FW: [INDOLOGY] What is the writing on the attached image?

Steven Lindquist slindqui at MAIL.SMU.EDU
Mon Feb 14 12:15:01 UTC 2011

Thanks for the image, Madhav.

Seems to me a conflation of all things "sciency" -- (i.e., linguistics, writing, math (as numbers),  astrology).  An ahistorical valorization of "ancient wisdom," I suppose.

>From a practical point of view: the numbers and sun serve to frame the central image (the numbers thematically next to other numbers on one side -- 5 Rs and year; bhārat/India, swāstika, sun, and name on the other side).  The sun, the manuscripts on the ground, and bhārat/India especially keeps the overall image from being "left heavy".  More perfect symmetry might put "India" further down (or Pāṇini himself more towards the center), but visually that might look overly contrived.

Steven Lindquist, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Religious Studies 
Southern Methodist University
Homepage: http://faculty.smu.edu/slindqui

On Feb 14, 2011, at 5:19 AM, Dominik Wujastyk wrote:

> Indeed !
> The diagram in the background, behind the writing Panini, has the general
> look as a jyotiṣa jātaka or horoscope chart, but with the Brāhmī numerals in
> the 12 positions, instead of the zodiac.  And what's that sun doing in the
> top right corner?
> Dominik
> On 14 February 2011 04:16, Hans Henrich Hock <hhhock at illinois.edu> wrote:
>> ... or in having Pāṇini *write*
>> Hans Henrich Hock
>> On 13 Feb 2011, at 20:59, Deshpande, Madhav wrote:
>> Thanks to all those who have pointed out that the characters on the
>>> postage stamp of Panini represent Brahmi numerals 1-9.  I wonder what the
>>> designer of the stamp had in his mind in putting these numerals on the
>>> stamp.  Best,
>>> Madhav M. Deshpande
>>> Professor of Sanskrit and Linguistics
>>> Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
>>> 202 South Thayer Street, Suite 6111
>>> The University of Michigan
>>> Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104-1608, USA
>>> ________________________________________
>>> From: mkapstei at uchicago.edu [mkapstei at uchicago.edu]
>>> Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2011 8:55 PM
>>> To: Deshpande, Madhav
>>> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] What is the writing on the attached image?
>>> Hi Madhav,
>>> They show the Brahmi numerals.
>>> best,
>>> Matthew
>>> Matthew T. Kapstein
>>> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies
>>> The University of Chicago Divinity School
>>> Directeur d'études
>>> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

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