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Religions 2018, 9(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9040112
In the forts and in the (mahā)janapadas, the king must protect the conventions (samaya) of heretics, “Pāśupatas,”1 merchant guilds, councils, military collectives, groups and the like. Whatever their laws, duties, rules for worship, or mode of livelihood, he must permit them.pāṣaṇḍanaigamaśreṇīpūgavratagaṇādiṣu / saṃrakṣet samayaṃ rājā durge janapade tathā//
1. Captured in Stone: The Guru’s Command (Ājñā)
Persons belonging to any of the untouchable castes (antyajātiy ār’ adoḍav) are not permitted (barasalladu) to drive (ēṟu) their marriage carts (maduveyalu baṃḍi) into the market street (aṃgaḍi-bīdi). But, if this does occur (bandan-appaḍe) they will [have to] pay (tiṟuvar) a fine of 12 (paṃnneraḍu) gadyāṇas of gold (ponnam). It is Ballavarasar Rājagurudeva’s command (HK. āṇe, S, ājñā) for it to be (appudake) this way (aṃtu) ….Be well! Vyomaśiva Bhaḷāra, the venerable Rājaguru of Karaḍikalla, … issued the edict to Cāmuṇḍaseṭṭi, the merchant’s guild, and the family of the founding line of settlers (pādamūlaparivāra), as follows (eṃt’ endoḍe):
2. The Differential Establishment of the Dharmas: Legal Pluralism in the Śāstra
And now the non-transgression of compacts is described, and its definition was shown by Nārada, who is the mouth of the (doctrine) of differentiation (vyatireka). Samaya is said to be the establishment (sthitiḥ) of the heretics (pākhaṇḍa), Pāśupatas (naigama), and so forth. The non-transgression (vyatikrama) of the samaya is remembered by the word “legal case” concerning that (tadvivāda). Another definition is that samaya is the differentiation of domains (vyavasthānaṃ) by means of meta-rules (paribhāṣika) pertaining to dharma.
In the forts and in the (mahā)janapadas, the king must protect (saṃrakṣet) the samaya of heretics, “Pāśupatas,” merchant guilds, councils, military collectives, groups and the like. Whatever their dharmas, duties, rules for worship, or mode of livelihood, he must permit them.
The King, having made, in the pura, a place, having and set down the Brahmins, who are knowers of the three Vedas and possess a land grant, there, he should say, “Your own dharma (svadharma) is to be protected. That dharma which pertains to the samaya, being not in conflict with one’s own dharma, that eternal dharma is to be protected with effort.” It is done by the king.Vijñāneśvara: In the pura means in the fort (durga) and so forth …. Having established means having set down some Brahmins there; “traivaidyam” means a Brahminical warrior band (vrāta) endowed with the three Vedas. Having made them to be vṛttimat or possessing a vṛtti means to be endowed with gold and land and so forth. Then he should say to those Brahmins: you do your svadharma, you should practice that which is enjoined in śruti and smṛti and is determined by varṇāśramadharma … what is also to be protected is that dharma that arises from the samaya, which might take the form of herding cows, or protecting water, or protecting the temple of the gods and so forth. Likewise, whichever samayin dharma there is, precisely by being non-contradictory with one’s own dharma (svadharma), that is to be protected, which is made to be of such a form as the statement, “so long as traveling provisions are given (to travelling kings), horses and so forth (in other words the army) are not to be established in this region” (ed. Acharya 1985).24
śreṇinaigamapākhaṇḍagaṇānām apy ayaṃ vidhiḥ /bhedaṃ caiṣāṃ nṛpo rakṣet pūrvavṛttiṃ ca pālayet / (YVS 2.192)This injunction also applies to the śreṇis, naigamas, heretics, and gaṇas.The king must protect the difference pertaining to them and the previously endowed land grant.Vijñāneśvara: By śreṇis we mean people who subsist from artisanal craft and temple building (śilpa) or by trading in a single commodity (such as merchants). By naigamas, we mean those who advocate for the veridicality of the Vedas because they are inculcated by learned people (as opposed to on the basis of it being divinely authored)—in other words Pāśupatas and so forth. Heretics are those ones who do not advocate for the veridicality of the Vedas: naked ones (digambara), wanderers, Buddhists and so forth. By gaṇas, we mean vrātaḥ, a band of military people, those who subsist by a single trade … they being of four sorts ….There is this very injunction, which is taught by the phrase “non contradictory with one’s own dharma” and so forth: “the king must protect the difference,” meaning the differential establishment of dharma, of these groups, the śreṇi and so forth. And he should protect the land grant and endowment (vṛtti) that was previously given (ed. Acharya 1985).28
Varadarāja: Thus Kātyāyana says: “It (a collectivity) would be established by certain merchants (vaṇijs) who are the original ones (mūlabhūta), being not greedy, being possessed of resources (vita) and the conduct of the kula and of good conduct and of seniority.”The remainder is one should make a seat of dharma.Bṛhaspati says: “The kārukas, farmers, bards, temple builders (śilpins), śreṇis, actors, bearers of religious signifiers (liṅgins), and thieves, they should do the adjudication with their own dharma … and likewise is the case of the military folk with regard to the army, and of the merchant (vaṇij) with regard to their business. But he [the king] should cause the duties of the ascetics to be done, according to the [dharma of the] triple knowledge alone and likewise for Vedāntins and (knowers of) yoga.”The sense is: by the cause that is the dharma that is established by their own samaya.
V: Thus Kātyāyana says:“… A collectivity (samūha) of merchants and so forth is known to be a pūga. A collectivity (samūha) of Brahmins and so forth is called a gaṇa by wise people. That which is a collectivity (samūha) of the Buddhists and Jains is called a saṅgha and so forth. A vrāja is said to be a collectivity (samūha) of gavas (cow herders) and four-footed creatures. A puñja is said to be a collectivity (samūha) of people who understand false teachings. A gulma is said to be a collectivity (samūha) of caṇḍālas, dog cookers and so forth. A śreṇi is said to be a collectivity (samūha) of a multitude of temple builders or kārus (kārukas). Those who act on behalf of what should be done (kāryacintakas) would be the ones concerned with the welfare of the pūgas, śreṇis, gaṇas and so forth. They who profess the welfare of the collectivity (samūha), by them should the address be made [to external authorities or in legal deliberation].”
