[INDOLOGY] crossing oceans?

Eugen Ciurtin e.ciurtin at gmail.com
Tue Oct 18 18:59:16 EDT 2016


Dear Colleagues,

Max Müller has an anecdotic reply from 1899, reporting in fact the
visits of Indians to Paris in the 1840s, when he was a pupil of Burnouf:

My Indian friend Dvarkanath Tagore, though not learned, was very
intelligent, and a man of the world. He rather looked down on the Brahmans,
and when I asked him whether he would have to perform penance, or
Prayascitta, after his return to India, he laughed and said, "No. I am all
this time feeding a large number of Brahmans at home, and that is quite
penance enough!" The real penance was, of course, the Pancagavya, the five
products of the cow which the penitent had to swallow before he could
be readmitted to his caste; and these products were not only milk, sour
milk, and clarified butter, but likewise other products, such as Mutra and
Gomaya. That penance still exists, and many of our Indian visitors have had
to undergo it after their return, though at present the five products of the
cow are reduced to infinitesimal proportions and swallowed in the shape of
a gilded pill.

*Auld lang syne*, Second series: My Indian friends, London: Scribner, 1899,
p. 12.

With every good wish,
Eugen Ciurtin
(Institute for the History of Religions, Bucharest)

2016-10-14 14:12 GMT+03:00 Manu Francis <manufrancis at gmail.com>:

> Dear Dominik,
>
>
> Whatever the history of the ban on sea travel, the “bank” (of a river, but
> also of an ocean) metaphor is also used to describe learned people. See
> pāradṛśvan (M-W: “one who has seen the oppositive shore, far-seeing, wise,
> completely familiar with or versed in”), i.e. one who understood the whole
> thing. Droṇa for instance is described in a Pallava inscription as
> *bāṇāstravedacaturarṇṇavapāradr̥śvā*, literally “who has seen the other
> bank of the fourfold ocean that the Veda about the bow is.”
>
>
> Attaining mokṣa is reaching the other bank of the “ocean of saṃsāra”. In
> a buddhist context, the Buddha recollected all his previous lifes, before
> his nirvāṇa.
>
>
> As for more on ocean as vastness, totality, completude, see the title
> Kathāsaritsāgara, or the very conventional description in epigraphy of
> universal sovereigns as ruling or being famous up to the three/four/seven
> oceans, i.e. in the whole world. See also some of the birudas of
> Narasiṃhavarman II Pallava (8th c.): Jñānasāgara, “Ocean of knowledge”,
> Kalāsamudra, “Ocean of artistic skills”.
>
>
> With very best wishes.
>
>
> --
>
> Emmanuel Francis
> Chargé de recherche CNRS, Centre d'étude de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud
> (UMR 8564, EHESS-CNRS, Paris)
> http://ceias.ehess.fr/
> http://ceias.ehess.fr/index.php?1725
> http://rcsi.hypotheses.org/
> Associate member, Centre for the Study of Manuscript Culture (SFB 950,
> Universität Hamburg)
> http://www.manuscript-cultures.uni-hamburg.de/index_e.html
> https://cnrs.academia.edu/emmanuelfrancis
>
> 2016-10-14 12:03 GMT+02:00 Matthew Kapstein <mkapstei at uchicago.edu>:
>
>> Some of the social complexity of sea travel in and out of 19th c. India,
>> focusing on Kolkata
>> and Mumbai (and Canton), is of course now entertainingly reborn in Amitav
>> Ghosh's Ibis Trilogy......
>>
>> Matthew Kapstein
>> Directeur d'études,
>> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
>>
>> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
>> The University of Chicago
>> ------------------------------
>>
>>
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-- 
Dr E. Ciurtin
Secretary of the Romanian Association for the History of Religions

Publications Officer of the European Association for the Study of Religions
www.easr.eu

Lecturer & Secretary of the Scientific Council
Institute for the History of Religions, Romanian Academy
Calea 13 Septembrie no. 13 sect. 5, Bucharest 050711
Phone: 00 40 733 951 953
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