underwater hell or otherworld

Adheesh Sathaye adheesh1 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 9 22:50:52 UTC 2009

Dear Jonathan,

Not 'hells', but there is a recurring motif of an undersea world (or  
at least a fabulous land accessible through the ocean) within Skt.  
kathā literature. In Śivadāsa's version of the Vetāla- 
pañcaviṃśati, it is found in story 8 (which is cognate with ATU  
tale type 1889H, "Submarine Underworld" if you're a folklorist), and  
in story 11. In the Kathāsaritsāgara's version of the VP, these are  
the stories #7 and 12, respectively, and I'd suggest your colleague  
take a look at Penzer's still quite useful comparative notes to  
Tawney's translation of the KSS (_Ocean of Story_), as found in vol.  
6, pp. 278-285, and vol. 7, pp. 211-212.

If you don't mind indulging in some folkloristic jargon, in addition  
to the numerous international versions noted under ATU 1889H in the  
Aarne-Thompson-Uther tale type index, she may also consult references  
to motifs F133, "Submarine otherworld" and F725.2, "Submarine cities,"  
in both Stith Thompson's Motif-Index as well as the Motif Index of  
Indic Oral Tales (Thompson-Balys). I don't, however, recall seeing  
many references to Indic versions of these motifs.

hope this is somewhat useful!



Adheesh Sathaye
Department of Asian Studies
University of British Columbia

On Dec 9, 2009, at 2:11 PM, Jonathan Silk wrote:

> a friend who is a student of Indo-european and currently working on  
> Welsh
> asked me whether there are things like underwater hells in Indic  
> folklore
> (she referred for instance to an Irish underwater otherworld)--I don't
> recall any such thing, but that may be nothing more than a statement  
> about
> my ignorance or bad memory. Any ideas?
> thanks, jonathan
> -- 
> J. Silk
> Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
> Postbus 9515
> 2300 RA Leiden
> Netherlands

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