Varadarāja: The definition of the heretic (Pāṣaṇḍalakṣaṇa)V: The definition of a pāṣaṇḍa is signified in the 36 doctrines.“Those ones with bad views who do not say that there is only authoritativeness with regards to the Veda, of such folks, being Buddhists, Jains and so forth, the name of pāṣaṇḍa is proclaimed … but those ones who say that the Veda has authoritativeness as authored product of those folks, the Vaiśeṣikas and so forth, the name of naigama is applied ….”V: … And likewise in the Svayambhuvāgama the six samayas are stated:“The Bauddha and also the Jaina, and Śaiva, and Pāśupata likewisethe Kāpālika, and Pañcarātra: these are remembered to be the six samayas.”V: With regard to that, Vyāsa says,“For vaṇij and śilpins and so forth, those who subsist off agriculture or artisanal craft, it is not possible to have an adjudication by others (such as learned Brahmins, on their behalf), but one should have it (adjudication) done by ones who are knowers of that (system of knowledge).”
Varadarāja: That which is practiced by those (aforementioned people), one should conceive of that as being non-contradictory with the dharmas of place, kula, and jāti.Kātyāyana says: “On the part of which people there is a “gotrasthiti” establishment of gotra that has come down in succession according to dharma, they call this a kuladharma.”V: and likewise one should protect it.Kātyāyana “That dharma that is in operation at all times relating to a [particular] place, that is called a deśadharma, because it is not contradictory with śruti or smṛti.”Bṛhaspati says: “By southern twice borns, the daughter is married to the maternal uncle. In the Madhyadeśa, there, men who are ritualists and artisans (śilpins) are cow eaters. In the east, there [people] are fish eaters and women are devoted to infidelity. In the north, the women drink liquor and they are to be touched by men while menstruating… according to this conduct, these things are not demanding of punishment or expiation35”.
Bṛhaspati: When it comes to those whose children are conceived against the grain of caste, and likewise for those who dwell in forts those dharmas, deśa, jati, kula and so forth are operative for them. In just the same way the people (such as these) must be protected, otherwise they will revolt. There will be an uprising of the people and the power36 and treasury will be destroyed.37
3. Tantric Compacts: Rethinking Samayācāra
Now an excellent ācārya should be illustrious: of excellent birth: very handsome: he should have true knowledge of what is to be done and what is to be avoided (heyopadeyatattvajñāḥ), be intent on the śāsana from Śiva (śivaśāsanatatparaḥ) … he should know the actions that confer authority regarding the śāstra (śāstrādhikārakarmajña) … he should know the rules relating to (expiation) for transgressions…The samayin (is so called) in as much as (san) he is established in the samaya (samayastha). He is a man who has received the entitlement (adhikāra) from the scripture … he has received the śiva-hand (of the ācārya laid on his head): he venerates Śiva, the fire, and his guru. He is subject to the guru (guruvadhīno) at all times (sarvadā) in all his actions (sarvakāryeṣu) and cannot act independently (asvatantras).
Those who have been initiated by this very procedure, O Beautiful-Faced One, Brahmins, Kṣatriyas, Vaiśyas, Śūdras, and others likewise, O Dear One, All of these have the same dharma—they have been enjoined in the dharma of Śiva. They are all said to bear matted locks, their bodies smeared with ash. All Samayins should eat in one line, O Beautiful-Faced One. There should be one [line] for Putrakas, one for Sādhakas likewise, And one for Cumbakas—not according to one’s prior caste. They are remembered in the smṛtis as having only one caste: that of Bhairava, imperishable and pure. Having had recourse to this Tantra, one should not mention someone’s previous caste. Should a man mention the prior caste of a Putraka, Sādhaka, or of a Samayin, he would require expiation (prāyaścitta), O Goddess. He burns in hell for three of Rudra’s days, five of Keśava’s days, And a fortnight of Brahmā’s days. Therefore, one must not discriminate, if he wishes to obtain the supreme goal.
The disciple should worship the guru according to proper procedure, with all the available resources. The superintending authority of the country should offer the guru 100 villages and a sāmanta feudal vassal should offer half of that. Someone who has use of 100 villages should offer five villages and someone who has use of 20 should offer one. Someone who has use of a village should offer a field, and someone who has use of a field should offer 20 (units of currency or his shares of his crop). By whatever thing the guru might become satisfied, he should offer all of that. In this way, the one who is devoid of fraud with regard to [the extent of] his wealth, he becomes not indebted (ed. Kaul 1926).39
He should not do violence to the property of the god, which in the siddhānta is administered in a range of ways. He should not eat the guru’s food that is not given to him, O Goddess.The ones who are without the conduct (nirācāra) should not cause those who observe the ācāra and bear the signs to be disgusted by wine, meat, fish and other things.Feeding the caru always (to the sādhakas), he should cause the guru to be worshipped and he should never touch the implements for worship with his foot, O Mahādevī.He should be constantly thinking about the saṃhitā and he should make the bhaktas listen to the recitation (of the scripture). One should not omit the daily ritual with the ritual at the junctures, O beautiful faced one. He should not practice the procedure from the śāstra in front of non-initiates. Always intent on meditation and japa, one should worship the god at the three junctures. Out of a desire for the fruits of both aims, he should cause the samaya to be protected (ed. Kaul 1926).43
If while reciting [mantras, the initiate] drops his japamālā, he must recite 1000 [expiatory mantras]. If the sādhaka is overcome by sleep and falls on the ground [in the middle of ritual] he must repeat half a lakh [of expiatory mantras]. [If this lapse is not intentional] he should repeat 1000 …. If his foot should touch the god or the guru and likewise the śāstra, then half a lakh is to be recited. If one touches the god, the guru, or the śāstra with one’s foot out of intoxication, one must recite 10,000 but if out of desire a million … if the āgama text is injured or a book in the tradition becomes worn out or is covered in ghee, having offered oblation into the agnikuṇḍa, one should repeat a hundred of the vidyā mantra …. In regards to the occurrence of the striking of a four footed animal, you have to say the mantra a certain number of times. If this results in killing [the animal] you have to say it 100 times.Having struck a twice-born who is not enjoying himself with a mantra that causes desire … one should repeat [the expiatory mantra] a thousand times.45 Having killed the paśu (non-initiate) for the sake of the sacrifice [or a paśu] who is a defiler of the practice of the Tantra, there is always no impurity in regard to those two killings … otherwise, having killed men out of delight [in regards to] a Jain, ones with an upward liṅga, or people with Vaiṣṇava signifiers, there is no difference … you must recite 10,000 [expiatory mantras]. If you kill someone who is a reviler of Śiva, the fire, or the guru, you do not partake of any fault.However, from the transgression of the shadow of the one bearing a vow of Śiva, [the punishment] would be a hundredfold. If you kill one of them unintentionally, you must recite 50,000 mantras. If you intentionally kill (such a person), you must recite a million, or 10,000 if this takes place during a quarrel …. However, regarding the vilifying of Vīras or the defiling of yoginīs, the beating of human women, or reviling the Śiva gnosis, you must recite 30,000 and if he does not recite it he partakes of an obstacle. If you revile the substances that are established in a circle of Śākta adepts (vīracakra), (well) if this happens at the time of a quarrel, then with a thousand repetitions one becomes sanctioned as pure (śucir). Otherwise the food (of the vīras) has to be eaten with the agreement of the vīras.46
