1. See the paper on “Adepts of the god Bhairava in the Hindu Tradition” (also theme 7) presented by my wife Dr. Elizabeth-Chalier Visuvalingam. It deals in greater detail with many aspects of this divinity par excellence of transgressive sacrality, which I have been able to no more than allude to in my own paper.
2. See esp. L. Makarius, "Ritual Clowns and Symbolic Behavior," Diogenes No. 69 (Spring 1970). Also V. R. Bricker, Ritual Humor in Highland Chiapas (Austin & London: Univ. of Texas Press, 1973), which deals with archaic Meso-American clowning incorporated into Christian festivals, but stops short at the ‘social-censure’ aspect of ritual humor.
3. For bráhman as mana see J. Gonda, Notes on Brahman (Utrecht: J.L. Beyers, 1950), pp. 16-18, as enigma, see ibid. pp. 57-61, and esp. L. Renou, "Sur la notion de Brahman," L'Inde Fondamentale, ed. C. Malamoud (Paris: Hermann, 1978). For the transgressive basis of mana, see L. Makarius, Le Sacré et la Violation des Interdits (Paris: Payot, 1974), p. 311, of the enigma, see C. Lévi-Strauss, Anthropologie Structurale, vol. 2 (Paris: Plon, 1973), pp. 32-4, with the criticisms of Makarius, Structuralisme ou Ethnologie (Paris: Anthropos, 1973, pp. 16-19.
4. S. Visuvalingam, Abhinavagupta's Conception of Humor: Its Resonances in Sanskrit Drama, Poetry, Hindu Mythology and Spiritual Practice (Albany: State University of New York, due in 1987). For a general idea of the problem of the Vidûshaka, see the following works: J.T. Parikh, The Vidûshaka: Theory and Practice (Surat: Sarvajanik Education Society, 1953; G.K. Bhat, The Vidûshaka (Ahmedabad: The New Order Book Col, 1959); F.B.J. Kuiper, Varuna and Vidûshaka: On the Origin of the Sanskrit Drama (Amsterdam: North Holland Publishing Co., 1979) and my review of the latter due to appear in the Indo Iranian Journal.
5. For the distinction between ‘sacred’ and the repressed ‘profane’ laughter in Amerindian religion, see Lévi-Strauss, "Le Rire Réprimé," Le Cru et le Cuit: Mythologiques, vol. 1 (Paris: Plon, 1964), pp. 117, 128-40. which also provides evidence, overlooked by Lévi-Strauss himself, of not only comic behavior but also tickling serving as symbolic substitutes for transgression in mythology. This is demonstrated in my above thesis.
5b. The language of transgressive sacrality finds its ideal expression in the archaic sacred enigma (bráhman), whose structure characterizes much of the Vedic hymnology: "The aim was to compose on a given theme, or perhaps according to a given plan, not introducing direct accounts of the lives of the gods so much as veiled allusions, occult correspondences between the sacred and the profane, such as still form the foundation of Indian speculative thought. A large part of Sanskrit literature is esoteric. These correspondences, and the magic power they emanate, are called bráhman: this is the oldest sense of the term. They are not intellectual conception but experiences which have been lived through at the culmination of a state of mystic exaltation conceived as revelation. The soma is the catalyst of these latent forces. The designation kavi is given to the poet who can seize and express these correspondences, and to the god who sends him inspiration .... The kavi of the classical period, the learned poet, transposes the old Vedic ambiguities onto the aesthetic plane by means of double meanings and multiple senses; the classical vakrokti, 'tortuous speech' ....." L. Renou, Religions of Ancient India (London: Univ. of London Athlone Press, 1953), p. 10. "This, then, is the origin of Vedic esotericism, which .... is linked with the esotericism of later India, as it appears in the Tantras, in learned poetry, in the theories of aesthetics on which this poetry is based, and even in legal tradition. The Indian mind is constantly seeking hidden correspondences between things which belong to entirely distinct conceptual systems;" ibid., p. 18. See also Renou (1978), Part I: "La Poétique et la Pensée Religieuse." The brahmin Vidûshaka, through his enigmatic jokes, is in a sense the bearer of the ancient bráhman.
