[INDOLOGY] Satirical criticism in Sanskrit literature and philosophy?

Christophe Vielle christophe.vielle at uclouvain.be
Fri Jan 9 08:39:55 UTC 2015

I would add on the topic:

Donald R. Davis, 'Satire as Apology: The Puruṣārtthakkūttŭ of Kerala', In: Kesavan Veluthat & Id. eds, Irreverent History: Essays for M.G.S. Narayanan, Delhi: Primus Books, pp. 93-109.
Two satirical theatre-genres (rūpaka) :

• the prahasana, of which the Bhagavadajjuka (which brings into ridicule the doctrines of Buddhism) is (like the Mattavilāsa) another good example:
cf. - K.K. Malathi Devi, Prahasanas in Sanskrit Literature and Kerala Stage, Delhi: Nag Publishers, 1995.

- Paulose, K.G., Bhagavadajjukam in Kūṭiyāṭṭam: The Hermit and the Harlot - the Sanskrit farce in Performance, Delhi: New Bharatiya Book Corp. 2000. 

Note the transl. of the farce by J.A.B. Van Buitenen in Mahfil (1971): jstor.org/stable/40874441
 • the bhāṇa (satirical monologue)

cf.  for example The Quartet of Causeries, by Śyāmilaka, Vararuci, Śūdraka & Īśvaradatta, translated by Csaba Dezső & Somadeva Vasudeva, Clays Sanskrit Library 2009.

In the philosophical debate, there are a few satirical expressions to find in :

J.-M. Verpoorten, 'Quelques tournures péjoratives dans le débat philosophique en sanskrit', IT 28, 2002, pp. 267-79. http://www.indologica.com/volumes/vol28/vol28_art13_VERPOORTEN.pdf

About the jaina parodical Dhuttakkhāṇa of Haribhadra referred to by A. Ollett, see Haribhadra, Ballade des coquins, présentation et traduction du prakrit par Jean-Pierre Osier et Nalini Balbir, Paris: GF Flammarion, 2004).

Le 9 janv. 2015 à 01:23, Jan E.M. Houben <jemhouben at gmail.com> a écrit :

> 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
> https://ephe-sorbonne.academia.edu/JanEMHouben
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Christophe Vielle

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