tIrthAbhiSekam saphalam (was Re: Potalaka)

Dominique.Thillaud thillaud at UNICE.FR
Mon Dec 1 09:15:27 UTC 1997

At 18:14 +0100 30/11/97, DEVARAKONDA VENKATA NARAYANA SARMA wrote:
>As far as I know abhiSEka to an idol is done with water, milk, clarified
>(ghee), honey, curds, sometimes cocoanut water etc. being poured on the idol.
>Usually a waist cloath is tied to a male idol and female idol is fully
>covered during abhiSEka. abhiSEka is done to ziva linga every day. The
>saying is
>`alankAra priyO viSNur abhiSEka priyO zivah'.
>Even rAjyAbhiSEka for kings is not done with a few drops because purANAs
>describe that water from the holy rivers is brought with kalazAs.

        I thank you for this precisions but it seems that was not the
unique form of the abhiSEka. See MBh I, 206 where YudhiSThira is going to
the 'puNyAni tIrthAni' of Hardwar. It is said (v.11):
abhiSekAya kaunteyo gangAm avatatAra ha
and, immediatly after:
tatra abhiSekam kRtvA sa ...
        Is it impossible to understand from the use of ava-tR- that he goes
himself in the GangA's water ?
        And the mahezvara's declaration (MBh XIII, 18, 36) I've used for
the subject seems to going towards the same interpretation.
        I was perhaps misoriented by the English word 'bath' (in French,
the 'bain' suppose an immersion of the body in the water, not just a
superficial cleaning) but my question is:
        in ANCIENT Indian religion, the ritual performed at places such
saras or tIrtha:
        - can suppose complete immersion ?
        - can be named abhiSeka ?
        - can be used for statues of Goddesses as it happens in ancient
Greece ?

>The word `tripura' symbolises sthUla, sUkSma, and kAraNa bodies of the soul.
>tripurasundari is atman which resides in and activates these three bodies.
>Lord ziva is supposed to have destroyed the tripuras i.e., penetrated the
>three bodies and released the soul. ziva's tripurAsura samhArA is a famous
>story in most of the purANAs. The whole story is supposed to be allegorical.

        I known the ziva's story and His name tripuraghna, but I don't
understand how it can explain the name tripurasundarI and I was not
searching for a theological but for a mythical explanation (where sundarI
has simply the meaning 'woman').
        Please, don't see any offense against your religion (we have
probably the same pitaras), but my scope is the archaic forms of It and I
subscribed to Indology with comparativist intentions. My main interrest for
the name tripurasundarI is that it can perhaps (?) explain some obscure
Greek names as Tripolis, tripolos, Triptolemos or Tritogeneia.


Dominique THILLAUD
Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

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