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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 ’15: Nature in Literature, Art, Myth and Ritual
Volume 9, No. 1 (2015)

 
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
  • Jaroslav Vacek - To the Memory of Prof. Dr. Devakirubai Thiyagarajan
  • Cinzia Pieruccini - A note on the yakṣa’s garden in the Meghadūta
  • Adalbert J. Gail - Viṣṇu traversing the Universe with an Addendum on Earthquakes and storms in Nepal – their impact on art and architecture
  • Jaroslav Vacek - The basic image of the goat/sheep in old Tamil Sangam literature
  • Pavel Hons - Resistance through nature. Natural motifs in Tamil Dalit literature
  • Jiří Jákl - Sugar palms and celestial nymphs in Old Javanese kakavin poetry: erotic and martial symbolism of the literary motif

Reports and Reviews
  • Govindaswamy RAJAGOPAL, 2015, Mind and Conduct: Behavioural Psychology in the Sangam Poetry. Sun International Publishers, Delhi – Reviewed by Rashi (Miss)
  • Toru Dutt, 2014, Antiche ballate e leggende dell’Industan. Edizioni ETS, Pisa ‒ Annotated by Sabrina Ciolfi
  • Cracow Indological Studies Vol. XVI, Ed. by Marzenna Czerniak-Drożdżowicz and Ewa Dębicka-Borek. Kraków 2014 – Annotated by Nora Melnikova
 

Summaries

To the Memory of Prof. Dr. Devakirubai Thiyagarajan
Jaroslav Vacek, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

A note on the yakṣa’s garden in the Meghadūta
Cinzia Pieruccini, University of Milan, Italy

Email: cinzia.pieruccini@unimi.it
Website: Cinzia Pieruccini
Postal address:
Università degli Studi di Milano
Dipartimento Studi Letterari, Filologici e Linguistici
Sezione di Glottologia e Orientalistica
via Festa del Perdono 7
20122 Milano, Italy

Continuing studies on parks and gardens in ancient India as documented by literary sources (cf. Pieruccini 2014), and considering the previous literary history of the subject, this paper argues that the passage depicting the garden at the entrance of the yakṣa’s house in Kālidāsa’s Meghadūta (stanzas 72–77) is carefully constructed so as to lead the audience to a kind of liminal space, to be felt as lingering between earth and a supernatural realm, and, at the same time, so as to form a crucial transition in the poem. Furthermore, the paper will show how in depicting this garden the poet’s lexical choices directly or indirectly focus on colours, and, specifically, brilliance.


Viṣṇu traversing the Universe with an Addendum on Earthquakes and storms in Nepal – their impact on art and architecture
Adalbert J. Gail, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Email: adalbert.gail@fu-berlin.de
Website: Adalbert J. Gail
Postal address:
Freie Universität Berlin,
Kunsthistorisches Institut
Abteilung Kunstgeschichte Südasiens
Koserstr. 20
14195 Berlin, Germany

Viṣṇu’s strides through the universe belong to the oldest mythological ideas developed in the Rgveda. Hinduism, as attested by the Purāṇas and temple images, tells the story that Viṣṇu shaped as a dwarf gains a free wish (vara) from Bali, king of the demons and universal monarch, who celebrates an aśvamedha sacrifice. Viṣṇu asks for as much land as he can measure out in three steps. His wish is converted into a contract with Bali by pouring out water (jalabhājanam BhP VIII,19,28b). Viṣṇu turns into a giant and regains the worlds for the gods.


The basic image of the goat/sheep in old Tamil Sangam literature
Jaroslav Vacek, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Email: javaka5@seznam.cz
Web: http://ujca.ff.cuni.cz/UJCA-320.html
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 description of the animal world in the Sangam texts (cf. Vacek 2005–2014). Judging from the number of terms, this animal is important for the general image of nature as reflected in Sangam literature. Besides that it also serves as food (its meat and also dairy products such as milk and curds) and as one of the offerings in rituals. There are six general terms (varuṭai, turu, āṭu/yāṭu, veḷḷai, mai, ēḻakam/mēḻakam), five terms for the male (takar, viṭai, kiṭā, ceccai, māṉ), one term for the female (puruvai) and two terms for the young (maṟi, kuḻavi). The lexical variety and the number of occurrences of different lexemes and their semantic variation (polysemy) provides an opportunity for further research into the present-day practices. The paper sums up the terms, their textual occurrences and basic questions of semantics and offers some textual examples of the animal in the wild and also as food. The topic of ritual will be discussed on another occasion


Resistance through nature. Natural motifs in Tamil Dalit literature
Pavel Hons, Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague

Email: hons@orient.cas.cz
Web: http://www.orient.cas.cz/kontakty/pracovnici/hons.html
Postal address:
Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Pod Vodárenskou věží 4
182 08 Praha 8, Czech Republic

From the point of view of ecocriticism the article tries to analyse the role of nature in the writings of Tamil Dalits. It deals with the aesthetics of Dalit literature and the attitude of Dalit writers towards metaphors and other figures of speech. The article argues that nature plays a marginal role in Dalit literature. In contrast to mainstream writing it is not used as a description of beauty in a symbolic or metaphorical way. Rather it is an instrument used to express and underline the miseries and hardships of Dalits. Further, the article comments on the values associated with the most frequently mentioned natural phenomena in the selected extracts.


Sugar palms and celestial nymphs in Old Javanese kakavin poetry: erotic and martial symbolism of the literary motif
Jiří Jákl, University of Queensland, Australia

Email: jirka.jakl@seznam.cz
Web: http://languages-cultures.uq.edu.au/contact-us
Postal address:
Čisovice 54
Praha-Západ
Czech Republic

Rich and complex literary representations of the sugar palm in Old Javanese literature are analyzed. The sugar palm has traditionally been exploited for its sap, leaves, and fire-resistant fibre. Richness of its literary symbolism clearly surpasses that of other palm species found in Java, such as the coconut and the betel palm. First, a proverbial symbiosis of the sugar palm and a variety of a toxic liana are analyzed and explained. Second, it is argued that the sugar palm was perceived in ancient Java as the abode of celestial nymphs, and has been endowed with strong erotic connotations. Third, complex and oft en problematic relationship between the sugar palm/celestial nymphs and ascetics/ hermits is explored. It is argued that a combination of biological and cultural inhibitions resulted in the fact that the sugar palm in Old Javanese literature is never represented as growing at the precincts of hermitages and other religious establishments. Next, the role of the symbolism of the sugar palm in the pre-modern concept of bravery is explored. Finally, the conceptual interplay between palm syrup/palm sugar/bee honey in Old Javanese is briefly discussed.


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