Das brahmanische Totenritual nach der Antyeṣṭipaddhati des Nārāyaṇabhaṭṭaby Klaus-Werner Müller

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  • Das brahmanische Totenritual nach der Antyeipaddhati des Nryaabhaa by Klaus-WernerMllerReview by: John BrockingtonJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Third Series, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Jul., 1994), pp. 286-287Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britainand IrelandStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25182909 .Accessed: 25/06/2014 06:52

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  • 286 Reviews of Books

    light on the emergence of the Urdu novel and its realism. The author shows how Sarshar's Fasana

    i Azad is a good example of a text whose framework is directly descended from the dastan, but whose

    content is wholly modern. In the sketch on Nazir Ahmad, attention is paid to the style of dialogue

    in Ahmad's didactic fiction, a style which reveals a command of both colloquial speech and the

    elaborations of older literary devices. Rusva's Umrao Jan Ada is discussed as the first real novel in

    Urdu, where emphasis is placed on its unsentimental realism, as well as on the author's half-serious,

    half-bantering tone (although here the lack of any comment on Rusva's rather hypocritical attitude

    to Umrao means that the tragic dimension of the novel passes unnoticed).

    The chapter on Azad's and Hali's contrasting attitudes to poetry is also of considerable interest.

    Russell challenges the usual claim that Ab-e Hay at is a significant advance upon tazkira literature, and

    he makes the significant point that at the time of writing, Azad probably had access to sources (both

    oral and written) which are no longer available to us today. A contrast is made between Azad's

    attitude to poetry and Hali's, and in making this contrast, Russell is careful to point to the tensions

    and conflicts in Hali's stance towards Urdu poetry. However, it seems odd to characterise Hali's

    prose as pedestrian and convoluted alone; there is much more to Hali's writing than just that. Nor

    does it seem just to describe his stance as puritanical ; it is much more sophisticated than that alone,

    based as it is on a deep and critical knowledge of classical Persian and Urdu sources. Indeed, by any

    standards Hali's Muqaddama is a fine piece of critical writing ; the breadth of reference from Milton

    to Sa'adi is impressive to say the least, whilst the conflict of ideas which Russell draws our attention

    to is less a sign of superficiality than of real depth of engagement with the historical context in which

    Hah wrote. Furthermore, Hah does not make any sweeping judgements ; whether or not we agree

    with the conclusions he arrived at, at least he tried to support his arguments with some real analysis

    of the verses he cites in the course of his book. His clear-minded analysis remains to this day a rarity

    in literary criticism in Urdu. At any rate, in the opinion of this reviewer, Hali's Muqaddama is on

    a par with Sidney's A Defence of Poetry and Wordsworth's Preface to the Lyrical Ballads as a text

    whose ideas about poetry are of seminal importance. With Hah, though, there is an added

    dimension, and that is the colonial context in which different cultures and literary traditions

    confronted each other. It is the evidence of this further dimension in Hali's Muqaddama which makes

    it such a fascinating text.

    The Pursuit of Urdu Literature also has a long chapter on the satirical verse of Akbar Ilahabadi. As

    the author quite rightly says, Ilahabadi's verse has not received the attention it deserves from scholars,

    and the chapter here goes some way to rectifying this lack of treatment. At times, though, the

    chapter reads like a long list of quotations which are then translated and paraphrased ; it would have

    been nice to have had some more criticism as such. However, the author soon returns to form in

    his chapters on Prem Chand and the Progressive Writers' Movement, where he shows his usual

    sensitivity in delineating the problematic development of the latter and the achievements of the

    fiction of the former. In other chapters of the book there are interesting comments on the style of

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz's poetry (but perhaps some overlong comments on his style of living), and on

    Iqbal's ideas. All in all, The Pursuit of Urdu Literature is an excellent introduction to Urdu literature,

    and it will remain one of the best introductions for some time to come.

    J. Majeed


    Werner M?ller. (Beitr?ge zur S?dasienforschung, S?dasien-Institut, Universit?t Heidelberg, Band

    151.) pp. xiii, 238. Stuttgart, Franz Steiner Verlag, 1992. DM 82.

    N?r?yanabhatta is well known as the founder in the sixteenth century of the prominent Bhatta

    family of Marathi pandits at Varanasi and as a major writer on ritual and dharmas?stra. The

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  • Reviews of Books 287

    appearance of this study and translation of one of his best known works is to be welcomed, following as it does the publication of part of his Tristhal?setu z few years ago (Richard Salomon, The Bridge to the Three Holy Cities, reviewed in this journal, 1987, pp. 137-8); indeed, it is slightly surprising

    that M?ller does not refer to Salomon's work. Both the Antyestipaddhati and the Prayogaratna of

    N?r?yanabhatta are still in use among orthodox br?hmans in north India and M?ller's declared aim

    in this study is to demonstrate that the ways in which N?r?yanabhatta presents his material would

    be useful to contemporary anthropological study of Hindu rituals. The main part of the book is,

    nevertheless, a translation of the Antyestipaddhati (based on the Nirnaya Sagara Press edition of 1915)

    in chapter 4 and it also contains in chapter 2 excerpts from several other ritual texts, including the

    Prayogaratna, interspersed with the author's own comments and intended both to illustrate the

    complexity of the funeral ritual and to clarify its structure.

