Kevin McGrath kmcgrath at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Wed Dec 2 11:47:16 UTC 1998

Dear Dominique,
        Yes, I see your point. It is strange though that these ksatriyas
talk so much about what is 'action': often these speeches are in the
mouths of women - Draupadii, Kuntii.
        I feel that translating daivam by 'fate' misses something. It also
assumes a sense of personal autonomy or volition which I am not sure is
part of this culture.


On Wed, 2 Dec 1998, Dominique.Thillaud wrote:

> Dear Kevin,
>         You wrote:
> >'Fate' or 'destiny' seem to be terms which have very little relation to
> >pre-classical kshatriya culture.
>         I can't agree fully. Hero's fate and it's acceptation by him is a
> very important topos in Eurindian epics as you can see in many Germanic (cf
> Jan de Vries "Die geistige Welt der Germanen") or Greek (cf Akhilleus)
> stories. Even if I don't have knowledge of Indian divine characters
> equivalent to Moira or the Norns, it seems that heroes like karNa or
> zizupAla fit very well with the fact to be 'marked' by their destiny. In
> this scope, it's probably interesting to remark that such heroes
> (Starkadhr, Sigurdr, Herakles, Akhilleus) are never fully 'positive': sins
> are their fate.
>         Incidentally, I find very interesting the link dIvyati/daiva
> suggested by Lars, much better than the classical derivation from deva
> (curious evocation of the Einstein's sentence "God not plays dices").
>         Best regards,
> Dominique
> Dominique THILLAUD
> Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

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