The "Net of Indra"

Artur Karp hart at POLBOX.COM
Sat Aug 26 15:06:10 UTC 2000

A short remark and a question concerning the "Net of Indra".

IndrajAla texts group some static aspects of reality (like directions,
seasons, tithis, names of divinities, numbers, colors, animals, etc.) around
the aggregate of the "Six [magic] Acts" (SaTkarmANi)  - zAntikaraNa
(pacifying), vazIkaraNa (subjugating), stambhana (stopping), vidveSaNa
(exciting enmity), uccATana (eradicating), mAraNa (killing). The "Six Acts"
can  thus be seen as the central nodes of the "Net of Indra"; all other
elements of the "Net" are not independent and seem to function only as
symbolic representations of the "Six Acts".

Graphically, one is tempted to imagine a flower of six petals, the tip of
each petal surrounded by its own, specific constellation of signs (magical
equivalences, "mAraNa" = black = buffalo, etc.). But it is also possible to
see in the "Six Acts" a hierarchically arranged sequence, a kind of cyclical
strategy, in which every (black) "mAraNa" is followed by a new (white)
"zAntikaraNa", every unsuccessful (white) "zAntikaraNa" by a (red)
"vazIkaraNa", every unsuccessful (red) "vazIkaraNa" by a (yellow)
"stambhana" - and so on.

Sign systems of this kind used to be used in attempts to manipulate and
transform reality. Also - to read intentions of other manipulators and
in advance their harmful effects. Is the "Net of Indra" enumerated anywhere
among the skills employed in the art of politics?

With regards,

Artur Karp
University of Warsaw

P.S. Is there an English translation of Hermann Oldenberg's "Die
Weltanschauung der Brahmanatexte" (Gottingen 1919)?

Any recent work on the "Net of Indra"?


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