LOVE (BHAKTI, KĀMA, S EHA, PREMA, ŚË ËṄGĀRA, CIŠQ...) I THE HUMA SEARCH FOR FULFILME T
Editorial Board: Renata Czekalska Marzenna Czerniak-Drożdżowicz Cezary Galewicz Agnieszka Kuczkiewicz-Fraś Halina Marlewicz Iwona Milewska Lidia Sudyka
JAGIELLONIAN UNIVERSITY Institute of Oriental Philology
LOVE (BHAKTI, KĀMA, S EHA, PREMA, ŚË ËṄGĀRA, GĀRA, CIŠQ...) I THE HUMA SEARCH FOR FULFILME T
Edited by Halina Marlewicz
Reviewer: Prof. Marta Kudelska
© Institute of Oriental Philology, Jagiellonian University, Cracow and the Authors
The volume was published due to the financial support of: Ministry of Science and Higher Education Faculty of Philology, Jagiellonian University Edition of 300 copies
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Contents Love (bhakti, kāma, sneha, prema, śÊṅgāra, cišq...) in the human search for fulfilment. Editor’s Preface Halina Marlewicz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Das vergessene Geheimnis der menschlichen Liebe. Versuch einer Annäherung Gerhard Oberhammer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The forgotten secret of human love. An attempt of an approach Gerhard Oberhammer . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Āo/Come Ashok Vajpeyi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Does BhartÊhari’s poetry countenance an experience of love or merely an appearance of the same? Some reflections on the ŚÊṅgāraśataka Greg Bailey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Man made of love. KāmamayapuruÆa† Maria Krzysztof Byrski . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Shrimati Varma’s lover – the politics of writing (the politics of reading?) love poetry Renata Czekalska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Bhakti in the Pāñcarātra tradition – some remarks Marzenna Czerniak-Drożdżowicz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Some musings on love by Rabindranath Tagore Rahul Peter Das . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Writing in love – love in writing. Few remarks on Teji Grover’s Blue Kamila Junik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The beloved and the lover – love in classical Urdu ghazal Agnieszka Kuczkiewicz-Fraś . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Loving is remembering. Bhakti meditation in the Śrībhāṣya of Rāmānuja Halina Marlewicz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The problem of childlessness in chosen stories of the Mahābhārata and the interrelation between dharma and kāma Iwona Milewska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Im Angesicht des Anderen. Rāmānujas Śaraṇāgatigadyam. Ein wichtiger Text viṣṇuitischer Religionstradition Gerhard Oberhammer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Love (bhakti, kāma, sneha, prema, śÊÊṅgāra, cišq...) in the human search for fulfilment Editor’s preface The theme of the 12th volume of Cracow Indological Studies was formulated in such a way as to allow the notion of ‘love’ to retain its ambiguity, as well as to comprise the broadest spectrum of the phenomenon of love – from different kinds of human, personal love to the love of God. Love taken as the desire for experiencing the sense of fulfilment in life (puruṣārtha) can be taken both as the factor of transformation and integration of human personality and the factor establishing a specific and definite axiological order in one’s life. Ordo amoris – as understood by Max Scheler – is “an objective order of what is worthy of love in all things”; it structures the existential situation of a human, it allows him to transcend himself and to participate in the object of his love as an ens intentionale. It does so without love giving up its character of an emotion. Does love outlined in the above manner find its place in Indian civilisation? What are the spheres in which it is most significantly present? Under what form is it most perspicuous? What are the social, religious, philosophical and artistic forms and methods of its presenting, defining and structuring? How do these forms manifest themselves in the cultural milieu of a particular historical period? These where questions put to the authors who were invited to participate in the volume. In his philosophical essay Das vergessene Geheimnis der menschlichen Liebe. Versuch einer Annäherung, Gerhard Oberhammer presents his in-depth interpretation of the notion of love. The multifaceted study is both a historian of ideas’ research on implications of
the idea of love in classical India, as well as philosopher’s reflection on the phenomenon of love as such. The author begins with the analysis of the definition of kāma in the Kāmasūtra. Love (kāma), which as a puruṣārtha fulfils itself in the individual experience of sexual pleasure, came to be conceived in old salvific systems of India as a negative phenomenon obstructing emancipation. Therefore the ‘deconstructive’ meditation contained in the 9āyasūtrabhāṣya of Pakṣilasvāmin, e.g., instructs about how the desire for sexual satisfaction, the main factor of “thirst” (tÊṣṇa) for further life, is to be relinquished so that the idea of human corporeality and the ‘delusional lust’ of kāma connected to it, no longer hinder the efforts of the person aspiring for emancipation. Having depicted the concept of kāma, G. Oberhammer turns to the idea of bhakti