Another bit of black anti-rakshas PR?

Artur Karp karp at UW.EDU.PL
Sat Nov 19 19:50:55 EST 2011


Dear Joanna,

A couple of clarifications here.

Since Viradha is vyāditāsya ("open-mouthed"), I feel entitled to see
here a definitely satirical allusion to the image of the ultimate
Finisher, the Saturn-like Vishnu, described in the Bhagavadgita
(XI,24) as vyāttānana ("open-mouthed").

Yes, Pollock has "like Death attacking peple at their fated hour". But
Monier-Williams, SED, p. 278, comments, more old-fashionedly, on kāla:

abhy-adhāvata prajāḥ kāla ivāntakaḥ - "he attacked the people like
Time the destroyer". And this rendering reminds me of the famous
phrase: kālo 'smi loka-kṣaya-kṛt "I am Time, the destroyer of the
world" (Bhg. XI,32).

The Viradha episode mixes horror-like images with satire. Viradha,
despite his outward resemblance to Time, the world destroyer, is
ultimately found out to be a foolish monster, his rage - an expression
of empty pretences.

Everything about him is confused - as the sequence 3-4-2 in place of
the expected (and sacred, mentioned already in the Śatapatha-brahmana)
4-3-2?

Regards,

Artur Karp

PS. My letter in answer to Louis Gonzalez-Reimann remarks (mostly
negative) re has provoked a mechanic reaction: "Delivery to the
following recipient failed permanently:
    reimann at berkeley.edu.". Etc.

A.



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