Supplementary Notes to the Introduction

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[page 479] These supplementary notes have been omitted from the main body of the thesis because they are primarily materials we have reserved for a subsequent D.Litt. thesis and they would moreover over-widen the scope of our arguments, extensive as they already are. Nevertheless, these brief indications could well serve readers to better orientate themselves with regard to the various currents of thought that have converged to render the present thesis feasible.

1)    This would have been a systematic elaboration of the transgressive ideology invested in the vidūSaka through comparison of the various comic symbols he displays—deformity, gluttony, contrary speech, loud laughter, outcaste- (cāNDāla-) like traits, etc.—with the same occurring in non-comic contexts elsewhere in the tradition.

2)    This would have provided abundant evidence of religious dualism—such as those universal features analyzed by Mircea Eliade in Quest, pp.127-175 (including Twins, Cosmogony, Ritual Competition and Verbal Contests, Devas and Asuras, Mitra-VaruNa, etc.)—from the domain of Indian symbolism and offered a psycho-physical theory of the same. It could be shown that this dualism is evident in the vidūSaka’s love of quarrel, tuft of hair (zikhā), etc., and the abundance of ‘vidūSaka notations’ in the zodiacal sign Mithuna (Gemini) generally represented by a pair of twins or by a sexed couple. It would have comprised also the analysis of the Rig Vedic semantics of the term ‘mithuna’ (Renou) confronted with the use of corresponding terms in other Indo-Aryan and Dravidian languages meaning ‘cross-cousin’, which converge to reveal the kind of structures commonly associated with dualist societies (evidence for which Held finds both in the Mahābhārata and in Indian ethnology). The psycho-physical theory would have especially dwelt on the theory of the five prāNas as elaborated by Abhinavagupta in IPVV III. This ‘viSuvat-principle’ embodied in the vidūSaka would be structurally homologous to both the bisociative mechanism of his hāsya and his ambiguous/ambivalent mediating function between the exoteric order of interdiction and the esoteric valorization of transgression. [480]

3)    “Although much has been written on the part of the vidūSaka, it is remarkable that most scholars have started from a premise which to them was apparently so self-evident as to be in no need of being stated explicitly, viz. that the vidūSaka was a clown (‘Spassmacher, Hanswurst’) , who therefore could not have originally belonged to the drama. The further conclusion was that in that case he must have originated in a ‘popular drama’, about which, however, nothing is known…. It may be useful to state clearly that this whole scholarly discussion, which in German-speaking countries was dominated by the word ‘volkstümlich’ as the vitium originis, was primarily based upon a questionable conception of the character of the vidūSaka” (VV p.p.199-200). “It is inevitable, in view of the current opinions on VaruNa and the vidūSaka, that the idea that the latter is an impersonation of the former must appear wildly grotesque and absurd. This is due, on the one hand, to a misinterpretation of the vidūSaka as a mere buffoon and, on the other hand, to a confusion of a superhuman cosmic order (Rta), of which VaruNa was the guardian, with human ethics. In the Vedic conception one who unwittingly transgresses the cosmic order is punished for a sin which can only be understood metaphysically, not ethically. VaruNa is a majestic god in his own way, not as many great Vedists of the 19th and 20th centuries used to depict him, because he impersonates the ambiguity of cosmic life, in which death is comprised. Just as no pravrtti can be conceived without its negative counterpart of nivrtti, so the nāyaka can only be understood in relation to his counterpart, the vidūSaka. The basic flaw in many studies on the vidūSaka has been that he was considered separately, not in the interrelation which constitutes his real character. This also provides an answer to the fundamental question, which, however, seems never to have been asked: Why was it that this purportedly grotesque and comical character is stated in our oldest source to have been the leading part of the drama, on a par with the hero? This fact, which none of the existing theories can explain, becomes clear when it is realized that in the interplay of action and counteraction his relation to the nāyaka was that of VaruNa to Indra. For basically the action of the oldest Sanskrit drama must have been a reiteration of the cosmogony and a ritual act aiming at a renewal of life” (16. “The Character of the VidūSaka in the Sanskrit Drama,” VaruNa and VidūSaka, pp.209-10). [481]

4)    The VrSākapi identity of the vidūSaka, originally suggested by Lindenau (Bhāsastudien), has been revived by M.C. Byrski with cogent argument. “The meaning of the association of Indra and Sarasvatī with the hero and heroine of the NāTya becomes now abundantly clear. Each performance is a daivāsuram conflict in its course and sacrifice in its meaning. In each performance, therefore, the union of a nāyaka with a nāyikā [heroine] is as substantial as the union of Indra with Vāc-Sarasvatī which, brought about through the victory over the demons in each daivāsuram struggle, is an integral part of each sacrifice. The intimate relationship of Indra with Vāc-Sarasvatī seems to allow us to take her as being identical with IndrāNī…. If we admit such a possibility in spite of lack of any explicit identification of these two, then a Rgvedic hymn about Indra, IndrāNī and VrSākapi can acquire some meaning for NāTya. Consequently it may not be altogether unjustified to suppose that there is some kind of relationship between VrSākapi and VidūSaka. Both are hero’s or Indra’s beloved friends. Both incur the anger of hero’s partner, IndrāNī, heroine. Finally both are compared to a monkey. This would give a new strength to the hypothesis made almost half a century ago by Gawronski that VrSākapi is a prototype of vidūSaka” (CAIT, p.142 and note 6). In this, his BHU Ph.D. thesis, Byrski had already argued for conceiving NāTya in terms of Yajńa, sacrifice, an idea that has been much further elaborated by Kuiper. Such an approach must necessarily find a satisfactory sacrificial role for the vidūSaka.

5)    Though such transgression can provoke purely negative reactions in others, the cultural institutionalization (whether in ritual, myth or drama) of the transgressor, which amounts to an implicit valorization, neutralizes these negative reactions in order to transform the transgression into a comic stimulus. Compare S. Reinach: “We should ask ourselves why the same gesture, in the stories of a very great antiquity, provoke sometimes laughter and sometimes flight. I explain this by the very conception of taboo intentionally violated. This violation produces a shock—we still say that such an act is shocking—and, without wishing to press the metaphor too far, I admit that this shock can determine either a sharp movement of repulsion, arising from a religious dread, or an instantaneous protestation, the reestablishment of the broken equilibrium, a mental redressment of the fault committed, which are [482] among the best attested psychological causes of laughter…. There is no unique explanation of laughter, but it is certain that laughter often implies and resumes a censure…. Now, what we call pleasantries or boorishness were formerly sacrileges, blasphemies, occasions of mortal peril. One understands just as well, on reflection, Demeter who laughs as Bellerophon who flees” (Le Rire Rituel, pp.118-19). The personage who is obliged to assume the function of transgression before an exoteric public is thereby naturally transformed into a comic clown. Cf., in this regard, L. Makarius, infra, p.143, note 19.

