Self-Possessed, 6.1.3-6.2



Vipula & Vidura

pp. 255-65

p. 256 statement by “a courtesan (pums`cali) named Pan~ca[-]cud.a (Five Tufts)”

women are lascivious by nature, will sleep with anyone who shows them the slightest attention or respect”.

pp. 255-7 Vipula (according to the “Anu-s`asana Parvan” of the Maha-bharata)

p. 255

Vipula Bhargava protects Ruci, the wife of his guru, Deva[-]s`arman, against the sexual advances of the lecherous Indra by using his yogic power to enter Ruci's body”. [p. 264 "Vipula escaped from his body to prevent Ruci from fleeing her dharmic confines".]

p. 256

Vipula … stared into her eyes …, uniting the rays of light emanating from her eyes with those emanating from his. … Then, entering her limbs and face with the corresponding parts of his subtle body, the sage Vipula remained within her, unmoving, invisible, like a shadow [13:40:57]. Thus he was able to constrain (vis.t.abhya, 13.40.58a) her entire body, … because she was stripped of volition [13:40:58d]. …

p. 257

Suddenly, Indra … [by] his own power of divine sight (… 13.41.16d) … saw Vipula in possession of Ruci's body, like a reflection in a mirror (… 13.41.17c). … Vipula then returned to his own body and … reminded him of a previous … such behavior toward [Gautama's] wife Ahalya … , after which the King of the Gods disappeared (… 13.41.27b). …

Devas`arman … learned of Vipula's method from Day, Night, and Six Seasons and … recognized Vipula's … commendable yogic accomplishment. … . … the three of them, Devas`arman, Ruci, and Vipula, ascended to heaven … (13.43.16).”

p. 258 Lakuli-is`a (according to the Linga Puran.a)

from the Linga Puran.a [1:24:128, cited by Hara 1979a, p. 272]” : “Lakulis`a, … “... seeing the body [of a brahman] … in the burning ground, … entered it by … his yogic power [pravis.t.ah. yoga-mayaya] for the benefit of brahmans.””

Hara 1979a = Minhoru Hara : “S`raddhavives`a”. INDOLOGICA TAURINENSIA 7:261:73.

p. 259 Vidura (according to the “As`rama-vasika ('Hermitage-Residence') Parvan” of the Maha-bharata)

Vidura … uses his yogic skills to leave his body and enter that of Yudhis.t.hira … . “The intelligent Vidura entered [the body of Yudhis.t.hira] limb by limb, placing his breaths in the breaths and senses in the senses [of Yudhis.t.hira]. Vidura, … as if ablaze, entered [vives`a] the body of the king … . … the king saw Vidura's body, its consciousness gone, its gaze intact, leaning against a tree …” (15.33.25-28).”



Vasis.t.ha & Kalmas.a-pada

pp. 265-7

pp. 265-6 (MBh 1:166-8) Kalmas.a-PADa rajan = Oidi-POD- basileos

p. 265

Kalmas.apada (Speckled Foot) …

{Oidi-pous, whose “feet were deformed by the nail-wound” (GM 105.b),

[along] a narrow densely forested … encountered … S`akti, son of the brahman sage Vasis.t.ha, coming from the opposite direction. …

in the narrow defile … happened to meet [Lai[w]os, son of (GM 105.a) Labdakos] … . …

King Kalmas.apada … treated him to a solid whipping.

[Oidi-pous] … whipping up the team, … made them

p. 266

He [Kalmas.a-pada] … devoured S`akti as … prey”.

drag him [Lai[w]os] to death.” (GM 105.d)}

S`akti's wife A-dr.s`yanti ('Invisible') was confronted by the raks.asa [named Kinkara 'Slave' (p. 265)].

{[Lai[w]os's wife (GM 105.a)] I[w]o-kaste was confronted by the the prophesying Teiresias (GM 105.i).}

{Oidi-pous's own wife was named Euru-ganeia, Euru-gane, or Euru-anassa (CDCM, s.v. “Eurygania). The name /Euru-ganeia/ is in Pausanias, citing the Oidipodeia (“COC”, p. 30); Eury-ganeia being, according to Pherekudes (“COC”, p. 33), the mother of Eteoklees and of Polu-neikes.}

p. 267

Kalmas.a-pada “allowed Vasis.t.ha to sow his seed in his own wife, thereby providing … for Vasis.t.ha's own lineage”.

