Alla.h-Upani.sad

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at UCL.AC.UK
Wed Nov 29 15:14:30 EST 2006


> Having never seen this text before, may I incautiously (I suppose) write 
> to suggest that it looks to me to resemble a dhikr text used by Sufis, 
> or imitating such a text, because of the repetition of certain 
> terms/names found in the kalima, and also by virtue alone of sheer 
> repetition. Is that possible?
>
> Best wishes,
> Joanna Kirkpatrick


This is a good suggestions, but bear in mind there is a large literature 
of repetitive mantras of this type in the mantrasastra literature.  81 
century texts like the Mantramaharnava and Mantramahodadhi (different) 
from Benares are big compendia of similar incantations (of course without 
the allaa/ilala etc.).  The rasasastra literature too: I'm thinking of 
sections of Nityanatha's Rasaratnakara and much of pseudo-Nagarjuna's 
Kaksaputatantra that have huge chunks of this kind of material.  And 
Buddhist literature has it's share of this type of japa-like mantra too.

I remember being told once, by a Syrian Christian friend, that group 
chanting of such mantra-like incantations was done in by Syrian sufis.

There's a case here, for sure, for the kind of inter-cultural study that 
Whitney outlines so well, looking synthetically at a phenomenon that 
occurs across faiths and culture groups, changing but not wholly.

D



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