6)    These diverse symbolic traits should be understood as synonyms drawn from different codes each derived from a separate domain: visual, alimentary, social, linguistic, etc. Lévi-Strauss has demonstrated (esp. in Le Cru et le Cuit) how the same message is transmitted in the most varied ways in Amerindian mythology by exploiting terms borrowed from different but logically equivalent codes. “The analysis of myths thus begins with the decipherment of their message in the light of the code whose presence is immediately detectable. Then, in the measure that the analysis progresses, this message is reinterpreted by means of different codes whose role has appeared subsequently, in other myths, and which prove to be equally apt to encode the message of the myths examined previously. These successive rereadings enrich the signification of the myths and thereby multiply the possibilities of comparison, for they permit the establishment of relation between myths that appear, through their contents, to be at first sight wholly foreign to one another” (Marc Lipiansky, LS, p.154). Such analyses, in diluted form, have already been applied to Indian mythology and ritual by ‘structuralists’ like Wendy Donniger and Madeleine Biardeau. See infra pp.328-40 [???] for a rapid elucidation of these motifs. In a traditional society where one’s pure ritual status (and even social identity) are expressed in terms of what one can and cannot eat, the figure of the vidūSaka’s omnivorous appetite must signify the transgression of alimentary interdictions.

7)    In the myths narrated by Lévi-Strauss, the jaguar is often presented in a ludicrous light, as pouncing repeatedly and futilely at the shadow of the human would-be culture-hero perched in the tree above, until the latter finally chooses to reveal himself through an unobtrusive sign. “Numerous American myths attest that there is no [483] situation more laughable, and more apt to cover someone with ridicule, than that of a personage releasing the prey for the shadow or exerting himself to seize the shadow instead of the prey” (Le Cru et le Cuit, p.117). Now, Lévi-Strauss accords this comic aspect of the jaguar a precise, though arbitrary, role in the encounter between human hero and wild jaguar between whom the normal relation is that of mutual hostility: “We are going to demonstrate that it is because the hero restrains himself , vis-ą-vis the jaguar, from being a scoffer or a deceiver—more precisely because he restrains himself from laughing—that the jaguar does not eat him, but communicates to him the arts of civilization” (loc. cit., contrast with the ridiculing laughter at the deformed Angirasas, infra p.334).

Makarius however offers a different reason as to why the jaguar adopts the boy  and interprets the clownish antics of the former differently: “The jaguar comes to his aid not, as Lévi-Strauss says, (…) because the boy did not laugh at his ridiculous behavior (The jaguar made himself ridiculous by taking the shadow of the boy for a prey. This episode….recurs often in the burlesque narratives about violators of taboo), or has given him a truthful reply (Cru et le Cuit, 116-17), but for an organic and non-circumstantial reason: because the boy identifies himself with the jaguar, being like him a violator and a future cultural hero…. It is because of this identification that the young man does not lie to the jaguar (….). It is because the birds-nester is as it were his alter ego, another himself, that the jaguar approaches him with benevolence…” (Les Jaguars et les Hommes, p.228).

We are here in full agreement with Makarius, who has shown the organic link between the boy’s contact with impurities (covered with birds’ excrement or eating his own excrement) and his characterization as a taboo-violator, a relationship that is evident, for example, in the impure birth of GaNeza or in epithets of Bhairava like ucchiSTa- or lalaj-jihva (drooling-tongued). But in the light of the bisociative structure of hāsya proposed in this thesis, there is also an organic relationship between the hero’s not laughing and his identifying himself completely with the jaguar, because it is precisely those who shrink at the thought of such violation who would laugh at the jaguar for they are unable to identify themselves with him. As such, the non-laughter could just as well serve the jaguar as confirmation of the qualification of the hero to future jaguar-status. The myth in fact reveals the (as it were “initiatic”) passage of a socialized human being into a fraternity of habitual and inveterate taboo-violators. [484] His impurity, incestuous tendency, etc., have already revealed his vocation, but the crucial passage is yet to occur. The jaguar at the time of the encounter reveals only that ridiculous external face of himself that the common man is able to approach. Thus the question—“to laugh or not to laugh?”—inserts itself at that precise boundary where jaguar meets man, and upon it depends the passage of the hero to the world of jaguars. Outside of this particular context, the jaguar is not a comic but a terrifying figure (like Bhairava, who is also sometimes depicted in a comic aspect, dancing with the deformed Pramathas).

The monkey is this very boundary where jaguar meets man: he is this boundary pure and simple. That is why the comic character, accidental and peripheral to the jaguar, is central and essential to the monkey. In this triad of jaguar, monkey and man, it is the jaguar (taboo-violator) and man (living in conformity with the social order) that are the most diametrically opposed. As for the “semantic position of the monkey,” Lévi-Strauss’ analysis situates him “between that of the jaguar and that of man. Like man, the monkey is opposed to the jaguar; like the jaguar, he is the master of fire, which is unknown to men. The jaguar is the contrary of man; the monkey is rather his counterpart. The personage of the monkey comes in this way to be constituted with fragments borrowed now from one term, now from the other. Some myths permute him with the jaguar, others (...) permute him with man. Finally, one sometimes finds the triangular system in its completion: the Tukunas explain in a myth that the ‘lord of the monkeys’ had a human form, although he belonged to a race of jaguars” (Le Cru et le Cuit, p.140). Of these three terms, it is the monkey, mediator between man and jaguar, that is between the strict observance of taboos and their deliberate violation, who like GaNeza, mediator between Brahmā and Bhairava, is an essentially comic figure. This is due primarily to his straddling the boundary between man and jaguar. Whereas the jaguar manifests his ridiculous aspect only by virtue of a particular liminal situation, the monkey, being symbolic of the situation itself, is comic wherever he is, whether wholly in the world of human society or in the wilderness. Wherever he is, the monkey like the vidūSaka, carries in himself the demarcation and the transition, hence the controlled communication, between the exoteric and the esoteric realms with their contradictory values. Those in whom he provokes laughter are denied access to the esoteric [485] realm and those who see only a semblance of humor (hāsyābhāsa) in his antics, pass through easily. “The same motif is found in the cosmologu of the Guarayu of Bolivia: on the route which leads to the Great Grand-Father, the dead have to undergo various tests of which one consists of being tickled by a marimono monkey with pointed nails. The victim who laughs is devoured. For this reason perhaps, and like the Kayapo tribe, the Gurayu men disdain laughter, which they consider to be a feminine behavior” (Le Cru et le Cuit, p.130).