6. See the forthcoming volumes on Abhinavagupta and the Synthesis of Hindu Culture, ed. S. Visuvalingam (Albany: SUNY, 1988).
7. Abhinavagupta, Tantrâloka (= TA henceforth), Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies (= KS henceforth) no. XXX (Bombay: 1921), vol. 3, 4.243a-244b. For his attribution of his highest spiritual realizations to the transgressive technique of the Kulayâga, see TA vol. XI, ch.29, KS no. LVII (Bombay: 1936). For the pure/impure opposition as the basis of Hindu socio-religious order, see L. Dumont, Homo Hierarchicus: The Caste System and Its Implications (Chicago: Chicago Univ. Press, 1979 rev. ed.). For transgressive Vedic esotericism, see Dumézil below on the Varunic pole of the first or priestly function in Vedic society.
8. From Réné Guénon, "Réalisation Ascendante et Réalisation Descendante," ch.32, Initiation et Réalisation Spirituelle (Paris: Éditions Traditionnelles, 1975 new ed.). It must be emphasized that Guénon's position here, though expressed in the typical terminology of Vedântic ontology, corresponds more closely to the Trika (Pratyabhijñâ) point of view, apparently unknown to him. Abhinava's clearest distinction between the two modes of realization can be found in his Îshvara-pratyabhijñâ-vivrtti-vimarshinî (IPVV), vol.3, KS no. LXV (Bombay: 1943), p.172.
9. TA 4.213-47, esp. 240-1a. Elsewhere Abhinava insists that the universalization of Consciousness or achievement of total I-ness symbolized by Bhairava "necessarily presupposes the purity (of Consciousness), because identification of oneself with any single particular (objective) form implies opposition to (exclusion of) other forms" TA 4.13-4. In other words, only by detaching oneself from objectivity in its particular, limiting character can Consciousness "redescend" to freely assimilate all objectivity.
10. TA 3.262-4, volume 2, KS no. XXVIII (Bombay: 1921). Abhinava's foremost disciple, Kshemarâja, describes the Fire of Consciousness as continuing to partially and imperfectly consume sense-impressions even when subdued and debilitated in the ordinary state of consciousness, but as capable of assimilating the entire universe when intensified. See J. Singh trans., Pratyabhijñâ-hrdayam (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass), pp.87-90 (sutras 14-15). The burning of the Khândava ("sweetmeat") forest by Fire assuming the form of a gluttonous brahmin synthesizes the Vidûshaka and the destructive cosmogonic symbolisms through sacrificial terminology in the Mahâbhârata; see J. Scheuer, Shiva dans le Mahabharata, Bibliothèque de l'École des Hautes Études, Sciences Religieuses, vol. LXXXIV (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1982), chapter IV.
11. G. Dumézil, Mitra-Varuna, 2nd ed. (Paris: Gallimard, 1948); R. Caillois, L'homme et le sacré, 2nd ed. (Paris: Gallimard, 1950); G. Bataille, Théorie de la Religion (Paris: Gallimard, 1973) and L'érotisme (Paris; Minuit, 1957) esp. Part I, chapters 5 and 6.
12. Bataille (1957), Part I, ch.11, "Le Christianisme" and (1974) pp. 92-96.
13. The distinction elaborated here corresponds essentially to that made by R. Guénon, "Point de vue rituel et point de vue moral," chapter 9 (1975).
14. René Girard, La Violence et le Sacré (1972), Des Choses Cachées depuis la Fondation du Monde (1978), Le Bouc Emissaire (1982), (all 3, Paris: Grasset). Our fundamental objection to Girard is his manner of reducing all violations of interdictions, especially those like royal incest in Africa, to his primordial violence, which is but one aspect of transgressive sacrality.