as it is present in the Śaraṇāgatigadyam, most probably one of the later works of Rāmānuja. Bhakti is shown there to be determined both by the ontological relation of śeṣaśeṣibhāva, in which the Ātma is ‘rest’ to God and God is the one having ‘rest’, as well as by key-notions of prītiḥ (joy, satisfaction) and kiṃkāra (servant). Next the author presents a synthesis of Rāmānuja’s bhakti meditation and describes it as ‘being filled with happiness (Seligsein) about the value of God pervading the whole subject directed, with his entire essence, as ‘rest’ to God and who in being a servant of Him finds the lasting fulfilment of his sense of existence’. While analysing the phenomenon of love in India from the history-of-ideas perspective, G. Oberhammer poses some fundamental philosophical questions, such as what the value of interpersonal love consists in, what response to another person is present in love, how personal love transforms the subject as well as what factors condition human love, understood as a particular union in personal relatedness with another, in which there is present a non-acquisitive care for partner. The essay by Gerhard Oberhammer: Das vergessene Geheimnis der menschlichen Liebe. Versuch einer Annäherung is a general introduction to the subject matter of the present volume of CIS. This
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is the reason why its English translation titled The forgotten secret of human love. An attempt of an approach is included. Does BhartÊhari’s poetry countenance an experience of love or merely an appearance of the same? asks Greg Bailey, ruminating on the ŚÊṅgāra- and Vairagyaśatakas by the poet. This is a fundamental question about the poetry of BhartÊhari, the poetry defined by G. Bailey as ‘the one which constantly provides a contrarian’s view’. The author discovers that the ‘tension between the surface and the depth’ is a particular characteristics of BhartÊhari’s poems. In order to find out whether one can locate in the verses a depiction of a real experience resulting from man and woman relationship, G. Bailey applies the philological method of comparing chosen verses’ vocabulary, which directly speaks of ‘love’ or ‘affection’ with that which refers to love in the sense of sensuosity. The title of the paper contains a question which might pertain to lyric poetry in general. Czesław Miłosz in his Orpheus and Eurydice says: Lyric poets usually have [...] cold hearts. It is like a medical condition. Perfection in art is given for such an affliction. This reflection seems to support the answer given by G. Bailey in the conclusive part of his article. Maria Krzysztof Byrski, in Man made of love. “Kāmamayapuruṣaḥ” discusses the notion of kāma as it was present in the older strata of Indian literature: ËV X. 129, chosen passages from the Upaniṣads as well as in the Bhagavadgītā. The discussion is at first focused on the notion of kāma and its renderings by the Polish translators. M. K. Byrski analyses both early 20th-century translations by S. F. Michalski or S. Schayer and contemporary ones by A. Ługowski, J. Sachse, J. Jurewicz and M. Kudelska. The central part of the text, however, is the new interpretation of BÊhadāraṇyaka-Upaniṣad III.9.11 by M. K. Byrski, with the crucial notion of the passage – kāmamayapuruṣa, rendered as ‘Man made of love’. Puruṣa, a personalized form of brahman, is ‘made of love’, which property makes him capable to love himself and to share love. In the light of this new interpretation of the passage, M. K. Byrski gives a challenging explanation of the idea of kāma in the 9āsadīya sūkta of
the Ëgveda, rejecting the possibility of understanding the Vedic idea of kāma as ‘desire’ and still less as ‘lust’. Kāma of the famous hymn is, according to M. K. Byrski, ‘the first seed or germ of manas, i.e. thinking heart and feeling mind in one’, and manas should be then understood as ‘coterminous and coexistent with kāma’ that is: love, the only factor which can bring about the creation and the only bond of relationship (bandhu) between Being and Non-being. In Shrimati Varma’s lover – the politics of writing (the politics of reading?) love poetry Renata Czekalska interprets a poem by Mahādevī Varmā (1902-1987), a Hindi writer, academician as well as social activist fighting for women’s rights. The poem, originally untitled, opens with a line: madhur madhur mere dīpak jal / sweetly, sweetly burn my lamp and is chosen for analysis because of its ‘ecstatic mysticism’ combined with opaqueness in expressing the desire for undefined yet emotionally intense yearning for intimate union with a subject which/who(?) remains unnamed. Strangely enough, the article seems to complement the text of Greg Bailey, as both authors, though without directly referring to it, seem to reflect on the phenomenon of the ‘lyric of the mask’, a Romantic literary-criticism idea, which accurately points to the tension between the ‘surface and the depth’ mentioned earlier by Bailey in his characteristic of BhartÊhari’s poetry. Czekalska and Bailey understand and undertake their task of interpreting lyric poetry in its supra-individual, ‘textual’, so to speak, expression of love. R. Czekalska accomplishes her interpretational task in an in-depth analysis of poem’s key-words chosen as main carriers of senses, uncovering their surplus, hidden value in a sensitive and understanding reading. In this manner it is shown that the intention of the text, Umbero Eco’s idea of literary criticism, is the focus point of the two horizons – that of the intention of the writer and that of the interpreter. Marzenna Czerniak-Drożdżowicz writes about Bhakti in the Pāñcarātra tradition. Basic texts brought in in this context are the Parama- and Viṣṇu- saṃhitās. Bhakti is introduced as the notion with ritualistic connotations, though supported by a personal, devotional
