are compelled to continue in the same class. The leaders of the Bihar
Sanskrit Primary-cum-Secondary Teachers' Association, Vimal Kumar
Ishwar, Surendra Kumar Sunil and, Ramashraya Chaudhary, have
threatened to launch a statewide agitation from March 21, if their
demands were not conceded by March 15. They would stage demonstration
and dharna and also court arrest to te press their long-pending
demands.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/Salaries-not-paid-to-Sanskrit-teachers-staff/articleshow/22547977.cms

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-26 16:15:05 UTC
Permalink
No guardians for old Sanskrit books
TNN, 24 March 2004, 12:17am IST

HYDERABAD: Sanskrit, though has lured a sizable number of enthusiasts
to learn the language, it has failed to attract any patron willing to
contribute for reviving out-of-print old Sanskrit books.

The Surabharati Samiti, a one-of-itskind organisation promoting the
language among city residents, has identified at least eight Sanskrit
books that were very popular but are out-of-print now. A funds crunch
is deterring the samiti from reprinting these old books.

Some of these books, which also have Telugu translations, were
authored to introduce Sanskrit to the younger generation. ‘Ramayanam
lo Ratnalu’ had excerpts from the Ramayanam that were explained in
simple Telugu for youngsters.

There was also a book on the morals from the Mahabharata and many
others on Bhagavatham and Upanishads. “It would cost us approximately
Rs 2 lakh for the reprints, but no one is coming forward to give us
funds,” said secretary Surabharati Samiti, B Narsimha Charyulu.

The books themselves are very inexpensive costing just Rs 6.50 to Rs
16 per copy. “Anyone can afford to buy these books and have some
quality Sanskrit reading,” Narasimha Charyulu said.

Earlier, many philanthropists and even the Tirumala Tirupathi
Devasthanams (TTD) made donations for the samiti’s activities, which
included publications of such useful Sanskrit books. But now, there
seems to be a dearth for Sanskrit patrons. Meanwhile, the Samiti has
other worries.

It’s awaiting extension of lease on the land it borrowed from the
Osmania University for its workings. Though the university isn’t
asking the samiti to vacate the premises on which it has been
functioning for as many as 30 years, it (university) is yet to give a
lease extension.

Surabharati Samiti is one of the first independent organisations that
was set up in 1970 to propagate Sanskrit among people. Earlier, people
studying the language would approach the scholars and professors-
members of the Samiti to clear their doubts. Now, it offers many
courses in Sanskrit learning including spoken Sanskrit classes.

In January this year, it was recognised as one of the centres for non-
formal Sanskrit education by the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New
Delhi.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/No-guardians-for-old-Sanskrit-books/articleshow/578690.cms

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-26 16:17:07 UTC
Permalink
Now, sing Twinkle twinkle in Sanskrit
Sonia Sarkar , TNN, 1 October 2007, 12:47am IST

NEW DELHI: Learning Sanskrit in classrooms may no longer be a boring
affair. If National Council of Educational Research and Training
(NCERT) gets its latest move right, school kids will be soon actually
learning the language instead of mugging up some shlokas and mantras.
In wake of the recent decline in the popularity of Sanskrit among
students, NCERT is all set to introduce more playful and creative
methods — including use of card games and scrabbles — in classroom to
teach the language.

"So far, kids have not been enjoying Sanskrit, as they mug up their
lessons to score marks in exams. The easiest way to make them learn
the language is by imparting the lessons in a playful manner. Keeping
in mind the lack of interest and fear that students have towards this
classical language, we are trying out innovative methods to make
classroom learning more fun, especially with the aid of the indoor
games like cards and scrabble," said KK Mishra, a Sanskrit professor
at the NCERT, who has taken up the project as a part of the National
Curriculum Framework (NCF) - 2005.

To make Sanskrit as popular as English, kids will be taught the
translated version of famous rhymes like "Twinkle Twinkle..." and
"One, two, buckle my shoe." in this classical language. "We are
preparing audio recordings containing the Sanskrit version of these
popular rhymes besides shlokas, recitation, short stories and
conversations between group of people to ensure kids catch up the
language well," said KC Tripathi, a Reader with NCERT.

To give students a perspective of the relation between science and
Sanskrit, NCERT is preparing a source book. "This will talk about the
ancient roots of Sanskrit and its relation with different branches of
science. Various scientific theories including Newton’s Atomic Theory,
Theory of Zero, Theory of Pi and others were explained by Sanskrit
scholars many years back," added Mishra.

To take Sanskrit beyond its conventional image as Brahmano ki bhasha ,
Mishra said, NCERT is also planning to launch a website where teachers
and students can study the language and exchange their thoughts on
it.

***@timesgroup.com

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Now-sing-Twinkle-twinkle-in-Sanskrit/articleshow/2417493.cms

...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-01-30 12:46:41 UTC
Permalink
Diary
Paramacharya Chandrashekarendra Saraswati: God, Women and Languages

January 2, 2010 – 9:30 am

Late Paramachariya (Chandrasekaraendra Saraswathi of Kanchi Mutt)
is considered by the devotees of Kanchi Mutt as the most respected
great Hindu saint of the last century. His devotees belong to all
sections of society although mostly the Tamil Brahmins celebrate him .
He is said to be respected even by non-believers. His ‘words of
wisdom’ are collected in the Tamil book “Deivaththin kural” (Divine
Voice). He is promoted as the unmatched god man of the people from
Tamilnadu and other regions.

But it is interesting to note his view point on languages other than
Sanskrit, specifically Tamil. I read a narration by Agnihothram
Ramanuja thathachariyar in his book “Hindu matham enge
pokirathu” (Hindu relegion - Where towards?). Thathachariya was once a
close aid of Paramachariya. He used to have discussions with
Paramacharya only in sanskrit, because Sankarachariya normally spoke
in Sanskrit. I am interested to share my reading with our friends.

One evening Mr. Arunachalam of Chettinadu visited Kanchi mutt. Mr.
Arunachalam was an industrialist and such rich people normally
commanded respect at Kanchi Mutt. He wanted to have the blessings of
Paramacharya and he requested Mr. Thathacharia to arrange for a
dharshan. By that time Paramacharya had completed his daily dharshan
to the public and finished his bath. He was preparing for conducting
the evening rituals. Mr. Thathachriya informed Paramacharya about the
visit of Mr. Arunachalam.Paramacharya told Thathachariya that he could
not meet Arunchalam because he had taken bath and that he would have
to take again if he had to meet Mr. Arunachalam, and therefore
instructed Thathachariaya to inform Arunachalam that Swamiji was
observing silence (mouna viratha) and hence he could not meet anybody.
Paramacharya was strictly following one practice; between each puja,
if he happened to talk in Tamil, he would take bath to wash out the
sin. What was the sin?

According to him speaking in Tamil was a sin because the language
was non-divine (neecha bashai). By this witness Thathacharya we can
conclude that Paramacharya resorted to speak a soft lie to avoid
speaking in Tamil to stick to his orthodox practice. The lie may be
with an intention of not to offend the feelings of a rich Tamil man
who could donate money for the mutt.

There is another interesting anecdote about Paramacharya in the same
book. When Jawaharlal Nehru decided to bring a law to grant property
rights to Hindu women, Paramacharya vehemently opposed that idea .
The reason told by Acharya was that as per Manu Smiruthi women were
barred from holding property. It can also be recalled that the tactics
of ‘mouna viratha’ was practiced once by Paramacharya when Indira
Gandhi wished to meet him. The venue of the meeting was a “well” on
either side of which Paramacharya and Indira Gandhi were present.
Paramacharya only listened to Gandhi at that time and did not even see
her. Reason? Mrs. Gandhi was a widow! However there were instances
when he could say some words to Mrs. Gandhi too. Perhaps it should be
time bound poojas of orthodox rituals which prevented to speak in
Tamil or to a woman or a widow!

Kanchi mutt is now led by jeyendra saraswati, one who is involved in a
murder case and a supporter of untouchability.

But we cannot say that Paramacharya followed orthodox ways strictly.
For example, when his deputy Jeyendra saraswathi deserted the mutt he
initially refused to take him back on his return citing that Jeyendra
missed the poojas of Saturmasya vrata. But he relaxed and
accommodated Jeyendra after learning that the Kanch Kamatchi amman
temple could be taken over by the Government according to the rules if
the trustee was dead without appointing another member or went mad or
missing. Jeyendra was the trustee for that revenue earning temple!

The Hindu religion as constructed in the last century is a
conglomeration of innumerable number of ideas, practices and rituals.
The virtue for guiding the life of an individual should be the essence
of any religion in practice and philosophy. Many outdated
fundamentalist theories such as Manu Dharma and practices are still
followed by Hindu Mutts and the godmen. This is regrettable. They are
expected to change according to the times in favour of equality of
people and their languages. Christianity spreads by serving sermons in
Tamil and if Sanskrit is insisted still in Poojas it will not serve
the Hindu religion in the long run.

A Christian Father Jagath Kaspar arranged for releasing Hindu
religious book Thiruvasagam audio by Ilayaraja . He organises annual
festival Sangamam for Tamil folk and classical performances with music
and dance. But our orthodox Hindu brothers seek Sanskrit in Puja,
castes among priests, Telugu in music, Hindi in Central jobs, English
for software and wish to give the last place to Tamil. How can we we
claim to be an egalitarian and fair society. They/We need to think
about this.

11 Responses to “ Paramacharya Chandrashekarendra Saraswati: God,
Women and Languages ”

Ronin
Jan 7, 2010

Ramki,

An eye-opening article..I have read writer Sujatha disappointed with
him, because he refused to see his widows mom..There is so much
unexplained concepts in eastern philosophies..U of Wisconsin at
Madison is opening the science and benefits behind Meditation
primarily Tibetian budhists..I think somewhere down the lane we
started expecting the practioners to be gods themselves, rather than
appreciating the benefits of the practices..

Look forward to more articles..
Regards,
Prakash
Jan 7, 2010

Oops. I had some respect left for him. Alas!

Most of the Hindu mutts stopped working for people & Tamil language -
they are now being run with the properties they amassed over the
centuries. There should be a cap for these properties - when seers
become wealth managers, where is spiritualism or humanism there ?
Abhishek Subramanya
Jan 11, 2010

Dear Ramki,
It is very interesting to know that, unfortunately many people could
not meet Paramacharya due to stern discipline adopted by him which is
very much a minimum requirement for a man being a pontiff.

Let me give you a general example wherein every policeman irrespective
guilty or not guilty sees any suspect in a dubiety because he is
trained and serves best in such a behavior. This notion was followed
by every law in ancient or medieval or modern, since some things
cannot change even society changes. Hence referring to Paramacharya,
Sri is doing the same. Although you may call it injustice since he
could not meet people, on the other hand he has performed the duty he
is supposed to do.

I wont comment on tamil part,since i have only met “Sri Sankara
Vijayendra Saraswati Swamigal” & Sri speaks many Indian Languages.I
know this because i was part of a group where people belonged to
different states.

I dont want delve too much & trigger an argument, just want to say 2
things,
“Every thing depends on how you receive it”. & “Half knowledge is very
dangerous”..

because unless you experience the positive impacts by following “Manu
smriti”..i dont think anyone should point a finger on it..

“TruthDive” is a very nice portal. Why didnt ever one desired to start
researching & publishing his/her experiences by following the manu
dharma , since if followed only one can experience it. “true/
untrue”you can decide later.

regards,
Abhishek Subramanya
ramki
Jan 13, 2010

Abisek

Half knowledge is dangerous - it is for me or to you?

Manu smirthi may have some good points, because of it we cannot
totally accept it. Bhagavat githa also contains some objectionable
slokas wounding the feelings of the majority Hindus. But it is
projected as a holy book. Many people like you are quoting the better
side of our holy books and criticize others who quote the negative
side.

Abishek why dont you write your divine experince by following manu
dharma? I am waiting

Ramki
Kommu S V Dakshinamurthy
Jan 13, 2010

A story will help the Author understand the basics:

Once Kalidas and his contemporary poets decided to edit the Sastras as
they found some grammar mistakes. Once they assembled to do the
corrections, a parrot came and said NAVA NAVA PANCHA PANCHA( 9-9-5-5).
They took it as a bad omen and reassembled after a few days and the
same parrot did the same again. after a couple of times, they did
namaskar to the Parrot ( They had the qualities to inquire ) and asked
the parrot, why it is saying NAVA NAVA Pancha Pancha.
Vyasa appeared in place of parrot and told them that when the sastras
were made, there are nine (NAVA) grammars and the group was aware of
only 5 ( Pancha) grammars. So, they should stop such exercise and
should learn the grammars.

Mr, Author, please focus on understanding the Paramacharya, instead of
commenting on what he did, without proper proofs or understanding.
That will transform your life. The followers of Paramacharya may not
spend their time explaining you basics. They will spend their time in
progress.
Santhan
Jan 13, 2010

Ramki well written article. Excellent. Keep up the good work.

First I don’t believe in human god or god messenger.

Since I read this guy name “Paramachariya (Chandrasekaraendra
Saraswathi of Kanchi Mutt)” - I am thinking of taking three baths to
wash the sin.

@Kommu

If Tamil is non-divine language

Why did he live in Tamil soil and why did he inhale the same air -
several thousand Tamils who used it every day?

Did he put any filter in his nose?
Kumaresh
Jan 13, 2010

-Abhishek Subramanya

Why he (Paramachariya) needed a spectacle when he had divine strength?

-Kommu S V Dakshinamurthy

Stop spreading “worthless Parrot (Bird flu) story”. Instead read and
spread the Science and Medicine.

-Ramki

Good article. But you made one mistake.

Please remove the above photo. This man (Paramachariya) is UNFIT to
stand in front of the beautiful Tamil sentence “God’s voices”.
Abhishek Subramanya
Jan 13, 2010

Its a one’s choice to either to trust a person or not….If a particular
aspect is good for someone he accepts,it may not be the same for
another. I am not the latter in this case….
Also i would like to mention Hinduism has had 2 philosophical schools

~Nasthika is one who doesn’t accept the authority of vedas…
~asthika is one who does..

Adi Shankara settled in Kanchipuram after establishing four Āmnāya
maţhas in the four corners of India and that this gave rise to the
Kanchi maţha & is a great development. The followers have kept up the
tradition.
Kanchi mutt follows authority of vedas…so its asthika in nature..Hence
Sanskrit becomes primary language..

If you trying to fight for language,pls do it elsewhere..

Nasthikas have a large representation today & modern science has added
more fuel creating confusion & more doubts among the young.
Its best to choose ones path but never mislead.Criticizing something
above our understandability(beyond our perception) is really not worth
it.

PS: You need not agree to my comments…No worries since you must feel
correct from your point of view..& never regret your decisions..
regards,
Abhishek Subramanya
Kumaresh
Jan 13, 2010

Abhishek – please answer to the point.

I believe in god. Also I believe- between me and God - no third person
is allowed.

I believe I can pray to the god in any language – or no language too
in some circumstances.

My concern is Why Sanskrit alone a primary language? Why not others?

1. Why he (Paramachariya) needed spectacles when he had divine
strength?
Abhishek Subramanya
Jan 14, 2010

Dear Kumresh,
Pls read (understand) my entire post, you will figure of answers for
all your questions..I felt this place is only for like minded
individuals..which i am not part of..
hence,
greetings

regards,
ABHISHEK SUBRAMANYA
Kumaresh
Jan 14, 2010

அன்புள்ள அபிஷேக் அவர்களுக்கு,

மொழி என்பது நமது எண்ணத்தை மற்றவர்களுக்கு புரியவைப்பது,
புரியக்கூடிய மொழியுள் அதை கேற்பவர்களுக்கு சொல்வது.

As we believe god is the creator of all, Hence it includes Tamil also.

It is unfortunate that this guy (Paramachariya) lacks in understanding
the basics.

http://truthdive.com/2010/01/02/paramacharya-chandrashekarendra-saraswati-god-women-and-languages/

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-30 20:21:42 UTC
Permalink
Politics in Action: The Bhagavad Gita in Modern Times
Workshop held in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 6‐7 June 2008

Under the Auspices of the Centre for History and Economics, the
Trevelyan Fund of the History Faculty and CRASSH Project proposal by
Shruti Kapila In a recent essay the agent provocateur and philosopher,
Slavoj Zizek, remarked that the Bhagavad Gita represented the perfect
philosophy for post‐capitalist society. By no means the first reaction
to the text from outside the field of Indian studies, this is only the
most recent and arguably most controversial understanding of the
philosophical content of the Gita, whose previous commentators have
ranged from Nietzsche to Hitler. Less controversially, the modern
composer Phillip Glass opened his opera ‘Satyagraha’ with the
dramatisation of the discourse between Krishna and Arjuna that seems
to mark out the Gita as a plea for a humanist politics. Though the
text does not offer limitless possibilities for interpretation, what
is certain is that the Gita has acquired an iconic status in modern
times as a set of reflections on ethics, war, justice, freedom and
action.

Over the last decade, intellectual and political historians have
become increasingly interested in the global spread and transformation
of western ideas in the context of 19th and 20th century empires (cf.
Armitage, Pitts, Mehta, etc). Much less attention has been paid,
however, to the converse process by which the major traditions of non‐
western political thought have been transformed and used to interpret
modernity, confront colonial rule and, in some cases, to transform
western political and ethical ideas themselves. This is because few
scholars have the requisite understanding, much of the social and
political theory remains resolutely Eurocentric and many of the key
philosophical texts have been interpreted simply as productions of
‘religion.’ After the Koran, arguably the most influential non‐western
philosophical text in Asia and across the wider world during the last
two hundred years has been the Bhagavad Gita, ‘The Song of the Lord’
the central drama of the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata.

This project aims to bring together an international group of major
intellectual and social historians to discuss modern interpretations
of the ‘Gita’ as a philosophical and ethical text both within South
Asia and also on its ‘outward journey’ into western political debate.

Though part of the epic tradition, the Gita, as the early modern
historian Sheldon Pollock has argued, did not achieve its current pre‐
eminence until the end of the Mughal period. Its resurgence and
reinterpretation is therefore coterminous with the formation of modern
life and politics.

The proposed workshops and the resulting volume provisionally entitled
Politics in Action:

The Gita and Modern Indian Thought will interrogate the relationship
between political thought, religion and modernity. Unlike the
classical Sanskrit text on politics, the Artha‐ Shastra (‘science of
power’), it was instead the Gita that came under repeated scrutiny and
reflection during the colonial period and thereafter. It acquired an
unparallel status as a constant reference point and a site through
which a number of key modern political concepts were formulated. It is
a striking fact, but one hitherto unexamined, that a range of public
intellectuals in the colonial period and up to the present day have
felt obliged to broadcast their own interpretation of the Gita.
Prominent thinkers and political actors such as Vivekananda, B. G.
Tilak, Aurobindo Ghose, B. R. Ambedkar, Annie Besant and Gandhi took
the Gita as a site to elaborate upon and argue about the nature of
political conduct and to imagine their own versions of the future
accordingly. In particular, the major concepts of Western political
thought were grappled with and were recast in the context of differing
interpretations and commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita. As a form of
modern political discourse, the iconic status of the Gita as a
political text could be compared to the role of Machiavelli’s ‘Prince’
and the Old Testament in the European context.

This proposed set of discussions on the Gita will build on and enhance
the project of locating the history of connections between Indian
intellectual history and imperial and global history.

Initiated by the essays in the well‐received special volume entitled
‘A New Intellectual History for India’ of the journal Modern
Intellectual History (CUP, April, 2007), this project opened a new set
of historiographical interventions in the study of both global and
South Asian history.

One of the guiding intellectual principles of the project is to de‐
nationalise Indian history without absorbing it or flattening its
distinction within global/world history. At the same time, it seeks to
examine the power of ideas that have had a profound effect in the
historical transformations of the past two hundred years. Often
subsumed within the narrative of the nation or seen as derivative of
Western intellectual practices, an examination of Indian intellectual
history points instead to the virtuosity of public ideologues in
straddling interest and ideology, theory and practice, the global and
the particular.

The proposed volume on the Gita will be the first attempt at a
sustained study of the changing meanings, interpretations and uses of
this critical text and its relationship to history and politics. The
workshops will examine the relationship between liberal ideologies and
their critiques. It will consider religion and nationalism, duty,
sacrifice and individuality, political action, freedom and
independence, equality and justice. It will examine the place of the
globalised languages of modern politics and their transformation in
particular historical and cultural contexts. The proposed volume will
situate these concepts within the emerging political languages of
liberalism, Marxism, humanism and nationalism, thus addressing both
the emancipatory and also the coercive ideological potential of the
Gita. It will revise received notions of the relations between
religion and the politics of modernity.

Format of Meetings Drawing on the experience of the success of a two‐
leg meeting format that resulted in the publication of the MIH volume
(republishing as a Cambridge University Press book, 2008), we will
follow the same format. The MIH issue developed as an outcome of a
meeting at Tufts University, Mass., followed by another meeting at the
Centre for History and Economics, King’s College, Cambridge. These
meetings facilitated the project by inviting discussants (as opposed
to presenters) from the host institutions. With this project, we aim
to take a similar approach. The first meeting took place in Cambridge,
UK, on 6‐7 June, 2008. The second meeting will take place in 2009 at
the New School University, New York. This will enable the two co‐
organisers and editors Shruti Kapila (Cambridge) and Faisal Devji (New
School/Oxford) to invite discussants from their respective
institutions.

We will aim to submit the manuscript of the volume in the summer of
2009 for publication.

http://www-histecon.kings.cam.ac.uk/gita/politics_in_action_framework.pdf

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-30 21:09:14 UTC
Permalink
Bhagavad Gita and Management
M.P. Bhattathiri
Retired Chief Technical Examiner
Govt. of Kerala, India

One of the greatest contributions of India to the world is the Holy
Gita which
is considered to be one of the first revelations from God. The
management
lessons in this holy book were brought in to light of the world by
divine
Maharshi Mahesh Yogi , Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Swami Bodhanandji, and
the spiritual philosophy by the great Adi Sankaracharya the greatest
philosopher of India and proud son of Kerala, and Sri. Srila
Prabhupada Swami and humanism by Mata Amritanandamayi Devi and Satya
Sai Baba.
Maharishi calls the Bhagavad-Gita the essence of Vedic Literature and
a complete guide to practical life. It provides "all that is needed to
raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level."
Maharishi reveals the deep, universal truths of life that speak to the
needs and aspirations of everyone.

Swami Chinmayanandaji preached and educated the people and Swami
Sandeep Chaitanyaji continuing the mission by keeping this lantern
burning always knowing the wishes of the modern generations. Arjuna
got mentally depressed when he saw his relatives with whom he has to
fight.( Mental health has become a major international public health
concern now).
To motivate him the Bhagavad Gita is preached in the battle field
Kurukshetra by Lord Krishna to Arjuna as a counseling to do his duty
while multitudes of men stood by waiting. It has got all the
management tactics to achieve the mental equilibrium and to overcome
any crisis situation. The Bhagavad Gita can be experienced as a
powerful catalyst for transformation. Bhagavad Gita means song of the
Spirit, song of the Lord. The Holy Gita has become a secret driving
force behind the unfoldment of one's life. In the days of doubt this
divine book will support all spiritual searches. This divine book will
contribute to self reflection, finer feeling and deepen one's inner
process.

Then life in the world can become a real education dynamic, full and
joyful no matter what the circumstance. May the wisdom of loving
consciousness ever guide us on our journey? What makes the Holy Gita a
practical psychology of transformation is that it offers us the tools
to connect with our deepest intangible essence and we must learn to
participate in the battle of life with right knowledge?. It shows us
the path to handle the situation with an equipoised mind irrespective
of what comes our way and reminds us time and again, that what the
right action is.

The Holy Gita is the essence of the Vedas, Upanishads. It is a
universal
scripture applicable to people of all temperaments and for all times.
It is
a book with sublime thoughts and practical instructions on Yoga,
Devotion,
Vedanta and Action. It is profound in thought and sublime in heights
of
vision. It brings peace and solace to souls that are afflicted by the
three
fires of mortal existence, namely, afflictions caused by one's own
body
(disease etc), those caused by beings around one (e.g. wild animals,
snakes
etc.), and those caused by the gods (natural disasters, earth-quakes,
floods
etc).

Mind can be one's friend or enemy. Mind is the cause for both bondage
and
liberation. The word mind is derived from man to think and the word
man
derived from Manu (sanskrit word for man).

"The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is
directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on
a
machine, made of the material energy."

There is no theory to be internalized and applied in this psychology.
Ancient practices spontaneously induce what each person needs as the
individual and the universal coincide. The work proceeds through
intellectual knowledge of the playing field (jnana yoga), emotional
devotion
to the ideal (bhakti yoga) and right action that includes both feeling
and
knowledge(karma yoga). With ongoing purification we approach wisdom.
The Bhagavad Gita is a message addressed to each and every human
individual to help him or her to solve the vexing problem of
overcoming the present and progressing towards a bright future. Within
its eighteen chapters is revealed a human drama. This is the
experience of everyone in this world, the drama of the ascent of man
from a state of utter dejection, sorrow and total breakdown and
hopelessness to a state of perfect understanding, clarity, renewed
strength and triumph.

"Freed from attachment, fear and anger, absorbed in Me, and taking
refuge in Me, purified by the penance of knowledge, many have attained
union with My Being." (Gita 4:10)

Mind is very restless, forceful and strong, O Krishna, it is more
difficult
to control the mind than to control the wind ~ Arjuna to Sri Krishna

Introduction

In this modern world the art of Management has become a part and
parcel of everyday life, be it at home, in the office or factory and
in Government. In
all organizations, where a group of human beings assemble for a common
purpose irrespective of caste, creed, and religion, management
principles
come into play through the management of resources, finance and
planning,
priorities, policies and practice. Management is a systematic way of
carrying out activities in any field of human effort.

Management need to focus more on leadership skills, e.g., establishing
vision and goals, communicating the vision and goals, and guiding
others to accomplish them.

It also assert that leadership must be more facilitative,
participative and
empowering in how visions and goals are established and carried out.
Some
people assert that this really isn't a change in the management
functions,
rather it's re-emphasizing certain aspects of management.

Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their
weaknesses irrelevant, says the Management Guru Peter Drucker. It
creates harmony in working together - equilibrium in thoughts and
actions, goals and achievements, plans and performance, products and
markets. It resolves situations of scarcity, be they in the physical,
technical or human fields, through maximum utilization with the
minimum available processes to achieve the goal.

Lack of management causes disorder, confusion, wastage, delay,
destruction and even depression. Managing men, money and materials in
the
best possible way, according to circumstances and environment, is the
most
important and essential factor for a successful management.

Management guidelines from the Bhagavad Gita

There is an important distinction between effectiveness and efficiency
in
managing.

Effectiveness is doing the right things.
Efficiency is doing things right.

The general principles of effective management can be applied in every
field, the differences being more in application than in principle.
The
Manager's functions can be summed up as:

Forming a vision
Planning the strategy to realize the vision.
Cultivating the art of leadership.
Establishing institutional excellence.
Building an innovative organization.
Developing human resources.
Building teams and teamwork.
Delegation, motivation, and communication.

Reviewing performance and taking corrective steps when called for.
Thus, management is a process of aligning people and getting them
committed to work for a common goal to the maximum social benefit - in
search of excellence. Major functions of a manager are planning,
organizing, leading and coordinating activities -- they put different
emphasis and suggest
different natures of activities in the following four major
functions..
The critical question in all managers' minds is how to be effective in
their
job. The answer to this fundamental question is found in the Bhagavad
Gita,
which repeatedly proclaims that "you must try to manage yourself." The
reason is that unless a manager reaches a level of excellenceand
effectiveness, he or she will be merely a face in the crowd.

Old truths in a new context:

The Bhagavad Gita, written thousands of years ago, enlightens us on
all
managerial techniques leading us towards a harmonious and blissful
state of
affairs in place of the conflict, tensions, poor productivity, absence
of
motivation and so on, common in most of Indian enterprises today –
and
probably in enterprises in many other countries.

The modern (Western) management concepts of vision, leadership,
motivation, excellence in work, achieving goals, giving work meaning,
decision making and planning, are all discussed in the Bhagavad Gita.
There is one major difference. While Western management thought too
often deals with problems at material, external and peripheral levels,
the Bhagavad Gita tackles the issues from the grass roots level of
human thinking. Once the basic thinking of man is improved, it will
automatically enhance the quality of his actions and their results.

The management philosophy emanating from the West is based on the lure
of materialism and on a perennial thirst for profit, irrespective of
the quality of the means adopted to achieve that goal. This phenomenon
has its
source in the abundant wealth of the West and so 'management by
materialism' has caught the fancy of all the countries the world over,
India being no exception to this trend.

My country, India, has been in the forefront in importing these ideas
mainly because of its centuries old indoctrination by colonial rulers,
which has inculcated in us a feeling that anything Western is good and
anything Indian, is inferior. Gita does not prohibit seeking money,
power, comforts, health. It advocates active pursuit of one's goals
without getting attached to the process and the results.

The result is that, while huge funds have been invested in building
temples
of modem management education, no perceptible changes are visible in
the
improvement of the general quality of life - although the standards of
living of a few has gone up. The same old struggles in almost all
sectors of
the economy, criminalization of institutions, social violence,
exploitation
and other vices are seen deep in the body politic.

The source of the problem

The reasons for this sorry state of affairs are not far to seek. The
Western
idea of management centers on making the worker (and the manager) more
efficient and more productive. Companies offer workers more to work
more,
produce more, sell more and to stick to the organization without
looking for
alternatives. The sole aim of extracting better and more work from the
worker is to improve the bottom-line of the enterprise. The worker has
become a hirable commodity, which can be used, replaced and discarded
at
will.

Thus, workers have been reduced to the state of a mercantile product.
In
such a state, it should come as no surprise to us that workers start
using
strikes (gheraos) sit-ins, (dharnas) go-slows, work-to-rule etc. to
get
maximum benefit for themselves from the organisations. Society-at-
large is
damaged. Thus we reach a situation in which management and workers
become separate and contradictory entities with conflicting interests.
There is no common goal or understanding. This, predictably, leads to
suspicion,
friction, disillusion and mistrust, with managers and workers at cross
purposes. The absence of human values and erosion of human touch in
the
organizational structure has resulted in a crisis of confidence.

Western management philosophy may have created prosperity – for some
people some of the time at least - but it has failed in the aim of
ensuring
betterment of individual life and social welfare. It has remained by
and
large a soulless edifice and an oasis of plenty for a few in the midst
of
poor quality of life for many.

Hence, there is an urgent need to re-examine prevailing management
disciplines - their objectives, scope and content. Management should
be
redefined to underline the development of the worker as a person, as a
human being, and not as a mere wage-earner. With this changed
perspective, management can become an instrument in the process of
social, and indeed national, development.

Now let us re-examine some of the modern management concepts in the
light of the Bhagavad Gita which is a primer of management-by-values.
Utilization of available resources The first lesson of management
science is to choose wisely and utilize scarce resources optimally.

During the curtain raiser before the Mahabharata War, Duryodhana chose
Sri Krishna's large army for his help while Arjuna selected Sri
Krishna's wisdom for his support. This episode gives us a clue as to
the natureof the effective manager - the former chose numbers, the
latter, wisdom.

Work commitment

A popular verse of the Gita advises "detachment" from the fruits or
results
of actions performed in the course of one's duty. Being dedicated work
has
to mean "working for the sake of work, generating excellence for its
own
sake." If we are always calculating the date of promotion or the rate
of
commission before putting in our efforts, then such work is not
detached. It
is not "generating excellence for its own sake" but working only for
the
extrinsic reward that may (or may not) result.

Working only with an eye to the anticipated benefits, means that the
quality
of performance of the current job or duty suffers - through mental
agitation
of anxiety for the future. In fact, the way the world works means that
events do not always respond positively to our calculations and hence
expected fruits may not always be forthcoming. So, the Gita tells us
not to
mortgage present commitment to an uncertain future.

Some people might argue that not seeking the business result of work
and
actions, makes one unaccountable. In fact, the Bhagavad Gita is full
of
advice on the theory of cause and effect, making the doer responsible
for
the consequences of his deeds. While advising detachment from the
avarice of selfish gains in discharging one's accepted duty, the Gita
does not absolve anybody of the consequences arising from discharge of
his or her
responsibilities.

Attachment to perishable gives birth to fear, anger, greed, desire,
feeling of "mine" and many other negative qualities. Renounce
attachment by regarding objects for others and for serving others.
Depend only on God (not body, nor intellect), and the dependency on
the world will end. Renouncing attachment is the penance of knowledge,
which leads to His Being - Truth, Consciousness and Bliss. (Heaved
Gita-4.10)

Thus the best means of effective performance management is the work
itself.

Attaining this state of mind (called "nishkama karma") is the right
attitude
to work because it prevents the ego, the mind, from dissipation of
attention
through speculation on future gains or losses.

Motivation self and self-transcendence:

It has been presumed for many years that satisfying lower order needs
of
workers - adequate food, clothing and shelter, etc. are key factors in
motivation. However, it is a common experience that the
dissatisfaction of
the clerk and of the Director is identical - only their scales and
composition vary.

It should be true that once the lower-order needs are more
than satisfied, the Director should have little problem in optimizing
his
contribution to the organization and society. But more often than not,
it
does not happen like that. ("The eagle soars high but keeps its eyes
firmly
fixed on the dead animal below.") On the contrary, a lowly paid
schoolteacher, or a self-employed artisan, may well demonstrate higher
levels of self-actualization despite poorer satisfaction of their
lower-order needs.

This situation is explained by the theory of self-transcendence
propoundedin the Gita. Self-transcendence involves renouncing egoism,
putting others
before oneself, emphasizing team work, dignity, co-operation, harmony
and
trust, indeed potentially sacrificing lower needs for higher goals,
the opposite of Maslow.

"Work must be done with detachment." It is the ego that spoils work
and the
ego is the centerpiece of most theories of motivation. We need not
merely a
theory of motivation but a theory of inspiration.

The Great Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941, known as
"Gurudev") says working for love is freedom in action. A concept which
is described as "disinterested work" in the Gita where Sri Krishna
says,
"He who shares the wealth generated only after serving the people,
through
work done as a sacrifice for them, is freed from all sins. On the
contrary
those who earn wealth only for themselves, eat sins that lead to
frustration
and failure."

Disinterested work finds expression in devotion, surrender and
equipoise.
The former two are psychological while the third is determination to
keep
the mind free of the dualistic (usually taken to mean "materialistic")
pulls
of daily experiences. Detached involvement in work is the key to
mental
equanimity or the state of "nirdwanda." This attitude leads to a stage
where
the worker begins to feel the presence of the Supreme Intelligence
guiding
the embodied individual intelligence. Such de-personified intelligence
is
best suited for those who sincerely believe in the supremacy of
organizational goals as compared to narrow personal success and
achievement.

Work culture

An effective work culture is about vigorous and arduous efforts in
pursuit
of given or chosen tasks. Sri Krishna elaborates on two types of work
culture "daivi sampat" or divine work culture and "asuri sampat" or
demonic work culture.

Daivi work culture - involves fearlessness, purity, self-control,
sacrifice,
straightforwardness, self-denial, calmness, absence of fault-finding,
absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of envy and pride.
Asuri work culture - involves egoism, delusion, personal desires,
improper
performance, work not oriented towards service.

Mere work ethic is not enough. The hardened criminal exhibits an
excellent
work ethic. What is needed is a work ethic conditioned by ethics in
work.
It is in this light that the counsel, "yogah karmasu kausalam" should
be
understood. "Kausalam" means skill or technique of work which is an
indispensable component of a work ethic. " Yogah" is defined in the
Gita
itself as "samatvam yogah uchyate" meaning an unchanging equipoise of
mind (detachment.) Tilak tells us that acting with an equable mind is
Yoga.
(Bal Gangadhar Tilak, 1856-1920, the precursor of Gandhiji, hailed by
the
people of India as "Lokmanya," probably the most learned among the
country's political leaders. For a description of the meanings of the
word "Yoga", see foot of this page.)

By making the equable mind the bed-rock of all actions, the Gita
evolved the
goal of unification of work ethic with ethics in work, for without
ethical
process no mind can attain an equipoise. The guru, Adi Sankara (born
circa
800 AD), says that the skill necessary in the performance of one's
duty is
that of maintaining an evenness of mind in face of success and
failure.
The calm mind in the face of failure will lead to deeper introspection
and see
clearly where the process went wrong so that corrective steps could be
taken to avoid shortcomings in future.

The principle of reducing our attachment to personal gains from the
work
done is the Gita's prescription for attaining equanimity. It has been
held
that this principle leads to lack of incentive for effort, striking at
the
very root of work ethic. To the contrary, concentration on the task
for its
own sake leads to the achievement of excellence – and indeed to the
true
mental happiness of the worker.

Thus, while commonplace theories of motivation may be said to lead us
to the bondage or extrinsic rewards, the Gita's principle leads us to
the intrinsic rewards of mental, and indeed moral, satisfaction.

Work results

The Gita further explains the theory of "detachment" from the
extrinsic
rewards of work in saying:

If the result of sincere effort is a success, the entire credit should
not
be appropriated by the worker alone. If the result of sincere effort
is a failure, then too the entire blame does not accrue to the worker.

The former attitude mollifies arrogance and conceit while the latter
prevents excessive despondency, de-motivation and self-pity. Thus both
these dispositions safeguard the doer against psychological
vulnerability, the
cause of the modem managers' companions of diabetes, high blood
pressure and ulcers.

Assimilation of the ideas of the Gita leads us to the wider spectrum
of
"lokasamgraha" (general welfare) but there is also another dimension
to the
work ethic - if the "karmayoga" (service) is blended with "bhaktiyoga"
(devotion), then the work itself becomes worship, a
"sevayoga" (service for
its own sake.)

Along with bhakti yoga as a means of liberation, the Gita espouses the
doctrine of nishkamya karma or pure action untainted by hankering
after the
fruits resulting from that action. Modern scientists have now
understood the
intuitive wisdom of that action in a new light.

Scientists at the US National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda,
found
that laboratory monkeys that started out as procrastinators, became
efficient workers after they received brain injections that suppressed
a
gene linked to their ability to anticipate a reward. The scientists
reported
that the work ethic of rhesus macaques wasn't all that different from
that
of many people: "If the reward is not immediate, you procrastinate",
Dr
Richmond told LA Times.

(This may sound a peculiarly religious idea but it has a wider
application.
It could be taken to mean doing something because it is worthwhile, to
serve
others, to make the world a better place.)

Manager's mental health

Sound mental health is the very goal of any human activity - more so
management. Sound mental health is that state of mind which can
maintain a
calm, positive poise, or regain it when unsettled, in the midst of all
the
external vagaries of work life and social existence. Internal
constancy and
peace are the pre-requisites for a healthy stress-free mind. At the
initial
stages when engaging in a relationship, the mind may wander and go to
different places. But we must have a clear aim, a clear focus, a
single
pointed direction. Thereafter the mind will not wander in different
places.
The mind will remain on only one.
..
Some of the impediments to sound mental health are:
Greed - for power, position, prestige and money.
Envy - regarding others' achievements, success, rewards.
Egotism - about one's own accomplishments.
Suspicion, anger and frustration.

Anguish through comparisons.

The driving forces in today's businesses are speed and competition.
There is
a distinct danger that these forces cause erosion of the moral fiber,
that
in seeking the end, one permits oneself immoral means - tax evasion,
illegitimate financial holdings, being "economical with the truth",
deliberate oversight in the audit, too-clever financial reporting and
so on.
This phenomenon may be called as "yayati syndrome".

In the book, the Mahabharata, we come across a king by the name of
Yayati who, in order to revel in the endless enjoyment of flesh
exchanged his old age with the youth of his obliging youngest son for
a thousand years.
However, he found the pursuit of sensual enjoyments ultimately
unsatisfying
and came back to his son pleading him to take back his youth. This
"yayati
syndrome" shows the conflict between externally directed acquisitions
(extrinsic motivation) and inner value and conscience (intrinsic
motivation.)

Our mind is like a computer, continuously programmed since our
childhood
along with some vasanas from our previous birth. This programming is
both
good and bad for ourselves, a healthier programming makes us a
productive
and happy individual, while a bad program may turn us into a
unproductive.
If we choose to surrender our Mind, Ego and operate from that realm,
it is
like asking a person to live with his brain defunct!! It will be a
futile
exercise.

Mental peace can be achieved by effective delegation. Delegation
is when supervisors give responsibility and authority to subordinates
to
complete a task, and let the subordinates figure out how the task can
be
accomplished. Effective delegation develops people who are ultimately
more
fulfilled and productive. Managers become more fulfilled and
productive themselves as they learn to count on their staffs and are
freed up to attend to more strategic issues.

Delegation is often very difficult for new supervisors, particularly
if they
have had to scramble to start the organization or start a major new
product
or service themselves. Many managers want to remain comfortable,
making the same decisions they have always made. They believe they can
do a better job themselves. They don't want to risk losing any of
their power and stature (ironically, they do lose these if they don't
learn to delegate
effectively). Often, they don't want to risk giving authority to
subordinates in case they fail and impair the organization.

This is one reason why such an exercise of surrendering mind, ego etc
fails
in the real world. Man is a biological machine, and he cannot operate
without those necessary components of his software.

Management needs those who practice what they preach

"Whatever the excellent and best ones do, the commoners follow," says
Sri
Krishna in the Gita. The visionary leader must be a missionary,
extremely
practical, intensively dynamic and capable of translating dreams into
reality. This dynamism and strength of a true leader flows from an
inspired
and spontaneous motivation to help others. "I am the strength of those
who
are devoid of personal desire and attachment. O Arjuna, I am the
legitimate
desire in those, who are not opposed to righteousness," says Sri
Krishna in
the 10th Chapter of the Gita.
Gita.

Conclusion

The despondency of Arjuna in the first chapter of the Gita is
typically
human. Sri Krishna, by sheer power of his inspiring words, changes
Arjuna's
mind from a state of inertia to one of righteous action, from the
state of
what the French philosophers call "anomie" or even alienation, to a
state of
self-confidence in the ultimate victory of "dharma" (ethical action.)
When Arjuna got over his despondency and stood ready to fight, Sri
Krishna
reminded him of the purpose of his new-found spirit of intense action
- not
for his own benefit, not for satisfying his own greed and desire, but
for
the good of many, with faith in the ultimate victory of ethics over
unethical actions and of truth over untruth.

Sri Krishna's advice with regard to temporary failures is, "No doer of
good
ever ends in misery." Every action should produce results. Good action
produces good results and evil begets nothing but evil. Therefore,
always
act well and be rewarded.

My purport is not to suggest discarding of the Western model of
efficiency,
dynamism and striving for excellence but to tune these ideals to
India's
holistic attitude of " lokasangraha" - for the welfare of many, for
the good
of many. There is indeed a moral dimension to business life. What we
do in
business is no different, in this regard, to what we do in our
personal
lives. The means do not justify the ends. Pursuit of results for their
own
sake, is ultimately self-defeating. ("Profit," said Matsushita-san in
another tradition, "is the reward of correct behavior." – ed.)
A note on the word "yoga".

Yoga has two different meanings - a general meaning and a technical
meaning.

The general meaning is the joining together or union of any two or
more
things. The technical meaning is "a state of stability and peace and
the
means or practices which lead to that state." The Bhagavad Gita uses
the
word with both meanings.

M.P.Bhattathiri.

Let us go through what scholars say about the Holy Bhagavad Gita.

"No work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because none is
better
loved, in the West, than the Bhagavad-gita. Translation of such a work
demands not only knowledge of Sanskrit, but an inward sympathy with
the
theme and a verbal artistry. For the poem is a symphony in which God
is seen in all things. The Swami does a real service for students by
investing
the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning. Whatever our outlook may
be, we should all be grateful for the labor that has lead to this
illuminating
work."

Dr. Geddes MacGregor, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
University of Southern California

"The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great
religious
civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The
present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the
permanent
living importance of the Gita."

Thomas Merton, Theologian

"I am most impressed with A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's
scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gita. It is a most
valuable work for the scholar as well as the layman and is of great
utility as a reference book as well as a textbook. I promptly
recommend this edition to my students. It is a beautifully done book."

Dr. Samuel D. Atkins Professor of Sanskrit, Princeton University

"As a successor in direct line from Caitanya, the author of Bhagavad-
gita As
It is entitled, according to Indian custom, to the majestic title of
His
Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The great interest
that
his reading of the Bhagavad-gita holds for us is that it offers us an
authorized interpretation according to the principles of the Caitanya
tradition."

Olivier Lacombe Professor of Sanskrit and Indology, Sorbonne
University,
Paris

"I have had the opportunity of examining several volumes published by
the
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and have found them to be of excellent
quality and
of great value for use in college classes on Indian religions. This is
particularly true of the BBT edition and translation of the Bhagavad-
gita."

Dr. Frederick B. Underwood Professor of Religion, Columbia University

"If truth is what works, as Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there
must be
a kind of truth in the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, since those who follow
its
teachings display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and
strident lives of contemporary people."

Dr. Elwin H. Powell Professor of Sociology State University of New
York,
Buffalo

"There is little question that this edition is one of the best books
available on the Gita and devotion. Prabhupada's translation is an
ideal
blend of literal accuracy and religious insight."

Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins Professor of Religion, Franklin and Marshall
College

"The Bhagavad-gita, one of the great spiritual texts, is not as yet a
common
part of our cultural milieu. This is probably less because it is alien
per
se than because we have lacked just the kind of close interpretative
commentary upon it that Swami Bhaktivedanta has here provided, a
commentary written from not only a scholar's but a practitioner's, a
dedicated lifelong devotee's point of view."

Denise Levertov, Poet

"The increasing numbers of Western readers interested in classical
Vedic
thought have been done a service by Swami Bhaktivedanta. By bringing
us a
new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, he has
increased our understanding manyfold."

Dr. Edward C Dimock, Jr. Department of South Asian Languages and
Civilization University of Chicago"The scholarly world is again
indebted to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although Bhagavad-
gita has been translated many times, Prabhupada adds a translation of
singular importance with his commentary."

Dr. J. Stillson Judah, Professor of the History of Religions and
Director of
Libraries Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California

"Srila Prabhupada's edition thus fills a sensitive gap in France,
where many
hope to become familiar with traditional Indian thought, beyond the
commercial East-West hodgepodge that has arisen since the time
Europeans first penetrated India.

"Whether the reader be an adept of Indian spiritualism or not, a
reading of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is will be extremely profitable.
For many this will be the first contact with the true India, the
ancient India, the eternal India."

Francois Chenique, Professor of Religious Sciences Institute of
Political
Studies, Paris, France

"It was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but
large,
serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another
age
and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which
exercise us"

Emerson's reaction to the Gita

"As a native of India now living in the West, it has given me much
grief to
see so many of my fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of
gurus and spiritual leaders. For this reason, I am very excited to see
the
publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada. It will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and
unauthorized 'gurus' and 'yogis' and will give an opportunity to all
people
to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture."

Dr. Kailash Vajpeye, Director of Indian Studies Center for Oriental
Studies,
The University of Mexico

"The Gita is one of the clearest and most comprehensive one, of the
summaries and systematic spiritual statements of the perennial
philosophy
ever to have been done"

__________________________________________Aldous Huxley

"It is a deeply felt, powerfully conceived and beautifully explained
work. I
don't know whether to praise more this translation of the Bhagavad-
gita, its
daring method of explanation, or the endless fertility of its ideas. I
have
never seen any other work on the Gita with such an important voice and
style. . . . It will occupy a significant place in the intellectual
and
ethical life of modern man for a long time to come."

Dr. Shaligram Shukla Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University

"I can say that in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is I have found
explanations and
answers to questions I had always posed regarding the interpretations
of
this sacred work, whose spiritual discipline I greatly admire. If the
asceticism and ideal of the apostles which form the message of the
Bhagavad-Gita As It Is were more widespread and more respected, the
world in which we live would be transformed into a better, more
fraternal place."

Dr. Paul Lesourd, Author Professeur Honoraire, Catholic University of
Paris

"When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this
universe everything else seems so superfluous."

Albert Einstein

"When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and
I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and
find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the
midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will
derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day."

Mahatma Gandhi

"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmoganal
philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern
world and its literature seem puny and trivial."

Henry David Thoreau

"The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind
by its
devotion to God which is manifested by actions."

Dr. Albert Schweitzer

"The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living
creation
rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning
for every civilization."

Sri Aurobindo

"The idea that man is like unto an inverted tree seems to have been
current
in by gone ages. The link with Vedic conceptions is provided by Plato
in his
Timaeus in which it states 'behold we are not an earthly but a
heavenly
plant.' This correlation can be discerned by what Krishna expresses in
chapter 15 of Bhagavad-Gita."

Carl Jung

"The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of
human
existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties
of
life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of
the
universe."

Prime Minister Nehru

"The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of
life's
wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion."

Herman Hesse

"I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was the first of
books;
it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but
large,
serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another
age
and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which
exercise us."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with
full
understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it."

Rudolph Steiner

"From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human
existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence
of
all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures."

Adi Shankara

"The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual
evolutionof endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and
comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence
its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of
humanity."

Aldous Huxley

"The Bhagavad-Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to reveal the science of
devotion to God which is the essence of all spiritual knowledge. The
Supreme Lord Krishna's primary purpose for descending and incarnating
is relieve the world of any demoniac and negative, undesirable
influences that are opposed to spiritual development, yet
simultaneously it is His incomparable
intention to be perpetually within reach of all humanity."

Ramanuja

The Bhagavad-Gita is not seperate from the Vaishnava philosophy and
the
Srimad Bhagavatam fully reveals the true import of this doctrine which
is
transmigation of the soul. On perusal of the first chapter of Bhagavad-
Gita
one may think that they are advised to engage in warfare. When the
second
chapter has been read it can be clearly understood that knowledge and
the
soul is the ultimate goal to be attained. On studying the third
chapter it
is apparent that acts of righteousness are also of high priority. If
we
continue and patiently take the time to complete the Bhagavad-Gita and
try
to ascertain the truth of its closing chapter we can see that the
ultimate
conclusion is to relinquish all the conceptualized ideas of religion
which
we possess and fully surrender directly unto the Supreme Lord.

Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati

"The Mahabharata has all the essential ingredients necessary to evolve
and
protect humanity and that within it the Bhagavad-Gita is the epitome
of the
Mahabharata just as ghee is the essence of milk and pollen is the
essence of flowers."

Madhvacarya

Yoga has two different meanings - a general meaning and a technical
meaning.

The general meaning is the joining together or union of any two or
more
things. The technical meaning is "a state of stability and peace and
the
means or practices which lead to that state." The Bhagavad Gita uses
the
word with both meanings. Lord Krishna is real Yogi who can maintain a
peaceful mind in the midst of any crisis."

Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.

Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana are but three paths to this end. And common
to all
the three is renunciation. Renounce the desires, even of going to
heaven,
for every desire related with body and mind creates bondage. Our focus
of
action is neither to save the humanity nor to engage in social
reforms, not
to seek personal gains, but to realize the indwelling Self itself.
Swami Vivekananda (England, London; 1895-96)

"Science describes the structures and processess; philosophy attempts
at
their explaination.----- When such a perfect combination of both
science and
philosophy is sung to perfection that Krishna was, we have in this
piece of
work an appeal both to the head annd heart.

" ____________Swamy Chinmayanand on Gita

I seek that Divine Knowledge by knowing which nothing remains to be
known!'
For such a person knowledge and ignorance has only one meaning: Have
you knowledge of God? If yes, you a Jnani! If not, you are ignorant.As
said inthe Gita, chapter XIII/11, knowledge of Self, observing
everywhere the
object of true Knowledge i.e. God, all this is declared to be true
Knowledge
(wisdom); what is contrary to this is ignorance."

Sri Ramakrishna

Maharishi calls the Bhagavad-Gita the essence of Vedic Literature and
a
complete guide to practical life. It provides "all that is needed to
raise
the consciousness of man to the highest possible level." Maharishi
reveals
the deep, universal truths of life that speak to the needs and
aspirations
of everyone.

