Self-Possessed, 5.3-5.6



Shape-Shifting & Spirit-Possession

pp. 195-202

p. 196 Jaina distinctions

The … Jain Pars`va[-]natha Carita [1:575 sq] distinguishes between shape-shifting (rupantarakr.ti) and

{Whether accomplished by a shaman or by a deity, shape-shifiting is usually done in dreaming.}

entering another's body (parakayapraves`a).” (Bloomfield 1917)

{Acting as a “walk-in” is usually done in the waking-world.}

Bloomfield 1917 = Maurice Bloomfield : “On the Art of Entering Another's Body”. PROC OF THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOC 56:1-43.

p. 196 temporary self-transformation into an animal

Shape-shifting … is employed for …, for example, changing into the form of a bird in order to fly through the air.”

{Self-transformation into a bird in order to fly (and also into a fish in order to swim, etc.) is characteristic of dreaming by Siberian shamans.}

{Neglecting to specify that the temporary self-transformation into an animal is performed only in dreaming (and not in astral projection), is a persistent defect of the Itihasa-s and of the Puran.a-s (misleadingly making those literatures appear to be unrealistic).}

pp. 196-7 Indra's changing his own form (as shape-shifter)

p. 196

R.c Veda 3:53:8ab : “Maghavan constantly changes form, rendering his own body completely magical.”

p. 197

R.c Veda 5:42:13 : “the great one [Indra] who offers safe refuge, the striker, who has created all this,

whose forms are knit within the womb of his daughter.”

{apparently implying that he is born in diverse forms from his own daughter; similarly, likewise according to the R.c Veda, “Daksha sprang from Aditi, and Aditi from Daksha.” (Dowson 1879, s.v. “Daksha”)}

Dowson 1879 = John Dowson : A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology … . London : Tru:bner & Co.

p. 197 Indra's testing of heroes

In one story (MBh 3.197) Indra assumes the shape of a hawk and Agni the shape of a pigeon in order to test S`ibi.

{The name /S`IBi/ is cognate with Latin /CIBus/ 'food'.}

In another (MBh 14.55, 58), Indra tests Uttanka {/ud-tanka/ 'out-rushing'} by adopting the form of a Can.d.ala and offering him … urine.”

p. 197 Hanumant

Hanuman … gains the blessing of


{'good flavor' -- or else goddess of rasa-ayana alchemy?},

the “mother of snakes,”

{likewise in Vayu Puran.a 69 -- ID, p. 167 --; whereas "From Surasa hundreds of Gandharvas were produced" according to the Kurma Puran.a 1:18 -- ID, p. 187}

through expanding and contracting in order to enter and exit her mouth, and

the raks.asi Simhika by entering her with his tiny form … (Ram. 5.1.130-178). [Goldman & Goldman 1996, pp. 44 sq]

{Simhika is (acc. to the Ram.) mother of "Rahu who devours the sun and the moon." (ID, p. 121)} {According to Hari-Vams`a 3, "From Diti, the wife of Kas`yapa, were born ... a daughter Simhika who was married to the demon Vipracitti." (ID, p. 142) Similarly in Vayu Puran.a 3 -- ID, p. 163.}

He is called kamarupin (Ram. 5.5.1), one who has the ability to change his form at will.

he morphs into a mendicant from a mountain called R.s.ya[-]muka {'sage's urine', cf. urine offered to Uttanka} in order to help Sugriva ... (Ram. 4.3.21).”

{Dundubhi visited “the mountain of R.s.ya[-]muka Bali.” (PE, s.v. “Matanga, I”)} {Cf. the name R.S.YA-MiKA-cala of the mountain of (Kis.kindha Kanda” of the Kamba RamayanaPE, s.v. “Man.ibhadra, II”) an enormous coiled cobra – similar to coiled snake-goddess Kun.d.alini.}

ID = N. N. Bhattacharyya : Indian Demonology. Manohar, Delhi, 2000.

Goldman & Goldman 1996 = Robert P. Goldman & Sally Sutherland Goldman : The Ramayan.a of Valmiki. Princeton U Pr.

PE = Puran.ic Encyclopedia

p. 198 Kes`in the son of Darbhya

In the J[aiminiya] B[rahman.a] [2:53-4] Kes`in is taught the proper mantras of consecration [“to initiate himself”] by the ghost of his late uncle, who appears to him, having assumed the form of a golden bird.

In the J[aiminiya] U[] B[rahman.a] [3:6:1-3], Kes`in is overjoyed to see the figure of his uncle roaming the forest.

Kes`in attempts to embrace him but fails, because Uccaih.s`ravas does not have a tangible body.

