[INDOLOGY] Satirical criticism in Sanskrit literature and philosophy?

Philipp Maas philipp.a.maas at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 08:13:18 UTC 2015

Dear Jan,

Lee Siegel, *Laughing matters: comic tradition in India*. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1987 deals extensively with satire as a genre
in Sanskrit literature.

A narrative that Siegel does not treat is the Pañcatantra story “The Weaver
as Viṣṇu” in the recension of the PT that Hertel “the more simple
text” (*textus
simplicior*). The same story appears in a strongly censored version in
Pūrṇabhadra’s recension of the PT (completed on January 17, 1199), the
so-called *textus ornatior*. I analyze the two versions in an article that
will appear soon in *Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens* 57.



2015-01-09 1:23 GMT+01:00 Jan E.M. Houben <jemhouben at gmail.com>:

> Dear List Members,
> In order to pay a tribute to freedom of critical expression my Master
> course "Sanskrit, scientific and philosophical lingua franca" will in the
> following weeks, as it did yesterday, focus on
> Satirical criticism in Sanskrit literature and philosophy
> Without trying to be in any way complete I propose that the work of the
> following authors can be regarded as, to some extent at least, belonging in
> this category:
> Bhartrhari the poet/subhasita collector, Jayarasi, Ksemendra.
> Part of Bhavabhuuti's Maalatiimaadhava reads as satirical criticism on
> Kapaalikas.
> Now my question: ARE THERE ANY OTHER STRONG (extensive) EXAMPLES?
> Satire in Indian literature? WHAT is usually criticized?
> Satire in Indian philosophy? Criticism of WHAT? (Tattvopaplavasimha: of
> all philosophical-religious "truths" without trying to establish one's own).
> Writing satirical criticism in Sanskrit in a manuscript is not the same as
> expressing such criticism in the most accessible "language" thinkable:
> comics published in a weekly.
> HOW was satirical criticism in ancient, classical India RECEIVED?
> Did anyone suffer on account of critical views expressed in Sanskrit? Or
> only when it was
> expressed in a more popular language like Hindi (Kabir)?
> Best,
> jan houben
> Prof. Dr. Jan E.M. Houben,
> Directeur d Etudes « Sources et Histoire de la Tradition Sanskrite »
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Sciences historiques et philologiques,
> Sorbonne – 54, rue Saint-Jacques
> CS 20525 – 75005 Paris – France.
> johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr <JEMHouben at gmail.com>
> *https://ephe-sorbonne.academia.edu/JanEMHouben
> <https://ephe-sorbonne.academia.edu/JanEMHouben>*
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Dr. Philipp A. Maas
Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Universität Wien
Spitalgasse 2-4, Hof 2, Eingang 2.1
A-1090 Wien

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