Maharshi Mahesh Yogi

The Gita was preached as a preparatory lesson for living worldly life
with
an eye to Release, Nirvana. My last prayer to everyone, therefore, is
that
one should not fail to thoroughly understand this ancient science of
worldly
life as early as possible in one's life.

--- Lokmanya Tilak

I believe that in all the living languages of the world, there is no
book so
full of true knowledge, and yet so handy. It teaches self-control,
austerity, non-violence, compassion, obedience to the call of duty for
the
sake of duty, and putting up a fight against unrighteousness
(Adharma). To
my knowledge, there is no book in the whole range of the world's
literature
so high above as the Bhagavad-Gita, which is the treasure-house of
Dharma
nor only for the Hindus but foe all mankind. --- M. M. Malaviya

Let us go through what scholars say about ancient India "India was the
mother of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's
languages. She was the mother of our philosophy, mother through the
Arabs, of much of our mathematics, mother through Buddha, of the
ideals embodied in Christianity, mother through village communities of
self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother
of us all."

- Will Durant

"If there is one place on the face of this Earth "where all the dreams
of
living men have found a home "from the very earliest days when Man
began the dream of existence, it is India."

- Romain Rolland - French Philosopher 1886-1944

It is opposed to their (Hindus) foreign origin, that neither in the
Code (of
Manu) nor, I believe, in the Vedas, nor in any book that is certainly
older
than the code, is there any allusion to a prior residence or to a
knowledge
of more than the name of any country out of India. Even mythology goes
no
further than the Himalayan chain, in which is fixed the habitation of
the
gods... .To say that it spread from a central point is an unwarranted
assumption, and even to analogy; for, emigration and civilization have
not
spread in a circle, but from east to west. Where, also, could the
central
point be, from which a language could spread over India, Greece, and
Italy
and yet leave Chaldea, Syria and Arabia untouched? There is no reason
whatever for thinking that the Hindus ever inhabited any country but
theirpresent one, and as little for denying that they may have done so
before the earliest trace of their records or tradition.

- 1841 M.S. Elphinstone, the first governor of the Bombay Presidency

http://www.cincinnatitemple.com/articles/BhagavadGitaManagement.pdf

...and I am Sid Harth

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-01-30 21:21:16 UTC
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THE BHAGAVAD GITA
AND THE WEST

The Esoteric Meaning of the Bhagavad Gita
and Its Relation to the Letters of St. Paul
Fourteen Lectures Held in Cologne and Helsinki
December 28, 1912-January 1, 1913
and May 28-June 5, 1913

EDITED, WITH INTRODUCTION, DESCRIPTIVE OUTLINES
AND NOTES BY ROBERT MCDERMOTT

FOREWORD BY CHRISTOPHER BAMFORD
INCLUDING THE TEXT OF THE BHAGAVAD GITA
TRANSLATED BY EKRATH EASWARAN

RUDOLF STEINER
SteinerBooks
CW 142 /146

Copyright © 2008 by SteinerBooks
SteinerBooks
Anthroposophic Press
610 Main Street, Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230

www.steinerbooks.org

This book comprises volumes 142 and 146 in the Collected Works (CW) of
Rudolf Steiner, published by SteinerBooks, 2006. Translated from
shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer. This is a translation of
two volumes in German Die Bhagavad Gita und die Paulusbriefe, GA 142
and Die okkulten Grundlagen der Bhagavad Gita, GA 146, published by
Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach, Switzerland, 1961. The lecture in the
appendix is translated from Das Markus-Evangelium, GA 139, and was
published in The Gospel of St. Mark, Anthroposophic Press, 1986. Part
I: The Bhagavad Gita and the Epistles of Paul was translated by Lisa
D. Monges and Doris M. Bugbey. Part II: The Esoteric Meaning of the
Bhagavad Gita was translated by George and Mary Adams and amended by
Doris M. Bugbey. Both translations were revised for this edition by
Mado Spiegler. The lecture in the Appendix was translated by Conrad
Mainzer and edited by Stewart C. Easton. Part III: The text of the
Bhagavad Gita, translated by Eknath Easwaran, is reproduced with kind
permission from Nilgiri Press, Berkeley, CA, 2007. Copyright 1985,
2007 by The Blue Mountain Center of Meditation.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Steiner, Rudolf, 1861-1925.

[Okkulten Grundlagen der Bhagavad Gita. English]

The Bhagavad Gita and the West : the esoteric meaning of the Bhagavad
Gita and its relation to the letters of St. Paul / Rudolf Steiner ;
edited and introduced by Robert McDermott ; foreword by Christopher
Bamford.
p. cm.

“Including the text of the Bhagavad Gita translated by Ekrath
Easwaran.”
“Fourteen lectures held in Cologne and Helsinki, December 28, 1912-
January 1, 1913 and May 28-June 5, 1913.”

Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-88010-604-7

1. Bhagavadgita–Criticism, interpretation, etc. 2. Bible. N.T.
Epistles of Paul–Criticism, interpretation, etc. 3. Anthroposophy. I.
McDermott, Robert A. II. Easwaran, Eknath. III. Steiner, Rudolf,
1861-1925. Bhagavad Gita und die Paulusbriefe. English. IV.
Bhagavadgita. English. V. Title.
BL1138.67.S7413 2008
294.5’924046—dc22
2008014774

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any
form without written permission from the publisher, except for brief
quotations
embodied in critical articles for review.

Printed in the United States

CONTENTS

Foreword by Christopher Bamford xi
Preface by Robert McDermott xvii
Introduction by Robert McDermott xix

PART I
THE BHAGAVAD GITA AND THE EPISTLES OF PAUL

1.
The Unified Plan of World History
The Merging of Three Spiritual Streams in the Bhagavad Gita
COLOGNE, DECEMBER 28, 1912
The three millennia bearing the stamp of Greek culture. The emergence
of Eastern wisdom in the nineteenth century. A relevant comment by
Wilhelm von Humboldt. The confluence of three spiritual streams in the
Bhagavad Gita: Veda, Sankhya, Yoga; The renewed form of these streams
in modern spiritual science; their living transformation through
Christianity and through Paul.
pages 1 – 15

2.
The Fundamental Concepts of the Gita:
The Veda, Sankhya, and Yoga
COLOGNE, DECEMBER 29, 1912

The fundamental knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita. The Sankhya system:
the degrees of the Prakriti ; Purusha ; the three gunas, their
resonance in Aristotle and their rebirth in Goethe’s color theory. The
task of Yoga: the regaining of the lost spirituality through
devotional exercises. The Bhagavad Gita as the poetry and teaching of
a time in transition.
pages 16 – 34

3.
Joining the Three Streams in the Christ Impulse
COLOGNE, DECEMBER 30, 1912

The effect of world views on the soul and destiny of the human being.
The super-personal “sublimity” of the Bhagavad Gita; the personal
engagement in the letters of Paul. The being of Krishna and his
teaching. The eleventh song of the Bhagavad Gita.
pages 35 – 54

4.
The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita
and the Significance of the Pauline Letters

COLOGNE, DECEMBER 31, 1912

The Bhagavad Gita as the flower of former developments, the letters of
Paul as the seed of future developments. The transitional period
characterized by the deed of Krishna: the falling away of blood-bound
clairvoyance. The transition to a higher stage of development through
the Christ impulse: the soul-element taking hold from within and the
confrontation with Lucifer and Ahriman.
pages 55 – 74

5.
The Spirituality of Maya
Krishna — the Luminosity of the Christ
Paul’s Experience and Teaching of the Risen Christ
COLOGNE, JANUARY 1, 1913

The individual human being addressed by Krishna and all of humanity
through the Christ impulse. Paul’s words about the working together of
the various spiritual gifts in a community and about love. Indian
philosophy turning away from Maya. The Christian search for the
spiritual in the world as the work of the gods. The being and deed of
Christ; Krishna as His “shining light.” The path of reconciliation of
the human being with the world through self knowledge and self-
education.
pages 75 – 95

PART II
THE ESOTERIC MEANING OF THE BHAGAVAD GITA

1.
HELSINKI, MAY 28, 1913

The recognition of the Bhagavad Gita and its relevance for the present
time. A statement on this by Wilhelm von Humboldt. The starting-point
of the Bhagavad Gita: a battle of brothers. The reluctance of Arjuna
to be involved in worldly battle. The opposite picture of Socrates as
proclaimer of the immortality of the soul. Arjuna as the
representative of the world of the group soul, and Krishna as the
leader for the experience of the individual ego.
pages 99 – 110

2.
HELSINKI, MAY 29, 1913

The artistic composition of all ancient documents of the esoteric. A
shattering soul experience as the starting point of esoteric
experiences. Widening of interest as a prerequisite of spiritual
training. Arjuna’s spiritual development in accordance with such
prerequisites. Thinking in general concepts as a new acquisition at
the time of the Bhagavad Gita. Ideas and concepts as the beginning of
clairvoyance. The teaching of Krishna: turning away from the word of
the Vedas, and turning toward treading the path of Yoga. Undergoing
the feeling of solitude and the first steps to super-sensible
knowledge.
pages 111 – 125

3.
HELSINKI, MAY 30, 1913

The connection of dream pictures with everyday experiences. The
intrusion of spiritual experiences into the world of dreams as a
result of spiritual-scientific practices. The overcoming of the usual
sympathies and antipathies as a pre-condition for such experiences.
Examples of the difficulties of achieving this. Attaining a new
attitude to one’s own destiny. The necessity of strengthening self-
awareness for the ascent into higher worlds. The reflection of such
facts in the meeting between Arjuna and Krishna.
pages 126 – 135

4.
HELSINKI, MAY 31, 1913

The last remains of clairvoyance in people at the time of the Bhagavad
Gita. The feeling of the senselessness of a merely physical existence
as a spur to spiritual research. The attainment of higher knowledge
through conscious penetration into the region of the spirit world
otherwise only experienced during sleep. The recognition of the
necessity of evil in the world. The indignation of public criticism
towards insights brought down from the “sleep region.” The truth of
the two Jesus children as an example. The words of Krishna as
revelations from this spiritual region.
pages 136 – 149

5.
HELSINKI, JUNE 1, 1913

The deficiency of all definitions. Characterization of the cyclic
course of the processes of upbuilding and degradation in the nervous
system through the alternation of sleeping and waking. Helen Keller as
example for the resilience of hereditary forces against organic
damage. The cyclic law of life in the course of history and
alternation between periods of preparation and of fulfillment. The
formation of a new organ in the human brain between the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries and the beginning of spiritualistic thinking in
the present. Examples of the after effects of a materialistically
superficial mode of thinking. Woodrow Wilson’s views on national life.
The preparation of self-consciousness through Krishna during the time
of division into castes and ancestor worship. Arjuna’s becoming
conscious of this process.
pages 150 – 160

6.
HELSINKI, JUNE 2, 1913

An error of today’s abstract scientific knowledge: the interpretation
of ancient religious documents as philosophical systems. The meeting
of Arjuna with Krishna as bringing about self-consciousness. The
artistic crescendo of the first songs of the Bhagavad Gita to the
ninth song: from comprehension of the eternal through outer phenomena
to deepening in Yoga, to experiencing the Krishna spirit in
imaginative pictures. The meaning of the Krishna impulse for the
individual human soul, of the Christ impulse for all humanity.
pages 161 – 171

7.
HELSINKI, JUNE 3, 1913

The inability of the human being to recognize his own powers of
cognition. The working of the destructive forces in the waking life of
thinking and the creative up-building forces during sleep. The special
quality of these forces in the human being: their relationship to the
“less than nothing”. The sleep of the reproductive forces in innocent
childhood and their animalizing effect when they awaken during
puberty. The protection of these human creative forces from Lucifer’s
influence in the sister soul of Adam. The becoming human of this soul
in the Jesus child of the Luke Gospel. Its penetration by the
Zarathustrian soul of the other Jesus child during puberty. The
working of Adam’s soul in the Krishna impulse. The discovery of these
facts through esoteric observation and not by rational construction.
pages 172 – 183

8.
HELSINKI, JUNE 4, 1913

The emergence of the Bhagavad Gita out of the perceptual mode of
ancient India. The lack of understanding its more profound contents.
The efforts to renew the ancient Indian wisdom through the Sankhya
philosophy and the Vedanta philosophy of Shankaracharya. The
relationship of this spiritual stream with the philosophy of Soloviev,
Fichte and Hegel. The perception of the Bhagavad Gita expressed in the
concepts sattva, rajas, and tamas. The vivacity of these concepts and
their application to various areas of life.
pages 184 – 197

9.
HELSINKI, JUNE 5, 1913

The different application of the concepts sattva, rajas, and tamas at
the time of the Bhagavad Gita and the present. Growing beyond these
three soul conditions as the task of Arjuna. Krishna’s impulse for the
independence and perfection of the human soul. The synthesis of the
Luciferic impulse through the Christ impulse. The widespread error in
the Theosophical Society of the physical reincarnation of Christ and
the striving for truthfulness as the task of Anthroposophy.
pages 198 – 213

Total of twentyfive pages. Read them all on the western perspective,
albeit from one author, and enjoy.

http://www.steinerbooks.org/excerpts/bhagavad_intro.pdf

...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-01-31 22:52:13 UTC
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Bhagavad-Gita (With the Commentary of Sankaracarya (Shankaracharya))
IDE159

by Trans By. Swami Gambhirananda
Hardcover (Edition: 2003)

Advaita Ashrama
ISBN 81-7505-041-1

Size: 7.4" X 5.0"
Pages: 847

Our Price: $16.50

From the Jacket:

Krishna in the guise of a charioteer to Arjuna …. urges him not to be
sorrowful, not to fear death, since he knows he is immortal, that
nothing which changes can be in the real nature of man.

- Swami Vivekananda
( Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. VIII)

O sinless one, this most secret scripture has thus been uttered by Me;
understanding this, one become wise and has his duties fulfilled.

- Gita, XV. 20

Publisher's Note

Publisher's Note

The publication of this edition of the Bhagavadgita by us fulfils a
long-felt need, namely, to make available to the public interested in
Advaita Vedanta a faithful English translation of Sankaracarya's
commentary on this sacred scripture. It is well known that the Gita is
one of the constituents of the prasthana-traya, three source-books, of
the Vedanta Darsana. It is called the smrti-prasthana, as it forms a
part of the great epic, the Mahabharata.

The translator, Swami Gambhirananda, one of the Vice-Presidents of the
Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission, needs no introduction to
those who have studied his Eight Upanisads (in two volumes, each of
which is also separately published), his Brahma-Sutra-Bhasya of
Sankaracarya, published nearly two decades back, and his Chandogya
Upanisad, published recently-all by the Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati. He
now offers this translation of the bhasya of Sankaracarya on this very
important scripture, Bhagavadgita, which, as the translator remarks in
his valuable Introduction, 'is ranked among the greatest religious
books of the world'. In this informative and scholarly Introduction,
he has discussed in brief such subjects as the date of the Mahabharata
war, which provided the occasion for the birth of the Gita, the
historicity of the Gita on other countries, the date of Sankaracarya-
well documented and fortified by the views of several savants, both of
the East and the West, and by referring to inscriptions.

The method followed in translating this bhasya is the same as in his
translation of the Upanisads. With the publication of this book, the
present translator has done the monumental work of rendering into
English Sankaracarya's bhasya on the entire gamut of the prasthana-
traya, with the only exception of the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad, the
commentary on which by Sankara was translated by Swami Madhavananda of
revered memory and first published by us in July 1934.

It may be noted that, while the slokas are in devanagari, only the
English rendering of such expressions as Sribhagavanuvaca, Arjuna
uvaca, etc. are given in the book. A very useful feature of this
edition of the Bhagavadgita is the inclusion of a 'Word Index' to the
entire text, apart from an Index to the first words of the slokas,
which, we believe, will be found helpful to both scholars and students
alike. It is our earnest hope that this edition of the Gita will be
warmly welcomed and received by those interested in Sankaracarya's
commentary on it.

Introduction

The scene of the delivery of the Bhagavadgita (The Song Divine), also
known briefly as the Gita, by Sri Krsna to Arjuna is laid on the
battlefield of Kuruksetra where the Pandavas and the Kauravas had
assembled their armies for war. Scholars differ as regards the date of
this battle, though they are inclined to think that it was a
historical event. According to tradition the battle was fought at the
end of the Dvapara-yuga. The next yuga, viz the Kaliyuga, is believed
to have started on 18 February 3102 B.C., when Pariksita, grandson of
Arjuna ascended the throne of the Kauravas at Hastinapura. (The
History and Culture of the Indian People, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, vol.
I, p. 308) Karandikar says that the battle was fought in 1931 B.C.,
while Prof. Sengupta argues that it was fought in 2566 B.C. C. V.
Vaidya holds that the was fought in 3102 B.C.

As Dhrtarastra was born blind, he could not rule the kingdom. So his
younger brother Pandu became the Ruler. When Pandu died his sons were
too young as also were Duryodhana, the eldest son of Dhrtarastra, and
his younger brothers. Hence, Bhisma, the oldest member of the family,
managed the affairs of the State. When the young boys came of age
Duryodhana wanted to become the King by ousting Yudhisthira through
foul means. But public opinion was in favour of Yudhisthira. So, in
order not to antagonize the officials and the people, Bhisma advised
Dhrtarastra to divide the kingdom between his sons, referred to as the
Kauravas, and Pandu's sons called the Pandavas. This advice was
followed. Accordingly the former ruled from Hastinapura and the latter
from Indraprastha for thirty-six years. But Duryodhana was jealous of
the prosperity of the Pandavas, and to ruin them he invited
Yudhisthira to a game of dice, which resulted in the banishment of the
Pandavas under the condition of living in the forest for twelve years
and one year incognito. After the stipulated period Yudhisthira
claimed his portion of the kingdom, but Duryodhana refused, and this
led to the battle of Kuruksetra. Yudhisthira had four brothers –Bhima,
Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva, Arjuna was considered the mightiest among
the contemporary warriors. Sri Krsna, though Himself a formidable
warrior and regarded as an Incarnation of God, vowed not to take up
arms on either side, but agreed to become the charioteer of Arjuna.
Through the political sagacity and able advice of Sri Krsna the result
of the battle went in favour of Yudhisthira, who ascended the throne.

The battle is described in all its details in the great epic
Mahabharata. And the Gita which forms chapters 23 to 40 of the
Bhismaparva of this epic must be as old; Radhakrishnan points out that
the Mahabharata contains references to the Gita. (Indian Philosophy,
vol. I, p. 523.) Scholars are at variance about the date of this
voluminous epic. They ascribe to it a date much later than that of the
battle, and opine that it underwent many additions and alterations in
subsequent ages. According to them the Gita also suffered the same
fate. R.C. Dutta thinks that the Mahabharata was first written in the
twelfth century B.C. Buhler and Kriste in their book, Contributions to
the Study of the Mahabharata assign the present form of the epic to
the third century A.D. But according to Radhakrishnan the epic took
its present form at least in the fifth century B.C., whereas it might
have been first written in the eleventh century B.C. (lbid p. 480).

Some of the western thinkers were of the opinion that the Gita was
written after Jesus Christ and the idea of devotion was borrowed from
him. But the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics remarks, 'it is not
certain that portions of this poem, in which the doctrine of bhakti,
or fervent faith, is taught, are pre-Christian, and therefore itself
is of indigenous Indian origin.' (Vol. vi, p. 696.) Not merely the
devotional portions but the book as a whole is not only pre-Christian,
it is pre-Buddhistic as well.

That the Gita is pre-Buddhistic follows from the fact that it does not
refer to Buddhism. Some scholars believe that the mention of nirvana
six times in the Gita is a clear indication of its post-Buddhistic
origin. But the word nirvana in the Gita occurs compounded either with
brahma as Brahma-nirvanam-meaning identified with or absorbed in
Brahman-, or with paramam as nirvana-paramam, which means culminating
in Liberation. The Buddhistic nirvana, on the other hand, is used in
the sense of being blown out or extinguished. This word also occurs
elsewhere in the Mahabharata in the sense of extinction. So, the
conclusion is that the Buddhists borrowed the word nirvana from the
earlier Hindu literature. Furthermore, the construction of many
sentences as also archaic forms of words in the Gita does not follows
the grammatical rules of Panini (c. sixth century B.C.). Besides, the
word yoga is used in the Gita in a much wider sense than it is in the
Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali, who followed Panini 100 or 150 years later.
Telang is of the opinion that the Gita was written earlier than 300
B.C., while R.J. Bhandarkar holds that it must have been written
earlier than the fourth century. (Vaisnavism and Saivism, p. 13)
Radhakrishnan, however, goes further backward to fifth century B.C.
According to Dr. Dasgupta it must have been composed earlier than
Buddha's advent, but in no case later than that. Noticing the
similarity of language among the Mundaka Upanisad, Svetasvatara
Upanisad and the Gita, some scholars have concluded that the Gita
belongs to the later Upanisadic age. In fact, the colophons in the
Gita mention that it is an Upanisad (bhagavad gitasu-upanisatsu).

Though, as suggested by some scholars, Krsna of the Rg-veda
(8.96.13-15), who lived on the banks of Amsumati (Yamuna) and fought
against Indra, might have been a tribal god, the Krsna of the
Mahabharata, otherwise known as Vasudeva (son of Vasudeva and Devaki),
must have been a historical person, honoured as an incarnation of
Visnu or Narayana. Megasthenes (320 B.C.), the Greek. Ambassador to
the court of Chandragupta, mentions that Heracles was worshipped by
Sourasenoi (Surasenas) in whose land were two great cities-Methora
(Mathura) and Kleisobora (Krsnapura). Scholars identify Heracles
(Harikulesa) with Krsna. The Kausitaki Brahmana refers to Him as a
descendant of Angirasa (30.9), and the Chandogya Upanisad (3.17.6)
says that Krsna, son of Devaki, was taught by Ghora Angirasa. Some
scholars find a similarity between the teaching of Krsna (Gita,
16.1-3) with Ghora's teaching: 'Then, these that are austerity,
charity, straightforwardness, non-injury and truthfulness are the
payments made to the priests' (Ch. 3.17.4). Besides, Ghora's use of
the word yajna (sacrifice) in a metaphorical sense finds its echo in
the fourth chapter of the Gita (verses 24-33). Finally, Ghora's
conclusion of his teaching with, 'At the time of final departure one
should think, "Thou art the indestructible, Thou art the Immovable,
Thou art the essence of the Vital Force", has similarity with the
verses 11 to 13 of the eighth chapter of the Gita. In time, Vasudeva
became the central figure of the Bhagavata cult. His name is mentioned
in Panini's grammar (4.3.98). The Besnagar (Vidisa) inscription (180
B.C.) mentions the erection of a column with a Garuda's image on it,
in honour of Vasudeva by Heliodorous, a Bhagavata and a resident of
Taxila. In the Buddhist book Niddesa (fourth century B.C.) included in
the Pali Canon, there is a reference to the worshippers of Vasudeva
and Baladeva among others. Old Jaina literature also refer to Krsna
(Kanha). All these facts go to prove that Krsna was a pre-Buddhistic
personality.

According to the recension of the Gita commented on by Sankaracarya,
the number of verses is 700. But there is evidence to show that some
old manuscripts had 745 verses. The Gita published in Srinagar,
Kashmir, with the annotation of Abhinavaguptacarya, contains the same
number of verses. Other manuscripts have been discovered with
variations both in the number of verses and the readings. Pusalker is
of the opinion that 'the additional stanzas effect no material
addition; nor do they create any differences in the teaching or
argument. (Studies in Epics and Puranas, p. 144) He further remarks
that 'Sankaracarya's testimony for the text of the Bhagavadgita is
earlier than that of any other MS or commentator.' (ibid. p. 147.)
However that may be, after sankaracarya wrote his Commentary, the Gita
has taken a definite form with 700 verses, so far at least as the
general public is concerned.

The Gita is ranked among the greatest religious books of the world,
and in India it occupies a position next only to the Upanisads. In
fact, it is considered as a summing up of the Upanisads; in certain
places it quotes from them almost verbatim. There is a commonly known
verse which says, 'All the Upanisads are cows, the milker is Sri
Krsna, the calf is Arjuna, the enjoyers are the wise ones and the milk
is the fine nectar that the Gita is.' The book has been translated
into all the widely spoken languages in India as also into the
principal languages, of the world. As early as the time of Akbar
(1556-1605) the book was translated into Persian separately by Abu-'1-
Fazl and Faizi.

About the Bhagavad-Gita, the Encyclopaedia Britannica (vol. viii, pp.
937-8) writes: 'The influence of the Bhagavad-Gita has been profound.
It was a popular text open to all who would listen and fundamental for
all later Hinduism.

The importance of the Gita for the Hindu public is proved by the fact
that almost all the religious leaders following Sankaracarya have
interpreted the Gita according to their own schools of thought. Among
them Ramanujacarya (1199-1276), Vallabhacarya (1479), Kesava Kasmiri,
a follower of Nimbarkacarya (1162), Vijnana Bhiksu, Jnaneswar and
Tukaram wrote commentaries or elucidations on the Gita. In modern
times also, such annotations have been written by B.G. Tilak, Mahatma
Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo among others.

About the influence of the Gita on other counties and religions
Radhakrishnan writes, 'The Gita has exercised an influence that
extended in early times to China and Japan, and lately to the lands of
the West. The two chief works of Mahayana Buddhism, Mahayana-
sraddhotpatti (The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana) and Saddharma-
pundarika (The Lotus of the True Law) are deeply indebted to the
teaching of the Gita. It is interesting to observe that the official
exponent of the "German Faith", J.W. Hauer, a Sanskrit scholar who
served for some years as a missionary in India, gives to the Gita a
central place in the German faith.' (Bhagavadgita, p. 11.) Dara Shuko
was enamoured of the Gita. We have already indicated that the Gita
traveled to Persia during the Mughal Age. In recent times it has been
appreciated by eminent men and scholars like Dr. L.D. Barnett, Warren
Hastings, Charles Wilkins (who translated the Gita into English in
1758), Carlyle and Aldous Huxley.

It is not necessary to present here the gist of the Gita, for this
will be apparent to those who read it as also the present translation.
Suffice it to say that although many western scholars believe that the
Gita is a loose collection of thoughts of different schools,
Madhusudana Saraswati divides the Gita into three sections of six
chapters each, dealing successively with Karma-yoga, Bhakti-yoga and
Jnana-yoga, the first leading to the second and the second to the
third. But Ananda Giri holds that the three sections are concerned
with the ascertainment of the true meaning of the great Upanisadic
saying, 'Thou art That'. His view has been presented in the footnotes
of the present work. Sankaracarya makes no such division, but says
that spiritual unfoldment proceeds along the following stages:
practice of scriptural rites and duties with a hankering for results;
practice of the same as a dedication to God without expecting rewards
for oneself; purification of the mind or moral excellence along with
upasana (devotion to and meditation on the qualified Brahman);
acquisition of knowledge from a teacher and the scriptures, followed
by renunciation of all rites and duties (monasticism), which makes one
fit for steadfastness in that knowledge; steadfastness in that
knowledge; removal of ignorance and self revelation of the supreme
Brahman, which is the same as Liberation. (See Sankaracarya's
Commentary on 5.12; his introduction to 5.27, 18.10; and Commentary on
18.46 and 18.49.) He thus reveals a unity of purpose of the book as a
whole.

In the preparation of this book we have been helped by Swamis
Gabhirananda and Atmaramananda. In general, we have followed the Gita
Press (Gorakhpur) edition of the text and the Commentary. Important
variations in reading have been pointed out in the footnotes. Other
footnotes on the text and the Commentary are based on Ananda Giri,
unless and otherwise stated.

CONTENTS

Introduction by the Translator xiii
Invocation 1
Introduction by Sri Sankaracarya 2
Chapter 1: The Melancholy of Arjuna 9
Chapter 2: The Path of Knowledge 30
Chapter 3: Karma-Yoga 122
Chapter 4: Knowledge and Renunciation of Actions 175
Chapter 5: The Way to Renunciation of Actions 232
Chapter 6: The Yoga of Meditation 270
Chapter 7: Jnana and Vijnana 315
Chapter 8: Discourse on the Immutable Brahman 341
Chapter 9: The Sovereign Knowledge and Mystery 367
Chapter 10: The Divine Glory 397
Chapter 11: Revelation of the Cosmic Form 428
Chapter 12: Bhakti-Yoga 473
Chapter 13: Discrimination between Nature and Soul 494
Chapter 14: The Classification of the Three Gunas 567
Chapter 15: The Supreme Person 591
Chapter 16: The Divine and the Demoniacal Attributes 615
Chapter 17: The Three Kinds of Faith 634
Chapter 18: Monasticism and Liberation 656
Index to First Words of the Slokas 773
Index to Words 786

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Life of Shankaracharya - The Adventures of a Poet Philosopher
Article of the Month - February 2005

PDF (Acrobat) - 449 kb

The Boon of Shiva

In the south Indian state of Kerala there once lived a learned
Nambudiri brahmin couple. Even though this pious duo enjoyed all the
blessings of life - fertile fields, abundant milch cows, plentiful
wealth, well-built mansions and hosts of loving relatives - all this
failed to give joy to them for the simple reason that even after many
years of conjugal bliss, they were still not blessed with a symbol of
their affection - an offspring. In their distress they called upon
Lord Shiva for mercy. It is said that the great god himself appeared
in the husband's dream and asked his desire. Shiva gave the distressed
scholar two choices: an all-knowing talented but short-lived son, or
one who would live very long but without any special virtue or
greatness. The childless man, instead of declaring his preference,
replied, "What do you think? Please do whatever is best for humanity."
Though this story may or may not be accurate in the modern
'historical' sense, it does hold a significant moral. When confronted
with a choice, one can learn from this incident that if the person
giving the choice is much greater than oneself, the best option would
appear to be to defer the decision to the boon giver.

In due course the worthy wife became pregnant. That she carried within
herself an exceptional foetus was evident and is glorifyingly
described in the traditional biographies: "as her pregnancy advanced,
her whole body became lustrous like a blazing sun difficult to look
at. What wonder is there if in course of time it became difficult for
her to move about, bearing within, as she did, the energy of Shiva who
is the support of all the worlds. She began to feel the contact of
even tender and sweet smelling flowers a burden. What then to speak of
ornaments? A general lassitude gradually crept on her, making
everything burdensome to her. Another psychological change,
characteristic of women in pregnancy, came over her. Whatever was rare
she would like to have, but on obtaining it, would immediately lose
all interest in it. Thus the relatives brought many delicacies to
please the expectant mother, but her interest would abate as soon as
she had tasted them. Well, the life of a pregnant mother is indeed
full of ordeals. The line of her abdominal hair, resembling the mossy
growth in the rivulet of radiance that flowed to the navel after
encircling her hillock-like bosom, shone as the staff carried by
accomplished yogis, placed there by the creator himself for the use of
the divine child within - as if to declare that he was a sannayasi,
even in his pre natal state. In the guise of hr two breasts for
suckling the child, the creator had verily made two jars filled with a
new type of nectar that was enlightenment (mukti) itself. It looked as
if the two breasts of the mother stood for the theory of difference
and the thinness of the middle region for the doctrine of Shunyata
(nothingness), and the child within was refuting and correcting these
by causing the enlargement of the breasts and the abdomen."

The newborn was named Shankara, which is but another epithet for Lord
Shiva It means the bestower (kara) of happiness (sam) to all. Shankara
grew up as a precocious child and exhibited exceptional talent in
imbibing the ancient Vedic texts. His parents thus naturally had high
hopes from him. Unfortunately, his father wasn't around to witness the
full flowering of his talents and passed away when Shankara was just
three. It fell to the lot of his mother to care for the child and
bring him up single-handedly. The dutiful mother performed his
upanayanam ceremony (sacred thread ritual of the twice born) when he
turned five, after which he was packed off to a gurukula for his
primary education. The lad was blessed with prodigious powers of
retention and it was said that he could remember anything once he had
heard it. He thus quickly mastered all the required branches of
learning, including logic, philosophy of yoga and grammar. Even at
that young age however, the perceptive Shankara showed a marked
preference for the non-dualistic (Advaita) doctrine laid down in the
ancient texts known as the Upanishads.

Early Life

After finishing his studies, Shankara returned home and continued to
lead a life devoted to learning, and serving his mother. During this
time Shankara's reputation as an extraordinary child traveled far and
wide, so much so that the king of Kerala desiring to see him sent a
minister with a large retinue to invite him to the royal palace.
Shankara, however, was not enamored by the regal splendor and politely
refused the invitation saying "I am a brahamchari (celibate monk), who
should not leave his studies lured by the luxury of riding an elephant
and the chances of being honored at a king's court. It is therefore
difficult for me to comply with the request and I am sorry I have to
send you back home disappointed." On hearing this the king, who
himself was an accomplished poet, visited Shankara and enjoyed with
him many hours of enlightened discussion.

Though Shankara lived a regular life at home, his ascetic tendencies
were obvious to those around him. This caused much distress to his
mother, for he was her sole emotional anchor. Shankara, the devoted
son that he was, thought within himself: "I have not the least liking
for this worldly life. But mother does not permit me to leave it. She
is a guru unto me and I must not do anything without her consent."

Shankara becomes a Sannayasi

Life went on this manner, until one day when Shankara went to bathe in
the river. No sooner had he entered the stream than a crocodile caught
hold of his leg and began to drag him to deeper waters. Shankara
shouted to his mother on the bank: "Mother, this alligator is pulling
me to imminent death. If I die with an unfulfilled desire in my heart,
my soul will not find release. Thus do give your consent to my
becoming a sannayasi so that I can at least fulfill my wish in
principle and leave this world peacefully." The lamenting mother
consented to her son's appeal. Just then some fishermen nearby threw
their nets on the crocodile who thus intimidated, released Shankara's
leg.

The young lad now started preparations for leaving the house of his
mother since as a sannayasi the whole world was now his home. The
mother's grief knew no bounds but having given her word she could in
no way retract it. Perceiving her despair, Shankara said: "All knowing
mother, you are yourself aware that this world is but an inn where we
are together for a meager time only. One day, on the eternal road, all
souls are destined to unite with the One Absolute Reality. For your
material comforts, you have with you all our ancestral property and I
will make arrangements that our near and dear ones will care for you
in my absence." He also promised her that he would be present to
perform her last rites when the situation arose. Thus ensuring the
well being of his mother, Shankara left his abode in the search of an
accomplished guru who could initiate him into sannayas (monkhood),
embarking on a way of life which has solitude for one 's pleasure
garden, chance-obtained food for banquet and the indwelling Shiva as
sole companion.

Moving northwards, he passed through various lands, rivers, cities,
mountains, animals, men and the rest until he came to the banks of the
river Narmada, thousands of kilometers away from his native place. The
shade of the tall trees on the riverside and the cool breeze blowing
through them assuaged his bodily exhaustion very soon. He then
observed bark clothes hanging from the branches and realized that he
had reached a hermitage. His curiosity aroused, he asked the ascetics
residing there the name of the spiritual preceptor of the ashram. It
belonged to Govindapada.

Shankara was then led to the cave where the sage resided. He
respectfully went round the cavern three times, then prostrated before
its entrance and entreated the guru to make him his disciple. Coming
out of his samadhi (super conscious state), Guru Govindapada asked him
the following question: "Who are you?" Shankara there and then
composed a composition of ten verses, the gist of which is as follows:
"I am neither the earth, nor water, fire, air or sky (the five subtle
elements), nor composed of their properties. I am not the sense organs
nor the mind. I am but the Supreme Consciousness underlying all, known
as Shiva." Hearing these words, which betrayed an extraordinarily high
comprehension of metaphysical principles, the guru was transported
into the realms of ecstasy and recognizing Shankara's talent,
initiated him into sannayasa.

Govindapada instructed Shankara on the nuances of Vedic philosophy. He
also introduced his pupil to the Brahma Sutra penned by sage Vyasa
(author of the epic Mahabharata). The Brahma Sutra is so called
because its theme is Brahman (the Ultimate Reality). It is also called
Shaririksutra (bodily, since it is concerned with the embodied soul);
Bhikshusutra, because those who are competent to study it are the
sannayasins; Uttaramimamsasutra (Uttara - final; mimamsa - enquiry) as
it is an enquiry into the final sections of the Vedas. This sacred
text, dealing with the ultimate questions of philosophy, consists of
552 propositions or aphorisms (known as sutras), each tersely worded
and brief enough to leave the first time reader perplexed. This factor
coupled with its undisputed authority among ancient texts has ensured
that it has been commented on by almost every major figure in the
Indian philosophic tradition. In fact, it would be possible to trace
much of the history of Indian philosophy by examining the commentaries
on this work alone.

At the particular moment when Shankara was studying under Govindapada,
there was no unanimity amongst scholars regarding the interpretation
of the Brahma Sutra. His guru therefore directed Shankara to repair to
the holy city of Varanasi, which even then, as today, was a great seat
of learning and education, and write a commentary on the text, which
would clarify matters and put an end to the prevailing confusion.

It is well known that all learning and knowledge in the ancient times
had to be tested at Varanasi, in front of its learned pundits, for
which the city was justly famous. Shankara thus started his mission of
the grand unification of the various strands of the Indian ethos,
which were then moving in divergent directions. It is interesting to
note here the sense of unity that pervaded the thinking of all
scholars throughout the history of ancient India known as Bharatadesha
at the time. Scholars from the east, west, north or south, all had to
prove themselves at this great center of scholarship and spirituality.
While the concept of a nation-state in a political sense may have been
alien to early Indian thought it was alive to the much more enduring
and stable ideas of spiritual unity of this land extending from the
Himalayas in the north to Kanyakumari in the south. It is this idea of
being one country which prompted Shankara and many others, even in
times when there was no easy access through any means of transport, to
travel to the four corners of the land. In this regard, the situation
of many pilgrim centers located throughout the country at strategic
points seems to be a deliberate exercise aimed at bringing all
spiritually inclined pilgrims in contact with one another and
reinforcing the concept of unity as a nation. Shankara thus settled
down at Varanasi, and derived great satisfaction and inspiration from
this holy city. Over a period of time, many young people were
attracted to his radiant presence and became his disciples.

Confrontation with an Untouchable

One scorching day of summer, the worthy saint and his followers were
going to bathe in the river Ganges at the Manikarna ghat. On their
way, the party encountered a chandal (keeper of cremation grounds) who
is considered the lowest amongst lowest in the hierarchy of Indian
castes. Accompanying the outcaste were his four repulsive dogs.
Addressing the untouchable, Shankaracharya asked him to move away and
make way for them. The hunter then raised some interesting questions:

"You are always going about preaching that the Vedas teach the non
dual Brahman to be the only reality which is immutable and
unpollutable. If this is so how has this sense of difference overtaken
you? There are hundreds of yogis going around indulging in high
sounding philosophical talk, donning the ochre robe and exhibiting
other insignia of holy life like the water pot and staff. But not even
a ray of knowledge having found entrance into their hearts, their holy
exterior serves only to dupe householders. You have asked me to move
aside and make way for you. To whom were your words addressed O
learned Sir? To the body which comes from the same source and performs
the same functions in the case of both a brahmin (the highest caste)
and an outcaste? Or to the atman (soul), which too is the same in all,
unaffected by anything material like the body? How do such differences
as 'this is a brahmin, or this is an outcaste,' arise in the
essentially non-dual world, which is the philosophy you preach. O
revered teacher, is the sun changed in the least, if it reflects in
the liquor pot or in the holy Ganga? How can you indulge in such false
sentiments as 'Being a brahmin I am pure; and you, dog-eater, must
therefore give way for me,' when the truth is that the one universal
and unblemishable bodiless spirit is shining alike in each of our
physical forms. Forgetting, due to false attachment, one's own true
nature as the material-less spirit - beyond thoughts and words,
unmanifest, beginningless, endless and pure - how indeed have you come
to identify yourself with the body which is but unsteady like the ears
of an elephant."

Saints of India - Shankaracharya

It is believed that the chandala was none other than Lord Shiva in
disguise, and the four canines the four Vedas. The sage immediately
fell to the feet of the outcaste and composed there a quintad of
scintillating verses, called the 'Manishapanchakam,' summing up the
absolute truth as follows:

From the standpoint of the body, O Shiva, I am thy servant; from the
standpoint of the soul, O Thou with three eyes, I become a part of
Thine; and O the Self of all, from the standpoint of the Self, I am
verily Thou: This is my settled conclusion reached with the help of
all shastras.

In a fortunate turn of events, the date for the auspicious Kumbha mela
at Prayag (Allahabad of today), fell concurrent with his sojourn in
Varanasi, eighty kilometers from the site of the fair. His discourses
on the banks of the Ganga there attracted many pilgrims and spiritual
seekers who felt exceptionally blessed on partaking the nectar of his
teachings.

Meeting with a Philosopher Committing Suicide

During the time of Shankaracharya, the school of Purvamimamsa, which
believed in the strict and theoretical observance of rituals, reigned
supreme. Shankara realized that unless he was able to win over this
powerful rival, his goal of spiritually re-unifying India would remain
difficult to fulfill. The foremost proponent of this sect was the
great scholar Kumarila Bhatta, who lived in Prayag itself.

When Shankara reached Kumarila's place he saw a strange and horrific
sight. Placed in a courtyard was a huge pyre lighted with slow burning
rice-husk. At the center of the flames could be discerned the head of
a radiant figure, draped in white. This was none other than the great
philosopher Bhatta himself.

Kumarila Bhatta, in order to equip himself with the nuances of
Buddhist philosophy, so that he could better counter its onslaught
against the Vedic ethos, had once studied at a monastery pretending to
be a Buddhist. He was committing self-immolation as an expiation for
his sins, which included the pretension of being a Buddhist and
learning their doctrines at the feet of a guru, and then, the
impropriety of all improprieties, challenging his own guru to debate
and defeating him (guru-droha). These unworthy acts not befitting one
who 'practiced what he preached,' an ocean of guilt overwhelmed
Kumarila, and to atone for his sins resorted to this fatal, drastic
step.

Shankara's appeal to step down from the flames proved to be of no
avail. Before succumbing however, Kumarila advised him to go and meet
his disciple Mandana Mishra, who was the most renowned protagonist of
the Purvamimamsa School.

Mandana Mishra resided in the town of Mahishamati (Madhya Pradesh).
When Shankara reached the city and asked for directions from some
maids on the way, he was told: "You will find nearby a house at whose
gates there a number of parrots in cages, discussing topics like: 'Do
the Vedas have self validity or do they depend on some external
authority for their validity? Are karmas capable of yielding their
fruits directly, or do they require the intervention of god to do so?
Is the world eternal, or is it a mere appearance?' Where you find this
strange phenomenon of caged parrots discussing such abstruse
philosophical problems, know that to be the gate of Mandana's place."

Shankaracharya and Mandana Mishra debate while Bharati looks on

These precise and unique instructions made it easy for Shankara to
locate the house and it was not long before he challenged Mandana
Mishra to debate. By mutual consent it was decided to make Bharati,
the wife of Mandana Mishra, the judge of this contest. Indeed, the
wise and sagacious Bharati was renowned all over as a veritable
incarnation of Goddess Saraswati herself. Before the debate formally
began, Bharati put a garland of fresh flowers round the neck of each
philosopher and declared that whose wreath faded first would be the
loser. The propriety of such an action is questionable since a Hindu
woman will garland with her own hands no man except her husband. Such
a ceremony forms an integral ritual at Indian weddings. Is it that
Saraswati (incarnated as Bharati) had already chosen Shankara as her
suitor, thus symbolically crowning him with victory before the debate
even began? The precise answer we will never know.

The dialogue between the two stalwarts is said to have gone on for a
number of days and renowned scholars from all around came in droves to
witness this extraordinary event. It is interesting to note here that
while the debate was on, Bharati would invite them both at noon for
food, first inviting the ascetic for his alms (bhiksha) and then the
householder (Mandana) for his meal. The verbal duel encompassed the
entire gamut of Vedic philosophy covering all its various
manifestations and subtle elements. As time progressed however,
Mandana's necklace of flowers began to fade. His wife Bharati thus
declared her verdict in favor of the sannayasi. Then, unlike other
days, she invited both of them for bhiksha, since it had been already
agreed that the defeated philosopher would adopt the stage of life
(asharama) practiced by the victor. Thus the householder (grihastha)
became a renunciant (sannayasi) and it was appropriate to invite both
of them for alms. To his credit, Mandana accepted his defeat
gracefully and became a disciple of Shankaracharya, who rechristened
him as Sureshvara.

An Ascetic Discusses the Science of Love

The transformation of her husband into a sannayasi distressed Bharati
to no end. Wise and prudent as she was, she kept her counsel and
addressed Shankara thus: "You do know that the sacred texts enjoin
that a wife forms one-half of a husband's body (ardhangini: ardha-
half; angini - body). Therefore, by defeating my lord, you have but
won over only half of him. Your victory can be complete only when you
engage in debate with me also, and manage to prove yourself better."

The entire congregation sat agape at the unexpected turn of events.
Shankara spoke with folded hands: "Mother that is not possible. It is
not advisable for a man and a woman to engage in verbal duel." "But
why?" retorted Bharati. "How come a wise philosopher like yourself
holds such an erroneous view? Is not our tradition replete with
examples where talented women have engaged in constructive debate with
accomplished saints and yogis? Recall the verbal duel between king
Janaka and his worthy opponent Sulabha. A debate is undertaken keeping
a firm belief in one's faith. How then can a difference of gender be
of any consequence?"

Speechless against the soundness of her argument, Shankara reluctantly
agreed to the contest. Seventeen days passed in this intellectual
exercise before Bharati realized that Shankara was invincible in Vedic
lore and philosophies. She thus gave a new strategic direction to the
whole discussion saying: "O wise one, discuss with me the science and
art of love between the sexes. Enumerate the number of positions
envisaged in our ancient erotic manuals? How do the preferences of the
two genders manifest and vary with the bright and dark fortnights?"

Shankaracharya gave a calm reply to her missives: "Holy mother, here
we are discussing the shastras (scriptures)."

"Has not the science of love too been deified as a scripture? It has
indeed been granted the status of a shastra (Kamashastra: kama -
desire; shastra - canon). A sannayasi is supposed to have conquered
all his physical desires, and there is no scope for any debilitating
thought to ever enter his mind. Thus, if you feel that a mere
discussion on the science of love will distract and titillate you,
there definitely is some fundamental gap in your knowledge. How then
can you be a guru to my husband?"

Shankaracharya contemplated for a moment and then replied: "Mother, I
will indeed reply to your questions. However I have two requests.
First, I need a month's time to prepare myself and secondly, I will
submit the answers in writing only." Bharati accepted both his pleas.

It is said that Shankara, making use of his yogic powers, entered the
dead body of a king, granting it a new lease of life. Thus embodied,
Shankaracharya then traversed the perfumed gardens of love, gaining a
first hand experience in the practical aspects of the ancient Kama
Sutra. Texts indicate that Shankara became so engrossed in these
amorous activities that he forgot his original purpose and his
disciples had to come to the court and sing hymns extolling the
virtues of non-dualist Vedic philosophy before he regained his
composure and reverted back to his old body. Having successfully
answered all of Bharati's queries, Shankaracharya was now the
uncrowned king of the spiritual regeneration of India. What remained
was his formal crowning, but before that a telling incident of his
life must be narrated.

The Philosopher as a Dutiful Son

Places visited by Shankaracharya based on seven biographies
Shankaracharya then continued southwards, engaging the spiritual heads
of various sects, winning them over with erudite discussions and
debates. He also restored the spiritual and physical vitality of many
important temples on his way. The places he graced with his lotus feet
include Shrishaila, Gokarna, Mukambika, Shribali, Rameshwaram and
Shringeri amongst many others.

One day suddenly, Shankara felt the flavor of his mother's milk on his
tongue. He realized that she was beckoning him. He rushed to his
native village to be on his mother's side. She was on her deathbed.
The sight of her beloved son relieved her of all agony and she came to
terms with the inevitable. The end thus came peacefully. As per his
promise, Shankara decided to perform her obsequies with his own hands,
even though such activities are prohibited for the ascetic (sannayasi)
who has renounced the life of a householder. He called upon relatives
and neighbors of the family for help in this matter. They laughed at
him scornfully, and questioned his right to perform the last rites of
his deceased mother. Shankara had to then single-handedly do the
needful. The traditional sources of his life say that he made a pile
of banana leaves in the backyard of his mother's house, cut up the
corpse to be able to carry it all alone by himself and then consigned
her to flames. Since then, as a legend goes, a curse descended on the
Nambudiris, and to this day many families still do cremate their dead
in their own gardens using some banana stems as a symbol and also
mutilate their dead a little before lighting the pyre.

Shankaracharya's Himalayan Odyssey

The holy shrine of Badarinath

Shankaracharya also undertook a journey to the pilgrimage sites of the
Himalayas in the north, including Haridvar, Badarinath, Kedaranath and
Gangotri. In Badarinath, he was distressed to observe that instead of
an image, the priests there worshipped a sanctified piece of stone
(Shaligram). On enquiry it was revealed that when iconoclastic
invaders from across the borders had cast their ominous shadow on this
holy spot, the distressed priests had submerged the idol in a nearby
water body (Narada-kunda). After the circumstances had normalized
however, they had been unable to retrieve the sacred image; hence its
substitution by the formless stone.

Seeing the despair of the devotees present there, the acharya became
engrossed in deep thought. It was only after a long time that he came
out of his reverie and before the congregation had time to react, he
rushed to the pond where the sacred icon lay hidden and jumped into
it. This water body was full of vicious whirlpools and when Shankara
did not appear even after a long time had elapsed, there was turmoil
all around. And lo, when all had lost hope, out emerged the cynosure
of all eyes, unscathed, and carrying on his shoulders, the figurine
embodying the essence of 'Narayana.' He also established the idol in
the sanctum sanctorum and performed the necessary prescribed rituals.
The tradition lives to this day and the daily ceremonies at Badarinath
are still carried out by Nambudiri brahmins from Kerala.

The Crowning of Shankaracharya in the Crown of India

The lush valley of Kashmir was in those days, an important seat of
learning, as is testified by Hsuan-Tsang, the Chinese pilgrim in 631
AD. It was considered the Kashi (Varanasi) of north India. In this
region there was a temple dedicated to Mother Sharada, this being the
popular name for Saraswati in Kashmir. It had four doors, and at the
center of the shrine was a high throne, known as the seat of
omniscience, which was reserved for one with an infallible knowledge.
Before Shankara, scholars and philosophers from east, west and north
had unsuccessfully attempted to enter the sacred precincts by their
respective gates. No one till now had however tried to enter by the
south gate, which is what Shankara resolved to do. At each step he was
accosted by the leaders and followers of various sects including the
Samkhyas, Mimamsakas, Buddhists, Shvetambers, Digambers and Shaktas.
Each put forward their point of view and thoroughly interrogated
Shankara regarding his own beliefs. They all had to retreat under the
spell of his well thought out logical replies, delivered in a sweet
speech underlined with a self-assured dignity and decorum. When each
and every query had been addressed, all the four gates opened. He was
requested to enter the temple and grace the throne. No sooner had he
placed the first step inside, than the shrine reverberated with the
voice of Saraswati herself, challenging him thus: "That you are all-
knowing is an already proven fact. For this throne however, one should
not only be knowledgeable but also pure in conduct (charitra). Do not
commit the grave impropriety of ascending this throne, without
reflecting on whether you have been absolutely pure in life. In spite
of being an ascetic, in order to learn the secrets of erotic love, you
lived in physical relationship with women. Was it proper for you to do
so? To gain the status of omniscience, perfect purity of life is as
much important as all-round learning." To this Shankaracharya replied:
"From birth, I have done no sin with this body. What was done with
another body will not affect this body of mine."

Significant Episodes in the Life of Shankaracharya

The voice of Saraswati became silent, accepting his explanation. Hence
was Shankara crowned the supreme philosopher of all ages. It is said
that such a profusion of flowers was showered on him that day that
even Shachi, the wife of Indra the king of gods, had to make do
without blossoms for her hair.

The scenic Kashmir valley forms the crown of the Indian subcontinent,
and it is befitting that Shankaracharya was felicitated with this
supreme honor here.

