Re: rAjahaMsa in the ha?sasa?des ´a

victor van Bijlert victorvanbijlert at KPNPLANET.NL
Fri Apr 17 10:55:40 UTC 2009

I am grateful for the references, also the ones from the Yoga Upanishads. But they do not explain to me why this bird was selected as a model of a high type of (yogic performer? and) world-renouncer.
But already many thanks
Victor van Bijlert

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at] Namens Michael Slouber
Verzonden: vrijdag 17 april 2009 11:54
Onderwerp: Re: rAjahaMsa in the ha?sasa?des´a

It's the traditional notion of the haṃsa's viveka that is the source  
of comparison:

nīrakṣīravivekaṃ ca haṃso vetti na cāparaḥ  
(Garuḍapurāṇa 3,17.48)

Other examples are abundant.

Michael Slouber
PhD Candidate
UC Berkeley

On Apr 17, 2009, at 3:16 PM, victor van Bijlert wrote:

> I am aware of the fact that the hamsa is the Anser Indicus, a kind  
> of goose.
> Could anyone explain why the hamsa has been used as a metaphor of a  
> special
> type of world-renouncer, the socalled paramahamsa? Is there anything  
> in the
> behaviour of the bird that could have led to calling certain  
> renouncers
> paramahamsa's? I know this is sidetracking, but it seems relevant in
> connection with the discussion of the bird hamsa.
> Victor
> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
> Van: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at] Namens John C.  
> Huntington
> Verzonden: vrijdag 17 april 2009 4:37
> Aan: INDOLOGY at
> Onderwerp: Re: rAjahaMsa in the ha?sasa?des´a
> Historically it is not a Swan but the Anser Indicus
> John
> On Apr 16, 2009, at 7:16 AM, victor van Bijlert wrote:
>> In the logo of the Ramakrishna Mission a real swan also figures,  
>> not a
>> goose. Apparently in the nineteenth century one regarded the hansa
>> as a
>> swan. The latter perhaps as an allusion to the image of the swan
>> that will
>> sing its most beautiful song when it feels it is going to die; a
>> famous
>> image found in Plato's Phaedo, 84e-85b? The idea in Phaedo is that
>> Socrates
>> as a philosopher knows he is going to die and expects to be united
>> with the
>> God Apollo.
>> Victor van Bijlert
>> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
>> Van: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at] Namens Christophe
>> Vielle
>> Verzonden: donderdag 16 april 2009 11:21
>> Aan: INDOLOGY at
>> Onderwerp: Re: rAjahaMsa in the ha?sasa?des´a
>> It is a real "swan"  messenger that Raja Ravi
>> Varma painted in his famous "Ha.msa-Damayantii"
>> (1899) now displayed in the Sri Chitra Art
>> Gallery, Tiruvanantapuram. See at:
>> Best wishes,
>> Christophe Vielle
>>> I expect you are familiar with this book:
>>> Vogel, J. P., 1962,  The Goose in Indian
>>> Literature and Art.  Memoirs of the Kern
>>> Institute No. II. E. J. Brill, Leiden.
>>> According to my notes, Vogel (good name?)
>>> identified haMsa and rAjahaMsa with a mainly
>>> white form of the Indian goose (Anser indicus),
>>> and kalahaMsa with the greylag goose (Anser
>>> anser).
>>> Valerie J Roebuck
>>> At 7:12 am -0700 15/4/09, Oliver Fallon wrote:
>>>> I would like some help on the identity of the
>>>> ra¯jaha?sa which is the subject of
>>>> Veda¯ntades´ika's Ha?sasa?des´a. He tells us
>>>> little of the bird except that he repeatedly
>>>> stresses that it is a pure white water bird and
>>>> that it has a beautiful call as it flies to
>>>> which that of the peacock is unfavourably
>>>> compared. I was first provoked into considering
>>>> that this is not a goose by a comment in
>>>> Shastriar's 1902 Madras edition of the poem,
>>>> where he says: "ra¯jaha?sa is a species of swan
>>>> with red legs and bills (sic). Compare
>>>> 'ra¯jaha?sa¯s tu te cañcucaranair lohitais
>>>> si¯ta¯?'"
>> -- 
>> -- 
>> ------------------------------------------------------
>> Teach CanIt if this mail (ID 846616205) is spam:
>> Spam:
>> Not spam:
>> Forget vote:
>> ------------------------------------------------------

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