Here is a new translation of the Hari-vamsa, perhaps the first of the Puranas, or perhaps a classical poem on the Lineage of Hari (Krsna). The translation is based on the critical edition, although perhaps later the vulgate edition will be undertaken. It depends on how much new material the vulgate adds. The critical edition has 119 chapters and the vulgate 318.
Pretty strange first chapter, is it not? I think it invokes just about every creation myth known to Hinduism, and beyond Hinduism to the creation myths of the world. We've got the egg and the waters, the separation of heaven from earth (also in Egyptian mythology), the bifurcating being becoming male and female, and possibly the sweater. There reflections of the Purusa-sukta hymn in which the worlds or beings come out the various parts of the body of the primal person. A folk etymology of Narayana's name is also there. Some of it bears a dim resemblance to various cosmogonic myths contained in the Bhagavata, obviously picked up and expanded. It is hard, however, to eke out a narrative of creation from this first chapter. It almost seems like a list of various different ways the universe was believed to be started. The Bhagavata takes this confusion and makes more sense of it in the Third Chapter of the First Skandha and at other places.
I have been reading Ekkehard Lorenz's little essay on the Hari-vamsa in Bryant's book, Krsna. It is interesting. In the Harivamsa Krsna does not play a flute and doesn't even have one! I guess sometime between the HV and BhP he learned to play. Moreover, he does some pretty nasty things that are harmful to his community. He turns the hair on his body into wolves that attack and kill people and cows and that kidnap children. All this to get the cowherd camp to move to Vrndavana. Besides that, everyone eats meat. What's that sound? I thought I heard a lot of fantasy balloons popping!
Anyway, we still love him.
Last Edit: May 14, 2011 12:49:53 GMT -6 by Nitaidas
Love your comments, nitai ji. As Neils Bohr said, "There are some things so serious that you can only joke about them. "
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac33dOAgqus You must love this short clip of Dawkins from his lecture here in UC Berkeley. It is wonderful and sometimes the trifles most traditionalists in religion are worried about (getting people to marry in the same caste, honour killings, there was a fight between madhvas and ramanujas on the shape of the tilak in the spiritual world, traditional gaudiyas have fought over the correct size of radha and krsna statues and ekantin talks about different eye colors etc) seem meaningless from this vantage point. What do you think? We want to experience the rasa with some fluidity in these details or do we fight over these trifles without knowing what is correct.
i've heard of people in india sacrificing animals to kali statues. interesting thought per day: any scholar with a degree in indic religions will say kali is declared or said to be an incarnation of an ethical mountain deity.
if it's in religion, it still has nothing to do with religion; rather, it's a prescriptive wisdom on ethics. regarding meditation, i have no idea how a person could ever meditate after eating meat! buddhists eat it, but they fast too.
this is a health debate, ethical debate, and economic debate. i don' t know in history why it never was a geopolitics debate.
Post by cuckoo4cocopuffs on Oct 7, 2012 16:10:10 GMT -6
Just human nature in general. We face the dilemma of having to take life to sustain life (including our own). Choose your poison, I say. If grazing animals eat too much of one kind of plant, it will be toxic to them and they might actually die. As long as they graze on a wide variety of plants, they are safe. Chimpanzees don't live by bananas alone. They hunt monkeys and eat them. Deer are almost vegetarians, except when they are able to catch a mouse and devour it. There is a food chain, and some species are at the apex (if you consider it a geo-global pyramid, that is). They are referred to as apex predators. Homo-sapiens falls into that category along with sharks, lions, tigers & bears, like it or not. But try eating too many bowls of Coco-Puffs and see if you can avoid gaining weight!
Post by madanmohandas on Oct 1, 2020 11:44:44 GMT -6
I'm really enjoying the Harivamsha. I have Manmatha nath Datt's translation 1897. In Ch. LVIII there is a mention of Rama and Krishna playing on 'panava' drum in text 2, and in text 4 there is mention of playing flutes. There is no Samskrit text, just prose translation. As for the wolves, it is a bit of a shocking episode. No wonder the author of the Bhagavat left it out, ( if indeed the latter is the later work). I think I prefer the Bhagavat's account of the exodus and the reasons for it, still perhaps the connoisseurs of the ghastly humour prefer the wolves. It certainly seems to fill the apparent gaps in Book X of the Bhagavat, but generally corollary than otherwise. The seizure of the Parijata tree is given a full treatment, even more than the Vishnu, although Satyabhama is not involved in the combat as she is there. That episode Suka only alludes to, and even that with some disparagement of Indra, which might not seem so justified taking into account the narrative in the Harivamsha. Indra had a strong case for disallowing the removal of the tree. Suffice it to say, there's more to it. As for the offering and consumption of flesh foods it is quite clear that it would appear that it was contemporaneously acceptable at least for the author. An interesting observation in Harivamsha was how, during a feast (I cannot remember where), meat was offered and served except that Uddhava and some others, perhaps those of a philosophical bent, abstained and confined themselves to vegetarian fare. In the Vishnu there is meat offered during the Govardhan worship and in the Valmiki Ramayana there are vivid descriptions of Laksman carving up the rural spoil, and even Rama telling Sita how a piece of chicken was very tasty. Also, in Ch. CCLVII, there is an account of Narada's progressing through dialogues beginning with a turtle, and proceeding on to analyse who has been the greatest recipient of grace. Very much along the lines of Sanatana's Brihad Bhagavatamtam.
Post by madanmohandas on Oct 3, 2020 2:58:51 GMT -6
Incidentally, there is a very pleasant rendering of Kali Dasa's Raghuvamsha in blank verse by P. De Lacy Johnstone 1902 The invocation
The Lord Supreme and Parvati I praise, The parents of all worlds, close-joined in one As word with sense, and pray for gift of speech With mighty meaning fraught. How else could I, Weak-witted, dare to hymn the kingly race Descended from the Sun, - daring not less Than one who ventures on a raft to cross Some pathless sea? For, dullard though I am, I seek a poet's fame, and risk men's jeers, A dwarf who stretches tiny arms to grasp Fruits hung well-nigh beyond a giants reach. Yet Bards of old have entered, haply I May follow: where a diamond shows the way, A thread may go, - yea,pass through hardest gem.