It was perhaps the sensuous beauty of this place that inspired him to
create the poetic masterpiece "Saundaryalahari," or the "Waves of
Beauty." This delightful collection of verses extols the glory of the
Mother Goddess in highly endearing and intimate terms. At one point
the poet philosopher says:

O Daughter of the king of mountains! Great men say that the closing
and opening of thy eyelids marks the dissolution and creation of this
universe. Therefore it must be to prevent this universe, that has
sprung at the opening of thy eyes, from going into dissolution that
thou dost not wink But keepest thy eyes always open.

The above verse takes upon the popular belief that divinities do not
wink or blink and their eyes are always open. The poet finds a cosmic
purpose in this feature of the mother's eyes.

At another place he speculates:

O Daughter of the mountain-king! I fancy that thy breast milk is the
ocean of poetic inspiration, emerging from your heart For, it was by
drinking it, So graciously given by thee, That the child of the
Dravida country became a noted poet among great composers.

Some scholars believe this to be an autobiographical reference, with
Shankara, born in Kerala, calling himself the child of the Dravida
(southern) region, drinking at the breasts of the divine mother the
milk of poesy. The joyous use of such rich imagery reveals that
Shankaracharya was not a 'dry' preacher from the arid realms of
philosophy, but also a bhakta of the highest order, capturing his
emotions in highly sensitive expressions.

Merging into the Infinite - The Death of a Philosopher

Quem di diligunt, adolescens moratur (Whom the gods love, die young)

In addition to composing numerous texts and verses delineating the
essential principles of non-dualistic Vedic philosophy, a significant
contribution of Shankara is his commentary on the principal Upanishad
texts and the Bhagavad Gita as also the Brahma sutras mentioned above.
His serious discussions on the central problems of philosophy
envisaged in these texts proceeds without the use of arcane
terminology, unexplained references or convoluted arguments.
Shankara'a purpose is not to intimidate the reader with abstract
technical jargon; but rather provide him/her with spiritual insight.
It is indeed a blessing that these three commentaries have survived
down the ages and are available for the contemplation of contemporary
man.

Chaar-Dhaam

Another significant contribution, which enriched the spiritual life of
common man, was the establishment of a pilgrimage site and seat of
learning in each of the four directions (chaar-dham). Such a network
both celebrates and solidifies regional identities and without
journeying to these four spots, no Hindu's sacred itinerary is deemed
complete. The four are:

a). Badarinath in the north.
b). Puri in the east.
c). Rameshvaram in the south.
d). Dwarka in the west.

His life purpose accomplished, the acharya then retired to Kedaranath
(experts differ on the exact place of his demise), and gave up his
physical body. He was all of thirty-two years of age.

For men like Shankara, there can however be no end in the real sense.
As an exponent of Advaita, he lives as the ever-present non-material
Brahman in each of us.

Conclusion: Was Shankara a Philosopher?

Shankaracharya's philosophical outlook can be summed up in one word
Advaita, 'Dvaita' meaning duality and the prefix 'A' negating it. The
goal of Advaita is to make an individual realize his or her essential
(spiritual) identity with the supreme realty Brahman. What
significance does it have for the everyday life of an ordinary
individual? Advaita teaches us to see the face of our own child in
that of our neighbor's offspring; to perceive our brother in the
parking lot attendant shivering in the freezing night and also to view
the lady traveling in the bus without a seat as our own mother.
Advaita is more a way of life than an abstract philosophical system.
Thus the appropriation of Shankara 's legacy by the staid philosopher
and the reduction of his creative output to abstract niceties is
indeed a grave betrayal of his contribution. Such an approach
transforms what is essentially a way to redemption into mere
intellectual speculation, while the truth remains that Shankaracharya
is, in every way, our guru and guide, who leads us to the experience
of the ultimate truth (atmanubhava) which resides not anywhere
'outside,' but is present within each of us. If we wish to understand
the true meaning of Shankara's teachings, we have to follow India's
rich tradition of sages and seers and not learned philosophers who
have changed what was a cure for the malady called life, into a
complex system of philosophy. Studying Shankara as if he were a mere
philosopher, even 'the greatest of all philosophers,' is a sure way of
not understanding him - the one whose 'style' always was both analytic
and participatory at the same time.

Shankara's life demonstrates that one is not a philosopher by great
discourses; rather, it is the way one lives and experiences life,
soaking in all its adventures, that shows our level of perception and
understanding. In this context, it may also be stressed that Shankara
was not the founder of the theory of Advaita, which is eternal like
the Veda itself. What he however did was to bring all the various
streams of Indian thought, diverging in his time in different
directions, under the common roof of Advaita, thus resolving the
widespread confusion arising out of the multiplicity of opinion.

References and Further Reading

Audi, Robert. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy: Cambridge,
2001.
Bader, Jonathan. Conquest of the Four Quarters - Traditional Accounts
of the Life of Sankara: New Delhi, 2000.
Collinson et al. Fifty Great Eastern Thinkers: New Delhi, 2004.
Date, V.H. Vedanta Explained (Samkara's Commentary on the Brahma-
sutras) 2 vols: New Delhi, 1973.
Founders of Philosophy (Many Contributors): New Delhi, 2001.
Goenka, Harikrishendas. Vedanta Darshan (Brahma Sutra): Gorakhpur.
Grimes, John. A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy (Sanskrit -
English): University of Madras, 1988.
Grimes, John. The Vivekacudamani of Sankaracarya Bhagavatpada (An
Introduction and Translation): Delhi, 2004.
Gupta, Som Raj. The Word Speaks to the Faustian Man:(A translation and
interpretation of the Prasthanatrayi and Sankara's Bhasya for the
participation of contemporary man) Volume One: Delhi, 1991.
Hinnells, John R. The Penguin Dictionary of Religions: London, 1997.
King, Peter J. One Hundred Philosophers - A Guide to the World's
Greatest Thinkers: Sussex, 2004.
Leaman, Oliver. Eastern Philosophy Key Readings: New Delhi, 2004.
Leaman, Oliver. Key Concepts in Eastern Philosophy: New Delhi, 2004.
Madhava - Vidyaranya. Sankara Digvijaya - The Traditional Life of
Sankaracharya (Trans. by Swami Tapasyananda): Chennai.
Mishra, Jairam. Adi Shankaracharya Jeevan aur Sandesh (Hindi):
Allahabad, 2002.
Rao, Sridevi. Adi Sankaracharya - The Voice of Vedanta: New Delhi,
2003.
Rukmani, T.S. Shankaracharya: New Delhi, 2000.
Sankaracharya, Sri. Saundarya Lahari (Tr. by Swami Tapasyananda):
Chennai.
Shyamla, Kamla Sharma. Divya Purusha Adi Shankaracharya (Hindi): New
Delhi, 2003.
Subramanian, V.K. Saundaryalahari of Sankaracharya: Delhi, 2001.
Victor, P. George. Life and Teachings of Adi Sankaracarya: New Delhi,
2002.

We hope you have enjoyed reading the article. Any comments or feedback
that you may have will be greatly appreciated. Please send your
feedback to ***@exoticindia.com.

This article by Nitin Kumar

ARTICLE REVIEWS

This article by Nitin Kumar is a wonderful effort
to give the readers a glimpse of the Divine Personality - "SHANKARA
SHANKARASCHAIVA".Well done and keep it up !
- poorna yogi

well, thanx but you need to do more research to write authentic
articles , i know you are just amateur one !! cheers buddy!
- Sharan

GOOD ARTICLE.

DETAILS ABOUT HIS SAMAADHI ALSO SHOULD BE INCLUDED

THANKS
MANOJ
- MANOJ KP

Superb article. It gave and information and perspective that is almost
impossible to find anywhere else.
- Atul

Article is good, well written in simple Englsh and I thorougly enjoyed
it.

Howere, there are scope for improvement. one among them is about the
reference of a Kerala King, which is not correct. In fact there was no
Kerala king at all in the history of Kerala (Keralam). I don't know
the exact details, hence please do some research and include the
correct details that would enhance the authenticity.
Regards
Santhosh
- Santhosh Kumar Ramachandran (***@eim.ae)

Thank you, Nitin Kumar, for your beautifully written and very
informative article about the life the Jagadguru Shankaracharya. Until
yesterday I did not know of the saint's existence. I thank God for his
Mercy in sending us shining lights in this difficult age of darkness
and ignorance, confusion and despair. Nitin Kumar is to be commended
for his tender reverence and manifest gratitude to the Jagadguru.
Thank you for your work.
- Annemarie Pierce

suberb and unforgettable
- TOYIN (***@yahoo.com)

I thoughrly enjoyed reading the article. thanks to Mr. Nitin Kumar. I
have one doubt. abt the four mattta's the Jagadguru established i
believe one is in Sringeri in the sosuth and not in Rameswaram. Please
clarify. Thank you
NANDA KUMAR GADANG
- NANDA KUMAR GADNG

No words can describe my joy while reading your well written essay. I
am very grateful to the author Mr. Nitin Kumar. I go through this
article again and again , still find it more enjoyable than my
previous reading.
- dr.jaya

Nice article. Need more articles like this.
- Naveen Sundar G.

Good article about our Guru Shankaracharya. But I am bit consider so
as to why the Shringeri Matha was left in the whole article which
forms the vital part of the Shankaracharya's life. Kindly do some more
research on Shringeri matha and include in the article.
- Maruth Banavar

Excellent article
- Sitaram Inguva

Very informative. I was surprised to see the author mention
Rameshwaram as one of the Amanya Peethas established by Adi shankara.
Adi Shankara had established his monastery in the South in Sringeri,
Karnataka state.
- Shreyas Atreya

Well Written - Excellent Article, however few points were missing like
Childhood story during Upannayna, Shringeri Shirine. At few points I
felt like electric vibes going through my body. Thanks a lot for such
an informative article.
- Abhijeet Sen (***@tcs.com)

Brilliant Article! While it seems to capture in a concise manner the
life of Adi Shankaracharya it is highly perplexing that there is no
mention of Shringeri Shirine that Adi Shankaracharya established as
one of the four peethas and the story surrounding its choice. This
parts needs further research on the part of the author.

- Jai Belagur

We are very grateful to Nitin Kumar for his brilliant article on
Sankaracharya all the important points about Sri Sankara's life in a
consise and readable and understandable manner.
May God bless him a long life to contribute like this to the humanity.
- Dr.Kurri Pakirareddy

Thank you so much for this beautiful article. I look forward to each
one that you write for us.

I recently was given the book, God Lived With Them, about Sri
Ramakrishna and 16 of his beloved devotees. It so ran together with
this article weaving a rich history of my Hindu beliefs.

Each year I come to India for pilgrimage and I believe that you have
sparked my journey for this year.

Thank you again for the service that you do and may you always be
blessed because of that service.

With Warm Regards,
- Jan Frederick (Parvati)

Thank you for such a wonderful and interesting article. I found great
pleasure in reading it from the first to the last word. I look forward
to receiving more of these enlightening articles that help me get an
insight of the Indian culture with a different approach.
- Hortensia Gibbs

I was thrilled to recieve this recent article on Shankaracharya. I am
a yoga practitioner in Australia. My Indian guru is from the
Shankaracharya lineage and it was wonderful to read such a well
written, informative article about this great sage.

Thank you.
- Sakshi

It was a thrill and soul searching article. I enjoyed and liked it
very much. It gave much information regarding gurudev's works and
life.

The author should have gone deep on shankaracharya's works,writings
more.
- Subu

Review this article

http://www.exoticindiaart.com/article/shankaracharya/

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-02-01 19:07:44 UTC
Permalink
CALLIGRAPHY

Japanese = 書道, Shodō, Shodo, Shodou, Shodoo
Literally "The Way of Writing"

ORIGIN: CHINA

Last Update: August 27, 2007
Added Kukai & Sanskrit Seed Syllables

For more calligraphy, please see photo tour
of Bonbori (Paper Lanterns) - Side Page

Calligraphy has a long and distinguished history in China, and this
enthusiasm has extended to those nations who imported China's writing
system. Japan adopted Chinese ideograms most vigorously after the
introduction of Buddhism to Japan in the mid-6th century, but the art
of calligraphy was not pursued in Japan until the early years of the
Heian era (+794-1185), when Japan's so-called Three Great Brushes
(Sanpitsu 三筆) began practicing calligraphy as an art. Nonetheless, the
great watershed in Japanese calligraphy (in my mind) did not occur
until the widespread propagation of Zen Buddhism (Chinese in origin)
early in the Kamakura Era (+1185-1333). The contribution of Zen to
Japanese culture is profound, and much of what the West admires in
Japanese art today can be traced to Zen influences on Japanese
architecture, poetry, ceramics, painting, calligraphy, gardening, the
tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and other crafts.

In calligraphy, the brush line that is sweeping and fluid --
spontaneous rather than predictable, irregular rather than regular --
is highly treasured. To paraphrase Alan Watts, much of Zen art is the
"art of artlessness, the art of controlled accident." Below I present
some of my favorite brush work, almost all by contemporary artists.
This is followed by a brief history of calligraphy in China and
Japan.

JAPANESE PATRON DEITY OF CALLIGRAPHY
Tenjin shrines, especially those devoted to Sugawara no Michizane 菅原道真
(+845 - 903 AD), are closely associated with calligraphy. Michizane (a
courtier in the Heian period) was deified after death, for his demise
was followed shortly by a plague in Kyoto, said to be his revenge for
being exiled. Michizane is the Japanese patron deity of scholarship,
learning, and calligraphy. Every year on the 2nd of January, students
go to his shrines to ask for help in the tough school entrance exams
or to offer their first calligraphy of the year. Egara Tenjin (in
Kamakura) is one of the three most revered Tenjin Shrines in Japan,
and among the three largest. The other two are Dazaifu Tenmangu (near
Fukuoka; Dazaifu is where Michizane was exiled), and Kitano Tenjin in
Kyoto (Michizane's birthplace). Click here for more on Japanese
shrines.

BUDDHIST PATRON DEITY

OF CALLIGRAPHY. Monju Bosatsu 文殊菩薩. (Sanskrit = Manjushri or
Manjusri). The Guardian of Buddhist Law, the Voice of the Law, the
Wisest of the Bodhisattva. In Japan, students pay homage to Monju in
the hopes of passing school examinations and becoming gifted
calligraphers.

JAPANESE MYTHS INVOLVING CALLIGRAPHY

Japan's popular Fire Festivals, held around January 15 each year, are
also closely associated with calligraphy. Shrine decorations,
talismans, and other shrine ornaments used during the local New Year
Holidays are gathered together and burned in bonfires. They are
typically pilled onto bamboo, tree branches, and straw, and set on
fire to wish for good health and a rich harvest in the coming year. At
these events, children throw their calligraphy into the bonfires --
and if it flies high into the sky, it means they will become good at
calligraphy.

Character for Good, Goodness, Virtue

1986. Brushed by young Buddhist monk at Renge-ou-in (Rengeō-in) 蓮華王院,
more popularly known as Sanjusangendo (Sanjūsangendō) 三十三間堂, one of
the most impressive of all Buddhist temples in Kyoto. The temple
houses the Kannon of 1000 hands and is said to contain 33,333 of her
images. The fluid sweeping brush strokes invoke a sense of vitality
and spontaneity. When watching him brush this character, it seemed as
though his hand and arm were dancing rather than writing.

Character for Nothingness, Emptiness, Void

Above. 1986. Brushed by same young Buddhist monk as first image above.
Again note the uninterrupted sense of motion and fluidity of brush.
Despite the negative connotations of this term in English, the term in
Japan and China has glorious overtones, for it represents the
principle of "going back to one's nature," of forgetting the forms of
the material world, of finding enlightenment by discarding the mundane
world and all its concepts. Be nothing, and become everything !

The large character is the word for "kokoro" or heart. This 17th
century Japanese brush and ink handwriting, with its relaxed Zen
spontaneity, is one of the exercises practiced by Zen monks today.
Photo courtesy of: www.buddhanet.net

KI (Chi, Ch'i, Qi)
Calligraphy by Afaq Saleem from Holland
(Martial Artist and Calligrapher)
Afaq's Web Page & Estore

Ki (Chi, Ch'i, Qi) - Vital Energy, Life Force, Breath, Spirit
Roughly equivalent to the Sanskrit Prana,
the peculiarly unforced energy associated with breath.

Stylized form of Ki / Chi

Traditional form of Ki / Chi

Simplified form of Ki / Chi

Holy Wind through the Bamboo Trees
by Afaq from Holland (Martial Artist and Calligrapher)
Afaq's Web Page & Estore

Sake - Japanese Nihonshu, or Rice Wine
Drawn by Yasutaka Daimon's father

Aji - Taste (scanned from a match book)

Above. Painting at Ryutakuji - A Famous Zen Temple in Japan

DREAM (Japanese = Yume)
Calligraphy by Qiao Seng, a Zen artist.
The hand-painted seal says "Dreaming of Butterflies."
His artwork can be purchased by visiting his site.

Asian Art Musuem (San Francisco)

Below Text and Photos from the Musuem

http://www.asianart.org/elegantgathering.htm

Yaji, or "elegant gathering" in Chinese, refers to a tradition among
members of China's intellectual elite who would informally gather to
debate with art rather than words. The Elegant Gathering Exhibition
features 80 superb masterworks of Chinese calligraphy and painting
carefully drawn together by generations of the fascinating Yeh family
-- scholars, statesmen, and passionate practitioners of the yaji
tradition.

Orchard Pavilion Preface (Lanting xu) in cursive script (Ch = caoshu).
Handscroll, ink on paper. Dated +1629, by Gui Changshi (+1574–1645).
China, another source +1573–1644, Ming Dynasty (+1368–1644).
Gift of the Yeh Family Collection, R2002.49.36.A

"Duojing Lou" calligraphy in semi-cursive script.
Signed Mi Fu (+1051–1107). Album of twelve leaves.
Ink on paper. Gift of the Yeh Family Collection, 2004.31

Couplet with commentary in seal and semi-cursive scripts.
Dated 1883, by Zhao Zhiqian (+1829–1884).
Pair of hanging scrolls, ink on paper.
Gift of the Yeh Family Collection, F2002.2.12.1-2

STONE RUBBINGS

www.mingeikan.or.jp/english/html/painting-pt_14.html

From China (Henan), +456 AD
Length 21.7 cm, Width 43 cm

Japanese Calligraphy - History

The Three Brushes, The Three Traces

Below text adapted from japanese.about.com story

One can trace Shodo 書道 (calligraphy; lit. "way of writing") to China,
where the master Wang Xizhi is credited with the creation of the art.
Shodo was first introduced into Japan in the 8th century. The early
Heian contemporaries Kukai 空海, Emperor Saga 嵯峨天皇, and courtier
Tachibana no Hayanari 橘逸勢 are respectfully known as the Sanpitsu 三筆
(Three Great Brushes), and their calligraphy is considered a true
representation of Chinese calligraphy's timeless beauty. In Japan's
10th and 11th centuries, these three were succeeded by the Sanseki 三跡
(Three Traces) -- Ono no Toufuu 小野道風 (Yaseki Style 野跡), Fujiwara no
Sukemasa 藤原佐理 (Saseki Style 佐跡), and Fujiwara no Yukinari 藤原行成
(Gonseki Style 権跡). These three masters developed the first Wayō 和様
(lit. "uniquely Japanese") calligraphy styles. Fujiwara no Yukinari's
Gonseki style led to the creation of the Sesonji school. Ono no
Toufu's calligraphy served as an archetype for the Shoren (Shōren)
school, which later became the Oie style of calligraphy. The Oie style
was used for official documents in the Edo period and was the
prevailing style taught in the Terakoya 寺子屋 schools of that time. <end
adapted text>

Main Calligraphy Styles in Japan

Kaisho 楷書. Formal square script, or block style. This style is used in
modern newspapers, magazines, books, and most publications. It is the
same script used at this web site.

Kaisho

Gyosho 行書 (Gyōsho). Semi-cursive style; not as stiff as Kaisho nor as
fluid as Sosho, and used for special effects in modern-day
publications.

Gyosho

Sosho 草書 (Sōsho). Cursive script. Also called Grass script. Flowing
style, with slender lines, and composed with rapid fluid strokes. This
is the type most often used in formal Japanese calligraphy.

Sosho

There are many others, like the Seal Script (Jp = Tensho 篆書) used for
Japanese chops (name stamps), the Edo Script used in advertisements,
etc. Most personal computers in Japan are installed with dozens and
dozens of font sets.

Seal

Edo
Main Calligraphy Styles in China

Grass Script (Jp = Sosho, Sōsho 草書)
Seal Script (Jp = Tensho 篆書)
Square script (Jp = Reisho 隷書)
Mixed script (Jp = Zattaisho 雑体書)

Kukai 空海 and Calligraphy in Japan

Kukai 空海 (Kūkai; +774-835), also known as Kobo Daishi 弘法大師 (Kōbō
Daishi), is one of Japan's most beloved historical figures. He is also
one of the Three Brushes (Jp = Sanpitsu 三筆 or Three Great
Calligraphers) of Japan. He studied China's main scripts while
visiting China in the early 9th century, as well as the Sanskrit
Siddam script. On his return from China, he founded Japan's Shingon 真言
sect of Esoteric Buddhism 密教 (Mikkyo (Mikkyō). He played an active
role in many fields, performing rituals for the emperor, constructing
a large reservoir in Shikoku for the common people, and establishing
the first school for common citizens. His legend is riddled with
folklore. He is credited with everything from inventing Japan's kana
script to introducing homosexuality. He is one of Japan's most
celebrated calligraphers, and supposedly published Japan's first
dictionary. He became a major patron of the arts, and reportedly
founded hundreds of temples across Japan. The Shikoku Pilgrimage to 88
Sites is a popular pilgrimage attributed to Kukai.

Baku (Jp. Pronunciation)
Shaka's Seed Syllable

Ban (Jp. Pronunciation)
Dainichi's Seed Syllable

Kiriku (Jp. Pronunciation
Amida's Seed Syllable

Kukai and Sanskrit Seed Syllables, Siddham, & Bonji

In Japan, the generic term for "Sanskrit" is Bonji (梵字) or Bongo (梵語).
The Japanese word for Seed Syllable is Shuji 種字 (Sanskrit =
Bijaksara). In Japan, Sanskrit seed syllables are written in a script
called Shittan 悉曇 (Sanskrit = Siddham). In Japanese Buddhist statuary,
Buddhist deities are typically assigned a special seed syllable, one
that is often inscribed somewhere on the statue or halo. Deities are
also assigned mantras (Jp. = Shingon 真言) that contain these seed
syllables -- the mantra is a magical incantation, a secret prayer, a
special chant used to invoke the essence of the deity. Furthermore,
Japan's esoteric sects also employ a mandala called the Seed-Syllable
Mandala (Shuji Mandara 種字曼荼羅), in which the deities are symbolized by
their individual seed syllables. A special version of this mandala,
known as the Shiki Mandara (Shiki Mandara 敷曼荼羅) is used in initiation
rites among esoteric sects. The initiand casts a flower onto the
spread-out mandala, and the seed syllable on which it falls then
becomes the patron deity of the intiand.

Sanskrit seed syllables are easy to spot in Japan. They are found on
Japanese Buddhist amulets, gravestones, religious statuary, mandala
artwork, and other objects, both old and new. By tradition, the
introduction of seed syllables to Japan is credited to Kukai, who
studied the main Chinese calligraphic scripts and Sanskrit Siddam
while visiting China in the early 9th century, and brought back copies
of the Seed-Syllable Mandala (see prior paragraph). Today he remains
one of Japan's most acclaimed calligraphers.

Over time, Kukai's Sanskrit syllabary was modified to better fit the
Japanese lexicon. Since the time of Jogon (Jōgon) 浄厳 (+1639-1702), the
Japanese-Sanskrit syllabary has traditionally consisted of 50 phonetic
sounds (五十字門). A chart of the 50 is shown below.

Courtesy www.kuubokumon.com/bonji.html
Please visit above link for much larger version

Other Sanskrit-Related Sites

www.visiblemantra.org (English, quite good)
www.mandalar.com (Japanese language only)
www.kuubokumon.com/bonji.html (Japanese language only)

KEN - Entitled "Flowing Sword"
Calligraphy by Afaq from Holland
(Martial Artist and Calligrapher)
Afaq's Web Page & Estore

MICHI or DOU = Path, Road
Calligraphy by Afaq from Holland
Afaq's Web Page & Estore

WA = Harmony
Calligraphy by Afaq from Holland
Afaq's Web Page & Estore

MORE ON JAPANESE CALLIGRAPHY

Somyo, Sōmyo, Soumyou 草名

http://www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/s/soumyou.htm

Also read Sona, Souna. A signature in cursive script. During the Nara
period, signatures were written in formal square Kaisho 楷書 script. The
style changed to semicursive or Gyousho 行書 script during the Heian
period, and later to cursive script, sousho 草書, where two characters
were combined into one to form a symbol. During the Fujiwara period,
this form of signature appeared in the opening paragraphs of letters.
Considered to be similar to and perhaps an early form of a Kaou 花押.

Genpitsu 減筆

http://www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/g/genpitsu.htm

Ch: jianbi. Often Genpitsubyou 減筆描. Also Ryakuhitsu 略筆. Lit.
abbreviated brush drawing. An ink painting technique that employs a
minimum of brush strokes to capture the essential features of an
object, human figure, or scene. Of the three categories of brushwork
(shin gyou sou 真行草) it is closest to the cursive style (sou) well
suited for symbolic, suggestive renderings. Genpitsu is thought to
have originated in China during the late Tang dynasty (+618-907) and
flourished during the Song dynasty (+960-1279). Liang Kai 梁楷 (Jp: Ryou
Kai late +12-13c) is said to have perfected this technique, and many
of his figure paintings are prime examples. One such painting is his
"Li Po reciting" (Ri Haku ginkou-zu 李白吟行図), a hanging scroll in Tokyo
National Museum. Chinese genpitsu paintings were greatly admired and
imitated by Japanese painters, especially during the Muromachi period.
The technique is one of the eighteen types of figure portrayal,
jinbutsu juuhachibyou 人物十八描.

Ashide 葦手

http://www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/a/ashide.htm

Lit. 'reed-hand script'. A decorative, pictorialized style of
calligraphy, de 手, developed during the 9c in which cursive characters
are disguised in the shape of reeds, ashi 葦, streams, rocks, flowers,
birds, etc. A marsh scene with ashide characters was a motif
frequently used in the under-drawings, shita-e 下絵, to decorate the
paper of poetry anthologies and Buddhist scriptures or as the designs
on textile and lacquer-ware. The term appears in literature from the
9th c onward. In the late 10c, The Tale of The Hollow Tree (UTSUBO
MONOGATARI 宇津保物語), ashide is defined as one of several recognized
forms of calligraphic script. Several extant examples of ashide date
from the 12c. The decoration in underdrawing of 1160 in The Collection
of Chinese and Japanese Poems for Singing (WAKAN ROUEISHUU 和漢朗詠集,
Ministry of Cultural Affairs), with calligraphy written by Fujiwara no
Koreyuki 藤原伊行, shows the fully developed stage of ashide. After the
13c, the term came to be applied loosely to mean: 1) a picture in
which ashide characters were included; or 2) a type of pictorial
puzzle or rebus using ashide letters and pictorial elements as clues
to a poem (see uta-e 歌絵). These representations are also called reed-
hand-script paintings, ashide-e 葦手絵, and they were no longer limited
to marsh landscapes. For example, decorative cursive characters are
found in a tree in the late 13c illustrated handscroll of The Lord
Takafusa's Love Songs (Takafusakyou tsuyakotoba emaki 隆房卿艶詞絵巻,
National Museum of Japanese History, Chiba prefecture).

Pictorial Calligraphy. Ko (character for "child")
Yi Dynasty Korea, +19th Century, Length 77 cm
Photo Courtesy The Japan Folk Crafts Museum

Moji-e 文字絵 = Pictorial Calligraphy

Below text courtesy of JAANUS

www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/m/mojie.htm

A picture with the Japanese syllabary cleverly used as part of the
motif. Another type of moji-e was called ashide-e, where entwined
grass, flowers or water motifs took the form of Japanese syllables.
These were popular during the Heian period. In the Edo period, it
became popular to cleverly arrange letters in the folds and outlines
of the garments worn by samurai or beautiful women in the prints. This
device can be seen in ukiyo-e by Torii Kiyomasu (fl.c. +1696-1716),
paintings by Okumura Masanobu (+1686-1764) and picture calendars (e-
goyomi) by Kiyomasu II, Nidai Kiyomasu (+1706-63). Single-sheet multi-
color moji-e also survive by Isoda Koryuusai (fl.mid +1760s-80s),
Katsukawa Shunshou (+1726-92) and Katsushika Hokusai (+1760-1849).

FOR MORE ON CALLIGRAPY:

Get Your Name in Japanese Calligraphy
Online store selling Japanese stamps and seals.
Translates your name into Japanese, and then creates the chop.

Japan National Tourist Organization - Calligraphy Page

Tao: The Watercourse Way

BUY AT AMAZON

by Alan Watts and Al Chung-liang Huang
134 pages, English. ISBN 0-394-73311-8
A classic on Tao. English text supplemented with wonderful Chinese
calligraphy.

Introduction of Chinese
Characters (or "Kanji") to Japan

Various Japanese Scripts Shown Visually

Bonbori Matsuri - Latern Festival

Photo tour (48 pics) of calligraphy and other hand-drawn art from the
annual Latern Festival at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura.

Oriental Outpost. Chinese & Japanese Calligraphy Online

Calligraphy Notes and Links (from Gabi Greve)

http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/calligraphy1.shtml

http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/monju.shtml

BODHISATTVA MENU

BODHISATTVA (Sanskrit)
BOSATSU 菩薩 (Japanese)

Bodhi = enlightened
Sattva = being, essence
The Compassionate Ones
Penultimate state before Buddhahood

Origin = India

Compassion is the defining characteristic of the Bodhisattva, whose
highest aspiration is to save all sentient beings. The Bodhisattva
concept is closely associated with Mahayana Buddhism, and has at least
three distinct meanings. The Mahayana form in particular spread
throughout Japan, thus most surviving Buddhist sculpture in Japan
today belongs to the Mahayana tradition.

BOSATSU (BODHISATTVA) - Quick View Chart

Bodhisattva will certainly attain Buddhahood, but for a time, they
renounce the blissful state of Nirvana (freedom from suffering),
vowing to remain on earth in various guises (reincarnations) to help
all living beings achieve salvation. The highest goal of Mahayana
practitioners is to become a Bodhisattva, while the highest goal of
Theravada practitioners is to become an Arhat. See Comparing
Enlightened Beings in Mahayana & Theravada Buddhism.

English
Japanese
Sanskrit
Description

KANNON
Guānyīn (China)
Kuan-yin (China)
観音菩薩
Avalokitesvara

God or Goddess of Compassion; comes in 33 basic manifestations;
attendant to Amida Nyorai; also associated with Tara Bosatsu

JIZŌ
地蔵菩薩
Ksitigarbha

Salvation from suffering; guardian of deceased children (stillborn,
aborted), expectant mothers, firemen, travelers, and pilgrims; found
especially in graveyards

MIROKU
弥勒菩薩
Maitreya

Also called Jishi Bosatsu; in artwork appears mostly as Bosatsu, but
also worshipped as Buddha of the Future (Miroku Nyorai)

KOKUZŌ
虚空蔵菩薩
Akasagarbha

Deity of Memory and Wisdom; Protector of Craftspeople and Artisans

MONJU
文殊菩薩
Manjushri
or
Manjusri

Bosatsu of Wisdom and Beautiful Splendour; Dispels ignorance with
sword; also god of education; governs intelligence; often shown atop a
lion

FUGEN
普賢菩薩
Samantabhadra

God of Praxis (Practice); Protector of those who teach Buddhism;
often shown atop an elephant

SEISHI
勢至菩薩
Mahasthamaprapta

Bosatsu of Strength and Vigor; one who attained wisdom and
compassion; attendant to Amida

GAKKŌ

月光菩薩
Candraprabha
Sibling to Nikko

Bosatsu of Moonlight; protector serving the Yakushi Nyorai; sometimes
attending the Kannon

NIKKŌ
日光菩薩
Suryaprabha
Sibling to Gekko

Bosatsu of Sunlight; protector serving the Yakushi Nyorai; sometimes
attending the Kannon

YAKU-Ō
薬王菩薩
Bhaisajya-
sumudgata

King of Medicine; one of two brothers in retinue of Amida Nyorai;
represents purifying power of sun; in paintings, typically shown
holding willow branch; also closely related to Yakushi Nyorai; elder
of two brothers (see Yaku-jo below), the first to decide on career as
Healing Bodhisattva; convinced younger brother to adopt same course

YAKU-JŌ
薬上菩薩
Bhaisajyaraja

Superior Physician; one of two brothers in retinue of Amida Nyorai;
represents the purifying power of sun; in paintings, typically shown
holding willow branch; also closely related to Yakushi Nyorai; younger
brother of Yaku-o (see above)

HŌZŌ
法蔵菩薩
Dharmakara

Originally a king who abandoned his throne, Hozo Bosatsu made 48 Vows
which serve as the basis for the modern vows taken by lay followers,
monks, and nuns; after fulfilling the vows, Hozo became Amida Nyorai;
Hozo is said to have practiced meditation for five eons, after which
he took the 48 vows

TARANI
多羅菩薩
Tara

Said to have
sprung from
the eye of
Guanyin (Kannon)

Goddess. Not until the 4th century AD does the feminine principle
gain acceptance in Mahayana traditions; around the 6th century, the
goddess Tara appears as Kannon’s Śakti

(Skt.), which means “female personification or “female energy of the
male god”); Tara is sometimes depicted as Kannon’s wife; not widely
known in Japan or China

HANNYA
Han’nya

Dai-Hannya
Haramitsu
般若菩薩
Prajñā
Prajna

Prajna paramita

Goddess; deification of the Prajnaparamita Sutra (Prajna-paramita) or
Wisdom Sutra; based on legend, this sutra was delivered by the Lord
Buddha to the guardianship of the Naga; later rediscovered by
Nagarjuna; images of Hannya appear mostly in Cambodia and Java; Hannya
represents the Sixth Perfection, or Wisdom

OTHERS

Mandala Deities

The are hundreds of other Bodhisattva who appear in Japanese
mandalas, but they are not well-known nor the object of independent
worship. See Mandala Deities for a large list of Bodhisattva,
including the Four Guardian Bodhisattva, Vajra Bodhisattva, Four
Bodhisattva of the Four Directions, Four Paramita Bodhisattva, Eight
Great Bodhisattva, 16 Great Bodhisattva, 25 Bodhisattva Accompanying
Amida Buddha, and others.

QUICK GUIDE TO NYORAI & BOSATSU

There are two types of enlightened beings in Buddhist scriptures and
iconography. In Japan, where Mahayana traditions predominant, the two
types are referred to as Nyorai (Buddha) and Bosatsu / Bodhisattva
(this page). Both types embody spiritual enlightenment and serve as
guardians, teachers, and saviors to the faithful. Theravada traditions
and artwork are of course found in Japan, although much less
frequently. In the Theravada tradition, we encounter the Rakan
(Arhat), the first disciples of the Historical Buddha, who are also
enlightened beings, similar in many ways to the Bosatsu. However, this
page (and this site for that matter) is focused primarily on Japan’s
Mahayana traditions.

1. BUDDHA / TATHAGATA (Jp. = Nyorai 如来)

The term “Buddha” -- past participle of Sanskrit buddh -- means to
awaken or to know. Buddha is not a personal name, but a term of
praise, like messiah or christ, the anointed one. Other terms besides
Buddha are used to refer to fully enlighted beings. The ten honorary
titles (ten epithets) of Buddha, for example, reflect the Mahayana
idea that the Historical Buddha is just one among many Buddha. In
Japan, the preferred honorary title is Tathagata (Sanskrit), which is
rendered in Japanese as Nyorai.

For all practical purposes, the words Buddha, Tathagata, and Nyorai
are synonymous in modern English usage. Each is an honorific title
given to those who have attained enlightenment. Gautama, the
Historical Buddha, is among the most widely recognized Nyorai in Japan
and mainland Asia. Visit the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana pages
for more details.

2. BODHISATTVA (Jp. = Bosatsu 菩薩)

The second type of enlightened being is the Bodhisattva. The original
Sanskrit bodhisattva (bodhi = enlightenment, sattva = essence) meant
"one who seeks enlightenment," but in modern Buddhism the term has
taken on multiple meanings. .

THREE DEFINITIONS OF BODHISATTVA

Four-Character
Chinese transliteration of Sanskrit Bodhisattva

The Chinese transliterated BODHISATTVA into four characters, but later
abbreviated it, using only the first and third characters. The
Japanese adopted the abbreviated spelling, which forms the Japanese
word Bosatsu.

The term “Bodhisattva” was originally used to refer to the Historical
Buddha before he attained enlightenment. With the introduction of
Mahayana Buddhism, however, the term came to mean one who achieves
enlightenment but delays Buddhahood, remaining instead on Earth to
help all sentient beings attain salvation. This latter concept was
vigorously promoted by Mahayana adherents to differentiate it from the
Theravada concept of Arhat. The Arhat is also an enlightened being,
but according to Mahayana believers, the Theravadin Arhat possesses an
inferior, selfishly attained enlightenment, one based on "benefitting
self." In contrast, the Bodhisattva (Bosatsu; this page) of Mahayana
Buddhism is motivated entirely by compassion (Jp. Jihi 慈非), by the
desire to "benefit others" -- indeed, the highest aspiration of the
Mahayana Bodhisattva is to save all sentient beings.

Bodhisattva has a third meaning as well -- it refers to anyone who
sincerely seeks to save others while pursuing the path of
enlightenment. Essentially, anyone who decides to pursue the Buddhist
path can be called a bodhissatva, and many Mahayanans believe there
are countless bodhisattvas on earth at any moment. Whereas Theravada
Buddhism stresses the monastic life -- the monk's life -- as the only
path to salvation (Arhatship), the Mahayana school says anyone,
including laity, can attain Buddhahood by practicing the Bodhisattva
values. A related Japanese term is Ritakyusai 利他救済, meaning
"emancipation by benefitting others."

FROM BODHISATTVA TO BUDDHA

On the path to enlightenment, one first becomes a Bosatsu
(Bodhisattva) before attaining Buddhahood. But before becoming a
Bosatsu, one must pass through eight stages, from the lowest level of
hell to the ninth level, the Bodhisattva level. The final level, the
tenth level, is Buddhahood. These levels are explained below.

Those who attain the enlightened Bosatsu stage will certainly achieve
Buddhahood, but for a time, they renounce the blissful state of
Nirvana (freedom from suffering), vowing to remain on earth in various
guises (reincarnations) to help all living beings achieve salvation.
Hozo Bosatsu, for example, after countless good deeds over countless
years, becomes the Amida Nyorai. In artwork, the Nyorai are often
pictured together with Bosatsu acolytes. Yet both types embody
spiritual enlightenment and serve as guardians, teachers, and saviors
to the faithful.

In Japan and China and Tibet, highly revered monks are often elevated
to Bodhisattva status, either during their lifetimes or posthumously.
In Tibet, the current Dali Lama is considered to be the reincarnation
of the Kannon Bosatsu (Goddess of Mercy).

“Someone is called a Bodhisattva if he is certain to become a Buddha,
a “Buddha” being a man who has first enlightened himself and will
thereafter enlighten others. The change from an ordinary being to a
Bodhi-being takes place when his mind has reached the stage when it
can no longer turn back on enlightenment. Also he has by then gained
five advantages; he is no more reborn in the states of woe, but always
among gods and man; he is never again born in poor or low-class
families; he is always male, and never a woman; he is always well-
built, and free from physical defects; he can remember his past lives,
and no more forgets them again.” <Translation by Edward Conze,
“Buddhist Scriptures” (Penguin Books, 1973)

SIX PARMITA, SIX PERFECTIONS

In addition to compassion, there are six perfections (Jp. =
Ropparmitsu 六波羅蜜) that a Bodhisattva must cultivate in order to attain
Buddhahood, to which four more were added in later times (see list
below). Pāramitā is a Sanskrit word meaning “to have reached the other
shore,” akin to a ferryboat that carries one to the other side. Beings
in the six states of karmic existence are on the wrong shore, trapped
in the cycle of suffering and reincarnation (the cycle of samsara).
But those who have attained enlightenment (e.g., the Bosatsu) are no
longer reborn on the shores of suffering, no longer trapped in the six
states. They have reached the “other” shore, the shore of
enlightenment. The Six Pāramitā appear in the Prajñā Pāramitā Sūtra
(Wisdom Sutra). Prajñā means wisdom in Sanskrit. It was translated
into Chinese as 智慧 (Jp. Chie), and means the power to discern reality
or truth.

Generosity (Skt. Dana-paramita); selfless and impartial generosity.

Chinese-Japanese 施波羅蜜; also translated as Charity.

Discipline (Skt. Shila-paramita); observance of the ethical regimen.

Chinese-Japanese 戒波羅蜜; also translated as Morality.

Patience (Skt. Kshanti-paramita); patient endurance of difficulties.

Chinese-Japanese 忍波羅蜜; also translated as Forbearance.

Energy (Skt. Virya-paramita); zealous energy in perseverance.

Chinese-Japanese 精進波羅蜜; also translated as Effort.

Meditation (Skt. Dhyana-paramita); mindful absorption in meditation.

Chinese-Japanese 禪波羅蜜.

Wisdom (Skt. Prajna-paramita); wisdom of transcendent insight, to
understand the inner principle of all things; Chinese-Japanese 般若波羅蜜.
See Hannya Bosatsu below.

In later times, four more perfections were added, bringing the total
number of paramita to ten (Japanese 十波羅蜜 | Juuharamitsu)

Right Method (or Means).

Japanese 方便波羅蜜 (Skt. Upaya-paramita).

Vows (to uphold one’s vows to attain enlightenment).

Japanese 願波羅蜜 (Skt. Pranidhana-paramita).

Manifestation of 10 powers (to perfect one’s powers).

Japanese 力波羅蜜 (Skt. Bala-paramita).

True Understanding of All Dharmas or Laws (to attain omniscience) .
Japanese 智波羅蜜 (Skt. Jnana-paramita).

Hannya Bosatsu Mandara 般若菩薩曼荼羅
Japanese Mandala of Hannya Bosatsu
16th century; Muromachi period (1392 - 1573)

Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk
Image 64 1/2 x 48 5/8 in. (163.9 x 123.5 cm)

PHOTO: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)

Hannya Bosatsu 般若菩薩

Skt. = Prajnaparamita Bodhisattva

Hannya Bosatsu represents the Sixth Perfection, or Wisdom. Below text
and photo courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York):

“This scroll depicts Hannya Bosatsu, the embodiment of transcendental
knowledge and perfect wisdom. Hannya is rarely represented at the
center of a mandala. Here Hannya is seated on a lotus pedestal on the
back of a lion (shishi), flanked by two standing figures, Bonten
(Brahma) and Taishakuten (Indra) -- originally Hindu gods. The triad
inhabit the innermost precinct.

Hannya's 16 Protectors (Juroku Zenshin) are loosely distributed within
the surrounding register. Far from the center of divinity in the outer
register, carefree demonic guardians (kijin 鬼神) guard each of the
sixteen protectors. Directional gates at the centers of the sides
provide entry from the secular to the sacred. Heavenly music-making
beings (hiten) around the canopy celebrate Hannya Bosatsu. At the
bottom, in the center of the outermost register, is the figure of a
monk at worship, evoking the physical world of time and space. Dragons
and a Phoenix along the outermost borders serve to protect the entire
abstract realm. Mandalas like this one were necessary accoutrements
for rituals dedicated to the attainment of greater wisdom.” <end
quote>

More About Hannya Bosatsu. Says JAANUS: In full Hannya Haramitsu (or
Hannya Haramitta) Bosatsu 般若波羅蜜(般若波羅蜜多)菩薩. A bodhisattva 菩薩
personifying hannya haramitsu (Skt. = prajna paramita) or the the
process of the 'perfection of wisdom' and, by extension, the sutra
HANNYAGYOU 般若経 (Sk: Prajnaparamita Sutra) of Mahayana Buddhism devoted
to the exposition of this 'perfection of wisdom'. These processes,
usually six-fold, when performed perfectly, will allow one to cross
from the shore of delusion and suffering to the shore of
enlightenment. Since, therefore, this 'wisdom' is considered to
constitute the basis of enlightenment, Hannya Bosatsu is also known as
Butsumo 仏母 or 'Mother of the Buddhas'. For this reason, and also
because in Sanskrit both prajna and pramita are feminine nouns, Hannya
Bosatsu is generally depicted in female form. Her worship was very
popular in Indian Buddhism, and the texts describe a variety of forms,
but a feature common to most forms is that she holds a volume of
scriptures representing the HANNYAGYOU. In Japan she is sometimes
invoked instead of Shaka 釈迦 (aka Historical Buddha) during the
daihannya-e 大般若会, a service dedicated to the ritual reading of the 600-
fascicle translation of the HANNYAGYOU by Xuanzang 玄奘 (Jp: Genjou;
600/602-664). Where works are related to this ritual she is depicted
either alone or surrounded by the 16 Good Deities (juuroku zenjin 十六善
神) believed to protect those who recite the HANNYAGYOU. In Esoteric
Buddhism (mikkyou 密教), Hannya Bosatsu appears in the Womb World
Mandala (Taizoukai mandara 胎蔵界曼荼羅) as the central figure in the
Jimyouin 持明院 (with six arms and clad in armour) and as a
personification of one of the 'ten perfections' in the Kokuuzou-in 虚空蔵
院 (with two arms). There is also a mandala known as Hannya Bosatsu
Mandara 般若菩薩曼荼羅 centred on Hannya Bosatsu and variously described in
different texts. <end JAANUS quote>

Four Major Bosatsu of Asia

Throughout the Asian region, there are four widely revered Bodhisattva
(Bosatsu), each symbolizing different aspects of Buddhist belief and
practice. They are the Kannon Bosatsu (boundless compassion), Monju
Bosatsu (wisdom), Fugen Bosatsu (praxis, or practice), and Jizo
Bosatsu (vast patience and salvation from suffering). Yet, generally
speaking, all Bosatsu embody “compassion,” for the Bosatsu, by
definition, have willingly delayed their entry into Nirvana -- out of
compassion -- to save the vast multitude of souls still caught in the
cycle (wheel) of birth and death. In the centuries following
Buddhism’s introduction, moreover, a system of vows was developed --
the 48 Vows of the Bodhisattva -- for those seeking to achieve the
Bodhisattva state. The vows differ somewhat among the Tibetan,
Chinese, and Japanese traditions, but all originated from the vows
taken and then dutifully fulfilled by Hozo Bosatsu (who then becomes
Amida Buddha). There are various groupings that differ among nations
and sects. For another well-known grouping of the four, please see
Four Bosatsu of Compassion.

Reincarnation or Transmigration of Souls

Mahayana teachings incorporate countless manifestations of the Buddha
and Bodhisattva. To Buddhists, the transmigration of souls from one
creature to another has continued unabated for aeons. By tradition,
there are ten stages of transmigration -- level nine is the
Bodhisattva stage and level ten is Buddhahood. Those reaching full
enlightenment are few, for the path to awakening is long and arduous.
But the path is not closed, and in any period, one or more -- or none
at all -- may appear. It is said that Gautama (Siddhartha, Shaka, the
historical Buddha) did not attain enlightenment in one life time, but
rather struggled over many lifes and through numerous incarnations to
finally become a Bodhi-being. In Theravada Buddhism, the term
Bodhisattva actually refers to Guatama Buddha prior to his
enlightenment -- including the countless lives he passed through en
route to Mahayana. These earlier lives are called the Jatakas
(Sanskrit = birth stories), and they are a very frequent subject of
Buddhist lore and art. In Mahayana philosophy, however, there are
countless Bodhisattva (this page), and the term is used much more
flexibly (as discussed above).

Six States of Existence & Four Noble Worlds

Nine Worlds from Hell to Bodhisattva

Ten Worlds from Hell to Buddhahood

The states from Hell to Bodhisattva are termed "the nine worlds." The
highest level, the tenth level, is Buddhahood. The lowest three states
are called the three evil paths, or three bad states. They are (1)
people in hells; (2) Hungry Ghosts; (3) animals. The next three states
are (4) Asuras; (5) Humans; (6) Devas. These six states are
collectively known as the Six States of Existence. All beings in these
six states are doomed to death and rebirth in a recurring cycle over
countless ages -- unless they can break free from desire and attain
Buddhahood. Only those who attain enlightenment (the Arhat, Bosatsu
and Nyorai) are free from the cycle of birth and death (Skt. =
samsara). Click here for Japanese spellings and more details about the
lower six states.

People in Hells
Hungry Ghosts
Animals
Asuras
Humans
Devas.

After the above Six States of Existence come the four highest states,
which are called the Four Noble Worlds.

These final four stages can only be achieved through deliberate effort
-- in contrast, our movement within the six lower states is passive
and based on false understanding. The Four Noble Worlds are:

Learning -- seek truth from teachings or experience of others
(Therevada traditions, Arhat)

Realization -- seek truth from one’s own direct perception of world
(Therevada traditions, Arhat)

Bodhisattva level -- aspires to help all achieve salvation; Mahayana
traditions; there are six perfections (Skt. parmita) that a
Bodhisattva must cultivate in order to attain Buddhahood

Buddhahood

Distinguishing Nyorai & Bosatsu Sculptures

There are some basic guidelines to help distinguish between the Buddha
(Jp. Nyorai) and Bodhisattva (Jp. Bosatsu). Nyorai nearly always wear
simple monk's robes, without jewelry or ornamentation. In contrast,
sculptures of the Bosatsu are generally ornate. Often shown wearing
jewelry and princely clothes -- as many as thirteen ornaments
including crowns, earrings, necklaces, armlets, bracelets, and anklets
-- the Bosatsu can also be recognized (sometimes) by the objects they
carry and the creatures they ride. There are many exceptions to the
guidelines, mind you. Jizo Bosatsu, for example, is nearly always
depicted wearing a simple monk's robe, Dainichi Nyorai is often shown
wearing a crown, jewels, and princely clothing, and the Historical
Buddha (Shaka Nyorai) is sometimes shown with an ornate head piece.
But don’t worry too much about rules that don’t always work. Despite
inconsistencies, the guidelines can go far in enhancing your
experience and understanding.

Bosatsu share only one of the 32 physical attributes -- the elongated
earlobes (all-hearing) -- of the Nyorai (Buddha). The crowns of the
Bosatsu often bear an effigy of their “spiritual father,” one of the
Five Buddha of Wisdom (i.e., The Five Jina, The Five Tathagata).

Another way to distinguish among the deities (mostly the Nyorai), less
so for the Bosatsu) is to look at their hand positions, or mudra. Even
though this method doesn’t always work, it is still a sound strategy
for identifying Buddhist artwork.

Bodhisattva, Heian Period, Late 12th Century
Wood with Gold Leaf, Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

The above statue is on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.,
where I took this picture. The plackard says this: “Japanese sculptors
of Buddhist images overwhelmingly preferred to work in wood. In this
medium, they produced images ranging in size from the monumental
guardians for temple gateways to miniature devotional images for
portable shrines. This wood sculpture represents a bodhisattva
(enlightened being) who is seated on a lotus-shaped throne. The halo
behind the figure, which represents light surrounding the deity, still
shows traces of gold-leaf decoration. This figure would have been
placed on the altar of a Buddhist temple and shows the simple, elegant
style prevalent in Japanese Buddhist sculpture of the Heian Period
(794 - 1185), which developed under the patronage of the aristocracy.

Statue Types

Nearly all statues of the Nyorai and Bosatsu come in three varieties
-- standing, sitting, or half-leg pose, with the deity often shown
atop a lotus-shaped platform. Less common types show the deity
standing on a cloud, kneeling, or riding on an animal like the
mythical Shishi, the Peacock, or the Elephant.

The seated/sitting style is known as the Lotus Position.

The half-leg form is called the Half Lotus Position (a common feature
of Miroku statues)
Above clipart courtesy of: “How to View Buddhist Statues (As if
Wearing Glasses)”
Japanese Language Only, Published by Shogakukan, 2002, ISBN
4093435014

LEARN MORE

Asuka Era Photo Tour and Nara Era Photo Tour.
View dozens of Bodhisattva stautes made in the 6th through 8th
century.

