Re: [INDOLOGY] Purāṇas, "resembling the belly of a mirror"

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at
Wed Jan 31 13:49:24 UTC 2018

Before this question can be answered, we need to figure out what the
darpaṇas were made of.  Was it a glass mirror as we now have it, or was it
a highly polished plate of metal?  If it is the latter, your description
probably refers to "highly polished."  Just a thought.

Madhav Deshpande
(currently in Pune)

On Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 6:45 PM, Toke Lindegaard Knudsen via INDOLOGY <
indology at> wrote:

> Dear all,
> I’m looking at some purāṇic passages where the expression “resembling the
> belly of a mirror” occurs.
> Liṅgapurāṇa 2.28.47-48 (all references in this email are drawn from
> GRETIL) has:
> śrūyatāṃ paramaṃ guhyaṃ vedikoparimaṇḍalam /
> aṣṭamāṅgulasaṃyuktaṃ maṅgalākuraśobhitam //
> phalapuṣpasamākīrṇaṃ dhūpadīpasamanvitam /
> vedimadhye prakartavyaṃ darpaṇodarasannibham //
> The verses speak of a diagram, maṇḍala, to be drawn in the center of the
> altar, vedi. The expression darpaṇodarasannibham, “resembling the belly of
> a mirror,” is used with reference to the maṇḍala.
> Liṅgapurāṇa 1.8.83 has:
> atyantanirmale samyak supralipte vicitrite /
> darpaṇodarasaṃkāśe kṛṣṇāgarusudhūpite //
> The context is the location where a practitioner should engage in yoga.
> The expression darpaṇodarasaṃkāśe, “resembling the belly of a mirror,” is
> used to describe a characteristic the place should have.
> The Śivapurāṇa 7.2,29.11-13 has:
> na tu prayogo bhidyeta vakṣyamāṇasya karmaṇaḥ /
> parīkṣya bhūmiṃ vidhivadgaṃdhavarṇarasādibhiḥ //
> manobhilaṣite tatra vitānavitatāṃbare /
> supralipte mahīpṛṣṭhe darpaṇodarasaṃnibhe //
> prācīmutpādayetpūrvaṃ śāstradṛṣṭena vartmanā /
> ekahastaṃ dvihastaṃ vā maṇḍalaṃ parikalpayet //
> The context here is the ground on which the diagram, maṇḍala, is placed.
> The expression darpaṇodarasaṃnibhe, “resembling the belly of a mirror,” is
> used to describe the ground.
> I’m interested in the image of a belly of a mirror used in the passages.
> The most obvious interpretation is that the image conveys something smooth,
> polished, and clean, as we would want a mirror to be; imperfections and
> dirt would distort the image we see in the mirror. I doubt that
> ‘reflective’ is meant, though ‘shining’ is a possibility.
> My question is if the image could be used to indicate shape in some way? I
> doubt ‘concave’ or ‘convex’ shape is meant, but perhaps ‘round’ or ‘flat’?
> With all best wishes,
> Toke
> -----
> Toke Lindegaard Knudsen, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow
> Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
> University of Copenhagen
> <toke.knudsen at>
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