[INDOLOGY] Best wishes for a Peaceful Christmas and New Year...
bihanisarkar at googlemail.com
Sun Jan 1 10:23:00 UTC 2023
Dear Professor Houben,
There is a reference to this in the text of the *Kumārasambhava*, as read
and commented on by Aruṇagirinātha and Nārāyaṇapaṇḍita, in the section on
Pārvatī's tapas. In Sarga 5, Pārvatī's asceticism to win Śiva is described,
and its transformative, purifying power is said to have affected the
surrounding environment, causing even animals usually at war to become
gentle towards each other:
*drumair abhīṣṭaprasavārcitātithi |*
*tapovanaṃ tatra babhūva pāvanam ||* 5.17
'There [on Mount Gaurīśikhara], her [very] ascetic grove, in which, inside
a newly built leaf hut, she had built the sacred fire, became purifying:
even beasts there mutually at war were free of their ancient hostility (
*virodhisattvojjhitapūrvamatsaraṃ*), and its trees worshipped guests with
As the two commentators note, these--i.e. peaceful animals, and trees being
hospitable to guests (just like the ascetic)--are the special, magical
characteristics of the hermitage groves of great ascetics. Nārāyaṇa
provides the following citation to a source I am not yet able to identify,
*'tapovanocitāni viśeṣaṇāny āha-- virodhisattvojjhitapūrvamatsaram ityādinā
| 'spṛśati kalabhaḥ saiṃhīṃ daṃṣṭrāṃ mṛṇāladhiyā muhur' iti
āditapovanavṛttānto' tra draṣṭavyaḥ |*
[Kālidāsa] describes the qualities appropriate to hermitage groves with the
compound 'even beasts there mutually at war were free of their ancient
hostility'. "A baby elephant keeps touching a lion's fang thinking it to be
a lotus stem"-- such a description of a hermitage grove is apparent in this
I am not sure which *tapovanavṛttānta* the quote about the baby elephant
placing his trunk inside the lion's mouth with utmost ease is from. But
evidently in such tales of hermitage groves, which the commentator was
aware of, there is an idea that the dharma of such places is non-violence
and generosity between man and beast, not to be witnessed in the real
world. And that this dharma is a transposition of the ascetic's own quality
onto the surrounding environment.
It would be interesting to read the *Raghuvaṃśa* verses you mention below
in a parenthesis in relation to this.
Bihani Sarkar MA (English, First Class Hons.), MPhil DPhil (Sanskrit),
Lecturer in Comparative Non-Western Thought,
Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion,
On Sat, Dec 31, 2022 at 8:44 PM Jan E.M. Houben via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> Dear All,
> 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
> वैरत्यागः ।
> 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
> ।(Baudhāyana-Gṛhya-Śeṣa-Sūtra 4.16.4).
> 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 each other).
> 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>*
> *https://www.classicalindia.info* <https://www.classicalindia.info>
> LabEx Hastec OS 2021 -- *L'Inde Classique* augmentée: construction,
> et transformations d'un savoir scientifique
> INDOLOGY mailing list
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