    In his first chapter, after some introductory remarks on the funeral ritual, on its treatment by Caland and other scholars, and on the text and its author, M?ller concentrates on the relationship between the ritual manual and the actual execution of a ritual. He does this principally by focusing on the procedures for assembling an actual ritual from the framework laid down in the handbooks -

    procedures defined as omission, rearrangement or condensing of rites. This is competently and

    succinctly done but, though citing some of Fritz Staal's publications in his bibliography, M?ller does

    not refer to them here or in his third chapter.

    In the third chapter M?ller provides, on the basis of the material presented in the second chapter, a survey of the complete procedures for the brahmanical funeral ritual (citing several times the work

    of David Knipe and Jonathan Parry in accordance with his anthropological approach). He argues

    that the ritual elements are gradually reduced until the corpse is burnt and that the process is then

    reversed up to the thirteenth day (or the first death anniversary). He also stresses the links with what

    he terms "the folk religious component" of the orthodox practices and comments at some length on the impurity inherent in death.

    The translations themselves in the second and fourth chapters are clear and accurate, but M?ller

    leaves quite a high proportion of the technical vocabulary untranslated, which must surely reduce

    their usefulness to the anthropologists at whom the book is professedly aimed. In the otherwise full

    and helpful indices and bibliography that conclude the volume, limitations in the computer

    programme used to produce it have meant that r and s are sorted before a (and, with that

    qualification, the index of Sanskrit terms is in Roman alphabetical order). The book does usefully make more accessible a good deal of significant material and on that basis its appearance is welcome.

    John Brockington

    The aphorisms of Siva. The SivaSCtra with Bh?skara's commentary, the V?rttika.

    Translated with an exposition and notes by Mark S. G Dyczkowski, foreword by Paul E.

    Muller-Ortega (SUNY series in Tantric Studies.) Albany, NY, State University of New York

    Press, 1992. $12.95.

    The Siva-S?tra is a Kashmiri Saiva text dating from the ninth century, when it is said to have been

    revealed to Vasugupta by Siva himself. In the usual manner of a s?tra text, it consists of a series of

    brief phrases which can hardly be understood without a commentary. As the bibliography to this

    book shows, it has already been translated into English by Jaideva Singh, into Italian by Raffaele

    Torella, and into French by Liliane Silburn (Winternitz mentions a translation by Shrinivasa Iyengar,

    1912, which is not listed here). All these translations, however, use the commentary by

    Abhinavagupta's pupil Ksemar?ja; the present translation is apparently the first to use the earlier one

    by Bh?skara. Dyczkowski translates this commentary together with the s?tras, and also an

    anonymous commentary which is printed in the edition of Bh?skara which he uses. He refers to this

    h JRA 4

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    Article Contentsp. 286p. 287

    Issue Table of ContentsJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Third Series, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Jul., 1994), pp. i-iv, 163-324Front MatterJazrat al-ulayla: Early Julfr [pp. 163-212]Maimonides on the Preservation of Health [pp. 213-235]The English Honours System in Princely India, 1925-1947 [pp. 237-249]Review: Storm from the East: A Review Article [pp. 251-254]Reviews of BooksReview: untitled [p. 255-255]Review: untitled [pp. 256-258]Review: untitled [pp. 258-259]Review: untitled [pp. 259-261]Review: untitled [pp. 261-262]Review: untitled [pp. 262-263]Review: untitled [pp. 263-264]Review: untitled [pp. 264-266]Review: untitled [pp. 267-268]Review: untitled [pp. 268-270]Review: untitled [pp. 270-272]Review: untitled [pp. 272-273]Review: untitled [pp. 273-274]Review: untitled [pp. 275-276]Review: untitled [pp. 276-277]Review: untitled [pp. 277-278]Review: untitled [pp. 278-282]Review: untitled [p. 283-283]Review: untitled [pp. 283-284]Review: untitled [pp. 284-285]Review: untitled [pp. 285-286]Review: untitled [pp. 286-287]Review: untitled [pp. 287-288]Review: untitled [pp. 288-289]Review: untitled [pp. 290-291]Review: untitled [pp. 291-292]Review: untitled [pp. 292-293]Review: untitled [p. 294-294]Review: untitled [pp. 294-296]Review: untitled [pp. 296-297]Review: untitled [pp. 297-301]Review: untitled [pp. 301-303]Review: untitled [pp. 303-304]Review: untitled [pp. 304-305]Review: untitled [pp. 305-306]Review: untitled [pp. 306-310]Review: untitled [pp. 310-311]Review: untitled [pp. 311-313]Review: untitled [p. 313-313]Review: untitled [pp. 313-314]Review: untitled [pp. 314-315]Review: untitled [pp. 315-316]Review: untitled [pp. 316-317]

    Other Books Received for Review [pp. 319-321]Select List of Accessions to the Library [p. 323-323]Back Matter


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