This mediating role of the monkey is clearly underlined in one myth (no. 53, Le Cru et le Cuit, p.133), where the hunter strays into the lair of the jaguar, whose daughters explain to him that the monkey he was chasing is their domestic pet; he ends up being transformed into a jaguar himself. “Diverse mythical incidents refer to a visit to the monkeys at whom one must not laugh under the pain of death, and to the danger of laughing at supernatural spirits....(Le Cru et le Cuit, p.129). Another myth (no. 38) reveals that this naturally comic aspect of the monkey is rooted in its violation of fundamental taboo. While the monkey tries to entertain the human son-in-law in all seriousness with his quasi-human singing, the latter can hardly restrain himself from laughter, for which he is abandoned on a tree. Finally, the latter kills all the monkeys except his pregnanat wife who, uniting incestuously with her son, gives birth to the whole tribe of guariba monkeys. Here, all this “monkey-business” is intimately linked with incest, and to laugh at the comic aspect of the monkey is to laugh at such incestuous and other violatory conduct. When the comic aspect, due to the bisociative aspect, of the transgressive conduct is amplified by a general behavior producing the same effect, and the transgression itself is disguised, underplayed, displaced or even completely eliminated, we have a generalization of the comic aspect of transgression, best exemplified by the figure of the monkey. The monkey, who by his very resemblance to man gives the spontaneous impression of apeing him, best exemplifies this inherently comic figure who does not have to do anything in partcular to provoke laughter. Often, this generalized incongruous behavior is itself further exploited for aesthetic purposes. This is what happens with the monkey-like (the incestuous notations of VrSākapi who attempts to molest his “mother” IndrāNī may be of relevance here) vidūSaka whose transgressive behavior is extremely disguised and underplayed. [486]

Unlike Hindu mythology, Amerindian mythology seems to have made abundant use of tickling as a substitute for transgression at the point where it encounters an exoteric perception of itself (cf. infra, note 4, pp.175-76, for Koestler’s bisociation theory of tickling). That this tickling indeed symbolizes the inversion of exoteric norms and values is clearly underlined in certain myths by coupling it with some other unmistakeable symbol of inversion. It is the bat that is responsible for the “origin of laughter” in the Kayapo-Gorotiré myth (myth 40, Le Cru et le Cuit, p.130). At the moment the hero encounters the bat, the latter is hanging suspended upside-down from a branch and descends to tickle him eliciting the first laughter. In fact, it is the inversionof values symbolized by the physical inversion that, in the secret logic of the myth, provokes the laughter. This inversion of values is further emphasized in the cavern of the bats (all again suspended upside-down from the ceiling), the floor of which is covered with excrements (impurity). Even when a baby bat is captured, the myth emphasizes that it could not adjust to the ways of the village and continued to sleep in reverse posture until its premature death.

Lévi-Strauss could hardly decline our interpretation of this myth of “the origin of laughter,” when he himself has written elsewhere: “Several myths of the Carriers (...)  speak of a maiden who laughed to death at the sight of a squirrel descending from a tree. According to the Hohs and the Quileutes (...)  a woman prisoner at the top of a tree was delivered sometimes by a squirrel, sometimes by a comic personage. This comicality is attributed to the squirrel or to a creature assuming its role, would it not stem from the fact that, like its South American congenerate, it descends head-down? A Quileute version affirms so (...), and even attributes the deliverance of its protégé to this behavior of the animal.... In the two hemispheres finally, these paallel beliefs are put into relation with an ambulatory style proper to the Sciurides, which descend head-down from the trees” (L’Homme Nu, pp.497-98). It is within this context of inversion that the first laughter breaks forth, and this reveals the intimate connection between the two phenomena in the tribal mind. “Although their connotations are indubitably sinister, the bats appear everywhere to be masters of cultural goods, like the jaguar in other Gé myths (Le Cru et le Cuit, p.131). Yet, it is by not laughing when tickled that one becomes a jaguar: “The demiurge Nedamik submitted the first humans to a test by tickling them. Those who laugh are changed into terrestrial or acquatic [487] animals; the former prey of the jaguar, the latter capable of escaping him by taking refuge in water. Those men who know how to remain imperturble become jaguars or human hunters (or vanquishers)  of jaguars”(Myth 36, Le Cru et le Cuit, p.128). In other words, those who are able to completely identify themselves with the “jaguars” in their violations and hence do not laugh, become themselves “jaguars.” In myth 37 (Le Cru et le Cuit, p.129), the jaguars themselves impose the tickling test before accepting the candidate.

8)    “If no ethnologist contests that the clown violates rules and interdictions, it is far from being clearly understood that these violatory acts are not eccentricities among others, but are the expression of this role of violator that is the sole reason for the clown to exist insofar as ritual personage, just as the trickster has no other reason to exist in myth. One and the other, on different levels, are agents evocative of a fundamental, contradictory experience, generative of mythologies and religions and whose repercussions on our psyche are far from having been effaced” (L. Makarius, SVI, p.277). “…the disquieting reality, that the clowns have however the mission of recalling, are expressed by them only in a furtive manner, quickly diverted into buffoonery…. This is because the violation of taboo appears as too dangerous to act to be publicly represented before real men. Now, to the forces of repression which, allied to oblivion, tend to efface the testimony of certain lived experiences, is opposed another force (of cultural and traditional nature no doubt, but not for all that entirely conscious), that seems to want to reinstate obsolescent customs to guard them present and, through some conventional sign, recognizable. This reinstatement operates through symbolic means. Expressions are created, that transparently allow what is hidden to be seen” (ibid., p.293; cf. also p.295). On the relevance of such ritual clowning to theatrical clowning: “The pantomimes of the ritual buffoons constitute the first manifestation of the spectacle: they are generally inserted into a festival and are the popular diversion par excellence, because they are addressed to the whole of the social group. An esoteric personage, the ritual clown, in order to fulfill his role, that is in order to explicate the symbolic system that he represents, has to present himself [488] before a public comprising of non-initiates. Contrary to what happens at other festive occasions, women, young boys and children are present, they even form his elect public. It is true that he frightens as much as he amuses them, and that his aspects as an amuser are only the fall-out of the symbolic necessity that compels him to act inversely. It nonetheless remains that the allure and gesticulations of the clowns are comic, and considered such by the spectators. Their exhibitions are at the source of that burlesque vein that will mark the manifestations of the popular theater, the carnival, the masquerades and of which the circus-clowns have conserved the essential traits, the inconsequent behavior and the comic mixed with anguish” (SVI, p.297). What Makarius says of myth, especially the trickster-myth, is applicable in large measure to the symbolic behavior of the vidūSaka as well: “The myth has thus the functions of operating a kind of rehabilitation of the repressed and of maintaining and communication its signification through the formulations it is apt to find. This results in an embarrassed and incongruous language, but whose pregnance is due to the fact that under the veneer of the plot is hidden something whose presence is felt, and which can be divined through the hiatuses, periphrases, unexpected comparisons, inconsequences of the narrative, or is sometimes brusquely revealed either through formal procedures, such as repetition, or through symbolic images….the violation cannot express itself in the clear. It speaks through the ‘mouth of obscurity’, through the symbols it creates on all the planes, of rite, objects, behavior, costume, staging, etc., but finds in myths the most direct, the best articulated means of expression that is also the most free from the constraints of reality and the most apt to conserve the secrets that it confides to it and to transmit them in a cryptic form to the auditors of the tribe” (SVI p.254).

