rAjahaMsa in the ha?sasa?des ´a

Valerie J Roebuck vjroebuck at MACUNLIMITED.NET
Mon Apr 20 06:18:34 UTC 2009

There are haMsas in the Dhammapada (91, 175), and the equivalent 
verses in the Patna Dharmapada (231, 232) and Udanavarga (17.1, 
17.2); also their path in Uv. 12.12. The DhammapadaTThakathA (c. 5th 
century CE) on Dhp 91explains that, when the birds are leaving a 
pond, they don't think, 'This is my water, my lotus, my water-lily, 
my pericarp': they just go.

Valerie J Roebuck

At 9:00 pm +0100 19/4/09, Stephen Hodge wrote:
>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.
>To complicate matters, I have found that a number of Buddhist texts 
>prefer to use the simile of the saarasa ~ also a type of goose ~ in 
>basically the same context.  I wonder if the ha.msa was avoided 
>deliberately. The imagery with the saarasa seems to be connected 
>with this powerful migratory bird flying upwards into the sky and 
>away, especially after it has hatched and nurtured its offspring.
>Best wishes,
>Stepehen Hodge

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