Self-Possessed, 6


Epics {Iti-hasa-s}

pp. 245-83



pp. 246-75



pp. 275-9




pp. 246-75


Vocabulary of Possession

pp. 246-51



pp. 251-5


Vipula & Vidura

pp. 255-65


Vasis.t.ha & Kalmas.a-pada

pp. 265-7



pp. 267-72


The Skanda-s

pp. 272-5




Vocabulary of Possession

pp. 246-51

p. 249 Vinata

Kadru gave birth to a thousand eggs that hatched into snakes. After a gestation period of five hundred years, Vinata bore two eggs : one was broken in haste, revealing

a half-formed embryo

{"an embryo with only the upper part developed." (ID, p. 131) The species of bird noted for its lower part (feet) not usually being visible is the flamingo, usually standing in water.}

that cursed her [for breaking the egg's shell praematurely], while the other [egg/chick] eventually hatched. This second [egg/chick] was Garud.a (Vainateya), who then freed Vinata from the curse”.

[quoted from the Maha-bharata 1:14:21-2] “Thus, having cursed Vinata, her [first, half-formed] son ascended to the mid-region [antariks.a]. He may now be seen … as Arun.a, ever-present, at daybreak.”

the first son, Arun.a (Red), rises to the sky and pervades it as the red sky at daybreak.”

{The color which is be viewed prominently pervading the tropical sky daydaybreak is not red (which is seen only in the sun itself (and its immediate vicinity), which certainly cannot be said to “pervade” the sky), but rather pink (which is to be seen tinting all the clouds from horizon to horizon, pervading all the sky). [So, the meaning of /arun.a/ must be 'pink', not “red”.] As name for particular bird-species, such a term as 'pink' could be applied to the flamingo.}

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




pp. 251-5

p. 251 similarities between Nala and Yudhis.t.hira

Nala was … perfect and virtuous … . Like Yudhis.t.hira, he was ... an incarnation of dharma (MBh … 3.55.8-9).

And, again like Yudhis.t.hira, he was fond of dice (… 3.50.3c). Furthermore, he … gambled away his kingdom (but stopped short of staking his wife) to … sibling, Pus.kara, assuming the role of Duryodhana.”

pp. 251-2 how Nala was deluded by Kali & by Dvapara {cf. the deluding of Gylfi}

p. 251

Kali, Strife or Entropy personified, the embodiment of one-legged dharma, … was late for Damayanti's svayavara … . … . … Nala … “... the Nis.adha king sat for his twilight rituals [samdhya]

without washing his feet;

{The Yarsani religious law is not strict about foot-washing, which is strictly required by Sunni religious law before prayer-service.}

it was there that Kali possessed him [a-vis`-]” (3.56.3). … After possessing (samavis`ya,

p. 252

3.56.4) Nala, Kali approached Pus.kara … for a dice competition with Nala. … His marginally less-baneful sibling, Dvapara, the manifestation of two-legged dharma, the penultimate unlucky throw of the dice, … entered into … the dice (3.55.13cd). Thus the … duo, Kali and Dvapara, drove Nala to lose his entire kingdom … to Pus.kara.”

NaLa = NeiLeus

p. 252 Pus.kara disputed against NaLa for the kingship over Nis.adha.

When the dice {dice being employed for divination in, e.g., Bon} decided in favor of Pus.kara, NaLa departed from the kingdom.

Medon disputed against NeiLeus for the kingship over Pulos.

When the Oracle decided in favor of Medon, NeiLeus departed from the kingdom. (Pausanias 7.2.1 – MOI, p. 32)

Dan disputed against S.ido^n (S^apat.i^m 18:28) over La>is^. An >epo^d (ritual implement employed for divination) decided (S^apat.i^m 18:17-18) the dispute favor of the tribe of Dan. The priest of Mikah departed, with hand upon mouth (S^apat.i^m 18:19).

p. 252 “Karkot.aka, the King of Serpents (nagaraja), … bit Nala on the heel,

NeiLeus was one of “the twelve of Kodros' sons … who … founded the twelve Ionian cities.” (Pausanias 2.18.7, Strabon 8.1.2 – “IAP”, p. 53)

Founder of one of the 12 tribes of Yis`ra>el, “Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the ... heels” (B-Re>s^it 49:17).

changing his … form into that of Bahuka (Arm)”.

