Datura in Saiva iconography
mmdesh at umich.edu
Fri Sep 29 17:45:14 EDT 1995
At least going by the Marathi usage, Datura, which is probably the same
as Marathi Dhotraa, Skt. Dhattuura, is quite different from Mogara.
Dhotraa is a very large flower, each petal the length of a human finger.
Secondly, it has no fragrance. Mogara is obviously fragrant. The
Mogara, at least in its fragrance and shape is similar to another flower
called Jaai (Skt. Jaati) as well as a flower called Jui (Skt. Dyuti?).
It is interesting to note that the word Jaati (Marathi: Jaai) appears in
the lists of flowers and leaves to be offered at the special worship of
Ganesha and Gauri. These lists, which I have at home, but not with me at
the moment, also include Dhattuura, but I don't remember anything
sounding like Mogara, unless it appears there under an unrelated Sanskrit
On Fri, 29 Sep 1995, Michael Rabe wrote:
> The recent thread about jasmine/mallikkaa prompts me to inquire whether
> there are textual references that can confirm the claim that the datura
> flower sometimes appears in the hair of Cola period nataraja bronzes. The
> query is further prompted by doubts that the identity of the flower that
> Siva extends towards his consort in an Orissan "Umaa-Mahesvara" panel in
> the British Museum. It's published in Zimmer's Myths and Symbols of Indian
> Art and Civilization, fig. 34, and more recently in Blurton's Hindu
> Art--the former calling it a linga(!, p. 138) and the latter a lotus.
> Neither identification seems to conform to the petal-crowned stalk-like
> object's actual appearance--hence the curiosity about whether it too might
> be the datura. But if so, why is it being proffered--
> "mazaa keliye bus?"
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