Buddhist-Artwork.com, our sister site, launched in July 2006. This
online store sells quality hand-carved wooden Buddha statues and
Bodhisattva statues, especially those carved for the Japanese market.
It is aimed at art lovers, Buddhist practitioners, and laity alike.
Just like this site (OnmarkProductions.com), it is not associated with
any educational institution, private corporation, governmental agency,
or religious group.

RESOURCES

See Bibliography for our complete list of resources on Japanese
Buddhism, or visit any site page and scroll to the bottom for detailed
resources on that specific deity or topic.

JAANUS. Japanese Architecture & Art Net Users System. Compiled by the
late Dr. Mary Neighbour Parent; covers both Buddhist and Shinto
deities in great detail and contains over 8,000 entries.

A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms. With Sanskrit & English
Equivalents. Plus Sanskrit-Pali Index. By William Edward Soothill &
Lewis Hodous. Hardcover, 530 pages. Published by Munshirm Manoharlal.
Reprinted March 31, 2005. ISBN 8121511453.

Butsuzō-zu-i 仏像図彙, the “Collected Illustrations of Buddhist Images.”
Published in 1690 (Genroku 元禄 3). One of Japan’s first major studies
of Buddhist iconography. Hundreds of pages and drawings, with deities
classified into approximately 80 (eighty) categories. Modern-day
reprints are available at this online store (J-site).

Mandara Zuten 曼荼羅図典 (Japanese Edition). The Mandala Dictionary. 422
pages. First published in 1993. Publisher Daihorinkaku 大法輪閣. Language
Japanese. ISBN-10: 480461102-9. Available at Amazon.
Kokugakuin University Shinto Online Dictionary

Digital Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism (C. Muller; login "guest")

Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture. Numerous online scholarly
papers and its semi-annual Japanese Journal of Religious Studies.

MUSEUMS, PHOTO ARCHIVES

Huntington Archive of Buddhist and Related Art
Kyoto National Museum
Miho Museum of Japan
Nara National Museum
Tokyo National Museum (Main Site, Buddhist Statuary)
Tokyo National Museum (E-Museum)

http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/bodhisattva.shtml

...and I am Sid Harth
Sid Harth
2010-02-01 19:27:49 UTC
Permalink
Hachi Bushū (Hachibushu, Hachibushuu) 八部衆
Eight Legions, Eight Deva Guardians of Buddhism

Also called Ninpinin 人非人 = Lit. Human & Non-Human

Also called Tenryū Kijin 天龍鬼神 = Deva, Naga, Demons, Gods

Also Tenryū Hachibushū 天竜八部衆 = Deva, Naga, Others Members of Eight
Classes
Members of the TENBU, Members of the 28 LEGIONS

Origin: India & Hindu Mythology

The Eight Legions are a curious grouping of Buddhist protectors,
demons, and spirits. Among the eight groups, only the Ten (Skt. Deva)
and Ryū (Skt. Naga; serpent-like creatures, including Dragons) appear
with great frequency in Japanese sculpture and artwork, while the
other six are represented much less so. As a group, the Hachi Bushu
are not objects of Buddhist worship, although some individual Ten
(Deva) are given independent status as objects of devotion (e.g.,
Bishamonten, Benzaiten, Daikokuten).

Ten (Skt: Deva). Celestial beings, 6th level of existence
Ryū (Ryu, Ryuu) (Skt: Naga). Serpent-like creatures, including
dragons. Attendants to Kōmokuten (Shitennō)
Yasha (Skt: Yaksa). Warriors of Fierce Stance, Nature Spirits.

Protect Yakushi Nyorai, commanded by Tamonten (Shitennō)
Kendatsuba (Skt: Gandharva). Gods of music, medicine, children.
Commanded by Jikokuten (Shitennō); one of their kings is Sendan
Kendatsuba

Ashura (Skt: Asura). Demigod, 4th level of existence

Karura (Skt: Garuda) Bird-man, enemy of dragons

Kinnara (Skt: Kimnara). Celestial musicians & dancers; human form
with horse’s head; commanded by Tamonten (Shitennō)

Magoraka (Skt: Mahoraga). Serpentine musicians

HISTORICAL NOTES: The Hachi Bushū (Eight Legions) are eight groups of
sentient and supernatural beings said to be present when Shaka Nyorai
(Historical Buddha) expounded the Flower Sutra on Vultures Peak (also
called Eagle Peak). They originated in earlier Hindu mythology, but
converted to Buddhism after listening to the words of Shaka Nyorai,
thereafter becoming guardians of Buddhist teachings. Two of the eight
-- the Ashura (Demigods) and Ten (Deva) -- also populate two of the
six states of existence. The lowest three states are called the three
evil paths, or three bad states. They are (1) people in hells; (2)
hungry ghosts; (3) animals. The highest three states are (4) Asura;
(5) Humans; (6) Deva. All beings in these six states are doomed to
death and rebirth in a recurring cycle over countless ages -- unless
they can break free from desire, from the cycle of suffering (Skt. =
Samsara).

SAYS JAANUS: Hachibushuu is an abbreviation of Tenryuu Hachibushuu 天竜八部
衆. Eight classes of Indian deities who were converted by Shaka
(Historical Buddha) and came to be considered protectors of the Dharma
(Buddhist Law). They appear in many texts, including the HOKEKYOU 法華経
(Lotus Sutra), and are named as follows: Ten 天 (Deva), Ryuu 龍 (Naga),
Yasha 夜叉 (Yaksa), Kendatsuba 乾闥婆 (Gandharva), Ashura 阿修羅 (Asura),
Karura 迦楼羅 (Garuda), Kinnara 緊那羅 (Kimnara), and Magoraka 摩ご羅伽
(Mahoraga). The names are not fixed, and an individual deity may
sometimes represent their class. The most famous set in Japan was made
of dry lacquer in 734 AD and once accompanied an image of Shaka
Buddha. There is also a set of sculptures of Shaka's disciples in
Koufukuji 興福寺 (Nara). Temple tradition gives their names as Gobujou 五部
浄 for the Ten, Shagara (or Sakara) 沙羯羅 for the Ryuu, Kubanda 鳩槃荼 for
the Yasha, Kendatsuba, Ashura, Kinnara, and Hibakara 畢婆迦羅, probably
for the Magoraka. The Hachibushuu usually appear amidst groups, such
as the group of figures surrounding Shaka in paintings of his death
(Nehan-zu 涅槃図). They were shown as a distinct group only in the Nara
period. <end JAANUS quote>

The eight are discussed below. Links to their individual pages (when
available) are also provided. These are the main group of eight most
often mentioned in Chinese and Japanese Buddhist texts. There is
another grouping of eight that included men (but excluded the
Kendatsuba), but this latter grouping is rare.

TEN 天
TENBU 天部
Skt. = Deva

At Kofuku-ji in Nara, the Tenbu are represented by: 五部浄 Gobujō

Photo: Tamonten (aka Bishamonten), one of the most popular Tenbu in
Japan; Heian Period, Kurama Dera, Kyoto

Member of the
28 Legions (Nijūhachi Bushū)

Ten or Tenbu is the Japanese term for Deva. The Deva (meaning
“celestial beings”) rank above the Asura and humans in the six stages
of existence. Many devas have godlike powers, and reign over celestial
kingdoms of happiness and splendor. Deva live countless years, but
their lives eventually end, for the Deva are not yet free from the
cycle of birth and death (the Six States). That distinction belongs
only to the Bosatsu, the Rakan, and Nyorai (Buddha). Among the Eight
Legions, the Deva are represented most often by Bonten, Taishakuten,
the four Shitennō (especially Bishamonten), and the Goddess Benzaiten.

The Tenbu are not Buddhist saviors, but rather spiritual beings high
up on the ladder of enlightenment, above humans, but below the Bosatsu
and Nyorai. They are revered as gods and goddesses in Japanese
Buddhism, but they are always considered spiritually inferior to the
Bosatsu and Nyorai.

See Tenbu and Juniten for detailed listings of the many protector
deities in the Tenbu grouping. The Tenbu are heavily represented in
the Nichiren sect, and appear frequently in mandalas. .

Ryū 竜
Skt. = Naga

At Kofuku-ji in Nara, the Naga are represented by Shakara 沙羯羅
(しゃがら)

See Dragon Page for many more details.

The NAGA are a group of serpent-like creatures described in pre-
Buddhist and early Indian Buddhist texts as “water spirits with human
shapes wearing a crown of serpents on their heads.” Their mortal
enemy is the bird-man Karura and the Phoenix. As protectors of
Buddhism, the Naga are attendants to Kōmokuten. In China and Japan,
the Dragon incorporates Naga iconography & supplants the Naga. Says
M.W. De Visser in Dragon in China and Japan (ISBN 0-7661-5839-X):
“According to Northern Buddhism, Nagarjuna (approx. 150 AD), the
founder of the Mahayana doctrine, was instructed by Nagas in the sea,
who showed him unknown books and gave him his most important work, the
Prajna Paramita, with which he returned to India. For this reason his
name, originally Arjuna, was changed to Nagarjuna, and he is
represented in art with seven Nagas over his head. The Mahayana school
knows a long list of Naga kings, among whom the eight so-called Great
Naga Kings are the following (given in Sanskrit):

Nanda (called Nagaraja, King of the Naga)
Upananda
Sagara (Jp. = Shakara 沙羯羅)
Vasuki
Takshaka
Balavan
Anavatapta
Utpala
These eight
are often mentioned in Chinese and Japanese legends as the Eight
Dragon Kings (八龍王 Hachi Ryū-ō), and were said to have been among
Buddha’s audience, with their retinues, while he delivered the
instructions contained in the Sutra of the Lotus of the Good Law
(Saddharma Pundarika Sutra, Jp. = Hokekyo 法華経, English = Lotus
Sutra).” <end quote from Visser, who cited numerous other works in the
above passage. >

In China, however, dragon lore (read “naga lore”) existed
independently for centuries before the introduction of Buddhism.
Bronze and jade pieces from the Shang and Zhou dynasties (16th - 9th
centuries BC) depict dragon-like creatures. By at least the 2nd
century BC, images of the dragon are found painted frequently on tomb
walls to dispel evil. In this role, the dragon was often portrayed as
one of the four celestial emblems of China, the one protecting the
eastern compass direction. Buddhism was introduced to China sometime
in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, and over time the Chinese identified
the serpent-like Naga with their own four-legged dragon. By the 9th
century AD, the Chinese had incorporated the dragon into Buddhist
thought and iconography as a protector of the various Buddha and the
Buddhist law. Japan's dragon lore comes predominantly from China. See
Dragon page for many more details.

Yasha 夜叉
Skt. = Yaksha

12 Yasha Warriors are typically shown protecting Yakushi Nyorai, the
Medicine Buddha.

鳩槃荼 (くはんだ)
薛茘多 (へいれいた)
Warriors of fierce stance, these protectors of Buddha’s teachings are
the guardian spirits of nature. In earliest Hindu records, they
converted to Buddhism after listening to the Historical Buddha present
his teachings at Vultures Peak. In the Mahabharatha text of India,
Yama, the Lord of the Dead, assumes the form of a Yaksha to question
his son.

In their earliest Hindu manifestations, the Yaksha were spirits of the
trees, forests, and villages. They can be both benign or demonic (when
portrayed as demonic, they are flesh-eating demons that are sometimes
called the Raksha (J = Rasetsu). The Rasetsu, moreover, might be
particularly monstrous Yaksha, or alternatively, the Yaksha may be
Rasetsu who have pledged to serve the Deva as guardians of forests and
villages. There does not appear to be any clear iconography. When
acting as protectors of Buddhism, the Yaksha are soldiers in the army
of Tamonten, one of the Four Heavenly Kings. They are also protectors
of the Yakushi Nyorai (Buddha of Healing and Medicine).

Kubera: Hindu God of Wealth. Yaksha are powerful earth deities. They
guard the world's wealth, such as gold and silver. Kubera (Kuvera),
the god of wealth and buried treasure, is sometimes considered the
king of the Yaksha. Says Meher McArthur, the curator of East Asian
Art, Pacific Asia Museum (Pasadena):

“In Tibet and Nepal, Vaishravana (Jp. = Bishamonten / Tamonten) is
closely related to the God of Wealth, Kubera, who is considered to be
his most important manifestation. It is possible that Vaishravana is
the Buddhist form of the earlier Hindu deity, Kubera (Kuvera), who was
the son of an Indian sage, Vishrava, hence the name, Vaishravana.
According to Hindu legend, Kubera performed austerities for a thousand
years, and was rewarded for this by the greator god, Brahma (Jp. =
Bonten), who granted him immortality and the position of God of
Wealth, and guardian of the treasures of the earth. As Vaishravana,
this deity also commands the army of eight Yasha (Jp. = Yaksa), or
demons, who are believed to be emanations of Vaishravana himself. The
most important of these eight are the dark-skinned Kubera (Kuvera) of
the north and the white Jambala of the east. Each of these emanations
holds a mongoose that spews jewels. In Tibet and Nepal, he is
worshipped as the God of Wealth in all three manifestations:
Vaishravana, Kubera, and Jambala. In many Tibetan and Nepalese images
of Kubera, the deity is shown as a plump figure wearing a crown,
ribbons and jewelry, and holding a mongoose, representing this god’s
victory over the naga (snake deities), who symbolize greed. As God of
Wealth, Vaishravana/Kubera squeezes the mongoose and causes the
creature to spew out jewels.” < quoted from McArthur’s book “Reading
Buddhist Art: An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs & Symbols.” ISBN
0-500-28428-8, Published 2002 by Thames & Hudson. Click here to view
or buy book at Amazon. >

Yasha are mentioned in various sutras, yet there seems to be no
definitive representation. Some texts say the Yasha are able to fly/
move through space; in Java they are portrayed as sturdy, smallish
human beings with unusually large canine teeth.

In Japan, the Yaksha serve both Tamonten (aka Bishamonten) and Yakushi
Nyorai (the Medicine Buddha), but in artwork they are mostly shown as
protectors of the Yakushi Nyoraii. In Japan, there is also the tiny
creature called the JYAKI, who appears most frequently beneath the
feet of the Shitenno. The Jyaki are classified as a type of Yaksha by
the Japanese. In addition, Kariteimo is one of Japan's most widely
known Yaksha. She originally was a child-devouring Yakṣa 夜叉 from Hindu
lore named Hāritī, but she repents and coverts to Buddhism, and is now
a protector of children and the goddess of easy delivery. She had Ten
Demon Daughters (Jūrasetsu-nyo 十羅刹女) who aided her in her evil past,
and they too ultimately became protectors of Buddhism. These latter
ten are classified as Rasetsu 羅刹 (Skt. = Rākṣasīs), who torture & feed
upon the flesh of the dead (those who were evil while living). The
Rasetsu became guardian deities once introduced to Buddhism; they are
listed in the Lotus Sutra.

Kendatsuba 乾闥婆
Skt. = Gandharva

Members of the 8 Legions

protecting Buddhism, the 28 Legions who serve Senju Kannon, and one of
33 manifestations of Kannon
In early Indian (Vedic) mythology, Kendatsuba was
Kendatsuba
12th Century
Gyōdōmen Mask
Hōryū-ji Temple

Sendan Kendatsuba
Hekija 辟邪絵 (exorcist
scroll) of the 12th century

a protector serving Soma and musicians in the paradise of the Hindu
god Indra. Later, as Buddhism developed. the Kendatsuba become
musicians in the heavenly court of Taishakuten and protectors of
Buddhist teachings, as well as deities of medicine, and guardians of
children. In paintings, they are sometimes depicted sitting in royal
ease surrounded by the twelve animals of the yearly Zodiac cycle.
Sometimes shown with halo; said to nourish themselves on scents. The
Kendatsuba are attendants to and commanded by Jikokuten (Shitennō).

In Japan, Sendan Kendatsuba 栴檀乾闥婆, a king among the Kendatsuba, is
known as a protector of children. He is the central figure in the
Dōjikyō Mandara 童子経曼荼羅 of Esoteric Buddhism, which is used in esoteric
rituals to protect children from sickness and danger.

Says JAANUS: Kendatsuba is a transliteration of the Sanskrit
Gandharva, translated as Jikikou 食香 (scent-eater ), Jinkou 尋香 (scent-
seeker), and also known as Koujin 香神 (scent god). A class of semi-
divine beings that feed on the fragrance of herbs. In later Indian
mythology they are regarded as celestial musicians, in which role they
were incorporated into Buddhism as attendants of Taishakuten 帝釈天, who
is a protector of Buddhist law. They are also counted among the
attendants of Jikokuten 持国天, the guardian king of the eastern
direction. They are among the eight classes of beings that protect
Buddhism (Hachibushuu 八部衆), and among the twenty-eight classes of
beings (Nijuuhachibushuu 二十八部衆) that serve as attendants to Senju
Kannon 千手観音, and among the 33 manifestations of Kannon 観音 mentioned in
the Lotus Sutra. They are also regarded as guardians of children, and
it is in this role that one of their kings, called Sendan Kendatsuba-
ou 栴檀乾闥婆王, figures at the centre of the Doujikyou mandara 童子経曼荼羅,
which is used in Esoteric Buddhist rituals to ward off danger and
illness from children. In Japan, the Kendatsuba are seldom
represented.

Says Soothill in his Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms: “Spirits on
Gandha-mādana 香 山, the fragrant or incense mountains, so called
because the Gandharvas do not drink wine or eat meat, but feed on
incense or fragrance and give off fragrant odours. As musicians of
Indra, or in the retinue of Dhrtarastra they are said to be the same
as, or similar to, the Kinnaras. The Dhrtarastra are associated with
soma, the moon, and with medicine. They cause ecstasy, are erotic, and
the patrons of marriageable girls; the Apsaras are their wives, and
both are patrons of dicers.” <end Soothill quote> There are many kinds
of transcriptions of Gandharva. Soothill mentions the following: 乾闥婆, 乾
沓婆, 乾沓和, 健達婆, 健闥婆, 健達縛, 健陀羅, 彦達縛.

Ashura 阿修羅
Skt: Ashura, Asura

Image: Ashura
Nara Era, 8th century
(Kofuku-ji, Nara Pref.)

Ashura-Ou
Ashura-O
The King of the Ashura, who sometimes represents all the Ashura in
artwork

Common Misspelling:
Asyura

Member of the
28 Legions (Nijūhachi Bushū)

Beings just below humans in the Six States of Existence. Asuras are
demigods, or semi-blessed beings. They are powerful, yet fierce and
quarrelsome, and like humans, they are partly good and partly evil. In
their earliest Hindu and Brahman manifestations, the Ashura are always
fighting the Ten (Deva) for supremancy (often battling the deities
commanded by Taishakuten, the Lord Indra of Hindu mythology). The
Ashura are sometimes compared to the Titans of Greek mythology -- in
one legend, they stand in the ocean with the water coming up to only
their knees. But in most accounts, the Ashura are not giants. Some say
Ashura was an Indian royal who converted to Buddhism. In other Hindu
traditions, Ashura is a sun goddess, feared for bringing droughts.

In early Vedic legends, which celebrate the victory of the Aryan
invaders who entered India around 1500 BC and conquered the local
Dravidian people, we find mention of the Asura King (Ashura O). The
Aryans portrayed their own gods as benevolent heavenly beings, while
the gods of the conquered people were demoted to serving as subjects
of the Aryan deities. But the Asura King, one of the major gods of the
conquered Dravidians, was a threat to the victors, and was
subsequently demoted to demon status. According to Aryan lore, Asura
was defeated by Taishakuten (Indra) and hid thereafter in a lotus
flower growing in the Icy Lake (Skt. = Anavatapta). The word asura was
then sometimes translated as “non-god” or “anti-god” to complete the
Aryan victory and to deny any chance of ranking the Asura among the
heavenly gods. But with the emergence of Buddhism, Ashura is sometimes
identified with sunshine and helping crops to grow. Many sources
depict the Asura as demons, yet they are not always portrayed as
sinister, and some are even godlike in their piousness. Among the
truly evil was Vritra. <Photo Above: Modern mask reproduction>

In Japan, Ashura is often shown with three faces and six arms, with
the side faces often expressing the violent warrior aspects associated
with Ashura’s Hindu origin. With Ashura’s arrival to Japan in the 6th
century from Korea and China, the deity is adopted as a guardian deity
of Buddhism.

Asura (Ashura)
Sanjusangendo, 12th Century
Lifesize Wooden Statue

SAYS JAANUS (Japanese Architecture & Art Net Users System): Sanskrit =
Ashura. Also abbreviated to shura 修羅. Among the Indo-Iranians, the
term asura, ahura in Avestan, originally referred to a divine being on
a par with the gods, in which sense it is preserved in Ahura Mazda,
the name of the supreme deity in Zoroastrianism. After the Aryans
separated from the Iranians, the asura gradually declined in status,
and the term acquired the opposite meaning of an antigod, demon, or
enemy of the gods (Ten 天). The struggles between Indra, (Jp:
Taishakuten 帝釈天) and the asura are an important theme in Indian
mythology, and it is probable that they reflect the Aryans' struggles
against the earlier inhabitants of India. This dual nature of the
asura is also reflected in Buddhism, where on the one hand they are
counted among the eight classes of beings who protect Buddhism
(Hachibushuu, this page) while on the other hand their realm (said to
be located on the ocean floor) is considered to be a world of strife
and represents one of the six realms of transmigratory existence
(rokudou-e 六道会). The Gekongoubu-in 外金剛部院 of the Taizoukai Mandara
includes several asura, all two-armed and seated, but in Japan they
usually are found in sets of the Hachibushuu, the eight kinds of
guardian spirits of the Dharma (Buddhist law), when they are
represented with three faces and six arms. The oldest statuary
representation of Ashura is an 8c seated clay image at Houryuuji 法隆寺
in Nara. The most famous Ashura sculpture is a hollow dry-lacquer
standing image of the 8c at Koufukuji 興福寺 in Nara.

ASHURA O:
Quote from Flammarion Iconographic Guide

The king of the Ashura, often shown with three-faced head (or three
heads) and six arms (sometimes four arms). He is often shown holding
the sun, moon, bow and arrows, a mirror, and has two hands in the
Anjali mudra. Hair is usually bristling. The king of hunger, an ogre
in perpetual anger, the king of quarrels. Of the three heads (faces),
the central head has a suffering expression, and the others appear
angry. <end quote>

FROM SITE READER:

In Pali, “Ashura” literally means "one who is not touched by light."
In Pali, the term “Ashura O” can also be translated as "one who
doesn't drink sura (alchohol)." In Indian mythology, Ashura O and his
followers were the rulers of the Trayastrimsha Heaven, but they were
thrown out of that heaven by Lord Indra because they were fond of
drinking and were often drunk. After being thrown out, the Ashura
vowed never to drink again. <Editor’s Note: I have not confirmed these
Pali translations, and none of the books on Japanese Buddhism in my
possession give this interpretation.>

Karura 迦楼羅
Skt: Garuda

See the Karura Page for more details and photos

Member of the
28 Legions (Nijūhachi Bushū)

Karura are bird-men (man’s head, bird’s body). These creatures sprang
from the Brahmanic pantheon, and were mortal enemies of the naga
(serpents and dragons).

It is said that only dragons who possess a Buddhist talisman or
dragons who believe in the Buddhist teachings can escape from the
Karura.

In Japanese sculpture, the Karura are often represented as large
ornate birds with human heads treading on serpents, but statues of the
Karura are not very common in Japan -- the most well-known of these
sculptures is at Kyoto’s Sanjusangendo.

Masks of the creature, however, including gyodo and noh masks, appear
quite frequently, even in modern times.

In South East Asia the walls of temples are often decorated with
Karura, as at Angkor or Java. In some sculptures of Fudō Myō-ō, there
is a flame behind Fudō that some say was vomited by Karura.

Kinnara 緊那羅
Sanskrit: Kimnara

Photo courtesy of
this outside site

Member of the
28 Legions (Nijūhachi Bushū)

The Kinnara are heavenly musicians depicted in early times with human
bodies and horses heads. They are also represented in the shape of a
bird with human head holding a musical instrument and are reputed to
have marvelous voices.

The Kinnaras (Kimnara) are celestial musicians, officiating at the
court of Kuvera (Kubera). In China, Buddhist monks claim that the
Taoist deity Zao Jun, a Kitchen deity, is in fact a Kinnara. In India
and its Hindu legends, the Kinnara are birds of paradise, and
typically represented as birds with human heads playing musical
instruments. This iconography is strikingly similar to that of the
Karyoubinga -- heavenly musicians with the bodies of birds and the
heads of humans.

At Sanjusangendo in Kyoto, two of the 28 followers of Kannon in the
temple are Taishakuten (Indra), and his attendant, Kinnara, who is
playing the drum (see photo above). The Kinnara also serve Tamonten
(Bishamonten). Not commonly represented in the Buddhist artwork of
Japan.

Kinnara is half-man,
half-bird in Indonesian.

Photo courtesy of
http://www.kinnara.or.id/

Magoraka 摩睺羅伽
Makora, Makura
Skt = Mahoraga

At Kofuku-ji in Nara, Magoraka is represented by the deity Hitsubakara畢
婆迦羅

Member of the
28 Legions (Nijūhachi Bushū)

Of all the people-like non-humans, the Magoraka are the most vague.
In some Chinese dictionaries they are defined as “serpents who walk on
their breasts.”

In other representations, they are serpentine musicians. They belonged
originally to the Brahmanic pantheon, and in Buddhism were partly
assimilated by the dragon.

Photo at Right:
Heian Era, by sculptor Chōsei
Housed at Kōryūji Temple 広隆寺 in Kyoto

LEARN MORE

Buddhism: Flammarion Iconographic Guide by Louis Frederic, Printed in
France, ISBN 2-08013-558-9, First published 1995. A highly illustrated
volume, with special significance to those studying Japanese Buddhist
iconography. Includes many of the myths and legends of mainland Asia
as well, but its special strength is in its coverage of the Japanese
tradition.

JAANUS. Japanese Architecture & Art Net Users System. Compiled by the
late Dr. Mary Neighbour Parent; covers both Buddhist and Shinto
deities in great detail and contains over 8,000 entries.

A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms. With Sanskrit & English
Equivalents. Plus Sanskrit-Pali Index. By William Edward Soothill &
Lewis Hodous. Hardcover, 530 pages. Published by Munshirm Manoharlal.
Reprinted March 31, 2005. ISBN 8121511453.

Digital Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism (C. Muller; login "guest")

Art and Archaeology #1 and Art and Archaeology #2

web-japan.org/museum/bud/tenbu/tenbut.html

Kendatsuba #1 (Nara National Museum) and Kendatsuba #2 (Nara National
Museum)

http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/hachi-bushu.shtml

Hachi Bushū (Hachibushu, Hachibushuu) 八部衆
Eight Legions, Eight Deva Guardians of Buddhism
Also called Ninpinin 人非人 = Lit. Human & Non-Human
Also called Tenryū Kijin 天龍鬼神 = Deva, Naga, Demons, Gods
Also Tenryū Hachibushū 天竜八部衆 = Deva, Naga, Others Members of Eight
Classes
Members of the TENBU, Members of the 28 LEGIONS

Origin: India & Hindu Mythology

The Eight Legions are a curious grouping of Buddhist protectors,
demons, and spirits. Among the eight groups, only the Ten (Skt. Deva)
and Ryū (Skt. Naga; serpent-like creatures, including Dragons) appear
with great frequency in Japanese sculpture and artwork, while the
other six are represented much less so. As a group, the Hachi Bushu
are not objects of Buddhist worship, although some individual Ten
(Deva) are given independent status as objects of devotion (e.g.,
Bishamonten, Benzaiten, Daikokuten).
Ten (Skt: Deva). Celestial beings, 6th level of existence
Ryū (Ryu, Ryuu) (Skt: Naga). Serpent-like creatures, including
dragons. Attendants to Kōmokuten (Shitennō)
Yasha (Skt: Yaksa). Warriors of Fierce Stance, Nature Spirits.
Protect Yakushi Nyorai, commanded by Tamonten (Shitennō)
Kendatsuba (Skt: Gandharva). Gods of music, medicine, children.
Commanded by Jikokuten (Shitennō); one of their kings is Sendan
Kendatsuba
Ashura (Skt: Asura). Demigod, 4th level of existence
Karura (Skt: Garuda) Bird-man, enemy of dragons
Kinnara (Skt: Kimnara). Celestial musicians & dancers; human form
with horse’s head; commanded by Tamonten (Shitennō)
Magoraka (Skt: Mahoraga). Serpentine musicians

HISTORICAL NOTES: The Hachi Bushū (Eight Legions) are eight groups of
sentient and supernatural beings said to be present when Shaka Nyorai
(Historical Buddha) expounded the Flower Sutra on Vultures Peak (also
called Eagle Peak). They originated in earlier Hindu mythology, but
converted to Buddhism after listening to the words of Shaka Nyorai,
thereafter becoming guardians of Buddhist teachings. Two of the eight
-- the Ashura (Demigods) and Ten (Deva) -- also populate two of the
six states of existence. The lowest three states are called the three
evil paths, or three bad states. They are (1) people in hells; (2)
hungry ghosts; (3) animals. The highest three states are (4) Asura;
(5) Humans; (6) Deva. All beings in these six states are doomed to
death and rebirth in a recurring cycle over countless ages -- unless
they can break free from desire, from the cycle of suffering (Skt. =
Samsara).

SAYS JAANUS: Hachibushuu is an abbreviation of Tenryuu Hachibushuu 天竜八部
衆. Eight classes of Indian deities who were converted by Shaka
(Historical Buddha) and came to be considered protectors of the Dharma
(Buddhist Law). They appear in many texts, including the HOKEKYOU 法華経
(Lotus Sutra), and are named as follows: Ten 天 (Deva), Ryuu 龍 (Naga),
Yasha 夜叉 (Yaksa), Kendatsuba 乾闥婆 (Gandharva), Ashura 阿修羅 (Asura),
Karura 迦楼羅 (Garuda), Kinnara 緊那羅 (Kimnara), and Magoraka 摩ご羅伽
(Mahoraga). The names are not fixed, and an individual deity may
sometimes represent their class. The most famous set in Japan was made
of dry lacquer in 734 AD and once accompanied an image of Shaka
Buddha. There is also a set of sculptures of Shaka's disciples in
Koufukuji 興福寺 (Nara). Temple tradition gives their names as Gobujou 五部
浄 for the Ten, Shagara (or Sakara) 沙羯羅 for the Ryuu, Kubanda 鳩槃荼 for
the Yasha, Kendatsuba, Ashura, Kinnara, and Hibakara 畢婆迦羅, probably
for the Magoraka. The Hachibushuu usually appear amidst groups, such
as the group of figures surrounding Shaka in paintings of his death
(Nehan-zu 涅槃図). They were shown as a distinct group only in the Nara
period. <end JAANUS quote>

The eight are discussed below. Links to their individual pages (when
available) are also provided. These are the main group of eight most
often mentioned in Chinese and Japanese Buddhist texts. There is
another grouping of eight that included men (but excluded the
Kendatsuba), but this latter grouping is rare.

TEN 天
TENBU 天部
Skt. = Deva

At Kofuku-ji in Nara, the Tenbu are represented by: 五部浄 Gobujō

Photo: Tamonten (aka Bishamonten), one of the most popular Tenbu in
Japan; Heian Period, Kurama Dera, Kyoto

Member of the
28 Legions (Nijūhachi Bushū)

Ten or Tenbu is the Japanese term for Deva. The Deva (meaning
“celestial beings”) rank above the Asura and humans in the six stages
of existence. Many devas have godlike powers, and reign over celestial
kingdoms of happiness and splendor. Deva live countless years, but
their lives eventually end, for the Deva are not yet free from the
cycle of birth and death (the Six States). That distinction belongs
only to the Bosatsu, the Rakan, and Nyorai (Buddha). Among the Eight
Legions, the Deva are represented most often by Bonten, Taishakuten,
the four Shitennō (especially Bishamonten), and the Goddess Benzaiten.

The Tenbu are not Buddhist saviors, but rather spiritual beings high
up on the ladder of enlightenment, above humans, but below the Bosatsu
and Nyorai. They are revered as gods and goddesses in Japanese
Buddhism, but they are always considered spiritually inferior to the
Bosatsu and Nyorai.

See Tenbu and Juniten for detailed listings of the many protector
deities in the Tenbu grouping. The Tenbu are heavily represented in
the Nichiren sect, and appear frequently in mandalas. .

Ryū 竜
Skt. = Naga

At Kofuku-ji in Nara, the Naga are represented by Shakara 沙羯羅
(しゃがら)

See Dragon Page for many more details.

The NAGA are a group of serpent-like creatures described in pre-
Buddhist and early Indian Buddhist texts as “water spirits with human
shapes wearing a crown of serpents on their heads.” Their mortal
enemy is the bird-man Karura and the Phoenix. As protectors of
Buddhism, the Naga are attendants to Kōmokuten. In China and Japan,
the Dragon incorporates Naga iconography & supplants the Naga. Says
M.W. De Visser in Dragon in China and Japan (ISBN 0-7661-5839-X):
“According to Northern Buddhism, Nagarjuna (approx. 150 AD), the
founder of the Mahayana doctrine, was instructed by Nagas in the sea,
who showed him unknown books and gave him his most important work, the
Prajna Paramita, with which he returned to India. For this reason his
name, originally Arjuna, was changed to Nagarjuna, and he is
represented in art with seven Nagas over his head. The Mahayana school
knows a long list of Naga kings, among whom the eight so-called Great
Naga Kings are the following (given in Sanskrit):

Nanda (called Nagaraja, King of the Naga)

Upananda
Sagara (Jp. = Shakara 沙羯羅)
Vasuki
Takshaka
Balavan
Anavatapta
Utpala

These eight are often mentioned in Chinese and Japanese legends as the
Eight Dragon Kings (八龍王 Hachi Ryū-ō), and were said to have been among
Buddha’s audience, with their retinues, while he delivered the
instructions contained in the Sutra of the Lotus of the Good Law
(Saddharma Pundarika Sutra, Jp. = Hokekyo 法華経, English = Lotus
Sutra).” <end quote from Visser, who cited numerous other works in the
above passage. >

In China, however, dragon lore (read “naga lore”) existed
independently for centuries before the introduction of Buddhism.
Bronze and jade pieces from the Shang and Zhou dynasties (16th - 9th
centuries BC) depict dragon-like creatures. By at least the 2nd
century BC, images of the dragon are found painted frequently on tomb
walls to dispel evil. In this role, the dragon was often portrayed as
one of the four celestial emblems of China, the one protecting the
eastern compass direction. Buddhism was introduced to China sometime
in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, and over time the Chinese identified
the serpent-like Naga with their own four-legged dragon. By the 9th
century AD, the Chinese had incorporated the dragon into Buddhist
thought and iconography as a protector of the various Buddha and the
Buddhist law. Japan's dragon lore comes predominantly from China. See
Dragon page for many more details.

Yasha 夜叉
Skt. = Yaksha

12 Yasha Warriors are typically shown protecting Yakushi Nyorai, the
Medicine Buddha.

鳩槃荼 (くはんだ)
薛茘多 (へいれいた)
Warriors of fierce stance, these protectors of Buddha’s teachings are
the guardian spirits of nature. In earliest Hindu records, they
converted to Buddhism after listening to the Historical Buddha present
his teachings at Vultures Peak. In the Mahabharatha text of India,
Yama, the Lord of the Dead, assumes the form of a Yaksha to question
his son.

In their earliest Hindu manifestations, the Yaksha were spirits of the
trees, forests, and villages. They can be both benign or demonic (when
portrayed as demonic, they are flesh-eating demons that are sometimes
called the Raksha (J = Rasetsu). The Rasetsu, moreover, might be
particularly monstrous Yaksha, or alternatively, the Yaksha may be
Rasetsu who have pledged to serve the Deva as guardians of forests and
villages. There does not appear to be any clear iconography. When
acting as protectors of Buddhism, the Yaksha are soldiers in the army
of Tamonten, one of the Four Heavenly Kings. They are also protectors
of the Yakushi Nyorai (Buddha of Healing and Medicine).

Kubera: Hindu God of Wealth. Yaksha are powerful earth deities. They
guard the world's wealth, such as gold and silver. Kubera (Kuvera),
the god of wealth and buried treasure, is sometimes considered the
king of the Yaksha. Says Meher McArthur, the curator of East Asian
Art, Pacific Asia Museum (Pasadena):

“In Tibet and Nepal, Vaishravana (Jp. = Bishamonten / Tamonten) is
closely related to the God of Wealth, Kubera, who is considered to be
his most important manifestation. It is possible that Vaishravana is
the Buddhist form of the earlier Hindu deity, Kubera (Kuvera), who was
the son of an Indian sage, Vishrava, hence the name, Vaishravana.
According to Hindu legend, Kubera performed austerities for a thousand
years, and was rewarded for this by the greator god, Brahma (Jp. =
Bonten), who granted him immortality and the position of God of
Wealth, and guardian of the treasures of the earth. As Vaishravana,
this deity also commands the army of eight Yasha (Jp. = Yaksa), or
demons, who are believed to be emanations of Vaishravana himself. The
most important of these eight are the dark-skinned Kubera (Kuvera) of
the north and the white Jambala of the east. Each of these emanations
holds a mongoose that spews jewels. In Tibet and Nepal, he is
worshipped as the God of Wealth in all three manifestations:
Vaishravana, Kubera, and Jambala. In many Tibetan and Nepalese images
of Kubera, the deity is shown as a plump figure wearing a crown,
ribbons and jewelry, and holding a mongoose, representing this god’s
victory over the naga (snake deities), who symbolize greed. As God of
Wealth, Vaishravana/Kubera squeezes the mongoose and causes the
creature to spew out jewels.” < quoted from McArthur’s book “Reading
Buddhist Art: An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs & Symbols.” ISBN
0-500-28428-8, Published 2002 by Thames & Hudson. Click here to view
or buy book at Amazon. >

Yasha are mentioned in various sutras, yet there seems to be no
definitive representation. Some texts say the Yasha are able to fly/
move through space; in Java they are portrayed as sturdy, smallish
human beings with unusually large canine teeth.

In Japan, the Yaksha serve both Tamonten (aka Bishamonten) and Yakushi
Nyorai (the Medicine Buddha), but in artwork they are mostly shown as
protectors of the Yakushi Nyoraii. In Japan, there is also the tiny
creature called the JYAKI, who appears most frequently beneath the
feet of the Shitenno. The Jyaki are classified as a type of Yaksha by
the Japanese. In addition, Kariteimo is one of Japan's most widely
known Yaksha. She originally was a child-devouring Yakṣa 夜叉 from Hindu
lore named Hāritī, but she repents and coverts to Buddhism, and is now
a protector of children and the goddess of easy delivery. She had Ten
Demon Daughters (Jūrasetsu-nyo 十羅刹女) who aided her in her evil past,
and they too ultimately became protectors of Buddhism. These latter
ten are classified as Rasetsu 羅刹 (Skt. = Rākṣasīs), who torture & feed
upon the flesh of the dead (those who were evil while living). The
Rasetsu became guardian deities once introduced to Buddhism; they are
listed in the Lotus Sutra.

Kendatsuba 乾闥婆
Skt. = Gandharva

Members of the 8 Legions
protecting Buddhism, the 28 Legions who serve Senju Kannon, and one of
33 manifestations of Kannon
In early Indian (Vedic) mythology, Kendatsuba was

Kendatsuba
12th Century
Gyōdōmen Mask
Hōryū-ji Temple

Sendan Kendatsuba
Hekija 辟邪絵 (exorcist
scroll) of the 12th century

a protector serving Soma and musicians in the paradise of the Hindu
god Indra. Later, as Buddhism developed. the Kendatsuba become
musicians in the heavenly court of Taishakuten and protectors of
Buddhist teachings, as well as deities of medicine, and guardians of
children. In paintings, they are sometimes depicted sitting in royal
ease surrounded by the twelve animals of the yearly Zodiac cycle.
Sometimes shown with halo; said to nourish themselves on scents. The
Kendatsuba are attendants to and commanded by Jikokuten (Shitennō).

In Japan, Sendan Kendatsuba 栴檀乾闥婆, a king among the Kendatsuba, is
known as a protector of children. He is the central figure in the
Dōjikyō Mandara 童子経曼荼羅 of Esoteric Buddhism, which is used in esoteric
rituals to protect children from sickness and danger.

Says JAANUS: Kendatsuba is a transliteration of the Sanskrit
Gandharva, translated as Jikikou 食香 (scent-eater ), Jinkou 尋香 (scent-
seeker), and also known as Koujin 香神 (scent god). A class of semi-
divine beings that feed on the fragrance of herbs. In later Indian
mythology they are regarded as celestial musicians, in which role they
were incorporated into Buddhism as attendants of Taishakuten 帝釈天, who
is a protector of Buddhist law. They are also counted among the
attendants of Jikokuten 持国天, the guardian king of the eastern
direction. They are among the eight classes of beings that protect
Buddhism (Hachibushuu 八部衆), and among the twenty-eight classes of
beings (Nijuuhachibushuu 二十八部衆) that serve as attendants to Senju
Kannon 千手観音, and among the 33 manifestations of Kannon 観音 mentioned in
the Lotus Sutra. They are also regarded as guardians of children, and
it is in this role that one of their kings, called Sendan Kendatsuba-
ou 栴檀乾闥婆王, figures at the centre of the Doujikyou mandara 童子経曼荼羅,
which is used in Esoteric Buddhist rituals to ward off danger and
illness from children. In Japan, the Kendatsuba are seldom
represented.

Says Soothill in his Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms: “Spirits on
Gandha-mādana 香 山, the fragrant or incense mountains, so called
because the Gandharvas do not drink wine or eat meat, but feed on
incense or fragrance and give off fragrant odours. As musicians of
Indra, or in the retinue of Dhrtarastra they are said to be the same
as, or similar to, the Kinnaras. The Dhrtarastra are associated with
soma, the moon, and with medicine. They cause ecstasy, are erotic, and
the patrons of marriageable girls; the Apsaras are their wives, and
both are patrons of dicers.” <end Soothill quote> There are many kinds
of transcriptions of Gandharva. Soothill mentions the following: 乾闥婆, 乾
沓婆, 乾沓和, 健達婆, 健闥婆, 健達縛, 健陀羅, 彦達縛.

RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE

Ashura 阿修羅
Skt: Ashura, Asura

Image: Ashura
Nara Era, 8th century
(Kofuku-ji, Nara Pref.)

Ashura-Ou
Ashura-O
The King of the Ashura, who sometimes represents all the Ashura in
artwork

Common Misspelling:
Asyura

Member of the
28 Legions (Nijūhachi Bushū)

Beings just below humans in the Six States of Existence. Asuras are
demigods, or semi-blessed beings. They are powerful, yet fierce and
quarrelsome, and like humans, they are partly good and partly evil. In
their earliest Hindu and Brahman manifestations, the Ashura are always
fighting the Ten (Deva) for supremancy (often battling the deities
commanded by Taishakuten, the Lord Indra of Hindu mythology). The
Ashura are sometimes compared to the Titans of Greek mythology -- in
one legend, they stand in the ocean with the water coming up to only
their knees. But in most accounts, the Ashura are not giants. Some say
Ashura was an Indian royal who converted to Buddhism. In other Hindu
traditions, Ashura is a sun goddess, feared for bringing droughts.

In early Vedic legends, which celebrate the victory of the Aryan
invaders who entered India around 1500 BC and conquered the local
Dravidian people, we find mention of the Asura King (Ashura O). The
Aryans portrayed their own gods as benevolent heavenly beings, while
the gods of the conquered people were demoted to serving as subjects
of the Aryan deities. But the Asura King, one of the major gods of the
conquered Dravidians, was a threat to the victors, and was
subsequently demoted to demon status. According to Aryan lore, Asura
was defeated by Taishakuten (Indra) and hid thereafter in a lotus
flower growing in the Icy Lake (Skt. = Anavatapta). The word asura was
then sometimes translated as “non-god” or “anti-god” to complete the
Aryan victory and to deny any chance of ranking the Asura among the
heavenly gods. But with the emergence of Buddhism, Ashura is sometimes
identified with sunshine and helping crops to grow. Many sources
depict the Asura as demons, yet they are not always portrayed as
sinister, and some are even godlike in their piousness. Among the
truly evil was Vritra. <Photo Above: Modern mask reproduction>

In Japan, Ashura is often shown with three faces and six arms, with
the side faces often expressing the violent warrior aspects associated
with Ashura’s Hindu origin. With Ashura’s arrival to Japan in the 6th
century from Korea and China, the deity is adopted as a guardian deity
of Buddhism.

Asura (Ashura)
Sanjusangendo, 12th Century
Lifesize Wooden Statue

SAYS JAANUS (Japanese Architecture & Art Net Users System): Sanskrit =
Ashura. Also abbreviated to shura 修羅. Among the Indo-Iranians, the
term asura, ahura in Avestan, originally referred to a divine being on
a par with the gods, in which sense it is preserved in Ahura Mazda,
the name of the supreme deity in Zoroastrianism. After the Aryans
separated from the Iranians, the asura gradually declined in status,
and the term acquired the opposite meaning of an antigod, demon, or
enemy of the gods (Ten 天). The struggles between Indra, (Jp:
Taishakuten 帝釈天) and the asura are an important theme in Indian
mythology, and it is probable that they reflect the Aryans' struggles
against the earlier inhabitants of India. This dual nature of the
asura is also reflected in Buddhism, where on the one hand they are
counted among the eight classes of beings who protect Buddhism
(Hachibushuu, this page) while on the other hand their realm (said to
be located on the ocean floor) is considered to be a world of strife
and represents one of the six realms of transmigratory existence
(rokudou-e 六道会). The Gekongoubu-in 外金剛部院 of the Taizoukai Mandara
includes several asura, all two-armed and seated, but in Japan they
usually are found in sets of the Hachibushuu, the eight kinds of
guardian spirits of the Dharma (Buddhist law), when they are
represented with three faces and six arms. The oldest statuary
representation of Ashura is an 8c seated clay image at Houryuuji 法隆寺
in Nara. The most famous Ashura sculpture is a hollow dry-lacquer
standing image of the 8c at Koufukuji 興福寺 in Nara.

ASHURA O:
Quote from Flammarion Iconographic Guide

The king of the Ashura, often shown with three-faced head (or three
heads) and six arms (sometimes four arms). He is often shown holding
the sun, moon, bow and arrows, a mirror, and has two hands in the
Anjali mudra. Hair is usually bristling. The king of hunger, an ogre
in perpetual anger, the king of quarrels. Of the three heads (faces),
the central head has a suffering expression, and the others appear
angry. <end quote>

FROM SITE READER:

In Pali, “Ashura” literally means "one who is not touched by light."
In Pali, the term “Ashura O” can also be translated as "one who
doesn't drink sura (alchohol)." In Indian mythology, Ashura O and his
followers were the rulers of the Trayastrimsha Heaven, but they were
thrown out of that heaven by Lord Indra because they were fond of
drinking and were often drunk. After being thrown out, the Ashura
vowed never to drink again. <Editor’s Note: I have not confirmed these
Pali translations, and none of the books on Japanese Buddhism in my
possession give this interpretation.>

Karura 迦楼羅
Skt: Garuda

See the Karura Page for more details and photos

Member of the
28 Legions (Nijūhachi Bushū)

Karura are bird-men (man’s head, bird’s body). These creatures sprang
from the Brahmanic pantheon, and were mortal enemies of the naga
(serpents and dragons).

It is said that only dragons who possess a Buddhist talisman or
dragons who believe in the Buddhist teachings can escape from the
Karura.

In Japanese sculpture, the Karura are often represented as large
ornate birds with human heads treading on serpents, but statues of the
Karura are not very common in Japan -- the most well-known of these
sculptures is at Kyoto’s Sanjusangendo.

Masks of the creature, however, including gyodo and noh masks, appear
quite frequently, even in modern times.

In South East Asia the walls of temples are often decorated with
Karura, as at Angkor or Java. In some sculptures of Fudō Myō-ō, there
is a flame behind Fudō that some say was vomited by Karura.

Kinnara 緊那羅
Sanskrit: Kimnara

Photo courtesy of
this outside site

Member of the
28 Legions (Nijūhachi Bushū)

The Kinnara are heavenly musicians depicted in early times with human
bodies and horses heads. They are also represented in the shape of a
bird with human head holding a musical instrument and are reputed to
have marvelous voices.

The Kinnaras (Kimnara) are celestial musicians, officiating at the
court of Kuvera (Kubera). In China, Buddhist monks claim that the
Taoist deity Zao Jun, a Kitchen deity, is in fact a Kinnara. In India
and its Hindu legends, the Kinnara are birds of paradise, and
typically represented as birds with human heads playing musical
instruments. This iconography is strikingly similar to that of the
Karyoubinga -- heavenly musicians with the bodies of birds and the
heads of humans.

At Sanjusangendo in Kyoto, two of the 28 followers of Kannon in the
temple are Taishakuten (Indra), and his attendant, Kinnara, who is
playing the drum (see photo above). The Kinnara also serve Tamonten
(Bishamonten). Not commonly represented in the Buddhist artwork of
Japan.

Kinnara is half-man,
half-bird in Indonesian.

Photo courtesy of
http://www.kinnara.or.id/

...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-02-01 23:43:49 UTC
Permalink
Siddham : An Essay on the History of Sanskrit Studies in China and
Japan

R.H. Van Gulik, Aditya Prakashan, 2001, Satapitaka Series No. 247,
Reprint of 1980, xiv, 234 p, ISBN : 81-7742-038-0,
$42.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

"The survey presented here, brief though it be, will yet
suffice to support the author’s main argument; viz. that while the
study of the Sanskrit language never flourished in either China of
Japan, the Indian script—in a variety of Brahmi called Siddham—played
an important role in Far Eastern Buddhism ever since the introduction
of this script into China in the 8 century A.D.

"The Siddham script owed its popularity in China and Japan especially
to the rise of the Mantrayana, the esoteric School of the True Word.
It was used in particular for writing Dharani and mantra, and for the
magic syllables known as Bijaksara or "germ-letters". Since the latter
figure largely in the Vajra-dhatu and the Garbha-dhatu, the two magic
charts that contain the essence of the teachings of the Mantrayana,
these two Mandala are described here in some detail. Although those
data are readily available in China and Japan, it is hoped that the
description of these two Mandala given in the present study will be of
some interest to Buddhologists and archaeologists.

"The attention of the readers in general is drawn to the calligraphic
development of the Siddham script in China and Japan; this
calligraphic aspect of Sanskrit studies in those two countries is
described at some length in this essay and illustrated in the Plates
of Volume II. Orientalists are generally agreed that there exist only
three living scripts in the world of such intrinsic artistic value as
to deserve a place in the realm of fine art, and which are indeed
considered on a par with painting in those countries where those
scripts are in use."

https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no20825.htm

Sanskrit Across Cultures

Edited by Shashiprabha Kumar, D K Printworld, 2007, xviii, 262 p,
tables, ISBN : 81-246-0424-X,
$26.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents:
Foreword/L.M. Singhvi.

Acknowledgement.
Introduction/Shashiprabha Kumar.

1. Sanskrit in China/Saroj Kumar Chaudhuri.

2. Sanskrit in Japan/Shashibala.

3. Sanskrit and Russian/Hem Chandra Pande and Anubha Shukla.

4. Sanskritic vocabulary of South-East Asia/Satya Vrat Shastri.

5. Sanskrit in the Renaissance of European languages/Lokesh Chandra.

6. A preliminary search for the common "Deoxyribonucleic Acid" of Indo
European civilizations/M. Krzysztof Byrski.

7. Sanskrit and German/G.C. Tripathi.

8. Sanskrit English relations: Some relations/Makarand Paranjape.

9. Sanskrit in Indonesia/J. Gonda.

10. Sanskrit and Arabic/Khalid Bin Yusuf Khan.

11. Sanskrit and Persian -- a comparative study: with special
reference to Yoga-Vasistha/Lalita Kuppuswami.

12. Greek logos and Vedic Vac : creative power/Nicholaos Kazanas. The
contributors. Index.

"Sanskrit may be said to be one of the oldest extant languages of the
Indo-European group of languages. It is hailed as the memory of the
human race and its earliest cultural history. No serious study of the
world civilization and cultures of different countries will be
possible without understanding Sanskrit as it evolved and influenced
other languages of the world or bears association with them. This
volume has articles that attempt such an understanding of the Sanskrit
language.

