Corinna Wessels-Mevissen corinnawessels at yahoo.de
Wed Nov 2 11:11:37 UTC 2016

(Sub-topic: rotation of the body)Dear Nagaraj Paturi,

Thank you so much for your explicit and enlightening reply! I also studied the concept of the evil eye (dṛṣṭi) a few years ago, to some extent. Therefore, your excursus is a welcome update for me in this respect, too.

With regards,
      Von: Nagaraj Paturi <nagarajpaturi at gmail.com>
 An: Corinna Wessels-Mevissen <corinnawessels at yahoo.de> 
CC: "indology at list.indology.info" <indology at list.indology.info>
 Gesendet: 6:10 Mittwoch, 2.November 2016
 Betreff: Re: [INDOLOGY] Ear
Dear Prof. Corinna Wessels-Mevissen,
Yes, what you observed as 'rotating while standing' is aatmapradakshiNa namaskaara only. 
But it is not done as a substitute for pradakshiNA which is usually translated as 'circumambulation' (I suspect that the translation is borrowed from some ritual-describing Latin-origin term used in some religion outside Hinduism-Buddhism complex. An online dictionary gives the reference as  "Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon" (Herman Melville).) 
pradakshiNA is a clockwise rotation around a sanctum sanctorum or temple or a sacred hill or any other such sacred object.
In north India the word parikramA is used more often in this sense. 
This is a form of 'paying respect', 'expressing love of the intense inseparability' ( A circle is formed when an object is pulled perpetually by a center ) , dependence etc. 
There is an occult semiotics too associated with rotating an object around another object. In this aspect, the rotated object is believed to collect positive or negative supernatural power occupying / possessing the central object. For example, this is done as an evil eye removing magic in which the evil eye removing material is rotated around the 'evil eye affected' person and the rotation is believed to collect the (evil spirit of) evil eye and store it in itself. Throwing away this material is believed to send away the (evil spirit of) evil eye. If this semiotics is applied to pradakshiNaa the act is seen as collecting the 'positive' power occupying / possessing the central object, a prANa pratishThita or svayambhU deity in the sanctum sanctorum or temple or occupying / possessing a sacred hill or any other such sacred object by the circumambulating person. 
AtmapradakshiNA usually is associated with the reciting or chanting the following mantra:
यानि कानि च पापानि जन्मान्तर कृतानि च। तानि तानि प्रणश्यंति प्रदक्षिण पदे पदे ॥
This shows that the associated belief is rotation around oneself (Atma = self) is a pApa-buster. Again, the 'occult' semiotics here is that the spirit possessed object when rotates /made to rotate around itself, the spirit is flushed out of the object. 
Rolling on the floor is a different story.

On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 1:27 AM, Corinna Wessels-Mevissen via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Corinna Wessels-Mevissen <corinnawessels at yahoo.de>
To: "indology at list.indology.info" <indology at list.indology.info>
Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2016 19:54:53 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Ear
Dear Prof. Paturi and other colleagues,

I wonder whether the worshippers' rolling on the ground during South Indian processions may be related to the rite we are discussing or not (see first photo):
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ news/article-3740285/That-s- roll-Thousands-Hindu-devotees- gather-West-London-chariot- procession.html
The act of rotating while standing I have observed many times in Tamil Nadu, when it appeared to me as a substitute for a 'real' pradakṣiṇā around a deity, which the worshipper was not able to perform at that particular time. Does this come under ātmapradakṣiṇā namaskāra / kṣamāyācanā?

Corinna Wessels-Mevissen Von: Nagaraj Paturi <nagarajpaturi at gmail.com>
 An: stella sandahl <ssandahl at sympatico.ca> 
CC: Indology <indology at list.indology.info>
 Gesendet: 19:57 Dienstag, 1.November 2016
 Betreff: Re: [INDOLOGY] Ear
Did you see the video? 
It is called aatmapradakshiNa namaskaara 
> How does one rotate around oneself?
---- Just for fun, let me say, just as the earth rotates around its own axis. 