In a pure place, without people it is to be recited such that it [the expiation mantra set] is fulfilled. Once the japa is finished he should offer the japa to them [the council}.48 One has to feed them and give to them the compilation of substances known of as vīra. Otherwise, if there is no bhojana, then he should not be one who feeds them [the council], even if there is a recitation scheduled. On the occasion of the determination of the purification by the guru (and the council) for consumption you have to offer him foot water (prāśana) and flowers, tāmbūla, candana, for wearing and for smearing. The knowers of mantra, according to their capacity, having made the determination [regarding whether or not the expiation is sufficient], it has to be accepted. When the prāyaścitta has been executed (sucīrṇe), he [the formerly guilty party] should abide without obstruction [from members of the community].49
4. Governing Metaphor? Or Just Plain Old Governing?
Conflicts of Interest
References and Note
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Here in explaining the gloss of naigama I follow Vijñāneśvara’s commentary. The meaning of this lexeme, which by the Gupta period typically referred in a generic fashion to a trade organization, is contested across a range of Dharmaśāstra sources, with explanations ranging from understanding the term as referring to Brahmin communities, to trade guilds, to Pāśupatas and so forth. As our oldest commentary on the Nāradasmṛti, by Asahāya, is incomplete and does not cover this portion of the text, we have little concrete indications of how this passage was read in the seventh century, though the interpretation offered in Kātyāyana is strongly suggestive of some sort of trade organization. In the context of the surviving commentarial reflection on this passage itself, however, the consensus position in the context of its reception, especially in the sources being referred to repeatedly in the medieval Deccan, is that naigama refers to Pāśupatas and so forth, who recognize the authority of the Veda, but believe it to be divinely authored, as opposed to apauruṣeya. The association of this view with the Pāśupatas is often linked with the writings of the Vaiśeṣika philosopher Praśastapāda, and thus it is not surprising that Varadarāja, for example will treat the two glosses as synonymous. The semantic slippage from naigama as trade organization to naigama as Śaiva collectivity becomes much more explicable once one realizes that, by around 800–900 CE in the medieval Deccan, in the vast majority of cases the administrative management of temple complexes on behalf of Śaiva and Śākta-Śaiva religious authorities was mostly conducted by collectivities of merchants who were also the disciples of the governing ācāryas.
Here again, it is worth noting that this translation is aligned with the reception history of this passage as opposed to its “original intent”.
Today Karaḍkal is a small obscure village in Raichur district. It lies less than 20 km from Liṅgsagūru, but is currently improperly identified by all major geo-locational mapping services, which either fail to locate the site or place it ten kilometers off in the wrong direction. The observations here are based on the author’s visit to the site on 08 June 2017.
Previously unidentified and discovered by the author.
The Karaḍkal inscriptions are published for the first time in the Raichur volume of the recent series of inscriptions organized by district published by Hampi University (Reddy 2003). This is one of several competing series of publications documenting the Haḷe Kannaḍa and Sanskrit inscriptions of Karnataka currently under production, (another is forthcoming from Dharwad University), each of which incorporate numerous unpublished texts. Unlike the more famous Epigraphia Indica, whose selection criteria of aiming to document the exact dates of dynastic reigns effectively excluded from publication all of the inscriptions not issued by kings, and which typically been taken as representative of or even exhausting the surviving corpus in our scholarship, the compiling of these regional canons are ideally attuned to the interests of the academic scholar of religion, often providing substantive information about the find site and temple context in which the śāsana is embedded. As the present essay should begin to make evident, much of the evidence in this archive has the potential to transform the academic study of religion and culture in the medieval Deccan.
Here it is worth noting that the mixed Haḷe Kannaḍa and Sanskrit inscriptions are themselves full of irregular spellings and orthography too numerous to bother noting. The Sanskritist in particular will notice that different conventions apply in representing compound formation. The emending of these to conform with the norms of Sanskrit discourse not only poses serious grammatical problems but effectively represents a falsification of the source texts.
svasti samasta bhuvanāśrayaṃ śrīprithvīvallabhaṃ mahārājādhirājaṃ parameśvaraṃ paramabhaṭṭārakaṃ satyāśrayakuḷatiḷakaṃ cāḷukyābharaṇaṃ śrīmattribhuvanamalladevara vijayarājyam uttarōttarābhivriddhi pravardhamānamā//caṃdrārkkatāraṃ saluttamire // (Reddy 2003).
Again one may notice that, by the standards of Sanskrit discourse, words are so frequently misspelled in this register of textual production that perhaps it is better to think of some of these usages as tatbhava words instead of mere scribal error.
In the conventions of the Śaiva Siddhānta the initiatory name X–śiva is only granted to an initiate from the first three castes. Śūdras are initiated with the name X-gaṇa. Indeed, with a single exception from the Tamil country, all of the extant texts of the Classical Śaivasiddhānta were composed by Brahmins or kings. In contrast, Kṣemarāja tells us that in the system of the Svacchandatantra, the sāmānya tantra of the Bhairava Siddhānta whose influence is felt all throughout the medieval Deccan, all male initiates are offered names ending in x-śiva, The locus classicus for this discussion is footnote 78 (p. 120) of Alexis Sanderson’s “A commentary on the opening verses of Tantrasāra”.