Scholars trace the link of Sanskrit with various countries of the
world and their cultures and languages. They throw light on Sanskrit
grammar as recorded in Chinese works and contributions of Sanskrit to
Chinese linguistics; on the many Sanskrit manuscripts available in
Japan; and similarities and regularities in the phonetic system,
grammar and vocabulary of Sanskrit and Russian. They view links
between Sanskrit and the Slavonic languages, German, English, Persian
and the Indonesian languages, examining mutual borrowings. They
explain the way translations from one language to another have
affected preservation and dissemination of knowledge.

The articles, a result of meticulous study and marked by simplicity
and clarity in expression, will be interesting and informative to a
range of scholars of Indology." (jacket)

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no50936.htm

Corpus of Indological Studies : Prof. Ramaranjan Mukherji Felicitation
Volume

Edited by Anantalal Thakur, 1992, xxx, 612 p, 2 Vols,
$92.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Vol. I : 1. Prof. Dr. Ramaranjan Mukherji--Life
sketch/Prof. Sachindra Kumar Maity.

2. Prof. R.R. Mukherji--as I have known him/Prof. Amal Kumar
Mukhopadhyay.

3. Prof. Ramaranjan Mukherji--the scholar-administrator/Prof. Asok
Kumar Mukhopadhyaya.

3. Diary of a Japanese girl/Prof. Kazuo Azuma, Japan.

4. Contribution of King Bhoja to the art and science of iconography/
Dr. P.D. Agnihotri.

5. Dialogue between traditional scholars and modern linguists on
Sabdabodha/Dr. R.N. Aralikutti.

6. Reflections on the translation of the Ganesapurana/Dr. Greg
Bailey.

7. The Kiratarjuniyam--some historical gleanings/Dr. K.D. Bajpai.

8. Veda-study in medieval India/Dr. Biswanath Banerjee.

9. On some interesting sanskrit manuscripts preserved in the Asiatic
Society, Calcutta/Dr. Manabendu Banerjee.

10. The Socio-political impact on sanskrit literary criticism/Prof.
Pratap Bandyopadhyay.

11. Dhvani and sublime/Prof. Rabisankar Banerjee.

12. Dionysius Thrax and Panini on parts of speech/Prof. Satyaranjan
Banerjee.

13. Eschatological concepts and sambhala : Tibetan Buddhist texts vis-
a-vis puranic tradition/Dr. Ratna Basu.

14. Visnumitra--a forgotten Vrttikara/Prof. Bhabani Prasad
Bhattacharya.

15. On descartes/Prof. Narayan Chandra Bhattacharyya.

16. Treatise on Beauty/Late Dr. Parvati Charan Bhattacharyya.

17. Mandana Misra--an Advocate of Sadadvaitavada/Dr. Ramaprasad
Bhattacharyya.

18. Sambuka and mayati--a study in the sudra status in the society/
Prof. Sukumari Bhattacharyya.

19. Painting of the ocean and the river in Kalidasa's poetry/Dr.
Sudhisankar Bhattacharyya.

20. On the use of pronominal clitics in late middle Indo-Aryan/Prof.
Vit Bubenik.

21. Sanskrit : a disideration for emotional integration/Dr. Dhyanesh
Narayan Chakraborty.

22. On the life of Kavindracarya/Prof. Samiran Chandra Chakrabarty.

23. A conspectus--Jiva Gosvamin as an analyst of devotional love/Prof.
Ashoke Chatterjee Sastri.

24. Ramanuja's concept of the world/Prof. Chinmayi Chatterjee.

25. Studies in some aspects of Dharma : Manu's approach to the
question/Prof. Heramba Nath Chatterjee Sastri.

26. Deities in Mimamsa/Prof. Krishnanath Chatterji.

27. East and west in literature/Prof. Viswanath Chatterjee.

28. Survey of manuscripts in the states of J. & K., Punjab, Haryana
and Himachal Pradesh/Prof. Braj Behari Chaubey.

29. Vakpati's Gaudavaha--the hero as a Chakravartin/Leendert A. Van
Dallen.

30. Spice in early Indo-Roman trade/Dr. Sukla Das.

31. Plot and emotion--relative importance/Dr. Samir Kumar Datta.

32. Education--an instrument of social change and control/Dr. Birendra
Nath Dutta.

33. Materialism down the ages/Dr. Amiyansu Deb.

34. Bhartrhari and Kashmir Saivism/Prof. R.C. Dwivedi.

35. Aesthetic pleasure in the tragic (Karunarasa)/Dr. Anantalal
Gangopadhyay.

36. Sriharsa on the definition of Pada/Prof. Mrinal Kanti
Gangopadhyay.

37. OCP culture and the Indo-Aryans/Prof. R.C. Gaur.

38. Vedanta paribhasa--some observations/Dr. Dipak Ghosh.

39. Indianess of Indian architecture/Sri Sudipta Ghosh.

40. The prose style of essays on the Gita/Prof. Gautam Ghosal.

41. Similarity vs indentity in metaphor/Dr. Bijaya Goswami.

42. Body of a free man : a poser/Prof. Sitanath Goswami.

43. Impact of vedic female deities on Puranas/V.S. Guleri.

44. The tantrapradipa of maitreyaraksita/Prof. Dileep Kumar Kanjilal.

45. Buddhist monks and nuns in sanskrit literature in relation to non-
violent society/Prof. S.G. Kantwala.

47. Bharata's laksana and literary appreciation/Prof. K.
Krishnamoorthy.

48. Kashmir known to Bilhana/Prof. P.N. Kawthekar.

49. Important socio-administrative problems of ancient India/Prof.
Sachindra Kumar Maity.

Volume II :

1. The Pramanya of the saivagamas/Prof. H.P. Malledevaru.

2. Different attitudes of Bhasa and Kalidasa in respect of treatment
of Vidusaka/Sri Gopal Chandra Misra.

3. Marxists of Bengal on art and literature/Dr. Bimal Kumar Mukherjee.
4. National system of education and our master minds/Dr. Binay Krishna
Mukerjee.

5. The vedic seer/Prof. Biswanath Mukhopadhyay.

6. Some linguistic problems--Sarupanam ekasesa ekavibhaktau/Dr.
Gurusankar Mukherjee.

7. On some positive features of India's heritage/Prof. Hiren
Mukherjee.

8. Art and illusion from the point of view of Indian aesthetics/Dr.
Kalpika Mukherjee.

9. Reconsideration of Sri Sankuka's views on Rasanispatti/Dr. Tapasvi
Nandi.

10. Sanskrit incantation in tibetan/Dr. Suniti Kumar Pathak.

11. The description of wild life as an art form in classical sanskrit/
Dr. Jose Pereira.

12. Kalidasa's garland of smilies : malopama Kalidasasya/Dr. Indira V.
Peterson.

13. Socio-economic changes in northern India within the last seventy
years/Dr. B.N. Puri.

14. Indian culture : one or many/Prof. Hossainur Rahman.

15. The Theory of Dhvani--some fresh questions/Dr. Pabitra Sarkar.

16. How eliot was influenced by the incantation of sanskrit language/
Subhash Sarkar.

17. Concept of bliss in Kashmir Saivism/Dr. Debabrata Sensarma.

18. The role of the "Invisible" in Paninian descriptions/R.K. Sharma.

19. Jnanasrimitra : a link between vacaspati and udayana/Dr. Anantalal
Thakur.

20. Some aspects of Buddhism in Cambodia/Dr. Upendra Thakur.

21. Poets in Bhojaprabandha/Dr. G.U. Thite.

22. How far did Panini's fame really extend in Patanjali's view/Dr. A.
Wezler, Germany.

23. A new theory about the source of the basic story of the Meghaduta/
V. Venkatachalam.

24. Karuna Rasa in Sanskrit literature/Satyavrat Shastri.

https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no6938.htm

Imaging India Imaging Japan : A Chronicle of Reflections on Mutual
Literature

Edited by Unita Sachidanand and Teiji Sakata, Manak, 2004, xxvi, 446
p, ISBN : 81-7827-087-0,
$53.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents:

Preface.

I. Creating Images : myths, expectations and views of literati:

1. Understanding each other through literature/Namwar Singh.

2. Discovering the literature of Japan/Indira Goswami.

3. India-past and present : images in the eyes of a Japanese novelist/
Yuko Tsushima.

4. Japan-past and present : changing images in the eyes of an Indian
Writer/Rajendra Yadav.

5. So near and yet so far : agony of an Indian poet/Kedarnath Singh.

6. Thinking in India, looking at India/Minato Kawamura.

7. Reinterpreting India : comments on Tsushima and Kawamura/Mridula
Garg.

8. Imagining Japan through literature/Chitra Mudgal.

9. Japanese literature in the eyes of a diplomat/Arjun Asrani.

II. Recreating images : reflections through literature:

10. India in Japanese literature/Katsuhiko Hamakawa.

11. Imagining Japan in Indian literature/Ashok Vajpeyi.

12. India and Japan : modern passages/Brij Tankha.

13. Image of Japan in India through cinema/Vinod Bharadwaj.

14. Japan : an affair through literature/Mahendra Kulashrestha.

15. Social identity of literature and literature of social identity :
a discourse on literary interactions based on the views of Hindi
writers/Devendra K. Chaubey.

III. Antiquarian musings : literature of the past:

16. The salvation of Mokuren's mother and Akikonomu's services for the
soul of lady Rokujo : Indian Buddhist Tales in the tale of Genji/
Haruki Li.

17. Discourse narratives in the age of decline of Buddhism/Anita
Khanna. IV. Spiritual and cultural confluence : reflections on
religion and culture:

18. India and Japan : academic relations in early 20 century/
Shashibala.

19. Rabindranath Tagore and Japan/Swapan Prasanna Ray.

20. Some minor Hindu divinities in Japan/Saroj Kumar Chaudhari.

21. Indian reflections in Nihongi/Rajendra Tomar.

22. Land of the rising sun or land of the rising mind!/Lokesh Chandra.
V. Microscopic contacts : case studies in literature:

23. Japanese sources of Agyeya's poetry/Rita Rani Paliwal.

24. Tukaram and Ryokan : A comparative study of Sants in India and
Japan/Koiso Chihiro.

25. Literature and social change in Meiji Japan : Natsume Soseki and
Mori Ogai/Prem Motwani.

26. Shimazaki Toson's Novella 'Rojo' and Women's liberation movement
in Meiji Japan/P.A. George.

27. Women of 'Virtue' : a case study of Janakidevi Bajaj (1892-1979)/
Hisae Komatsu. VI. Multicultural transactions : literature in
translation:

28. Prospects of translating Japanese literature in India :
contemporary growth and challenges/Satya Bhushan Verma.

29. On Japanese literature and its translations in India/Suresh
Salil.

30. Japanese translations of the postwar Indian English Literature : a
case study of Anita Desai's in custody/Akira Takahashi.

31. Hindi translations of Japanese fiction/Ganga Prasad Vimal.

32. Literature in translation-progress and problems : Personal
experience in translating modern Japanese literature into Tamil/V.N.
Balambal.

33. Improvement of Indo-Japanese relation through literature into
Tamil/V.N. Balambal. 33. Improvement of Indo-Japanese relation through
literature : a comment/P.A. George.

34. Role of machine aids in translating literature/Ashok K. Chawla.

VII. Exploring images:

35. Vedic research in Japan during the last fifty years : retrospect
and prospect/Yasuke Ikari.

36. Research and studies of Sanskrit literature in Japan : Trends and
prospects/Hisayoshi Miyamoto.

37. Medieval Hindi literature in Japan : special reference to
translating Kabir's Bijak/Taigen Hashimoto.

38. Toward establishing enduring ties between India and Japan through
literature : a brief history of accepting modern Indian literature in
Japan centering on the period after 1952/Teiji Sakata.

39. Trends in teaching and research in Japanese literature in India :
Progress and prospects/Unita Sachidanand.

40. Status of research in Bangla and Punjabi Literatures in Japan/
Tomio Mizokami.

41. Japan and Japanese literature in Bengal/Gita A. Keeni.

42. Language teaching and cultural interchange through the medium of
Hindi drama/Tomio Mizokami.

43. Literature in Japanese language teaching : results of survey of
Japanese language teachers/Anita Khanna. VIII. Growing Years :
literature of the young:

44. Contribution to children literature after world war II/Shuzo Oka.

45. History and perspective of Indian children's literature in
Japanese : focus on the last 50 years since the establishment of
diplomatic relationship/Chitose Suzuki.

46. Prospects of cultural exchange between India and Japan through
children's picture books : some recent initiatives and outcomes/
Miyachi Toshiko.

47. Indian Folktales in Japan and Japanese folk-literature in India:
historical background and future prospects/Manjushree Chauhan.
Postscript/Unita Sachidanand.

Bibliography.

Index.

"Imaging India, Imaging Japan: a Chronicle of Reflections on Mutual
Literature provides a comprehensive history of academic exchange
between India and Japan in the field of mutual literature. It covers
the status of Indian literature studies in Japan and Japanese
literature studies in India. This volume is a product of intensive
consultations and dialogue between writers, scholars, researchers and
literary translators of both the countries. The book addresses the
question of images--popular and literary, in Indian and Japanese
literature. It strives to explore the nature of cultural and spiritual
interactions between India and Japan. Specific case studies have been
organised in order to trace the roots of literary influences as well
as the main current in our contemporary literature keeping in view the
possibility of learning from the literary perspectives of each other.
The book also carries an updated bibliography on mutual literature. A
thoroughly researched collaborative work, this volume is first of its
kind in the history of international literary exchange that contains
contributions from the Doyens of Indian and Japanese literature.

The book would be of considerable interest to a wide cross-section of
readers such as writers, literary critics, researchers, translators,
teachers and students of Japan and India." (jacket)

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no35946.htm

Tibetant-Sanskrit Dictionary, Supplementary Volume 1

Lokesh Chandra, 1992-1994, xii, 328 p,
$40.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

From the preface:

"The last volume 12 of the Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary appeared in
1961. The twelve volumes ran into 2560 pages and have since been
reprinted in Japan in compact editions that guide Buddhologists
through the vast spaces of Tibetan classical texts, exegetical works
and an immense literature that has been written on sublime subjects.
As the twelve volumes were in print, I had card-indexed an
alphabetised a number of texts that were available both in Sanskrit
and Tibetan. The cards were finally written down for the press by the
beginning of the year 1964. In 1963 my father Prof. Raghu Vira passed
away in a car crash, leaving me disarrayed in darkness. The great mind
was gone and I sought construction from within. Things came and went,
and plucked the thyme of my dreams. The press copy of the supplement
to the dictionary hibernated for thirty years. Long last, I take up
the supplementary volumes. They will be four thousand pages in print
and will comprise vocabulary entries from diverse disciplines:
medicine, lexicons, philosophy, monastic discipline, tantra, poetics,
kavya, drama, stotras and the like. The complete Amarakosa has been
included from its Tibetan translation as well as Tshe-rin-dban-rgyal's
Tibetan-Sanskrit lexicon (Bacot's facsimile edition). Vinaya terms
from the Pravrajya-vastu and Kathina-vastu have been indexed from the
Gilgit manuscript and articles. The whole of Nagananda is included as
a representative of the genre of drama. The Sragdhara-stotra, Nama-
sangiti and Bhadracari provide the rich vocabulary of devotional
hymns. Words from the Hevajra-tantra and Prasannapada represent
important expressions of Tibetan ritual and thought. Meghaduta of
Kalidasa and the Bodhisattva-avadana-kalpalata of Ksemendra have been
included in toto. The latter work, voluminous and rich in poetic
expression, provides an extensive literary vocabulary that has been a
source of inspiration for Tibetan writers who sought embellishment and
style in their diction. Each and every word of Dandin's Kavyadarsa has
been included in this dictionary for its technical terms of poetics.
The terminology of traditional Tibetan medicine has been culled from
the Astanga-hrdaya-samhita of Vagbhata. Thus, the present
supplementary volumes to the Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary will be an
effective thesaurus of the rich idiom of Tibetan whose energy, extent
and delicacy finds newer nuances in the enhanced expression of
Sanskrit. Tibetan has treasured texts and traditions of India that
have perished in the fire and fury of aggressors. Tibetan is a
powerful world of images to integrate the depths of India's spirit.
This dictionary is an humble effort to reveal these lights and shades
of truth and the hierarchy of values."

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no7250.htm

Sadhanamala: Avalokitesvara Section : Sanskrit and Tibetan Texts
Ruriko Sakuma, Adroit, 2002, Asian Iconography Series III, 279 p,
ISBN : 81-87392-37-1,
$42.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents:

Preface.

I. Introduction.

II. Sanskrit texts : List of manuscripts. Orthography of
manuscripts.

1. Lokanathasadhana.

2. Khasarpanalokesvarasadhana.

3. Vajradharmasya sadhanopayika.

4. Sadaksarilokesvarasadhana.

5. Simhanadalokesvarasadhana and Simhanadadharani.

6. Nilakantharyavalokitesvarasadhana.

7. Halahalalokesvarasadhana.

8. Padmanartesvaralokanathasadhana.

9. Harihariharivahanodbhavalokesvarasadhana.

10. Trailokyavasankaralokesvarasadhana.

11. Raktalokesvarasadhana.

12. Lokesvarasya vasyadhikaravidhi.

13. Mayajalakramaryavalokitesvarasadhana.

14. Sopacaramasamukhadharani.

15. Sugatisandarsanalokesvarasadhana.

16. Pretasantarpitalokesvarasadhana.

17. Sukhavatilokesvarasadhana.

III. Tibetan texts : List of Tibetan translations.

1. Lokanathasadhana.

2. Khasarpanalokesvarasadhana.

3. Vajradharmasya sadhanopayika.

4. Sadaksarilokesvarasadhana.

5. Simhanadalokesvarasadhana and Simhanadadharani.

6. Nilakantharyavalokitesvarasadhana.

7. Halahalalokesvarasadhana.

8. Padmanartesvaralokanathasadhana.

9. Harihariharivahanodbhavalokesvarasadhana.

10. Trailokyavasankaralokesvarasadhana.

11. Raktalokesvarasadhana.

12. Lokesvarasya vasyadhikaravidhi.

13. Mayajalakramaryavalokitesvarasadhana.

14. Sopacaramasamukhadharani.

Bibliography.

"The Sadhanamala (SM) is one of the most important materials for the
study of visualization of Tantric Buddhist deities. B. Bhattacharyya
edited the SM in 1925 (Vol. I) and 1928 (Vol. II). Since then, his
edition has been regarded as the standard edition of the SM. Although
there are about forty manuscripts of the SM around the world, the
edition is based on the only eight which were available in those days.
The book, Sadhanamala: the Avalokitesvara Section Sanskrit and Tibetan
Texts, aims at providing a critical edition of the SM by using
manuscripts not employed in the Bhattacharyya edition.

This volume, Asian Iconography Series III, includes the sadhanas of
Avalokitesvara. Sadhana is a religious practice of visualizing a
deity. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is one of the most popular Buddhist
deities in Asian countries, such as India, Tibet, Nepal, China and
Japan. The Bodhisattva has been worshipped as a symbol of compassion
by non-Tantric and Tantric Buddhists from laymen to educated monks.

Tibetan translations of the SM have been regarded as the authoritative
sadhana collections in Tibetan Buddhism. For example, the Sakya pa
chapter of the Grub mtha’ sel gyi me lon (A Crystal Mirror of
Systematic Doctrines), which has written by Thu’u bkwan Blo bzan chos
kyi ni ma (A.D. 1737-1802), refers to one of the translations of the
SM: sGrub thabs rgya mtsho. This Tibetan translation is mentioned as
one of the basic instructions of the Sakya sect. We should not
overlook that a study of the SM also has great importance to Tibetan
Buddhism." (jacket)

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no27763.htm

Iconography of the Derge Kanjur and Tanjur
Josef Kolmas, Vedams, 2002, Reprint, 280 p, ISBN : 81-7936-001-6,
$55.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Search inside this book

Contents:

Preface. Introduction.

1. The Derge Kanjur and Tanjur.

2. Places where the Derge Kanjur and/or the Tanjur can be found (A
synopsis).

3. Synoptic tables of the Derge Kanjur and Tanjur in the possession of
the Library of the Oriental Institute in Prague.

4. The Derge Kanjur and Tanjur: select bibliography.

I. Texts of the legends:

1. The Kanjur.

2. The Tanjur.

3. Index-volumes.

II. Illustrations:

1. The Kanjur.

2. The Tanjur.

3. Index-volumes. Index of names.

"The Iconography of the Derge Kanjur and Tanjur reproduces 648
illustrations from the Derge edition of the Tibetan Canon, and carries
an introduction by Prof. Josef Kolmas of the Oriental Institute of
Prague (Czech Republic). The illustrations are of the same size as the
originals and have been photographed by a specialist Mr. Frantisek
Petivoky. Derge was a first rate center of spiritual life and learning
from the 18 century. It was renowned for the skill of its carvers,
artists and printers. The carving of the Derge Canon began in 1729 and
was completed by 1744. This rich pantheon pictures Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas, Tantric deities, Arhats or Apostles, great gurus,
outstanding figures in Indian and Tibetan history as well as Buddhist
philosophers and masters. It helps us to enlarge the horizons of the
iconographic analysis of Buddhism. Prof. Kolmas presents in this
volume an impressive array of xylographed sketches of Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas in their serenity, Gods and Goddesses in their charm,
teachers and historic personages who appear in the 316 volumes of the
Tibetan Canon xylographed at Derge. They open up new avenues of
research. Conscious of their distinctive value, Prof. Kolmas has
applied scientific acumen and meticulous care to the work which is new
for historians of art. Herein are a few hundred illustrations which
are not to be seen in published pantheons. The versified legends under
each illustration have been deciphered, and the historic content of
the Derge Canon has been clarified. It provides a new and rich source
for historians of Buddhist art and will be an impressive aid to
identify the deities on painted scrolls.

As the world comes to admire and appreciate the eloquent art heritage
of Tibet, this basic work will be of interest and aid to students and
amateurs of the rich partrimony of the sacred art of Tibet, Mongolia,
Bhutan and of other Lamaist regions." (jacket)

Prof. Lokesh Chandra is a renowned scholar of Tibetan, Mongolian and
Sino-Japanese Buddhism. He has over 360 works and text editions. His
books include Buddhist Iconography of Tibet, Dictionary of Buddhist
Iconography, Mudras in Japan and Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary.
Presently he is Director, International Academy of Indian Culture, New
Delhi.

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no23070.htm

Asian Juggernaut : The Rise of China, India and Japan

Brahma Chellaney, Harper Collins Pub, 2006, xii, 348 p, ISBN :
81-7223-650-6,
$25.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents:

Preface.

1. The Asian Renaissance.

2. Why Asia is dissimilar to Europe.

3. Asian geopolitics of energy.

4. Equations in the strategic triangle.

5. Averting strategic conflict in Asia. Appendices. Index.

"A resurgent Asia is now emerging as the global pivot. With the
world's fastest-growing markets, fastest, rising military expenditures
and most-serious hotspots, Asia holds the key to the future global
order. Underpinning its renaissance, Asia has become the world's
economic locomotive, even as its arts, fashion and cuisine regain
international recognition. Yet, with interstate competition
sharpening, Asia faces complex security, energy and developmental
challenges in an era of globalization, including how to move beyond
historical legacies and tap its dynamism for greater prosperity and
well-being. The colossal shift in global geopolitics presents new
opportunities to Asia and tests its ability to assume a bigger role in
international relations.

This book examines the ascent of Asia by focusing on its three main
powers -- China, India and Japan. A qualitative reordering of power in
an Asia characterized by tectonic shifts is challenging strategic
stability and affecting equations between these powers. How the China-
Japan, China-India and Japan-India equations evolve in the coming
years will have a crucial bearing on Asian and global security.
Constituting a strategic triangle, these powers are Asia's largest
economies. Their interests are getting so intertwined that the pursuit
of unilateral solutions by any one of them will disturb the peaceful
environment on which their continued economic growth and security
depend.

The author analyses the global ramifications of the emerging Chinese
colossus. He also highlights the fact that Japan's quiet, undeclared
transition from pacifism to a 'normal' state will help shape the
future of Asian and global geopolitics. Even as it has reinvigorated
its military ties with the United States, Japan is beginning to
rethink its security and international role. The third major Asian
player, India, is coming of age by displaying greater realism in
economic and foreign policies and moving towards geopolitical
pragmatism. India now recognizes that it can wield international power
only by building up its economic and military strength.

A strong China, a strong Japan and a strong India need to find ways to
reconcile their interests in Asia so that they can peacefully coexist
and prosper. Given that these powers have not all been strong at the
same time before in history, stable political relationships between
them are Central to Asian security. The book sets out how all states
in Asia could benefit from cooperative approaches in which China,
India and Japan take the lead." (jacket)

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no49809.htm

India and Japan in Search of Global Roles

Edited by Rajaram Panda and Yoo Fukazawa, Promilla and Co, 2007, 468
p, ISBN : 81-85002-77-0,
$55.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents:

Acknowledgements.

Introduction/Rajaram Panda.

I. Political:

1. India and Japan in historical perspective/T.R. Sareen.
2. India-Japan : strategic partnership in the emerging global scenario/
K.D. Kapur.
3. The dominance party model : a comparative perspective of the
Congress Party in India and the LDP in Japan/Sudhir Mishra.
4. Coalition politics: India and Japan/Savitri Vishwanathan.

II. Economic:

1. Emerging trends in India-Japan economic relations/R.L. Chawla.

2. India's BRICs ambitions, human capital and Japanese lessons/G.
Balatchandirane.

3. Japan between recession and recovery: challenges in courting
advancing regional powers/H.S. Prabhakar.

4. Japanese management practices : their adaptability in Indian
enterprises/Ajay Singh. 5. ICT : platform for India-Japan global
partnership/Ashok Jain and Sanjeev Singh.

III. Societal:

1. Migrant issues in India and Japan : a study in contrast/Partha S.
Ghosh.

2. Greying in India and Japan : a comparative perspective/Rajaram
Panda.

3. India and Japan : historical and cultural linkages/Sushila
Narasimhan.

4. Changing values in contemporary India and Japan : a comparative
perspective -- a study of the impact of market growth on social values/
Rajiv Ranjan.

IV. Cultural:

1. Tourist traffic between India and Japan : a case for the future/
Prem Motwani.

2. The arts in India and Japan : a comparative perspective/Shanta
Serbjeet Singh.

3. Language learning transcending boundaries: the Japanese language in
India and Indian languages in Japan/Nabin Panda.

4. Literary exchange between India and Japan : a new awakening/Unita
Sachidanand. Index.

"This volume examines India-Japan relations from different
perspectives: political, economic, societal and cultural. In an
increasingly globalizing world in the wake of the information
explosion, there has arisen a greater necessity for understanding
between nations on issues of common concern. While interdependence has
increased, so is the need to address issues affecting the humanity.

Japan has already proved to the world how a nation can become strong
economically by peaceful means and sound economic diplomacy. Japan's
spread of economic interests worldwide put it in a position where it
can contribute to the designing of an architecture that conforms to
the interests of the world. India's emergence as an economic
powerhouse and the high economic growth rates registered in the past
few years is being watched with awe. Japan's established economic
pluralism and India's aspiring economic pluralism endow both nations
with the kind of complementarity that, if properly harnessed, can
become a tremendous resource and asset for the world.

In this perspective, this book makes a modest attempt to piece
together perspectives of political scientists, historians, cultural
administrators, artists, economists, Japanese language and Japanese
studies specialists of India to see how both India and Japan can play
roles in global affairs.

This volume is the outcome of a seminar that The Japan Foundation New
Delhi Office organized in March 2005. The papers were divided into
four sections theme-wise and debated by scholars. The paper presenters
and scholars dwelled at length on how both the countries can define
appropriate roles for themselves, either solely or jointly, to their
mutual advantage and for furthering the interests of the
world." (jacket)

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no50313.htm

...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-02-02 00:21:07 UTC
Permalink
Cultural Interface of India with Asia : Religion, Art and Architecture

Edited by Anupa Pande and Parul Pandya Dhar, D K Printworld, 2004,
xxiii, 412 p, plates, ISBN : 81-246-0262-X,
$105.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents:

Foreword/R.D. Choudhury.

Introduction : The Indian presence in the cultural matrix of Asia/
Anupa Pande and Parul Pandya Dhar.

I. Beyond narrow frontiers : across the Asian continent: 1. Interface
of India with other Asian lands/Lokesh Chandra.

2. Reflections in Bronze/Nandana Chutiwongs.

3. The Buddhist Goddess Vasundhara/Michaela Appel.

4. Maitreya on the silk route/V.C. Srivastava.

5. Ancient Indian artist beyond narrow frontiers/R.N. Misra.

6. Spread of Buddhism in Mongolia/Enkhbayar Byambanorov.

7. Early Indian Buddhist contribution to the Jade Art of Central Asia/
M.L. Nigam.

II. Dialogue with neighbouring countries : cultural interface with
other South Asian countries:

8. A Sri Lankan tradition of Hindu sculpture/Sirinimal Lakdusinghe.

9. Buddhist monasteries of ancient Sri Lanka/Roland Silva.

10. Mahinda's contribution to the introduction of Buddhism in Sri
Lanka/Ravindra Panth.

11. Cultural interface of India with Sri Lanka/Choodamani Nandagopal.

12. Overview of cultural links between India and Tibet/Jampa Samten.

13. Indian influence on Nepalese art/Bharat Rawat.

14. Buddhism and tribal art in Northeastern India/A.K. Das. III.
Carrying the tradition forward : cultural interface with southeast
Asian regions:

15. South Indian Buddhism and its Southeast Asian legacy/John Guy.

16. The Angkorian art of the style of Bayon and the meaning of the
face towers/Sachchidanand Sahai.

17. From Kavya Alamkara to the Javanese Kagunan Basa/Edi Sedyawadi.

18. Some reflections on the Buddhist art and architecture of Indonesia/
Timbul Haryono.

19. Cultural links between Thailand and India/Nongluksana
Thepsawasdi.

20. Trailokyavijaya and Vajrasattva: prominent Vajrayana Buddhist
deities of Vimaya, Nakonratchsima province, Thailand/Chirapat
Prapandavidya.

21. Dvaravati: early Buddhist kingdom in Central Thailand/Phasook
Indrawooth.

22. Early Buddhist metal images of South and Southeast Asia/D.P.
Sharma.

23. Contribution of Magadha to the art and architecture of Southeast
Asia/C.P. Sinha.

24. Malay royalty and Sanskrit: a symbol of Indian cultural
assimilation/Madhu Sharma.

25. Pagodas in Vietnam: a study in architectural development/Bachchan
Kumar.

IV: The farthest post: cultural interface with East Asian regions:

26. Sukhavati in three dimensions: popular temple architecture in
medieval Japan/Ineke Van Put.

27. Amitabha: the Buddha of immeasurable light in Japanese art/
Shashibala.

28. Goddess Saraswati and Benzai-ten/K. Sankaranarayanan.

29. Xie He's six rules and Buddhist iconometry/Charles Willemen.

30. The discovery of a new centre where Xuan Zang translated Sanskrit
texts into Chinese/Bai Li Chang.

31. A new interpretation of flying deities in Dun Huang, China/Ai Lian
Bai.

32. The impact of Indian art in China after the advent of Buddhism/
Abolghasem Dadvar.

33. Sravasti in the East : the idea and image of India in an ancient
Korean Buddhist capital/Juhyung Rhi.

34. Indian traces in Korean Buddhism/H. Alexander Fedotoff.

35. Influence of Tibetan Buddhism and Theravadi Buddhism from the
neighbouring countries in Northeast India/R.D. Choudhury.
Index.

"The reality of the Indian presence in Asian cultures is undeniable.
Recent scholarship in the field of Asian cultural studies has laid
much stress on the essential oneness of the substratum that defines
what may be termed as an Asian identity. Buddhism and Hinduism, having
originated in India, travelled beyond the frontiers of the land of
their origin, and in many ways, Moulded the beliefs and faith of the
people of Asia. Trade, political ambitions, and religious pursuits led
to a dissemination of Indian 'ideas' and 'forms' across Asia. In each
area of Indian influence, the assimilation of Indian traditions with
indigenous practices led to the development of a new idiom of
expression with a distinctive localized identity.

This collection of scholarly papers focuses on the centrality of the
Indian contribution to Asian cultures and brings under one rubric, the
views of experts from India, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan,
Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mongolia, China, Korea, Japan, Belgium,
Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom. Such an international
representation, the consequence of a seminar held in the National
Museum Institute in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural
Relations, New Delhi, is unique not only in providing the Indian point
of view but also in revealing Eurasian perspectives on the subject of
India's pivotal role in defining the Asian Cultural Matrix." (jacket)

https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no37139.htm

Karanda-Vyuha-Sutra or The Supernal Virtues of Avalokitesvara

Lokesh Chandra, Aditya Prakashan, 1999, ix, 291 p, ISBN :
81-86471-89-8,
$66.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Introduction.

1. Adoration of the Triratna.

2. Emancipation of Dharmaraja and beings in the avici hell.

3. Emancipation of hungry ghosts in the sucimukha hell.

4. Genesis of Mahesvara and other Gods.

5. Redemption of all kinds of sentient beings.

6. Enlightening the demons.

7. Emancipation of adhomukha beings.

8. Emancipation of quadrupeds and humans.

9. Enlightening Bali the king of demons.

10. Redemption of yaksas and demons.

11. Emancipation of Sukundala the prince of Suddhavasika Gods.

12. Redemption of the demonesses of the Simhala island.

13. Redemption of beings born as worms and insects in Varanasi.

14. Enlightening the inhabitants of Magadha.

15. Obeisance to Visvabhu Buddha at Jetavana.

16. Saving the merchants on their voyage to Simhala.

17. Om manipadme hum, and enlightening Mahesvara and Uma.

18. Merits of propagating the Karanda-vyuha.

19. Instructions in moral conduct. 20. Glorification of the Karanda-
vyuha.

"Karanda-vyuha is a major sutra devoted to Avalokitesvara who embodies
the fundamental aspect of Buddhism: karuna (compassion), whence he is
also called Mahakarunika 'The Great Compassionate One'. This supernal
virtue is expressed in his untiring activity to help all beings in
extreme suffering, as well as his readiness to protect them from
natural calamities and social catastrophes.

"It is the sutra which proclaims the six-syllabled mantra Om mani-
padme hum. It was translated into Chinese as early as AD 270 by
Dharmaraksa of Tun-huang, and again by Gunabhadra between 435-443. It
was rendered into Tibetan by Jinamitra, Danasila and Ye.ses.sde in the
eighth century. It has been held in great reverence in the Buddhist
world as it was revealed to Emperor Asoka by his preceptor Upagupta,
as a model for the welfare of sentient beings. Emperor Asoka was
blessed by the Gods (devanampriyah) and in turn he promoted the
interests of his people (priyadarsi).

"The Sanskrit text of the Karanda-vyuha is known in three versions:
(i) the vulgate version in Nepalese manuscripts, (ii) the prose
version in Gilgit manuscripts of the early seventh century, and (iii)
the metrical version. The last version has been published in this
edition from Nepalese manuscripts for the first time. It has been the
basis of the Buddhist studies of B.H. Hodgson as early as 1828, and
thereby it has conditioned the understanding of Buddhist thought as
well as of artistic traditions. Inspite of its importance, it has
never been published. This edition of the original Sanskrit text will
enable the academic world to understand the foundations of modern
scientific study of the literary, philosophic and artistic perceptions
of Buddhism. The Sanskrit text is preceded by an analysis of the work
in the introduction. The twenty chapters of the Karanda-vyuha enable
us to comprehend the immense popularity of Avalokitesvara in Mahayana
Buddhism in China, Korea, Japan, Tibet and Mongolia, besides his
prevalence in Southeast Asian countries like Srilanka, Indonesia,
Thailand, and Cambodia in ancient times. It is a sine qua non text for
Buddhist scholars as well as for historians of Asian art." (jacket)

[Lokesh Chandra is a renowned scholar of Tibetan, Mongolian and Sino
Japanese Buddhism. Presently he is the Director, International Academy
of Indian Culture.]

https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no14994.htm

Sanskrit-Tibetan Dictionary : Being the Reverse of the 19 Volumes of
the Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary
Lokesh Chandra, Aditya Prakashan, 2007, viii, 758 p, ISBN :
81-7742-070-8,
$90.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

"The Sanskrit-Tibetan Dictionary is the first lexicographical
work to provide the Tibetan equivalents or correspondences of Buddhist
Sanskrit words, technical terms, and phrases. It is the reverse of the
19 volumes of the Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary. It has 70,000
vocabulary entries in densely printed 758 three-column pages. It
includes words and compounds from sutras (like the Kasyapa-parivarta,
Samadhiraja, Suvarna-prabhasa, Lankavatara), from Avatamsaka texts
(like the Dasa-bhumika, Bhadracari, Bhadrakalpika), from the
Prajnaparamita treatises (like Abhisamay-alankara, Ratna-guna-sancaya-
gatha), from Vinaya discipline (Pravrajya-Kathina-vastu), from
laudatory hymns (like Nama-sangiti, Sragdhara-stotra), from Tantras
(like Hevajra, Kalacakra), from lexicons (Mahavyutpatti, Amarakosa),
terms of poetics from the Kavyadars, from the drama Nagananda, from
kavyas (like Megha-duta, Buddha-carita, Avadana-kalpalata of
ksemendra), from manuals of logic (Nyaya-bindu, Nyaya-pravesa, Hetu-
tattv-opadesa), technical terms of medicine from the Astanga-hrdaya-
samhita, and the names of Buddhist deities in various Tibetan and
Mongolian xylographic albums. It covers the immense literary,
philosophical, cosmological, religious, poetic, dramatic, logical and
medical terminology of the Buddhist evolution over thirteen centuries
in Tibet, Mongolia, Kalmykia and Buryatia. The entire gamut of
Buddhist thought and practice, art and meditation, scholastic and
literary development is covered by this Dictionary in a comprehensive
manner. It is a work that should be on the desk of every scholar of
Buddhism. A sine qua non for Buddhology in all its incarnations."

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no51149.htm

Pentaglot Dictionary of Buddhist Terms : In Sanskrit, Tibetan,
Manchurian, Mongolian and Chinese
Edited by Raghu Vira, Internat. Academy of Ind.Cultu, ISBN :
81-86471-26-X,

$36.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

From the Foreword by Raghu Vira: "We have great pleasure in
issuing this Pentaglot Dictionary of Buddhist Terms. It is an abridged
version of Mahavyutpatti but it does not follow the same order.

"Sanskrit is inscribed in Tibetan script. It is full of corruptions.
There is uncertainty and confusion of a large number of ligatures. Sub-
scripts and super-scripts are often omitted. Dentals and cerebrals are
not always distinguished. Anusvara and visarga are added or taken out
without any consistency. Hard and soft consonants, s, s and p, addh
and dhv are confused. Tunga appears as tumraga.

"The Tibetan, Mongolian and Manchurian may be said to form one group
of interpretation, while Chinese often differs. The Chinese does not
follow Sanskrit as closely as the others. It is often different from
the Mahavyutpatti.

"The Manchurian index has been prepared by Dr. C.R. Bawden. The
romanisation and word-by-word translation of Chinese terms has been
done by Prof. Y. Yang. It will be noticed that he does not entirely
follow the Wade system of transliteration.

"Three pages, 192A, 340A and 340B had been missed in our text. They
have been kindly supplied by Dr. C.R. Bawden from a copy in the
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. They are reproduced hereafter."

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no13303.htm

Buddhism Among the Turks of Central Asia

Margit Koves, Aditya Prakashan, 2009, 228 p, ISBN : 81-7742-087-6,
$65.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents:
1. Introduction.
2. Abbreviations.

I. Turks of Central Asia and their contact with Buddhism:

3. Geographical background.

4. Exploration of and expeditions of Turkestan.

5. History of the Turks in Central Asia.

6. Origin and development of the Uigur language and literature.

II. The Turkish-Uigar Suvarnaprabhasa-Sutra:

7. The Suvarnaprabhasa-Sutra and its place in Turkish Buddhist
literature.

8. Comparison of the contents of the Turkish Suvarnaprabhasa-Sutra
with the Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan versions. III. The Dharanis of
the Suvarnaprabhasa-Sutra:

9. Significance of the Dharanis in Buddhist literature.

10. Dharanis of the Uigur version alongwith the corresponding dharanis
in the Sanskrit, Chinese and Tibetan sutras.

11. Some regular linguistic correlations between the Sanskrit and
Uigur presentation of the dharanis.

12. Conclusion. 13. Bibliography.

“This book by Margit Koves details the history of Turks in Central
Asia from their first empire on the Orkhon River from 546 to 658 AD,
the Second Empire from 678-747 AD, and the subsequent Uigur states in
Kocho. It describes the origin and development of the Uigur language,
and the formation of written Uigur literature from the oral tradition.
The main thrust of the work is the place of the Golden Light Sutra
(Suvarnaprabhasa-Sutra) in Uigur literature, its rich source of
dharanis which are of great relevance for linguistics and the
interrelations of different versions in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese.
An account of explorations in Sinchiang in the third chapter surveys
the remnants of civilisations of the Central Asian peoples. The
detailed analysis of 35 dharanis in Uigur-Turkish, Sanskrit, Tibetan
and Chinese transcriptions is invaluable for a comparative study of
phonetics, literary transmission techniques, and a better
comprehension of the mantras and their use in meditational exercises.
The dharanis represent the earliest stratum of tantric praxis and
thought, and Tibetan exegesis rightly considers the Golden Light Sutra
to belong to the Tantras.” (jacket)

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no61437.htm

Vajrayana Images of the Bao-xiang Lou (Pao-hsiang Lou), Vols. I - III

Fredrick W Bunce, D K Printworld, 2009, lxxx, 1008 p, 3 Vols, 765 b/w
photographs, line drawings, ISBN : 81-246-0480-0,

$550.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Vol. I. Chapels 1 - 3: Chapel

1: Preface. Users guide. Introduction. I. 1M1-9:

1. Sakyamuni Buddha.
2. Maitreya.
3. Sarvanivranaviskambhin.
4. Avalokitesvara. .... II. 1A1-61:

1. Akasagarbha.
2. Maitreya.
3. Samantabhadra.
4. Ksitigarbha.

5. Yasahketu or Yasodhvaja Buddha. .... III. 1B1-61:

1. Pindolabharadvaja.
2. Panthaka.
3. Nagasena.
4. Gopaka.
5. Abheda.

6. Arthadarsin Buddha. .....Chapel 2: 2 M1-9:

1. Guhya-Aksobhyavajra Buddha.

2. Krsnarivajra Buddha (Krsna-Yamari).

3. Sanmukha-Bhairavavajra (Sanmukha Yamantaka) Buddha.

4. Guhya-Manjusri Buddha.

5. Guhya-Manjuvajra (Guhyasamaja-Manjuvara) Buddha. ... 2A1-61:

1. Dandadhara Yo-mu (Yamadandi).

2. Damstradhara Yo-mu (Yamadamstri).

3. Duti Yo-mu (Yamaduti).

4. Kaladhvaja Yo-mu or Kalaketu Yo-mu (Kalaratri).

5. Khadgadhara-Bhairavavajra (Khadga-Yamari). ..... 2B1-61:

1. Vajravetala. 2

. Garudayuta-Vajrapani.

3. Krodha-vajrapani.

4. Amoghatrana-Vajrapani. .... Chapel 3: 3M1-9:

1. Samvararaja (Buddha).

2. Yogambara (Buddha).

3. Buddhakapala (Buddha).

4. Sastradhara-Hevajra (Buddha). .... 3A1-61:

1. Lieh-k'o-ta-ch'ia-t'ien. 2. Hariti (Deva).

3. Dhanus (Deva).

4. Budha (Deva).

5. Navami Tithi. ..... 3B1-61:

1. Vajraraga (Fo-mu) (Ragavajra).

2. Vajrasanti (Fo-mu) (vajrasaumya).

3. Dakini (Fo-mu) (Vajradakini).

4. Vajrabhumi (Fo-mu) (Prthivivajra). ...

Vol. II. Chapels 4 - 5: Preface. Chapel 4: 4M1-9:

1. Sarvavid-vairocana (Buddha) (Durgatiparisodhana).

2. Dharmadhatu-vagisvara (Buddha) (Manjughosa).

3. Uttamasri (Buddha).

4. Amoghasiddhi (Buddha). .... 4A1-61:

1. Pranidhana-paramita.

2. Upayakausalya-paramita.

3. Dhyana-paramita.

4. Virya-paramita.

5. Samantaprabha (Fo-mu). .... 4B1-61:

1. Jaliniprabha (Bodhisattva).

2. Vajragarbha (bodhisattva).

3. Aksayamati (Bodhisattva).

4. Prajnakuta (bodhisattva) (Pratibhanakuta). ....Chapel 5: 5M1-9: 1.
Vairocanabhisambodhi (Abhisambodhi - vairocana) (Buddha).

2. Mamaki (fo-mu).

3. Nila-Tara (Syama-Tara) (Fo-mu).

4. Sita-Hayagrivavajra (Buddha). .... 5A1-61:

1. Nandisvara (Nandi/Nandikesvara) (Deva).

2. Rahu (Deva).

3. Jih-kung T'ien (Aditya [?]).

4. Ganapati (Deva). ...... 5B1-61:

1. Sarvanivaranaviskambhini (Devi).
2. Ch'i-miao P'u-sa.
3. Abhayamdada (Bodhisattva). .....

Vol. III. Chapel 6 and Appendices: Preface. Chapel 6: 6M1-9:

1. Amitayus (Amitabha) (Buddha).
2. Marici (Fo-mu).

3. Sita-Tara (Fo-Mu). .... 6A1-61:

1. E-ni-lo (Anila or Andhira) (Mahayaksasenapati).
2. Mi-ch'i-lo (Mekhila or Mihira) (Mahayaksasenapati).
3. Po-ch'ai-lo (vajra) Mahayaksasenapati).
4. Kumbhira (Mahayaksasenapati). ..... 6B1-61:

1. Marici (Fo-mu).
2. Dvadasabhuja-Marici (Fo-mu).
3. Sadbhuja-parnasabari (Fo-mu).
4. Trimukhastabhuja-rakta-Hayagrivavajra). .....

Observations.
Bibliography.
Appendices.
Glossary.
Acknowledgement.

"The three volumes contain an iconographic analysis and compilation of
the over 760 images from the six chapels of the Pao-hsiang Lou (Bao-
xiang Lou) in the garden of the Tzu-ning Kung (Palace of Kindness and
tranquility) in the Forbidden City, Beijing. The Pavilion Pao-Hsiang
Lou, a two-storied simple structure with seven chapels on each floor,
holds hundreds of Tibetan Buddhist images of remarkable quality. The
volumes present the entire set of images, each reproduced and
explained with great clarity. There are details of each image with
regard to the physical description of the figure portrayed and its
various iconographical and stylistic features and associated images.
Each entry contains the name of the deity with the Sanskrit, Tibetan
and Chinese transliterations of the name. The very interesting and
useful introduction discusses deities of mandalas, placement of
deities within a single chapel, images of the Pao-hsiang Lou Pantheon
compared to the Chu Fo P'u-sa Sheng Hsiang Tsan Pantheon, variations
in depiction of images with regard to their hair, crown and other
parts and associated ornaments, and the asanas of the images. The
scholarly volumes are a result of the painstaking research by the
author by referring to noted experts on the subject.

The volumes will interest all students and scholars of Buddhist art
and iconography.

Fredrick W. Bunce, a PhD and a Cultural Historian of International
Eminence, is an authority on Ancient Iconography and Buddhist Arts. He
has been honoured with prestigious awards/commendations and is listed
in Who's Who in American Art and the International Biographical
Dictionary, 1980. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Art, Indiana
State University, Terre Haute, Indiana." (jacket)

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no60154.htm

Buddhist Art and Thought

Shashibala, Akshaya Prakashan, 2007, xiv, 312 p, figs, ISBN :
81-88643-06-6,

$65.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Preface.

1. Buddhist art: from the northwest to the far east.

2. Amitabha: the Buddha of immeasurable light in Japanese Art.

3. Yoga: the basis of the Taima Mandala.

4. Bodhisattvas of debate and defence.

5. Buddhist colossi in Japan.

6. Mandala and meditation in Japanese Esoteric art.

7. India and East Asia : a cultural symbiosis.

8. Bodhisattvas in Buddhist art and thought.

9. From Ajanta to Horyuji.

10. A Sanskrit Manuscript of the Gupta period at the Horyuji Monastery
in Japan.

11. Zen bearings on Japanese Arts.

12. Four divine guardians in Japanese Art.

13. India and Japan: Academic relations in early twentieth century.

14. Structure of Gobu-shingan and the graphic Vajradhatu-mandala in
the light of the Sarva-tathagata-tattva- sangraha.

15. Iconography of Vaisravana in Japanese art compared with Sanskrit
literary sources.

16. Cultural interflow between India and Central Asia.

17. Monasteries of Khotan in Tibetan literary sources.

18. Apotheosis of an Indonesian king of the Singasari Dynasty.

19. Fire Altar for Asvamedha Ceremony in Indonesia.

20. The earliest Sanskrit documents from Indonesia.

21. Sanskrit texts in Chinese and Tibetan translations.

22. Sanskrit in Japan.

23. Sanskrit in Southeast Asia.

24. Search for Shambhala and Kalacakra by Yuri and Nicholas Roerichs.

25. Hevajra in Buddhist literature, imperial ceremonies and art.

26. Banner of peace.

27. Role of Suvarnaprabhasa-sutra in the polity of East Asia. Index.

""Buddhist Art and Thought" is a window to the cultural ambience of
Asia. It encompasses a number of themes related to the study of
cultural interflow among Asian countries, which share philosophy,
literature, techniques of arts and architecture, systems of polity and
ways of living and thinking. The book brings forth the history of
dissemination of Buddhism by monk-scholars in the kingdoms of Central
Asia, and the discovery of the lost heritage by archeologists of
various countries. It throws light on the manifestations of divine
forms of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It presents the first step towards
classification of innumerable Bodhisattvas in Buddhist art and
thought. Other deities of the Buddhist pantheon like Buddhas of the
solar cults, protectors, deified images of kings, Tantric deities and
the minor beings assimilated into the Buddhist pantheon, their
symbolism and iconography, are also discussed in the book. From
colossal images to luminous Mandalas, all the art forms are
manifestations of philosophical speculations. Yoga remains the basis
of a number of Mandalas representing the levels of meditation. Some of
the chapters are devoted to the transmission and impact of Buddhist
sutras on the development of schools of philosophy like Pure Land and
Zen. Buddhist Sanskrit literature, that was transmitted to and
translated into the languages of Tibet, China, Mongolia and other
countries, exists as a rich heritage of Asia. The author also touches
upon other topics like Indian scripts, Sanskrit inscriptions and
manuscripts, Buddhist ceremonies and rituals beyond the boundaries of
India and the contribution of Indologists as pilgrims in the world of
vision and intellection." (jacket)

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no50514.htm

Dimensions of Buddhism and Jainism : Professor Suniti Kumar Pathak
Felicitation Volume, Vols. I and II

Edited by Buddhadev Bhattacharya and Ramaranjan Mukherji, Sanskrit
Book Depot, 2009, 843 p, 2 Vols, $80.00 (Includes free airmail
shipping)

Contents: Vol. I. Message.

