How a buck/stag could have become a lion!

mrabe at mrabe at
Sat Jul 12 13:38:14 UTC 1997

In reponse to Palaniappan's posting of Sat, 12 Jul 1997 14:05:11 BST:

Thank you for these clarifications.  Your point is well taken about
Parthasarthy not having the benefit of this list!  But if you'll indulge me
a bit further, could you reiterate the actual Mahabharata chapter/verse
that associate Ziva with lions?  On the iconographic face of things, this
seems improbable, though infinitely greater diversity of motifs appear in
literary contexts, naturally, than ever make it into standard sculptural
iconography (wherein Ziva is never independently associated with a lion, so
far as I know.)

>This is perfectly acceptable when we consider that the bull is the vehicle of
>Ziva. When in the next line ILanko says, "you stood in the portion/half of
>the body of the one with the eye-in the forehead, who has worn the Ganges in
>his hair', it is very possible that both the vehicles of Ziva are attributed
>to KoRRavai. While it is widely known that Ziva rides a bull, the references
>I have cited earlier show that Ziva is also associated with the lion. So the
>poet is not necessarily using one animal as a vehicle and another as victim.
>Both are vehicles transferred from Ziva.

By the way, do you of Alf Hiltebeitel's article, "The Indus Valley
'Proto-Siva', Reexamined through Reflections on the Goddess, the Buffalo,
and the Symbolism of   Va-hanas." Anthropos 73:5-6 (1978):767-97?  I admit
to being persuaded by the basic typologic argument, wherein great cats are
identified with goddesses, and bulls with male (often sacrificed) gods.
This _paradigm_ can be traced back twice as far back into prehistory as
Ishtar's Sumer--to Catal Huyuk in Turkey (7th millenium B.C.E), where
visual evidence surives showing stag-hunters invoking the aid of a leopard



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