Śaiddhāntika norms frown upon individuals from other caste backgrounds serving as ācāryas in general and explicitly forbid non-Brahmans from serving as Rājagurus. The later prohibition is in fact a standard feature of many Mantramārga traditions. This holds true even for many avowedly Śākta sources. Thus the Piṅgalāmata, which attaches itself to the Jayadarathayāmala, is in fact pretty radical in advocating that low caste ācāryas have eligibility in the context of offering soteriological teachings but must refrain from wielding spiritual power in the service of mundane transactional ends.
As all of our rājagurus proudly descend from Śūdra backgrounds, and yet nonetheless are rājagurus for the most powerful ruler of the age, it is thus highly implausible that they are representatives of the Śaiva Siddhānta. Indeed, in contrast to Bengal, Kashmir, the Madhyadeśa and Tamil Nadu, the amount of patronage received in the medieval Deccan by Śaiva Siddhānta was all but negligible. Key exceptions include royal patronage from the late twelfth century onward at the rājadhāni at Warangal in Western Andhra as well as a few instances of direct support from the Cāḷukya king Someśvara II, the black sheep of the family, who Vikramāditya VI came to power by deposing, The dominant networks on the ground in the Medieval Deccan were at least nominally Atimārga, often self-identifying specifically as Kālamukha, though, as I will demonstrate in future work, there is extensive iconographic and inscriptional evidence that the primary focus of worship in these communities revolved around the veneration of Bhairava and Bhairavi in a manner that was supplemented by the use of the Śākta tantras.
tadguru yamaniyamasvādhāyadhyānadhāraṇamaunānuṣthāna-japasamādisampannaṃ sujanaprasannaṃ guṇamaṇigaṇabhūṣaṇaṃ parabaḷabhīṣaṇaṃ nijaguru-kuḷālaṁkāraṃ bandhujanādhāraṃ kōdaṇḍacaturbhbhujaṃ vivēka garuḍadhvajaṃ tribhuvanamalladēvarājābhivṛddhikāraṇaṃ vairibhujamadanivāraṇaṃ sāhasōttuṃgaṃ mahēśvarapadakamaḷabhṛṃgaṃ nāmādi samastapraśastisahitaṃ śrīmattatpuruṣa-śivacintāyaka-rājagurudēvara besadiṃ tatpādapadmōpajīvigaḷ-appa yama-niyama-svādhyāya-dhyāna-dhāraṇa-maunāṣṭhāna-japa-samādhi-saṃpannaṃ nuḍidu mattennaṃ dēva-guru-bhaktan āgamayuktaṃ munijana-kamaḷa-mārtaṇḍaṃ praje-mecce-gaṇḍaṃ patihita vainatēyaṃ satyarādhēyaṃ kadanakaṇṭhīravaṃ (k)attigeya bhairavaṃ ripuhridaya-sūṟekāṟaṃ rājagurudēvar’ aṃkakāṟaṃ nāmādi samastapraśastisahitaṃ. srīmatu perggaḍe sūkṣmaśivabhaḷāraruṃ samūhamuṃ mōvar ūroḍeyaruṃ yeraḍu purada seṭṭiyaruṃ śrīcāḷukya vikramavarṣada 4-neya siddhārtta saṃvatsarada vaiśākhada āmāvāsye ādityavārad’ aṃdu śrī svayaṃbhu sōmēśvaradēvargge dhārāpūrvvakaṃ māḍi (Reddy 2003).
Indeed, Tatpuruṣaśiva also tells us that it is in fact himself who is the cause of the flourishing of Vikramāditya VI’s rule (tribhuvanamalladēvararājābhivṛddhikāraṇaṃ).
Apart from the vast corpus of the inscriptions he commissioned, which have been most comprehensively studied in Dr. J. M. Nagaiah of the University of Dharwad’s Kannaḍa language thesis Araneya Vikramaditya Sasanagalu: Ondu Adhyayana (Adalitakke Sambandisidante) (Nagaih 1992), the two most substantive works on this important figure remain the Sanskrit biographies (Vikramāṅkadevacarita and Vikramāṅkābhyudaya) composed by his court poet Bilhaṇa and his own son Someśvara III. The Journal of Indian Philosophy published a special issue on the Vikramāṅkadevacarita in 2010 that included essays by Yigal Bronner, Lawrence McCrea, and Whitney Cox (Bronne 2010; McCrea 2010; Cox 2010a). Cox is also the author of “Law, literature, and the problem of politics in medieval India” (Cox 2010b), which juxtaposes the idealized representations of the power of the state evident in the Mītākṣara of Vijñāneśvara, a text which I will also examine, with the more subversive account of the violent consequences inherent in the wielding of power and their impact as represented in Bilhaṇa’s mahākāvya. Setting aside some purely documentary accounts of “the Chāḷukyas and their times” of negligible analytical value, as a historical figure Vikramāditya VI awaits a definitive interpreter in a Western academic language.
Here I take this unusual term, which appears seldom if at all in the inscriptional record, as analogous to the Sanskrit dharmaśāstra term of art kāryacintaka, meaning an advocate on behalf of the community, on the basis that representing this exalted figure as simply focused on Śiva would be out of place in the context of this register of his birudas.
The reading of the śāsana here “śrī ballavarasar’ āṇe śrīmadrājagurudēvar’ āṇe” mentions two commands (āṇe) without offering the required grammatical indication that we are talking about two distinct agents issuing these commands. As there is otherwise no mention of the rather generic name “Balla arasa” elsewhere in the regional inscriptional record, I construe this as referring to two separate offices, one might even say identities, being embodied by a single person, Tatpuruṣaśiva, in specific circumstances in relation to the character of the constituencies being addressed. Succinctly, for some people linked to him by an initiation, his sacerdotal power and role as a spiritual guide was the source of his authority. For other communities, who simply resided in territories under his control, he was simply the governing authority in the region to whom their landlord delivered the taxes.
Not translated here, and apparently equally oblique to the Kannadiga editors of the edition, are a number of other regulations. These seem to include taxes on various kinds of load bearing animals, some sort of regulation regarding sales, a mandate that a dog and maybe a pig are to be sacrificed after the death of a person under circumstances that are unclear, and a fine of 4 paṇas for committing murder with no further punishment, a relatively small sum and lenient judgment for such a crime by normative standards.