{Oidipous's 3rd wife (according to Pherekudes), Euru-medousa, he himself had no progeny from. [So, this wife must have been equivalent to the one wherewith Vasis.t.ha begat offspring].}

COC” = Henry Bowman : “The Crimes of the Oedipodean Cycle”. 1918.




pp. 267-72

pp. 268-70 spirit-possession of As`vatthaman {personification of the as`vattha tree, a naks.atra} by S`iva (according to the “Sauptika Parvan” of the Maha-bharata)

p. 268

As`vatthaman took command at Kuru-ks.etra “on the eighteenth and final day of the battle. {cf. the 18th heaven as the highest in Maha-yana cosmology.} Dron.a, who was not only the father of As`vatthaman but the guru of the Pan.d.avas as well, took charge on the tenth day … . … On the fifteenth day, … Dron.a … routed the Pan.d.avas and their allies. At Kr.s.n.a's behest, … an elephant {/hastin/, alluding to naks.atra Hasta?} [was] named As`vatthaman … (7.164.73 ff.). … . … for following Kr.s.n.a's advice, Yudhis.t.hira was forced to suffer … stinking hell after his own death many years

p. 269

later … . Dron.a {'Bucket', the meaning of the names of some manazil of <arabi astrology}… entered a yogic trance, and ascended to brahmaloka.

{cf. manazil (lunar-mansions) 25 & 26 “Water-bucket”.}

the Pan.d.ava warrior Dhrs.tadyumna chopped off his head. …

{an allusion, perhaps, to the mythic decapitation of the “head of Makha” by (RV 10:171:2 – “MV&PP”, p. 100) the god capable of giving offspring (S`YV 37:12 – TWhYV, p. 295).}

One of the rules of ks.atriyadharma was that … nighttime was reserved for the opposing sides to visit each other's camp. …

The first omen was As`vatthaman's sighting of an owl … (… 10.1.36), preying on innumerable crows peacefully sleeping in a banyan (nyagrodha) tree. [Johnson 1998, p. 40] … In league with Kr.tavarman and …, As`vatthaman entered the Pan.d.ava camp. … Standing at the gate of the Pan.d.ava camp,

As`vatthaman saw a great-bodied spirit (bhutam mahakayam, 10.6.3) … . … Finally, he recognized … the skull-garlanded (… 10.6.33) Rudra … . …. He offered himself … to S`iva … . …

{/As`vattha/ is 'sacred fig' : “sacred fig” was (on the bank of the river Kephissos) sacred to Phutalos (Pausanias 1:37:2), who is associated by Graves (24.13) with “a ghost.”

p. 270

As`vatthaman, the Terminator (antaka {commonly worshipped in Vajra-yana as Yama-Antaka}, 1.61.66), set about his … business of … “... the Terminator set loose by Time” (10.8.71).”

{The as`vattha-tree is celebrated for its ability to [ex]terminate (eradicate) the khadira-tree (VIN&S, s.v. “As`va-ttha, I”, p. 43).}

Odorous “smells” (3:186:34) cause persons to “engage in oral sex (mukhebhagah. striyah., 3.186.35).”

{“the groom rubbed his arm all over the mare's genitals, then held it under the nose of Darius' horse, causing him to neigh” (Herodotos 3:87).}

Manzil” =

MV&PP” = Stella Kramrisch : “The Mahavira Vessel and the Plant Putika”. In :- G. Wasson; S. Kramrisch; J. Ott; & C. Ruck : Persephone's Quest. 1986. pp. 95-116.

TWhYV = Ralph T.H. Griffith (transl.) :Texts of the White Yajurveda. Benares : E. J. Lazarus & Co, 1899.

Johnson 1998 = W. J. Johnson : The Sauptikaparvan of the Mahabharata. Oxford U Pr.

Phutalos” =

VIN&S = A. A. Macdonell & A. B. Keith : Vedic Index of Names and Subjects. London, 1912.

Herodotos 3:61-97



The Skanda-s

pp. 272-5

p. 273 engendrement & nativity of Skanda (detailed in Mann 2003, pp. 15-119)

Skanda … was born from the woumb of the goddess Svaha …, who was the embodiment of six of the wives of the “seven” (… excepting Arundhati, the … wife of Vasis.t.ha) and sired by Agni … . Agni became potentiated for this act by consuming the semen of Mahadeva … . Because of their illicit relationship with Agni, [six of] the seven divorced these six wives.

The birth of Skanda … continued for four nights, and the babe was born with six heads, twelve arms, one neck, and a single trunk. The six mothers, now separated from the singular personality of Svaha and bereft of their husbands, appealed to Skanda to … grant them an eternal home. This he did, and they became the constellation Kr.ttika (the Pleiades, with six stars), which then nurtured {suckled} the child Skanda …. .

however, … the six single mothers … still regarded themselves as devoid of offspring …, so Skanda granted them the ability {permission} to take {seize} children who did not worship either himself or the Kr.ttikas. In order to assist them, Skanda gave them a wild … replica. “Thereupon a powerful golden-hued spirit [“purus.a”] flew out of Skanda's body to devour the offspring of mortals. ...” (Mbh 3:219:24-5 = Buitenen 1975, p. 658)

Mann 2003 = Richard Mann : The Early Cult of Skanda in North India. PhD Diss, McMaster U.

