lalaj-jihva: the rapacious tongue of Kaalaraatrii

Herman Tull hwtull at MSN.COM
Fri Jan 23 14:48:01 UTC 2009

Thanks to Dominic, Loriliai, Jeorg, and Bradley for the references.  All 
together, the information (which confirmed my initial suspicions) has helped 
me a great deal with my current project.

With regards,

Herman Tull
Princeton, NJ

From: "Dominic Goodall" <dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2009 10:53 PM
Subject: Re: lalaj-jihva: the rapacious tongue of Kaalaraatrii

> About the Kathaasaritsaagara, as often, a more precise reference is  given 
> in the Petersburger Woerterbuch than is to be found in Monier  Williams' 
> dictionary, but to an old edition not to hand...
> The description to which the PW and MW probably refer, which occurs 
> towards the end of the 2nd tara"nga of the 14th lambaka,  is not of 
> Kaalii:
> taavac ca praka.tiibhuuya bhagavaan bhairavaak.rti.h|
> uddh.rtaasir lalajjihva.h k.rtvaa hu.mkaaram abhyadhaat||...
> Of course Boehtlingk & Roth and Monier Williams don't mean to indicate 
> that the Kathaasaritsaagara is a "source" for the term lalajjihva,  merely 
> that the work attests the use of the term.  As Michael Slouber  has 
> pointed out, lolling tongues in visualistions and in other tantric 
> contexts go back further than this.
> And the lolling tongue as an instrument of (or metaphor for) rapacious 
> destructiveness is of course pretty old in poetry too:
> Thus Bhaaravi's Kiraataarjuniiya 16:6
> ujjhatsu sa.mhaara ivaastasa.mkhyam ahnaaya jiivitaani|
> lokatrayaasvaadanalolajihva.m na vyaadadaaty aananam atra m.rtyu.h||
> Perhaps this fine tenebrous passage from's Har.sacarita 8 (p.84  in 
> Kane's edition) is more relevant:
> sakalalokakavalaavalehalampa.taa bahalaa vaha.mlihaa le.dhi  lohitaacitaa 
> citaa"ngaarakaalii kaalaraatriijihvaa jiivitaani jiivinaam.
> Cowell and Thomas (p.256) render this with:
> `The tongue of the goddess of Doom's-night, black like the charcoal of 
> the funeral piles and covered with blood, licks up the lives of living 
> beings, like a cow that licks her calf's shoulder,---eager to swallow  all 
> creation as a mouthful.'
> Dominic Goodall
> Pondicherry Centre
> Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient ("French School of Asian Studies"),
> On 22 Jan 2009, at 07:18, Herman Tull wrote:
>> I am looking for references to Kali's "lolling" tongue.  The Devi 
>> Mahatmya and the Mahabhagavata Purana (thanks to Patricia Dold for 
>> references) use forms of /lal + jihva (lalana/lalaj-jihva).  MW  cites 
>> the Kathasaritsagara as a source of lalaj-jihva.  Does anyone  has this 
>> citation?  Does this descriptive term ("lolling" tongue)  occur in 
>> reference to other figures/goddesses?
>> Thanks for your help.
>> Herman Tull
>> Princeton, NJ

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list