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attitude of the worshiper towards god. The Paramasaṃhitā passage describes a specific discipline of the dedication to god (prapatti) and seeking refuge in him (śaraṇāgati). The discipline is made up of eight constituents, among them a daily worship of god or placing confidence in Vaiṣṇava fellow believers. The text of Viṣṇusaṃhitā, much later than the previous one, provisionally dated between the 10th and 14th century, connects with bhakti the practice of yoga. Bhakti is taken to be a proper disposition of mind to be acquired by yogic practices. The person striving for emancipation needs God’s, in this case Viṣṇu’s, favour to accomplish his aim. Excerpts from both Pāñcarātrika saṃhitās show that yoga, taken to be a not very severe ascetic-meditational practice, is a helpful tool in acquiring bhakti – highest dedication and love to Viṣṇu. Rahul Peter Das in Some musings on love by Rabindranath Tagore presents an English translation of the Bengali diary entry by Rabindranath Tagore (Rabīndranāth Ṭhākur). The Paścim-yātrīr ḍāẏāri, the “Diary of a Westward Traveller”, first published in the years of 1924-1925 in the journal Prabāsī, is the result of Ṭhākur’s journey to South America, during which the writer met Victoria Ocampo. The meeting resulted in a seventeen-year long bond with Ocampo, a bond which was certainly an intellectual one, though, as R. P. Das informs, much has been speculated about other dimensions of this relation. The bond inspired some of Tagore’s writings, among them the very passage translated here from the “Diary...”, the core of which is the idea of love present in two Bengali words: bhālolāgā and bhālobhāsa chosen for the analysis by Tagore. In spite of the fact that the words are analysed semantically, their context is existential, which is hinted upon by R. P. Das. In his matter-of-fact account of the historical and actual background of Tagore’s “musings on love”, as well as in his informative and enlightening notes to the text, Das advances, as if imperceptibly, to show the personal, intimate context of the diary extract. Writing in love – love in writing. Few remarks on Teji Grover’s Blue by Kamila Junik is a brief recapitulation of her research on the
novel by Teji Grover, a contemporary Hindi poetess, novelist, translator and a painter, belonging to the so-called “Bhopal school”, a phenomenon of modern Hindi literature, which emerged in the second half of the 20th century. K. Junik, also a translator of the novel into Polish, studies its structure, constituted by sensual, poetic descriptions of complicated love-relations of the narrator – a woman, the eponymous Blue. Blue and Brown are colours symbolising two sides of the ‘narrator’s persona’ as well the feminine and the masculine element. K. Junik identifies three types of love present in the narrative: the passionate, the physical and the platonic one and analyses them by means of postmodern theories on inner experience, literature and love, applying theories of R. Barthes, M. Blanchot, G. Bataille, among others. At the beginning of her article: The beloved and the lover – love in classical Urdu ghazal, Agnieszka Kuczkiewicz-Fraś writes that the theme of love (cišq) and the poetic genre of ghazal (sazal) have centuries-long history of inseparable (one is tempted to say intimate), bond. When proceeding with her analysis of the idea of the beloved and the lover depicted in this genre, A. Kuczkiewicz-Fraś points at the array of semantic and literary means which were developed (such as vocabulary focused on intoxication, madness, legendary lovers etc.) in order to depict a highly stylized, idealistic love in a highly stylized language permeated with sensuousness. The author indicates at an interesting feature of the ghazals’ ‘love vocabulary’, namely that ‘real’ is a technical term conveying the sense of mystic love, whereas ‘metaphorical’ is the term applied for earthly love. In the next step of her study, A. Kuczkiewicz-Fraś presents many illustrative examples of the descriptions of the beloved’s appearance and love as a never-satiated affection, experienced most intensely in suffering the separation from the loved one. The article of Iwona Milewska deals with The problem of childlessness in chosen stories of the Mahābhārata…; a topic seemingly not concerning love at all. It was chosen, however, because of the author’s interest in the interrelation between dharma and kāma un-
