The two lakulin-s: Arya and yavana
The late white indologist Daniel Ingalls, whose Asana is now occupied by “der Narr von Deutschland”, and who has spawned a brood of mlechCha indologists who have been prominent in misinforming the uninformed regarding Hindu traditions [footnote 1], once remarked:
“Probably no two traditions of philosophy differ more widely than those of classical Greece and India. It is only when we force our way through the logical surface to the seemingly illogical practices and goals of an earlier age that we can see similarities between the two cultures. These similarities, however, are sometimes so striking that the Indian evidence may help our understanding of Greece and the Greek our understanding of India. One gains such a reciprocal understanding, I think, from examining what I shall call the cults, meaning by this the sum of the practices and goals as opposed to the philosophy, of the Greek Cynics and the Indian Pasupatas.”
Thus, in a contradiction-riddled fashion Ingalls introduces his discovery of the relationship between the pAshupata shaiva-s and the Cynics (from kuon= dog). Another mlechCha scholar Thomas Mcevilley after him came much closer in grasping the Arya-yavana homology, but his prolix tome is so full of factual errors (Ancient Dravidian shaivAgama-s and a Dravidian origin for pAshupata-s!) that it only tarnishes the skeleton of truth in his thesis. The problem, as we have repeatedly stated, is that someone not befuddled by the odious Ibrahimi fog and not lacking understanding of the ancient heathen thought (like most modern mlechCha-s) should take up such studies.
That said we do agree that there is merit in Ingalls’ hypothesis for a connection between pAshupata and Cynics as graphically illustrated above by the images of the lakuTadhArin founders. While Ingall’s original work presents a number of contradictory ideas without laying them out as alternative hypotheses to be tested he does recognize many of the essential elements of this connection. Three general hypotheses might be proposed to understand this connection. 1) The out of Greece hypothesis: lakulIsha pAshupata emerged due to Greek cynicism being transmitted to India and being absorbed into older shaiva systems. 2) The lakulIsha pAshupata emerged in India and was adapted in via syncretism with older Greek thought. 3) The lakulIsha-s and cynics were products of an independent tradition absorbed by both Greeks and Hindus. Black Sea shamans, Middle Eastern Gilagameshists and the like have been proposed as this common source.
The main evidence supporting the first hypothesis goes thus:
-There is no mention of lakulIsha as a great pAshupata teacher in the mahAbhArata, which presents the first post-vedic material of pAshupata-s. He first appears with his students in the purANa-s.
-The pAshupata sUtra-s themselves do not clearly indicate that lakulIsha was their author, though the later tradition pAshupata tradition holds this view.
-There is inscription from the reign of chandragupta II vikramAditya in Mathura (380CE) regarding a pAshupatAcharya udita. He is mentioned to be the student of upamita who was the student of kapila. udita himself is described as 10th in line from kaushika. Some people have felt that this kaushika was the student of lakulIsha (but note lakulIsha is not mentioned in this inscription) so by assigning about 280 years for 10 generations they place lakulIsha in ~100 CE which is well after the Greek cynics. Some others state that there is an error in this estimate and there are two kaushika-s in the pAShupata list and place lakulIsha around 200 BCE. But this is also after the first Greek cynics
-The philological argument holds that lakulIsha is derived from Herakles:
Herakles>rakles>lakulIsha. In support of this it is stated that: 1) lakulIsha is not regularly derived from lakuTa inside saMskR^ita and 2) the word lakulIsha has many variants such as nakulIsha, lakulesha and lakulin. 3) An ectype of lakulIsha named musalendra has been stated to be his disciple. This name means bearer of a club, just like Herakles. The vedic rudra usually holds a bow rather than a club. Thus it is quite possible that the lakulIsha figure was adapted into the shaiva stream from a Greek cynical source.
Such syncretism is not surprising. We do know of the famous Greek bhAgavata Heliodorus who was a practitioner of some form of the pA~ncharAtra sect. On the other hand we know that at Nemrud Dagh there is Iranian-Greek syncretism where there Iranian verethraghna is explicitly identified with Herakles. So it is not impossible that in the zone of Gandhara where there is much evidence for Indic-Greek-Iranian fusion that the cynic cult centered on Herakles was absorbed. Further, we do have evidence in the form of the yavana-jAtaka and the paulIsha siddhAnta of Indic absorption of Greek ideas [Note how Paulos>paulIsha is similar to the proposed derivation of lAkulIsha from Herakles. We cannot be certain if this Paulos is the same of P. Alexandrinos the neo-Platonic astrologer].
