Rice on Tilak

Klaus Karttunen Kjkarttu at ELO.HELSINKI.FI
Wed Oct 7 10:42:44 UTC 1998

On  1 Oct 98 at 14:09, Harsha V. Dehejia wrote:
> Indologists:
> There are many reasons why rice is used on vermillion when applying a =
> tilak. Some reasons are simple or practical: rice is small and white and =
> stays on the tilak.
> But the more important reason is husked rice, as opposed to other =
> cereals or lentils, does not sprout. It is beyond growth and decay and =
> therefore complete, whole.
> Anthropoligically rice is more ancient than wheat in India. The =
> Dravidian connection cited by you is an interesting one.
> Th tilak which is a bindu is analogous to the anusvara, a sign of =
> purnatva or fullness. A grain that is full and complete, and which is =
> not susbject to birth and death through growth, only can augment the =
> tilak and none other.
> I would welcome any comments.
> Harsha V. Dehejia
> hdehejia at ccs.carleton.ca

See G. Eichinger Ferro-Luzzi, "The Foods Disliked by the Gods in
South India", Annali dell' Istituto Universitario Orientali di Napoli
37 (N.S. 27), 1977, 357-373.



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