In other words, as we will see again and again in our analysis, these rules are not merely subordinate supplements to Dharmaśāstra norms that fill in the gaps in the elite tradition, but rather a distinctive body of knowledge intended in many cases to supersede those norms.
ādivāradi aṃdu śrīmatperggaḍe sūkṣmaśivabhaṭāra pramukhatapōdhanasamētam iḻdu dāsiseṭṭigaṃ nakarakkaṃ koṭṭa śāsana yeṃt’ eṃdaḍe.
If we read vadda as a tadbhava form of varddha, then this would refer to a tax increase.
Māḷigeya could also be an irregular orthography for jasmine sellers, but this is less likely.
The exact nature of this “grass shop” and its wares remains obscure. It is possible it is analogous to the bundles of hay and straw that are brought to market, either for resale or to be woven into various other goods, that we still see evidence for today in Karnataka in rural areas.
antyajātiy ār’ ādoḍav aṃgaḍibīdiyoḷage maduveyalu baṃḍiyan ēṟi barasalladu baṃdan appaḍe paṃnneraḍu gadyāṇa ponnaṃ daṇḍamaṃ tiṟuvar aṃnt(u) appudake śrī ballavarasar’ āṇe śrīmadrājagurudēvar’ āṇe … aṃdu cāmuṇḍaseṭṭigaṃ nakharakkaṃ pādamūlaparivārakkaṃ koṭṭa sāsanam eṃt’ endoḍe oṃdu śrāhiy aṃgaḍideṟeyaṃ biṭṭar alliṃ mēge barisa prati māḷigeyaṃgaḍige eraḍu paṇavvaḍḍaṃ pullaṃgaḍige eraḍu paṇa paṇa vaḍḍaṃ paṇapāḷuṃ teṟeyaṃ kiḻvar dhānya (Reddy 2003).
I am profoundly grateful to Tim Lorndale of the University of Pennsylvania, whose crystal clear explanations of the intricacies of Haḷe Kannaḍa grammar continually enrich and deepen my own exploration of this corpus, for correcting several of my earlier misconjectures. The above translation of the actual edict portion of this text would not exist without his efforts.
As is so often the case in the study of premodern South Asia, the exact historical moment when the dynamic under discussion is articulated and implemented is a matter for future research, though tentatively the evidence points towards sometime in the seventh century CE. As Shaman Hatley has thoughtfully demonstrated to me, the themes we will be exploring do not seem to inform the Picumatabrahmayāmala, one of the earliest of the surviving Śākta Tantras, to any meaningful degree. Indeed, even when it is covering similar topics, that text’s representations of social practice as well as its conceptualization of samaya are offered almost entirely free from the influence of the idiom of the Dharmaśāstras. One possibility worth considering, especially in light of the Picumata offering a social geography that frequently privileges the Indo-Gangetic plain and which is largely disinterested in the Deccan, or indeed, apart from Orissa, of anything south of the Narmada river, is that the conceptualization we are examining has its origins in the Deccan or Western India.
Previous writings on the relationship between Dharmaśāstra and the lived religious experience of diverse communities in pre-modern South Asia almost exclusively focus on the Mānavadharmaśāstra, read as the singular instantiation of a unitary Brahminical worldview that provided the template for organizing the world, to the exclusion of other sources. In fact, as a careful reading of either document makes evident, our two surviving early commentaries on the Mānavadharmaśāstra, namely, the writings of Bhāruci and Medhātithi, present themselves as the hyper scholastic products of the effectively atheistic Bhāṭṭa Mīmāṃsā system of knowledge. At every turn, they actively express their disgust with and alienation from the lived realities of their day, especially in regards to not only Tantric traditions but even to most of what we would label Purāṇic religion. The texts also provide little indication that these authors were practicing jurists. For more on this subject, see the author’s forthcoming publications. A slightly different case is represented by the commentary on Yājñavalkya by Aparārka (Apte 1903–4), generally identified with the twelfth-century Śilāhāra king of the Koṅkaṇa. Prefiguring the mid thirteenth-century sea change in the conceptualization of the collectivity and the social place of Tantric systems, Aparārka’s extended anti-Tantric polemic, particularly in regards to reinventing the labor force and procedures used in the construction of temples to weed out the contributions of Śākta-śaivas was not matched by the actual policies implemented during his reign, as temples personally consecrated by the king, especially Ambarnātha, offer visual celebrations of Tantric śilpin culture, including large portraits of artisans and ācāryas lacking a twice-born’s sacred thread.
The most substantive groundbreaking treatments on this subject in relation to the Sanskrit resources remain Donald Davis’s annotated translation of the corresponding chapter of the Smṛticandrikā (Davis 2007) as well as his remarks in two essays, “Intermediate Realms of Law: Rulers in Medieval India” (Davis 2005) and “Dharma in practice: Ācāra and authority in Medieval Dharmaśāstra” (Davis 2004). While Davis elegantly maps out the existence of parallel legal domains in the Medieval world, in both cases, unlike all of our commentators, he treats the term samaya as neutrally referring to any sort of arrangement or compact outside of the normal legal tradition, thereby failing to recognize its function as a term of art that comes to signify a specifically heretical community. Indeed, perhaps because many of the inscription sources he examines refer either to merchant communities, the theologically charged character of which is not immediately apparent, or Brahmin settlements, he does not remark on the theological as well as caste specific implications of these formulations. Finally, as discussed above, he offers a extremely restricted reading of the capacity of such social formations to produce laws that violate or circumvent, as opposed to simply complement, Dharmaśāstra norms, one which perhaps not accidentally almost perfectly corresponds with the recasting of these traditions we find throughout the post thirteenth-century works of dharmanibandha, such as the Vīramitrodaya and Madanaratnapradīpa (Kane 1948), which he and his late mentor Ludo Rocher have studied and mastered.
Davis’s writings are well complemented by two monographs by the late G.S. Dikshit of Dharwad University (Dikshit 2004; Dikshit 1964). Though largely unconcerned with the Sanskrit evidence, what Dikshit has produced, almost entirely unrecognized by Western academic scholarship, are the most detailed and nuanced studies of the actual functioning of corporate bodies in the medieval Deccan, based on an in-depth study of a large number of otherwise unexamined inscriptions.
