How do we know that these dreams are not literay devices but also dreams?

On Jan 10, 2017, at 12:08 PM, Jonathan Silk via INDOLOGY <> wrote:

This raises a very interesting point, which I've thought about but not yet in detail: the fact that these prophecies are 'dreams' is interesting, but I think has nothing at all to do with real dreams, any more than Pharaoh's dreams of seven thin and seven fat cows is a dream; it is a literary device. How this device is deployed, and then what the relationship between such deployment and manuals of dream interpretation (and as you know apparently the best example is that of Jagaddeva, but as you also know there are others, especially later, at least in Jain tradition). I have been assuming--perhaps wrongly?--that such manuals actually aim at 'real' dreams, as a tool to help one understand what one has dreamt. Thus I haven't looked into them in this regard...

On Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 6:48 PM, Lubomir Ondracka <> wrote:
Dear Jonathan,

last year I went through duḥsvapna and ariṣṭa sections in many texts (mostly Brahmanical), but I don't remember anything similar to your story.

An Indian stock of bad dreams and other omens is rather limited, many of them have long history from Vedic texts upto late medieval nibandhas. It seems that this dream (a monkey/hermaphrodite becoming a king) does not belong to this stock.

The only positive information I can give you is that when a monkey is seen in a dream, it is a duḥsvapna signalling some disaster, usually a death of the dreaming person (e.g. there are a few verses saying this in Jagaddeva's Svapnacintāmaṇi).

It could be useful to have a look at Ballālasena's Adbhutasāgara, it's a treasury of different omens common in India. I didn't read the full text (it's very long), so there's a chance you will find what you are looking for in this text (if you didn't check it yet).


On Tue, 10 Jan 2017 12:33:02 +0100
Jonathan Silk <> wrote:

> Dear Friends,
> This may be something well known, but...
> I am working now on a set of prophecies of the evil to beset the Buddhist
> community after the Buddha's death. These (they are relatively well known)
> are cast as dreams of King Kṛkin, who lived in the distant past, and whose
> dreams were interpreted by the Buddha Kāśyapa (some sources say this was
> his son!) as pertaining to his far future, namely, our time, more or less.
> Anyway, one of the dreams is that a monkey will be consecrated as king,
> which is interpreted to mean that a hermaphrodite will be consecrated king.
> I've looked (sort of, not exactly sure even how to look for this!) to see
> whether this is considered a sign of decline, but I've come up empty.
> Probably i'm just looking in the wrong place... but one of you śiṣṭas must
> know...?
> thanks!  jonathan
> --
> J. Silk
> Leiden University
> Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
> Matthias de Vrieshof 3, Room 0.05b
> 2311 BZ Leiden
> The Netherlands
> copies of my publications may be found at

J. Silk
Leiden University
Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
Matthias de Vrieshof 3, Room 0.05b
2311 BZ Leiden
The Netherlands

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