Re: [INDOLOGY] kaṣāya

Jeffery Long dharmaprof108 at
Thu Apr 13 02:30:03 UTC 2017

Dear Dominik,
I believe there is a Jain connection here.  In Jain texts, "kaṣāya" refers to passions/attachments which attract karmic matter to the jīva.  But each kaṣāya is also connected with a specific "leśya"–the colors which the jīva takes on due to the presence of the kaṣāya-s.  Perhaps the meaning of kaṣāya as a color has been conflated with the leśya concept?  This is just an initial guess, and not based on any in-depth investigation of specific occurrences of these terms in Jaina sources.
Hopefully a helpful start,Jeff Dr. Jeffery D. Long
Professor of Religion and Asian Studies
Elizabethtown CollegeElizabethtown, PA
Series Editor, Explorations in Indic Traditions: Theological, Ethical, and PhilosophicalLexington Books
"One who makes a habit of prayer and meditation will easily overcome all difficulties and remain calm and unruffled in the midst of the trials of life."  (Holy Mother Sarada Devi)
"We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)

    On Wednesday, April 12, 2017 9:51 PM, Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <indology at> wrote:

 Has anyone wrestled with the divergent meanings of "kaṣāya"?  Obviously there are core meanings like "red/yellow," "a sort of tea-like infusion," and "astringent taste."  But there are several outlier meanings, including Wilson's "attachment to worldly objects."  Wilson is often very apt, and I think he got his meaning from the Pandits around him.   The Buddhist "decay, etc." seems to carry over the ChUp's "impurity, sin."  Vedāntasāra's "stupidity" is another outlier.  Is this really a conflation of homonyms, or what?
Dominik Wujastyk_______________________________________________
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