{In the Puran.a-s, both Kes`in ('Hairy') and Ud-cais-s`ravas ('Neigh Loud') are divine stallions.}

In order to embrace his uncle and join him in the world of the gods, Kes`in … needs a brahman officiant to

shake off my bodies with a disembodying Samavedic chant” (… JUB 3:6:2).”

{Deities (in mental bodies) may assist in shaking one's astral body out of one's material body while one is in a hypnagogic state. The chant which would assist those deities would have been heard in dreaming before entring the hypnagogic state; but this dream-chant may have been assisted ("induced") by simultaneous chanting in the waking-world. [Whenever I have heard divine chanting in a dream, it was while similar chanting was at the same time being played (off the internet) into the headset-earphones which I was wearing.]}

pp. 200-1 deities control the practitioner's arms and hands

p. 200 (Taittiriya Samhita 1:3:1:1 = 7:1:11:1)

p. 201 (Bhagavata Upapuran.a 4:7:5)

impulse of Savitr.

arms of the As`vinau

arms of the As`vinau [the As`vinau “paralyzed Indra's arm” (supra p. 198) for their prote'ge' Cyavana]

hands of

hands of

goat's beard for {cf. goat's beard tying the scrotum of Loki (NM, p. 45) : 'scrotum' is /ORKHid-/ of city /ORKHomenos/, where reigned (CDCM, s.v. “Phlegyas”) PHLeGUas, whose name is cognate (S-ED, s.v. “”) with */BHL.GU/ (/}

NM = Kevin Crossley-Holland : The Norse Myths. Pantheon Bks, NY, 1980.

DCM = Pierre Grimal : The Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Basil Blackwell, 1986.

p. 202 deities who partake in the act of oblation (Taittiriya Samhita 3:7:5:5)

Agni is the eyewitness,

Vayu is the one who hears it,

Aditya the one who announces it”.



Initially, God Possessed Heaven & Earth

pp. 202-11

pp. 206-7 vital essences entred sites within the human body

p. 206 (Aitareya 1:1:4)

p. 207 (Aitareya 1:3:12)

cosmic essence __

became bodily essence __

and entred the __

Atman “split open the head at the point {line} where the hairs part and entered”. {“where the hairs part” = fissure between cerebral hemisphaires}

candramas (moon)

manas (mind)

hr.daya (heart)

mr.tyu (death)

apana (inward-breath)

nabhi (navel)

waters (ap-ah.)

retas (semen)

s`is`na (penis)

{The fissure between the two hemisphaires of the cerebrum is occupied by the corpus callosum, which would be the seat of the atman.}

p. 210 stations along the path to the divine court of deities (Kaus.itaki 1:5)

arriveth at the __

and the __ of brahman permeateth

tree ILya {cf. /ILa-vr.ta/ : /ila/ 'refreshment'}

gandha (fragrance)

plaza Salajya {/salaj-/ 'bashfulness'}

rasa (flavor)

palace A-parajita {'unsurpassed'}

tejas (radiance)

doorkeepers Indra & Prajapati

[“and they flee from him.”]

hall Vi-bhu {'all-pervading, omnipraesent'}

glory (yas`as {'fame, renown'})

The passage continues to describe the throne of brahman, identified as wisdom (prajn~a), constituted of samans {chantways set to instrumental music}.

On it is a couch constituted … by … soma stalks.”

{This could allude to the etymology of /soma/ as the reflexive participle of /su-/ 'to press' ('pressed oneself' = 'volunteered for service').}



Transferral of Essence

pp. 211-24

p. 217 divine speech, divine mind, divine breath (Brhad Aran.yaka 1:5:20, quoted from Olivelle 1998, p. 57)

From the __ ,

divine __ entreth (avis`ati) him. Divine __

is that which __ .

earth and fire”


makes whatever one says happen.”

sky and the sun”


makes a person always happy … .”

waters and the moon”


never falters or fails … .”

Olivelle 1998 = Patrick Olivelle : The Early Upanishads. Oxford U Pr.

pp. 218-9 Vis`va-rupa ('Omniform')

p. 218

(Taittiriya Samhita 2:5:1; O'Flaherty 1975, pp. 153 sq )

Vis`va[-]rupa … an omniform … deity … possessed three heads :

One drank soma, another sura, while the third ate food. … One-third

p. 219

was transferred to the earth, whose surface is breached through digging;

one-third to the trees, whose branches are pruned; and

the final third was allocated to women, whose bodies leak through menstrual periods”.

Acccording to Maitrayan.i Samhita 4:1:9 (Bloomfield 1894), the effect of these 3 heads was eventually transferred to the 3 gods “Ekata, Dvita, Trita” ('1st, 2nd, 3rd') -- "who in turn transferred the e'nas to those who sleep at sunrise or sunset ..., those with brown teeth or diseased nails".

