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Pandanus is a biannual peer-reviewed international journal publishing original research papers in English on nature symbolism in Literature, Art, Myth and Ritual. It has a regional focus on South Asia but welcomes papers from other regions. The journal is the outcome of the Pandanus project, based at the Institute of South and Central Asian Studies, Seminar of Indian Studies, Philosophical Faculty, Charles University in Prague. Pandanus volumes started coming out in 1998 on an annual basis as a result of co-operation between three Universities ... please click here to read the full text of Pandanus Mission Statement.

 
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Pandanus ’14: Nature in Literature, Art, Myth and Ritual
Volume 8, No. 2 (2014)

 
Editor-in-chief: Jaroslav Vacek
Deputy Editor: Martin Hříbek
 
Members of the Editorial Board:
Giuliano Boccali (University of Milano, Italy)
Alexander Dubianski (University of Moscow, Russia)
Daniele Feller (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
Adalbert J. Gail (Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany)
Oldřich Král (Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic)
Dagmar Marková (Oriental Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)
Cinzia Pieruccini (University of Milano, Italy)
Tiziana Pontillo (University of Cagliari, Italy)
Chettiarthodi Rajendran (University of Calicut, Kerala, India)
Danuta Stasik (University of Warsaw, Poland)
Lidia Sudyka (Jagiellonian University of Krakow, Poland)
Anna Trynkowska (University of Warsaw, Poland)
Eva Wilden (EFEO, Paris, France)
Gyula Wojtilla (University of Szeged, Hungary)
 
English correction: Dr. Mark Corner (HUB University, Brussels, Belgium)
 
Institute of South and Central Asian Studies, Seminar of Indian Studies
Philosophical Faculty, Charles University in Prague
Celetná 20, 116 42 Praha 1, Czech Republic
http://iu.ff.cuni.cz
Publisher: Stanislav Juhaňák - TRITON
http://www.triton-books.cz
ISSN 1802-7997
(Registration number of MK ČR) E 17677
 

Contents
  • Zdeněk Štipl: Nature as an instrument of hell in the Hindu Purāṇas
  • Danuta Stasik: My intimate neighbour: Kunwar Narain’s poetics of trees
  • Vijaya Sati: Nature as presented in the poetry of modern Hindi poet Bhavānī Prasād Miśra
  • Alaka Chudal: Embodying Nepal’s geography: Imagery of the Earth and the Sun in Nepali poetry
  • Jaroslav Vacek: ‘Swift horses’, a ‘means of transport’ as reflected in old Tamil Sangam literature
  • Jiří Jakl: The whale in the Old Javanese kakawin literature: timiṅgila, ‘elephant fish’ and lĕmbwara revisited

Reports and Reviews
  • Jaroslav Vacek: Boom in Old Tamil Sangam studies? Present state and future demands
  • Jaroslav Poncar, Burma/Myanmar, Reisefotografien von 1985 bis heute. Texts by John Keay, Jana Marková, Jaroslav Poncar. Mannheim 2013 (Edition Panorama) – Reviewed by Adalbert J. Gail
  • Studia Indologiczne 20 (2013). Widział Orientalistyczny, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Warszawa 2013, 140 pp.; ISSN 1232-4663 – Annotated by Stanisław Jan Kania
 

Summaries

Nature as an instrument of hell in the Hindu Purāṇas
Zdeněk Štipl, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Email: zdenekstipl@gmail.com
Website: Zdeněk Štipl
Postal address:
Univerzita Karlova v Praze
Filosofická fakulta
Ústav jižní a centrální Asie
Celetná 20,
116 42 Praha 1, Czech Republic

The paper explores nature as an instrument in the Puranic imagination of hell. Nature is here considered in the broadest sense of the word; including both the inanimate and animate world as well as man, an essential part of nature, along with everything that is generated by him. A classification of various infernal instruments is proposed, based on their different characteristics and potential employment in the torments of hell, and it is also considered whether they are real, i.e. originating from everyday reality, or only purely imaginary. Findings are demonstrated on numerous examples from Puranic literature; the material under examination comes from Agni, Brahma, Devībhāgavata, Mārkaṇḍeya and Padma Purāṇas.


My intimate neighbour: Kunwar Narain’s poetics of trees
Danuta Stasik, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Email: d.stasik@uw.edu.pl
Website: Danuta Stasik
Postal address:
Uniwersytet Warszawski
Wydzial Orientalistyczny
Katedra Azji Południowej
Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
PL 00-927 Warszawa, Poland

This article, dealing with the poetry of Kunwar Narain, focuses on poems in which trees are the central theme or its essential element. In the opening part of the paper, the most significant aspects of Narain’s poetry are emphasized: (1) it is poetry written from the perspective of an attentive observer who tries to give evidence of what he sees or experiences; (2) it contemplates human life and man’s attitude to values; (3) it immerses itself in the past and present but also looks to the future with anxiety and acts as a catalyst in the process of understanding reality, one’s social and cultural milieu; (4) it also resounds with mythological motifs and references to the Indian and world cultural heritage, allowing us to identify Kunwar Narain as a poet of culture. However, the poet also dialogizes with nature that, especially in his later works, becomes more and more prominent – a fully anthropomorphized protagonist, as e.g. the tree in the poem Merā ghaniṣṭh paṛosī (My Intimate Neighbour). In the main part of the article, which is based on the analysis of ten such “tree-poems”, I discuss these poems’ structure as well as different linguistic and stylistic devices in the use of trees adopted by the poet that together translate into Kunwar Narain’s poetics of trees.


