[INDOLOGY] Jayantī

Harry Spier vasishtha.spier at gmail.com
Thu Aug 6 18:27:30 EDT 2020


Thank you to Naresh Keerthi and Madhav Deshpande for the very clear answers
and references.
Harry Spier

On Thu, Aug 6, 2020 at 2:13 PM naresh keerthi <nakeerthi at gmail.com> wrote:

> This is my understanding of the development of the term jayanti -
>
> *Stage I – Jayantī = Śrījayantī*
>
> Presumably the older sense of Jayantī  is interchangeable with Śrījayantī
> . This latter term refers only to the utsava celebrating the birthday of
> Kṛṣṇa – the dark aṣtamī [or rohiṇi asterism] of the Śrāvaṇa/Bhādrapada
> month. This use of Śrījayantī  in this sense still prevails among the
> brahmana-s and other Hindu groups of Tamiḻ-speaking territories. This
> suggests that Śrījayantī was probably* the* archetypical jayantī ].
>
> Besides the usage by Madhvacārya-Pūrṇaprajña (1238–1317), the term is
> attested in the ouvre of Veṅkaṭanātha-Vedāntadeśika 1268–1369. The first
> verse of Gopālaviṁśati repeated at the beginning of and Yādavābhyudaya uses
> the term jayantī unmistakably in the sense of  Śrījayantī .
>
> *vande brndāvanacaram vallavījanavallabhaṃ |*
>
> *jayantīsambhavaṃ dhāma vaijayantīvibhūṣaṇam || *
>
> The term is attested in a Siṁhācalam inscription of  Narahari Tīrtha
> (1243-1333) where it is not clear if the expression Śrījayantī  of
> śrīnarasiṁhanātha refers to the Kṛṣṇajayantī  or to the Narasiṁhajayantī
> .
>
> *Stage II – The Birthday boom*
>
> The appearance of the term  jayantī  in an extended sense increases in
> the  inscriptions of  Vijayanagara times [~ 14th century onwards]  and it
> is attached  to other deities - Kūrma, Narasimha, Rāma and Vāmana, for
> example.
>
> *Stage III – Ossified in Government Parlance*
>
> Currently, the term is lexicalized in the lingua franca of Indian
> bureaucratese and applied to the remembrance days of all important (dead)
> personages -  Buddha, Mahāvīra, Śaṅkara-, Basava, Gandhi and Ambedkar  (illustrative
> list). There is also a G*ītājayantī * to celebrate the ‘birth
> anniversary’ of the Bhagavad gītā.
>
> The term in modern usage has the additional denotation of jubilee or
> anniversary. For example Svarṇa jayantī and Rajata jayantī for Golden
> Jubilee and Silver Jubilee.
>
> Best,
>
> Naresh Keerthi
>
> Hebrew University, Jerusalem
>
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