Indra's son

Robert Goldman sseas at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU
Fri May 26 19:49:14 UTC 2000

>Do only southern mss. of Valmiki have this episode?

No, it is found in one form for another in the various recensions and
subrecensions. It is somewhat more elaborate in the southern
manuscripts, however, where the crow actually attacks SItA twice.
Since RAma only intervenes to protect her on the second occasion the
commentator GovindarAja, commenting on a version of the southern
text, reads the whole story as a sort of ZrIvaiSNava parable in which
the Lord remains aloof when a person tries to save himself or herself
and only offers salvation when the person ceases to make such efforts
on his or her own.

VAlmIki's version  also has RAma put out the bird's (right) eye with
the brahma weapon. This is perhaps a mythological source for the
"folk" tradition about crows having only one eye, although no such
claim is recoverable from the critically edited text. The passage, in
the Baroda crit. ed. is at 5. 36. 12-33.

>Dear Prof. Goldman,
>Is the story of Jayanta in the form of a crow
>trying to hurt Sita told in Valmiki (Sundarakanda)?
>Perialvar in the Divyaprabandham and Kamban in his
>Ramayanam tells this story. Folkstories explain
>how the crows got only one eye from this episode.
>Thank, SM
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Kick off your party with Yahoo! Invites.

Dr. R. P.  Goldman
Professor of Sanskrit
Department of  South and Southeast Asian Studies
7303 Dwinelle Hall MC #2540
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
email: sseas at
Phone: (510) 642-4089
Fax:     (510) 643-2959

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list