"Saantideva's literary ability

George Hart ghart at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU
Tue Nov 27 20:18:55 UTC 2001

It is conventional for Tamil works to begin with an avai aTakkam -- humility
before the court (avai < sabhaa).  The greatest such poem ever written --
even better in my opinion than Kalidasa's great stanza (kva
suuryaprabhavo....) is at the beginning of the Kamparamayanam (12th
century), in which the poet compares himself, about to tell the story of
Rama, to a cat that is delusional enough to think it can lick up the great
ocean of milk.  One can surmise that the purpose of this was to avoid the
evil eye.  The exact opposite is found in the beginning of the
Rasagangadhara, where Jagannatha praises himself extravagantly.  I remember
remarking on that to my Sanskrit teacher, Seshadrinathan, who merely
replied, "sthaane."  G. Hart

On 11/27/01 11:33 AM, "Richard B Mahoney" <RBM49 at STUDENT.CANTERBURY.AC.NZ>

> Dear All,
> I am cross posting this request to both Indology and H-Buddhism. To
> those who receive it twice my apologies.
> I am trying to track down secondary literature on what seems to be a
> form of literary affectation at the start of "Saantideva's
> Bodhicaryaavataara and "Sik.saasamuccaya.
> At BCA I:2ab (Minayeff's ed.) and "SS p. 1 ln. 11 (Bendall's ed.) a
> similar half verse occurs :
> na hi ki.mcid apuurvam atra vaacya.m na ca
> sa.mgranthanakau"sala.m mamaasti | (Minayeff)
> Surely such an opening is formulaic? Do readers know of any secondary
> literature -- Indological or Buddhological -- on this subject?
> Thank you in advance for any help you can give.
> Many regards,
> Richard Mahoney
> --
> +----------------------- Richard Mahoney -----------------------+
> | 78 Jeffreys Rd                                 +64-3-351-5831 |
> | Christchurch                                      New Zealand |
> +--------------[mailto:rbm49 at it.canterbury.ac.nz]---------------+

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