Firstly, the key features for the out of India hypothesis are not apparent to many “main-stream” white Indologists and their fellow travelers as they tend to have ludicrous idée fixes on the dates of most Hindu texts – but we shall not waste time with those discussions here. The main points in support of this hypothesis are:
-There is a long history of pAshupataM that predates the emergence of cynicism among the Greeks. We note that it begins in the late vedic period in the form of the pa~nchabrahma mantra-s of the mahAnAryaNa upaniShad-s, and the shvetAshvatara and nIlarudra upaniShad-s. This is followed by the atharva-shiras, the pAshupata brAhmaNa and then by the pAshupata section of the bhArata (e.g. the ajAnana virachita rudra stuti). Probably a little after this emerged the pAshupata sUtrANi. Thus, even if, like much later tradition holds, the pashupata sutrANi were the work of lakulIsha, it is hardly the beginning of the pAshupata tradition. Hence, the roots of the pAshupata tradition is at least as old as 1200 BCE, which is certainly earlier than the 450-350 BCE time frame for the emergence of Greek cynicism. Hence, the origins of pAshupata shaiva tradition were definitely not inspired by the Greek traditions.
-Key elements of homopraxis that are believed to unite the pAshupata-s and the cynics are: 1) theriomorphic behavior and 2) seeking of dishonor or avamAna. There are specific similarities especially in the latter in form of lewd behavior in public both among cynics and pAshupata-s and behaving like madmen e.g. performing aTTahAsa and huDDukAra. However, it should be noted that these elements are not entirely unique to the atimArga of the shaivashAsana but in general of the atimArga matrix that includes both Astika-s and their nAstika cousins. For this we have to turn to the saMnyAsa upaniShad-s. In their current form many of these are later texts, but by they contain some genuinely archaic material [To give credit where it is due the white Indologist Sprockhoff performed a detailed study of these and noted the homologies within them. Based on these homologies and the AruNi text one may conclude that there were 1 or 2 ancestral pre-nAstika saMnyAsopaniShad-s from which all the later ones descended. Interestingly, in the older period they tend not to use the word saMnyAsa that often. The older term for the man of the atimArga was parivrAjaka].
That the atimArga was not unique to the pAshupata shaiva-s is suggested by relatively early parivrAjaka text known as the AruNi upaniShad, which appear to belong to the early vaiShNava atimArga. Here the naked paramahaMsa utters two mantra-s as he wanders about:
OM hi OM hi OM hi || AruU 11-12 [which is like the huDDukAra of the shaiva]
tad viShNoH paramaM padaM sadA pashyanti sUrayaH | divIva chakShurAtatam ||
tad viprAso vipanyavo jAgR^ivAMsaH samindhate | viShNor yat paramaM padam ||
[which is like the pa~nchabrahma mantra of the shaiva ascetic].
The AruNi text also states:
bhikShaarthaM grAmaM pravishanti pANi pAtram udarapAtraM vA || AruU11
That is the paramahaMsa enters the village for alms and uses his hand or stomach as the begging bowl. Explaining this point the medieval exegete yAdavaprakAsha (teacher of rAmAnuja the vaiShNava) states that a parivrAjaka eats food with his mouth like a cow. To this effect, a latter vaiShNava atimArga text, the nArada-parivrAjakopaniShad states:
Asyena tu yadAhAraM govan-mR^igayate muniH | NpU182
That is the vaiShNava ascetic eats food in theriomorphic fashion, like cow or some animal with his mouth.
The same text adds:
budho bAlakavat krIDet kushalo jaDavachcharet |
vadedunmattavad vidvAn gocharyAM naigamashcharet ||
The wise [ascetic] plays like child and the clever one behaves like an idiot. The eloquent one [speaks] like a madman and the scholar roams behaving like a cow.
