[INDOLOGY] "vIraka"

Judit Torzsok torzsokjudit at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 22 20:37:57 UTC 2013

Indeed, Nandirudra is not a bull in the Haracaritacintaama.ni, nor in a lot of places elsewhere. For a recent discussion in the Tantric context, see the entry Nandin in the 3rd volume of the Tāntrikābhidhānako

Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2013 15:57:02 -0700
From: bhairava11 at gmail.com
To: andrew.nicholson at stonybrook.edu
CC: indology at list.indology.info
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] "vIraka"

If I understand Judit correctly, the Nandirudra which Jayaratha writes of is not half-bull half-man. Identification of Nandin as Śiva's bull is a recent phenomenon; in the pre-modern period, the bull vehicle was just called Vṛṣabha while Nandin/Nandirudra was a gaṇa and one of Śiva's dvārapālas.

best, C

On 11 August 2013 06:38, Andrew Nicholson <andrew.nicholson at stonybrook.edu> wrote:

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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śivās te panthānaḥ santu = May
there be blessings on your journey.


Christopher Wallis, M.A. (Cal), M.Phil. (Oxon) 

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