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derstood as puruṣārthas. I. Milewska presents a series of illustrative exemplifications of the childlessness problem as portrayed in the Mahābhārata stories. They are divided according to what model situation they narrate (e.g. a king altogether devoid of offspring, a childless couple awaiting a child for too long, ascetics forced to have male progeny). In the conclusive part of her survey I. Milewska discusses the connection between dharma and kāma to point out that hardly any dimension of personal love can be found in the analysed stories. Halina Marlewicz, in Loving is remembering. Bhakti-meditation in the Śrībhāṣya of Rāmānuja analyses the bhakti-meditation theory of Rāmānuja, which he develops in the laghusiddhānta of the ŚrīBh, placing it in the context of the discussion with the Advaitin as to the nature of emancipation equal to the cessation of nescience. Marlewicz at first focuses her attention on the relation of the bhakti-meditation with the Upaniṣadic upāsana and dhyāna as well as vedana, proposed by an old Vedānta teacher – Brahmanandin. In the conclusive part of her study H. Marlewicz deals with the strongly emphasized aspect of remembering, which is one of the defining factors of the bhakti meditation by Rāmānuja. Gerhard Oberhammer, in his article titled: Im Angesicht des Anderen. Rāmānujas Śaraṇāgatigadyam. Ein wichtiger Text viṣṇuitischer Religionstradition presents his interpretation of the text which he considers to be a genuine work of Rāmānuja written in the late period of his life. The text testifies, according to G. Oberhammer, the change from the Vedāntic gnostic system to a Vaiṣṇava religiosity, the existential importance and actuality of which is contained in an act of śaraṇāgati, taking refuge in God – Viṣṇu. The core of the text is a dialogue of the speaker with God. Yet it is certainly not addressed, despite its form reminding a prayer, to God but basically to “another”, to the reader. In this way the text becomes a valid, confessional expression of faith of a person, who testifies to the other the event of taking refuge in God. It also establishes a supra-individual paradigm of taking refuge in God as such. The ulti-
mate aim of Rāmānuja’s Śaraṇāgatigadyam is, as G. Oberhammer states, contained in what Veṅkaṭanātha implies by the word rahasyam, “secret”, when he calls the Gadyam a “patron of mystery” (rahasya rakṣā): the “secret”, however, which preserves this protective effect is neither the dvayamantra nor the refuge-taking performed as such. Much more it is traceable to Rāmānuja’s deeply personal encounter of God, in which the person taking refuge in God is granted a loving devotion (bhaktiḥ) and the desired freedom from existential distress. Existential distress means here first of all a fault (apacāraḥ) and only secondarily the fact of being bound in the saṃsāric cycle. It also means guilt in the true sense of committing personal offenses against God, which are contrary to the actual desire of the one taking refuge in the loving, trusting dedication to God. Is the devotion the deeper meaning of taking refuge? The refuge-taking is a radical surrender to God (bhaktiḥ). The heart of the Śaraṇāgatigadyam is, according to G. Oberhammer, to develop this event in mystagogical language and inculcate it as a “secret of faith”. When I invited scholars to write on “love in India” I have had some pre-conceptions about what the result of the joint effort should and would be. What astonished me once the collection of papers was ready for publication was, first of all, a fractal-like quality of this presentation. It appeared that love, a subject theme of scholarly studies, is not to be tamed and has got a live of its own, allowing one of the intended, though not clearly formulated aims of the volume to be achieved. Thanks to the variegated contributions, the phenomenon of love (whatever the implications of the idea) could be presented here in a manner which retains some basic qualities of love: a positive, creative, but also unsubjugated phenomenon of human existence. Erich Fromm has written that “love is union with somebody, or something, outside oneself, under the condition of retaining the separateness and integrity of one's own self”. This definition of love, one of many possible definitions, (which fact becomes all the more perspicuous once the contributions to the present volume are read), makes one think of the mysterious, inspirational, though ev-
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er-escaping power of love to unite humans, sustaining, however, every person’s individual integrity. The notion of love have been presented by the contributors in variegated ways, as an approach of a historian of ideas, a phenomenologist, a literary critic, a historian of religion, a linguist, a Sanskritist or a researcher of modern Indian literature. There is also present a lyric expression of love in the poem Āo/Come of Ashok Vajpeyi. The different approaches to the idea of love (bhakti, kāma, sneha, prema, śÊṅgāra, cišq...) created a mosaic of love-interpretations, which is not and cannot, indeed, be exhaustive. Thanks to this ever changing perspectives on love as a notion, the powerful myth and reality of love were brought back again to be immediately present to the reader. For this I would like to express my gratitude to all contributors who agreed to write for the volume. I would also like to thank Prof. Marta Kudelska for reviewing the monograph for publication.
The theme of the 12th volume of Cracow Indological Studies was formulated in such a way as to allow the notion of ‘love’ to retain its ambig...