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Abstract

In the accounts of the Mahāvīra’s life in the first suyakkhaṃdha of the Āyāra(ṃga) and the Jinacaritra several turning points are mentioned. As will be shown, the periods between these turning points are delimited in a highly exact way, which accounts for the intercalary months. However, the modern translators have failed to recognize the terms involved. And so have the authors of the texts themselves and the subsequent copyists, which in the case of Āyāra I becomes clear from an interpolation and in that of the Jinacaritra from the introduction of an alternative system of dating the main events in the Mahāvīra’s life. The latter system is also found in the second suyakkhaṃdha of the Āyāra, which contains an account of the Mahāvīra’s life which, as will be shown, might well have been based on the one in the Jinacaritra. The exact calculations lend the biography in Āyāra I the character of a handbook providing strict rules for prospective monks. The author of the Jinacaritra, who was unaware of the function of the calculations, produced instead a veritable hagiography. It will be argued that while the phenomenon of intercalarity must have been widely known, knowledge of the calculations seems to have been passed on mainly in royal administrative circles involved in taxation and revenue collection. This is a world from which the ascetic monks, however learned, must have been far removed. This might explain the misunderstandings visible in the Jinacaritra and, with it, Āyāra II. The authors of what is by general agreement the earliest version, in Āyāra I, seem instead to have been familiar with the work carried out in these administrative centres.

Open Access
In: Indo-Iranian Journal
Author:

Abstract

Traditional grammars of Sanskrit briefly address the periphrastic use of the verbs i- ‘go’, car- ‘move’, ās- ‘sit’ and sthā- ‘stand’ plus participle or gerund, which convey the meaning ‘to be continually/habitually x’ (x = participle or gerund), but an in-depth analysis of this set of auxiliaries remains a desideratum. This paper specifically addresses the periphrasis formed with the posture verb sthā- ‘stand’. I will investigate the diachronic development of this construction from the Rig-Veda to the Late Vedic period, and I will additionally offer a brief overview of the construction in the Epic Sanskrit language. On the basis of a large diachronically-oriented corpus, I will show that the Rig-Veda does not provide clear evidence of periphrases, whereas in Late Vedic periphrases with sthā- have unambiguously emerged. Furthermore, the data will be compared with the Avestan stā- periphrasis, showing that these two periphrases share certain affinities. This analysis aims to show that there exists a close relationship between this set of periphrases and the intensive category.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

On the basis of a parallel passage in Abhinavagupta’s commentaries on the Nāṭyaśāstra and the Īśvarapratyabhijñākārikā, this article considers the ways in which Abhinavagupta theorized “transmission” (saṅkrānti) in his descriptions of aesthetic experience and the reception of knowledge in non-dual Śaiva philosophy. We argue that this notion of transmission, in which the lines between author and qualified audience are blurred, is indebted to a number of earlier sources that explain the way in which knowledge and liberation are transmitted, most significantly the Kaula Śākta traditions in the immediate background of Abhinavagupta’s tantric exegesis. Here the terms saṅkrānti and saṅkramaṇa are employed in descriptions of initiation, the transferal of lineage, and a Guru’s awakened awareness passing into the body of a disciple. In Abhinavagupta’s parallel passages, he expands upon this notion of “transmission” by showing how it can emerge even when a teacher/poet and a student/audience are separated by time and space. In both accounts, what allows an ideal audience to internalize or identify with a teaching or text is an act of participation that effectively dissolves the limitations of time, space, and individuality. Interestingly, in both the aesthetic and non-dual Śaiva context, this process of transmission unfolds through an indirect mode of expression that cannot be reduced to reasoning. The article concludes with an exploration of the purpose of Abhinavagupta’s vision of transmission, particularly related to the notion that texts can encode, preserve, and, in the presence of a sensitive audience, reenact the awareness of their authors, even after lineages break or traditions fragment.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
Brill’s Studies in South and Southwest Asian Languages (BSSAL) is a peer-reviewed series that provides a venue for high-quality descriptive and theoretical studies on the languages of South and Southwest Asia, both monograph-length studies as well as multi-authored volumes dealing with particular topics. The series also welcomes contributions on educational aspects of South and Southwest Asian languages, including language textbooks and other educational materials.

In the political sense, South Asia encompasses the seven independent states of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but linguistically and culturally also includes some adjacent areas to the east and north, notably Tibet. Southwest Asia is understood here as comprising the Iranian language-speaking territory to the west of South Asia, i.e., the states of Afghanistan and Iran and the geocultural transnational region Kurdistan, consisting of parts of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.

The languages – both ancient and modern – of South and Southwest Asia have played a central role in linguistics from the field’s very beginnings as a modern scientific endeavor, and continue to occupy a central position in discussions in many linguistic sub-disciplines, including the following, among others:

• phonology
• morphology
• syntax
• historical linguistics
• sociolinguistics
• typology and language universals
• multilingualism
• areal studies
• heritage languages
• writing systems

The series seeks high-quality, state-of-the-art contributions on all aspects of the languages of this linguistically diverse and fascinating area.

Free access
In: Indo-Iranian Journal

Abstract

The trilingual Kushan royal inscription of Dašt-i Nāwur has been the subject of scholarly controversies since the time of its first scientific publication (Fussman 1974), with different authors defending opposing views and mutually incompatible readings, in particular of the Bactrian part of the inscription (e.g. Davary & Humbach 1976; Sims-Williams & Cribb 1996; Fussman 1998). Progress in the understanding of the inscription has been hampered by inadequate photographic documentation, but also by the comparatively small amount of information on the Bactrian language that was available at the time of its first publication. A color photograph of the Bactrian inscription probably taken in 1969, which was unavailable to earlier editors, has now been made publicly accessible by the Collège de France as part of the estate of the late Gérard Fussman. This article presents a new reading of the inscription based on this photograph, diverging in many respects from earlier interpretations. It includes a response to the recent re-edition of Palunčić et al. (2023), who have also taken the new photograph into account but reached different conclusions.

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

Abstract

The Śrīmālādevīsiṁhanādanirdeśasūtra is preserved in toto in one Tibetan and two Chinese translations, in addition to which we have access to a fragmentary Sanskrit manuscript and a considerable number of Sanskrit quotations, contributing to a sizable amount of the text now being available in Sanskrit. The present contribution takes as its impetus a recent contribution on the sūtra and its ideas about tathāgatagarbha, offering a survey of the state of the field of study of the text in its Indian context, and several suggestions for improved understandings.

Open Access
In: Indo-Iranian Journal