Re: [INDOLOGY] Aśokan formula problem?
rajam at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 28 03:53:06 UTC 2014
Since I don’t know anything about the topic discussed here, I asked a Tamil-Sanskrit scholar friend of mine about it and he responded. I’m pasting his response below:
It is discussed here in this MarAthi site -
एताय अथाय इदं लेखापितं इमस अथस वढि युजंतु हीनि च मा लोचेतव्या । द्वादसवासाभिसितेन देवानं प्रियेन प्रियदशिना राञा इदं लेखापितं ।
संस्कृत छाया -
एतस्मै अर्थाय इदं लिखितम्
अस्य अर्थस्य वृध्यै युजन्तु हीना च मा द्रष्टव्या । द्वादशवर्षाभिषिक्तेन देवानां प्रियेण प्रियदर्सिना राज्ञा इदं लिखितम् ।
Hope it helps.
On Apr 27, 2014, at 4:18 AM, Artur Karp <karp at uw.edu.pl> wrote:
> Dear List,
> Recently, I came upon a claim (not published so far) that the Aśokan formula (X-number)varṣābhiṣiktena [like in RE I, Girnar, dbādasavāsābhisitena] does not convey the information on the number of years since the king's anointment, but, rather, the information on the successive number of abhishekas the king would perform on every anniversary of his rule's inauguration.
> So - not "the year X since my inauguration", but, against the standard renderings: "the year of my Xth abhisheka".
> Is there any linguistic reason for this kind of the formula's reinterpretation? The compound's structure?
> While looking through materials I have on hand, I came across the following statement in Jan Gonda's 1957 paper on Indian kingship (Ancient Indian kingship from the religious point of view, Numen, Vol. 4, Fasc. 2, p. 135):
> <<As the Asvamedha is the king of sacrifices 701), and as on the other hand the sacrificer, i.e. the king, is identical with the asvamedha, certain peculiarities of this ritual are stated to correspond to certain qualities of the king. Thus he is disposed to be "strong in arms", because the front legs of two goats sacrificed during the asvamedha are tied - "he thereby lays strength into the front legs" 702) and strong in thighs, for similar reasons. Before we leave this point we should call attention to an important statement made in the Visnudharmottara-purana 703). On every anniversary of the first 'coronation' the king should repeat the rites; this leads to welfare, to increase of the country, to the destruction of the enemies and so on. Then the 'inauguration' has become cyclic, annually carrying the ruler and his realm beyond a difficult stage, and recreating the beneficial power inherent in kingship [boldfaces mine, A. K.]>>
> Is there - apart from the Vishnudharmottara-purana fragment quoted by Gonda - any evidence for such an annual royal ritual to be found anywhere in the corpus of Śastric/Buddhist literature?
> Any comment would be much appreciated.
> Artur Karp
> Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit and Pali (ret.)
> South Asian Studies Deptt
> Oriental Faculty
> University of Warsaw
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
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