[INDOLOGY] Techniques of Blinding

Artur Karp karp at uw.edu.pl
Tue May 5 08:52:55 EDT 2020


Blinding of Dalits:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/books/excerpt-chapter-on-the-blinding-of-the-gavai-brothers-from-dalit-panthers-an-authoritative-history/story-JoBqCKTFV3qMQyawL7Tu9I.html

Regards, AK

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pon., 4 maj 2020 o 23:11 Eli Franco via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> napisał(a):

>
>
> If my memory does not fail me, Goldstein’s History of Modern Tibet
> contains a firsthand account of a high-ranking government official
> being blinded as a punishment. The technique applied first was to put
> pressure on the temples till the eyes would pop out. When this failed,
> his eyes were cut out with knives.
> Best wishes, E.F.
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Zitat von Walter Slaje via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>:
>
> > The passage talking about the substance resulting from a mixture of
> > specific bird droppings with specific plant saps only says that it causes
> > blindness (*andhīkaraṇam añjanam*):
> >
> > *śārikā-kapota-baka-balākā-leṇḍam arka-akṣi-pīluka-snuhi-kṣīrapiṣṭam
> > andhīkaraṇam añjanam udakadūṣaṇaṃ ca* || (AŚ 14,1.15)
> >
> > “Dung of Myrna bird, pigeon, Baka-heron, Balākā-flamingo, made into a
> paste
> > with the milk of the plants Arka, Akṣi, Pīluka, and Snuhi, produces a
> > collyrium that causes blindness and poisons water” (Olivelle 2013: 422)
> >
> >
> >
> > The two translators refer to this *andhīkaraṇa añjana* with a view to
> > establishing the meaning of *yogāñjana* in AŚ 4,10.13.
> >
> >
> >
> > As an interim summary let it be noted that
> >
> > first, only (4 species of) birds are enumerated in this context. Their
> > droppings have high uric *acid* levels.
> >
> > Second, the sap of the two identified plants (of altogether 4 plant
> > species), *arka* and *snuhi*, are spoken of as “*corrosive*” (*arka*)
> and “
> > *caustic*” (*snuhi*).
> >
> > This is what the Wikipedia has to say about the spurge: „The milky sap of
> > spurges (called „latex“)“ is said to have „caustic effects“: “In contact
> > with mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth), the latex can produce
> extremely
> > painful inflammation. The sap has also been known to cause mild to
> extreme
> > Keratouveitis, which affects vision. […] wearing eye protection while
> > working in close contact with *Euphorbia* is advised. […] *severe eye
> > damage including permanent blindness* may result from exposure to the
> sap.”
> >
> >
> >
> > What effect would a conglomerate of highly acidic bird droppings and
> > caustic plant saps exercise on the unprotected eye? The notion of
> > “poisoning” is less likely than that of causing severe burns. So far
> > everything points therefore to "acid" as the technique of blinding
> > recommended in the AŚ, as spontaneously suggested by Christophe Vielle.
> >
> >
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > WS
> >
> > Am Mo., 4. Mai 2020 um 19:20 Uhr schrieb Dominik Wujastyk <
> > wujastyk at gmail.com>:
> >
> >> "yogāñjana" could mean "magic ointment" (magic<-yogic), or "an ointment
> >> consisting of a medicinal compound."
> >>
> >> The *samāsa* may refer deictically to poisons or corrosive substances
> >> (denotation), but that's not what the *samāsa* means lexically (i.e.,
> >> semantically).
> >>
> >> *Arka*, Purple Calotropis <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calotropis>,
> is
> >> a milkweed with a corrosive, poisonous sap. *Snuhī*, a spurge
> >> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphorbia#Irritants>, similarly has
> white,
> >> corrosive sap.  Etc.
> >>
> >> Best,
> >> Dominik
> >>
> >>
> >> > blinding with acid is the technique recommended in AŚ 4,10.13
> >>>
> >>> Is “acid” the meaning of yogāñjana?
> >>>
> >>> Meyer translates „Giftsalbe“ (p. 352).
> >>> Kangle translates „poisonous collyrium“ (p. 282)
> >>> Olivelle translates „toxic collyrium“ (p. 422)
> >>>
> >>> For the meaning of yogāñjana in AŚ 4,10.13, Kangle and Olivelle both
> >>> refer to AŚ 14,1.15, where “andhīkaraṇam añjanam” occurs. The
> preparation
> >>> of this substance with the power of blinding is defined there as:
> >>> “Dung of Myrna bird, pigeon, Baka-heron, Balākā-flamingo, made into a
> >>> paste with the milk of the plants Arka, Akṣi, Pīluka, and Snuhi,
> produces a
> >>> collyrium that causes blindness and poisons water” (Olivelle 2013:
> 422).
> >>>
> >>> It is well known that bird droppings consist of uric acid. Their
> mixture
> >>> with plant sap could indeed have resulted in a substance, which might
> be
> >>> seen as a premodern precursor of acid used in today’s attacks going by
> that
> >>> name. Our colleagues focussing on Indian alchemy and medicine will be
> able
> >>> to judge it better.
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> Professor Dominik Wujastyk
> >> <https://www.ualberta.ca/arts/about/people-collection/dominik-wujastyk>
> >> ,
> >>
> >> Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity
> >> ,
> >>
> >> Department of History and Classics
> >> <http://historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/>
> >> ,
> >> University of Alberta, Canada
> >> .
> >>
> >>
> >> South Asia at the U of A:
> >>
> >> sas.ualberta.ca
> >>
> >>
>
>
> --
> Prof. Dr. Eli Franco
> Institut für Indologie und Zentralasienwissenschaften
> Schillerstr. 6
> 04109 Leipzig
>
> Ph. +49 341 9737 121, 9737 120 (dept. office)
> Fax +49 341 9737 148
>
>
>
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