Alexandra Vandergeer geeraae at GEOL.UOA.GR
Wed Jan 21 08:47:05 UTC 2009

Dear Stefan,

Thanks for the info. Personally, I think the abhisArikA explanation is of
the type 'wishful thinking'; some people seem to like to see more in art
works than there really is. Though, admittedly, the mating behaviour of
scorpions (see DVD of Attenborough) is strange (like most spiders and
spider-likes): after a long 'dance', the male tangles the female and holds
her thightly during the whole mating process, in an attempt to safeguard
himself for the dangerious stinging tail. It might thus give the
non-biologist the idea of a dance plus firm embracement. So an abhisArikA
explanation might work, theoretically.


> according to the author (I came across this book at random), the subject
> is an
> abhisArikA nAyikA (woman rushing to meet her lover). While that makes me
> think
> more of Mughal-period miniature painting, the term abhisArikA does occur
> in
> KAlidAsa, so I wouldn't rule out that it was an established category in
> Gupta
> art. The author takes the scorpion as a symbol of passion, but without any
> argument for this interpretation. The article by Desai and Rabe mentioned
> by Matthew Kapstein may be more promising, though apparently the Indian
> Museum sculpture is not from Khajuraho (but somewhere in UP), and earlier
> than the Khajuraho temple complex, so the anagram-rebus theory would not
> necessarily work here.
> All best and good luck with this!
> Stefan
> --
> Stefan Baums
> Asian Languages and Literature
> University of Washington

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