Editorial. I. Suniti Kumar Pathak : a person:

1. Life sketch of Professor S.K. Pathak/Buddhadev Bhattacharya.

2. I saw him in the light of my own eyes/Jayanti De.

3. My teacher as I know him/Kalpika Mukherjee.

4. The spirituality, as I have visualised/Ranesh Chandra Poddar.

II. Unitary Buddhism:

1. How does the practice of Vipassana help us in ending our suffering?/
Angraj Chaudhary.

2. Functions of consciousness (Citta-kiccani) in Abhidharma philosophy/
Bimalendra Kumar.

3. The system of meditation of the Paramadittha-dhamma nibbana-vadins/
Biswadeb Mukherjee.

4. The Itivuttaka - its syllabic structure/Devaprasad Guha.

5. Preliminaries of the Vajravali/Dipak Bhattacharya.

6. Economic structure in the Buddhist Samgha/Pranabananda Jash.

7. Apropos of Dhatupathas in general and Maitreya's Dhatupradipa in
particular/Karunasindhu Das.

8. Ten precious seeds in the heart to grow into healthy Bodhi trees/
Lokesh Chanda.

9. Lalita-vistara: a model of dissemination of knowledge/Mangala R.
Chinchore.

10. Atheistic and non-atheistic concept in Buddhism/Sadhan Sarkar.

11. Buddhist conception of a true Brahmin - a study/Saheli Das.

12. A brief note on the Buddha's teaching of 'anatta' or 'nairtatmya'/
U.S. Vyas.

13. The Buddhist logic of Santana (series)/V.N. Jha.

III. Schismatic Buddhism:

1. Status of Buddhist nuns (study from Theravada-Bhikkhuni-patimokkho)/
Aiswarya Biswas.

2. Gzhi thams and cad yod par smra ba she'i dul ba (ZTYD)
(Mulasarvastivada Vinaya MsV) Lineages in Tibet: a survey/Anandamayee
Ghosh.

3. Religious change in Srilankan Buddhism/Avinash Kumar Srivastava.

4. Antagonism against the Buddhists in the Sanskrit literature/
Bibekananda Banerjee.

5. Buddhist universities of the past as great seats of learning/
Binayendra Nath Chaudhury.

6. (Article in Hindi).

7. The brief thought about Pudgala/Sangwhan Shin.

8. A study on the Prakrt inscriptions belonging to the first century
B.C./Subhra Bhadra (Basu).

9. Sarvastivada : explained in the A-pi-ta-mo-shih-shen-tsu-lun
(Abhidharma-vijnakakaya-pada-sastra/Swati Ganguly.

10. A brief history and doctrine of Kalacakra in India and Tibet/
V.V.S. Saibaba.

IV. Diverse traditions in Buddhism:

1. Nasal characteristics of the Tibetan language: a critical study/
Arpita Chatterjee.

2. Ancient Buddhist centres in Bihar/Bela Bhattacharya.

3. The role of translation in the making of a linguist/Haraprasad
Ray.

4. Some aspects of Mahayana Buddhist literature in Indonesia/J.
Sitaramamma.

5. Pratyeka - Buddhabhumi/Jagadishwara Pandey.

6. (Article in Hindi).

7. Royal symbolism of the Prajnaparamita of Ta Prohm/Lokesh Chanda.

8. A focus on Tibetan dance and music of Indian Himalayas/Malavika
Bandyopadhyaya.

9. Transmission of Indian logical and epistemological text into
Tibetan (11 century)/Manotosh Mandal.

10. Prajna in Yoga and Buddhist philosophy/Mridula Roy.

11. Aryamanjusri-Mula-Kalpa on the imperial Guptas/Manabendu
Banerjee.

12. Madhyamaka philosophy of two truths: a comparative study of it
with Advaita Vedanta and some other philosophies/Niradbaran Mandal
Kavyatarkatirtha.

13. Santaraksita's exposition on the validity of Buddhavacana/Piyali
Palit.

14. (Article in Hindi).

15. The practice of Buddhism among the Bodh in Spiti/R.K. Bhattacharya
and Kumkum Bhattacharya.

16. (Article in Hindi).

17. Contribution of foreign Buddhist monasteries in propagation of
Buddhism in India/Rita Gupta.

18. Spread of Buddhism in Tibet and present status in India/Shyama
Mondal.

19. Buddhist doctrine for the householder/Subhra Barua.

20. Is Buddhism one or many?/Vishwajit Kumar.

21. Depredation and Arson at Sarnath/U.N. Biswas.

Vol. II. V. Altruistic Buddhism:

1. The divine female : a Bengal - Tibetan comparison of the feminine
principle/Andrea Loseries.

2. Sanskrit texts of the Siddhacaryas available in Tibetan sources/
Bhakti De.

3. Chandidasa : a Sahajia poet/Buddhadeb Acharya.

4. Buddhist theory and practice means to the new challenges/Losang
Norbu Shastri.

5. Concept of Adi-Buddha in Dharmakosa Sangrahah/Piyali Chakraborty.

6. Bell inscriptions of Btsan po Dynasty (dril bu'i byang)/Shedup
Tenzin.

7. Bon: its encounter with Buddhism in Tibet/Sonam Pema Bodh.

8. Buddhist Goddesses of Bengal: synthesis or antithesis/Susmita
Chatterjee.

9. Tibetan vows as matters/vows of Tibetan monks - Sdom-pa/Viktor
Lovasz.

10. The Tibetan Buddhist culture in the epic Gesar/Wang Xingxion.

VI. Contemporary Buddhism and Navayana (New - vehicle):

1. The Buddhism in Sikkim/Archana Roy.

2. Social philosophy of Buddhism and challenges of the twenty first
century/Baidyanath Labh.

3. Buddhist Tantric studies : at Dawn of 21 century/Banarasi Lal.

4. Contemporary Bhoti Buddhists in Indian Himalayas (Eastern sector)/
Bandana Mukherjee.

5. Buddhadeva in modern Bengali Literature/Bhabatosh Dutta.

6. Import of the humans : a comparative approach with Buddhism/Bidyut
Baran Bandyopadhyay.

7. The essence of Buddhism/Bijan Bandhu Samajdar.

8. The character of the Ge Sar Sgrungs in the context of Indian Epic
Literature/Buddhadev Bhattacharya.

9. Survival and development: the Buddhist perspective/Hemendu Bikash
Chowdhury.

10. Impermanent law reflecting in the last instructional poem of man
Giac - The great Vietnamese Master/Huynh Thi Thang.

11. Paritta in comparative light to the contemporary society/K.
Sankarnarayan.

12. Khams Sprul's observation on Rupaka Alamkara/Kalpika Mukherjee.

13. Tibetan monasteries in era of Tibetan Diaspora/Karubaki Dutta.

14. Introduction of Buddhism in North and north-east/Manikuntala
Halder De.

15. Against all odds, migrant Tibetans in the Darjeeling District
carry on their legacy/Noreen Mukhopadhyaya.

16. Tibetan food offerings : an overview on gtor ma, t'sog, phye mar
in contemporary world/Nupur Pathak.

17. (Article in Hindi).

18. A comparison of the two variants of the offering ritual text to a
Mongolian protective deity, Dayan Degereki/Robert Jutro Torok.

19. Ecology as revealed in the Pali Literature/Saswati Mutsuddy.

20. An appraisal of the Dhammapada by Prabodh Chandra Sen/Sulagna
Mukherjee.

21. (Article in Hindi).

VII. Buddhism, science and world peace:

1. Journey towards sunyata from Quantum mechanics/Debajyoti
Gangopadhyay.

2. Sahaja (the natural way leading to spontaneity)/Kulavadhuta
Satpurananda.

3. Buddhism, humanism and Sristsila Manavbad : an intercultural
expansion of global harmony and peace/Santi Nath Chattopadhyay.

4. Modern science and Tantra, Yantra and Mandala/Sisir Roy.

VIII. Jainism : unitary and dynamic:

1. (Article in Hindi).

2. Spirituality in the highest weal; a Jaina perspective/Arun Kumar
Mondal. 3. Society and economy as revealed in the image inscriptions
(Buddhist, Jaina and Brahmanical) of Northern India from

3 century B.C. to 7 century A.D./Jagatpati Sarkar.

4. Ecological imbalance - a threat to life : remedial approach in
Jainism/Kajal De.

5. On sva-samvedana/Madhumita Chattopadhyay.

6. Jainism: a dynamic realism/Mahendra Kumar Misra.

7. Scientific aspects of Karma theory/N.L. Jain.

8. On the arrangement of some Sutras of Trivikrama's Prakrit grammar/
Satya Ranjan Banerjee.

9. Social aspect of Jainism/Suchitra Ray Acharyya.

10. Self and liberation - a Jaina understanding/Uma Chattopadhyay.

11. Jain Nyaya (doctrine of right judgment) : brief outline discussion/
Veer Sagar Jain.

"A change creates some motion leading to a force. In social science,
time and location and changing conditionality play an important role
in the change from one point to another. Dimension is the different
aspect or feature or yet again different perception of anything that
might be a subject or object.

In social sciences this significant term is occasionally applied to a
change or changes in the context of time and location. Human culture
is pluralistic and changeable. Dimension is therefore appropriate in
signifying change under the social cause and condition.

Sociology deals with several social forces. Religion, politics,
economics, law and aesthetics are among the most important of the
multiple social forces throughout the history of human culture.

Buddhism and Jainism belong to the shramana culture, which is believed
to be indigenous in Bharatavarsa since the golden ancient period. In
India, the dharma is not far from society or the society is not away
from Dharma. An Indian Dharma is never divisible from the Indians,
because an Indian society is branded with a particular Dharma. Here,
religion is used in the modern socio anthropological standing where
politics, economics, law and aesthetics may be its corollaries in
Indian society. Dharma may be briefly defined as the self nature or
character of life while religion is the meaning of life.

Resultantly World Buddhist and Jain Studies have a multi-pronged scope
for exploring interesting chapters of the human socio-cultural growth.
Multi-ethnicity and multi-lingual qualities make Buddhist and Jain
Studies varied and diverse in the world in accordance with modernity
and contemporary conditions of the human globe." (jacket)

http://www.vedamsbooks.com/no63433.htm

...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-02-02 02:59:19 UTC
Permalink
PhD THESIS

Śabdālaṃkāradoṣavibhāga

Die Unterscheidung der Lautfiguren und der Fehler

Kritische Ausgabe des dritten Kapitels von Daṇḍins Poetik Kāvyādarśa
und der tibetischen Übertragung Sñan ṅag me loṅ samt dem Sanskrit-
Kommentar des Ratnaśrījñāna, dem tibetischen Kommentar des Dpaṅ Blo
gros brtan pa und einer deutschen Übersetzung des Sanskrit-
Grundtextes.

By Dragomir Dimitrov. Marburg 2004, xi, 850 pp.

This work offers a critical edition of the third chapter of Daṇḍin's
Kāvyādarśa ("Mirror of Poetic Art") and its Tibetan translation Sñan
ṅag me loṅ. It also includes a new edition of the oldest known
Sanskrit commentary by Ratnaśrījñāna, an editio princeps of the oldest
Tibetan commentary by Dpaṅ Blo gros brtan pa and a complete German
translation of the basic Sanskrit text of the third chapter made in
accordance with Ratnaśrījñāna's exegesis. The third chapter, in 187
stanzas, is best known under the title Śabdālaṃkāradoṣavibhāga
("Differentiation of the Figures of Sound and the Faults"). It
represents beyond doubt the most fascinating and linguistically most
intriguing part of Daṇḍin's Poetic. The chapter is especially
dedicated to the various types of word-play, including sixteen types
of riddles, and the ten faults in poetry.

The critical edition of the Sanskrit basic text is based on four
Nepalese Mss and one Ms kept in Oxford. The relevant old and modern
commentaries and editions have also been taken into consideration. For
the constitution of the Tibetan text the canonical and the non-
canonical versions available nowadays have been used. The most
important and influential Tibetan commentaries have also been
consulted, and the basic text cited in them has been collated. The new
edition of Ratnaśrījñāna's commentary (the Ratnaśrīṭīkā) has been
prepared on the basis of an undated, old and good Nepalese Ms. For the
editio princeps of Dpaṅ Blo gros brtan pa's commentary (the Dpaṅ Ṭīkā)
a single Ms in Dbu med script has been used.

Besides an introductory part, the four editions and the German
translation, the thesis contains philological notes on the two
commentaries, various appendices, concordances and indices for quick
references. The work has been prepared as a continuation of my
critical edition of the first chapter of the Kāvyādarśa and the Sñan
ṅag me loṅ (see Mārgavibhāga and MA thesis).

This PhD thesis is a winner of the Ernst Waldschmidt Prize for the
year 2004 given by the Ernst Waldschmidt Foundation, and has also been
awarded the Dissertation Prize for the years 2003-2004 by the Faculty
of Foreign Languages at the University of Marburg.

A revised and enlarged version of this work will be published in 2009.

CONTACT

FG Indologie und Tibetologie
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Deutschhausstr. 12
D-35032 Marburg
Germany

Tel.: +49 178 9190340, +49 6421 282 4640
E-mail: ***@hotmail.com
Homepage: www.dragomir-dimitrov.net

RÉSUMÉ

Positions

since March 2008

Assistant professor at the Department of Indology and Tibetology,
Faculty of Foreign Languages, UNIVERSITY OF MARBURG, Germany.
March 2007 - February 2008

Research assistant at the Arrow-headed Script Project, Department of
Indology and Tibetology, Faculty of Foreign Languages, UNIVERSITY OF
MARBURG, Germany.
September 2004 - February 2007

Local Representative of the Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing
Project and Acting Director of the Nepal Research Centre in Kathmandu,
Nepal.
November 2002 - August 2004

Research assistant at the Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing
Project, Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies, Asia-Africa
Institute, UNIVERSITY OF HAMBURG, Germany.
October 2001 - July 2004

Teaching assistant at the Department of Indology and Tibetology,
Faculty of Foreign Languages, UNIVERSITY OF MARBURG, Germany.

01.04.1997 - 30.09.1999 Student assistant at the Department of
Indology and Tibetology, Faculty of Foreign Languages, UNIVERSITY OF
MARBURG, Germany.

Education

01.02.2000 - 24.06.2004

Postgraduate studies (PhD) at the Department of Indology and
Tibetology, Faculty of Foreign Languages, UNIVERSITY OF MARBURG,
Germany.

01.04.1997 - 01.12.1999
Graduate studies (MA) at the Department of Indology and Tibetology,
Faculty of Foreign Languages,

UNIVERSITY OF MARBURG, Germany.
16.10.1995 - 15.07.1996
Specialization at the Institute for Comparative Indo-European
Linguistics and Indo-Iranian Studies,

UNIVERSITY OF SAARLAND in Saarbrücken, Germany.
01.10.1996 - 31.03.1997
01.09.1992 - 15.07.1995
Undergraduate studies at the Department of Indology of the Centre for
Oriental Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Classical and Modern
Philologies, UNIVERSITY OF SOFIA, Bulgaria.
1987 - 1992

ENGLISH LANGUAGE SCHOOL "Geo Milev" in Burgas, Bulgaria.

PUBLICATIONS

A. Books

2009 Śabdālaṃkāradoṣavibhāga – Die Unterscheidung der Lautfiguren und
der Fehler. Kritische Ausgabe des dritten Kapitels von Daṇḍins Poetik
Kāvyādarśa und der tibetischen Übertragung Sñan ṅag me loṅ samt dem
Sanskrit-Kommentar des Ratnaśrījñāna, dem tibetischen Kommentar des
Dpaṅ Blo gros brtan pa und einer deutschen Übersetzung des Sanskrit-
Grundtextes. Von Dragomir Dimitrov. 2009. [see PhD thesis; in print]

2007 Lehrschrift über die zwanzig Präverbien im Sanskrit. Kritische
Ausgabe der Viṃśatyupasargavṛtti und der tibetischen Übersetzung Ñe
bar bsgyur ba ñi śu paʼi ʼgrel pa. (Editionen von Texten der Cāndra-
Schule. Band I). Von Dragomir Dimitrov nach Vorarbeiten von Thomas
Oberlies. Marburg 2007. (Indica et Tibetica, 49), vii, 123 pp. [see
Viṃśatyupasargavṛtti; cf. Book Announcement by Harunaga ISAACSON in:
Newsletter of the NGMCP. Number 4. May-June 2007, pp. 19–20, and
Review by George CARDONA in: Indo-Iranian Journal, Volume 51 (2008)
pp. 33-38]

2002 Mārgavibhāga – Die Unterscheidung der Stilarten. Kritische
Ausgabe des ersten Kapitels von Daṇḍins Poetik Kāvyādarśa und der
tibetischen Übertragung Sñan ṅag me loṅ nebst einer deutschen
Übersetzung des Sanskrittextes. Herausgegeben nach nepalesischen
Handschriften des Sanskrittextes und der kanonischen und
außerkanonischen tibetischen Überlieferung unter besonderer
Berücksichtigung der älteren Kommentarliteratur, samt Glossaren,
ausführlichen Bibliographien, Konkordanzen und Indizes. Von Dragomir
Dimitrov. Marburg 2002. (Indica et Tibetica, 40), xiii, 395 pp. [see
Mārgavibhāga and MA thesis; cf. Review by Johannes SCHNEIDER in:
Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, Band 157
(2007), pp. 243-246]

B. Articles

2009b "Notes on the Viṃśatyupasargavṛtti", in: Journal of the Nepal
Research Centre. Volume XIII. Kathmandu 2009, 12 pp. [in print]

2009a "Critical Editions Critically Needed (On the Transmission of the
Sñan ṅag me loṅ in Tibet)", in: Pāsādikadānaṁ. Festschrift für
Bhikkhu Pāsādika. Herausgegeben von Martin Straube, Roland Steiner,
Jayandra Soni, Michael Hahn und Mitsuyo Demoto. Marburg 2009. (Indica
et Tibetica, 52), pp. 97–116.

2008 "Some Remarks on the Rūpyāvatyavadāna of the Divyāvadāna(mālā)",
in: Bauddhasāhityastabakāvalī. Essays and Studies on Buddhist Sanskrit
Literature Dedicated to Claus Vogel by Colleagues, Students, and
Friends. Edited by Dragomir Dimitrov, Michael Hahn, and Roland
Steiner. Marburg 2008. (Indica et Tibetica, 36), pp. 45-64.

2007b "Ratnākaraśānti’s Chandoratnākara and Tathāgatadāsa’s
Chandomāṇikya", in: Indica et Tibetica. Festschrift für Michael Hahn
zum 65. Geburtstag von Freunden und Schülern überreicht, herausgegeben
von Konrad Klaus und Jens-Uwe Hartmann. Wien 2007, pp. 113–138.
(Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde, Heft 66).

2007a "Kaiser Shamsher, his Library and his Manuscript Collection",
in: Newsletter of the NGMCP, Number 3, January-February 2007, pp. 26–
36. [co-authored with Kashinath Tamot] [view online]

2006 "Bilingual Sanskrit-Tibetan Glosses in a Nepalese MS of the
Ratnaśrīṭīkā", in: Newsletter of the NGMCP. Number 2. October 2006,
pp. 4–7. [view online]

2004 "Two Female Bodhisattvas in Flesh and Blood", in: Aspects of the
Female in Indian Culture. Proceedings of the Symposium in Marburg,
Germany, July 7-8, 2000. Edited by Ulrike Roesler and Jayandra Soni.
Marburg 2004, pp. 3–30. (Indica et Tibetica, 44).

2002 "Tables of the Old Bengali Script (on the basis of a Nepalese
manuscript of Daṇḍin's Kāvyādarśa)", in: Śikhisamuccaya. Indian and
Tibetan Studies. (Collectanea Marpurgensia Indologica et
Tibetologica). Edited by Dragomir Dimitrov, Ulrike Roesler and Roland
Steiner. Wien 2002, pp. 27–78. (Wiener Studien zur Tibetologie und
Buddhismuskunde, Heft 53) [see Śikhisamuccaya]

2001 "Lakṣmī° – on the identity of some Indo-Tibetan scholars of the
9th–13th centuries", in: Zentralasiatische Studien. Band 30. Wiesbaden
2000, pp. 9–27; Band 31. Wiesbaden 2001, p. 63.

2000 "Легендата за Рупявати – една будистка санскритска авадана
(превод и бележки)", в: Храм от светлина. Изтоковедски изследвания
"Ориенс". София 2000, стр. 68–86. ["The Legend of Rūpyāvatī – a
Buddhist Sanskrit Avadāna (Translation and Notes)", in: Temple of
Light. Journal for Oriental Studies "Oriens". Sofia 2000, pp. 68–86.]

1997c "Към въпроса за будисткия санскрит – особености на хибридната
езикова форма, онагледени чрез примери от Rūpyāvatyavadāna", в: сп.
"Филология" 4. София 1997, 36 стр. ["On the question of Buddhist
Hybrid Sanskrit – features of the hybrid form shown with examples from
the Rūpyāvatyavadāna", in: Philology 4. Sofia 1997, 36 pp.]

1997b "Химнът на сътворението (RV X.129) – анализ и интерпретация",
в: Индия в българската наука. София 1997, стр. 86–95. ["The Hymn of
Creation (RV X.129) – Analysis and Interpretation", in: India in
Bulgarian Scholarship, Sofia 1997, pp. 86–95]

1997a "Към въпроса за степента на аналитизъм и синтетизъм в хинди",
в: сп. "Съпоставително езикознание" 4. София 1997, стр. 51–59. ["On
the question of the degree of analytism and synthetism in Hindi", in:
Comparative Linguistics 4. Sofia 1997, pp. 51–59]

C. Other publications

2008 "Bericht über das Nepal Research Centre für den Zeitraum vom
April 2005 bis September 2006", in: Zeitschrift der Deutschen
Morgenländischen Gesellschaft. Band 158, Heft 1. Wiesbaden 2008, pp.
257-258.

2007b "The Work of the Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project
(Report: October 2006)", in: Abhilekha. Kathmandu 2064 [2007 AD], 2
pp.

2007a "The Work at the Nepal Research Centre from April 2005 to
September 2006", in: NGMCP Newsletter, Number 3, January-February
2007, pp. 1–4. [view online]

2006c "The Nepal Research Centre: Past and Present", in: NGMCP
Newsletter, Number 1, July 2006, pp. 17–19. [view online]

2006b "The Work of the Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project
in Nepal (Report: July 2006)", in: NGMCP Newsletter, Number 1, July
2006, pp. 3–4. [view online]

2006a "Bericht über das Nepal Research Centre für den Zeitraum vom
April 2003 bis März 2005", in:

Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft. Band 156,
Heft 1. Wiesbaden 2006, pp. 272–274.
2005d "The Work of the Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project
(Report: September 2005)", in: Abhilekha. Vol. 23. Kathmandu 2062
[2005 AD], pp. 142–145.

2005c "An Outline of the Nepal Research Centre", in: The Kathmandu
Post. Kathmandu, 03.10.2005, p. 7. [view online]

2005b "An Outline of the Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing
Project", in: The Kathmandu Post. Kathmandu, 03.10.2005, p. 7. [view
online]

2005a "Nepali heritage on fire", in: The Kathmandu Post. Kathmandu,
10.09.2005, p. 8. [co-authored with Kashinath Tamot] [view online]

D. Editorship

2008 Bauddhasāhityastabakāvalī. Essays and Studies on Buddhist
Sanskrit Literature Dedicated to Claus Vogel by Colleagues, Students,
and Friends. Edited by Dragomir Dimitrov, Michael Hahn, and Roland
Steiner. Marburg 2008. (Indica et Tibetica, 36) [see
Bauddhasāhityastabakāvalī]

2002 Śikhisamuccayaḥ. Indian and Tibetan Studies. (Collectanea
Marpurgensia Indologica et Tibetologica). Edited by Dragomir Dimitrov,
Ulrike Roesler and Roland Steiner. Wien 2002. (Wiener Studien zur
Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde, Heft 53) [see Śikhisamuccaya]

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Lehrschrift über die zwanzig Präverbien im Sanskrit
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Die Unterscheidung der Stilarten
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शिखिसमुच्चयः
Indian and Tibetan Studies
(Collectanea Marpurgensia Indologica et Tibetologica).
Edited by Dragomir Dimitrov, Ulrike Roesler and Roland Steiner.

Wien 2002
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bademiyansubhanallah
2010-02-02 03:12:57 UTC
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Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages

Home Academics Research About the Department In Norwegian

The Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages comprises 17
different teaching disciplines, with research covering a broad
spectrum of fields related to cultural history, history of religion,
and theatre studies, as well as the languages, history, cultural and
social studies of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Across these
traditional academic disciplines is the professional expertise of the
Department, which lies primarily in the areas of culture and cultural
expression, as well as in regional studies. Recent publications

Negotiating Pasts in the Nordic Countries iChina.The Rise of the
Individual in Modern Chinese Society

Æmula Lauri A New History of SHINTO

Other publications

News:
Prøveforelesninger i forbindelse med intervju til stilling som
førsteamanuensis innenfor feltet...

19.11.2009
Gjesteforelesning i tibetologi 3. november

28.10.2009
Prøveforelesninger i forbindelse med intervju til stilling som
førsteamanuensis innenfor feltet...

27.10.2009

Research projects and general information about the research at the
Department
PhD and Research Fellowships at the Faculty of Humanities
For International Researchers

Links

Network for University Co-operationTibet-Norway
Resources on Buddhism
Museologi Resources

Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages
Visiting Address: Niels Henrik Abels vei 36, P.A. Munchs Building 3rd
floor (Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 12:30 - 15:00)

Postal Adresse: Box 1010 Blindern, N-0315 Oslo
Telephone: +47 22 85 59 43 Fax: +47 22 85 48 28 E-mail:
***@ikos.uio.no

Editors: IKOS, ***@ikos.uio.no

Document created: 07.09.2007, modified: 20.01.2010Administrer dette
dokumentet
Get in touch with the University of Oslo

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SAN4590 - Master’s thesis: Sanskrit
Facts about this course:
Credits: 60

Level: Advanced course at master's level

Teaching semester: Spring and autumn

Examination semester: Spring and autumn

Language of instruction: English

Administrated by: Department of Culture Studies and Oriental
Languages

Course content - Learning outcomes - Admission - Prerequisites -
Teaching - Exam information - Contact information

Course content

The M.A. thesis must comprise from 70 to 100 pages and be an
independent scholarly work. The subject and research topic can be
drawn from a broad spectrum of Sanskrit-related topics, chosen in
consultation with the advisor. The thesis is to be written in English.

Learning outcomes

Through work with the M.A. thesis, the student is to acquire knowledge
of the topic he/she has chosen for the thesis. The student learns to
collect relevant data for an independent work and to process this
methodically in accordance with relevant theories. Working with the
M.A. thesis provides further practice in formulating a reasoned
exposition of the results and the application and communication of
theoretical knowledge.

Admission

Students who have been admitted to study programmes or individual
courses must sign up for courses every semester by registering a study
plan in StudentWeb

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our
information about courses and admission to programmes

Prerequisites

Formal prerequisites

Admission to the Sanskrit M.A. degree programme under the Programme
for Asian and African Studies, plus passing marks in the six
introductory courses in this programme of study.

Recommended prior knowledge

Passing marks in the six 10-credit introductory courses in the
Sanskrit M.A. degree programme of the Programme for Asian and African
Studies.

Teaching

Academic supervision of the Master’s degree thesis is compulsory. Up
to 15 hours of individual supervision for a 60-credit thesis and up to
7.5 hours for a 30-credit thesis will be given. Supervisors will be
assigned by the department. Supervision commences when the Agreement
of supervision is signed, and follows these guidelines

Each discipline will organise colloquia for the students. This will be
a forum for the students to present and discuss drafts for chapters,
project sketches, interview guides etc. The colloquia will be lead by
members of the academic staff.

Exam information
The master’s thesis is to be handed in by stipulated deadlines and is
marked on a descending scale using alphabetic grades from A to E for
passes and F for fail.

Contact information
Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages
Visiting address:
P.A. Munchs hus level 4

Visiting hours:
Mon-Fri: 12:30 - 15:00

Postal address:
PO Box 1010 Blindern
N-0315 Oslo

Phone: 22 85 59 43
Fax: 22 85 48 28
E-mail: ***@ikos.uio.no
Web: http://www.hf.uio.no/ikos/

Editors: Redaksjon for informasjon om studietilbudet ved UiO

Document created: 10.10.2005, modified: 26.05.2008Administrer dette
dokumentet

Get in touch with the University of Oslo

http://www.uio.no/studier/emner/hf/ikos/SAN4590/

...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-02-02 03:17:31 UTC
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...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-02-02 03:22:38 UTC
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Notes to Chapter 9: Rasâbhâsa and Hâsya

1) [Sanskrit text]

2) In passing, we may underline the difference between hâsya based
on the ‘semblance of rasa’ (rasâbhâsa) and Freud’s category of
‘humor’. Though both are primarily emotion-centered (JU p.293),
‘humor’ as a defense-mechanism includes only all the painful or
distressing emotions within itself (JU pp.297-98), whereas rasâbhâsa
covers all including the pleasant emotions. Again ‘humor’ comprehends
only worldly emotions (sthâyin), whereas rasâbhâsa is an eminently
aesthetic category where even the painful elements are relished (as in
karuna-rasa or even tragedy). This is because even where there is
(incipient) empathy with another’s sorrow, in ‘humor’ this results
only in (‘economized’) pity which, though “one of the most frequent
sources of humorous pleasure” (JU p.295), nevertheless remains a
distressing world emotion. The ‘economized’ incipient aesthetic
identification with the âshraya’s sorrow in the ‘semblance of
pathos’ (karunâbhâsa; cf. infra) is an impersonal relish that has
nothing to do with pity (cf. Abhinava’s criticism of Shrîshankuka’s
interpretation of karuna as being no more than the dramatic
transposition of worldly pity (dayâ = karunâ); Abhinavabhârati GOS I,
p.317; cf. M&P Aesthetic Rapture II, p.86, note 441). Empathy in an
aesthetic context renders even painful affects relishable. Finally,
whereas Freud seems to imply that there is total ‘economy’ i.e., no
empathy in ‘humor’, rasâbhâsa is generally based on a breach of, hence
partial, ‘identification’ (tanmayîbhavana). Freud was not a Tantric
metaphysician like Abhinava engaged in the spiritual transmutation of
the dross emotions nor even really an aesthetician proper. This
comparison was merely intended to throw the spotlight on the radically
different manner in which Western theorists and Indian aestheticians
have drawn their fundamental distinctions, no doubt reflecting their
divergent purposes and preoccupations.

3) Even Prof. Kuiper, who insists that the vidûshaka’s original (=
real?) function was a purely metaphysical or ritual, in any case
symbolic, one as the representative of the awe-inspiring Vedic Varuna,
is nevertheless obliged to admit that in the classical plays (and, in
fact, even the prescriptions of the Nâtya Shâstra) he is invariably a
comic figure. Cf. chapter VI, note 6 supra on the vidûshaka’s
deformity as source of laughter. Whereas Kuiper’s main efforts have
been directed towards severing the links between the supposedly purely
non-comic function of the ‘original’ Nâtya Shâstra vidûshaka and the
supposedly purely comic function of the later profanized vidûshaka of
the classical plays, Abhinava’s simultaneous espousal of both his
hâsya and hâsyâbhâsa dimensions invites us, on the contrary, to
concentrate our efforts on reconciling the two (only) seemingly
incompatible aspects by reintegrating the ritual, aesthetic and social
planes.

4) Cf. Nâtya Shâstra GOS XXVII.8, Bhat p.124: vidûshakoccheda-
krtam bhavec chilpa-krtam ca yat / ati-hâsyena tad grâhyam prekshakair
nityam eva hi /. Uccheda means ‘disruption’ (of the normal course of
the action, dialogue or plot). The vidûshaka’s own (âtma-stha)
explosive laughter is evidently also meant to ensure that the audience
reacts to his incongruities as comic stimuli (with parastha-hâsa); cf.
chapter VII, note 10 supra. But even the vidûshaka’s ‘excessive
laughter’ (atihâsa), like that of the Pâshupata in imitation of
Rudra’s attahâsa, can, from the point of view of hâsyâbhâsa, be
attributed a non-comic function, viz. to signify his role as taboo-
violator. See Introduction, above pp.22-24. Though the Pâshupata
ascetic is obliged to indulge in comic behavior and thus make others
laugh at himself and though his own spontaneous laughter no doubt
contributes greatly to this effect, there can be no doubt that it
serves primarily ritual function for the ascetic himself.

5) We are thinking here especially of what Koestler calls ‘comic
symbols’: “laughter or smiling frequently occur in response to stimuli
which in themselves are not comic, but merely signs or symbols for
comic stimuli, or even symbols of symbols—Chaplin’s boots, Groucho
Marx’s cigar, caricatures of celebrities reduced to a few visual
hints, catch-phrases and allusions to familiar situations. The
analysis of these oblique cases often requires tracing back a long and
involved thread of associations” (Act of Creation, p.61). The idea is
borrowed from Bergson who tried to defend the over-narrowness of his
own formula for the comic by replying that “beside the thing that is
laughable by essence and in itself, laughable by virtue of its
internal structure, there is a multitude of things that provoke
laughter by virtue of some superficial resemblance to the former, or
of some accidental relation with another that resembled the former,
and so on; the reverberations of the comic is without end, for we like
to laugh and all pretexts are good enough for us…”(Rire, p.156; cf.
also p.28). Thus the vidûshaka’s gluttony, modakas, crooked staff
(kutilaka), inverse speech and understanding, deformity and other such
stereotyped motifs appear as highly improper stimuli of hâsya to
modern critical taste. Cf. Bhat, p.173; Indu Shekhar, Sanskrit Drama:
Its Origins and Decline, passim. But the combined effect of their
exaggeratedly incongruous presentation, repeated insistently in the
midst of genuinely comic situations and ignited by the vidûshaka’s own
laughter, could not have failed to transform them into ‘comic symbols’
in the eyes of his traditional popular audiences. The privilege of
hâsya is that, unlike the other emotions, we can be conditioned to
perceive almost anything as double so much so that the ‘comic symbol’
is not only charged by its history with a ‘latent’ incongruity, but
itself becomes a signal for us to ‘see double’ and mobilize ourselves
for laughter (cf. chapter II summary, supra, point 11, also point 10).
When the vidûshaka has but barely entered the stage, the spectators,
like children, must have already twitched their cheeks in
anticipation.

6) [Sanskrit text]

7) [Sanskrit text]

8) [Sanskrit text]

9) [Sanskrit text]

10) In the Locana version, Abhinava explains that ‘semblance’,
‘imitation’ and ‘subordination’ (amukhyatâ = ‘non-primacy’) all mean
the same thing in this context. The reason why the imitation of a rasa
is equated to its mere semblance, apt to produce hâsya alone in the
final analysis, is that during imitation we are equally aware of both
that which is being imitated (anukârya, in this case ‘love’ shrngâra)
and that which is imitating (anukartâ, in this case Râvana who is an
inappropriate âshraya), being unable to wholly submerge the latter
cognition into the former due to some stubborn incongruity. It is
because the perception of imitation as imitation is always
bisociative, and tends to provoke hâsya, that Abhinava rejects
Shankuka’s theory that rasa in the aesthetic context (drama) is the
anukâra (‘imitation’) of the corresponding emotions in the world.
Abhinava, on the contrary, insists that we have only an
‘instrumental’, i.e., ‘subsidiary’, awareness of the configuration
constituting the ‘imitator’ (anukartâ) on the stage, which is merged
into or reorganized by the aesthetic cognition (anuvyavasâya-vishesha)
into the ‘focal’ awareness of the ‘imitated’ (anukârya) personage and
scene. The two elements are not on the same level of a single act of
awareness, the former being known only insofar as it contributes to
the successful projection of the latter (Abhinavabhârati I, pp.36-37,
p.290, etc.). Here the cognition of the anukârya is primary (mukhya),
whereas in the bisociative perception of imitation it is merely
juxtaposed to the imitator (actor, etc.) and thus becomes secondary
(amukhya) the bisociation itself and the hâsya it generates becoming
now primary.

11) Does this term carvanâbhâsa mean the ‘semblance of relish’ in the
sense that there is actually no aesthetic relish at all of any kind
but only an illusion of it, or does it simply mean that there is a
very real relishing (of hâsya) which has the semblance of being the
relishing of shrngâra? The last lines of the Locana text leave no
doubt that it is the second meaning alone that Abhinava has in mind.
Rasâbhâsa, like the ‘suggestion of transitory moods’ (bhâva-dhvani),
etc., is only a subcategory of the ‘suggestion of rasa’ (rasadhvani),
mentioned separately on the basis of the particular element of the
configuration that predominates in the total aesthetic relish of rasa.
Just as the connoisseurs of blends of perfumes are able to isolate,
even in the enjoyment of the wholly compounded scents, that the
fragrance in question is due to the use of pure mâsî or some other
ingredient. The term rasadhvani itself (though it comprises rasâbhâsa
and other subcategories) is reserved for those instances where the
connoisseur of the sthâyin, emerging from the configuration of
determinants (vibhâva), consequents (anubhâva) and transitory states
(vyabhicârin), owes the excellence of his aesthetic relish primarily
to the relishing of the sthâyin-element itself. This implies that what
is really relished in rasâbhâsa is not the sthâyin (in this case,
shrngâra) which the configuration would have normally engendered,
though there is the semblance of its relish, but the bisociated
cognition responsible for hâsya and of which this shrngâra forms only
an element. But relish there certainly is. Quite apart from Abhinava’s
clarification, if hâsya is relished as a rasa, it logically follows
that this ‘relish’ (carvanâ) cannot be excluded from the various
‘semblances’ (âbhâsas) that constitute hâsya. Compare Koestler: “to
find the explanation why we laugh may be a task as delicate as
analyzing the chemical composition of a perfume, with its multiple
ingredients—some of which are never perceived, while others, sniffed
in isolation, would make us wince” (Act of Creation, p.61).

12) According to the canons of the Indian dramaturges, shrngâra
proper is developed only when there is mutual affection
(parasparâsthâbandha, Locana) between the couple, so much so that the
outward manifestations (anubhâva) of love in one serves as the
stimulants (vibhâva) of the same love in the other, and vice-versa;
thus intensifying the experience of the basic emotion (rati) in a
closed circuit. Though there are two complementary supports (âshraya)—
the hero and heroine (nâyaka and nâyikâ)—of shrngâra, who are also
mutual primary determinants (vibhâva ), they are so enmeshed in the
harmony of their mutual interactions in the configuration of shrngâra,
that our identifications with each of them no longer appear distinct,
but are fused together in a single undifferentiated relish of shrngâra
(Abhinavabhârati I, p.302; cf. M&P, Aesthetic Rapture II, p.80, note
415). This is precisely why shrngâra claims such a privileged rank
among all the rasas in its relishability. In Râvana’s case, not only
does this union of two complementary identifications not take place,
but our knowledge of Sîtâ’s indifference or hostility clashes
diametrically with our partial identification with Râvana’s
sentiments. We experience not the abiding emotion (sthâyin) of love
(rati) but the transitory (vyabhicârin) form of it which, due to the
configuration, has the appearance of the sthâyin. But this is not due
to pure imagination on our part, but has an objective basis in the
resemblance between the real shrngâra and its imitation, as when a
shell is mistaken for silver due to its silver-like glitter.

13) In the Locana, he says that “though Bharata has described hâsya as
the imitation of shrngâra, the relishing of hâsya is only subsequent”
and the appreciation of the verse taken in itself (without
consideration of context, speaker, etc.) “is no occasion for the
relish of hâsya” (cf. notes 13 and 14 in chapter VII).

14) Anaucitya. Abhinava uses the term here as an equivalent of
‘incongruity’ (vikrti), whose connotations however are primarily
cognitive and, at most, aesthetic, whereas aucitya has strong moral
connotations though applicable in the aesthetic context as well (as in
Kshemendra’s Aucityavicâracarcâ). Evidently, a thing can be
incongruous without being improper in the moral sense and, conversely,
something can be morally unacceptable without however striking our
aesthetic sensibility as being incongruous. But the two often
coincide, and this is clearly the case where the exclusive operator of
one of the bisociated fields is an ethical precept. This assimilation
of incongruity with anucitya, without distinguishing the aesthetic and
the moral connotations of the latter term, reflects Abhinava’s concern
for harmonizing and mutually superimposing the socio-ethical and the
aesthetic functions of the drama, so that they coincide in a single
structure. The morally improper can always be exaggerated in its
incongruous aspect so as to provoke laughter. Again, where the
‘legitimate goals of life’ (purushârtha) are concerned, the term
aucitya refers not so much to the more restricted sense of moral
propriety but to the wider more inclusive meaning of ‘the adequation
of means to ends.’

15) Note that is not the determinant (vibhâva) of (the semblance of)
shrngâra but its consequents (anubhâva) and transitory states
(vyabhicârin) that now become the vibhâvas of hâsya. This is because
in their former capacity they evoke shrngâra (rather rati) as a
constituent of the bisociation, even while their association with
RâvaNa’s disqualifying features evokes the opposite reaction of
contempt, etc.

16) In the Locana, he adds that “by shrngâra the semblances of
‘heroism’ (vîra), etc. have also been implied.” The most obvious
example of the ‘semblance of heroism’ (vîrâbhâsa) is the vidûshaka’s
show of mock-heroism when he attacks bees, mango-blossoms, and other
harmless objects with his raised crooked staff (kutilaka).

17) In this statement, the incongruity and the bisociative theories of
hâsya are clearly synthesized, for the incongruity is here given the
function of bisociating those elements of another rasa whose mutual
association normally gives rise to that rasa in its fully developed
form. Thereby, these elements simultaneously project an opposing field
that tends to cancel out the incipient normal rasa. If
‘impropriety’ (anaucitya) is granted its full moral connotation here,
this statement would also incorporate, by implication, the superiority
theory of humor, though how exactly it fits in still remains to be
explained. It is in the light of this statement that Abhinava’s later
assertion that “all the rasas are included in hâsya” must be
understood.

18) Cf. chapter I, note 19. Since Abhinava gives such an importance
and precise significance to the distinction between rasa and bhâva on
the one hand and their respective semblances on the other, we have to
take all the more seriously his use of the paradoxical term ‘the
semblance of hâsya’ (hâsyâbhâsa) with respect to the vidûshaka (cf.
note 1 above). Evidently, since ‘the semblance of rasa (rasâbhâsa) =
hâsya is the generally valid formula, we must accept that hâsyâbhâsa =
hâsya. But at the same time, a semblance of hâsya cannot evoke hâsya
for in that case it would not be a semblance at all but real hâsya. So
hâsyâbhâsa the same as hâsya or not?

19) Nâtya Shâstra GOS chapter XVIII (vol. II), 103, where the
‘farce’ (prahasana) in its ‘pure’ (zuddha), as opposed to
‘mixed’ (sankîrNa), form is defined as enacted by characters such as
devotees of God (bhagavat), ascetics, brahmins and others (like
Buddhist mendicants, etc., Abhinava adds) including base characters,
and full of comic dialogues. However, the text (104) further specifies
that the speech and conduct in this subcategory should not be
‘incongruous’ (a-vikrta), which would seem to contradict their comic
effect. Abhinava interprets avikrta here to mean “not false and not
obscene” (asatyâzlîla-rûpau). Later day farces, like KrSNamizra’s
Prabodhacandrodaya and Mahendravarman’s Mattavilâsa, illustrate this
category where the correct means to spiritual deliverance is
inculcated by parodying all the ascetics and doctrines of wrong ways.
The Prabodhacandrodaya, for example, depicts the comic disputations
between a Jaina and a Buddhist monk with a Kâpâlika who worships
Bhairava with his consort in the tantric mode. Whereas the ‘pure’
farce seems to depend primarily on that mode of hâsya based on the
semblance of tranquility (zântâbhâsa), the ‘mixed’ farce, enacted by
prostitutes, rogues, eunuchs and such varied characters, must have
depended on the semblances of the other three goals of life
(puruSârtha). Abhinava cites the opinion of others who distinguish the
two forms differently and apparently admits of this interpretation as
well. Where the humor is based on characters who are by nature vile
and ridiculous, this ‘impure’ form of the farce would be mixed. Where
the chief characters and their actions are not in themselves
contemptible but become so due to their contact with or exposure to
vile characters (or due to the assumption of such postures and
behaviors by the latter), the farce is ‘pure’, because those who are
by nature pure have become ridiculous through the defiling contact of
others. This would seem to explain more satisfactorily the term
avikrta in the definition of the ‘pure’ type.

20) Though Abhinava again explicitly uses the term ‘semblance of
humor’ (hâsyâbhâsa) with respect to the vidûshaka further on (see note
1 above), this is the only concrete illustration he gives of it. Upon
the interpretation of this verse will therefore depend the resolution
of the problem, posed in note 18 above, of the precise relation
between hâsyâbhâsa and real hâsya, are they the same or different? It
appears to be a lament over the fact that ordinary people are no
longer absorbed by (the dramatic representation of?) mythical tales,
and hence no longer receptive to their hidden significance. The same
meanings conveyed through the symbolic behavior of the laughing
vidûshaka however completely engross the audience which responds with
spleen-splitting laughter (see note 4 above), evidently because, being
unable to restore their hidden coherence to the meaningless jumble of
signs constituting his discourse, they take him for a joker (hâsya-
krt); that is, because they are unable to completely identify
themselves with the vidûshaka. Hâsyâbhâsa cannot be explained away as
no more than the spectator’s parastha-hâsa (‘laughter proceeding from
or located in another’) at the vidûshaka’s incongruities provoked by
his own âtmastha-hâsa (‘laughter residing in oneself, i.e. autonomous
laughter), because even this is only a case of hâsya (or hâsa) and not
of its mere semblance. Moreover, Abhinava refers to the vidûshaka’s
incongruities themselves (i.e., quite independently of his âtmastha
laughter) as being only a semblance of hâsya (note 1 above). If it had
been someone else, he would have surely used the term hâsya instead as
he does elsewhere. We propose therefore that not only these
incongruities vehicle a profound non-comic symbolic function
exteriorized and made acceptable through a comic presentation but that
even their comic aspect is recycled into the symbolic function. To be
more precise, the incongruity inherent in transgression that renders
is it an apt ‘determinant’ (vibhâva) of hâsya (see p.177 above) is
generalized into comic incongruity that comes to symbolize the
‘original’ transgression that is now minimized, disguised or even
wholly eliminated. The best illustration of this principle is the
‘inverse’ or ‘contrary’ speech of the vidûshaka, shared by the
incestuous fifth head of Brahmâ, which ethnological studies have
conclusively shown to be a form of symbolic behavior accompanying
taboo-violation not only in ritual clowning, where it also serves a
comic function, but also in secret societies where the latter function
is inoperative. A careful study of Arjuna’s incongruous (vikrta)
appearance (as the eunuch Brhannalâ in female attire) and behavior in
the Virâta parvan of the Mahâbhârata will reveal that it likewise
symbolizes the transgressive aspect of the embryonic regression that
underlies the whole symbolism of this exile incognito.

It has also been suggested that the word ‘tatra’ (hâsyâbhâsa) should
be read not as “among these semblances of rasa (rasâbhâsas)” but as
“in the farce (prahasana),” in which case this example of hâsyâbhâsa
would not be referring to the vidûshaka at all but to the vulgar (=
‘improper’) humor of the farces; after all, no explicit references to
him is found in the verse cited. To this it must be objected that when
referring to the vidûshaka’s own hâsyâbhâsa further on (note 1),
Abhinava simply says “(but) this has already been discussed before.”
To our knowledge, this is the only preceding text-place where Abhinava
even mentions hâsyâbhâsa and hence it can likewise only refer, at
least primarily, to the vidûshaka himself. Also “his (amuSya:
singular) boisterous laughter evoking the spectator’s ‘excessive
laughter’ (hence ‘holding both his sides’ pârzvopapîDa) perfectly fits
his role (note 4) whereas it is not an accurate description of the
prahasana where our laughter is rather at the ridiculous seriousness
of the characters portrayed, unless of course, if one accepts the
possible role of the vidûshaka in the farce (not attested).

21) It is not wholly clear what exactly Abhinava considers to be the
‘semblance of sorrow’ (karuNâbhâsa) here. It is also peculiar,
considering his customary lucidity, that he does not bother to explain
how this category and the notion of ‘relationship’ (bandhutâ) is to be
applied in this unusual case. Is the karuNâbhâsa here independent of
the ‘semblance of humor’ (hâsyâbhâsa) or does it, on the contrary,
presuppose the latter in its opposition to hâsya proper? If, as we
believe, the second assumption is the correct one, this would explain
Abhinava’s enigmatic procedure as being due to the same reluctance
that holds him back from clarifying how the vidûshaka is the focus of
the ‘semblance of humor’ (hâsyâbhâsa). Vâmanagupta is lamenting (anga
“alas!”) over the fact that ordinary people are interested only in the
hâsya that they eagerly discover in the vidûshaka and completely miss
his hidden symbolic function underlying this semblance of humor. But
this ‘pity’ is misplaced because the profane (loka has often this
connotation) are themselves not experiencing any suffering on that
account, and their condition appears wretched only in the eyes of the
poet who recognizes only the ‘semblance of humor’ where they seem to
see humor. As such, it is not possible for Abhinava to identify
himself wholly with this (misplaced) ‘pity’ and the incongruity
results in a ‘half-pity’ productive of hâsya. If karuNâ-rasa is always
based on an ‘exclusive determinant’ (asâdhâraNa-vibhâva), this is
because there is a ‘kinship’ (bandhutâ) between the ‘support’ (âzraya)
and the determinant (vibhâva), that does not exist between the
connoisseur and the vibhâva, and hence requires the spectator’s
identification with the âzraya. Abhinava’s remark must then be
interpreted as meaning that between those who recognize the ‘semblance
of humor’ in the vidûshaka and those who see only hâsya, there is or
can be no ‘kinship’. We are unable to offer a more satisfactory
explanation here. Raghavan solves the problem by simply reading ata
evodâharaNam, instead of etad eva, which implies that the above verse
is not an example of karuNâbhâsa at all. Though he indicates mss. G
only as reading etad, the GOS edition seems to read etad in both the
manuscripts.

22) This is why, Abhinava says, Bharata did not include the term
sthâyin (‘permanent emotional disposition’) in his famous axiom (rasa-
sûtra) on the ‘production’ of aesthetic emotion: tatra vibhâvânubhâva-
vyabhicâri-samyogâd rasa-niSpattih // Nâtya Shâstra VI.32. He
completely rejects Zrîzankuka’s theory that “it is the sthâyin made
known through the vibhâvas, etc., that is called rasa on account of
its relishability” by retorting that, if this were so, the perception
(inference) of emotions in others in worldly life should be even more
relishable than in the drama, because the former are real whereas the
emotions inferred in the drama are unreal. It is only because of
‘propriety’ (aucitya) that one says that “the sthâyin is transformed
into rasa,” and this ‘propriety’ merely consists in stimuli firmly
established in their capacity to produce various sthâyins (in the
world) now being relishable in the form of vibhâvas in the drama.
Hence, what is inferred in the drama is only the sthâyin and never
rasa. Where, as in the case of the ‘semblance of rasa’ (rasâbhâsa),
the sthâyin inferred no longer corresponds to the rasa (here hâsya)
evoked, it would no longer be ‘proper’ to say that the sthâyin has
become the rasa. Cf. Abhinavabhârati I, p.284, translated in Gnoli,
AE, pp.20-21, 80-81.

