pots, brahmin names, and potters

Artur Karp hart at POLBOX.COM
Wed Dec 16 15:36:56 UTC 1998

At 23:36 13.12.98 EST, Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan wrote:

>Here, the poet asks a potter who is making the burial urn to inter the Chola
>king, "O potter (kO)! who makes the pot...>


Dear Dr. Palaniappan,

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?

Now - returning to the potters. The Pali TipiTaka knows quite a number of
them, and I believe it would be worthwhile to have a closer look at all
those personages.

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


Artur Karp

University of Warsaw

P.S. I would be very grateful to the members of the Indology List for
bibliographical directions concerning the possible history of the 'house of
clay' problem.


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