[INDOLOGY] suicide as a result of love

Michaels, Axel michaels at asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de
Mon Jun 6 06:32:11 EDT 2016


Perhaps this question would also include some cases of suttee. Se for instance Manadeva’s inscription (464 CE) in Cangu Narayan (Nepal):


„With affection (and) with a tearful face she addressed (her) son: "Your father went to heaven. O (my) son, as your father has gone today, what is the use of my breath [i.e. life]. Take over, o son, the kingdom! I (will) follow right now the path of my husband. What (use) is (it) for me to live without (my) husband by chains of hope made by the extension of (different) kinds of pleasures when the act of meeting is like an illusion and a dream. I will go!" Saying so, she (however) remained. Then she was addressed by her sorrowful son who had diligently pressed her feet against his head out of devotion: "What (to do) with pleasure, what with the joys of life when there is seperation from you? I will give up (my) life first, later I will go to heaven from here." With tears coming out from her lotus-like face, with a net made out of words she became like a trapped and tied bird, (and) therefore she remained. After she had, together with her noble son, performed her husband's obsequies she (lived) by the rules of good conduct, chastity, fasting (and) with a totally cleaned mind; (moreover) she always gave wealth to the brahmins to increase (her late husband's) merit, she remained, with him in her mind, according to the rule of the satī vow (so that) she really was like Arundhatī.“ (Trans. Th. Riccardi)


Axel Michaels


Von: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info<mailto:indology-bounces at list.indology.info>> im Auftrag von "mmdesh at umich.edu<mailto:mmdesh at umich.edu>" <mmdesh at umich.edu<mailto:mmdesh at umich.edu>>
Datum: Montag, 6. Juni 2016 um 12:24
An: Klaus Karttunen <klaus.karttunen at helsinki.fi<mailto:klaus.karttunen at helsinki.fi>>
Cc: "indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>" <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
Betreff: Re: [INDOLOGY] suicide as a result of love

In the Nalopākhyāna (in the Sanskrit Reader, Charles Lanman, p. 9-10) from the Mahabharata, Damayantī threatens to kill herself, if rejected by Nala.  She refers to four alternatives to kill herself:  yadi tvam bhajamānām mām pratyākhyāsyasi mānada / viṣam agnim jalam rajjum āsthāsye tava kāraṇāt //, "O, Giver of Honor, if you reject me who is devoted to you, then on account of you, I will resort to poison, or fire, or water, or a rope."

Madhav Deshpande

On Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 5:46 AM, Klaus Karttunen <klaus.karttunen at helsinki.fi<mailto:klaus.karttunen at helsinki.fi>> wrote:
Dear all,
in Harṣa’s Ratnāvalī Sāgarikā – sure that her love to the king is unsuccesful – will hang herself, but luckily the king arrives in time and saves her. There are certainly many other examples.

Best,
Klaus

Klaus Karttunen
South Asian and Indoeuropean Studies
Asian and African Studies, Department of World Cultures
PL 59 (Unioninkatu 38 B)
00014 University of Helsinki, FINLAND
Tel +358-(0)2941 4482418
Fax +358-(0)2941 22094
Klaus.Karttunen at helsinki.fi<mailto:Klaus.Karttunen at helsinki.fi>






On 06 Jun 2016, at 11:50, Philipp Maas <philipp.a.maas at gmail.com<mailto:philipp.a.maas at gmail.com>> wrote:

Dear Dermot and all,
The story of the “Weaver as Viṣṇu” occurs indeed in Pūrnabhadra’s recension of the Patañcatntra as well as in the exemplar of this recension, the so-called textus simplicior. Pūrnabhadra censored the narrative strongly from the perspective of conservative smārta-Hinduism and left out the motive of suicide out of desire for the princess, which, accordingly only occurs in the textus simplicior.

For a more comprehensive analysis of the two versions of the narrative see my “On Discourses of Dharma and the Pañcatantra.” Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens 55 (2013-2014), p. 5-31, of which you find a pre-print draft version here<https://www.academia.edu/13986474/On_Discourses_of_Dharma_and_the_Pa%C3%B1catantra>.

Best wishes,

Philipp


2016-06-06 10:09 GMT+02:00 <dermot at grevatt.force9.co.uk<mailto:dermot at grevatt.force9.co.uk>>:
In Purnabhadra's version of the Pancatantra (ed. Hertel 1908 pp. 46-55; tr. A.W. Ryder 1956,
pp. 89-104), a weaver falls in love with a princess, swoons, then resolves on suicide by fire.
He is saved by his friend, a chariot-builder or carpenter (rathakAra), who promises to use his
skill to effect a union, and is spectacularly successful. It's a wonderful story, involving sex,
politics, and religion.

This is a mock-heroic example: the motif of suicidal despair resulting from love at first sight,
which is expected of exalted characters, is transferred to a man of low degree.

Dermot

On 6 Jun 2016 at 8:51, Andrew Ollett wrote:

I have the feeling that this is a relatively common motif in story literature. The one example
that comes to mind is the Prakrit verse romance Lilavati, in which one of the characters
(Kuvalayavali) has a "gandharva" wedding with a Gandharva (Citragada), and when her
father finds out and curses them, she is so overcome with shame that she tries to hang
herself from a tree. She is stopped at the last moment by her mother Rambha. This is around
v. 658 in A.N. Upadhye's edition.

On Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 8:25 AM, Alex Watson <alex.watson at ashoka.edu.in<mailto:alex.watson at ashoka.edu.in>> wrote:
    Dear List Members

    A colleague, Madhavi Menon, who is writing a book entitled 'A History of Desire in
    India', has asked me the following question. All help appreciated; I will forward your
    responses to her.

    "Are there any narratives in Sanskrit/Buddhist literature/philosophy/history that talk
    about suicide, or atma-hatya, specifically in relation to love and desire?"

    Yours Alex

    --
    Alex Watson
    Professor of Indian Philosophy
    Ashoka University
    https://ashokauniversity.academia.edu/AlexWatson

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