Thus theriomorphic and insane behavior is also part of the vaiShNava paramahaMsa’s behavioral repertoire.
The bauddha majjhima nikAya shows how this behavioral complex of Indo-Aryan ascetics was adopted by the tathAgata. In 1.79 of this Pali text we encounter the tathAgata walking around on four legs observing a pashuvrata even as the one described in the earlier bhArata epic (somewhere in 5th parvan). Later in the majjhima nikAya (1.387) the tathAgata is seen taking on two parivrAjaka-s one of whom is performing a govrata (the boomorphic conduct) and the other shvacharyA (cynomorphic conduct).
These behaviors being part of the ancestral Indo-Aryan parivrAjaka’s repertoire is confirmed by two statements made by baudhAyana in the dharma sUtra in describing the mode of existence of the avApachamAnaka (the ascetic who does not cook), which appears to include the vaiShNava vaikhAnasa ascetic:
kR^ichChrAM vR^ittim asaMhAryAM sAmAnyAM mR^igapakShibhiH |
tad aharjana saMbhArAM kaShAyakaTukAshrayAM |
parigR^ihya shubhAM vR^ittim etAM durjana varjitAM |
vana-vAsam upAshritya brAhmaNo nAvasIdati ||
mR^igaiH saha parispandaH saMvAsastebhir eva cha |
tair eva sadR^ishi vR^ittiH pratyaShaM svargalakShaNaM ||
pratyakShaM svargalakShaNaM iti || BauSu 3.3.21-22
These citations by baudhAyana appear to be from ancient lost texts which could very well be the precursor of the extant saMnyAsa upaniShad-s. It shows how the most difficult vrata observed by these vaikhanasa or brahma ascetics is one where they live like beasts or birds, eating raw and bitter and sour food just like them. They roam around with animals and live just like them amongst them. Thus, a key element which is present in some form in pAshupata, vaiShNava and nAstika asceticism and also form a central element in Greek cynicism has its roots in the ancient Hindu asceticism but emerges only around 450-350 BC in Greece.
From the earlier statement from the NpU it also becomes clear that even the vaiShNava parivrAjaka assumed mannerisms of the insane. That this was an ancient trait of the parivrAjaka-s in general is supported by a sUtra in the vasiShTha dharma sUtra describing their behavior:
anunmatta unmattveShaH | VaSu 10.19
Though sane he puts on the appearance of the insane. This same statement is recycled repeatedly in various saMnyAsa texts like jAbAla upaniShad and NpU suggesting that it is from the Ur-parivrAjaka text. Another ancient saying pertaining to parivrAjaka-s that is widely quoted in multiple texts is:
saMmAnAd brAhmaNo nityam udvijeta viShAd iva |
amR^itasy eva chAkA~NkShed avamAnasya sarvadA ||
The brAhmaNa is always averse to honor like poison and like elixir longs for dishonor. As in the case of the pAshupata texts the vaiShNava NpU further adds how when the ascetic is reviled and tortured he attains yogic success (exactly parallels the pAshupata sUtra 3.19). Thus, another core element of the pAshupata behavior shared with the Greek cynics – i.e. simulated madness and concomitant seeking of appears to have been a feature of the ancestral Indo-Aryan ascetic and not a unique feature of the former. Not surprisingly, such dishonor- or abuse- seeking is also encountered in the tales of even the nAstika ascetics like the nirgrantha, the tathagata and the goshAla.
Finally we come to the club of lakulIsha and Herakles. At face value this feature is an important specific cognate of the respective founders of the systems under consideration. Yet, we must not forget that the carrying a rod or a staff is an ancient emblem of the Hindu ascetics, well before the emergence of lakulIsha in Hindu texts. This emblem is taken up by ascetics with a vedic mantra which is cited in many texts including saMnyAsa upaniShad-s and also the dharma sUtra-s (e.g. NpU 169 or BauSu 2.17.32):
sakhA mA gopAya | ojah sakhAyo.asiindrasya vajro.asi vArtragnaH sharma me bhava yatpApaM tannivAraye ||
Now it should be noted the daNDa taken by the ascetic is explicitly identified as the vajra of indra. Interesting, the Greek cognate uagros is used for the club of Herakles. Thus, even in this case it is not impossible that the club is a cognate of the older staff held by parivrAjaka-s. Specifically, a khaTvA~nga or lakuTa are mentioned as substitutes of a daNDa in the atharvaveda parishiShTha 40’s description of the accoutrements of a pAshupata ascetic. Since most features of the pAshupata-s that are believed to be specific cognates of the Greek cynics are integral archaic features of the Indo-Aryan ascetics that were inherited as a complex by various successor ascetic groups in the Indian milieu, the case for an Indic origin followed by a transfer to Greece only around 450 BCE appears entirely possible.
