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Abstract

The Kapphiṇābhyudaya is a mahākāvya composed by Śivasvāmin in 9th century Kashmir. It represents a high point of the development of its genre. Once a prominent work, its study in modern times, particularly that of its more difficult parts, suffered because of the lack of a commentary. Finally, in the 1980s a manuscript of a commentary was discovered in Tibet, copies of which are now kept at the China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing. From these Ernst Steinkellner could prepare an ad hoc description in 2007. The present article’s chief contribution is an edition and annotated translation of the two short transcribed passages contained in Steinkellner’s description.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

This article investigates the textual basis of the kṛṣṇāṣṭamīvrata, an observance first attested in the tenth chapter of the Śivadharmaśāstra. Given the great variety in readings of the versions contained in manuscripts that are of distinctly variegated geographical provenance and age, it is argued that at least during the 6th to 7th centuries—and even possibly later—the kṛṣṇāṣṭamīvrata had not yet developed a consistent form. The variable form of this particular vrata stands in stark contrast to its Vaiṣṇavite precursors that at the time of composition of the Śivadharmaśāstra had already developed into a standardized, canonical form. Hence, we argue, the regional variation of the manuscripts is indicative of a living, widespread Śaivite tradition that gives rise to different lines of transmission. Since the chief aim of this contribution is to display and study this variation, the kernel of this article consists of a ‘comparative edition’ of the tenth chapter of Śivadharmaśāstra, furnished with translation and philological commentary.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

While the story of the Magadhan king Ajātaśatru’s seeking the Buddha’s advice on attacking the Vṛjis is well known and much studied, rather less known and little studied are stories of his war or conflict with the Vṛjis embedded in Indian Buddhist monastic law codes. This paper explores these lesser-known stories of Ajātaśatru’s warfare, primarily focusing on their function as narrative frames for monastic rules or exceptions (anāpatti) that have no necessary relation to war. It investigates the rationale behind Indian Buddhist jurists’ utilization of these stories to account for monastic legislation, and discusses the perceptions of war reflected therein. Moreover, the paper shows that Indian Buddhist jurists of different sects or schools do not seem to have shared the same stance on predicting warfare, some arguably more ambivalent than others, especially when a prediction proves wrong and is thus liable to shake the laity’s faith and/or harm the mutual trust between monks themselves.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

Located in Vidisha District, Madhya Pradesh, the area of Badoh-Pathari is home to a rock shelter with a sculpted panel depicting seven mother goddesses. A weathered inscription next to the sculptures was reported as early as 1926. The inscription is dateable to the fifth century on the basis of its palaeography and the art-historical dating of the site. Though partly effaced beyond hope of decipherment, roughly half of the text can be read with confidence, while some of the rest may be restored conjecturally, and some speculatively. The epigraph pays homage to Rudra and Skanda in addition to the Mothers themselves, and is thus a key resource concerning mātṛ worship in the Gupta period. It mentions the otherwise unknown local ruler Jayatsena of Avamukta (a region also named in the Allahabad pillar inscription), and may refer to the reign of Kumāragupta (I).

In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

The present article examines Somānanda’s understanding of the denotative capacity of speech (śabda) as presented in his Śivadṛṣṭi, āhnika four. Somānanda argues that this denotative capacity is innate in words because based in a real sāmānya or universal; that a permanent connection links śabda and its object (artha), not convention (saṃketa); and that the referent of speech is an object innately imbued with linguistic capacity in the form of an ever-present, innate sāmānya. Each of these positions is also supported by the Mīmāṃsā, and Somānanda, citing both Śabara and Kumārila, assents to their positions on these points on the understanding that they may only be accepted as philosophically sound if one presumes the existence of a Śaiva non-duality of all as Śiva-as-consciousness. These positions, in turn, are all deployed as arguments against those of the Buddhist Pramāṇa Theorists, whose views in each of these three areas Somānanda contests.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

The lack of evidence for the existence of fire temples in ancient Iran has been used as an argument for the absence of the concept of the “eternal fire” in the Avestan texts. However, a new analysis of the final section of the Long Liturgy shows that the fire was usually removed from the sacrificial area before the recitation of Yasna 62.7 and transported back to the “house of men” from which it had been taken. As such, the Long Liturgy partly appears as a functional equivalent of the bōy dādan ceremonies performed for the feeding of the fire at the fire temples in later times. This new reading of the final section of the liturgy is the result of a re-evaluation of the manuscripts, highlighting the shortcomings of previous editions of the Long Liturgy. Furthermore, the new interpretation approaches the Long Liturgy from a non Yasna-centric perspective, taking into account the Yasna as well as the Visperad (and other variants).

In: Indo-Iranian Journal