15. See Kuiper (1979), pp.213-22. For the origins of the hero of Greek tragedy in the ritual scapegoat of archaic Greek religion, see J. P. Vernant and P. Vidal-Naquet, Mythe et Tragédie en Grèce Ancienne, new ed. (Paris: F. Maspero, 1981), their arguments being further developed in Girard, "Oedipe et la victime émissaire," (1972).
16. P. Ricoeur, The Conflict of Interpretations, Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology & Existential Philosophy (Evanston: 1974).
17. See Guénon, "Folie Apparente et Sagesse Cachée," ch.27 (1975), where he gives parallels of assumed madness from the Christian and Islamic traditions. "Mad" (unmatta) forms of divinities like Bhairava and Ganesha seem rather to reflect transgressive practice in cult. The Pâshupatas were also obliged to feign madness, which greatly contributed to their comicality, and the Vidûshaka as clown also inevitably gives that impression at times.
18. It would be interesting to examine in this light the problematic and controversial "initiation" of the adolescent Guénon, who later contributed so much to the furthering of inter-religious dialogue on a traditional, as opposed to modernistic, basis. In his own words, he became Prince Rosy-Cross, by leaning on Evil through the left-hand way and thanks to the black power, "at the end of which Luciferian initiation, Samaël appeared, bearing the iron scepter of the domain of death . . ." J. Robin, René Guenon: Témoin de la Tradition (Paris: Guy Trédaniel, 1978), p.48ff.
19. L. Dumont (1979); see also M. Biardeau, L'hindouisme: anthropologie d'une civilisation (Paris: Flammarion, 1981).
20. TA 4.251b and 13.317b-319a, vol. 8, KS no. XLVII (Bombay: 1926) with commentaries thereon. Exactly the same position can be found in R. Guénon, "Contre le Mélange des Formes Traditionnelles," Aperçus sur l'Initiation, corrected ed. (Paris: Éditions Traditionnelles: 1977), p.51;
21 G. Deleury, "Pluralisme Culturel et Liberté Religieuse," Le Modèle Indou (Paris: Hachette, 1978). This observation does not blind us to the fact that, with the disintegration of the traditional system under the impact of modernism, it is the most negative aspects of the caste-society, in the form of inter-caste rivalry, communalism and sexual exploitation, that have come to the forefront with a sometimes unimaginable brutality.
22. IPVV vol.3, pp.91ff. This explicit subordination of logic to tradition, even while developing and refining it in the service of the latter, is an explicit continuation of the position of the famous grammarian-philosopher Bhartrhari in his defense of the Vedic traditions as expounded in his Vâkyapadîya, eds. K.V. Abhyankar and V.P. Limaye, Univ. of Poona Sanskrit and Prakrit Series, vol.2 (Poona: 1965), 1.30-43, 136. My own guru, Mahâmahopâdhyâya Âcârya Rameshwar Jha, who was steeped in the Vâkyapadîya, never tired of repeating that the Pratyabhijñâ system was in many respects only a refinement of this seminal work.
23. Makarius (1974). We however find their exclusively magical interpretation of transgression and the exaggerated place they accord to the violation of the blood-taboo quite unacceptable. Indeed, "the ethnologists habitually treat as 'primitive' forms which are only degenerate to a greater or lesser extent; and anyhow these forms are very often not really on as low a level as might be supposed from the accounts that are given of them .... Indeed, where there is degeneration, it is naturally the superior part of the doctrine, its metaphysical or spiritual side, which disappears more or less completely; as a consequence, something that was originally only secondary...inevitably assumes a preponderant importance. The remainder, even if it persists still to some extent, may easily elude the observer from outside, all the more so because that observer, being ignorant of the profound significance of rites and symbols, is unable to recognize in them any elements belonging to a superior order . . . and thinks that everything can be explained indifferently in terms of magic," R. Guénon, The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, transl. Lord Northbourne (1953; rpt. Baltimore: Penguin, 1972), p. 216.