For all their elaboration of a theory of the sacred from these ethnological materials, see their chapter on “The Sacred” (SVI pp.305-42); where their theory of mana (to which J. Gonda assimilates the Vedic brįhman), of the dialectic of the pure and the impure within the sacred, Rudolf Otto, etc., are discussed). Though we have little objection to their account of the dynamic dialectic of transgression (hardly different from that of G. Bataille), we find their exclusively magical interpretation of transgression and the fundamental role accorded to the blood-taboo quite unacceptable. [489]

9)    “The interpretations of Indo-European mythology pursued in the admirable works of Georges Dumézil (…) correspond to the construction I have developed: the consciously Hegelian theses, antitheses and syntheses of Georges Dumézil give the opposition of pure violence (of the black and baneful side of the divine world—VaruNa and the Gandharvas, Romulus and the Luperques) to the divine order that accords with profane activity (Mitra and the Brahmins, Numa, Dius Fidus and the Flamines)….” (Bataille, TR, pp.154-45). “Originally, within the divine world, the benign and pure elements were opposed to the baneful and impure elements, and both one and the other appeared equally removed from the profane. But if one envisages a dominant movement of reflective thought, the divine appears linked to purity, the profane to impurity. In this way is accomplished a shift from a primary state of affairs where the divine immanence is dangerous, where what is sacred is first of all baneful and destroys by contagion what it approaches, where the benign spirits are mediators between the profane world and the unleashing of divine forces—and compared to the black divinities seem less sacred” (ibid., pp.92-93).

10)                       Cf. especially RV VII.33.10-13 on the birth of VasiSTha: [Sanskrit text]????

Cf. also Kosambi: “…we may use archaeology and anthropology to solve another riddle, namely the multiple account of VasiSTha’s birth in VII.33, where he is born of the apsaras, the lotus or lotus-pond, and also from the seed of Mitra-VaruNa poured into a jar, kumbha. The answer is very simple, namely that the kumbha is itself the Mother-Goddess… The apsaras in general is a mother-goddess, as would appear from the Av hymns called mātrnāmāni (Myth and Reality, p.70). “The SBr VII.4.11 tells us that the lotus-leaf is the womb (yoni) and 13 that the puSkara is the lotus-leaf. Thus VasiSTha’s birth has a completely consistent account, multiple only in the symbolism used. The gotra lists mention a PauSkarasādi gotra among the VasiSThas. The gotra [490] is historical as a Brahmin priest of that gens was a priest of king Pasenadi (Dīghanikāya 4), and a grammarian of that name is also known. The name means descendant of puSkara-sad, he who resides in the puSkara, which clearly indicates VasiSTha. So does Kundin, from which the KauNDinya gotra of the VasiSThas is derived…. Significantly, kumbha is still used for harlot by lexica like the Vizvakosha…. The Kathāsaritsāgara 70.112 equates the kumbha or ghata explicitly to the uterus” (ibid., pp.72-73). Two observations could be usefully added to Kosambi’s here: 1) The ‘lotus-seated’ divinity par excellence is Brahmā in whom many (most recently G. Bailley) have seen the mythical projection of the purohita or brahmįn-priest; 2) all this embryogonic womb-symbolism—so important for Kuiper’s conception of VaruNa—can be best understood in terms of Heesterman’s typological equation of this purohita with the pre-classical dīkSita regressing to VaruNa’s realm. The idea of a twin-principle being incarnated in the VasiSThas has been deemed important and significant enough to be retained even in Purānic mythology; cf. Vettam Mani (PE ad. Agastya, p.5) where VaruNa’s sexuality, as opposed to that of Mitra, is presented in a diffuse unstructured manner reminiscent of the ‘lascivious behavior’ (zrngārana) of the Pāzupata ascetic.

11)                       The best passage where Abhinava underlines the distinction between sankoca and vikāsa as spiritual techniques, demonstrating the complementarity of the two ways even while assimilating the specificity of the Trika (Pratyabhijńā) method to the latter superior technique, is found in IPVV vol. III, p.172: [Sanskrit text]????

12)                       The clearest statement conceives the movement of sankoca as a progressive disidentification from particular delimited forms in order to identify oneself with the universality of forms (vizva-rūpatvam) [491]: Vizva-rūpāvibheditvam zuddhatvād eva jāyate / niSThitaika-sphuran-mūrter mūrty-antara-virodhatah // Tantrāloka IV.13b-14a. Why? Because identification with one particular form (or limited personal identity) necessarily prevents the identification with a different (opposing) form. (One of the universal characteristics of the clown is his apparent lack of self-identity, which partly accounts for the impression of ‘madness’: Foucault speaks of the madman as “the disordered player of the Same and the Other…” The Order of Things, p.49). To the adept engaged fully in the little-spoken-of vikāsa stage, it is the pure/impure distinction itself that constitutes the final ‘impurity’. The same dialectic of sankoca and vikāsa, with the two contrary meanings of ‘purity’ (zuddhi), is found in the conception of Omkāra itself, the presiding symbol of the brįhman and also the vidūSaka.   In his Vākyapadīya, (from which the Pratyabhijńā metaphysics of Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta has largely drawn its theoretical framework), Bhartrhari considers Omkāra to be true knowledge, the essence of purity itself, condensed into a single word, and embracing within itself all other mutually conflicting (partial) doctrines. Satyā vizuddhis tatrokā vidyaivaika-padāgamā / yuktā praNava-rūpena sarva-vādā-virodhinā // Brahmakānda 9 //. It is indeed the embodiment of Brahman and the quintessence of the Vedas; but what does its ‘purity’ consist of? “The purity of knowledge consists of its assuming the totality of forms without resorting to any particular form (nirupāzraya); but some say that it has an even superior purity when it is devoid of all form.” Sarvārtha-rūpatā zuddhih jńānasya nirupāzrayā / tato’py asya parām zuddhim eke prāhur arūpikām // 56. Vākyapadīya III, Sambandha-samuddesha. The first view, probably Bhartrhari’s own, corresponds to the Tantric vikāsa-standpoint, whereas the second option presumably refers to a Vedāntin view of the ‘Shankarian’ type (Biardeau has already suggested that Bhartrhari had been deeply influenced by ambient Tantric ideologies of his times); cf. Biardeau, HAC, p.91. In any case, Omkāra is in this way perfectly adapted to represent both the completely detached transcendental Brahman-Absolute of the orthodox sannyāsin (represented in some legends by Shankara’s zānta-brahman head) and the all-inclusive immanent Brahman (Bhairava-Anuttara) of the Trika (likewise represented by the Bhairava-worshipper who cuts of this head). Thus, it is capable of representing both the orthodox brahmin as the pinnacle of ritual purity and the vidūSaka as mahābrāhmaNa, including in himself the lowliest and most impure levels of the [492] socio-cosmic manifestation represented by the zūdra (or even cāNDāla). A similar dialectic, evident both in the vidūSaka and the Pāzupata’s zrngārana (prohibited from speaking to women but obliged to indulge in lewd gestures towards them), of chastity and undifferentiated sexuality parallels the dialectic of the pure and the impure, and can be followed in the successive interpretations of the term brahmacarya from the brahmacārin-sūkta (AV XI.5; cf. Dandekar VMT pp.207-10) to Kaula tantrism (Tantrāloka XXIX.17-19) through classical brahmanism.

