[INDOLOGY] Re : Re: crossing oceans?

Robert Goldman rpg at berkeley.edu
Thu Oct 13 18:19:03 EDT 2016


I believe that Clementin is no doubt correct in seeing the issue as connected with taboos on diet (and alsomingling with outsiders and their custom). Perhaps it originates with the old notions such as that of Manusmṛti 2.22 etc. of the Āryavarta bounded east and west by the oceans as the  (only) suitable homeland for the “Aryas.” Then too one sees in the 19th century such issues as Indian troops in the company army, many of whom were brahmans, being aggrieved at being made to fight in Burma. But this issue  also affected non-brahman higher caste groups  as we see from Gandhi’s account of the concern of his caste fellows about his voyage to England and the “śuddhi” he had to undergo on his return.
Dr. R. P.  Goldman
Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor in South and Southeast Asian Studies
Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies MC # 2540
The University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
Tel: 510-642-4089
Fax: 510-642-2409

> On Oct 13, 2016, at 10:10 AM, Clementin Catherine <catherine.clementin-ojha at ehess.fr> wrote:
> 
> Dear Dr Wujastyk, 
> The taboo on crossing the ocean was essentially a 19th century social issue, but it does not mean it was not found earlier. The main problem was not so much the crossing per se but the fact that on board one could not follow food regulations. By crossing the sea therefore, one ran the risk of losing one's caste. But again this was an  issue only for those who came back to India, not for those who stayed abroad and outside Hindu society.
> I have attempted to synthetize the main aspects of the question of sea travel for the Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism (Catherine Clémentin-Ojha, “Travel Regulations”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 13 October 2016 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-5019_beh_COM_9000000028 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-5019_beh_COM_9000000028>> First published online: 2012). I can also send a pdf of the same.
> As for the ocean itself, we might also recall that according to ancient Indian cosmology the "Indian space" is entirely surrounded by sea.
> Best wishes,
> Catherine Clémentin-Ojha, Paris
> 
> 
> ----- Mail d'origine -----
> De: alakendu das <mailmealakendudas at rediffmail.com <mailto:mailmealakendudas at rediffmail.com>>
> À: wujastyk at gmail.com <mailto:wujastyk at gmail.com>
> Cc: indology at list.indology.info <mailto:indology at list.indology.info>
> Envoyé: Thu, 13 Oct 2016 18:17:53 +0200 (CEST)
> Objet: Re: [INDOLOGY] crossing oceans?
> 
> 
> 
> Dr.Wujastyk,
> 
> Yes, 'Ocean' has often been used in Ancient Indian texts. The probable reason may be to relate the vastness of our life ,with its myriad of complexities. to the vastness of an ocean. This perhaps is relevant, since the ultimate aim of our life,according to our ancient Indian philosophy ,is to attain enlightenment in life,and thereby bypass all mundane problems ,by way of Realisation of our Self ( i.e.Atmana) .
> 
> 
> A quote from Shankaracharya's Vivekchuramani- 
> 
> 
> Uddharen Atmanam Atmana Magnau Samsar Baridah .
> 
> 
> Here the word'Samsar Baridah'implies THIS LIFE-OCEAN depicting the various shades, Crest-nadir,the tumultous multititude of our life-cycle 
> 
> 
> 
> ALAKENDU DAS
> 
> 
> 
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