Oedipus in Sanskrit?

Robert P. Goldman sseas at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU
Tue Feb 8 18:29:38 UTC 2000

 I must confess that it is a bit startling to see that people interested in
this topic seem to be somewhat unaware of what has been published on it.

In any case three of my earlier articles in this area are:

"Fathers, Sons, and Gurus:  Oedipal Conflict in the Sanskrit Epics."
Journal of Indian Philosophy. Vol.6, 1978, pp. 325-92.

"Matricide, Renunciation, and Compensation in the Legends of Two Warrior
Heroes of the Sanskrit Epics," in Proceedings of the Stockholm Conference
Seminar in Indological Studies.  Indologica Taurinensia Vol 10, 1982, pp.

"Transsexualism, Gender and Anxiety in Traditional India."  Journal of the
American Oriental Society. Vol.113,. no. 3. 1993 pp. 374-401.

I would also suggest that people have a look at Obeyesekere's interesting
"The Work of Culture" U. of Chicago Press 1990 especially  Lectures Two and
Three, "Oedipus: The Paradigm and its Hindu Rebirth" (pp.71-139) and "The
Parricide in Buddhist History" (pp. 143-214) and, for a recent collection
of psychoanalytically oriented studies of Indian culture, "Vishnu on
Freud's Desk" Edited by J. Kripal and T. G. Vaidyanathan, OUP ( Delhi) 1999.

I too of course look forward  to the forthcoming pieces mentioned by Silk
and Reusch. I will be especially interested to see how the study of
Buddhist texts "disprove" findings made ( largely but not entirely) on
non-Buddhist sources.

>I for one look forward to the articles in preparation from both Beatrice
>Reusch and Jonathan Silk on the topic of Oedipus in Sanskrit.
>As for the refs. cited by JS, the Ramanujan article was made familiar to me
>privately by another list member.  I feel obliged to say publically how
>embarrassed I am not to have known either the Ramanujan or the Goldman
>articles, since one of the editors of the first [Dundes] and the author of
>the second were both teachers of mine.  Yes, please, JS, forward the exact
>ref. to me.
>I myself have not been able to find Vedic tales that combine the significant
>elements of the Greek Oedipus myth. And so, like JS, I am inclined to think
>that the Indic parallels to it may not be genetically related [i.e.,
>inherited].  There is something in the RV that very roughly and loosely
>resembles the riddle of the Sphinx [RV 10.117.8], but it does not offer a
>close enough match with the Greek, and it shows no awareness of other
>elements of the story. For example, the tale mentioned by R Banerjee does not
>seem to have enough of the significant elements of the Greek story to qualify
>as genetically related.
>But I would be pleased to be corrected by those who know better.
>George Thompson
Dr. R. P.  Goldman
Sarah Kailath Professor in India Studies
Professor of Sanskrit and
Center for  South Asia Studies
7303 Dwinelle Hall MC #2540
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
email: sseas at socrates.berkeley.edu
Phone: (510) 642-4089
Fax:     (510) 643-2959
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: attachment.bin
Type: text/enriched
Size: 3048 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <https://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology/attachments/20000208/9b2a54bf/attachment.bin>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list