G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Sunday, November 03, 2013

नमोस्तुते...Lakshmi, Yakshi, Ishtar, Ereshkigal, Lilitu...India, Egypt...

Today November 3 2013 is Diwali,  goddess Lakshmi Puja day in India
 
Some experts regard Lakshmi as a pre-Aryan goddess just like Yakshis.


 T.S. Subramanian says in Frontline, June 15 2012 issue:

"You will find them everywhere, as sculptured figures of women hanging from a tree laden with mangoes, on the gateways to Buddhist stupas, adjacent to Jaina tirthankaras as exquisite bas-reliefs on the rock faces of hills, in wayside shrines, as terracotta figurines and stucco idols, as beautiful bronzes elsewhere, and as murals in temples. They are yakshis, popular folk goddesses of pre-Aryan days who metamorphosed into protective deities during the time of the brahminical religion and later as female attendants of Jaina tirthankaras. Yakshis are also celebrated deities in the Buddhist pantheon.

The history of the yakshi cult in India is a fascinating one. Yakshi sculptures have been found in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh; Didarganj and Basarh in Bihar; Bhopal, Sanchi and Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh; Ellora in Maharashtra; Udayagiri and Khandagiri in Odisha; Tiruppanmalai, Vallimalai, Anaimalai, Tirumalai, Samanamalai, Sithamur and Sitharal in Tamil Nadu; Aihole and Shravanabelagola in Karnataka; and Nagarjunakonda, Kondapur, Peddapur and Amaravathi in Andhra Pradesh. About 50 bronze statues of yakshis have been found in different parts of India..."




Photo Credit: V. VEDACHALAM

 "The Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh has eight yakshis sculpted on its four gateways. Since yakshis are associated with trees, these yakshis are shown standing under the mango tree or other trees or a banana plant. While the Sanchi stupa itself was erected by Emperor Asoka (third century B.C.), the Sungas renovated it by erecting the railings in the second century B.C. and the Satavahanas built the four gateways circa the first and second century A.D. These yakshis, two each on each gateway, look sensuous and realistic."

The Guardian Art Weekly reported on October 11 2013:

"the Queen of the Night relief was acquired for the British Museum's 250th anniversary"

 Old Babylonian, 1800-1750 BC From southern Iraq

Picture courtesy: Trustees of the British Museum  

"This large plaque is made of baked straw-tempered clay, modelled in high relief. The figure of the curvaceous naked woman was originally painted red. She wears the horned headdress characteristic of a Mesopotamian deity and holds a rod and ring of justice, symbols of her divinity. Her long multi-coloured wings hang downwards, indicating that she is a goddess of the Underworld. Her legs end in the talons of a bird of prey, similar to those of the two owls that flank her. The background was originally painted black, suggesting that she was associated with the night. She stands on the backs of two lions, and a scale pattern indicates mountains.

The figure could be an aspect of the goddess Ishtar, Mesopotamian goddess of sexual love and war, or Ishtar's sister and rival, the goddess Ereshkigal who ruled over the Underworld, or the demoness Lilitu, known in the Bible as Lilith. The plaque probably stood in a shrine.

The same goddess appears on small, crude, mould-made plaques from Babylonia from about 1850 to 1750 BC. Thermoluminescence tests confirm that the 'Queen of the Night' relief was made between 1765 and 45 BC."

2 comments:

mannab said...

Is the word 'yakshi' correct ? I think it should be 'yakshini'.
Mangesh Nabar

Aniruddha G. Kulkarni said...

Mangesh,

The word Yakshi has been used in the Frontline article I have quoted.

That will do for me.

best,