Nature as presented in the poetry of modern Hindi poet Bhawānī Prasād Miśra
Vijaya Sati, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea

Email: vijayasatijuly1@gmail.com
Postal address:
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
107, Imun-ro, Dongdaemun-gu
Seoul, 130-791, Korea

This paper highlights a few salient points about the role and depiction of Nature in the poetry of Bhawānī Prasād Miśra, a modern Hindi poet. Firstly, Miśra was heavily influenced by Mahatma Gandhi who loved his nation in its completeness. While Mahatma Gandhi expressed his love through his political work, Bhawānī Prasād Miśra did the same through the depiction of nature in his poetry. Secondly, the images of mountains, rivers or forests in his poetry are references to specific mountains, rivers or forests and have a local colour. I conclude by looking at Miśra's work at the end of the 20th century when he is hurt by the exploitation of nature and uses satire as a tool to warn about the consequences of damage to the environment.


Embodying Nepal’s geography: Imagery of the Earth and the Sun in Nepali poetry
Alaka Atreya Chudal, University of Vienna, Austria, Austria

Email: alaka.chudal@univie.ac.at
Website: Alaka Atreya Chudal
Postal address:
Universität Wien
Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.1 & Hof 2.7 (Campus)
1090 Wien, Austria

In this essay I shall be pursuing two objectives. On the one hand, I want to call up the notion of female embodiment of Mother Nepal in Nepali poetry, or more generally as a female figure. On the other, I want to consider such imagery in terms of conventional notions of feminine passivity and masculine creativity. Through examples of how Mother Nepal is conceptualized in the writings of Nepali poets, I make the case in this paper that the overriding sense of her passivity conveyed in the poetry is a reflection of patriarchal Nepalese society.


‘Swift horses’, a ‘means of transport’ as reflected in old Tamil Sangam literature
Jaroslav Vacek, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Email: javaka5@seznam.cz
Website: Jaroslav Vacek
Postal address:
Univerzita Karlova v Praze
Filosofická fakulta
Ústav jižní a centrální Asie
Celetná 20,
116 42 Praha 1, Czech Republic

This paper continues the descriptions of the animal world of the Sangam texts (cf. Vacek 2005–2013a, including one paper about ‘meta-nature’, 2012). The ‘horse’ is a special animal in that it is not originally South Indian, while at the same time it played a very important role in the activities of the local chieftains and kings. Besides more general terms ( / māṉ ‘animal’ etc.; Sangam total 177x; pari ‘gait’; 83x), the horse is referred to by a number of more or less unambiguous lexemes (puravi, Sangam total 74x; kutirai, Sangam total 28x; ivuḷi, Sangam total 8x). This lexical variety and the number of occurrences of different lexemes referring to the horse are interesting both from the point of view of the possible ‘history’ of this animal and also from the linguistic and stylistic point of view. In the following paper we will discuss systematically the three basic lexemes and the stylistic aspects of their use. There are a number of typical formulas, which were used with the individual terms and which realistically reflected the characteristic features of the physical appearance (e.g. the mane) and of the properties of the animal (e.g. swift movement).


The whale in the Old Javanese kakawin literature: timiṅgila, ‘elephant fish’ and lĕmbwara revisited
Jiri Jakl, University of Queensland, Australia

Email: jirka.jakl@seznam.cz
Website: Jiri Jakl
Postal address:
The University of Queensland
School of La;nguages and Cultures
3rd Floor, Gordon Greenwood Building
St Lucia, 4072, Queensland, Australia

Five words, presumably designating the whale in the Old Javanese kakawin poetry, are analysed. It is argued that Sanskrit loanwords timi and timiṅgila designate in the Old Javanese the whale monster inhabiting the depths of the ocean, rather than any biological species of cetacean. As for the gajamīna and its Old Javanese calque iwak liman, it is suggested that both terms may have indeed designated ‘whale’ or other large cetacean in pre-Islamic Java. However, both words were commonly used for the mythological sea monster identified with the forces of adharma. Finally, the Old Javanese word lĕmbwara, lost in standard Modern Javanese, demonstrably designates the whale as a biological species rather than imaginary whale monster as is the case of other words.


Boom in Old Tamil Sangam studies? Present state and future demands
Jaroslav Vacek, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Email: javaka5@seznam.cz
Website: Jaroslav Vacek
Postal address:
Univerzita Karlova v Praze
Filosofická fakulta
Ústav jižní a centrální Asie
Celetná 20,
116 42 Praha 1, Czech Republic

The following short paper sums up recent work especially on the translation of selected Sangam anthologies and compares some of their renderings to provide an example of how difficult it is to grasp these texts in a modern linguistic idiom. Besides that it defines some of the relevant topics for interpretation of these texts, linguistic, literary and cultural, and their importance for further study not only of these texts, but also of the related fields of study, in particular comparative linguistics, history and culture.



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