Bloomfield 1894 = Maurice Bloomfield : “Trita … in Relation to Atharva-Veda vi.112 and 113”. PROC OF THE AMER ORIENTAL SOC 16:cxix-cxxiii.

pp. 219-21 the wife of Manu (Jamison 1996, pp. 21 sq)

p. 219

(Maitrayan.i Samhita 4:8 & Kat.haka Samhita 30:1) “Manu had some …

cups, which the asuras, naturally, wished to destroy.

{Because these cups could be (or were being) used for quaffing sura ('beer, ale') therefrom, therefore the a-sura-s (whose teetotalling name signifieth 'no beer') naturally wished to destroy the cups.

Disguising themselves as brahmans,

they beg the cups from Manu and destroy them. The broken vessels

{Hymir's goblet was shattered by (Hymis-kvida 28-31 – “HKv”) Hlo`rridi (To`rr).}

are then licked by one of Manu's bulls,

{Encountred by Pele, mo>o woman Kikipua “made a false bridge of her tongue” (HM, p. 175) for “travelers” (who were thus licked).}

which causes it to take on the … {beer-promoting} essence. Two brahmans, again asuras in disguise, appear at Manu's doorstep

{The H.iwwi^m arrived in disguise, carrying “old wineskins” (Yhos^uwa< 9:4), perhaps to indicate their opposition to alcoholic beverages, for new wine must not be put into “old winesacks” (Matthaios 9:17; Markos 2:22).}

p. 220

and benevolently volunteer to sacrifice a bull for him. …

The bull is sacrificed; but its unoffered haunch is stolen by an eagle,

{This episode would indicate that the “bull” is actually an eaglewood (NCBD, s.v. “Herbs and Spices”) tree (Strong's174 />HALiM/ : cognate with Strong's 1989 /HALMut/ 'hammer'), “in Paradise as incense” according to Ahadit-Sahi by Al-Buhari (“A”); Assamese manuscripts of “agaru bark” (“MRC”).}

{Hammer-wielding To`rr used as bait an ox-head to catch Jo,r-mungandr (Gylfa-ginning 48 – TFE”, p. 128).}

which drops into the lap of Manu's wife. Thus she ends up taking on the … {beer-promoting} essence. Itinerant priests (prataritvan) then show up and importune Manu to sacrifice his wife. This he very nearly does when, bound to the stake, Manu's wife is set free.”

{This heroine may be alluded to by the volcanic “lava” (mentioned in Hymis-kvida 38 – TFE”, p. 129) : she (Manu's wife) may thus be aequivalent to volcano-goddess Pele, who was born “from the thighs” (HM, p. 171; cf. Manu's wife's “lap”). Lohiau = Manu.}

(S`ata-patha Brahman.a 1:1:4:14-17) “Manu had a bull. In it … voice entered … . … the asuras … have it sacrificed by their two officiants, Kilata {'inspissated (condensed) milk'} and Akuli {'agitated , flurried' (/-kr.ta/ the Anthemis (Anacyclus) pyrethrum roots which, “when chewed, give a sharp and tingling sense of heat in the mouth ..., and paralysis of the tongue and vocal organs”, PhD)}. As a result of this sacrifice, the voice … quickly “entered Manavi, the wife of Manu” … . This shook the asuras … . So they sought permission from Manu to sacrifice his wife. … On her being sacrificed that voice left her and “entered … the sacrificial vessels” … .” {So, were these sacrificial vessels the origin of Bodish musical “singing bowls”?}

p. 221

Jamison's primary concern is with … the sacrificer's wife (patni), whose real purpose in the ritual she says [Jamison 1996, p. 53], is to

trap sexuality and its power for ritual use.””

{Similarly as Wilhelm Reich trapped and stored “orgone energy” for ritual use : so that his successors could appeal to this Vaidik myth as scriptural authority for their ritual usages.}

Jamison 1996 = Stephanie W. Jamison : Sacrificed Wife / Sacrificer's Wife. Oxford U Pr.


HM = Martha Beckwith : Hawaiian Mythology. Yale U Pr, 1940.

Yhos^uwa< 9:4

Matthaios 9:17

Markos 2:22

NCBD = New Concise Bible Dictionary. Lion Publ.

Strong = Hebrew & Aramaic Dictionary of Bible Words.

A” = “Agar”

MRC” = “Manuscript Resource Centres”

TFE” = Preben Meulengracht So/rensen (transl. by Kirsten Williams) : “To`rr's Fishing Expedition”. In :- Paul Acker & Carolyne Larrington (edd.) : The Poetic Edda : essays. Routledge, London, 2002. pp. 119-38.

