[INDOLOGY] Eating flesh of a jogi, a magician, a healer

rajam rajam at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 25 23:21:23 EDT 2016


///Rather, the purpose is to inoculate the killer against the spirit of the dead person by creating a link of identity between the two, /// 

Hmmm … this certainly is a new speculation as far as I am concerned! For me, “inoculation” is something medicinal and physical, not ritual and literary. I’d like to learn more about it. Please educate me.


///the idea being that the dead spirit would not try to harm itself.///

This statement is even more confusing. 'Dead spirit harming itself?' What does that mean? You should educate me.

++++++++++

There are quite a few references to “cannibalism” in Old Tamil (Sangam literature, Cilappatikaram, Manimekalai), Kalingathupparani, and a later hagiographic Tamil literature (Periyapuranam) perhaps depicting the later-developed kāpālika (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapalika <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapalika>) tradition. 

However, none of the Tamil references point to “acquiring” the other party’s (== the consumed ones’) flesh or life. And, the consumed ones were not always a king’s enemies.

I wish scholars would abstain from making sweeping statements about a foreign culture/literature. 

Thanks and regards,
rajam 


> On Apr 25, 2016, at 12:46 PM, George Hart <glhart at berkeley.edu> wrote:
> 
> This may be true in some instances of cannibalism, but I don’t think it applies when someone eats the flesh of an enemy he has killed. Rather, the purpose is to inoculate the killer against the spirit of the dead person by creating a link of identity between the two, the idea being that the dead spirit would not try to harm itself. Why would you need the strength of someone you are already strong enough to kill? If that were the purpose of consuming your enemy, you might acquire the weakness he has shown by being defeated and lose the strength you already had that allowed you to prevail. In the Sangam poems, we find the ritual of the war sacrifice, in which body parts of dead enemies are ceremonially cooked (boiled), though there is no evidence that the resultant “food” was actually eaten. And in the Kaliṅkattupparaṇi, there are long descriptions of ghosts and macabre deities feasting on the war dead. George
> 
>> On Apr 25, 2016, at 11:54 AM, Nagaraj Paturi <nagarajpaturi at gmail.com <mailto:nagarajpaturi at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> 
>> “The meaning of cannibalism is that , by consuming your enemy , you inherit his powers. In “The Story of the Grandmother” , a folk version of “Little Red Riding Hood” the girl eats his grandmother’s flesh and drinks her blood, which has an ambiguous purpose; she is accused of cannibalism, but a deeper implication is that she acquires the wisdom of the progenitrix which helps her trick the wolf/werewolf. This notion of ingesting the older often took the form of ritual meals. To eat a symbolical figure signified receiving magical power.”
>> 
>> ----- Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from around the World
>> By Donald Haase Ph.D., Anne E. Duggan Ph.D., pp 364-365
>> 
>> 
>> On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 11:51 PM, Nagaraj Paturi <nagarajpaturi at gmail.com <mailto:nagarajpaturi at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> Prof. Karp,
>> 
>> You must be aware of these words from the Bible. “You Must Eat My Flesh” I found a discussion here:
>> http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-jesus-meant-when-he-said-you-must-eat-my-flesh <http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-jesus-meant-when-he-said-you-must-eat-my-flesh>
>> 
>> There are huge number of pages discussing these biblical words.
>> 
>> What struck me is, Jesus the Guru figure asks to eat his flesh and drink his blood.
>> 
>> There seems to be some esoteric or mystic similarity between the two expressions.
>> 
>> Regards,
>> 
>> -N 
>> 
>> On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 11:33 PM, Dean Michael Anderson via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>> wrote:
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>> 
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: Dean Michael Anderson <eastwestcultural at yahoo.com <mailto:eastwestcultural at yahoo.com>>
>> To: Artur Karp <karp at uw.edu.pl <mailto:karp at uw.edu.pl>>
>> Cc: Dipak Bhattacharya <dipak.d2004 at gmail.com <mailto:dipak.d2004 at gmail.com>>, indology <indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
>> Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2016 18:02:02 +0000 (UTC)
>> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Eating flesh of a jogi, a magician, a healer
>> The principle is basically the same - there is a special power in the remains of those considered to be spiritually advanced. Compare European saintly relics.
>> 
>> Grisly, indeed.
>> 
>> Dean
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> From: Artur Karp <karp at uw.edu.pl <mailto:karp at uw.edu.pl>>
>> To: Dean Michael Anderson <eastwestcultural at yahoo.com <mailto:eastwestcultural at yahoo.com>> 
>> Cc: Dipak Bhattacharya <dipak.d2004 at gmail.com <mailto:dipak.d2004 at gmail.com>>; indology <indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
>> Sent: Monday, April 25, 2016 10:39 PM
>> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Eating flesh of a jogi, a magician, a healer
>> 
>> In Śahr Safidon ki Kahani it is the guru (Dhanthar Baid, Mbh.'s Dhanvantari) who orders his disciples to cut and and eat his body - so that his healing powers would not be lost.
>> 
>> Best, also - 
>> 
>> Artur
>> 
>> 2016-04-25 18:35 GMT+02:00 Dean Michael Anderson <eastwestcultural at yahoo.com <mailto:eastwestcultural at yahoo.com>>:
>> The place to look would be the texts and tales of "left-handed" tantra. I'm not familiar with the older texts but I do know that in places with famous burning grounds like Varanasi and Kathmandu the families guard the bodies to prevent tantriks from eating the flesh of the deceased. I have read about this in modern stories, and talked to people who have seen it. It is certainly very much still alive in the minds of modern Indians and Nepalis.
>> 
>> Best,
>> 
>> Dean Anderson
>> 
>> 
>> On Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 8:35 PM, Artur Karp <karp at uw.edu.pl <mailto:karp at uw.edu.pl>> wrote:
>> In "Śahr Safidon ki kahani" (published by Richard Temple, The Legends of the Panjab , Vol. I (No XVI,​ Princess Niwal Daî, As su​ng ​by t​wo s​ca​ve​ngers ​f​rom Bi​biyâl ​Village ​near A​mbâlâ),​ Bombay 1884 [Reprints: 1962, 1977] -
>> 
>> his disciples eat flesh of their Guru, Dhanthar Baid - in order to gain his powers  Is this motif found somewhere else in Indian narratives?
>> 
>> Thanks in advance, 
>> 
>> Artur Karp
>> 
>> Warsaw
>> Poland
>> 
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>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> Nagaraj Paturi
>>  
>> Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.
>>  
>> Former Senior Professor of Cultural Studies
>>  
>> FLAME School of Communication and FLAME School of  Liberal Education,
>>  
>> (Pune, Maharashtra, INDIA )
>>  
>>  
>>  
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> Nagaraj Paturi
>>  
>> Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA.
>>  
>> Former Senior Professor of Cultural Studies
>>  
>> FLAME School of Communication and FLAME School of  Liberal Education,
>>  
>> (Pune, Maharashtra, INDIA )
>>  
>>  
>>  
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