MithilAyAM tu daghdhAyAm

Fitzgerald, James James_Fitzgerald at BROWN.EDU
Fri Mar 6 06:42:06 EST 2009

In addition to the two MBh references already noted, a variant with susukhaM bata jIvAmi (similar Stefan's UdAnavarga citation) for anantaM bata me vittam occurs at 12.268.4. I discuss the way the figure of Janaka is cast and used in a run of texts occurring at the end of the MokSadharmaparvan in the introduction to my translation of the SulabhAJanakasaMvAda in the Journal of Indian Philosophy 30.6 (December, 2002): 641-77. Janaka is frequently portrayed here as the paradigmatic karmayogin king, "in the world, but not of the world," and this extravagant verse is put in his mouth as an emblem of his detachment. Sulabha is depicted as giving the lie to his claims.

James L. Fitzgerald
Dept. of Classics
Brown University
James_Fitzgerald at

(I posted the above message yesterday afternoon, but it did not go through for technical reasons. Since I don't believe anyone has yet pointed out the third MBh reference, I repost it now. Jim)

-----Original Message-----
From: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at] On Behalf Of Stefan Baums
Sent: Thursday, March 05, 2009 4:45 PM
Subject: Re: MithilAyAM tu daghdhAyAm

In addition to the MBh and Uttarajjhāyā references provided by Professors Aklujkar and Tieken, the half‐verse in question occurs in Udānavarga 30.44:

   susukham bata jīvāmo   yeṣāṃ no nāsti kiñcanaṃ
   mithilāyāṃ dahyamānāyāṃ   na no dahyati kiñcanaṃ

and in Mahāvastu III 453.1–2:

   mithilāyāṃ dahyamānāyāṃ   nāsya dahyati kiṃcana
   caturthaṃ khu bhadram adhanasya   anāgārasya bhikṣuṇo

I happen to have a scan of the Roth article which I will send to Allen in separate email.

I wonder why Mithilā figures in this proverbial expression.

All best,

Stefan Baums
Asian Languages and Literature
University of Washington

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