[INDOLOGY] QUERY: mouse-venom

Charles DiSimone disimone at alumni.stanford.edu
Thu Jul 21 11:25:39 UTC 2016

Dear Matthew,

If you haven't already spotted it, I remember in Monier Williams under Ākhu
one finds: ākhuviṣahā and ākhuviṣāpahā:

'destroying a rat's venom', the grass Lipeocercis Serrata and the grass
Andropogon Serratum (both considered as remedies for a rat's bite).

I wonder if maybe the idea of venom had to do with a bite getting infected?

Best wishes,

On Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 1:04 PM, Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei at uchicago.edu>

> Dear friends,
> A bit of amusement during the summer recess:
> Śāntideva, in his Bodhicaryāvatāra IX, in the course of his critique of
> Yogācāra,
> argues that self-awareness (svasaMvid-) is not, pace the Yogācārin, a
> necessary condition
> for the formation of memory. As a counter-example, he adduces
> "mouse-venom":
> anyānubhūte saMbandhāt smRtir ākhuviSaM yathā//
> His commentator Prajñākaramati unpacks this by explaining that one who is
> struck with mouse-venom
> does not recall the incident until the memory is aroused by a thunderstorm
> (meghastanitam adhigamya).
> Now, as we all know, philosophical examples, according to Indian rules of
> debate, were supposed to
> have been such as to be accepted by all parties. We might therefore expect
> the tale about mouse-venom
> to have been fairly widely known. My question is whether any of you might
> have noted it elsewhere,
> and if so, where?
> With thanks in advance for your replies,
> Matthew
> Matthew Kapstein
> Directeur d'études,
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
> The University of Chicago
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Charles DiSimone
Promotionsprogramm Buddhismus-Studien
Institut für Indologie und Tibetologie
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

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