N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 18 14:49:39 UTC 1998

Few months ago, Mary Storm was writing of her dissertation topic:
sculptures in Srisailam showing self-mutilation, head offerings
etc., Pallava and Chola sculptures are also referred to.
There is a book: N. Subrahmanian, Self-immolation in Tamil
country. Also, the funerary temples, called PaLLippaTai,
for 3 Chola kinngs and ine Chola Princess are known.
The learned Chola scholar, Sri. S. R. Balasubrahmanyam's
suggestions of a possible link to Southeast Asian funerary monuments
was cited.

Here is some comparative material:
R. M. Gimello, Relics andd Flesh bodies,
The creation of Ch'an Pilgrimage sites
in the book,  Pilgrims and Sacred sites in China, 1982, U. Calif.
"Major relics such as the tooth or finger bone of the Buddha became
the object of a fervent cult in China. In 819, the Confucian Han Yu
wrote his famous memorial to protest against the periodic transfer
of the finger bone from the Fa-men monastery to the capital and
the collective frenzy it occasioned. As we know from Han Yu's
account and various other resources, an important aspect of the
cult of relics was self-immolation or self-mutilation ..."

Jan Yun-hua, Buddhist self-immolation in medieval China,
History of Religions, 4, p. 243-268, 1965

Jacques Garnet, Les suicides par le feu chez les bouddhistes
chinois du V au X siecle, 1959

N. Ganesan

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