[INDOLOGY] Question

Harry Spier vasishtha.spier at gmail.com
Wed Jun 17 00:15:08 EDT 2020


Madhav,

You wrote:

>  The statement "La mention du *k**ī**laka *est courante à l’époque
> moderne." is also interesting.  How old are these notions?  Are they
> limited to relatively late texts?
>

Like you I wondered what time span the writer meant by "  l’époque
moderne." .  The full sentence reads "La mention du *k**ī**laka *est
courante à l’époque moderne.[A.P.]"
  Are [A.P.] the initials of the contributing author or something else:?

There is also the statement in the TAK article: Les manuels de rituel qui
mentionnent le *k**ī**laka *le donnent

comme formé par un des éléments constitutifs (mot ou syllabe) du

mantra. Une telle mention ne paraît pas être très ancienne. [A.P.]


But the TAK article  doesn't give the names of these ritual manuals that
mention kIlaka.

Harry Spier

I see the *kīlaka *in the Rāmarakṣāstotra, but there is no *argalā *in it.
> So it looks like there is no invariable connection between *kīlaka *and *argalā.
> *I have a manuscript in my hand that has some preamble to the
> *Viṣṇusahasranāmastotra*, that refers to various verses in it as *bīja,
> śakti, hr̥daya, kīlaka, astra, kavaca, *and *mantra*.  It does not have
> *argalā*, and these various verses assigned these roles are scattered
> throughout the text of the *Viṣṇusahasranāma*.  I wonder if it means that
> while reciting the text of the *Viṣṇusahasranāma, *these various steps or
> landmarks happen.  I was taught the recitation of this stotra, but the
> recitation does not halt at these various verses to perform anything
> specific. There is something mysterious to me.
>
> Madhav M. Deshpande
> Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
> University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
> Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
>
> [Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
>
>
> On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 5:39 PM Harry Spier <vasishtha.spier at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Dear Madhav,
>> I've been trying to find this out (especially about *k**ī**laka *for
>> over 20 years.
>> 1. Thomas Coburn in his book "Encountering The Goddess" note 27 to
>> Chapter 6 says:
>> Ambika Datta UpAdhyAya observed that all mantras, Rg Vedic and other,
>> have placed over them a curse which renders their recitation ineffective
>> until it is removed with a kIlaka, a sort of "counter curse". An
>> appropriate kIlaka exists for every mantra.  The episode that appears here
>> in the kIlaka is clearly similar, but the restraint is placed on the mantra
>> in SaptazatI not as a curse, but to contain its overwhelming power.
>> 2. The TAK entry for kIlaka is:
>>
>> Au sens figuré, le *k**ī**laka *est un des éléments servant à
>> caractériser
>>
>> un mantra tantrique et qui, dans les rites, doivent être imposés,
>>
>> par *ny**ā**sa**, en commençant par le ṛ*ṣ**i* (v. s.v. *rṣā**di**)*. Ce
>>
>> *kī**laka *est conçu comme la pointe grâce à laquelle le mantra va
>>
>> pouvoir se ficher dans la personne ou l’objet qu’il vise et donc
>>
>> agir. Les manuels de rituel qui mentionnent le *k**ī**laka *le donnent
>>
>> comme formé par un des éléments constitutifs (mot ou syllabe) du
>>
>> mantra. Une telle mention ne paraît pas être très ancienne. [A.P.]
>>
>> Le *k**ī**laka*, *PHA**Ṭ**􀄝****, du *sudar**ś**anasahasran**ā*
>> *mastotramah**ā**mantra *est
>>
>> mentionné dans le Sudarśanasahasranāmastotra donné en appendice
>>
>> de l’AhS (p. 617). [M.R.] Voir aussi TBhS, p. 170, citant un
>>
>> texte non daté. La mention du *k**ī**laka *est courante à l’époque
>> moderne.
>>
>> [A.P.]
>>
>> 3. Other than whats above.  The vague contradictory information that
>> I've  received 15 0r 20 years (I no longer remember the sources)  is that
>> it is like a bolt of a lock or a door.  Some informants saying that
>> repeating the kIlaka bija syllable removes the pin of the lock or door
>> releasing the power of the mantra.  Other informants saying repeating the
>> kIlaka bija syllable puts the pin in the lock or door of the mantra to
>> contain its power so the repeater of the mantra isn't destroyed by the
>> power of the mantra.
>>
>> If you receive any information offlist please pass it on to me.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Harry Spier
>>
>>
>> On Mon, Jun 15, 2020 at 11:54 PM Madhav Deshpande via INDOLOGY <
>> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>>
>>> What is the exact significance of the terms अर्गला and कीलक as they
>>> appear in qualifying several mantras, stotras etc?  I have seen these
>>> terms, but did not think further about them. Someone asked me this
>>> question, and I did not have an answer.
>>>
>>> Madhav M. Deshpande
>>> Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
>>> University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
>>> Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
>>>
>>> [Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>
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