Hero of the tribe of Dan (S^apat.i^m 13:2, 25) S^ims^o^n “broke them from off his arms” (S^apat.i^m 16:12).

The etymology of the name of Rudra (whose male devotees head-hair is never shorn) hath been conjectured as /rud-/ 'uncultivated'.

The head-hair of S^ims^o^n had never (since birth) been shorn (S^apat.i^m 16:17).

{Makea (HM, p. 281 -- properly /Makea/, meaning, HD, p. 211b, /mahakea 1/ 'once uncultivated land') or Wakea (HM, p. 282 -- actually /Wakea/, HD, p. 398b) became untied.}

S^ims^o^n repeatedly (S^apat.i^m 16:9, 12) became untied .

{The hair of the head of SuSa-No-wo was fastened to a roof-beam while he was asleep, but when he awoke he untied this (Kojiki). [There is a similar Maya tale.]}

S^imS^o^N quoth, “ 'thou weavest the seven locks [of hair] of my head .. .' … And he awoke out of his sleep, and plucked away the pin of the beam”. (S^apat.i^m 16:13-14). S^ims^o^n suffered his hair being “shaven off” (S^apat.i^m 16:19).

Dragon Belleros was a Korinthian (“BPh”) – Korinthos's demise being cause of a re-marriage to (GM 156.b) Glauke ('Sweet'); and Glaukos ('Sweet') being the name of the father of Bellerophon (GM 75.a)

Cf. the riddle propounded by S^ims^o^n, "out of the strong came forth sweetness." (S^apat.i^m 14:14).

and of Deliades, who was named for (GM, vol. 2, p. 388b) Delos isle of Artemis, who balded (GM 22.d) Brontes (Thunder)'s chest.

{The sea-elephant's trumpeting may be indicated in the name /Bellero-phon/ ('Seamonster-Noise').}

Mentioned (Herodotos 9 [“Kalliope”] – H7&8&9, p. 794, fn. 4) in connection with Neileus is PhILISTos.

PhILIS^Tine architecture is noted (S^apat.i^m 16:29-30) for PILaSTres, pushing whereon by S^ims^o^n caused

p. 253 “Kali … took possession of a vibhitaka tree, whose nuts were used to make the dice.” {Most other varieties of dice are cubic.}

collapse of the temple [made of cubic blocks of stone?].

{The vibhitaka fruit-tree is the Terminalia bellerica : /belleric/, Indonesian /bahera/, <arabic /balilaj/, Persian /balilah/.}

{“From the fragments of Haumea's skirt … grow the wild akala (Hawaiian raspberry) vines.” (HM, p. 282) [Haumea was wife of Makea/Wakea.]}

{The meaning of /vibhita/ is 'intimidated' (S-ED).}

Mikah was intimidated (S^apat.i^m 18:25).

{When he was half-naked, without adequate clothing, Nala deserted his own wife Damayanti (MBh 3:62).}

Folk of the tribe of Dan camped at (S^apat.i^m 18:12) Qiryat-y<ARiM ('Abode of Naked Ones') : Strong's 6174 /<ARoM/ 'naked'; 6172 /<erwah/ 'nakedness').

p. 253 “Nala … galloped off into the sunset to rejoin Damayanti”.

the Persian poet Sadi uses the swallowing of Jonah by the whale as a figure of the sunset; and the Micmacs of Nova Scotia tell how Glooscap was carried by a great fish to the happy land of Sunset.” (SSPCR, pp. 245-6; cf. D&D-L, p. 57, n. 3 : II.I, n. 3) {Miniako myth (L&SS, p. 235); and a similar myth is told about Boin (L&SS, p. 238).}

Damayanti, though she ate food praepared by NaLa, ate it while secluded from him (MBh 3:75).

