[INDOLOGY] Resumption of 'In an oil vat'.

Artur Karp karp at uw.edu.pl
Tue Apr 2 17:15:39 UTC 2019

Dear Herman,

Thank you for your comments.

<<amil karumaṉ or karumakaṉ (*-makaṉ* is Skt putra) is attested only late,
namely in Kampaṉ's Rāmāyanam...>>

Right, '*attested* only late'. But it would have been in use - not
necessarily exactly in the form mentioned by Turner in his CDIAL -
centuries earlier, long before the age of the Buddha. Linguistically, the
area of his activity must have been far from uniform. It would include not
only the Indo-Aryan, but also Dravidian and Austric speaking tribes, among
them iron-smelters (called Asurs, Agarias).

Cunda, whose Summing up
As the keepers of the secrets surrounding the miraculous transformation of
iron-ore into - finally - steel, the iron smiths must have had their own
tradition - mythology and rituals.

pon., 17 gru 2018 o 14:52 Tieken, H.J.H. <H.J.H.Tieken at hum.leidenuniv.nl>

> Dear Artur,
> Tamil karumaṉ or karumakaṉ (*-makaṉ* is Skt putra) is attested only late,
> namely in Kampaṉ's Rāmāyanam and a traditional dictionary (Piṅkalam). The
> word may well be related to karu "black", as in karukku "to darken by heat"
> (see DED 1073). The other word for "BLACKsmith", common in (earlier) Caṅkam
> poems, is kollaṉ (see DED 1773), of which the stem kol(l)- is also found in
> kollai. The latter is a word for a clearing, a field cleared by burning,
> and therefore black. This blackness is an issue in some of the poems about
> the so-called kollai fields which I will deal with in an article (about
> something else) I happen to be writing at this moment. Note that Takanobu
> Takahashi in his article "Is clearing or plowing equal to killing? Tamil
> culture and the spread of Jainism in Tamilnadu" (in Bilingual Discourse and
> Cross-Cultural Fertilisation: Sanskrit and Tamil in Medieval India.
> Pondichéry 2013, pp.53-67) derives kollai, unnecessarily as I will try to
> show, from kol "to kill".
> Herman
> Herman Tieken
> Stationsweg 58
> 2515 BP Den Haag
> The Netherlands
> 00 31 (0)70 2208127
> website: hermantieken.com
> ------------------------------
> *Van:* INDOLOGY [indology-bounces at list.indology.info] namens Artur Karp
> via INDOLOGY [indology at list.indology.info]
> *Verzonden:* maandag 17 december 2018 13:19
> *Aan:* indology
> *Onderwerp:* Re: [INDOLOGY] Resumption of 'In an oil vat'.
> Dear List Members,
>     The Buddha's last  sermon (of unknown content) took place in  Pāvā.
> Its recipient was the local blacksmith. His name, *Cunda*, does not sound
> Indo–Aryan. The text calls him *kammāra*-. Although generally related to
> the Skt. *karmāra - *'blacksmith'*, * the etymology of this term is
> uncertain. In his *A Comparative Dictionary of Indo**–**Aryan Languages * (2898)
> Turner allows for the possibility of it being a borrowing from the
> Dravidian (<<cf. Tam. *karumā, *'smith, smelter', whence meaning 'smith'
> was transferred also to KARMAKĀRA->>).
>      The Buddha and Cunda: a meeting, it seems, of the representatives of
> two differing traditions. *Sūkaramaddava*, the term describing the dish
> offered by Cunda to the Buddha, sounds Middle Indo-Aryan. Nevertheless, its
> meaning is not clear, it has acquired a number of unconvincing
> interpretations.
>      If so - could this term have also  originally come from the local
> non-Indo-Aryan dialect? Was it, in its Pali form, an ad hoc created
> vocabulary item? Have there been attempts to find its equivalent in the
> local smiths’ professional terminology? In the local Dalits' kitchen
> vocabulary?
>     I am not aware of any.
> Regards,
> śr., 12 gru 2018 o 22:00 Artur Karp <karp at uw.edu.pl> napisał(a):
>> Dear List Members,
>> A short fragment of the MPSutta (84–85, 90), the one that describes the
>> last meal of the Buddha and his fatal illness, mentions one person 23 times
>> – by name and professional designation: *cundo kammāraputto*, Cunda, the
>> blacksmith.
>> Is the number of these references not significant? Some translators,
>> perhaps not wanting to strain the readers’ patience, tend to reduce the
>> phrase to the personal name only, as if the fact that the Buddha’s host was
>> a *smith* was an unimportant detail. *Cunda the blacksmith* becomes
>> *Cunda*.
>> Oskar von Hinüber is more radical. In his widely read and already
>> classical paper (*Cremated like a King: The Funeral of the Buddha within
>> the Ancient Indian Cultural Context*, ICPBS 2009) he does not mention
>> Cunda, not even once. He refers there to what he calls *‘a vessel made
>> of iron and filled with sesame oil’;* a type of vat which, according to
>> tradition, was used for cremating the bodies of anointed kings – and, later
>> on, of the Buddha himself. However, he does not link the material from
>> which such vessels were made with the person of a smith, of an iron–maker
>> appearing so conspicuously in the text. The majority of the specialists
>> (among them John Strong) write rather about *‘an iron oil
>> vessel/tub/vat’*. But this is beyond the point. Von Hinüber’s attention
>> is directed at *oil*, not at *iron*.
>> Apart from iron, the text does not mention any other economically
>> important metal - neither copper nor bronze.
>> In this sense we may say that the MPSutta is dominated by iron – and
>> steel.
>> Could it be that the narrative relating the marvelous transformation of
>> the Buddha’s human body into the everlasting relics was based on the
>> procedures of iron smelting and hardening, the latter giving it, finally,
>> the potential to create everlasting forms? Could the fact that the burning
>> out of the Buddha’s body is stopped by cold water be devoid of any meaning?
>> These are questions that – to my mind – demand answers. They may lead to
>> an entirely new approach to research on the world of the MPSutta.

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