23) [text on puruSârthas] [Sanskrit text] The primacy of these four
rasas is precisely due to their correlation with the four aims of
life, and their varying distribution is an important factor in the
classification of the different types of dramatic genres (rûpaka). He
goes on to clarify that the four ‘secondary’ rasas, from this point of
view, may yet be ‘primary’ due to their popularity and ease of
appreciation by the world at large. Such is especially the case with
humor (hâsya). But even these can be made to serve the legitimate
goals of life (puruSârtha) by presenting them as accessories (‘limbs’)
of the primary rasas. [Sanskrit text] Abhinavabhârati I, p.282. After
emphasizing that all the basic emotional dispositions (sthâyin) are
innate in all human beings though in differing proportions, he goes on
to add that in some people these emotional attitudes are directed
towards proper or adequate objects whereas in others they are not.
Hence only some of these attitudes are to be inculcated as conducive
to the puruSârthas. And distinctions such a ‘one of excellent
character’ (uttama-prakrti) are based on (the nature of) the (primary)
determinants (vibhâva) of (the rasas associated with) these
puruSârthas. [Sanskrit text]. Such analyses in terms of the
puruSârthas are scattered throughout Abhinava’s commentary on Bharata
beginning from the first chapter of the Nâtya Shâstra itself. Cf. also
Abhinavabhârati I, p.341, as to why there are only nine rasas: evam te
navaiva rasâh / pumarthopayogitvena rañjanâdhikyenavâ iyatâm
evopadzyatvât /

24) See especially, M. Biardeau, L’hindouisme: anthropologie d’une
civilisation (Paris 1981), “Les quatre buts de l’homme” (pp.49-74).
Anyone who carefully studies this book will realize how very relevant
Abhinavagupta’s categories still are to the contemporary understanding
of traditional Hindu civilization as coherent system of values despite
the seemingly uncontrollable profusion at the empirical and historical
level. At the same time, the study of the values invested in the
vidûshaka in relation to Abhinava’s own commitment to the perennial
tradition of esotericism at the heart of Hindu culture (see citations
from Renou in the following chapter) will no doubt reveal what is
still lacking to crown this magnificent edifice reconstructed by her.
Cf. also especially the excellent article by Prof. Charles Malamoud,
“On the Rhetoric and Semantics of PuruSârtha,” pp.33-54, Contributions
to Indian Sociology, vol. 15, nos. 1 & 2, January-December 1981,
dedicated to Louis Dumont.

25) Virasanâ, where we have taken the prefix vi- in an intensive sense
as ‘in a special manner’ (vizeSaNa), unlike Gnoli who takes it in a
privative sense translating “which will arouse, at the end, no
sensation of disgust (as accompanies all ordinary pleasures).” Not
only does this not at all fit the context, but we are unaware of
Abhinava using virasanâ anywhere else in the sense of ‘disgust’ and we
are unable to see from where in the text Gnoli has introduced the
negation “no…disgust.” Moreover, paryanta qualifies pramoda-sâra (and
not virasanâ) as culminating the aesthetic experience to which the
virasanâ is the means.

26) lîDhâtmaka in the mss. (M, G) corrected into lînâtmaka in G, which
is the reading accepted by Gnoli (with samarpaka): “gives birth,
within him, to a kind of injunction suitable to be expressed by the
optative mood” (AE p.97). We have taken lîDhâtmaka in a sense akin to
lînâtmaka: ‘swallowed up,’ but both ideas seenm to be involved—a
subliminally communicated injunction.

27) Abhinavabhârati I P.36, amended by Gnoli, AE pp.89-90. Our
rendering of the text may profitably be compared to Gnoli’s
translation (AE pp.96-98) which, in our opinion, contains several
errors only one of which we have pointed out in note 26 above. For
example, prâNa-vallabhâpratima-, which he interprets as “not to be
compared to (the pleasure given us by the sight of) our beloved one’
actually refers to the contrast between the delightful way in which
drama seduces us into assimilating its hidden value-system and the dry
didactic manner in which the religious texts (zâstras) externally
impose the same. The image (kântâ-sammita) is a recurrent one in
Abhinava.

28) The mixture in the ‘farce’ (prahasana) of the ‘sentiment of
tranquility’ (zânta-rasa) with incongruities that belong properly to
the context of other rasas that are not oriented towards spiritual
emancipation (mokSa), not only has the function of inculcating the
rejection of these improprieties but also of making zânta-rasa
accessible to the vast majority of the spectators who would otherwise
have no interest in it and probably remain at home. In enjoying humor
(hâsya ) based on the ‘semblance of tranquility’ (zântâbhâsa), they
have been as it were ‘tricked’ into enjoying zânta itself. The
enjoyment of the admixture of the sentiments of love (zrngâra),
heroism (vîra), etc., is indissociable from the relishing of zânta.
This is one of the arguments Abhinava gives against those who object
that it is impossible to represent zânta successfully or effectively
in drama. [Sanskrit text ????] Abhinavabhârati I, p.339, corrected by
M&P, SR p.118, and translated on p.138. This conception of zânta being
made appealing by wrapping it in the form of zântâbhâsa with hâsya
also helps clarify the following corrupt passage: [Sanskrit text ????]
Abhinavabhârati I, p.340; cf. M&P, SR p.119. Rejecting Raghavan’s
later reading abhinayopagitayâ for his original reading
anupabhogitayâ, M&P have raised a number of problems that we cannot
answer in detail here (SR p.142, and notes 2,3,4), though the readings
suggested by us eliminate them. The utpatti here refers to the four-
fold causal scheme between the rasas discussed above, and this should
be obvious from the fact that it immediately follows the question of
the color of the deity presiding over zânta. There the relation
between zânta and hâsya was subsumed under the first category of the
‘imitation of zrngâra’ (zrngârânukrti), i.e. the ‘semblance of
love’ (zrngârâbhâsa), giving rise to hâsya, for the
‘semblance’ (âbhâsa) of zânta too is verily hâsya. Its relation to
‘heroism’ (vîra) and ‘disgust’ (bîbhatsa) is defined by the fourth
category of the sharing of common determinants (saha-vibhâva),
exemplified by the ‘disgust-fear’ (bîbhatsa-bhayânaka) couple. The
determinants (vibhâva) of ‘pure disgust’ (zuddha-bîbhatsa,
Abhinavabhârati I, p.331) and ‘compassionate heroism’ (dayâ-vîra,
ibid., pp.337-79) are extraordinary determinants of bîbhatsa and vîra
evoking zânta at the same time so that its enjoyment is blended with
that of these rasas. Thus when evoked both in its pure form and
accompanied by these mixed forms in the context of direct spiritual
edification, zânta-rasa, despite all the difficulties inherent in its
presentation, can still become the predominant rasa of a drama
pervading its entire plot, and bear the supreme fruit (of
liberation).

29) [Sanskrit text ???] Abhinavabhârati I, p.36. Unlike Gnoli (AE p.
90) who reads anuvrtti with Ramakrishna Kavi instead of the original
anivrtti, we have taken the latter together with nivartante as meaning
‘non-cessation’. Abhinava is here clearly thinking of the social
functions of laughter when he asserts that only those who fear
ridicule desist from such behavior. Evidently, it can have little
effect on those like the Pâzupatas who actively courted laughter and
dishonor through their ridiculous behavior.

30) J.O. Hertzler (1970), Laughter: A Socio-Scientific Analysis. New
York: Exposition Press.

31) Cf. Monier-Williams Dictionary: “(in ironical sense)…(= nindita-
brahman);” also Prthvîdhara ad MrcchakaTikâ I.42 (p.49, commentary p.
45, Kale edition): mahâbrâhmaNaz câNDâlah. But also see Kale’s notes
(p.29): “But here though used in good humor, it is used in a good
sense as will appear from the subsequent action of the ViTa.” The
problem then is how to reconcile this “good” sense with the clearly
derogatory one.

32) O.E. Klapp (1972). Heroes, Villains, and Fools: The Changing
American Character. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

33) H.R. Pollio and J.W. Edgerly, “Comedians and Comic Style,” Humor
and Laughter, p.216.

34) Edwin Gerow, “Plot Structure and the Development of Rasa in the
Zâkuntala; part I” (JAOS vol. 99, no. 4, Oct-Dec. 1979), has recently
interpreted the whole play in terms of the opposition and
reconciliation of ‘duty’ (dharma), as manifested in the enjoyment of
the ‘sentiment of heroism’ (vîra-rasa), and ‘love’ (kâma), as zrngâra,
with the various stages of the plot development reflecting the
changing modalities of their mutual interaction. Their harmonious
equilibrium is attained in their royal scion Bharata who is born of
their kâma only to seal it with the bond of dharma. Such an approach,
integrating the socio-religious (puruSârtha) and aesthetic (rasa)
dimensions is wholly in the spirit of Abhinava’s own conception of the
Sanskrit theater. But it is this very dialectic of the puruSârthas
that the vidûshaka himself consistently refuses to get caught up in,
though in his faithfulness to the hero (nâyaka) he does stand in a
positive relationship to them.

35) NâTya Zâstra KM XXXV.25 pratyutpanna-pratibho / KS XXXV.71
praktyutpanna-pratibho

36) A.N. Upadhye, Candralekhâ, Bhâratîya Vidyâ Series, vol. 6, Bombay,
vol. 1945; ‘Introduction’, pp.26-27.

37) J.T. Parikh, The VidûSaka: Theory and Practice (Sravajanika
Education Society, Surat 1953), p.33.

[this concludes the Footnotes to chapter 9: “Rasâbhâsa and Hâsya”]

http://www.svabhinava.org/HumorPhd/Thesis-09/Thesis-9notes.php
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Abhinavagupta's Conception of Humor:

Its Resonances in Sanskrit Drama, Poetry, Hindu Mythology & Spiritual
Praxis

I have been meditating on a very serious subject...humor!
But the funny thing about it is that I don't find it at all humorous!

This is Sunthar's Ph.D. thesis as it was submitted to the Benares
Hindu University in 1983. The only changes to the text are cosmetic:
proofing, adding English equivalents of Sanskrit terms, etc. The
thesis was strongly recommended for a D. Litt. degree (read the
examiners' reports), which the university does not confer. I've
offered the entire text (including summaries) of all the chapters and
the lengthy Appendix (= endnotes to the Introduction), and am now
proceeding to add the more significant footnotes. The page numbers of
the original thesis submitted to BHU have been inserted in [red
brackets] at the start of their corresponding pages to facilitate
citation and reference in other works.

Abhinavagupta's Conception of Humor (hâsya) [Ph.D. abstract - 1982]

Examiners reports:

Prof. Kalidas Bhattacharya (Santiniketan University)
Prof. A.K. Chatterjee (Dept. of Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University)
Prof. F.B.J. Kuiper (Kern Institute, Leiden University) - see
correspondence on report
Prof. Maria Christopher Byrski (Oriental Institute, Warsaw University)
Viva Voce report (Dept. of Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University)
Personal commendation from the Vice-Chancellor, Banaras Hindu
University
Introduction [complete with supplementary endnotes ] [viewed 0x since
10 March 2007]
The Problem of Defining Humor - bio-notes [viewed 765x since 10 March
2007]
Gurdjieff's Theory of Laughter - bio-notes [viewed 15x since 10 March
2007] [need to fix counter]
Laughter and Bisociation [viewed 689x since 10 March 2007]
Laughter and Distress [viewed 457x since 10 March 2007]
Suddenness: Hâsa and Vismaya (Surprise) distinguished [viewed 468x
since 10 March 2007]
Bisociation and Incongruity [viewed 0x since 10 March 2007]
Hâsa and Hâsya as distinguished in Rasa theory [viewed 278x since 10
March 2007]
The Role of Humor in Sanskrit Love Poetry [viewed 291x since 10 March
2007]
Humor and the semblance of Rasa: the semblance of humor [viewed 272x
since 10 March 2007]
Wit and Linguistic Ambiguity [viewed 417x since 10 March 2007]
Abhinavagupta's Conception of Humor: Conclusion [viewed 338x since 10
March 2007]

Appendix [viewed 346x since 1 April 2007]

Glossary [incomplete]

Bibliography

La concepión del humor en Abhinavagupta (translated into Spanish)
Zur Frage nach Funktion und Wesen des Humors (in original German)
Le sens de l'humour chez Abhinavagupta (in the original French)

Last Edited: Monday, April 30, 2007 11:52 PM -0500 | Last Updated:
Monday, April 30, 2007 11:52 PM -0500
Abhinavagupta's Conception of Humor (hâsya) - Sunthar [1983]

These are the chapters from my Ph.D. thesis in Sanskrit and
Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University (BHU). I've also posted the
reviews of the examiners. The original intention behind my resettling
in Benares was to study Indian philosophy, particularly the Vedânta,
in its original Sanskrit texts. Hence, my choice of Indian (and
Western) Philosophy, Sanskrit and English Literature for my B.A. The
decision to do my M.A. in Sanskrit Literature (along with
philosophical texts in the original) was fueled by the desire to
master the intricacies and nuances of the language. Ever since I
stumbled on Shântarasa and Abhinavagupta's Philosophy of Aesthetics
(Masson & Patwardhan), it became clear that my Ph.D. research would be
focused on the meta-psychology of Rasa.

While in Poona completing my German studies, I chanced upon a rambling
lecture by Rajneesh on the relation between "The Aesthetic and the
Mystical Experience" that held me spellbound. I subsequently learnt
that he was actually pegging his own insights onto a free English
translation of the Vijñâna-Bhairava Tantra, a discovery that led me to
the study of 'Kashmir Shaivism'. I re-discovered a profound mystic and
philosopher in Abhinavagupta, whom I had till then known primarily as
a theorist on aesthetics albeit in relation to spiritual emancipation
(shânta-rasa). In relation to my thesis, this translated into a
reconsideration of his rasa-theory in the light of the Tantric
transmutation of not just the human emotions but also of their
biological underpinnings. From the late 70s, I began reading the
original Trika texts with Âchârya Rameshwar Jha, a life-long ascetic
though householder Vedantin (Sanskrit grammarian and Nyâya logician),
who had subsequently embraced Abhinava's understanding of (the
supreme) reality. Jhaji was subsequently honored by BHU, during the
same convocation where I was officially awarded my Ph.D., with the
title 'Mahâmahopâdhyâya' alongside other luminaries such as Mother
Teresa, Ravi Shankar and M.S. Subbulakshmi.

The original plan was for a thesis on the "Metapsychology of Rasa"
covering all the nine dramatic emotions from an aesthetic,
psychological and spiritual perspective. With the burgeoning materials
and the multiplicity of sources, the scope became increasingly
restricted to love (shrngâra), pathos (karuna), tranquility (shânta),
and humor (hâsya). The latter was included only because I found in
Gurdjieff's theory of laughter a penetrating insight for clarifying
Abhinava's own sweeping statements on the nature of hâsya. My
encounter with Kuiper's Varuna and Vidûshaka suddenly thrust the
(ritual) clown into the limelight leaving little room in my thesis for
any other sentiment but humor (and its semblance). This opened the
floodgates for incorporating my recent and ongoing attempt to come to
terms with the challenge posed by (especially French) anthropology to
the interpretation of Hindu tradition. The perceptive reader will
recognize, everywhere in the thesis, the back-and-forth of a three-way
dialogue between Abhinavagupta's treatment of the emotions, the
proliferating discourse of modern scientia, and myself as a creative
mediator.

Examiners reports:
Prof. Kalidas Bhattacharya (Santiniketan University)

Son of the renowned neo-Vedânta philosopher, Kalicharan (K. C.)
Bhattacharya, Kalidas Bhattacharya, a philosopher in his own right,
was included as an Indian examiner at the insistence of my supervisor
A.K. Chatterjee. Given my transgressive approach to Hindu tradition, I
expected the worst from this widely respected scholar with whom I
never had any direct contact, neither before nor after the award of
the doctorate. This may have well been the last thesis he examined
before his demise shortly thereafter. His report was not only the most
unreserved in endorsing the thesis, it was also the earliest to be
turned it to the University. I probably owe him my subsequent
University Grants Commission Research Associateship.

Prof. A.K. Chatterjee (Dept. of Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University)

My original supervisor was the Vedânta scholar, Ramakant (R. K. )
Tripathi, who retired well before my completion of the thesis. Ashok
Kumar Chatterjee, generally considered the brightest among the
students of the neo-Vedântin Mâdhyamika scholar, T.R.V. Murthi,
specialized in Vijñânavâda Buddhism.

Prof. F.B.J. Kuiper (Kern Institute, Leiden University)

I owe my initiation into the mysteries of Vedic religion to F.B.J.
Kuiper, whose magnum opus on Varuna and Vidûshaka I first discovered
through Charles Malamoud, and whose friendly mentorship in
interpreting Indian mythology was facilitated by our common friend,
John Irwin, of (pre-) Ashokan pillar fame. An enthusiastic convert, I
subsequently helped clear the publication of his Ancient Indian
Cosmogony with Vikas Press (New Delhi). We were engaged in a long and
fruitful correspondence (by snail mail!) even as I was preparing my
Ph.D. thesis. Though not selected from the original list of proposed
examiners deemed competent to judge my thesis, the thesis was
eventually sent to him because of delays in receiving the final report
(hence the brevity of Kuiper's report). As for the cited relevant
correspondence, I've resorted to the artifice of using the format of
an email exchange between Benares and Leiden for the hand-written/
typed letters. Kuiper was being seriously considered for an honorary
D.Litt. degree by BHU for World Sanskrit Conference, but was unable to
come in person for the award (which went instead to Paul Thieme). He
is one of those rare Indologists with a mastery of Indo-European
linguists, Sanskrit, Dravidian and aboriginal (Munda, etc.) languages.

Prof. Maria Christopher Byrski (Oriental Institute, Warsaw University)

Byrski, a specialist of (both classical, folk and contemporary) Indian
theater, hails from a Polish family intimately involved with practical
theater. He had lived and studied in Benares (where he learned
English) well before my domicile there. We met for the first time
during the World Sanskrit Conference at BHU, at a time when he was the
Solidarity representative at his faculty in the Univ. of Warszawa.
Though the report arrived well after I had been awarded the Ph.D., it
is the most detailed chapter-by-chapter review, whose lessons I have
largely absorbed. Byrski was subsequently appointed Polish ambassador
to India.

Viva Voce report (Dept. of Philosophy, Banaras Hindu University)

This report was in striking contrast to the pre-submission oral
focused on my thesis abstract above: the first thing that seems to
have popped the eyes of our new Head of Dept. was my 'scandalous'
comparison (let alone assimilation...) of the sacrosanct Ganesha with
the clown of the Sanskrit theater. The Benares Hindu University would
become the laughing stock of the world, he affirmed, when the
newspapers report that someone had thought fit to submit a thesis on a
subject so un-serious as hâsya (humor). The rest of the departmental
committee eventually bullied him into submission with the pragmatic
observation it didn't make sense to object to the title of a thesis
after it had already been completely written. If our humorless neo-
Vedantins would stoop to read the Puranic mythology, they'd see that
even the moon couldn't restrain himself from laughing at the
elephantine Ganesha riding on his weenie mouse...for which disrespect
the lord of the night duly suffers every month from consumption.

Personal commendation from the Vice-Chancellor, Banaras Hindu
University
Introduction

The Problem Defining Humor - incorporating the behavioral model within
personal knowledge
Paving the ground for Abhinava's conception of humor with a
constructive critique of empiricist approaches also served to exorcize
the ghost of my love-affair with behaviorist and social psychology.
The religious passion that my teenage years channeled into science
(particularly abstract physics, evolution and genetics) converged into
the question "Who am I" which initially got translated into an
infatuation with experimental psychology on which I started collecting
an eclectic library in Kuala Lumpur. My academic ambitions were
diverted into a desire to study the subject at a British University.
However, in the course of the two years of science curricula between
taking my Ordinary (O-level) and Advanced (A-level) Cambridge Exams, I
decided it would take me too many lives waiting for psychology to
evolve from the confusion of rats in mazes to some real insights into
the human psyche that would give me a workable framework to live by.
Having been exposed, in the meantime, to Swami Vivekananda's
popularization of Yoga (and Vedânta) and becoming increasingly
disillusioned with the amorality of modern science, I finally decided
to make a clean break by moving to India in early 1972 to study the
introspective methods of traditional 'psychology'. By the time I began
this thesis, it seemed that the experience of rasa would offer the
best bridge.

Gurdjieff's Theory of Laughter

Acknowledging my spiritual debt to Gurdjieff, who had kept me alive
until I discovered Abhinavagupta, has served two complementary
purposes: to facilitate the translation of Trika techniques for the
expansion of consciousness onto a 'materialist' idiom more consonant
with the everyday life of modern man, and to render Indian
philosophical tradition(s) and cultural sensibility more accessible to
those struggling to escape the ubiquitous prison of a 'triumphant'
materialism. Carrying the presuppositions of behaviorism well beyond
the academic pretense of the laboratory into the existential reality
of even the most 'cultured' of humankind (to the point of rejecting
the notion of self), clears the ground for a better appreciation of
traditional cultures that were formulated around the experiences of
those privileged beings who had somehow reversed the 'behavioral
circuit.' Gurdjieff told P.D. Ouspensky, who had traveled in vain
through India In Search of the Miraculous, that the only thing he'd
find there were 'philosophical' schools, which is what the 'Doctrine
of Recognition' (Pratyabhijñâ) might have remained had he not prepared
me with his teachings such as 'self-remembrance.'

Laughter and Bisociation

"I would like to challenge one important aspect of [Sunthar's]
approach, not because I consider it to be invalid but because it
impresses me as construed upon, so to speak, external premises. This
is so because the general tendency of [Sunthar's] argument seem to be
to confirm in terms of modern Western psychology all what Indian
aestheticians and in particular Abhinavagupta propounded. Commendable
as the attempt is, it does not make the inner coherence of the Indian
cultural system without calling for the help of external props (i.e.,
Gurdjieff’s theory, for instance) its sole starting point. The
corresponding theories from outside the indigenous system should be
referred to only after the case is independently established within
it. As it has been already said, the method adopted by the author is
valid and it is here challenged because of different, we would say,
'Weltanschauung.'" (Byrski, 14 Sep. 1984).

Laughter and Distress
Suddenness: Hâsa ('raw' humor) and Vismaya (Surprise) distinguished
Bisociation and Incongruity
Hâsa and Hâsya as distinguished in Rasa theory
The Role of Hâsya (Humor) in Shrngâra (Sanskrit Love Poetry)
Humor and the semblance of Rasa: the semblance of humor
Wit and Linguistic Ambiguity
Abhinavagupta's Conception of Humor: Conclusion
Appendix

La concepión del humor en Abhinavagupta (translated into Spanish)

Le sens de l'humour chez Abhinavagupta (in the original French)

Zur Frage nach Funktion und Wesen des Humors (in German)

This is a summary of the bisociative theory of humor that I presented
as an essay (Referat) at the Max Mueller Bhavan, Poona (India) in June
1984. It does so through a rapid critique of the manner in which
Bergson, Freud and Koestler have handled the bisociative patterns.

http://www.svabhinava.org/HumorPhd/index.php

...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-02-04 21:41:59 UTC
Permalink
Sanskrit, Tamil and Pahlavi Dictionaries

Dictionary: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon (166,434 entries)

Capeller's Sanskrit-English Dictionary (37,413 entries)

Cologne Online Tamil Lexicon (117,773 entries)

Concise Pahlavi Dictionary (4,218 entries)All Dictionaries (325,838
entries)

Word in Primary Language

(Sanskrit, Tamil, Pahlavi): exactprefixsubstring
or English Word(s)

for Search in Description: exactprefixsubstring

Maximum Output: 20501002005001000all entries

The search is not case sensitive. If you type words into both fields
or several English words then only entries fulfilling all conditions
are shown.

New and improved version of Monier Williams' Sanskrit-English
Dictionary

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/monier/

Other digitized editions and scanned images of Sanskrit-English/German
dictionaries

UNIVERSITÄT ZU KÖLN
INSTITUT FÜR INDOLOGIE UND TAMILISTIK
Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries

Purpose

This web page provides access to some of the Sanskrit lexicons
prepared by the Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies, Cologne
University. A 1997 review of the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon
project (CDSL) may be of interest.

The data is made available to scholars and students in two forms. The
first form is that of scanned images of the works, which provides a
convenient substitute to the physical books. The second form is a
digitization of the scanned images, which permits computer-aided
analyses and displays of the work.

Digitized editions
1.Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary (Advanced Search)
2.Boehtlingk + Schmidt Sanskrit-German Dictionary
3.Boehtlingk & Roth Sanskrit-German Dictionary
4.Apte English-Sanskrit Dictionary
5.Sanskrit and Tamil Dictionaries
6.MW Inflected forms
The markup of these was done in collaboration with

•Thomas Malten (Cologne University) and assistants in India
•Peter Scharf (Brown University)
•Malcolm D. Hyman (Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte,
Berlin)
•Jim Funderburk
Scanned editions
1.Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary (pdf — img)
2.Apte English-Sanskrit Dictionary (pdf — img)
3.MacDonell Sanskrit-English Dictionary (img)
4.Wilson Sanskrit-English Dictionary (img) (by word)
5.Kleines Petersburger Wörterbuch (Boehtlingk Sanskrit-German
Dictionary)
6.Grosses Petersburger Wörterbuch (Boehtlingk & Roth Sanskrit-German
Dictionary)
7.Nachträge zum Sanskrit-Wörterbuch (Schmidt Sanskrit-German
Dictionary)
8.Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary (img)
9.Cappeller Sanskrit Wörterbuch ( img)
10.Stchoupak Sanskrit-French Dictionary (img) (by word);
11.Kale Higher Sanskrit Grammar, 1894 (img)

Download material
Material available for download is described separately.

Jim Funderburk designed this web site.
Last modified: April 22, 2009

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/mwquery/index.html

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/PWScan/disp2/index.php

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/PWGScan/disp1/index.php

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/aequery/index.html

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MWScan/index.php?sfx=pdf

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/AEScan/index.php?sfx=pdf

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MDScan/index.php?sfx=jpg

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/PWScan/index.php?sfx=jpg&vol=1

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/pwgindex.html

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/SCHScan/index.php

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/CAEScan/index.php?sfx=png

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/CCSScan/index.php?sfx=png

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/CCSScan/index.php?sfx=png

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/STCScan/web/index.php

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/KALEScan/disp1/index1.php?sfx=png

UNIVERSITÄT ZU KÖLN
INSTITUT FÜR INDOLOGIE UND TAMILISTIK

Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Downloads

For other Sanskrit dictionaries, please visit the KÖLN Sanskrit-
Lexicon home page.

Purpose
This describes materials available for download.

Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary (current versions)

1.monier_dump.txt (11 mb) latest version of digitized Monier Williams
Sanskrit-English Dictionary.
2.monierxml.zip (11 mb) MW dictionary as xml file, with associated
dtd.
3.MONIER2008.ALL (9 mb) latest version of digitized Monier Williams
Sanskrit-English Dictionary, in non-xml format (like that of
MONIER.ALL)
4.mw_HK.mdx (6 mb) MW dictionary (Harvard-Kyoto transliteration) for
use with mdict program on Windows Mobile devices. 5.mwoffline (95k)
Version of MW to work on a local server. Follow readme.txt
instructions.
Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary (earlier versions)
1.MonW2001 (7 mb) version used in Claude Setzer's PC display program.
2.MONIER.ALL (8 mb) version used in Sanskrit and Tamil Dictionaries.
3.MON-ADD.ALL (134 kb) additions and corrections section of MW, in
format similar to MONIER.ALL.
4.mw2.mdx (10 mb) older MW dictionary in format for use with mdict
program on Windows Mobile devices.

Marking Monier:

Current state of digitized Monier-Williams Dictionary
Jim Funderburk, Honesdale, Pennsylvania
Thomas Malten, University of Cologne
(May, 2008)
IITS web site

These remarks were prepared for a presentation at the Second
International Sanskrit Computational Linguistics Symposium .

This document, with its associated references, describes work on
digitization of Sanskrit dictionaries. The work to provide an XML
encoding of the Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary was done
during the last two years in a collaboration between the Institute of
Indology and Tamil Studies (IITS) of the University of Cologne and
Brown University's Sanskrit Department. Jim Funderburk worked on the
XML encoding of MW with the extensive collaboration and guidance of
Thomas Malten at IITS and Peter Scharf at Brown. Malcolm Hyman, Susan
Rosenfield, and Ramaswamy Chandrashekar have also contributed to this
work.

History

Malten's 1997 review of the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon project
(CDSL) provides a succinct description of an ambitious project:

The Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon (CDSL) project undertakes to
digitize and merge the major bilingual Sanskrit dictionaries compiled
in the 19th century. Its aim is to provide a basic lexical corpus to
provide an easy access to all available meanings of Sanskrit words and
to allow the creation of a number of computer programs that will help
to analyze Sanskrit texts.

In the first stage Monier-William's Sanskrit-English dictionary (MW)
has been digitized to be followed at a second stage by three other
dictionaries (Cap, PW2 and Sch). All these will be structured and
unified to allow access to the meanings as developed by the different
lexicographers.

In a 2005 document pertaining to the NSF funded project 'International
Digital Sanskrit Library Integration', Scharf describes the role such
digital lexica as those of Malten might play in a system of textual
analysis:

In order to analyze forms in Sanskrit texts a parser must be combined
with a database of lexical stems. The lexical sources described above
in section III should be sufficient for producing the lexical
component of a basic morphological analyzer/generator for Sanskrit.

With a completed lexical database and morphological generator, it is
possible to produce a full-form lexicon of Sanskrit, which maps every
surface form onto a tuple (L, M), where L is a lexical base and M is a
set of morphosyntactic features. Morphosyntactic features are
indicated in accordance with the morphological tagging scheme
published by Scharf.

Phases of the coding of Monier Williams Sanskrit-English dictionary

For this discussion, the coding of the dictionary may be thought of as
occurring in four phases: initial digitization, refinement into
MONIER.ALL, conversion of MONIER.ALL into an equivalent XML form
(MONIERhBU), correction and refinement into 'mwtab'.

initial digitization

The initial digitization of MW was accomplished by Malten and his
staff in Azhivaikkal in Thanjavur district, Tamilnadu, South India,
and is described in the CDSL document. An image shows a comparison
between the printed page (page 288, column 1) and an early digitized
form of MW. There is a version of the entire dictionary coded in a
manner very similar to that seen in the sample image. It was used in a
PC dictionary lookup program designed by Claude Setzer about 2001, and
is in the IITS download archive 'MonW2001'.

MONIER.ALL

Refinement by Malten of the initial digitization of MW resulted in a
form that may be referred to by its file name 'MONIER.ALL' (see IITS
download archive) This form is the starting point of the recent work.
It is the basis of the MW display at the web site Sanskrit, Tamil and
Pahlavi Dictionaries and available for download via the IITS web site.
There are many extended ascii codes used intentionally in this
encoding, which when viewed with the appropriate settings in some text
viewers make the entries fairly easy to read; for comparision with the
above image, one may examine the coding of 'kuJjara' in MONIER.ALL.

MONIERhBU.txt

Several working principles guided the transformation from the markup
present in MONIER.ALL to that present in MONIERhBU.

Retain equivalence between MONIER.ALL and MONIERhBU. This was
accomplished by EMACS lisp programs converting from one form to the
other and back, and comparing the original with the converted and
reconverted form.

Have the target markup conform to XML coding standards. In particular,
the markup should be well-formed XML. In some cases this was simple to
accomplish, such as putting </H3> at the end of a line that started
with <H3>. In some cases this was difficult, such as converting the
extended ascii characters representing '<' and '>' to '<c>' and '</c>'
and similarly for parentheses and brackets, because the result was not
well-formed XML. For such situations some programmatic surgery on
MONIER.ALL was required. So, primarily for this reason, the first
design goal had to be relaxed.

Implement corrections to a backlog of known typographical mistakes in
MONIER.ALL. For this purpose, and the more general purpose of having a
systematic procedure for implementing and documenting other desired
changes, a simple set of update programs based on 'change' files was
developed.

Represent Sanskrit with the SLP1 transliteration, where MONIER.ALL
used the Harvard-Kyoto transliteration. The choice of SLP was useful
for compatibility with some Devanagari display software developed by
Malcolm Hyman and used on Scharf's web site. Conversion between SLP1
and HK as well as other transliterations such as ITRANS is relatively
easy to program (see software below).
Develop a web-based display of the marked data.

Current markup overview

The current markup is maintained as a mySQL table, 'mwtab', at the
IITS web site. It extends the markup of MONIERhBU in several ways. In
all of this work, it was valuable to have the technical ability to
compare the scanned image of an entry in a dictionary page with the
coding of that entry.

Various kinds of errors were visible in MONIERhBU.

data entry errors : Such errors may be defined as instances where the
digitized text differs 'materially' from the original, such as when a
word, Sanskrit or English or otherwise, is misspelled. Some such
misspellings were found by comparison to standard word lists, such as
of English or of Sanskrit (the MW dictionary list of entries). Many
have been found by close readers of the web display, either we who
work on the dictionary or users of the dictionary who communicate some
error they notice. A web update program allows small changes to be
made interactively by authorized users.

factual errors Occasionally there are found instances where the
dictionary itself appears in error. We have chosen to implement these
changes, but have tried to maintain separate files noting such
changes.
transliteration errors These are also a type of spelling error, and
may occur in text marked as Sanskrit, and in Anglicized Sanskrit text
not (previously) marked as Sanskrit.

coding errors The most prominent category of such errors involves the
'scope' of an XML element. For example the <ls> element encloses the
text of a reference to a literary source; when such a reference
includes chapter and verse from a particular work, all of this, and no
more, should be enclosed by the marking element. Here the sequence of
text is not typographically distinguished from other text in any way
universally applicable throughout the text, but only in certain micro-
contexts. Other examples include the scope of the <lex> element.
Various incomplete markup in MONIER.ALL was still present in
MONIERhBU.

unsplit lines For nominal words, the decision was made to have a
record correspond to a sense of the word; senses are separated
typographically in the dictionary by a semicolon. Instances of records
incompletely split had been identified in MONIER.ALL by certain coding
conventions. Completing the splits was carried out in 'mwtab'.
Monier's 4th line Monier delineates four 'lines' of words; the head
words of the third and fourth lines, compounds and sub-compounds, are
expressed incompletely in the dictionary. Whereas MONIER.ALL had
resolved the headwords for the third line, this resolution for the
fourth line was known to be incomplete. The coding of mwtab completed
the list of head words to include this fourth line of words.

Anglicized Sanskrit Many Sanskrit words, predominantly proper names,
appear in the text as capitalized words in an 'indological' font.
MONIER.ALL represents such words in a specially devised
transliteration, using upper and lower case letters with numbers used
to distinguish vowel length, and consonant type. The presence of a
digit in a capitalized word identifies it as likely Anglicized
Sanskrit, but fails to identify as Sanskrit words such as
'Arjuna' (which can also be part of a plant name) or 'Allaha1ba1d'
which is not a Sanskrit word. Since it was felt useful to identify
those words which were Sanskrit (so a user could know this fact and
look them up in the dictionary, too), they have been marked in a
certain way in mwtab. Similarly, botanical and biological scientific
names have been marked. Both such markings involve 10s of thousands of
instances.

Due to its importance for the development of a full-form lexicon, the
coding of inflectional information has been notably refined. This
refinement has proceeded to a usable stage for substantives and
indeclineables, and to an intermediate stage for verbs. The coding
conventions are describe in the detailed markup reference under the
'<lex>' and '<vlex>' elements. For nominals and indeclineables, a
lexical grammar XML file has been prepared from the dictionary, and
used for inflection generation.

Current markup reference

A detailed discussion of the current markup of mwtab is available for
reference.

Coding yet to be done

While it is felt that the current state of markup of the Monier
Williams Sanskrit-English dictionary is adequate for many purposes,
there are several areas which have been identified as candidates for
useful improvements.

Supplement A supplement of 'Additions and Corrections' of about 26
pages appears in the dictionary. This has been coded (as in
MONIER.ALL) and some work done relating entries between it and the
main part of the dictionary. This could be coded in a way compatible
to mwtab.

transliteration of Greek Many etymological relations between Sanskrit
and Greek are mentioned throughout the dictionary. Currently, the
Greek has not be transliterated and appears as a '$' symbol. A
separate file with a transliteration of the Greek exists which could
be incorporated into mwtab.

botanical terms Over 15000 words are tagged as parts of scientific
names of plants, and another 500 of animals. Linking these words to a
currently accepted authoritative taxonomy database would be useful.
verbal forms There are abundant examples of verbal inflections
presented in the dictionary for roots. With the current coding, these
examples are inaccessible; but there is enough apparent regularity to
the examples to suggest the feasibility of a useful coding.

literary sources Currently, one can get easy cross references from an
abbreviated literary source in the text to the name of the work or
author. However, it would be nice to have links to specific text from
a work. This task probably requires, in general, as yet undigitized
information. However, some sub-tasks, such as links to the Paninian
references, might be doable.

Other Cologne digitizations

Several other dictionaries have been digitized. The digitized
Cappeller Sanskrit-English dictionary has been integrated with
MONIER.ALL in the Sanskrit, Tamil and Pahlavi Dictionaries web site. A
preliminary XML coding of the Apte English-Sanskrit dictionary has
been done and is available for word look-up via the IITS web site. The
list below provides links to samples of the various digitizations and
accompanying scanned images. A goal of the CDSL project is to convert
these into forms compatible with mwtab, so all dictionaries are
available in a consistent encoding.

Apte's Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary, 1957 (protected under
copyright) (digitization, scan)
Apte English-Sanskrit Dictionary, 1920 (digitization, scan,
experimental TEI encoding )
H.H. Wilson Sanskrit and English Dictionary, 1832. (digitization,
scan)
Boehtlingk Sanskrit-German Dictionary, 1879 (digitization, scan)
Boehtlingk & Roth Sanskrit-German Dictionary, 1855 (digitization,
scan)
Cappeller's Sanskrit-English Dictionary, 1891 (digitization, scan)
Cappeller Sanskrit Wörterbuch, 1887 (digitization, scan)
Grassman Rig-Veda Dictionary, 1873 (digitization, scan)
Pune Dictionary (protected under copyright),1976-current
(digitization, scan)
Schmidt's additions to Boehtlingk Sanskrit-German Dictionary, 1929
(digitization, scan)
Burnouf Sanskrit-French Dictionary, 1866 (digitization1,
digitization2, scan)
Stchoupak, Nitti, Renou Sanskrit-French Dictionary, 1932 (protected
under copyright), (digitization, scan)
MacDonell Sanskrit-English Dictionary, 1893 (digitization, scan)
Borooah English-Sanskrit Dictionary, 1877 (digitization, scan)

Cologne scanned editions

Eight Sanskrit dictionaries are currently available via the IITS web
site in a form we refer to as 'scanned images'. This just means that
the individual pages of the dictionaries have been scanned into images
named in a certain consistent manner, and indexed by the first word on
a page. For a user with fast internet access, a digitized edition
provides access similar to that provided by a physical book. For the
MW Sanskrit-English dictionary and the Apte English-Sanskrit
dictionary, the developed web displays have links between individual
words and the scanned editions; this link has proved so useful for MW
that it is viewed as a desideratum for future displays of other
digitized dictionaries.

Software tools and downloads

Several versions of Monier Williams Sanskrit-English dictionary are
available in the download section of the IITS web site. If there is a
need by users for parts of the software we have developed for
maintaining, displaying, and otherwise using the digitized lexica of
the IITS web site, we can make such software available (contact Thomas
Malten).

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/talkMay2008/markingMonier.html

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/talkMay2008/CDSL.pdf

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/talkMay2008/MONIERALL-288-1.pdf

http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/talkMay2008/SLP1.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard-Kyoto

http://www.sanskritlibrary.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITRANS

Please send suggestions and comments to: ***@uni-koeln.de

Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon (from Monier-Williams' 'Sanskrit-
English Dictionary')

The English description contains a translation, grammatical and any
other information listed in the MW. You may search for all of it.

The transliteration is based on the Harvard-Kyoto (HK) convention as
follows:

a A i I u U R RR lR lRR e ai o au M H
k kh g gh G c ch j jh J
T Th D Dh N t th d dh n
p ph b bh m y r l v z S s h

For more information see: Report on the Cologne Digital Sanskrit
Lexicon Project and image of the Appendix (29 KB), larger (400 KB).

Capeller's 1891 Sanskrit-English Dictionary
The transliteration is the same as above.

Cologne Online Tamil Lexicon

All main entries in the Madras Tamil Lexicon (TL) and Supplement
(TLS), and their English meanings.
Alphabetic ordering according to Tamil Lexicon, Madras 1924-39:

Vowels: a A i I u U e E ai o O au
Consonants: H k g c n^/jn T N t n p m y r l v z L R n_/n2
Grantha: j [C (SRI)] S s h kS

Palatal n "n^" has been replaced by "jn", alveolar n "n_" by "n2".
With these exceptions type Tamil text as though standard diacritical
marks had been dropped.

Concise Pahlavi Dictionary
This Lexicon of Iranian Languages contains Professor MacKenzie's
Pahlavi-English Dictionary.

First version of this page: Kira Stöwe, 11.Feb.2003
Data by Thomas Malten, 1997.
Comments to: ***@uni-koeln.de

http://webapps.uni-koeln.de/tamil/

...and I am Sid Harth

...and I am Sid Harth
chhotemianinshallah
2010-02-09 13:32:10 UTC
Permalink
Sanskrit Literature

India is a land of rich classical heritage. The land of many great
thinkers and writers, our collection of literature in Sanskrit is
priceless. Known as the mother of many languages, Sanskrit is abundant
in the treasure of literature. Many people think of Sanskrit in terms
of chants, hymns and verses. Not many know the vast collection of
poetry, drama, stories and even epics in Sanskrit literature. Sanskrit
language literature is a very broad category that requires elaborate
understanding of this varied language. In our related sections, you
shall find information about various Sanskrit epics, plays and major
Sanskrit pioneers of India.

With time, the definition of classical Sanskrit literature has also
changed. It used to be primarily a source of gaining knowledge and was
used a lot during religious rituals. Now, Sanskrit has become a
language that is solely seen upon as an entity for entertainment.
People follow Sanskrit to amuse themselves rather than gain knowledge.
People may go to see plays or listen to legendary folklores in
Sanskrit with the sole aim of entertaining themselves. Priests who
perform religious rituals use pure Sanskrit in India. Though attempts
are being made to revive this ancient language in India, it will be a
long time before people realize the value of this ancient language in
the contemporary world.

As we progress by leaps and bounds in the 21st Century, we fail to
value some of the most important things of life. More often than not,
they form the backbone of our progress and give us our own identity in
this era of globalization. This ancient classical language is a
plethora of knowledge that is useful even in this century. We only
need to use it judiciously in the right way and it is never too late
to learn.

Classical Sanskrit Literature
Sanskrit literature came into being with the making of Vedas and left
a rich legacy of literary knowledge for the times to come. However,
the language of the Vedas differs from the language used in poetry and
drama. Classical Sanskrit literature is found to be in vogue when it
comes to writing poetry and dance dramas.

Sanskrit Drama
The combination of different genres of drama and Sanskrit resulted in
a unique amalgamation that gave us the literary treasure of Sanskrit
dramas and Sanskrit plays. The famous dramatists of Sanskrit
literature were Kalidasa, Bhasa, Shudraka and Asvaghosa who gave us
many famous Sanskrit plays.

Sanskrit Poetry
Sanskrit poetry is a vast treasure of knowledge that gives us immense
information about ancient thoughts and principles. Some of the best
works in ancient Sanskrit literature are in the form of Sanskrit
poems. Some of the most famous and respected poets have given us the
treasure of poetry in Sanskrit.

Indian Epics
India is the land of famous mythologies and folklores. Some of the
greatest works of ancient classical literature are found here. The two
famous works that are synonymous to epic literature of India are
Ramayana and Mahabharata. These two classical epics of India are
written in ancient Sanskrit and present the most common ideals of
human civilization that seem to have gone down the drain in the modern
times.

Sanskrit Poets
Sanskrit has its roots deeply embedded in our culture. It is further
glorified by the famous Sanskrit writers who wrote masterpieces in
classical Sanskrit thus giving the language a very prestigious place
in the cultural heritage of India. Sanskrit poets of India are an
integral and inseparable part of the historical and cultural legacy of
this country.

Vedas
These four Vedas contain a priceless treasure of knowledge. This Vedic
literature is aimed at not just sacred rituals, but also at attaining
higher levels of understanding about survival, life and death. The
word Veda is derived from the word "Vid" which literally means,
"Root".

http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/index.html

Classical Sanskrit Literature

Sanskrit literature came into being with the making of Vedas and left
a rich legacy of literary knowledge for the times to come. However,
the language of the Vedas differs from the language used in poetry and
drama. Classical Sanskrit literature is found to be in vogue when it
comes to writing poetry and dance dramas. This form of classic
literature in Sanskrit is a huge contribution in the field of literary
knowledge. Sanskrit poetry is different from Vedic poetry. Read on
further about literature in classical Sanskrit and check our related
sections on Sanskrit plays and Sanskrit poetry.

Sanskrit drama evolved as early as 2nd century B.C. Shudraka, the
great Sanskrit writer wrote the earliest play in Sanskrit
Mricchakatika around this time. The central theme of these dramas and
plays used to be based on heroic tales of the protagonist. The Natya
Shastra, which was written by Bharata, literally means the Science of
Theater. It contained all the essential elements that go into making a
successful dance drama. Other famous dramatists are Kalidasa, Bhasa,
Asvaghosa, etc. Check our related sections for further information on
their works.

Classical Sanskrit poetry is a varied genre and has many forms of
poetry in it. The most famous examples of epic poetry are Ramayana and
Mahabharata, the two epics that are held in high reverence by Indians.
Romantic poetry was given a boost during the time of Kalidasa, the
great poet of India. The epics poems can be recited as well as sung.
Thus, one can say that classical music also started from classical
Sanskrit literature. Classic literature in Sanskrit is indeed a
valuable treasure of Indian cultural heritage.

http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/classical/index.html

...and I am Sid Harth
chhotemianinshallah
2010-02-09 13:37:15 UTC
Permalink
Sanskrit Drama

The combination of different genres of drama and Sanskrit resulted in
a unique amalgamation that gave us the literary treasure of Sanskrit
dramas and Sanskrit plays. The famous dramatists of Sanskrit
literature were Kalidasa, Bhasa, Shudraka and Asvaghosa who gave us
many famous Sanskrit plays. With the revival of Sanskrit theater in
modern times, these Sanskrit plays are gaining much popularity again
among Sanskrit scholars and theater enthusiasts. Given here are some
famous Sanskrit plays that are worth a read.

Abhijnanasakuntalam
Abhijnanasakuntalam is a beautiful tale of love and romance and how
one moment can make or break a relation. Written by one of the
greatest poets of India, Shakuntalam Kalidasa is synonymous to its
author, Kalidasa.

Malavikagnimitram
The first play composed by the great poet Kalidasa is
Malavikagnimitram. Often it is called Kalidasa Malavikagnimitram, as
an honor to Kalidasa. This beautiful play of intrigue grips its
readers and keeps them glued till the very end. The plot of the play
is cleverly constructed and it revolves around the King's love
interest who is a maid in the royal palace.

Ritusamhara
India has always believed in the harmonious relation between man and
forces of nature and the importance of each season has been
beautifully brought into light by the great poet Kalidasa in Ritu
Samhaara, a poem written by him. It can be called the "Medley of
Seasons" or "Garland of Seasons". The Ritusamharam has been divided
into six main chapters, each chapter describing vividly, the seasons
of India.

Vikramorvasiyam
Written by the most famous poet Kalidasa, Vikramorvasiyam is a play
that tells the tale of a mortal king Vikramaditya who is in love with
a heavenly damsel, Urvashi. It tells the story of his effort and
determination and how he wins the love of the divine nymph, who is
supposed to be the most gorgeous heavenly fairy. Out of desperation,
the king wanders through dense forests in search of his love. A truly
intriguing tale of love and possessiveness, it contains beautiful
verses that describe true love.

Mrichakatika
Regarded as one of the earliest Indian plays written in Sanskrit,
Mrichakatika is a beautiful play by Shudraka. The play is a comedy set
in the royal backdrop in which love and mistaken identity play a part.
Translated in English, the name means little clay cart. It was written
around the Gupta Period in Sanskrit.

Natya Shastra
Written by the sage Bharata Muni, this beautiful text was written in
Sanskrit around 400 B.C. The text contains information on the minutest
details that should be taken care of during dance. Thus, it can be
said that Natya Shastra is set of rules and regulations that are
implemented in fine arts in India. The Natya Shastra is the first
known text on dance and it has had a strong impact on classical dance
forms in both olden and modern times.

Bhasa's Plays
Bhasa's plays are generally shorter as compared to other epic poems
and plays. This great Sanskrit dramatist lived before Kalidasa and
wrote many short plays that are staged even today. Most of his plays
were based on the two major epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Most of
his plays have graphic depictions of violence, something that was
frowned upon by the Natya Shastras. Some of his famous plays are
Madhyamavyayogam, Urubhangam, Karnabharam, Pancaratram, among others.

http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/plays/index.html

Abhijnanasakuntalam

Abhijnanasakuntalam is a beautiful tale of love and romance and how
one moment can make or break a relation. Written by one of the
greatest poets of India, Shakuntalam Kalidasa is synonymous to its
author, Kalidasa. A short summary of Shakuntala is given in the
following lines. So read on further, this beautiful love story that is
a favorite theme of many dance dramas.

Long ago, the powerful sage Vishwamitra was engaged in concentrated
meditation. Fearing that he may gain more power than Gods, Lord Indra
decided to send down one of the most gorgeous heavenly damsel named
Menaka to earth to disturb his meditation. She succeeds in seducing
him and they have a beautiful daughter. But Menaka has to return to
heaven, so they leave the child amidst a beautiful garden near a lake.
A swan in the lake sees the crying child and gives it some water. Just
then a sage named Kanava who is passing by sees the swan giving water
to the child. He decides to take the child home and names it
"Shakuntala", which means one fed by a swan.

Shakuntala grows up to be a beautiful young lady just like her mother
Menaka. One day, King Dushyanta sees her in the forest and immediately
falls for her. He asks her to marry him and he stays with her in the
ashram. After some days, the King gets news of unrest in the capital
city and he is summoned to return soon to handle the situation. He
leaves half-heartedly but promises to return soon and take his beloved
with him. As a token of love, he gives her a ring and promises to come
back soon.

One day, when Shakuntala is sitting right outside the house, sage
Durvasa known for his anger comes visiting in the ashram. Lost in her
thoughts, Shakuntala fails to acknowledge his presence. He gets
infuriated and curses Shakuntala saying that the one whom she is
thinking about will forget her face. Shakuntala begs for mercy and
explains her situation. The sage softens a bit and says that if the
king sees the ring he gave her, he will remember everything.
Shakuntala gets ready to travel to the kingdom, as there is hardly any
news from the king.

She stops at a lake to drink water and unfortunately the ring slips
out of her finger and a fish swallows it. She reaches the royal palace
but Dushyanta fails to recognize her. She then remembers the ring and
when lifts her hand to show him the ring, she realizes that she has
lost it somewhere. Dejected, she returns back to the forest. After
sometime, a fisherman in the royal palace finds the ring in the
stomach of a fish he has caught. He immediately recognizes the ring
and rushes to the King to show it to him. Dushyanta recalls everything
and rushes to apologize to Shakuntala. She forgives him and thy love
together happily.

http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/plays/abhijnanasakuntalam.html

Malavikagnimitram

The first play composed by the great poet Kalidasa is
Malavikagnimitram. Often it is called Kalidasa Malavikagnimitram, as
an honor to Kalidasa. This beautiful play of intrigue grips its
readers and keeps them glued till the very end. The plot of the play
is cleverly constructed and it revolves around the King's love
interest who is a maid in the royal palace. The construction of love
plots and many incidents that make the story move further are
commendable and are beautifully described, without deviating from the
central theme. A short summary of the play Malavika Agnimitram has
been given below.

The plot is a comedy that involves romantic relationships between a
King and a humble maid. It is the tale of King Agnimitra's love for
Malavika, who is an unheard of maid in the royal palace. It is said
that this lady was proficient in dance and music. The way situations
crop up between them and the way they handle it amidst confusion and
jealousy is applaudable. There are many scenes of light hearted
comedy, confusion and confrontation that make Malavikagnimitram one of
the finest works of Kalidasa.

Thoroughly enjoyable, this play is the first work of Kalidasa. The
skill with which he employs comedy, confusion and romance in a
potpourri of romantic drama is truly the work of a genius. The smooth
flow of the events adds to the continuity of the play. Though the play
lapses in some aspect, yet on the whole, it bears the trademark of the
workmanship of Kalidasa. Agnimitra, though passionate is a bit passive
and uses the help of his minister to help him win over Malavika and
make her his queen. This play is a must read if you want to enjoy the
purity of literature.

http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/plays/malavikagnimitra.html

Raghuvamsa

Raghuvamsa play is a literary magnum opus written by the famous poet
Kalidasa. The play is synonymous with the creator and is often called
Raghuvamsa Kalidasa. The play basically traces the roots of the great
lineage of Lord Rama and his descendants and the great conqueror
Raghu. Raghuvamsam basically talks about the valor and strength of the
great warrior Raghu. Read on further to know about this great warrior
and the literary masterpiece Raghuvamsa.