NeiLeus Kodros' son … founded Miletos, where his men took Carian wives …; whence, says Herodotos [1:146:2-3], Milesians' wives do not eat in their husbands' company” (DAO, p. 8).

Miletos married (CDCM, s.v. “Miletus”) the daughter of Maiandros ('Devious').

Having been threatened on account of her (S^apat.i^m 14:15), S^ims^o^n's father-in-law deviously gave a different reason for denying his daughter to S^ims^o^n (S^apat.i^m 15:2).

MOI = Vanessa B. Gorman : Miletos, the Ornament of Ionia. U of MI Pr, 2001.

IAP” = Jan Paul Crielaard : “Ionians in the Archaic Period”. In :- Ton Derks & Nico Roymans : Ethnic Constructs in Antiquity. AMSTERDAM ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDIES, 13. Amsterdam U Pr, 2009. pp. 37-84.

B-Re>s^it 49:17

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

HD = Pukui & Elbert : Hawaiian Dictionary. U Pr of HI, 1971.

FTBFT = Jan M. Ziolkowski : Fairy Tales from Before Fairy Tales. U of MI Pr, Ann Arbor, 2007.

H7&8&9 = Reginald Walter Macan : Herodotus, the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Books. Macmillan & Co., London, 1908.

S^apat.i^m 16:29

BPh” =

MBh 3:62

SSPCR = A. Smythe Palmer : Samson Saga and Its Place in Comparative Religion. London : Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1913.

D&D-L = Moncure Daniel Conway : Demonology and Devil-lore. NY : Henry Holt & Co, 1879. II.I = Pt. II “The Demon”, Cap. I Hunger”

L&SS = Fletcher S. Bassett : Legends and Superstitions of the Sea and of Sailors in All Lands and at All Times. Chicago & NY : Belford, Clarke & Co., 1887. (citing Farrar : Primitive Customs.)

Maha-bharata 3:75

DAO = Joseph Eddy Fontenrose : Didyma : Apollo's Oracle. U of CA Pr, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1988.

HID.iMbi = eKHIDNe = Waka

{[HM, p. 287] Tended by Waka are 2 divine trees in the garden of Pali-uli in Ola>a. “The first tree attracts fish (i>a), the second provides vegetable food”.

the 2 trees in Garden of <eden : Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge

Ekhidne is half-serpent goddess in cavern (Theogonia ll. 295 sq).

{[HM, p. 219] “Waka is sent by the sorceress daughter of Pi>i[-]moi, Hina[-]ke[-]kai, in the form of a great eel to prevent Lono-kai's approach … .

serpent in Garden of <eden

She resideth with Tuphoeus in that cavern amongst the Arimoi (Iliad 2, l.780).

When the eel is drawn into the canoe and the head is cut open there steps out a beautiful woman who attempts his seduction.”}

H.awwah who was induced by the serpent to seduce >adam

[HM, p. 289] (Tuamotu Is. myth) “Faumea {< */Baumea/ (= Pauran.ik /Bhumi/?)} is a woman who has eels in her vagina which kill men”.

The canoe's floating “bailer out of which emerges a beautiful woman” (HM, pp. 216-7) = the whale's “empty tub” mentioned in Swift's Tale of the Tub and in Brandt's Ship of Fools (L&SS, p. 236) – where the “Fools” may be from some such place as >es^ta>ol (a city of the tribe of Dan, S^apat.i^m 18:11). [/>eS^-ta>ol/ = />es^/ (Strong's 803 />S^uyah/ 'foundation') + /ta>OL/ (Strong's 8381 /ta>Lah/ 'imprecation'; Strong's 196 />WiLi^/ 'silly. foolish').]


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