Buitenen 1975 = J. A. B. van Buitenen : The Mahabharata, Vol 2, Bks 2 & 3. U of Chicago Pr.

pp. 273-4 the 18 forms of this wild replica (Mbh 3:219:25-58)

p. 273

the forms or pathogenic incarnations of this graha …, … eighteen, known … as skandapasmara {skanda apasmara} (Skanda's forgetfulness {apa-smara} or convulsion {apas-mara}). … Not only are

p. 274

there eighteen books to the Mbh and eighteen chapters to the Bhagavad[-]gita, but there are eighteen armies and a war of eighteen days. …

p. 274 the specific name and characteristics of each of the grahi-s who seize children before the age of 16



[p. 281, n. 6:52]


ominous bird grasper (s`akuni[-]graha)”



female night-stalker (nis`acara)”

[“chicken pox”]


pis`aci who aborts fetuses {foeti}”

["Cool Stinky", “smallpox']

p. 274 "Kadru ... becomes a subtle body ([-]vapuh.) and enters (pravis`et) the wombs of pregnant women".

p. 274 names of who grasp foeti



[p. 281, n. 6:52]





['Little Mouth-adorned'] --







[bitch, “epilepsy”]




Padapanam Matr.

['Foot-drinker's Mother'] “lives in a karan~ja tree”


Lohitasya Uda-dhi Kanya

['iron's water-holding girl']



lives in a kadamba tree”


pp. 274-5 the specific name and characteristics of each of these graha-s who seize adults after the age of 16


name : __-graha ('__-grasped')

characteristic : __ and becometh mad/insane


deva- (god-)

sees gods, whether awake or asleep”

pitr.- (ancestor-)

sees one's deceased ancestors”

siddha- (perfected-)

"is cursed by" "perfected beings"


smells scents and tastes flavors that are not {materialistically} accurate”


touch (samspr.s`anti)”





humors ( are completely out of balance”

{N.B. Inasmuch as the Mbh admitteth to the real existence of such spirits, then for it to describe such persons as witness those spirits as “mad” or “insane” is quite superfluous and grossly self-contradictory. It is very evident that such an absurd designation was applied simply to outlaw any commoners from communication with the spirit-world; for it would be quite evident to the general populace that persons attaining to such communication are by far more spiritually worthy than are the hereditary nobility; so that a widespread revolt of the general populace against the ruling-class (consisting of ks.atriya-s) would have automatically resulted if the psychic communicators-with-the-spirit-worlds had not been declared “insane” so that they could be conveniently forcibly suppressed.}




pp. 275-9

p. 276 spirit-possession by Hanumant

[quoted from Lutgendorf 1991, p. 199] “while he is discoursing on the wonderful carit of Hanuman, he enters a state of extreme excitement and begins twisting his head from side to side with a whiplash motion … . His face turns bright red and the veins and tendons in his neck bulge””.

Lutgendorf 1991 = Philip Lutgendorf : The Life of a Text : performing the Ramcaritmanas of Tulsidas. Berkeley & Los Angeles : U of CA Pr.

p. 277 Ahi-ravan.a ['Snake-Ravan.a']

Hanuman's oft-told exploit as a sojourner into the netherworld to rescue the Ayodhyan princes, kidnapped and held prisoner there by Mahiravan.a/Ahiravan.a, a subterranean relative of Ravan.a's” : [quoted from Tucci 1971, p. 211] “this tale … has wide popular currency and demonstrates to devotees across north India Hanuman's adeptness “in the shadowy realms below the ground as he is soaring through the air.””

Tucci 1971 = Giuseppe Tucci : Minor Buddhist Texts, Pt. III : “Third Bhavanakrama”. Roma : Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente.

p. 278 descriptions or similes of spirit-possession

"wrapping oneself in armor (kavacam) was an imposing state of transformation tantamount to possession.

{An overlay of deities imposed on one's own body (by means of nyasa) may be regarded as a psychic armoring.}

Other states labeled [in the MBh] possession {being "entred" by some variety of consciousness-influence} are

fainting ... [5:32:11],

sleep (nidra) brought about by anxiety or exhaustion [2:81:20; 4:26:7], and

exhaustion (s`ranta) itself [5:36:20]."

p. 278 entring Brahman-loka via the akas`a

"Kus`a wnt away, then became absorbed [avis`ya] in the ethereal realm, the eternal brahmaloka ([Ram.] 1.33.4)."

[p. 283, n. 6:78 : [Ram.] 1.42.19cd : "They became reabsorbed into the akas`a and were restored to their own realms" ...; cf. also [Ram.] 3.50.29, 5.1.181, 6.31.62, 40.59, 45.33, 57.45."]


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