Though it largely addresses the Tamil country, R. Champalakshmi’s Trade, Ideology, and Urbanization: South India 300 BC to AD 1300 (Champalakshmi 1999) offers some useful accounts of the inner workings of the autonomously governed trans-regional trade organizations of the medieval period, many of which were also operative in the Deccan, though again it seeks to locate a precipitant “secular” social formation in a milieu that closer readings, of the sort this author will offer in future publications, reveal to be virtually inextricable from networks of circulation founded on shared initiations in Śākta-śaiva ritual systems.
samprati saṃvidyatikramaḥ kathyate; tasya ca lakṣaṇaṃ nāradena vyatirekamukhena darśitam / pākhaṇḍinaigamādīnāṃ sthitiḥ samaya ucyate / samayasyānapākarma tadvivādapadaṃ smṛtam / iti paribhāṣikadharmeṇa vyavasthānaṃ samayaḥ, tasyānapākarmāvyatikramaḥ paripālanaṃ tadvyatikramyamāṇaṃ vivādapadaṃ bhavatīty arthaḥ /
In a manner that should begin to make evident to us the concrete practical consequences of such a formulation, for the early modern śāstrins, in contrast, Nārada’s (Lariviere 2003) designation of social spaces in which varṇāśramadharma on the one hand, and normative court based legal proceedings on the other, may well be irrelevant, produced such consternation that these late thinkers felt compelled to use creative exegesis to fundamentally rewrite the transparent meaning of the passage we have just examined. Thus for example, writing in the vicinity of Gorakhpur, in the Vyavahāravivekoddyota of his Madanaratnapradīpa (Kane 1948), the late fourteenth-century king Madanasiṃha sets out to restrict the permitted rules of worship and modes of livelihood referred to in the above passage to “listening to the sound of the beaten drum for the sake of being called to an assembly” and “taking the garments of an ascetic.” He then proceeds to argue that the real point of the chapter on the violation of samaya conventions is that it gives the king permission to violate the samaya in all such cases where they engage in activities “averse to the king,” a category that he then defines in such overextended terms as to incorporate the chewing of paan by the heretics.
That such an interpretation is basically indefensible as corresponding to the intended meaning of the root text is laid bare when we examine how the eighth-to ninth-century commentator on the Yājñavalkyasmṛti, Viśvarūpācārya (Sastri 1922–24) interprets the phrase “averse to the king.” In an almost identical context, namely, concerning the limits on the rights of the samaya, Viśvarūpācārya suggests that what is intended here is that collectivities should not make alliances with rival kings or attempt to depose the current ruler; in other words, the subject at hand is purely political considerations about treason.
It is perhaps worth noting once again that there is a conceptual gap between the intended meaning of the root text which advocates more generally for the application of legal pluralism and the reception of this verse as propounding “the doctrine from the mouth of Nārada,” where it has come to be understood specifically propounding religiously pluralistic principles from within a legal pluralist framework.
YVS 2.185–6: rājā kṛtvā pure sthānaṃ brāhmaṇān nyasya tatra tu / traividyaṃ vṛttimad brūyāt svadharmaḥ pālyatām iti // nijadharmāvirodhena yas tu samayiko bhavet / so ‘pi yatnena saṃrakṣyo dharmo rājakṛtaś ca yaḥ //
vṛttimat krtvā brūyāt svadharmapālayatām iti / vartahetur vṛtti, tadyuktavṛttimad grāmagṛhakṣetrākṣayanidhyādisthāpitam arthaṃ dattvety arthaḥ //
The two essential tools for learning to think inside these systems remain the collected essays of Ludo Rocher and Davis’s The Spirit of Hindu Law (Davis 2010) to which my discussion here is deeply indebted.
yo ’yaṃ brāhmaṇānāṃ samūhavidhir uktaḥ śreṇinaigamapāṣaṇḍigaṇānām apy ayaṃ vidhiḥ. Here the commentator uses his own prose sentence to frame the meaning of the root text.
ekapaṇyaśilpopajīvinaḥ śreṇayaḥ naigamāḥ ye vedasyāptapraṇītatvena prāmāṇyam icchanti pāśupatādayaḥ pākhaṇḍino ye vedasya aprāmānyam eva necchanti nagnāṭakasaugatādayaḥ gaṇaḥ vrātaḥ āyudhīyādīnām ekakārmopajīvinām eṣāṃ caturvidhānām apy ayam eva vidhiḥ yo ‘nijadharmāvirodhena ityādinā pratipāditaḥ / eteṣāṃ śreṇyādīnāṃ bhedaṃ dharmavyavasthānaṃ nṛpo rakṣet / pūrvopāttāṃ vṛttiṃ ca pālayet /.
In much the same way that an informed reading of the discourse on dharma presupposes a careful reading of the writings of Ludo Rocher, Patrick Olivelle (for the early sources), Donald Davis, and Timothy Lubin, the writings of Alexis Sanderson form the necessary preconditions for the study of the Tantric traditions. Though the social formation under discussion has not thus far been the object of his study, throughout this piece I make use of conceptual categories and formulations, such as the Śaiva Age and the Mantramārga that are the product of his many decades of extraordinary contributions to our discipline.
Indeed one would have anticipated that a Śrīvaiṣṇava affiliated author would make precisely the opposite sort of argument. From the time of Yāmunācārya’s Āgamaprāmāṇya onward, the other surviving sources in the tradition set out to formulate a special exemption for Pañcarātra traditions as commensurable with the norms of mainstream religious life while advocating fervently against the application of a more capacious live-and-let live definition of religious pluralism as it would apply to all other religious communities. Though recently misread as a work on “religious tolerance,” Jayantabhaṭṭa’s Āgamaḍaṃbara proceeds in a similar fashion, essentially presenting the story of how an orthodox Śaiva forms an alliance with normative Pūrvamīmāṃsakas in a manner that creates space for religious variety in so much as the tradition is ancient and does not offend Brahmanical sensibilities. This is, as we will see, a greatly truncated approach to tolerance compared to the norms in the medieval Deccan.
