bhaTa and naTa

James Mallinson jim at RAWLINGSFARM.DEMON.CO.UK
Sat Nov 13 14:26:56 UTC 1999

Hello All,

I am editing a c.14th century Sanskrit text, the khecarIvidyA of AdinAtha,
for my DPhil thesis. It concerns tantric and haThayogic practises,
particularly the khecarImudrA.

There is a section in the text which describes physical problems that may
arise for the yogin who aspires to khecarIsiddhi. These are grouped into two
types, those of bhaTa, "mercenary" or "soldier", and those of naTa, "dancer"
or "actor". I have not found a similar pairing of these names elsewhere.
They perhaps refer to the two different types of sAdhaka to whom the
problems can occur.

Monier-Williams (1899: 525) lists naTabhaTikAvihAra and naTabhaTikA, both
meaning "temple of NaTa and BhaTa'', as Buddhist terms, with NaTa and BhaTa
being two brothers who had the temple built.

In HindI, bhaT can mean "misfortune, curse" (McGregor 1993: 757) while the
Sanskrit root naT can mean "to hurt or injure" (M-W ibid.).

Does anyone on the list know more about M-W's two Buddhist brothers or have
any other ideas about bhaTa and naTa?


James Mallinson,

Balliol College,

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