It is also relevant to note that the term ‘vizva-rūpa  though used here in a primarily metaphysical or ‘philosophical’ sense, originally had a primarily socio-ritual incidence and much to do with classificatory order. Firstly, the mythical prototype of the Vedic ‘royal chaplain’ (purohita) of Indra, beheaded by the latter, was also called Vizvarūpa. Then, as opposed to the term rūpa (Held pp.117-20, cf. infra, pp.334-35), the terms  vizva-rūpa and bahu-rūpa “are generally considered to express the power to assume any shape. In our opinion this translation gives only a part of the real meaning. With the indication vizva- or bahu-rūpa one wants to express that a god is entitled to bear the emblems of all clans, and that consequently the things classified with all those clans can, in a mythical sense, be substituted for him.  Vizvarūpa is consequently a distinction for the gods, comprising the entire system of classification, or for whom one wants to pay homage in this manner” (Held, p.262). Emblems like the vizvarūpa-nishka worn  by Rudra must thus be understood in opposition to specific delimited emblems, like the dhvajas ‘flag-poles’ of the Mahābhārata, determined by ‘name’ (nāman) and ‘form’ (rūpa). “When Sańjaya in the Mahābhārata has to describe the dhvajas, he does so in accordance with their rūpa, their nāman, and their varNa [‘color’]. Rūpa and nāman have already been described as the great criteria of classification. The rūpas naturally remind us of the emblem” (Held, loc. cit.).  Here it is important to note that Arjuna’s single ‘monkey-banner’ (kapi-dhvaja; cf. infra, p.338) is equated to the totality of the specific banners on the opposing Kaurava side: Dhvajān bahu-vidhākāram…. / rūpato varNataz ca nāmataz ca nibodha me / VII.80.2 (Mahābhārata critical edition) / Navaite tava vāhinyām ucchritāh parama-dhvajāh /….. / 80.28 // Dazamas tv arjunasyāsīd eka eva mahā-kapih /…// 29 //. The ‘universal form’ (vizvarūpatā) [493] of this banner depicting a great monkey is especially expressed through its polychromy resembling that of the rainbow: Yathākāshe zakra-dhanuh prakāzate, na caika-varNam na ca vidma kim nu tat / tathā dhvajo vihito bhauvanena, bahv-ākāram drzyate rūpam asya // critical edition V.5.10. For the complex of significations invested in the idea of polychromy and, hence, in the rainbow, compare Lévi-Strauss, Le Cru et Le Cuit, pp.325-31. For reasons that cannot be elaborated here, we hold this ‘monkey-banner’ to be representative of the ideas invested in the purohita (and vidūSaka) and it is attributed to Arjuna because the latter alone corresponds, as Biardeau has rightly argued, to the public image of the ideal Indian king as Indra incarnate.

From the psychoanalytic point of view, it is pertinent to note that the undifferentiated state of vizvarūpatā corresponds to Freud’s ‘oceanic feeling’ (in which J.L. Masson sees the “origins of the religious sentiment in India”), which refers to the manner in which the embryo in the womb perceives the whole world as identical with itself. “Originally the ego includes everything, later it detaches from itself the external world. The ego-feeling we are aware of now is thus only a shrunken vestige of a far more extensive feeling—a feeling which embraced the universe and expressed an inseparable connection of the ego with the external world. If we may suppose that this primary ego-feeling has been preserved in the minds of many people—it would co-exist like a sort of counterpart with the narrower and more sharply outlined ego-feeling of maturity, and the ideational content belonging to it would be precisely the notion of limitless extension and oneness with the universe” (Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, London 1930, pp. 13ff; cited by Koestler, Insight and Outlook, p.173). This “oceanic feeling” may also be compared with Piaget’s “protoplasmic consciousness.”  We do not believe that the Trika metaphysics is reducible to a psychoanalytic (or biophysical) reality, but have made this comparison to help understand how this conception, in its earlier mythico-ritual form, could be heavily charged with embryonic symbolism.

13)                       Cf. infra, pp.336-340. For the KhāNDava as modaka, see Biardeau, EMH V, p.138 note 1: “however, one may also evoke the sweet delicacy by the name of khāNDava (…): if one accepts the idea that the forest-conflagration is conceived as a re-absorption of the world in miniature and that the pralaya is a ‘savage’ sacrifice, nothing surprising in seeing the forest (…) transformed through its name [495] into matter for oblation.” Her disciple, Scheuer (note on pp.162-63, Shiva dans le Mahābhārata), though accepting her interpretation, observes however that “this reinvigorating sweetmeat is hardly ‘savage’…. It is more important to note that this forest is not unknown to the Vedic texts” (follow references assimilating it to the place of a sacrificial session). For sexual ideas connected with GaNeza’s modakas, cf. Biardeau ad. GaNapati (Dictionnaire des Mythologies, 1981, Flammarion, pp.49-50 of offprint): “his single tusk, unexplained in the myth, is an evocation of the sacrificial pole, whereas his trunk would rather be the fecundating sexual organ, the tusk and the trunk reuniting the double symbolism of the linga of Shiva (…): iconography shows the trunk posed on a sweetmeat borne by the left hand or even on the sexual organ of a goddess seated on his left thigh.”

We have argued that both modaka and khāNDava (-forest) symbolize the soma (amrta) devoured by the totalizing Consciousness in the form of the fire-at-the-end-of-time (pralayāgni): “Agni is here no longer the domestic (domesticated?) and ritual (‘normalized’, regulated) fire, but fire freed of its limits, the fire reduced to its Rudraic dimension. It is still, if one wishes, the sacrificial and purificatory fire, but then on the condition of seeing in the universal conflagration ‘a sort of savage sacrifice’ (EPHE vol. 79, p.141) of the entire universe” (Scheuer, p.157). The ‘savageness’ of this symbolic sacrifice in fact refers back to the transgressive ideology that lies in the heart of it and which Scheuer has so well brought to the fore through a structural comparison with the figure of the purohita Samvarta, as opposed to the mythical Brhaspati. “Samvarta represents whatever is dangerous ‘for’ or ‘in’ the sacrifice. If one defines the sacrifice (fire; sacerdotal function), in a narrow ay, through Brhaspati, then Samvarta is perceived as a danger ‘for’ the sacrifice and should remain external to it: Brhaspati avoids contact and banishes his brother. If on the contrary one defines the sacrifice in a broader manner, such that Samvarta (as fire, as priest) forms an integral part of it, then Samvarta represents the dangerous aspect ‘of’ the sacrifice. To misappreciate the values represented by Samvarta, to seek to exclude him from the sacrificial economy, amounts to destroying the equilibrium of the sacrifice. The latter can function only if one recognizes ‘Rudra’s portion’…. The dangerous aspect ‘of’ the sacrifice, if it is not integrated, becomes a danger ‘for’ the sacrifice. Samvarta…is the fire breaking out of the limits of dharma (in the narrow sense in which Brhaspati [495] would like to define it), the ‘savage’ fire that, in the epico-purānic context, signifies the destruction of the world (pralaya or samhāra). The very name of Samvarta…signifies (MW) ‘destruction’, in particular the destruction or dissolution at the end of the world; ‘Samvartāgni’,  ‘Samvartārka’ designates the fire or sun that burns up the worlds at the end of a kalpa” (ibid., pp.175-76).

