[INDOLOGY] "vIraka"

Andrew Nicholson andrew.nicholson at stonybrook.edu
Sun Aug 11 13:38:09 UTC 2013

Thanks to all of the Indological sleuths who responded to my query,
both on- and off-list. The collective knowledge of the scholars here
is astounding.

I should have mentioned that Kurma Purana 2.7.7 includes "vIrANAM
vIrabhadro 'haM." It therefore seems a little less likely to me that
"gaNeSAnAM ca vIrakaH" only three verses later at 2.7.10 would be a
repeated reference to Virabhadra. However, the identification of
Viraka with the half-bull, half-man form of Nandin, suggested by Drs.
Roebuck and Törzsök, makes a lot of sense.

Based on your responses, it also seems there is a dissertation waiting
to be written on the mythology and iconography of Nandin/Viraka. If
someone can point me to an article on Nandin that discusses this
humanoid form, I'd be grateful.

My annotated translation of the Isvara Gita (Kurma Purana 2.1-2.11),
including this verse about vIraka, will be available from SUNY Press
in 2014.

All the best,
Andrew J. Nicholson
Associate Professor
Dept. of Asian and Asian American Studies
and Dept. of Philosophy
SUNY Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5343  USA
Tel: (631) 632-4030  Fax: (631) 632-4098

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