[INDOLOGY] QUERY: mouse-venom

Fabrizio Ferrari kocchop at outlook.com
Thu Jul 21 16:24:57 UTC 2016

Dear Mathew, 


In Suśrutasaṃhitā (Kalpasthāna vii.1-42) there is a discussion on rat poisoning. A list of eighteen kinds of rats is given, along with the symptoms caused by their poisonous bite and instruction on remedies. 


I hope this may help.

With best wishes, 








Professor Fabrizio Ferrari

Indology and South Asian Religions
Department of Theology and Religious Studies
University of Chester
Parkgate Road
Chester CH1 4BJ 
Tel 01244 511039 
 <mailto:f.ferrari at chester.ac.uk> f.ferrari at chester.ac.uk





From: Charles DiSimone [mailto:disimone at alumni.stanford.edu] 
Sent: 21 July 2016 12:26
To: Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei at uchicago.edu>
Cc: indology at list.indology.info
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] QUERY: mouse-venom


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 <mailto:mkapstei at uchicago.edu> > wrote:

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 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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