[INDOLOGY] crossing oceans?

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at umich.edu
Thu Oct 13 12:56:15 EDT 2016


I have seen two interesting works on this topic, Abdhi-Nauyāna-Mīmāṃsā and
Paryaṭana-Mīmāṃsā, composed around 1890-1900, that deal with the
contemporary issue of Indians traveling to Europe, during colonial times.
I have these pdfs, and I would be happy to share them with interested
scholars.

Madhav Deshpande

On Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 11:59 AM, Olivelle, J P <jpo at austin.utexas.edu>
wrote:

> And the basic question to ask concerning Dominik’s question is: Who says
> that twice-born people cannot cross oceans? The Dharmaśāstras who say this,
> and other working under that ideological pronouncements, represent only one
> segment even of the Brahmanical tradition. Going by sea is take as normal
> in Kauṭilya’s Arthaśāstra, and that is,  I think, the first century CE.
> And, of course, the Buddhist examples and the spread of Sanskrit to SE
> Asian kingdoms (as Pollock has shown) required Brahmins and others to
> travel by sea. So, probably we should take the prohibition agains traveling
> by sea as an ideological statement rather than a historical fact.
>
> Patrick
>
>
>
> On Oct 13, 2016, at 9:46 AM, Valerie Roebuck <vjroebuck at btinternet.com>
> wrote:
>
> I think these are two different issues, and the prohibition on crossing
> the ocean is distinct from the practical one for Buddhist monks against
> walking in the rainy season and stepping on small animals in puddles. The
> prohibition on ocean travel primarily affected Brahmins, who lost their
> ritual purity by leaving the sacred land of India where their rites could
> be carried out. In Buddhist and Jain texts, unlike Hindu ones, sea-going
> merchants are treated as heroic figures - no doubt in part because the
> merchant classes were powerful early supporters of these religions.
>
> Valerie J Roebuck
> Manchester, UK
>
>
> On 13 Oct 2016, at 14:49, Rolf Heinrich Koch <rolfheiner.koch at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> I think the origin of that idea is the ahiṃsā-precept: Conquering water
> may kill animals (by accident).
>
> I remember while working on my Ph. D. (Edition of Prakrit-manuscripts):
> For a monk it is forbidden to step across water (e. g. during the rainy
> season) because he might step into the water and kill small animals.
> ...*aṇṇayā so sādhū vivarayaṃ uttarai. tattha ya pāda-vikkhaṃbhaṃ
> pāṇiyaṃ. teṇa pādo pasārio gai-bhedeṇaṃ. tattha ya devayāe chiddaṃ
> labhiūṇaṃ [ūruo] chiṇṇo. so bhaṇai: »micchā-dukkaḍaṃ mā āukkāe paḍio
> bhojja«tti. aṇṇāe sammaddiṭṭhiyāe diṭṭhā. sā ghā-ḍiyā. tah’eva sappadeso
> laio rūḍho ya devayā-pabhāveṇaṃ*...(āvaśyaka-cūrṇi 514sq.)
>
>
> This idea is also connected with the buddhist precept for monks not to
> travel during the rain season (vassa).
>
> Best
>
> Heiner
>
> Rolf Heinrich Koch
>
> Am 13.10.2016 um 14:51 schrieb Matthew Kapstein:
>
> Dear Dominik,
>
> When does the ban on ocean travel first appear? And when and how did it
> become the norm?
> Ocean travel is often mentioned in Buddhist texts (e.g. BaverujAtaka) and
> the extension of
> Indian civilization throughout SE Asia during the first millennium
> required Brahmans to journey
> as well.
>
> The theme of "India and the Sea" perhaps requires further inquiry -- or am
> I merely ignorant
> of a great mass of research laying, so to speak, submerged?
>
> best,
> Matthew
>
> Matthew Kapstein
> Directeur d'études,
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
>
> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
> The University of Chicago
> ------------------------------
>
>
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> -- www.rolfheinrichkoch.wordpress.com
>
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