Virūpākṣa-vasantotsava-campū of Ahobala or What Can Happen During the Hunting Festival

  • Lidia Sudyka Jagiellonian University, Kraków
Keywords: Vijayanagara, Ahobala, Virūpākṣa-vasantotsava-campū, vasantotsava, mṛgayotsava

Abstract

Virūpākṣa-vasantotsava-campū describes the nine-night-long Spring Festival, vasantotsava, in the capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom. The text is quite ambiguous in many respects. It is probable that one of its protagonists, a certain Brahmin, a poet by profession, speaks here on behalf of the real author, Ahobala, who most probably lived in the 15th century CE. The present paper will be devoted to the episode connected with the mṛgayotsava or the Hunt Festival, which was a part of vasantotsava celebrations. What will be particularly stressed is the fact that Ahobala’s description of the mṛgayotsava, which takes place in the public sphere connected strongly to kingship, unexpectedly evolves into the experience belonging to a private sphere, namely concerning a personal meeting of a devotee with God. At the same time the poet evoked rich tradition of showing the forest as the place of encounters between representatives of different worlds.

References

Primary Sources:

AŚ = Arthaśāstra of Kauṭilya, http://gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de/gretil/1_sanskr/6_sastra/5_artha/kautil_u.htm

RghV = Raghuvaṃśa of Kālidāsa

Kāle, M. R. 1922. The Raghuvamśa of Kālidāsa: with the Commentary (the Samjīvinī) of Mallinātha; Cantos I–X; Edited with a Literal English Translation, Copious Notes in Sanskrit and English, and Various Readings &c. &c. by M.R. Kāle. Bombay: P. S. Rege.

ŚŚ = Śyainika-śāstra

Shāstri, H. (ed.) 1910. Śyainika Śāstra or a Book on Hawking by Rājā Rudradeva of Kumaon. Calcutta: Asiatic Society.

ViVC = Virūpākṣa-vasantotsava-campū of Ahobala

Panchamukhi, V. R. S. (ed.). 1953. Virūpāksha Vāsantōtsava Champū. Dharwar: Kannada Research Institute.

Secondary Sources:

Anderson, L. M. 1993. Vasantotsava. The Spring Festivals of India. Texts and Traditions. New Delhi: D.K. Printworld (P) Ltd.

Dallapiccola, A. 2013. Kingship and the Celebration of the Royal Festivals—Mahanavami and Vasantotsava in the Sixteenth Century. In: A. Verghese (ed.). Krishnadevaraya and his Times. Mumbai: K R Cama Oriental Institute: 278–298.

Dębicka-Borek, E. 2016. When the God Meets a Tribal Girl: Narasiṃha’s Second Marriage in the Light of the Vāsantikāpariṇayam. In: Cracow Indological Studies 18: 301–338. https://doi.org/10.12797/CIS.18.2016.18.12.

Hüsken, U. 2018. Ritual Complementarity and Difference: Navarātri and Vijayadasamī in Kāñcipuram. In: C. Simmons, M. Sen and H. Rodrigues (eds.). Nine Nights of the Goddess: The Navaratri Festival in South Asia. New Delhi: Aleph Book Company: 179–196.

Nagaraju, B. and A. Ivanov. 2011. Religion of Chenchus. In: Studies of Tribes and Tribals 9(2): 87–101. https://doi.org/10.1080/0972639X.2011.11886631.

Kanaka Durga, P. S. 2001. Identity and Symbols of Sustenance: Explorations in Social Mobility of Medieval South India. In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 44(2): 141–174. https://doi.org/10.1163/156852001753731024.

Kanaka Durga, P. S. and S. Reddy. 1992. Kings, Temple and Legitimation of Autochthonous Communities. In: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 35(2): 145–166. https://doi.org/10.2307/3632407.

Knott, K. 2010. Religion, Space, and Place. The Spatial Turn in Research on Religion. In: Religion and Society: Advances in Research 1: 29–43. https://doi.org/10.3167/arrs.2010.010103.

Michell, G. 2002. Pattadakal. Monumental Legacy Series. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Orr, L. 2004. Processions in the Medieval South Indian Temple: Sociology, Sovereignty and Soteriology. In: J.-L. Chevillard, E. Wilden and A. Murugaiyan (eds.). South Indian Horizon. Felicitation Volume for François Gros on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Pondicherry: Indian French Institute & École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO): 437–470.

Panchamukhi, V. R. S. 1953. Introduction. In: V. R. S. Panchamukhi (ed.). Virūpāksha Vāsantōtsava Champū. Dharwar: Kannada Research Institute: I–XVI.

Pierdominici, D. 2017. Mistreated Vasanta: Comical Degradation of Ritual in the Hāsyārṇavaprahasana. In: Cracow Indological Studies 19(2): 61–78. https://www.doi.org/10.12797/CIS.19.2017.02.03.

Price, P. 2000. Acting in Public versus Forming a Public: Conflict Processing and Political Mobilization in Nineteenth Century South India. In: K. E. Yandell and J. J. Paul (eds.). Religion and Public Culture: Encounters and Identities in Modern South India. London: Curzon: 27–55.

Rajendran, C. 2006. Encountering the Forest: Kālidāsa’s Perceptions on Hunting. In: Pandanus ‘06. Nature in Literature and Rituals. Prague: Charles University: 131–142.

Simmons, C. and M. Sen. 2018. Introduction. In: C. Simmons, M. Sen and H. Rodrigues (eds.). Nine Nights of the Goddess: The Navaratri Festival in South Asia. New Delhi: Aleph Book Company: 1–19.

Sinopoli, C. M. 2004. Beyond Vijayanagara’s City Walls: Regional Survey and the Inhabitants of the Vijayanagar Metropolitan Region. In: H. P. Ray and C. M. Sinopoli (eds.). Archaeology as History in Early South Asia. New Delhi: Indian Council of Historical Research: 257–279.

Sistla, S. (transl.). 2010. Sri Krishna Deva Raya. Āmuktamālyada. Visakhapatnam: Drusya Kala Deepika.

Stein, B. 1997 (reprint of 1993 ed.). Vijayanagara. The New Cambridge History of India. I.2. Delhi: Cambridge University Press.

Sudyka, L. 2011. Kirātārjunīya in South India: The Story as Depicted in Literature and Art with a Special Reference to the Lepakshi Temple. In: L. Sudyka (ed.). Interrelations of Indian Literature and Arts. Kraków: Księgarnia Akademicka: 145–162.

—. 2013. Vijayanagara: A Forgotten Empire of Poetesses. Part I. The Voice of Gaṅgādevī. Kraków: Księgarnia Akademicka.

Verghese, A. 1995. Religious Tradition at Vijayanagara as Revealed Through its Monuments. New Delhi: American Institute of Indian Studies.

Warder, A. K. 2011. Indian Kāvya Literature. Vol. 8. The Performance of Kāvya in the +14. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

Wojtilla, G. 2009. The King Is Hunting: Is It Good or Bad? In: P. M. Rossi and C. Pieruccini (eds.). Kings and Ascetics in Indian Classical Literature. Quaderni di ACME 112. Milano: Cisalpino: 199–214.

Published
2019-06-14