rajam rajam at EARTHLINK.NET
Wed Feb 23 03:40:25 UTC 2011

Don't know if your student would be interested in this aspect at all  
-- to see if there is / are any difference(s) in the way in which  
different religious affiliations had impacted the nature of the curses.

For example, in the Tamil epic Cilappatikaram, a Jain nun curses two  
people to become "old jackals," whereas in Tamil inscriptions the  
curses normally center around sending the affected parties to "hell."

V. S. Rajam

On Feb 22, 2011, at 7:20 PM, Arlo Griffiths wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
> One of my students at the University of Indonesia is writing her MA  
> thesis on the topic of curse-formulae in ancient Indonesian  
> inscriptions, against the background of similar formulae observed  
> elsewhere in Southeast Asian as well as in Indian epigraphy.
> I have been surprised at how little the usual epigraphical  
> handbooks (Sircar, Sivaramamurti, Salomon) say about curses/ 
> imprecations, especially if one is interested in vernacular  
> expressions besides the formulae in Sanskrit. A keyword search  
> 'curse/'imprecation' in other Indological handbooks (e.g. Kane's  
> History of Dharmasāstra) also does not yield much.
> Dr. Emmanuel Francis has kindly supplied to me pdfs of a paper by  
> N. Karashima ('New imprecations in Tamil Inscriptions and Jāti  
> Formation'), a few pages from the Introduction of K.V. Ramesh,  
> Indian Epigraphy Vol. I (1984), and a few pages from A. Krishnan's  
> 'Literature and Epigraphy of Tamil Nadu' (1998). This is all very  
> helpful.
> My student is interested in the Sanskrit/vernacular distinction, in  
> the question whether curse-formulae occur by themselves or paired  
> with benedictions, in the particular elements of threat used in  
> curse formulae (different kinds of hells, types of corporeal  
> punishment or acts of bestiality the sinner will undergo, dangerous  
> animals he will encounter, classifications of types of sins  
> assimilated to the sin of disturbing a land-donation, etc.), and in  
> interpretations of the function of these formulae in land-grants  
> (or arguments that might help her to formulate her own  
> interpretations).
> May I ask whether anybody can help me obtain further secondary  
> literature and/or (collections of) specific curse formulae,  
> especially those expressed in vernacular languages, to address the  
> themes outlined above? Many thanks in advance.
> Best wishes,
> Arlo Griffiths(EFEO/Jakarta) 		 	   		

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