The last hypothesis involving a third party influence on both yavana-s and Arya-s is reminiscent of the posited by white Indologists to explain similarities between the mathematics of the shulbasUtras and that of the yavana-s. This again comes from their misconceptions regarding the age of the earlier Indo-Aryan literature. As we have seen above, the essential elements that need explanations can be traced entirely inside Greek or Hindu tradition. Hence, this class explanations is useless because it merely multiplies the number entities needed in an explanation without adding any value.
Looking at the two main contenders we find that Greek hypothesis has the advantage of explaining the etymology of lakulIsha and providing an explanation for the club as against the ascetic’s staff in the iconography of musalendra and lakulIsha. However, this is challenged by the mention of the lakuTa relatively early in the AV-pari 40’s account of the system. On the other hand, the Indic hypothesis has the advantage of providing continuity and context for the peculiarities of these systems, which is lacking in the case of the Greek cynics who appear relatively suddenly in their system. This probably was the basis for the confusion and contradiction displayed by Ingalls in his work – he simultaneous suggests that there was no genetic link between the two and yet believes that they are related. He even adds that they “discovered each other” to explain the etymological link between Herakles and lAkulIsha. A more likely scenario is the following: The parivrAjaka asceticism arose in the Indo-Aryan world and the incipient shaiva- and vaiShNava- shAsana-s both inherited it from their undifferentiated Indo-Aryan precursor. Thus vaikhAnasa and pAshupata ati-marga existed side by side before the tathagata or the nirgrantha. Around 500 BCE within the matrix of the parivrAjaka system emerged the nirgratha-s and bauddha-s who also inherited aspects of it to different degrees. Around the same time in the western limits of bhAratavarSha the yavana-s started appearing and participating in various Hindu systems. From then on right through the Hellenistic period catalyzed by the invasions of the barbarians of Macedon, yavana-s were actively involved in different Hindu systems. Around 500 BC some yavana-s most likely in the Northwest of bhAratavarSha adopted parivrAjaka practices from shaiva teachers. Given their syncretic nature they equated rudra (as shrIkaNTha) the founder of the pAshupata system with Herakles. Their shaiva teachers appear to have absorbed the name, perhaps being struck by the convergence in terms of the lakuTa held by both and the phonetic analogy in Herakles> lakulIsha. Thus, the figure lakulIsha emerged as an incarnation of shiva and a founder of the pAshupata system. We note that many aspects of cynic philosophy, not just practices, arise from early atimArga shaiva thought and its larger parivrAjaka matrix and were transmitted to Greece to found classical cynicism. The memes of ati-mArga thinking appear to have then on propagated in the Greek world all the way to neo-Platonism. In a sense this is reminiscent of how atimArga memes permeate mantra-mArga shAsana of the later era in India. Thus, in the cynic-pAshupata homology we possibly encounter one of those lesser appreciated types of interactions of the pagan Indo-European world – the two participants despite their apparent differences were able to rather intelligibly interface and take what they found valid suitable for their world view from the other and then move on with their own expressions. This is somewhat different from certain other interaction where one of the cultures simply acquires the whole complex from the other with hardly any local adaptation.
Footnote 1: In my investigation of the politics of indology I have found no evidence for Daniel Ingalls himself being a subversionist or engaging in willful misinformation. However, his students include notable mlechCha subversionists who belong to a larger wave of academic misinformation which can be termed Freudism. My mAtAshrI reports that even in her college days one such va~nchaka was already implanted in bhArata who was engaging in indoctrinating the gullible in the desh. But another student Thurman appears to be more sympathetic to our traditions.