For the incestuous notations of the destructive all-consuming fire, see Lévi-Strauss: “Considered from the logical point of view, the three techniques form a system: the cremation pyre is destructive, the fire kindled by the drill is constructive, and the bush-fire brings together both aspects…” (L’Homme Nu, p.89); “the Yana versions also unite the destructive fire and incest, and make both a function derived from the constructive fire to which they refer directly or through the detour of the instrument that serves to produce it…an ‘incestuous’ instrument if there ever was one, because the fire is born therein from the intimate reunion of related pieces whose reciprocal action recalls coitus (cf. MC p.209)” (ibid., pp.130-31). Often it is the ‘Dame Plongeon’ who is responsible for the destructive fire, and Lévi-Strauss brings us “back to incest, the mainspring of the myth of Dame Plongeon. Now, Sapir’s informer (…) affirms that Dame Fire-Drill (…) is none other than Dame Plongeon who also bears the same name. The other version where she figures as the principal heroine describes her furnished with a drill ‘in which there was fire. She broke the drill, threw half towards the east, the other half towards the south (the inverse of the real technique which employs intact pieces and brings them together). Fires bursts forth where the pieces fell; everything was burnt….’” (ibid., p.130). In the Mahābhārata, YudhiSThira’s successful resolution of the ‘riddle-challenge’ (brahmodya) imposed by the Dharma-YakSa is equated to the ‘incestuous’ reunion of the separated, mother and son, parts of the fire-drill (araNī).

14)                       Though Byrski (CAIT, p.27; cf. Kuiper VV, p.176) had already implied that Omkāra, protector of the vidūSaka, represents Brahmā—which tallies with his inalienable ‘crooked stick’ (kuTilaka) as present of Brahmā, and his admitted status of ‘great brahmin’ (mahābrāhmaNa)—, Kuiper has made an unconvincing effort to explain away Omkāra as an “euphemism” for VaruNa (VV, pp. 173-76), and the kuTilaka as due to the brahmin caste of the VaruNa-vidūSaka (VV pp.145-46, 222)—which raises more difficulties [496] than it solves—and completely ignores his mahābrāhmaNa-hood for e claims to restrict himself to the evidence of the NāTya Zāstra alone and reserves the right to ignore (selectively?) the evidence of the classical plays.

15)                       In our personal discussions, Prof. Kuiper admitted that the problem still remains as to why the scapegoat-vidūSaka has to be involved in a cooperative-contest with the (king-) nāyaka (VV p.222), and as to how both these seemingly disparate aspects are to be reintegrated into VaruNa’s initiatory function. “Kavi was the specific term to denote an initiate who, as a devotee of VaruNa, had received his initiation and knowledge of the cosmic mysteries (medhā) in the nether world. This character of the initiation explains how the mortal Uzanā could become the priest of the Asuras” (VV p.96; the purohita-hood of Kāvya Uzanas should be noted). If this initiation is understood on the model of the pre-classical dīkSita’s regression to the embryonic domain of VaruNa and the transgressive dimension of this regression is recognized, both the scapegoat aspect and the competition with the ‘hero as sacrificer’ (nāyaka-yajamāna) can be easily derived therefrom.

16)                       Dumézil, in his now repudiated Flamen-Brahmin (p. ???), not only understands the original function of the purohita to be the scapegoat of the king but also interprets the jumbaka, in this respect, as being identified with the royal dīkSita himself.

17)                       VrSākapi is labeled ‘evil-doer’ (duS-krt) by the infuriated IndrāNī on account of his repeated ‘despoiling’ (also vidūshana) if her charms (X.86.5: na sugam duSkrte bhuvam…). The theme of gluttony, characteristic of the vidūSaka, has been emphasized with respect to the ‘mischievous monkey’—repeatedly called duSTa-vānara—which had escaped from the king’s stable causing panic among the women by its impetuousness. It is this monkey, addicted to rice and curds (dadhi-bhakta-lampaTa), that is responsible for throwing open the cage of the ‘talking-bird’ (sārikā) allowing it to escape to the Bakula tree. When the vidūSaka approaches at precisely this moment, Sāgarikā, terrified on account of his deformity and raucous laughter, mistakes him for the mischievous monkey returning, until her maid laughingly reassures her that it is only “the noble Vasantaka, inseparable companion of our lord, the king” (bhartuh pārzva-vartī khalv eSa ārya-vasantakah). The same symbolic formula, assimilating the vidūSaka to a brown monkey, recurs in both Kālidāsa’s Mālavikāgnimitra (in similar [497] context) and in his Vikramorvazīya. Such repetitive procedure can only be accounted for by an intentional allusion to VrSākapi as model dictated by non-aesthetic ritual considerations.

