PuNDarIka sacrifice

Richard Salomon rsalomon at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Thu Apr 5 17:37:08 UTC 2012

In the fragmentary Nanaghat inscription of a Satavahana queen, which lists 
numerous yajn~a and the accompanying daks.in.aa-s, line 9, after a break, 
begins:  ...riko yam.n~o. I guess this must be another reference to the 
Pun.d.ariika sacrifice.,
References: Bu:hler, Archaeological Survey of Western India, v.5, p. 60; 
D.C. Sircar, Select Inscriptions I, p. 194; further refs. on p. 192. Perhaps 
Sircar mentions this in "Studies..." (cited below), as I don't have a copy 
at hand, but he doesn't note it in Select Inscriptions.

The Badami inscription noted below refers only to "as'vadedhaadiyajn~aanaam 
yajvaa," not to the Pun.d.ariika specifically.

Rich Salomon

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Vincent Eltschinger" <veltsch at OEAW.AC.AT>
To: <INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk>
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2012 3:50 AM
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] PuNDarIka sacrifice

Dear François,
In his Studies in the Religious Life of Ancient and Medieval India (Delhi
1971), D.C. Sircar mentions at least once a Pau.n.dariika sacrifice (pp.
177-178). Sircar refers to Pulake'sin I, the Caalukya king of Baadaami,
who is "credited with the performance of the Agni.s.toma, Agnicayana,
Vaajapeya, Bahusuvar.na, Pau.n.dariika and A'svamedha sacrifices and the
Hira.nyagarbha-mahaadaana." Among his sources, Sircar refers to Epigraphia
Indica XXVII, p. 8.
Vincent Eltschinger

> Dear Members of the Indology List,
> I recently stumbled on a sacrifice called "puNDarIka-" in a Gupta
> inscription edited by Fleet (Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum vol. III, No.
> 59, pp. 252â?"254, "Bijayagadh Stone Pillar Inscription of
> Vishnuvardhana").
> In this inscription it is said that having performed the "puNDarIka", king
> ViSNuvardhana erected a yUpa: "kRtau puNDarIke yUpo yam pratiSThApitas
> [...] zrI ViSNuvarddhanena" (Fleet op. cit. p. 253, l. 3). This post seems
> to be the stone pillar where this inscription is found and which is shaped
> like a vedic yUpa, set up on a platform near the south wall of a fort now
> located at Bayana in the Bharatpur District of Rajasthan.
> I cannot see exactly what kind of sacrifice this "puNDarIka" is. It is
> nowhere to be found in the lexicons devoted to Vedic ritual (Renou 1954,
> Sen 1978, Mylius 1995), or in fundamental textbooks on ritual like that of
> Hillebrandt (1897, repr. 1981), or in the section of Kane's Hist. of Dh.
> devoted to sacrifices and rituals (Vol. II pp. 976â?"1255).
> The dictionaries (MW, PW) give, among the possible meanings of puNDarIka,
> "a kind of sacrifice/ein best. Opfer" with references to the MahAbhArata,
> among which the most significant I could find seems to be:
> MBh 3.13.16 azvamedho rAjasUyaH puNDarIko 'tha gosavaH / etair api
> mahAyajJair iSTaM te bhUridakSiNaiH.
> There it is said to be a "great sacrifice". In this context this
> qualification seems to imply that it is a zrauta ritual, as it is
> mentioned together with other well known zrauta sacrifices described by
> the ZrautasUtras, most of them regalians, but the ZrautasUtras do not, to
> my knowledge, describe any kind of puNDarIka rite.
> A puNDarIka sacrifice is otherwise mentioned a number of times as bringing
> some unspecified but usually great reward in the "tIrtha" section of the
> MBh (3.81â?"82; e.g. ), where we also learn that there was a "puNDarIka"
> place of pilgrimage, and that going there rewards the pilgrim with the
> fruits of a... puNDarIka sacrice (MBh 3.18.69 zuklapakSe dazamyAM tu
> puNDarIkaM samAvizet, tatra snAtvA naro rAjan puNDarIkaphalaM labhet).
> In this section of the MBh the puNDarIka sacrifice sometimes appears close
> to, or is contrasted with, the azvamedha, e.g. in MBh 3.82.24ff., or the
> vAjapeya in a surprising passage where a yUpa appears, but we do not know
> if it was erected for/as a result of a sacrifice and which kind it could
> have been:
> MBh 3.82.74â?"75 tato brahmasaro gacched dharmAraNyopazobhitam /
> pauNDarIkam avApnoti prabhAtAm eva zarvarIm [74] tasmin sarasi rAjendra
> brahmaNo yUpa ucchritaH / yUpaM pradakSiNaá¹fM kRtvA vAjapeyaphalaM labhet
> Another passage of the MBh where puNDarIka and vAjapeya appear side by
> side is 2.5.89 kratUn ekacitto vAjapeyAMz ca sarvazaH / puNDarIkAMz ca
> kArtsnyena yatase kartum AtmavAn.
> Both MBh 2.5.89 and 3.28.74â?"75 seem to rule out the possibility that
> "puNDarIka" may sometimes have been a synonym of "vAjapeya" in the MBh, as
> I first thought could have been the case.
> The data I have collected so far nevertheless suggest that this
> "puNDarIka" sacrifce was a zrauta ceremony of some kind, that involved the
> erection of a yUpa, and thus an animal sacrifice following the Vedic
> norms.
> Could anyone on the list tell me more about this sacrifice? All help would
> be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks in advance,
> Dr François Voegeli
> Senior FNS Researcher
> Institut d'Archéologie et des Sciences de l'Antiquité
> Anthropole, bureau 4018
> Faculté des Lettres
> Université de Lausanne
> CH-1015 Lausanne

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list