aklujkar at aklujkar at
Tue Nov 1 17:28:58 UTC 1994

On 27 October,C. Minkowski, Cornell, floated the following query:  "Friends
on this list who work on the dharmasastras: # Manusmrti 12.72 predicts that
a vaisya who slips from dharma will be reborn as a maitraaks.ajyotika,
which at least one commentator renders as a being who has an eye in his
anus. [What is more, he will be puuyabhuk,a pus-eater, although how he gets
the pus into his mouth when his eye is around behind is difficult to
imagine, or perhaps one doesn't wish to imagine.] # The question is this -
are there other Sanskrit or Indic sources
that refer to a creature with this unusual ocular endowment ?  In medieval
european sources there is reference to Satan being so endowed, and so I
wonder how well-attested the notion is in ancient India."

        I am no Dharma-'saastra expert and I have nothing to contribute on
the main question Prof. Minkowski has asked, except to say that the
Buddhist and Jaina descriptions of pretas and naaraka-yonis and many
Brahmanical  puraa.nic accounts seem promising from the point of view of
unearthing the information he is looking for; e.g. the
section describing the family of Ka'syapa, the Satii-kha.n.da
section describing 'Siva's wedding procession, and other puraa.nas
narrating fights with asura and raak.sasa armies (I owe the three puraa.nic
specifications to my son Muktak). 
        However, I would like to observe that Prof. Minkowski is probably
making the text look ridiculous when he need not.   maitraaks.ajyotika need
not be translated as 'a being who has an eye in his anus. 
Kulluuka-bha.t.ta, whom Minkowski is probably following here, does not in
fact support such an interpretation. His remark, rather, means: 'a being
who has a flame (extreme burning sensation, constant discomfort?) in his
anus.  Note that in the preceding Manu verse a fallen vipra is described as
one who will be born as vaantaa'sii and ulkaa-mukha. If puuyabhuk
corresponds to vaantaa'sii,  maitraaks.ajyotik should correspond to
ulkaa-mukha, which Kulluuka (rightly, in my view) renders as jvaalaa-mukha.

        In the intervening line regarding the k.sattriya, ka.ta-puutana
should probably be interpreted analogously, although at the moment I am not
sure exactly how; perhaps as 'one who has a poisonous flow (cf. the
demoness Puutanaa who came to kill baby through breast feeding; or
flame?) in his forehead.'

Ashok Aklujkar, Professor, Department of Asian Studies, University of B.C.,
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z2. Tel: O: (604) 822-5185, R: (604) 274-5353.
 Fax O:
822-8937. E-mail: aklujkar at


Original-Received:  by 
PP-warning: Illegal Received field on preceding line
Date: Tue, 1 Nov 1994 18:41:20 -0500
From: edeltraud harzer clear <eclear at>
To: indology at
Subject: Re:  Conference on Religion in South India
Message-ID: <"">

Dear organizer of the CRSI, I would like to participate 
in the workshop this coming June at Indiana University.
I am teaching in the Dept. of Religious Studies at 
Indiana University.  My e-mail address is
eclear at
my snail adress is:
Edeltraud Harzer Clear
Dept. of Religious Studies
Sycamore Hall 230
Indiana University
Bloomington, In. 47405
Thank you, Edeltraud.

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