[INDOLOGY] Best wishes for a Peaceful Christmas and New Year...
Jan E.M. Houben
jemhouben at gmail.com
Sat Dec 31 20:44:10 UTC 2022
Thank you all who have reacted with precious references to passages
relevant to what is perhaps a kind of "radiance of peace" concept,
expressed briefly in Yoga-sūtra 2.35, अहिंसाप्रतिष्ठायां, तत्सन्निधौ
It seems that only the extensive passages in the Rāmāyaṇa Kakawin to which
Andrea Acri referred extends the concept explicitly to human society.
I am grateful for the references to the Mahābhārata, Śākuntalopākhyāna
(famously elaborated also by Kālidāsa), and the Telugu commentary on it.
Also the reference to the Caitanya-caritāmṛta in Sanskritic Bengali bring
us beyond the scope of Sanskrit literature in the strict sense of the word.
The reference to Aśvaghoṣa’s Saundarānanda I find important because it
concerns the legendary sage Kapila, known as one of the founders of the
Sāṁkhya system of philosophy (as I have argued, Sāṁkhya was originally more
a movement, partly in protest to Vedic ritualism, and became a
philosophical system afterwards).
The scene described in this reference is almost a Sāṁkhya illustration of
the concept (later on?) formulated in YS 2.35.
One part of a similar formula is perhaps found in the saṁnyāsa-vidhi
attributed to a certain Kapila, अभयं सर्वभूतेभ्यो मत्तस् स्वाहा
The other part remains here apparently unexpressed, namely: the expectation
that this declaration will lead to वैरत्यागः and to wild animals etc. to
provide, reciprocatively, abhayam to the ascetic (and, near the ascetic, to
A very similar or rather parallel concept, expressed in different terms, is
found, in my view, in the maitrī and maitrī-bhāvanā of Buddhism, as
discussed by Lambert Schmithausen in his *Maitrī and Magic : Aspects of the
Buddhist Attitude Toward the Dangerous in Nature*, Vienna, 1997.
As we know that nonviolence was and is an important religious duty in
JAINISM it would be interesting to know whether in that context, too, a
concept of a "radiance of peace" was known or developed...
With best wishes to all,
On Sun, 25 Dec 2022 at 19:13, Jan E.M. Houben <jemhouben at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear All,
> According to Yoga-sūtra 2.35, अहिंसाप्रतिष्ठायां, तत्सन्निधौ वैरत्यागः ।
> which apparently means that when someone is thoroughly established in
> non-violence, (mutual) enmity disappears in his environment.
> Commentaries and references given for aphorism and referred to for
> instance in James Wood’s translation emphasize that in this situation
> *even* wild animals, no more attack their prey. An example is Kirāṭārjunīya
> 2.55 (meter viyoginī): Vyāsa is looked at by Yudhiṣṭhira:
> madhurair avaśāni lambhayann api tiryañci śamaṃ nirīkṣitaiḥ /
> paritaḥ paṭu bibhrad enasāṃ dahanaṃ dhāma vilokanakṣamam //
> “Calming even wild animals by his gentle looks, spreading a blazing
> radiance around which burns away guilt, (but which yet) can be gazed at
> (the sage, i.e., Vyāsa son of Parāśara, was seen by the king, Yudhiṣṭhira)”
> (tr. following Roodbergen 1984, p. 143; cp. also Raghuvaṁśa 13.50, 14.79.)
> Are any more convincing stories or anecdotes known in Sanskrit literature,
> in which the peace-creating influence suggested in YS 2.35 inspires animals
> or *even* humans to behave in a more peaceful way ?
> With best wishes for a Peaceful Christmas New Year to all:
> शान्ते ! ऽस्मिन् लोक एधस्व विद्यातः प्रेमतस्तथा ।
> तव भक्तजनानां च कल्याणमस्तु सर्वदा ॥
*Jan E.M. Houben*
Directeur d'Études, Professor of South Asian History and Philology
*Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite*
École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, Paris Sciences et Lettres)
*Sciences historiques et philologiques *
Groupe de recherches en études indiennes (EA 2120)
*johannes.houben [at] ephe.psl.eu <johannes.houben at ephe.psl.eu>*
LabEx Hastec OS 2021 -- *L'Inde Classique* augmentée: construction,
et transformations d'un savoir scientifique
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