On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 12:02 AM, Nagaraj Paturi <nagarajpaturi at gmail.com> wrote:

On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 7:56 PM, stella sandahl <ssandahl at sympatico.ca> wrote:

Many thanks for this interesting and detailed information. Most illuminating.But I don't understand your point 8: How does one rotate around oneself?BestStella Sandahl
On Nov 1, 2016, at 5:28 AM, Nagaraj Paturi <nagarajpaturi at gmail.com> wrote:

Following the advice of Prof. Dominik Vujastyk sometime ago. I wanted to take my typos easy. But at some places this time they seemed to be horrible. So let me resend it with corrections highlighted. :

What Prof. Patrick J Olivelle was asking for was a textual reference. If it is the question of the details of the actual ritual, its altogether a different big story.  1. Touching the ears is not just a ritual as part of worship of a deity. It is a gesture as part of daily speech adopted into the ritual. In north India, it is a common practice even today to pull one's own ear with one's own hand infinitesimally slightly down to indicate 'I apologise'. This has many complex nuances including those of expressions in romance in which case the gesture is made along with a mischievous smile.  2. This gesture has a variation of criss-crossing the hands to hold the lower tip of the ear of the  left ear with the right hand and vice versa. This is similar to the criss-crossing of hands by a Vaidika male for self introduction with gotra etc. But the semiotics here is that of obedience rather than that of  asking for forgiveness. The gesture too is little different . In the self introduction, the ear is closed with the back of the palms ,with the tips of the fingers facing upwards.  3. In south India, the variation of criss-crossing the hands to hold the lower tip of the ear of the    left ear with the right hand and vice versa is part of the ritual of  considered to be typical of Ganesha worship and is performed even during the briefest of Darshan of Ganesha. But here, this gesture is essentially part of sit-stand series expressing asking for forgiveness.  4. In any case, touching the ground is not part of these gestures or rituals employing them.  5. What probably is being viewed as touching the ground is sAshTAnga namaskAra which is an expression of surrender rather than asking for forgiveness. These two rituals are different from each other.  6. To show that surrender ritual and ritual for asking for forgiveness are different, I am providing this link to a general popular description of a Devi-worship ritual:  which has 
15) क्षमायाचना :- 

आवाहनं न जानामि न जानामि विसर्जनम् । पूजां चैव न जानामि क्षम्यतां परमेश्वरि ॥ मंत्रहीनं क्रियाहीनं भक्तिहीनं सुरेश्वरि । यत्पूजितं मया देवि परिपूर्ण तदस्तु मे ॥३॥पापोहं पापकर्माहं पापात्मा पाप संभव: ॥ त्राहि मां पर्मेशानी सर्वपापहरा भव॥४॥  अपराधसहस्त्राणि क्रियंतेऽहर्निशं मया । दासोऽयमिति मां मत्वा क्षमस्व परमेश्वरी ॥ 16)आत्मसमर्पण मंत्र :- एक आचमनी जल लेकर निम्न मंत्र पढ़कर सामने पात्र मे छोड़ दं -इत: पूर्वं प्राणबुद्धिदेह धर्माधिकारतो जाग्रतस्वप्न सुषुप्त्य- वस्थासु मनसा वाचा कर्मणा हस्ताभ्यां पद्भ्यामुदरेण शिश्ना यत् कृतं यत् स्मृतं यदुक्तं तत्सर्वं ब्रह्मार्पणं भवतु, मां मदीयं सकलमाद्या कालीपदाम्भो अर्पयामि ॐ तत्सत् |( महानिर्वाण तंत्र) 
7. The gesture of pulling the lower tip of the ear with or without criss-crossed hands has its origin in the mild punishment method of pinching the ear. This gesture has the semiotics of self-punishment. Series of sit-stand movements too has a similar  -punishment to self-punishment- 'derivation'.  8. Rotating around oneself is also part of  क्षमायाचना. But it has a different semiotic 'derivation'.

Thanks for your patience. 


Nagaraj Paturi Hyderabad, Telangana, INDIA. Former Senior Professor of Cultural Studies FLAME School of Communication and FLAME School of  Liberal Education, (Pune, Maharashtra, INDIA )   


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