How a buck/stag could have become a lion!

mrabe at mrabe at
Tue Jul 1 19:10:37 UTC 1997

 Following Domink who just wrote:
>In the medical literature, in particular on Su"sruta,
>there is a clear distinction in groups of animals:  vyaala versus m.rga.
>A vyaala is a hunting predator: lion, tiger, etc.
>A m.rga is a not a predator: mongoose, jackal, cat.

I've been waiting to join this thread until a relevant article I wrote on
the subject is posted on the Web...By coincidence it's the first e-text I
hope to convert to HTML for a new undergraduate humanities course starting
late August, (_Asia at Internet_)  The article:  _Victorious Durga , The
Buffalo Slayer,_ in  _MUSE: Annual of the Museum of Art and Archaeology,_
20 (1986), University of Missouri-Columbia [1988]:  50-65.

Anyhow--while the color plates from Singavaram, Tiruchirapalli and
Mamallapuram, etc., can wait, I should say now that the lion and deer
vahanas exemplify two separate traditions--the lion traceable back
ultimately to Ishtar in Mesopotamia (not to the exclusion of contemporary
IVC imagery, of course--but the comparable deities remain unnamed so long
as the Harappan script is undeciphered).

Visual proof that two vahanas were understood as discrete alternatives
appears in the Pallava cave-sites enumerated above--where BOTH animals
attend Durga [for what its worth--the lion favored on the proper right;
deer to her left]

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