ha.msa in para-ha.msa and ha.msa-samde/sa

Christophe Vielle christophe.vielle at UCLOUVAIN.BE
Fri Apr 17 12:06:56 UTC 2009

Hoping not to "grind flour" too much, I would say 
that the double ha.msa's quality of travelling 
freely the world and distinguishing milk mixed 
with water (cf. Slouber's post), as reminded in 
Puur.nasarasvatii Ha.msa-sa.mde/sa (9) :

pauna.hpu.nyaad bhuvanam akhila.m bhraamyata.h svairav.rtte.h
/saktasyoccair api samudite k.siiraniire vivektum |
maarga.m taavanmahita mahataa.m notsahe te pravaktu.m
jñaatajñaana.m na khalu sudhiyaa.m tu.s.taye pi.s.tape.sa.h ||

is enough for explaining why the name of this 
migrating and vivekin bird, as "parama" denotes a 
all-discriminating and super-liberated ascetic 
(=? in the poem the su-dhii to whom the path, 
maargam, to liberation is already known, 

>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) 
>But already many thanks
>Victor van Bijlert

>Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 12:13:10 +0200
>From: Christophe Vielle <christophe.vielle at uclouvain.be>
>Subject: Re: rAjahaMsa in the ha?sasa?des´a
>Without being a specialist, the ha.msa seems 
>rather to be connected with yoga in this case : 
>the ha.msa as migrant bird being in some yoga 
>texts a metaphor of the the Soul escaping from 
>the sa.msaara (see Ha.msa-Up 1.5, K.surikaa-Up 
>1.22), with also puns on the repetition of the 
>word "ha.msa" (breathing in making "ham" and out 
>"sa", Dhyaanabindu-Up 1.62, or ha.msa as the 
>reverse of so'ham). The parama-ha.msa would be 
>the one who has attained perpetual mukti from 
>the nets of living. I rely here on the writings 
>of the late Jean Varenne, Aux sources du yoga, 
>Paris, 1989, pp. 68-70, and Upanishads du yoga, 
>Paris, 1971, pp. 24-25, 110-11, 163.
>There probably exist more complete studies on the subject.
>Best wishes,
>Christophe Vielle

>-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
>Van: Indology [mailto:INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk] Namens Michael Slouber
>Verzonden: vrijdag 17 april 2009 11:54
>Aan: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
>Onderwerp: Re: rAjahaMsa in the ha.msasa.mde/sa
>It's the traditional notion of the ha.msa's viveka that is the source
>of comparison:
>n¥rak.s¥raviveka.m ca ha.mso vetti na cÇpara?
>(Garu.dapurÇ.na 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 liverpool.ac.uk] Namens John C. 
>>  Huntington
>>  Verzonden: vrijdag 17 april 2009 4:37
>>  Aan: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
>>  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 liverpool.ac.uk] Namens Christophe
>>>  Vielle
>>>  Verzonden: donderdag 16 april 2009 11:21
>>>  Aan: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
>>>  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:
>>>  http://www.temple-trees.com/ravivarma/urrvprints.asp?printtype=2&pg=2
>>>  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¯?'"
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