18)                       “The wild and brutal confraternity that appears in this interlude of the religious life of Rome, is of a type that ethnography has well clarified: it is one of these ‘men’s societies’—societies characterized by disguise, initiation, exceptional magical powers—as is observed among almost all the so-called half-civilized peoples; societies that merit at least in part the name ‘secret’ and which flourish (but then sovereignly) in the public religion only to rune counter to the normal operation of this religion” (Dumézil, Mitra-VaruNa, p.33). “The brahmin consecrates his life to sacrifice and the meditation on Vedic hymns and commentaries; no arts, no human science, nothing original, nothing that stems from inspiration and fantasy; in particular singing, dance and music are forbidden to him (Manu IV.64). On the contrary the Gandharvas are specialists of all this” (Mitra-VaruNa, p.45). Though Mitra-VaruNa is among those works that Dumézil has categorically disowned, others like Delpech (see Dedication, and myself have been able to find much valuable and valid materials therein, whatever the viability of Dumézil’s own main theses. In my personal discussion with the latter, he pointed out especially the tenuousness of the link between VaruNa and the Gandharvas (on textual grounds). In our opinion, this does not affect the reality of the parallelism between the structural oppositions: Mitra/VaruNa and (orthodox) brahmin/Gandharva. “It is not by chance that the restorer of VaruNa’s (lost) virility is ‘the Gandharva’ (Atharvaveda, IV.4)” (Mitra-VaruNa p.53: ???? [Sanskrit text].) Cf. also Eliade: “In India, for example, the herb kapittha (Feronia elephantum) cures from sexual impotence for, ab origine, the Gandharva used it to restore VaruNa’s virility. Consequently, the ritual collection of the herb is, effectively, a repetition of the act of the Gandharva…. (AV IV.4.1)” (THR, p.253). This may be of particular relevance to Kuiper’s vidūSaka = VaruNa equation, because the vidūSaka’s ‘crooked stick’ (kuTilaka)—which, like GaNeza’s crooked trunk, is invested with a phallic symbolism—is likewise made of kapittha wood (as an alternative to bilva or bamboo; NS XX1.172b-174, cf. Parikh, pp.49-50) and is often brought into symbolic association with the kapittha fruit. The symbolic value of the latter is evident from the fact that it is prescribed [498] among the iconographic attributes of GaNeza, who shares so many other features with the vidūSaka. “The symbols that he may carry and which are held by no other deity are: the broken tusk, a citron, wood-apple (jambu), a radish, a stylus, a bowl of cakes and a modaka… The citron or the jambu stands for the GaNapati-linga” (Getty, p.18). Cf. also J.N. Banerjea (DHI, p.358) who gives ‘wood-apple’ (kapittha) on the authority of several Āgamas and other traditional texts.

In Ratnāvalī II, the vidūSaka Vasantaka raises his ‘crooked stick’ (kuTilaka) angrily and is about to strike the ‘talking-bird’ (sārikā) with the following words (cf. infra, pp.380-81, 413 and note 17 above): “Ah! Sārikā, you daughter of a whore, do you think that Vasantaka is really afraid? Just you wait, till I strike you with my brahmanical staff (daNDa-kāSTha) which is crooked like the heart of a perverse (pizuna) fellow, and fell you to the ground like a ripened wood-apple (kapittha) from this Bakula tree.” The phallic symbolism of the kuTilaka suggests that the abortive striking of the sārikā is an act of sexual aggression in a symbolic mode, in conformity with his obscene abuse of her. In the Āzvamedhika-parvan version of the Uttanka episode of the Mahābhārata, the brahmin par excellence Uttanka uses his brahmanical staff (daNDakāSTha) to strike down bilva fruit from a tree (to appease his blazing hunger) and these are symbolically assimilated to a pair of ear-rings (kundala) representing the amrta/Soma, wrapped up in the black-antelope skin which the dīkSita of the brahmanical sacrifice wears during his embryonic regression to the womb). In the sequel, this daNDakāSTha is used to dig a way down into the ‘world of snakes’ (nāga-loka) through an anthill (itself a womb-symbol in the BrāhmaNas, cf. Heesterman AIRC p.19, and n.22) in an act assimilated to sexual intercourse in order to retrieve these ear-rings from the underworld (= womb). In our interpretation of this episode, it is evident that what is actually involved here is a sexual transgression equivalent to a ‘brahmanicide’ (brahma-hatyā), viz. union with the preceptor’s wife amounting to a (maternal) ‘incest’ of sorts. An immediate confirmation of our interpretation is found in one of the manuscripts of the play which interpolates, immediately after the king restrains the vidūSaka, the following words in the mouth of the latter: “It (the sārikā) is saying ‘offer a meal to this brāhmaNa!’”—to which the king is aptly made to reply: “Everything is transformed for the glutton into food. So tell me the truth. What does the sārikā say?” (the first sentence—sarvam apy audarikasyābhyavahāra eva paryavasyati—has been rejected to the notes of the N.B. Purohit edition of 1939, for it is a literal echo of Purūravas’ reply to his [499] vidūSaka when the latter compares the rising moon, the king of the twice-born, to a ‘sweet-meat’ modaka). The vidūSaka’s relation to Sā(ga)rikā is thereby underlined as being determined by (whatever is signified by) gluttonous ‘eating’.  For the equivalence of food and sex, see infra p.365, n.22.

19)                       “The obligatory laughter of the young men at the Lupercal, remaining unexplained by Dumézil, ‘due to lack of parallels among other peoples’ (p.69), is clarified through comparison with ritual laughter in different folkloric traditions” (V. Ivanov, ES, p.334). Cf. V. Propp, “Ritual ‘nyj smech v folklore” (Ritual Laughter in Folklore) and R. Jakobson, “Medieval Mock Mystery.” However, Propp has neglected the transgressive signification attributed to ritual laughter by S. Reinach in his earlier article: “sexual taboos have the object of curbing the vitality in its most powerful form: this explains vitality, of which laughter is a manifestation, being unleashed so to speak by the violation of one of these taboos” (“Le Rire Rituel,” p.118, note 2); “the priestess breaking into laughter has the aspect of a woman who violates a taboo” (ibid., p.120). In both Pāzupata’s (zrngārana) and Luperques, explosive laughter is accompanied by sexual license. Propp instead concentrates exclusively on the association of non-laughter with death and laughter with rebirth to life: “If with the entry into the reign of death every manifestation of laughter comes to be suspended and prohibited, on the contrary, the entry into life is accompanied by laughter. In this way, if there the prohibition of laughter is in force, here laughter becomes a duty, a real and proper obligation. Thought even proceeds further: to laughter is attributed the faculty not only of accompanying, but also of resuscitating it” (“Il riso rituale nel folklore,” Edipe alla luce de folklore, pp.54-55). Yet he admits that “in order to pronounce an absolutely exact judgment, the material is still insufficient. However, the materials cited give the right to affirm that laughter is a magical means to create life” (ibid., p.60). For a similar appreciation of laughter in Vedic religion, cf. Kuiper AIC pp.208-12 on Vedic narmį- and nariSThā-: “laughter and dance…were also productive of a new vital strength…a certain inference to be drawn from RV X.18.3” (p.212). But Propp’s observations, unless modified, contradict the repressive attitude to laughter, underlined by Lévi-Strauss, in all traditional societies. The Pāzupata-initiate is assimilated to the dead (preta-vad, pitr-vad) and not to the ordinary living, and we know that the initiate is generally assimilate to a [500] symbolically dead man (cf. for example, Heesterman, “Vrātya and Sacrifice,” passim). The initiated transgressor, characterized by explosive laughter, belongs rather to a category all to himself, that of the ‘living dead’. Compare, from the psychoanalytic standpoint, D. Pérard, “Le Rire en majeur”: “if transgression is that which simultaneously bears the work of the pulsions of death and of life, it is perhaps the precise moment where, each of the pulsions riding on the other, the pulsional twining is the most equilibrated. Moment when that which is of life masters that which is of death, and that which is of death masters that which is of life” (p.31, L’interdit et la transgression). Lévi-Strauss has completely overlooked the transgressive signification of the ‘scared laughter’ so brilliantly isolated by him from the ‘profane laughter’ to be repressed in the face of animal representatives of the transgressor (jaguar, monkey, bat, etc.) in South American mythology. The association of explosive laughter with transgression is so firmly implanted in the Indian psyche that it has been retained with little modification in the ‘imaginaire’ of Premchand’s Premāzram: “A notation so gratuitous, in appearance, and so hardly probable as the surprising bursts of laughter with which Kamalānand receives the admissions of his son-in-law, assume here all their meaning: laughter is one of the terrible manifestations of the divinity when he assumes his ugra [fierce] form, one of the symptoms announcing the unleashing of his violence” (C. Thomas, L’ashram de l’amour, p.75; cf. also pp.85-87 for the tantric resonances and impure aspects of the episode).

