Re: [INDOLOGY] ratta-māla

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at
Wed Apr 29 15:48:25 UTC 2020

Dear Rolf,

     The word *rakta* indeed appears with the meaning of "red," but at
least in Marathi usage, the word refers to blood, which of course has red
color.  I wonder if the executioner is said to wear something bloody.  Just
a thought.


Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies

[Residence: Campbell, California, USA]

On Wed, Apr 29, 2020 at 8:18 AM Rolf Heinrich Koch via INDOLOGY <
indology at> wrote:

> Dear listmembers,
> anyone of you came probably across a description of someone  who is
> adorned with a *rattamāla* "a red garland of flowers"
> And: Where, at which part of the body, he wears this garland?
> I found two quotations in Jātakas: Here in each case it is a executioner (
> *vadhaka*, *coraghātaka*) who is adorned with a *rattamāla*.
> The artists of the last centuries painted the executioner with a garland
> hanging around his neck or even across his upper body.
> But there is another quotation, in the Vessantara-Jātaka, where the
> Brahmin Jūjaka is adorned ... *dvīsu kaṇṇesu ratta-mālā* ...= with a
> garland of flowers bound at each of his two ears.
> I think a *rattamāla *original adorned the ears. But I need textual
> references.
> Someone can help?
> Thank you
> Heiner
> --
> Dr. Rolf Heinrich
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