Questions concerning Classical Indology: Help Wanted

Tue Oct 11 21:58:41 UTC 1994

        In the process of writing my doctoral dissertation I have run into
a few questions which I have been unable to answer.  Any suggestions would
be greatly appreciated, and of course acknowledged.

1       There is a classic pun on ka.saaya "impurity" and kaa.saaya
"monastic, ochre colored, robe."  It occurs in many Buddhist texts, and in
MBh.  It also seems to appear in a number of Jaina texts, to which
unfortunately I do not have access.  The references I have are to the'salaakaapuru.sacaritra_ Parva 1 sarga 6 'sloka 1-52
(Nagarajaji p. 178), _AAdi-puraa.na_ parva 18, and
_AAva'syakasuutra-niryukti_ Malayagiri v.rtti pp. 232.2-234.1.  None of
these texts are available to me.  Does anyone have these at hand?

2       The term yogaacaara is common in Buddhist texts, not only as the
name of a philosophical school but also as indicating a monk specializing
in meditation.  Skt. dictionaries quote the word, but I have not been able
to find examples.  BR quotes it in the meaning "die Observanz des Joga,"
but the reference to Mallinaatha's commentary to _Kumaarasambhava_ 3.47 is
an error (correctly Yogasaara, not Yogaacaara).  Does the term actually
occur in Sanskrit other than that of Buddhist texts?  (Apte and MW (=
yogin, which I think is correct) both cite it, without any references
however).  Has anyone seen this word?

3       I have investigated the word vaiyaap.rtyakara (v.l.
vaiyaav.rtyakara, vaiyaav.rttyakara, vaiyaav.rttikara, vaiyaapatyakara
etc.).  The word is not common, apparently, in Buddhist sources, but occurs
in the text I am studying (_Ratnaraa'sisuutra_) in the meaning of
"supervisor."  It occurs e.g. in Kautilya but apparently in a (somewhat)
different sense.  MW cites the word vaiyaav.rttyakara from _Kalpasuutra_
(which refers to what, exactly?) and _Naaradasm.rti_.  Can anyone confirm
these instances (e.g. the learned editor of the latter)?  In addition, the
word occurs in _Mankhako'sa_ 454c, and the commentary (Zachariae 1897: 60)
refers to or quotes _Bhalla.ta'sataka_ 37.  What is this?  According to
S.B. Deo (History of Jaina Monachism p. 371) the _Oghaniryukti_ commentary
explains v.r.sabha as viayaav.rtyakara.nasamartha.h.  I do not have any
access to this text.  Can anyone check this reference?

4       In the Buddhist text _Mahaavutpatti_ we find the term karmadaana as
the name of a monastic officer.  In the _Vinayasuutra_ of Gu.naprabha
appears the form karmaadaana.  Has anyone seen either of these elsewhere in
an Indic text?  (The former form apparently appears in Yijing's "Diary,"
but that text at any rate is Chinese).

5       Has anyone seen the word u.d.dara?  Edgerton BHSD quotes it only
from the passage I am trying to understand.

6       Most of the _Ratnaraa'sisuutra_ is extant only in Tibetan and
Chinese translations.  There are several places where I cannot understand
these versions.  One place has to do with a reference to the (Tibetan kha
phyis) of an outcaste:  "High class people do not touch and do not use an
outcaste's ** or garments, everything used by him."  A subsequent sentence
says:  "An outcaste hold up his ** and goes to another's home in a timid,
shrinking way."  In Tibetan kha phyis means a cotton handkerchief or
napkin.  What Sanskrit term might be behind this?

7       In a comparison of the evil ' he is compared to a
kura.n.taka flower.  I have been unable, despite my best efforts, to
clearly identify this plant because of the description in the text:

        "Now, Kaa'syapa, what is the kura.n.taka-like '  By way of
example, Kaa'syapa:  If one looks at the color of the flowers called
"kura.n.taka" they are agreeable, but if one touches them they are rough,
they stink of dung-flies, and they stink of the root of the shi la bar ka."

        The term kura.n.taka is discussed in Rahul Peter Das 1988: 255
(note 4), 434, 460.  There the identification with barleria prionitis l. is
suggested.  This plant is said to be a small spiny bush with plentiful buff
colored flowers, yellow when fresh, and of bitter or sour taste.  Das (or
the appendix's author, G.J. Meulenbeld), as well as Prof. Michio Yano
(personal communication), also refer to celosia argentea l., but Yano at
least concludes that the identifications so far offered by specialists are
all inconclusive.  Nothing is mentioned in the sources I have seen about
the odor of any of these plants, which must be a very noticeable feature of
the plant being referred to here in the _Ratnaraa'sisuutra_.  Notice also
that further confusion is suggested by the entries in the Amaarako'sa and
its commentaries.  4.74ab (Vanau.sadhivarga) reads tatra ' kuravakas
tatra piite kura.n.taka.h.   I have check most of the standard works
(Roxburgh etc.) without any significant clues.
        I am also very puzzled by (Tibetan) _shi la bar ka_, an equivalent
for which is lacking in Chinese.  I suspect the word is Indic (?) -- it
seems almost impossible that it is Tibetan.  It must refer, of course, to
some plant with an odoriferous root; more than that I cannot say.  In the
context of the discussion of kura.n.taka, Das 1988: 460, 454 refers to
'sitivaaraka; is this even conceivably connected?  What might this _shi la
bar ka_ be?!

8       The _Ratnaraa'sisuutra_ also has the following:

        "If that one who while not a ', Kaa'syapa, falsely claims
to be ', while not a follower of the practice of purity falsely
claims to be a follower of the practice of purity, should not obtain on
this wide earth so much as that [space] to eject a glob of spit, how much
less [should he expect] a place to lift up and set down his foot.  Why?
Because this wide earth, Kaa'syapa, was given by kings of old to those who
uphold the precepts, those who are virtuous and those worthy of veneration,
in order for them to carry out their practice."

        Does anyone know of references in Indian literature to the idea
that ancient kings gifted the world to ascetics?

        Any and all responses, hints, clues, etc. very gratefully accepted
and acknowledged!

Many thanks, jonathan

Jonathan Silk


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