pots, brahmin names, and potters

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 16 20:20:55 UTC 1998

>If it's not too troublesome, could you describe the royal burial
> ceremony of the Cholas? Or any other royal family from the South?
> Who are ritual functionaries involved in performing the ceremony?

  For 2000 or more years old funerary practices, some thing
  is told in:
  George Hart, The poems of ancient Tamil, their milieu
  and their sanskrit counterparts, 1975, U.of California press.
  (ISBN: 0520026721)

  George's translation of the whole puRanAnURu is in print
  from Columbia univ. press (1999).

>One of them is a potter's son Dhaniya, who being already a Buddhist
> monk, uses his familial skills and makes himself a 'house of clay'
> - (sabba-)mattikA-mayaM kuTikam. The Pali expression reminds one
> of the Vedic mRGmayaM gRham [RV VII,89.1; hymn to Yama]. It's a
> highly interesting parallel and I am now preparing a paper on it.

>The Pali text (Vinaya II.1.1-2) suggests that this house is not the
> typical adobe construction, but rather a large urn - baked and red
> in color. On seeing it, the Buddha orders the house of Dhaniya to
> be immediately destroyed.

  Very interesting. Sangam texts, especially puRanAnURu
  describe burying in large vases. Big vases (like the Greek
  vases) have been unearthed in AdicchanallUr near
  Tirunelvely. They are of the same period as Tamil classical
  sangam texts.

  N. Ganesan

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