20)                       The second instance occurs in the ninth Act of the MrcchakaTikā. Cārudatta is being charged before the court with the (supposed) murder of Vasantasenā, at the instigation of the real (attempted) murderer, the villain Zakāra. The judge is extremely sympathetic, like everyone else, to Cārudatta and is seeking some legal outlet that will permit the hero to escape execution through the evil designs of Zakāra. It is at this moment that Maitreya, the vidūSaka, makes his appearance and, learning of the false charges, attacks Zakāra with his raised kuTilaka repeatedly alluding to its crookedness: “Wait, you the son of a bawd, just you wait! I will break your head into a hundred pieces with this my staff which is as crooked as your heart." Zakāra protests in the midst of this scuffle abusing the vidūSaka as a "crow-foot-pated, slave-born evil-minded brat" (duSTa-baTuka). If the kuTilaka is as crooked as the villain's heart, the vidūSaka's own heart must be equally, if not more, crooked for, after all, it is the latter who is always [501] characterized as its bearer and possessor. The real bearing of the infantile perversity ascribed to Maitreya by Zakāra is revealed by the former in the very act of striking the latter, for it is this gesture that permits Vasantasenā's ornaments to drop down from under the vidūSaka's armpit thus supplying the crucial incriminating evidence that, by supplying the motive, condemns his master Cārudatta to the stake. The judge's despairing comment effectively aligns the vidūSaka's intervention, however honorable it is made to appear before us, with the cause of the villain bent on destroying his master: "By the side of Jupiter (Cārudatta), powerless and opposed by Mars (Zakāra), there has appeared this another planet, like a smoke-trailing comet (vidūSaka)" (IX.33). The perversity here would consist in the vidūSaka serving the forces opposed to the ‘hero’ (nāyaka), even while ostensibly furthering the latter’s aims. In fact, in his earlier mention (Act I) of the crookedness of his kuTilaka, the term of reference is the vidūSaka himself: asmādrza-bhāgadeya-kuTilena daNDa-kāSTena

The first instance clearly reveals what is implied by his above reference to the kuTilaka while dropping the jewels. Already in Act III Cārudatta had entrusted to him, before they doze off to sleep, the same jewels, given to him as a deposit by Vasantasenā at the end of Act I. When the thief Sarvilaka breaks in during the night, the vidūSaka betrays his keeping of the ornaments in his (apparent) sleep-talking and even offers them to him under the pretext of mistaking him for Cārudatta, though he claims to see "something like a hole (in the wall), someone like a thief." When the thief decides not to deprive a poor brahmin like himself of his gold, Maitreya literally threatens him (in his sleep) to curse him, for not complying with the sacred wish of a brahmin, if he does not accept the gold-casket. The thief, relieved by the pleasant obligation imposed upon him by the ‘great brahmin’, seizes the casket and blesses him: "O MahābrāhmaNa, may you sleep for a hundred years.” That a transgression of sorts has been deliberately committed by the vidūSaka is probably the intention behind the ‘contrary speech’ with which he responds when the maid Radanikā reports immediately thereafter that a thief has cut a hole in the wall and escaped: “What do you say, you daughter of a whore? A hole has cut a thief and escaped?” Like Cārudatta, we would be more than willing to attribute the gentle Maitreya's shocking behavior to his characteristic imbecility, but he himself protests: “Friend, you are always saying that [502] Maitreya is a fool, that Maitreya is a blockhead. But I acted wisely in that I delivered over the golden casket into your hands. Otherwise that son of a slave-girl would have stolen it.” When Cārudatta admonishes him: “Enough of joking,” he replies: “Though I may be a fool, still do I not know even the time and place for joking?” There is a subtle interplay here between the bungling innocence of the fool and the diabolical calculation of a crooked will, so curiously combined in the figure of the untrustworthy vidūSaka, who now advocates dishonesty by abjuring: “By whom was it given? who accepted it? where is the witness?” For just before dozing off, he had complained of the casket: “Why, is there not even a thief in Ujjain who would rid me of this sleep-robbing son-of-a-whore?” and he has seen to it that his wish is fulfilled without further delay.

If one is still not convinced that the vidūSaka in part connives with the forces opposed to the purpose of the hero (nāyaka), one has only to refer back to his jubilation on receiving the ornament which he mistakes for his personal present from Vasantasenā. When Cārudatta chastises him with the clarification that it is not a gift, he openly wishes that the deposit entrusted to them be stolen by thieves. We see then that he fulfils this wish at the earliest opportunity. The technique whereby this contrary wish of the vidūSaka is made manifest is a variety of patākasthāna, whereby the speech of one character interrupted by that of another serves to convey a meaning that is wholly different, suggesting parts of the story, to the audience. In the crossing of words between Cārudatta and his vidūSaka, we may see the crossing of their purposes.

CAR: Maitreya, take that ornament.

VAS: I am indeed obliged (hands over the ornament)

VID: (receiving the jewels) May your ladyship be happy!

CAR: Fie you fool, it is only a deposit!

VID: (Aside) If so, then may thieves steal...

CAR: In a very short time...

VID: this deposit entrusted to her by us...

CAR: I will return it.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to further scrutinize this crossing of words and purposes, for the result is of capital importance for a true appreciation of the vidūSaka’s perversity. If we take their speeches separately, the vidūSaka says: “May thieves steal this deposit;” whereas the hero says: “In a short time I will return it to her”—the two purposes are as wholly opposed as are two enemies. But when combined in the patākasthāna, the vidūSaka’s opposition dovetails into the hero’s design, interrupting and delaying it no doubt, but also contributing will-nilly to its perfect accomplishment. “It is a brahmin, and he is a friend of the nāyaka, of the principal hero, whom he wants to help, but always in such a clumsy way that everything is spoiled, until the final success to which his gaffes finally [503] contribute: and this moreover is the explanation of the name vidūSaka given to him” (Biardeau, review of VaruNa and VidūSaka, p.298). As we have seen, from the standpoint of the ritual model—of ‘sacrificer’ (yajamāna) and brahmįn—if the hero’s design is fulfilled and the drama-sacrifice comes to a successful termination, this is precisely because he has submitted himself to the contrariness of his vidūSaka.


[this concludes the End-Notes to the Thesis Introduction ]