ity āha kātyāyanaḥ // kulaśīlavayovṛttavittavadbhir amatsaraiḥ / vaṇigbhiḥ syāt katipayaiḥ mūlabhūtair adhiṣṭhitam… / bṛhaspatiḥ / kīnāśaḥ kārūkaḥ śilpīkusīdiśreṇinartakāḥ / liṅginas taskarāḥ kuryuḥ svena dharmeṇa nirṇayam / ye tv araṇyacarās teṣām āraṇyaiḥ karaṇaṃ bhavet / senāyāṃ sainikānāṃ tu sārtheṣu vaṇijāṃ tathā / tapasvināṃ tu kāryāṇi traivaidyair eva kārayet // māyāyogavidaś caiva gaṇāś cādhikṛtā nṛpāḥ / svasamayasiddhena dharmeṇa hetunety arthaḥ / tatra vyāsaḥ / kāryeṣv adhikṛtā rājñāṃ grāmaśreṇigaṇāḥ kulam / gurusvāmī kuṭumbī ca pitā jyeṣṭhaḥ / pitāmahaḥ / vivādān api paśyeyuḥ svādhīne viṣaye nṛṇām /.
atha naigamān āha kātyāyanaḥ / nānāpaurasamūhas tu naigamākhyaḥ prakīrtitaḥ / nānāyudhadharā vrātāḥ samavetāḥ prakīrtitāḥ / samūho vaṇigādīnāṃ pūgaḥ sa parikīrtitāḥ / brāhmaṇānāṃ samūhas tu gaṇa ity ucyate budhaiḥ / yaḥ saugatārhatādīnāṃ samūhaḥ saṅgha ucyate / catuṣpadāṃ gavādīnāṃ samūho vraja ucyate / asacchāstrādhigantṝṇāṃ samūhaḥ puñja ucyate / caṇḍālaśvapacādīnāṃ samūho gulma ucyate / kāruḥśilpiprabhṛtīnāṃ nivahaḥ śrenir ucyate / pūgaśreṇiganādīnāṃ bhaveyuḥ kāryacintakāḥ / śucayo vedadharmajñā dakṣā dāntāḥ kulodbhavāḥ / sarvakāryapravīnāś cālubdhā vṛddhā mahattarāḥ / kartavyaṃ vacanaṃ teṣāṃ samūhahitavādinām / pūganaigamapāṣaṇḍasaṅghānām apy ayaṃ vidhiḥ //.
One may note that the likely seventh-century Kātyāyana begins by treating naigama as a collectivity of people from various villages (nānāpaurasamūha).
pāṣaṇḍalakṣaṇam abhihitaṃ ṣaṭtriṁśanmate / prāmāṇyam eva ye vede na vadanti kudṛṣṭayaḥ / teṣāṃ bauddhārhatādīnāṃ pāṣaṇḍākhyā prakīrtyate / pravrajya vasitā ye tu pāṣaṇḍās te prakīrtitāḥ / pauruṣeyatayā vedaṃ prāmāṇyaṃ pravadanti ye / teṣāṃ vaiśeṣikādīnāṃ naigamākhyā prakīrtyate …
While a statistical indexing of lexemes in the Haḷe Kannaḍa corpus would make evident the ubiquitous nature of this formulation, for the moment two examples will suffice. The Cāḷukya emperor Someśvara IV, and his Kadamba vassal Śivachittapemādi in 1215 CE are identified in an inscription from Dharwad Taluk as upholders of the samaya of the Lākuḷāgama (lākuḷāgamasamayasamuddharaṇa). In the corpus of śāsanas at Beḷur, Śāntaladēvi, the chief queen of the Hoysaḷa King Viṣṇuvardhana, is habitually identified as the upholder of all the samayas (sarvasamayasamūddhāraṇa [sic]), as in the 1117 CE inscription 16 (V 58) of the Epigraphia Carnatica Volume 9, which surveys Hassan district.
taddeśakulajātīnām aviruddhaṃ prakalpayet
In this context, the word bala may specifically mean “army.”
pratilomaprasūtānāṃ tathā durganivāsinām / deśajātikulādīnāṃ ye dharmās tatpravartitāḥ // tathaiva te pālanīyāḥ prajā prakṣubhyate 'nyathā // janāparaktir bhavati balaṃ kośas ca naśyati // BP1.1.127.
The following translation is lightly adapted from Dominic Goodall’s rendering in the 2015 introduction to the Niśvāsatattvasaṃhitā. Here the chief aim of is to bring to the reader’s awareness the numerous continuities between the register of language as well as the organizational schematas found in the legal literature we have just been exploring and the idiom of the Tantras, and not to supersede the original (changes and key resonances noted in italics).
SvaT 4:535–37: deśādhyakṣo grāmaśataṃ maṇḍaleśas tadardhakam | śatabhuk pañca vai dadyād grāmaṃ viṃśatibhuk tathā || dadyāt tu grāmabhuk kṣetraṃ kṣetrabhoktā tu viṃśatim | yena yena gurus tuṣyet tat sarvaṃ vinivedayet || tatas tv anṛṇatāṃ yāti vittaśāṭhyavivarjitaḥ |.
The evidence for this dynamic as a defining feature of the religious life of the Deccan is considerable.
Restricting ourselves simply to some of the evidence associated with Karaḍkal itself, an inscription from 1191 CE found in nearby Lingsugur registers the donation of 100 mattars of land to support a temple complex associated with the ācāryas of Karaḍkal. If, as the most recent volume on the weights and measures of Medieval Karnataka suggests, each mattar amounts to about 15 acres, this single donation expanded the lineages holdings by 1500 acres of land or well over 1000 football fields. Under the variant name Karadikalla, the place is mentioned with some frequency in the epigraphical records of eastern Maharashtra as the central focus of a network in the greater Cāḷukya world comprised of several hundred monasteries. Though scholars of Marāṭhī have usually assumed this is a variant name for Kardakheḍ, a Rāṣṭrakūṭa subcapital, the fact that the place is characterized as housing a temple of Someśvara on the bank of a lake and is usually represented in tandem with the town of Liṅgi or Liṅgisur as well as nearby Neville, strongly suggests its identity with our location in Raichur district more than 150 miles away.
vittaśāṭhye sati lobhādiyuktasya śarīrādipramātṛtvānuga [unknown number of characters missing] … iti dīkṣāsaṃskāro ‘sya na samyagvṛtta ity anumīyate | yatra ca śiṣyasyedṛg vṛttaṃ tatra gurur daṇḍāpūpikayaiva nirlobhaḥ siddhaḥ | ata eva prāk—“puṣpaṃ pāṇau pradāpayet” (4.536).
