Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 15 12:21:44 CST 2003

On Wed, 15 Jan 2003 00:57:11 -0500, Jaldhar H. Vyas
<jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:

>On Wed, 15 Jan 2003, Anand Hudli wrote:
>>  I agree. A widow is one whose husband is dead. But Shiva is called
>>  "antakAntaka" the destroyer of Death, or the God of Death himself, as
>>  rAvaNa exclaims in his Shiva-tANDava stotra. He is also called
>>  mR^ityunjaya, conqueror of Death.
>Then how would you explain vidhva in the definition I quoted from
>Medinikosha?  Vidhva is definitely widow in Gujarati and I'm pretty sure
>it is the same in Sanskrit.

 One should weigh options while choosing the translation or synonym.
 For example, one of the meanings of "shivA" is a jackal. We should not
 interpret this as characterizing shiva's spouse, PArvatI. Again, "Hari"
 can also mean "monkey", but whether we choose this meaning depends on
 the context. In another context, "Hari" can be a lion. In yet another,
 bhagavAn shrI Hari Himself.

 BhAskararAya has defined kAtyAyanI, quoting the vAmana purANa,
 as Ravi said : "tachchApi tejo  varamuttamaM mahAnAmnA
 pR^ithivyAmabhavat.h prasiddham.h|
 kAtyayanItyeva tadA babhau sA nAmnA cha tenaiva jagatprasiddhA ||

 BhAskararAya further quotes the kAlikA purANa which holds that kAtyAyanI
 is the abhimAni devatA of ODyANapITha.

 And the devI purANa says that "kaM" means brahma, the head, and
 sapphire. Since the devI is the basis of these (bears these) or
 resides in them, She is called "kAtyAyanI."

 kaM brahma kaM shiraH proktamashmasAraM cha kaM matam.h |
 dhAraNAdvAsanAdvApi tena kAtyAyanI matA || (devI purANa)

>Also Tantric references to Shiva as 'dead' and Shakti as a 'widow' need
>not be taken literally.  Rather they are symbolic of the active Prakrti
>versus the inert Purush.  And does not Shiva Bhagawan proudly bear the
>names Smashanavasi and Bhutapati?

 I have no knowledge of tantric interpretations. I have heard that
 many unorthodox tantric concepts/practices should only be taken
 as metaphors, not literally. In fact, I have heard that it could
 be dangerous to take them literally.


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