[INDOLOGY] Crow and Monkey

Jason Birch jb92 at soas.ac.uk
Fri Jul 31 09:07:56 UTC 2020


I’m wondering if anyone on this list has come across a reference to a monkey and crow representing different approaches to liberation? Even an allegorical story of a crow and monkey may be helpful. 

The reference I have is from the Yogabīja, which explains the different views (mata) of the crow and monkey in regard to yoga and liberation. The monkey achieves liberation by practising yoga for a long time in one life. The crow achieves liberation very quickly in one lifetime after practising yoga over the course of many past lives. The author mentions that this has been taught in another work (anyagrantha).

I’m aware of Bhusuṇḍa, the immortal crow in the Mokṣopāya but, as far as I know, that text does not feature a monkey. 

Any suggestions are most appreciated.



Jason Birch (DPhil Oxon)
Research Fellow
SOAS University of London 

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