In the last line in the above cited text, Kṣemarāja refers the reader to the following passage earlier in his commentary for further clarification: pūrvaṃ (paratattvasya) kalpanāya dattaṃ darbhaṃ vimuñceti śiṣyaṃ prayujya pāritoṣikaṃ puṣpam asya haste dadyāt | yad vā ṇicvivakṣitas tena gurur ātmanaḥ pāṇau pradāpayed dehīti śiṣyaṃ prayuñjīta, vidhir dakṣiṇāhīno mā bhūd ity abhiprāyāt | evaṃ ca vadan guro niḥspṛhatvaṃ sūcayati | śiṣyas tatkālaṃ vittaśāṭhyahīno yad dāti dadātu tat, guruṇā tu niḥspṛheṇaiva bhāvyam ity arthaḥ || (4.451).
Here we proceed with the usual caveat that Kṣemarāja’s core intellectual project is to programmatically read into the root text the conceptually distinctive theology of his own lineage so as to cast the Tantric corpus as whole as univocally in alignment with the Śivādvaya perspective of his teacher Abhinavagupta.
SvaT, 5:47–52: devadravyaṃ na hiṃsyāt tu siddhānte yad vyavasthitam | guror annaṃ na bhuñjīta adattaṃ parameśvari || madyaṃ māṃsaṃ tathā matsyān anyāni ca varānane | sācārāś ca nirācārāṃl liṅgino na jugupsayet || carukaṃ prāśayan nityaṃ gurūn sampūjayet sadā | upaskārān mahādevi pādena tu na saṃspṛśet || saṃhitāṃ cintayen nityaṃ bhaktānāṃ śrāvayet sadā | āhnikaṃ na vilumpet tu sandhyākarma varānane || adīkṣitānāṃ purato noccarec chāstrapaddhatim| trikālaṃ pūjayed devaṃ japadhyānarataḥ sadā || samayān pālayan nityam ubhayārthaphalepsayā |.
The source text used in the following translations from Piṅgalāmata are from the author’s own edition in progress of the text presented without the critical apparatus. It is based on two eleventh century Nepalese manuscripts (OR 2279 from the British Library and NGMCP 3-376/vi), a Devanāgarī transcript (A166/5) that occasionally transmits additional text and preferable readings, as well as some occasional testimonia offered in other sources. It also makes use of the Muktabodha transcript of NGMCP 3-376/vi prepared under the direction of Mark Dyczkowski. This has been invaluable in studying this work, though sadly NGMCP 3-376/vi is by far the most corrupt of the available resources. Based on internal evidence, inscriptional evidence from the Deccan, as well as citations of the text preserved in Bhaṭṭa Vidyākaṇṭha’s commentary on the Mayasaṃgraha, a date of composition placing it the early tenth or even ninth century is plausible. My thanks to Shaman Hatley for sharing his manuscript evidence with me. Hyper and hypo-metricalization is present in some verses and has not been corrected.
This is the interpretation of this curious line arrived at while reading with Dominic Goodall. My colleague Anand Venkatkrishnan has suggested the following alternative possibility,
Piṅgalāmata Prāyaścittapaṭala: japataś cākṣasūtran tu patanād ayutaṃ japet | nidrayā cābhibhūtas tu patate sādhako bhuvi || tadārddhaṃ lakṣajaptavyaṃ na yated ayutaṃ japet | devagurun tathā śāstraṃ pādena spṛśate yadi… śīrṇāgamaś ca siddhāntaprastaṃ jīrṇaṃ ghṛtaplutaṃ | agnikuṇḍe tu hotavyaṃ hutvā vidyāśataṃ japet… ninirmitte catuṣpādaghātanena vadhāśataṃ | nirvinodaṃ dvijāṃ hatvā kāmakāreṇa mantriṇā … yāgārthañ ca paśuṃ hatvā taṃtrācārasya dūṣakaṃ || na doṣe dvivadhe nityaṃ…anyās tu mānuṣāṃ hatvā tadartham vā vinodataḥ || kṣapaṇaṃ corddhaliṅgīnāṃ tathā vaiṣṇavaliṃgināṃ | na bhedaṃ nirnimitte tu bhedād vāpy ayutaṃ japet || śivāgnigurunindānāṃ teṣāṃ hatvā na doṣabhāk | śivavratadharacchāyāṃ laṃghanāc chaśatadhā bhavet || hatvā teṣām akāmāc ca pañcadhāyutakaṃ japet | kāmato niyutaṃ jāpya kalahenāyutaṃ japet…vīrāṇāṃ nindane caiva yogināñ ca dūṣaṇe | strīṇāṃ ca tāḍane caiva śivajñānaṃ ca dūṣaṇe || ayutatritayaṃ jāpyaṃ na japed vighnabhāg bhavet | dravyāṇāṃ dūṣaṇe caiva vīracakre ca saṃsthite || tatkāle kalahotpanne sahasreṇa śucir bhavet | athavā bhojanaṃ kāryaṃ vīrāṇāṃ sammatena tu ||.
The Sanskrit in this passage strictly speaking does not specify that a council is the recipient of the japa and offering of the vīradravya but the notion is implied. Thus in the final verse, it is “the knowers of the mantra,” and not only the guru, conducting the final deliberation concerning the success or failure of the expiation, a pattern in keeping with the logic of delegation we find in the documentary records.
vijane ca śucisthāne japtavyaṃ yāvat pūryate | saṃpūrṇe tu jape caiva japas teṣāṃ samarpayet || tebhyo bhojyaṃ pradātavyaṃ vīrākhyaṃ dravyasaṃbhṛtaṃ | yady asau bhājanaṃ naiva abhojye japiteṣv api || athavā puṣpatāṃbūlacandanādahaprāśanaṃ | dhāraṇe lepane śuddher guruṇāṃ avadhāraṇe || yathāśaktyā tu mantrajñaiḥ kartavyaṃ cāvadhāraṇaṃ | prāyaścitte sucīrṇe tu vartayec cāvirodhataḥ ||.
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