The "Net of Indra"

Arlo Griffiths griffithsa at RULLET.LEIDENUNIV.NL
Tue Aug 29 04:40:07 EDT 2000

A question, a reference, and a note from an anupaniita;si.sya:

* What texts are you referring to when you mention "Indrajaala texts"? As
for Vedic, I find no references except at the chronologically distant
passages AV;S 8.8 = AVP 16.29 and AVPari;s 3.1.13 (plus some late
Upani.sadic passages).

* In case you had not come across this yet, you might consult Teun
Goudriaan's "Maayaa, Divine an Human", which has a lengthy chapter on the
concept of the

* An Orissa manuscript (belonging to an Oriya Atharvavedic brahmin) is
available to me, which seems to be related to the little known
text(s)/system of magical rituals which are referred to
"(Praty)AA:ngirasakalpa". It offers i.a. a description of these Six Acts.
The ms. also contains geometric and yantra/ma.n.dala type drawings, which
are to be used for these acts. There are several flowers, among these
shapes, but they all seem to have 8 (or more) petals.

-- Arlo Griffiths

CNWS / Instituut Kern
Universiteit Leiden
Postbus 9515
2300 RA  Leiden
the Netherlands

tel.: +31-71-5272979

>From: Artur Karp <hart at POLBOX.COM>
>Subject: Re: The "Net of Indra"
>Date: zat, 26 aug 2000 5:06 PM

> A short remark and a question concerning the "Net of Indra".
> IndrajAla texts group some static aspects of reality (like directions,
> seasons, tithis, names of divinities, numbers, colors, animals, etc.) around
> the aggregate of the "Six [magic] Acts" (SaTkarmANi)  - zAntikaraNa
> (pacifying), vazIkaraNa (subjugating), stambhana (stopping), vidveSaNa
> (exciting enmity), uccATana (eradicating), mAraNa (killing). The "Six Acts"
> can  thus be seen as the central nodes of the "Net of Indra"; all other
> elements of the "Net" are not independent and seem to function only as
> symbolic representations of the "Six Acts".
> Graphically, one is tempted to imagine a flower of six petals, the tip of
> each petal surrounded by its own, specific constellation of signs (magical
> equivalences, "mAraNa" = black = buffalo, etc.). But it is also possible to
> see in the "Six Acts" a hierarchically arranged sequence, a kind of cyclical
> strategy, in which every (black) "mAraNa" is followed by a new (white)
> "zAntikaraNa", every unsuccessful (white) "zAntikaraNa" by a (red)
> "vazIkaraNa", every unsuccessful (red) "vazIkaraNa" by a (yellow)
> "stambhana" - and so on.
> Sign systems of this kind used to be used in attempts to manipulate and
> transform reality. Also - to read intentions of other manipulators and
> neutralize
> in advance their harmful effects. Is the "Net of Indra" enumerated anywhere
> among the skills employed in the art of politics?
> With regards,
> Artur Karp
> University of Warsaw
> Poland
> P.S. Is there an English translation of Hermann Oldenberg's "Die
> Weltanschauung der Brahmanatexte" (Gottingen 1919)?
> Any recent work on the "Net of Indra"?
> A.K.

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