The Raghuvamsa is the story of the great lineage starting from Lord
Surya that produced some great warrior kings. The most famous of them
all is undoubtedly Lord Rama, whose story has been glorified in the
great epic of Ramayana. Raghuvamsa talks of the great emperor Raghu
and his exploits and the battles he won. He led a military expedition
to Transoxiana. Conquering anything and anyone who came in his path,
he marches through central Asia and reached Vankshu, where a horrible
battle was fought. The faces of the defeated were mutilated beyond
disgust and it is said that this form of facial mutilation was
widespread in Central Asia at that time.

After the Vankshu, Raghu and his army came across the Kambojas, who
readily submitted to the valor of the great warrior and pleased him
with gifts and rich treasures. The Kambojas are presumably the ancient
people of Iran who are often referred to in ancient Indian texts. The
growth of walnut trees is mentioned in the text and even today this
region is known for its walnut cultivation.

It is believed that the literary figure of Raghu could have been
inspired from Chandragupta Vikramaditya, as there are striking
resemblances between the two conquerors. Chandragupta Vikramaditya
himself gained much fame and respect by conquering many lands to
spread the Gupta Empire. Kalidasa's Raghuvamsa gives immense adoration
and fame to the Gupta rulers. The contribution of Raghuvamsa in Indian
literature is indeed priceless and something that should be given
prime importance.

http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/plays/raghuvamsam.html

...and I am Sid Harth
chhotemianinshallah
2010-02-09 13:39:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by bademiyansubhanallah
Sanskrit Drama
The combination of different genres of drama and Sanskrit resulted in
a unique amalgamation that gave us the literary treasure of Sanskrit
dramas and Sanskrit plays. The famous dramatists of Sanskrit
literature were Kalidasa, Bhasa, Shudraka and Asvaghosa who gave us
many famous Sanskrit plays. With the revival of Sanskrit theater in
modern times, these Sanskrit plays are gaining much popularity again
among Sanskrit scholars and theater enthusiasts. Given here are some
famous Sanskrit plays that are worth a read.
Abhijnanasakuntalam
Abhijnanasakuntalam is a beautiful tale of love and romance and how
one moment can make or break a relation. Written by one of the
greatest poets of India, Shakuntalam Kalidasa is synonymous to its
author, Kalidasa.
Malavikagnimitram
The first play composed by the great poet Kalidasa is
Malavikagnimitram. Often it is called Kalidasa Malavikagnimitram, as
an honor to Kalidasa. This beautiful play of intrigue grips its
readers and keeps them glued till the very end. The plot of the play
is cleverly constructed and it revolves around the King's love
interest who is a maid in the royal palace.
Ritusamhara
India has always believed in the harmonious relation between man and
forces of nature and the importance of each season has been
beautifully brought into light by the great poet Kalidasa in Ritu
Samhaara, a poem written by him. It can be called the "Medley of
Seasons" or "Garland of Seasons". The Ritusamharam has been divided
into six main chapters, each chapter describing vividly, the seasons
of India.
Vikramorvasiyam
Written by the most famous poet Kalidasa, Vikramorvasiyam is a play
that tells the tale of a mortal king Vikramaditya who is in love with
a heavenly damsel, Urvashi. It tells the story of his effort and
determination and how he wins the love of the divine nymph, who is
supposed to be the most gorgeous heavenly fairy. Out of desperation,
the king wanders through dense forests in search of his love. A truly
intriguing tale of love and possessiveness, it contains beautiful
verses that describe true love.
Mrichakatika
Regarded as one of the earliest Indian plays written in Sanskrit,
Mrichakatika is a beautiful play by Shudraka. The play is a comedy set
in the royal backdrop in which love and mistaken identity play a part.
Translated in English, the name means little clay cart. It was written
around the Gupta Period in Sanskrit.
Natya Shastra
Written by the sage Bharata Muni, this beautiful text was written in
Sanskrit around 400 B.C. The text contains information on the minutest
details that should be taken care of during dance. Thus, it can be
said that Natya Shastra is set of rules and regulations that are
implemented in fine arts in India. The Natya Shastra is the first
known text on dance and it has had a strong impact on classical dance
forms in both olden and modern times.
Bhasa's Plays
Bhasa's plays are generally shorter as compared to other epic poems
and plays. This great Sanskrit dramatist lived before Kalidasa and
wrote many short plays that are staged even today. Most of his plays
were based on the two major epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Most of
his plays have graphic depictions of violence, something that was
frowned upon by the Natya Shastras. Some of his famous plays are
Madhyamavyayogam, Urubhangam, Karnabharam, Pancaratram, among others.
http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/plays/index.html
Abhijnanasakuntalam
Abhijnanasakuntalam is a beautiful tale of love and romance and how
one moment can make or break a relation. Written by one of the
greatest poets of India, Shakuntalam Kalidasa is synonymous to its
author, Kalidasa. A short summary of Shakuntala is given in the
following lines. So read on further, this beautiful love story that is
a favorite theme of many dance dramas.
Long ago, the powerful sage Vishwamitra was engaged in concentrated
meditation. Fearing that he may gain more power than Gods, Lord Indra
decided to send down one of the most gorgeous heavenly damsel named
Menaka to earth to disturb his meditation. She succeeds in seducing
him and they have a beautiful daughter. But Menaka has to return to
heaven, so they leave the child amidst a beautiful garden near a lake.
A swan in the lake sees the crying child and gives it some water. Just
then a sage named Kanava who is passing by sees the swan giving water
to the child. He decides to take the child home and names it
"Shakuntala", which means one fed by a swan.
Shakuntala grows up to be a beautiful young lady just like her mother
Menaka. One day, King Dushyanta sees her in the forest and immediately
falls for her. He asks her to marry him and he stays with her in the
ashram. After some days, the King gets news of unrest in the capital
city and he is summoned to return soon to handle the situation. He
leaves half-heartedly but promises to return soon and take his beloved
with him. As a token of love, he gives her a ring and promises to come
back soon.
One day, when Shakuntala is sitting right outside the house, sage
Durvasa known for his anger comes visiting in the ashram. Lost in her
thoughts, Shakuntala fails to acknowledge his presence. He gets
infuriated and curses Shakuntala saying that the one whom she is
thinking about will forget her face. Shakuntala begs for mercy and
explains her situation. The sage softens a bit and says that if the
king sees the ring he gave her, he will remember everything.
Shakuntala gets ready to travel to the kingdom, as there is hardly any
news from the king.
She stops at a lake to drink water and unfortunately the ring slips
out of her finger and a fish swallows it. She reaches the royal palace
but Dushyanta fails to recognize her. She then remembers the ring and
when lifts her hand to show him the ring, she realizes that she has
lost it somewhere. Dejected, she returns back to the forest. After
sometime, a fisherman in the royal palace finds the ring in the
stomach of a fish he has caught. He immediately recognizes the ring
and rushes to the King to show it to him. Dushyanta recalls everything
and rushes to apologize to Shakuntala. She forgives him and thy love
together happily.
http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/plays/abhijnanasakuntal...
Malavikagnimitram
The first play composed by the great poet Kalidasa is
Malavikagnimitram. Often it is called Kalidasa Malavikagnimitram, as
an honor to Kalidasa. This beautiful play of intrigue grips its
readers and keeps them glued till the very end. The plot of the play
is cleverly constructed and it revolves around the King's love
interest who is a maid in the royal palace. The construction of love
plots and many incidents that make the story move further are
commendable and are beautifully described, without deviating from the
central theme. A short summary of the play Malavika Agnimitram has
been given below.
The plot is a comedy that involves romantic relationships between a
King and a humble maid. It is the tale of King Agnimitra's love for
Malavika, who is an unheard of maid in the royal palace. It is said
that this lady was proficient in dance and music. The way situations
crop up between them and the way they handle it amidst confusion and
jealousy is applaudable. There are many scenes of light hearted
comedy, confusion and confrontation that make Malavikagnimitram one of
the finest works of Kalidasa.
Thoroughly enjoyable, this play is the first work of Kalidasa. The
skill with which he employs comedy, confusion and romance in a
potpourri of romantic drama is truly the work of a genius. The smooth
flow of the events adds to the continuity of the play. Though the play
lapses in some aspect, yet on the whole, it bears the trademark of the
workmanship of Kalidasa. Agnimitra, though passionate is a bit passive
and uses the help of his minister to help him win over Malavika and
make her his queen. This play is a must read if you want to enjoy the
purity of literature.
http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/plays/malavikagnimitra....
Raghuvamsa
Raghuvamsa play is a literary magnum opus written by the famous poet
Kalidasa. The play is synonymous with the creator and is often called
Raghuvamsa Kalidasa. The play basically traces the roots of the great
lineage of Lord Rama and his descendants and the great conqueror
Raghu. Raghuvamsam basically talks about the valor and strength of the
great warrior Raghu. Read on further to know about this great warrior
and the literary masterpiece Raghuvamsa.
The Raghuvamsa is the story of the great lineage starting from Lord
Surya that produced some great warrior kings. The most famous of them
all is undoubtedly Lord Rama, whose story has been glorified in the
great epic of Ramayana. Raghuvamsa talks of the great emperor Raghu
and his exploits and the battles he won. He led a military expedition
to Transoxiana. Conquering anything and anyone who came in his path,
he marches through central Asia and reached Vankshu, where a horrible
battle was fought. The faces of the defeated were mutilated beyond
disgust and it is said that this form of facial mutilation was
widespread in Central Asia at that time.
After the Vankshu, Raghu and his army came across the Kambojas, who
readily submitted to the valor of the great warrior and pleased him
with gifts and rich treasures. The Kambojas are presumably the ancient
people of Iran who are often referred to in ancient Indian texts. The
growth of walnut trees is mentioned in the text and even today this
region is known for its walnut cultivation.
It is believed that the literary figure of Raghu could have been
inspired from Chandragupta Vikramaditya, as there are striking
resemblances between the two conquerors. Chandragupta Vikramaditya
himself gained much fame and respect by conquering many lands to
spread the Gupta Empire. Kalidasa's Raghuvamsa gives immense adoration
and fame to the Gupta rulers. The contribution of Raghuvamsa in Indian
literature is indeed priceless and ...
read more »
chhotemianinshallah
2010-02-09 13:43:30 UTC
Permalink
Sanskrit Poetry

Sanskrit poetry is a vast treasure of knowledge that gives us immense
information about ancient thoughts and principles. Some of the best
works in ancient Sanskrit literature are in the form of Sanskrit
poems. Some of the most famous and respected poets have given us the
treasure of poetry in Sanskrit. These poets are synonymous with
Sanskrit poetry and most poems are followed by the name of the poet.
We are covering some great works of these poets in our related
sections. Read on further to know more about these Sanskrit poems.

Kumarasambhavam
Anyone interested in the Sanskrit language is sure to know the story
of Kumarasambhavam. One of the gems of Sanskrit literature,
Kumarasambhava poem is one of the greatest epic poems written by the
famous poet Kalidasa. Both the names go hand in hand and the poem is
often called Kumarasambhavam Kalidasa.

Meghadutam
A beautiful piece of literary treasure, the Meghadutam Kalidasa is a
short poem of a little over 100 verses. The stanzas are uniform in
length of four sentences each. This convenient length makes it a
favorite among scholars and translators. The Meghaduta poem is a
beautiful work of literary art and the descriptions given in it are so
vivid that one visualizes what the poet wants to convey.

Ritusamhara
India has always believed in the harmonious relation between man and
forces of nature and the importance of each season has been
beautifully brought into light by the great poet Kalidasa in Ritu
Samhaara, a poem written by him. It can be called the "Medley of
Seasons" or "Garland of Seasons". The Ritusamharam has been divided
into six main chapters, each chapter describing vividly, the seasons
of India.

Raghuvamsa
Raghuvamsa play is a literary magnum opus written by the famous poet
Kalidasa. The play is synonymous with the creator and is often called
Raghuvamsa Kalidasa. The play basically traces the roots of the great
lineage of Lord Rama and his descendants and the great conqueror
Raghu. Raghuvamsam basically talks about the valor and strength of the
great warrior Raghu.

http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/poetry/index.html

Kumarasambhavam

Anyone interested in the Sanskrit language is sure to know the story
of Kumarasambhavam. One of the gems of Sanskrit literature,
Kumarasambhava poem is one of the greatest epic poems written by the
famous poet Kalidasa. Both the names go hand in hand and the poem is
often called Kumarasambhavam Kalidasa. Given here is a short summary
of the Kumarasambhava, which basically talks about the birth of
Kumara, the first son of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

The poem has been divided into seventeen chapters and basically talks
about the courtship of lord Shiva and Parvati. The majority of
chapters have vast details about the love and romance between Shiva
and Parvati. It is said that a powerful demon named Tarakasur was
blessed that none except the child of Lord Shiva could kill him.
However, Shiva had curtailed the desire for love by intense
meditation. Due to the great efforts of Parvati and through much
penance, she won the love of Lord Shiva.

After sometime, Shiva and Parvati were blessed with a son whom they
named Karthikeya. He grew up and killed the demon and restored peace
and the glory of Lord Indra and the divine world. Thus ends the
beautiful Kumarasambhava written by Kalidasa. Regarded as one of the
greatest literary works of all times, Kumarasambhava has paid
attention to all minute details of a courtship between two people.
Kalidasa left home to gain worldly knowledge and become more worthy.
On his return, his wife asked, "Asti Kashchit Wagvisheshah", which
means, "Have you attained any palpable knowledge that should make me
give you a special welcome?". He gave her a fitting reply and over a
period of few years, he wrote three great epics based on three letters
spoken by his wife. From "Asti" he created "Kumarasambhava"; from
"Kaschit" he wrote "Meghadutta" and from "Wagvisheshah" he wrote
"Raghuvansha". Critics say that Kalidasa was cursed with leprosy when
he wrote the eighth chapter and some other writer wrote the rest of
the poem.

http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/poetry/kumarasambhavam.html

Meghadutam

A beautiful piece of literary treasure, the Meghadutam Kalidasa is a
short poem of a little over 100 verses. The stanzas are uniform in
length of four sentences each. This convenient length makes it a
favorite among scholars and translators. The Meghaduta poem is a
beautiful work of literary art and the descriptions given in it are so
vivid that one visualizes what the poet wants to convey. Given here is
a short summary of the Meghadootam, one of the best sort poems by the
great poet Kalidasa.

The Meghadutam, literally translated means the Cloud Messenger. It is
divided into two parts, Purvamegha (Previous cloud) and Uttaramegha
(Consequent cloud). According to the story, the treasurer of Gods,
Kubera has a group of divine attendants working for him, called the
Yakshas. One of these Yakshas was so smitten and obsessed with his
wife that he ignored his duties. He was cursed and banished into the
woods on earth. Thoroughly dejected, he kept thinking about his wife
and missed her a lot. His wife also kept thinking about him all day
and all night.

Then one day, monsoons arrived on earth. The Yaksha saw a rain cloud
pass by and requested it to carry a message to his wife. The Yaksha
then starts to describe the route the cloud should be taking. The
description is so captivating and so vivid, that one can actually feel
like he scenes are flashing in front of you. The Yaksha makes the
route seem as attractive as possible so that the cloud takes his
message to his wife. The emotions portrayed are so beautiful that it
couldn't have been given a better treatment by any other poet.

http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/poetry/meghadutam.html

Ritusamhara

India has always believed in the harmonious relation between man and
forces of nature and the importance of each season has been
beautifully brought into light by the great poet Kalidasa in Ritu
Samhaara, a poem written by him. It can be called the "Medley of
Seasons" or "Garland of Seasons". The Ritusamharam has been divided
into six main chapters, each chapter describing vividly, the seasons
of India. The six seasons that have been described by Kalidasa are
Summer, Spring, Monsoons, Autumn, Frost and Winters. This poem is much
shorter when compared with his other works. Ritusamharam Kalidasa is
delightful read and a short summary is given below.

Each of these seasons is described as a pair of lovers who experience
changes in their relation like the changing seasons of India. The poem
starts with the description of summer. The dry weather and the extreme
heat conditions make the lands extremely parched. Everyone yearns for
a few drops of rain to soak the soil. But even in this time of extreme
heat, one gets joy through mangoes and the cool moonlit nights. Then
come the much-awaited monsoons and the whole of India gets drenched
and clean in the fresh monsoon rains. Everything looks spic and span
and not a speck of dust is seen anywhere. The black clouds and the
rumbling thunder add to the magic of the monsoons.

Then comes the season of autumn where people look forward to
celebrating festivals and spread cheer and joy. Though the weather
remains pleasant, the afternoons can be hot and it is almost like a
second summer. However, the weather changes and one can feel the nip
in the air. This is when the frost season arrives. The sudden nip in
the air, the chilly winds in the morning and nights and the biting
cold all signify the season of frost. Then comes the more severe form
of frost in the form of winter season. The temperatures drop really
low and people are seen wearing layers of clothes. However, he
severity of winters is not as much as in Western countries. It only
snows in the hilly regions and the south of India hardly experiences
any winters.

After winters, the weather starts to warm a bit and then comes spring
season. This season is popular for the harvest festivals that take
place and one can see blooming flowers all around. Thus, the variety
of seasons in India is used to signify the changes that take place in
the minds of lovers and how they change. Every change has some good
and some bad effects, but in totality it is a pleasant feeling.

http://www.iloveindia.com/literature/sanskrit/poetry/ritusamhara.html

...and I am Sid Harth
chhotemianinshallah
2010-02-09 13:51:19 UTC
Permalink
Prajnaparamitamahamantram: Sanskrit
May 9, 2000 - © Robert Henderson

Happily, the obstacles have not prevented Sanskrit from claiming a big
slice of the Web. University College London linguist Dominik
Wujastyk's Indology aspires to do for Sanskrit what Perseus has done
for Western classical languages: to unite the lion's share of
downloadable texts at one master site. Sanskrit Bhaarat maintains both
a document library and an audio collection, and an unnamed Utah site
includes a vast document library and links to several other Sanskrit
servers.

Sid Harth's site contributes translations of works by Kalidas, Bhasa,
and other Sanskrit authors, and the opportunity to receive a free
Sanskritist e mail newsletter. Interactive resources include Alkhemy's
contact information for several Sanskrit-related mailing lists,
Ukindia's online lessons, and the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon, an
online dictionary with approximately 160,000 main entries.

Many Buddhist and Hindu organisations offer Sanskrit courses to
Westerners. Though quality varies, if local universities don't offer
Sanskrit, such courses may represent a viable compromise. Thanks to
the growing interest in Eastern religion and philosophy, several pages
catalogue tantra, yoga, ayurveda, and Buddhist Sanskrit terminology as
well.

Like Latin, Sanskrit is currently enjoying a vigorous revival
movement, one that emphasises full communicative competence, including
oral skills. Samskrita Bharati is an admirable example of the campaign
to resurrect spoken as well as written Sanskrit. In fact, Deutsch
Welle has been opening its Hindi service with thirteen minutes of
Sanskrit news since 1966; enquirers will appreciate the on-demand
Realaudio clips available onsite. Some revivalists are hoping that
this ancient language may once more help to unify India's infinitely
diverse peoples, as it did centuries ago. Their logic is well-founded.
As a language intimately associated with India's origins, Sanskrit
commands broad respect, while as a dead language, it enjoys relative
neutrality.

The great Sir William "Oriental" Jones first noted the genetic
similarities between Sanskrit and European languages in the late 18th
century. His discovery led to the formulation of the Indo-European
language family, a major breakthrough in humanity's understanding of
language and the origins of modern cultures. Today, archaeologists are
uncovering earthshaking details about the first inhabitants of the
Americas, information that turns previous assumptions about early
human migrations on their ear. The data suggest that the "Sanskrit
connection" may have a much broader reach than previously imagined. I
suspect that

The copyright of the article Prajnaparamitamahamantram: Sanskrit in
World Languages is owned by Robert Henderson. Permission to republish
Prajnaparamitamahamantram: Sanskrit in print or online must be granted
by the author in writing.

Read more at Suite101: Prajnaparamitamahamantram: Sanskrit
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/world_languages/39065/2#ixzz0f2vn9Rvx

that this ancient, majestic tongue (or its progenitors) may soon make
news again.

The copyright of the article Prajnaparamitamahamantram: Sanskrit in
World Languages is owned by Robert Henderson. Permission to republish
Prajnaparamitamahamantram: Sanskrit in print or online must be granted
by the author in writing.

Read more at Suite101: Prajnaparamitamahamantram: Sanskrit
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/world_languages/39065/3#ixzz0f2w39dgZ

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/world_languages/39065/3

...and I am Sid Harth
chhotemianinshallah
2010-02-09 13:56:58 UTC
Permalink
Welcome to Perseus 4.0, also known as the Perseus Hopper.
Read more on the Perseus version history.
New to Perseus? Click here for a short tutorial.

Announcements

February 5, 2010:

We have fixed the problem with viewing full-size images in IE7 and 8.
February 4, 2010:

A new release of our source code is now available on SourceForge.
Updated data and text files are also available here.

February 1, 2010:
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Problems viewing images on IE 7 and 8: We are aware of the problem
with viewing full-size images through IE 7 or 8 and are working to fix
it. For the best experience on Perseus, we always recommend using the
latest version of Firefox.

December 15, 2009:

Updates to Perseus Digital Library: The Vocabulary Tool is now
available. For more information about this tool, please see the help
page.

October 7, 2009:

Updates to Perseus Digital Library: We have added many new authors and
texts to our collection, including Seneca, Quintilian, Flaccus,
Cicero, Aulus Gellius, Ammianus and Petronius.
March 31, 2009:

Updates to Perseus Digital Library: You can now view the places
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so please email the webmaster if you notice errors.
March 16, 2009:

New job announcement: Perseus is seeking a Greek Treebank Editor to
supervise the creation of a syntactic database for classical Greece
with 1,000,000 words - one of the most promising instruments ever
produced for the study of Greek linguistics, literary style, and
lexicography. We encourage graduate students who could build their
dissertation work on this project, as well as classicists with PhD in
hand, to consider applying.

Updates to Perseus Digital Library:

Many improvements to the Art & Archaeology data and interface. You can
now search the A&A data and image captions.

Euclid's Elements have been added, as well as a large number of
Plutarch texts, edited by Bernadotte Perrin. Links to these texts can
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Read older announcements...

Perseus contact and support information.

Perseus is a non-profit enterprise, located in the Department of the
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The Perseus Project is funded by the Alpheios Project, the Andrew W.
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Support for the project has been provided by the Annenberg/CPB
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University, and Harvard University.

Popular Texts

Caesar, Gallic War (English, Latin)
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http://www.suite101.com/external_link.cfm?elink=http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/

...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-02-09 21:56:47 UTC
Permalink
A Sanskrit Grammar for Students
Third Edition
A. A. Macdonell
284 pages | 216x138mm
978-0-19-815466-2 | Paperback | 24 July 1986
Price: £35.00

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which are printed to order are normally despatched and charged within
5-10 days.

A Descriptive Catalogue of the Sanskrit and other Indian Manuscripts
of the Chandra Shum Shere Collection in the Bodleian Library

Part I: Jyotihsastra
David Pingree
General Editor: Jonathan Katz
192 pages | 246x189mm
978-0-19-817368-7 | Flexicover | 08 March 1984
Price: £75.00

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5-10 days.

A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary
A. A. Macdonell
396 pages | 275x215mm
978-0-19-864303-6 | Hardback | 26 March 1963
Price: £135.00

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5-10 days.

A Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special Reference to
Cognate Indo-European Languages
New Edition

Sir Monier Monier-Williams

New edition greatly enlarged and improved with the collaboration of
Professor E. Leuman, Professor C. Cappeller, and other scholars
Clarendon Press
1,370 pages | 279x216mm
978-0-19-864308-1 | Hardback | 26 March 1963
Price: £120.00

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which are printed to order are normally despatched and charged within
5-10 days.

A Descriptive Catalogue of the Sanskrit and other Indian
Manuscripts of the Chandra Shum Shere Collection in the Bodleian
Library
Part II. Epics and Puranas
John Brockington, Jonathan Katz
978-0-19-951354-3
Flexicover
16 September 1999
£103.00

A Descriptive Catalogue of the Sanskrit and other Indian Manuscripts
of the Chandra Shum Shere Collection in the Bodleian Library
Part II. Epics and Puranas
John Brockington
General Editor: Jonathan Katz
Clarendon Press
318 pages | 246x189mm
978-0-19-951354-3 | Flexicover | 16 September 1999
Price: £103.00

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which are printed to order are normally despatched and charged within
5-10 days.

Indian Epigraphy
A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the
Other Indo-Aryan Languages
Richard Salomon
OUP USA South Asia Research
400 pages | 25 halftones, 3 line drawings | 234x156mm
978-0-19-509984-3 | Hardback | 04 March 1999
Price: £49.00

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which are printed to order are normally despatched and charged within
5-10 days.

Richard Salomon, Associate Professor of South Asia Studies, University
of Washington

Salomon surveys all the inscriptional material - documents written in
ink on various surfaces, or carved into stone and metal, as well as
seals - in the Indo-Aryan languages. He presents the entire corpus of
these inscriptions in a way accessible to specialists in the field as
well as non-specialists.

Readership: Scholars of South Asia, Epigraphy.

The Wisdom of Poets
Studies in Tamil, Telugu, and Sanskrit
David Shulman
OUP India
384 pages | 216x138mm
978-0-19-565237-6 | Hardback | 22 March 2001
Price: £24.99

This item will be ordered from another OUP branch. Items ordered from
other branches are despatched and charged as soon as we receive them,
which is normally within 6 weeks.

David Shulman, Professor of Indian Studies and Comparative Religion,
Hebrew University, Israel

The classical literatures of Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu are among the
richest in the world. These essays explore major issues and themes in
the poetry and poetics of these three literatures. Focusing on the
role of the poet as making present an experience of the divine.
Several essays address the problem of the self and its processes of
disintegration, disguise and recomposition.

Readership: Post- and undergraduate students and professors of Indian
literature and religion

Epic Threads
John Brockington on the Sanskrit Epics
Mary Brockington and Greg Baily
OUP India
398 pages | 215x140mm
978-0-19-566295-5 16 January 2003
Price: £12.99

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other branches are despatched and charged as soon as we receive them,
which is normally within 6 weeks.

This volume brings together John Brockington's articles on the
Ramayana and Mahabharata, relating them to wider issues in the study
of the Sanskrit epics.

Readership: Sanskrit scholars, Indologists and those interested in
Hinduism.

John Ross Carter, Mahinda Palihawadana
978-0-19-283613-7
Paperback
07 September 2000
£7.99 £1.99
Oxford World's Classics

The Early Upanisads
Annotated Text and Translation
Translated and edited by Patrick Olivelle
OUP USA South Asia Research
700 pages | 2 line drawings, 1 map | 234x156mm
978-0-19-512435-4 | Hardback | 07 January 1999
Price: £54.00

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which are printed to order are normally despatched and charged within
5-10 days.

Translated and edited by Patrick Olivelle, Professor of Sanskrit and
Indian Religions; Director of Center for Asian Studies, University of
Texas, Austin

This is the full edition of the early Upanisads, the central
scriptures of Hinduism. Featuring Patrick Olivelle's acclaimed new
English translation (Oxford, 1996), it also includes the complete
Sanskrit text, as well as variant readings, scholarly emendations, and
explanations of Olivelle's choices of particular readings. The volume
also contains a concordance of the two recensions of the Brhadaranyaka
Upanisad, and an extensive bibliography.

Readership: Students and scholars of Indian religion, philosophy, and
culture.

Manu's Code of Law
A Critical Edition and Translation of the Manava-Dharmasastra
Edited and Translated by Patrick Olivelle
OUP USA South Asia Research
978-0-19-517146-4 | Hardback | 02 December 2004
Price: £74.00

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which are printed to order are normally despatched and charged within
5-10 days.

Edited and Translated by Patrick Olivelle, Alma Cowden Madden
Centennial Professor in Liberal Arts, Professor of Sanskrit and Indian
Religions, University of Texas at Austin

Manu's Code of Law is one of the most important texts in the Sanskrit
canon, indeed one of the most important surviving texts from any
classical civilization. It paints an astoundingly detailed picture of
ancient Indian life-covering everything from the constitution of the
king's cabinet to the price of a ferry trip for a pregnant woman-and
its doctrines have been central to Indian thought and practice for
2000 years. Despite its importance, however, until now no one has
produced a critical edition of this text. As a result, for centuries
scholars have been forced to accept clearly inferior editions of
Sanskrit texts and to use those unreliable editions as the basis for
constructing the history of classical India. In this volume, Patrick
Olivelle has assembled the critical text of Manu, including a critical
apparatus containing all the significant manuscript variants, along
with a reliable and readable translation, copious explanatory notes,
and a comprehensive introduction on the structure, content, and socio-
political context of the treatise. The result is an outstanding
scholarly achievement that will be an essential tool for any serious
student of India.

"This work is an extraordinary accomplishment." - Mikael Aktor, The
Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 65, No. 4

Readership: Students and scholars of HInduism and Indian History

The Hinduism Omnibus
Professor T.N. Madan, Professor Madeleine Biardeau, Dr Nirad C.
Chaudhuri, and Professor J.L. Brockington
OUP India
948 pages | 215x140mm
978-0-19-566411-9 | Hardback | 03 April 2003
Price: £25.00

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other branches are despatched and charged as soon as we receive them,
which is normally within 6 weeks.

Professor T.N. Madan, Honorary Professor, Institute of Economic
Growth, India, Professor Madeleine Biardeau, Professor of Indian
Religions, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, France, Dr Nirad C.
Chaudhuri, Fellow of the Royal Literary Society, UK, and Professor
J.L. Brockington, Professor of Sanskrit, University of Edinburgh, UK

This Omnibus edition brings together four classic works on Hinduism
by renowned scholars, providing the liturgical, historical,
anthropological, and individualist's interpretation of the religion.
With an introduction by T.N. Madan, this volume will make an excellent
and very comprehensive collector's item on the subject of Hinduism.

Readership: Scholars and students of Hinduism/Sanskrit, religious
studies and comparative religion,

Hindu Nationalism and Governance
John Mcguire
Edited by Ian. Copland
OUP India
488 pages | 215x140mm
978-0-19-569887-9 | Paperback | 02 October 2008
Price: £11.99

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other branches are despatched and charged as soon as we receive them,
which is normally within 6 weeks.

John Mcguire, Professor South Asia Resea arch, Division of Humanities,
Curtin University, Australia

Ian. Copland, Professor of History, Monash University, Australia

Contributors:

. John McGuire, Adjunct Professor, South Asia Research Unit, Division
of Humanities, Curtin University, Australia;

Ian Copland, Professor of History, School of History, Monash
University, Australia;

Michael Gillan, Lecturer, Faculty of Economics and Commerce,
University of Western Australia;

Marika Vicziany, Director, Monash Asia Institute; Director, National
Centre for South Asian Studies and Chair Monash India Task Force,
Monash University, Australia;

Jim Masselos, Honorary Reader in History, School of Philosophical and
Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney, Australia;

Salim Lakha, Senior Lecturer, Development Studies Program, School of
Philosophy, Anthropology and Social Inquiry, University of Melbourne,
Australia;;

Peter Mayer, Associate Professor of Politics, University of Adelaide,
Australia;

Prabhat Patnaik, Professor of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University,
New delhi, India;

Douglas Hill, Lecturer in Development Studies, Department of
Geography, University of Otago, New Zealand;

Greg Bailey, Reader in Sanskrit, Program of Asian Studies, Latrobe
University, Australia;

Mushirul Hasan, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi,
India;

Julie Marsh, Research Associate, School of Humanities, University of
New England, Australia;

Howard Brasted, Professor of History, School of Humanities, and
Director of UNE Asia Centre, University of New England, Australia;

Edwina Mason, private research scholar who has worked on the Women's
Movement in India;

Brian Shoesmith, Director and Professor of Media Studies and
Journalism, University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh and Adjunct
Professor, Edith Cowan University, Australia;;

Noorel Mecklai, former Research scholar at Edith Cowan University,
Australia;

Robin Jeffrey, Dean of the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific and
Director of the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies,
Australian National University, Canberra;

Rita Manchanda is with the South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR);

Achin Vanaik, TNI Fellow and Professor of International Relations and
Global Politics, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi,
India;

Navnita Chadha Behera, Associate Professor, Department of Political
Science, University of Delhi, India;

Adeel Khan, Lecturer, School of Health, University of New England,
Australia; Denis Wright, Honorary Adjunct Fellow, School of
Humanities, University of New England, Australia.

Unique book-length analysis of the BJP's performance in government.

Engages with the core ideas of Hindutva and politics

Stellar list of contributors from across disciplines.

The volume assembles the writings of some of the best-known analysts
in the study of Indian politics and especially Hindu nationalist
politics. It focuses on governance under the BJP in India across
sectors including its political alliances, performance in elections,
economic reforms and privatization, food security, ideology,
revisionist histories, religion, nationalism and the media. In short,
this volume constitutes a very comprehensive coverage of the various
important issues that have engaged the BJP in India. This volume
appearing in the Themes in Politics series will serve to renew focus
on the core ideas of Hindutva and politics and how these come to be
articulated across institutions and policies. With a high profile
contributor's list this volume will be useful to students and
researchers in politics, sociology and history as well as activists in
organizations, policy makers, journalists and an informed lay
audience.

List of Tables and Maps;

List of Abbreviations; Acknowledgements;

1, Introduction;
2, Assessing the 'National' Expansion of Hindu Nationalism: The BJP in
Southern and Eastern India;
3, The BJP and the Shiv Sena: A Rocky Marriage?;
4, Routines and Routinization: Moving towards Municipal Elections in
Mumbai, 2001-2;
5, From Swadeshi to Globalization: The Bharatiya Janata Party's
Shifting Economic Agenda;
6, The Hindu Rate of Reform: Privatization Under the BJP-Still Waiting
for that Bada Kadam;
7, Swayed by the 'Humbug of Finance': Economic Policy under the BJP-
Led Government;
8, Food Security, Governance and Rural Development under the BJP;
9, The Work of the Indo-American Historians and the Rewriting of
Indian history;
10, The BJP's Intellectual Agenda: Textbooks and Imagined history;
11, Crucibles of Hindutva? V.D. Savarkar, the Hindu Mahasabha, and the
Indian Princely States;
12, Fire, the BJP and Moral Society;
13, The Water Controversy and the Politics of Hindu Nationalism;
14, Religion as 'Commodity Images': Securing a Hindu Rashtra;
15, Grand Canyon, Shaky Bridge: Media Revolution and the Rise of
'Hindu' Politics;
16, Militarized Hindu Nationalism and the Mass Media: Shaping a
Hindutva Public Discourse;
17, Making India Strong: The BJP-Led Government's Foreign Policy
Perspectives;
18, Kashmir: A Testing Ground;
19, Pakistan, the BJP, and the Politics of Identity;
20, Bangladesh and the BJP; Bibliography; Notes on Contributors.

Readership: Students and scholars of. M Phil and PG level courses in
Indian Politics.

Political Hinduism
The Religious Imagination in Public Spheres
Vinay Lal
OUP India
296 pages | halftones | 215x140mm
978-0-19-806418-3 | Hardback | 17 September 2009
Price: £25.00

This item will be ordered from another OUP branch. Items ordered from
other branches are despatched and charged as soon as we receive them,
which is normally within 6 weeks.

Vinay Lal, Dr, University of California, Los Angeles

Contributors:

Madhav M. Deshpande, Professor (Sanskrit and Linguistics), University
of Michigan, Ann Arbor;

Roby Rajan, Professor, School of Business, University of Wisconsin,
Parkside (USA);

J. Reghu, Assistant Editor, State Institute of Encyclopedic
Publications, Trivandrum, Kerala; Julius J. Lipner, Professor
(Hinduism and the Comparative Study of Religion), Faculty of Divinity,
University of Cambridge;

Joanne Punzo Waghorne, Professor (Religion), Syracuse University;
Jyotirmaya Sharma, Professor (Political Science), University of
Hyderabad;;

Ajay Skaria, Associate Professor (History and Global Studies),
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis;

Paula Richman, William H. Danforth Professor (South Asian Religions),
Oberlin College, Ohio; Ronald Inden, Professor Emeritus, Departments
of History and South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of
Chicago

Essays by leading anthropologists, historians, linguists, and others

Discusses contributions of leading thinkers: Mahatma Gandhi, Narayana
Guru, Rajagopalachari, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and others

Addresses issues of tremendous topical relevance

Fits in existing clutch of books on Hinduism

This volume opens up new and productive lines of inquiry, gesturing at
forms of public religiosity that are not bound to the fanaticisms with
which religions today are increasingly associated. It includes essays
by leading scholars in the fields of anthropology, history,
linguistics, politics, and religion such as Madhav M. Deshpande, Roby
Rajan, J. Reghu, Julius J. Lipner, Joanne Punzo Waghorne, Jyotirmaya
Sharma, Ajay Skaria, Paula Richman, and Ronald Inden. They explore the
relationship of Hinduism to literature and cinema, and revisit
familiar figures to arrive at fresh and even radically new readings.
The volume thus addresses issues of tremendous topical relevance: the
transmission of Hinduism to the United States, Gandhiji's religious
politics and secularism, analysis of 'Vande Mataram' and its immensely
rich history, C. Rajagopalachari's multiple tellings of the Ramkatha,
popular patriotism in Hindi cinema, and much more.

With an insightful Introduction by Vinay Lal, this book will be
invaluable to students and teachers of politics, sociology, history,
and media and cultural studies, as well as general readers interested
in learning more about the negotiations between religion and politics
in India.

Readership: Students and teachers of politics, sociology, history, and
media and cultural studies, as well as general readers

Dhammapada
Edited and translated by John Ross Carter and Mahinda Palihawadana
Oxford Paperbacks Oxford World's Classics
112 pages | 196x129mm
978-0-19-283613-7 | Paperback | 07 September 2000

Edited and translated by John Ross Carter, Department of Philosophy
and Religion, Colgate University, New York, and Mahinda Palihawadana,
Professor of Sanskrit Emeritus, Sri Jayawardhanapura

The Dhammapada, the Pali version of one of the most popular texts of
the Buddhist canon, ranks among the classics of the world's great
religious literature.

Like all religious texts in Pali, the Dhammapada belongs to the
Therevâda school of the Buddhist tradition, adherents of which are now
found primarily in Kampuchea, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
Dhammapada, or 'sayings of the dhamma', is taken to be a collection of
the utterances of the Buddha himself. Taken together, the verses form
a key body of teaching within Buddhism, a guiding voice along the
struggle-laden path towards true enlightenment, or Nirvana. However,
the appeal of these epithets of wisdom extends beyond its religious
heritage to a general and universal spirituality.

This edition provides an introduction and notes which examine the
impact that the text has had within the Buddhist heritage through the
centuries.

Readership: An invaluable edition for all students, scholars and
teachers and enthusiasts of religious studies, theology, philosophy.

Reissue
Pañcatantra
The Book of India's Folk Wisdom
Translated and edited by Patrick Olivelle
Oxford Paperbacks Oxford World's Classics
256 pages | 196x129mm
978-0-19-955575-8 | Paperback | 27 August 2009

Translated and edited by Patrick Olivelle, Chair, Department of Asian
Studies; Director, Center for Asian Studies; Professor of Sanskrit and
Indian Religions, University of Texas at Austin

* The only translation based on the original version

The Pancatantra is the most famous collection of fables in India and
was one of the earliest Indian books to be translated into Western
languages. No other Indian work has had a greater influence on world
literature, and no other collection of stories has become as popular
in India itself. A significant influence on the Arabian Nights and the
Fables of La Fontaine, the Pancatantra teaches the principles of good
government and public policy through the medium of animal stories. Its
positive attitude towards life and its advocacy of ambition,
enterprise, and drive counters any preconception of passivity and
other-worldliness in ancient Indian society.

Patrick Olivelle presents the Pancatantra in all its complexity and
rich ambivalence, examining central elements of political and moral
philosophy alongside the many controversial issues surrounding its
history, including its numerous versions and translations, and the
reconstruction of the original text by Franklin Edgerton. This new
translation vividly reveals the story-telling powers of the original
author, while detailed notes illuminate aspects of ancient Indian
society and religion to the non-specialist reader.

Readership: Courses on folklore; World/Asian literature; Cultural
Studies; Courses on Indian culture and society; the general reader.

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...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-02-09 22:15:55 UTC
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Combined Methods in Indology and Other Writings
Chattopadhyaya, B.D
OUP India
880 pages
978-0-19-567730-0 | Paperback | 24 November 2005
Price: £16.99

This item will be ordered from another OUP branch. Items ordered from
other branches are despatched and charged as soon as we receive them,
which is normally within 6 weeks.

'This book [is] a collection of hard-to-find articles...' -- The Hindu

'...rare published essays...reveal the enormous wide breadth of
scholarship...also attains additional merit for...Chattopadhyaya's
excellent introduction.' -- The Statesman

'The editor has marshalled...important and inaccessible essays,
reviews and opinion pieces in this volume...all of which convey the
enduring legacy of his originality and learning.' -- CIAA Newsletter

The first to use interdisciplinary method in historical investigation,
D D Kosambi introduced many new perspectives and methods in
indological studies. This book puts together, for the first time, the
many essays, notes, and reviews spanning an illustrious, often
pioneering career of almost thirty years.

Put together by an eminent historian, this volume exemplified the
versality and breadth of Kosambi's work and includes a new essays on
linguistic hypotheses.

Introduction
Section 1: Concerning Method
Section II: Themes in History
Section III: Archaeology, Epigraphy, Numismatics and Ethnography
Section IV: Texts, Words and Literary Criticism
Section V: Reviews and Rejoinders

Readership: Indologists, historians, Sanskritists, and social
scientists besides teachers and students of history, sociology, and
anthropology.

The Oxford India Kosambi
Combined Methods in Indology and Other writings
Second Edition
Kosambi
Edited by Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya
OUP India
920 pages | 32 black and white illustrations | 215x140mm
978-0-19-806018-5 | Hardback | 26 February 2009
Price: £33.99

Kosambi, Banaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, and
Fergusson College

Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New
Delhi

D.D. Kosambi is an acknowledged pioneer in Indological studies

Both author and editor are reputed scholars

The Oxford India Collection is a series which brings together writings
of enduring value published by OUP.This book examines rare and
scattered essays, notes and reviews of D.D. Kosambi. He introduced
pioneering perspectives and methods in Indological studies, written
and published over almost thirty years. These writings cover an
enormous range: text-edition and philology, religion, historical
reconstruction, archaeology and anthropology, considerations of
method, and so on. Together they reflect an integrated framework
which, in Kosambi's own characterization, was Marxist. Many of
Kosambi's seminal ideas were worked out in great depth in these
scholarly articles; published in different journals, in India and
abroad, they have long remained outside the reach even of experts. By
attempting to be a comprehensive anthology, the collection will for
the first time enable readers to sample the versatility of Kosambi's
work..

The introduction by B.D. Chattopadhyaya explores the genesis, range,
and significance of Kosambi's writings.

D.D. Kosambi is an acknowledged pioneer in Indological studies

Both author and editor are reputed scholars

The Oxford India Collection is a series which brings together writings
of enduring value published by OUP.This book examines rare and
scattered essays, notes and reviews of D.D. Kosambi. He introduced
pioneering perspectives and methods in Indological studies, written
and published over almost thirty years. These writings cover an
enormous range: text-edition and philology, religion, historical
reconstruction, archaeology and anthropology, considerations of
method, and so on. Together they reflect an integrated framework
which, in Kosambi's own characterization, was Marxist. Many of
Kosambi's seminal ideas were worked out in great depth in these
scholarly articles; published in different journals, in India and
abroad, they have long remained outside the reach even of experts. By
attempting to be a comprehensive anthology, the collection will for
the first time enable readers to sample the versatility of Kosambi's
work..

The introduction by B.D. Chattopadhyaya explores the genesis, range,
and significance of Kosambi's writings.

Kosambi, Banaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, and
Fergusson College

Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New
Delhi

Editorial Preface and Acknowledgements;

New Introduction;

Introduction;

Chapter 1. Combined Methods in Indology;

Chapter 2. Living Prehistory in India;

Chapter 3. On a Marxist Approach to Indian Chronology;

Chapter 4. Stages of Indian History;

Chapter 5. The Vedic 'Five Tribes';

Chapter 6. Early Brahmins and Brahminism;

Chapter 7. On the Origin of Brahmin Gotras;

Chapter 8. Development of the Gotra System;

Chapter 9. Brahmin Clans;

Chapter 10. Early Stages of the Caste System in Northern India;

Chapter 11. The Beginning of the Iron Age in India; Chapter

12. Ancient Kosala and Magadha;

Chapter 13. The Line of Arthasastra Teachers;

Chapter 14. Kaniska and the Sake Era;

Chapter 15. The Working Class in the Amarakosa;

Chapter 16. Origins of Feudalism in Kashmir;
Chapter 17. The Basis of Ancient Indian History (I);

Chapter 18. The Basis of Ancient Indian History (II);

Chapter 19. The Autochthonous Element in the Mahabharata;

Chapter 20. The Avatara Syncretism and Possible Sources of the Bhagvad-
Gita;

Chapter 21. The Historical Krishna;

Chapter 22. The Study of Ancient Indian Tradition;

Chapter 23. Pierced Microliths from the Deccan Plateau;

Chapter 24. Megaliths in the Poona District;

Chapter 25. Prehistoric Rock Engravings Near Poona;

Chapter 26. Staple 'Grains' in the Western Deccan;

Chapter 27. Dhenukakata;

Chapter 28. The Buddhist Caves of Western India;

Chapter 29. Notes on the Kandahar Edict of Asoka;

Chapter 30. Indian Feudal Trade Charters;

Chapter 31. An Inscription at Palasdev of Saka 1079;

Chapter 32. Asokan Pillar: Banaras Mystery;

Chapter 33. Scientific Numismatics;

Chapter 34. 'Indo-Aryan' Nose Index;

Chapter 35. On the Authorship of Satakatrayi;

Chapter 36. Some Extant Versions of Bhartrhari's Satakas;

Chapter 37. The Parvasamgraha of the Mahabharata;

Chapter 38. Parvasamgraha Figures for the Bhismaparvan of the
Mahabharata;

Chapter 39. The Sanskrit Equivalents of Two Pali Words;

Chapter 40. The Text of the Arthasastra;

Chapter 41. The Cintamanisaranika of Dasabala;

Chapter 42. The Quality of Renunciation in Bhartrhari's Poetry;

Chapter 43. Introducing Vidyakara's Subhasitaratnakosa;

Chapter 44. The Emergence of National Characteristics Among Three Indo-
European Peoples;

Chapter 45. Race and Immunity in India;

Chapter 46. Caste and Class in India;

Chapter 47. Geldner's Rgveda;

Chapter 48. Marxism and Ancient Indian Culture;

Chapter 49. What Constitutes Indian History;

Chapter 50. The Basis of Despotism;

Chapter 51. On the Development of Feudalism in India;

Chapter 52. Primitive Communism;

Chapter 53. On Valid Tests of Linguistic Hypotheses;

Chapter 54. At the Crossroads: A Study of Mother-Goddess Cult Sites;

Archaeological Review

1; Archaeological Review
2; Bio-note

Readership: This book will interest indologists, historians,
sanskritists, and social scientists besides teachers and students of
Indian history, sociology, and anthropology.

http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/p2p/endecaSearch.do?normalSearch=true&keyword=Indology

...and I am Sid Harth
bademiyansubhanallah
2010-02-09 22:22:55 UTC
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The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture
The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate
Edwin Bryant
OUP USA
400 pages | 11 maps, 1 halftone & 4 line illus | 229x152mm
978-0-19-516947-8 | Paperback | 18 December 2003
Price: £18.00

This item is printed to order and supplied on a firm sale basis. Items
which are printed to order are normally despatched and charged within
5-10 days.

Edwin Bryant, Lecturer on Indology for the Committee for the Study of
Religion, Harvard University

Western scholars have argued that Indian civilization was the joint
product of an invading Indo-European people--the "Indo-Aryans"--and
indigenous non-Indo European peoples. Although Indian scholars reject
this European reconstruction of their country's history, Western
scholarship gives little heed to their argument. In this book, Edwin
Bryant explores the nature and origins of this fascinating debate.

""A balanced description and evaluation of the two century old debate
dealing with the origins of the Indo-Aryan speaking peoples of South
Asia. [Bryant] presents both sides of the issue, that is the
traditional western, linguistic, and philological consensus of
immigration from Central Asia, and the more recent Indian position
that denies any immigration and that asserts an indigenous South Asian
origin. He probes for loopholes on both sides of the argument and
presents the multi-faceted evidence from linguistics, archaeology,
texts, etc. in an even-handed manner. As such, the book not only is an
important and very welcome introduction into recent Indian historical
thought but also a valuable heuristic tool in re-evaluating many of
the unspoken or un-reflected presuppositions on both sides."--Michael
Witzel, Harvard University"

""The problem of Indo-Aryan origins has vexed scholars in both India
and the West for well over a century and has touched every nerve of
both academic and political discourse, so much so that many in the
West have automatically dismissed any arguments to come 'out of
India'[this book] investigates how these two worlds of scholarship
came into being and systematically exposes the logical weaknesses of
most of the arguments that support the consensus f either side. This
is not only an important work in the field of Indo-Aryan studies but a
long overdue challenge for scholarly fair play."--J.P. Mallory,
Queen's University of Belfast"

Readership: Scholars and studets of South Asian language, religion,
and culture.

Siva in Trouble
Festivals and Rituals at the Pasupatinatha Temple of Deopatan
Axel Michaels
OUP USA South Asia Research
272 pages | 235x156mm
978-0-19-534302-1 | Hardback | 10 April 2008
Price: £57.00

This item is printed to order and supplied on a firm sale basis.
Items which are printed to order are normally despatched and charged
within 5-10 days.

Axel Michaels, Professor of Classical Indology, University of
Heidelberg

First comprehensive study on the principal Hindu temple in the world's
last Hindu kingdom

Ethno-indological approach, i.e. combination of text studies with
field work
In-depth study of the Hindu festival calendar

The town of Deopatan, three kilometers northeast of Kathmandu, is
above all famous for its main sanctum, the temple of Pa'supati, the
'lord of the animals,' a form of 'Siva and the tutelary deity of the
kings of Nepal since ancient times. By its name alone, the temple
attracts thousands of pilgrims each year and has made itself known far
beyond the Kathamndu Valley. However, for the dominant Newar
population the town is by no means merely the seat of 'Siva or
Pa'supati. It is also a city of wild goddesses and other deities.

Due to this tension between two strands of Hinduism - the pure,
vegetarian Smarta Hinduism and the Newar Hinduism which implies
alcohol and blood sacrifices - 'Siva/Pa'supati has more than once been
in trouble, as the many festivals and rituals descripbed and analyzed
in this book reveal. Deopatan is a contested field. Different deities,
agents social groups, ritual specialists, and institutions are
constantly seeking dominance, challenging and even fighting each
other, thus contributing to social and political dynamics and tensions
that are indeed distinct in South Asia. It is these aspects on which
Axel Michaels concentrates in this book.

1: The Pasupatinatha Temple Area
2: The Procession of Lamentation (Duducyacyajatra)
3: The Worship for the Salvation of the Country (Desoddharapuja)
4: The Festival of the Goddess Pigaamai
5: The Festival of the Goddess Vatsala
6: The Procession with the Trident (Trisljatra)
7: The Goddess of the Secret and her Procession (Guhyesvarijatra)
8: Bala's Fourteenth (Balacaturdasi)
9: Siva under Refuse and Goblin's Fourteenth (Lukumahadya?,
Pisacacaturdasi)
10: The Great Night of Siva (MahaSivaratri)
11: Pasupatinatha as a Place of Pilgrimage (Tirthayatras)
12: Deopatan Revisited

Readership: Students and scholars of Hinduism

http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/p2p/endecaSearch.do?normalSearch=true&keyword=Indology

...and I am Sid Harth

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