PhD = William Cook : Physiomedical Dispensatory. 1869.

p. 224 Varaha {Emus.a} & S`arabha (according to Kalika Puran.a 30-1 – O'Flaherty 1975, pp. 188-97)

s`arabha, a terrifying eight-legged beast of monumental proportions. … . … Vis.n.u … offered to surrender. As he opened his mouth to beg S`iva's pardon, Varaha saw within it the man-lion … . Varaha then took hold of the energy of Narasimha …, thus re-energizing himself … . In the end, however, … once again … the s`arabha, prevailed, and the energy of Varaha, “shining with its garland of flames like ten million suns,” entered (… 30.141) the body of Vis.n.u”.

O'Flaherty 1975 = Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty : Hindu Myths. Middlesex : Penguin.



Gandharva-s, Apsaras-es, & Vaidik Body

pp. 224-32

pp. 226-7 how goddess Vac while nude was traded by the deva-s to the gandharva-s for Soma (Keith 1920, p. 128) {Thereby the gandharva gained the voice wherewith to sing to an accompaniment by instrumental music played by the caran.a-s, the hymns of the Saman Veda.}

p. 226

Aitareya Brahman.a 1:27 (cf. TS 6:1:6:5; MS 3:7:3) : “Soma the king was among the gandharvas. … Vac said, “Gandharvas desire women. Negotiate it with me as that woman.” …

p. 227

With this Great Naked Lady [Maha-nagni] they purchased King Soma.”

Keith 1920 = Arthur Berriedale Keith : R.gveda : the Aitareya and Kaus.itaki HARVARD ORIENTAL SER, 25.

p. 227 a woman's successive husbands in her sexual reproductivity (Rc Veda 10:85 – Jamison 1996, p. 140; with comments Jamison 1996, p. 123)



{her menstruation, caused by moon-god}



{a discarnate soul entreth her womb}



{the foetus “quickeneth” (kicketh)}


human born”

{parturition : the child is born}

p. 228 madness in a human is caused by an ap-saras, or by co-operation of an ap-saras with a gandha-rva

[quoted from Atharvan Veda 2:2:5] “Those who wail, oppressing by darkness, fond of dice, bewildering minds, to these apsarases, the wives of the gandharvas, I have paid homage.”

[quoted from Taittiriya Samhita 3:4:8:4] “Wood from a mandhuka tree should be offered for one who suffers from madness, because the gandharvas and the apsarases create madness in one who suffers from madness.”

The J[aiminiya] B[rahman.a] [2:269-72] mentions a gandharva and an apsaras who work together to produce madness … in a brahman”.

pp. 228-9 instance of a female spirit-medium spirit-possessed by a gandharva (discarnate soul) (Br.had Aran.yaka 3:3:1)

p. 228

Bhujyu Lahyayani … discovered that the daughter of Patan~cala Kapya was possessed by a gandharva (… gandharva[-]gr.hita …).

p. 229

Bhujyu then asked the gandharva, speaking through the daughter, who he was. The gandharva replied that he was Sudhanvan of the family of Angiras. Bhujyu asked him the whereabouts of the descendants of … . … Yajn~avalkya … confirmed the answer of the gandharvas … : “They went where {whither} the performers of the as`vamedha go.””

p. 229 instance of a woman spirit-medium spirit-possessed by a gandharva (discarnate soul)

(Br.had Aran.yaka 3:7:1) “Uddalaka went to the house of the same … Patan~cala Kapya … . This time it was Patan~cala's wife who was possessed by a gandharva … . Through the wife, the gandharva told Uddalaka that he was Kabandha, the son of Atharvan.

This gandharva also turned out to be … knowing … the inner self (antaryamin).”

{Is this antar-yamin ('inner controller') a deity (divine spirit-guide) controlling the gandharva?}

In the Ramayan.a (3.69), Kabandha … was a raks.asa whose body was little more than a trunk {torso} because his head and legs

had been hammered into his body by blows from Indra's vajra.”

{Here, the vajra (thundrebolt) is functioning in the same manner as the thundrebolt Mjo,lnir of To`rr, namely as a mallet (hammer).}

[p. 243, n. 5:154 : "In RV 5.85.3 kabandha had the sense of a cask ... for holding ... water, but already AV 10.2.3 had taken this word [in] the sense of a human trunk".]

{As for Kabandha, [ID, pp. 117-8 :] "After his cremation he assumed his original form, clad in white garment ... . He advised Rama to meet Sugriva, residing on the bank of the Pampa ... (Ram. 3. ...73)."}


Frederick M. Smith : The Self-Possessed : Deity and Spirit Possession in South Asian Literature and Civilization. Columbia U Pr, NY, 2006.