La personnification du Meurtre de brahmane
L’Hernault, Françoise (2000) La personnification du Meurtre de brahmane. Annali dell’Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”. Rivista del Dipartimento di Studi Asiatici e del Dipartimento di Studi e Ricerche su Africa e Paesi Arabi, 1998 (58/3-4). pp. 365-372. ISSN 0393-3180
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There still are living traditions in Tamil Nadu about kings being persecuted by personified brahmahatyā. At Tiruvidaimarudur a ninth-century representation of this theme can be observed (pl. Ia) along with a unique, contemporary representation of a shivering male figure who is to be identified with the king who expiates his sin visiting temples after temples before obtaining forgiveness at Tribhuvanam (pls. Ib,c; II a,b). The submission of kings to Brahmans is implied. Later iconographies of Killing of Brahman like those at Senji (pl. VI) strictly adhere to the early Chola model. In Hoysaḷa temples of the eleventh-twelfth century the female figures accompanying halfnaked personages carrying a stick and a coiled snake ( pls. Ib,c; II a,b; III c,d: IV a,b; IVc) have also been identified with Brahmanhatyās persecuting Śiva after his cutting Brahmā’s fifth head, in accordance with Puranic literature, where Killing of Brahman is personified as a young woman. However, this interpretation cannot be shared. The male personage is not Śiva, but probably a Kāpālika ascetic accompanied by his female partner (often shown in yonimudrā, cf. pl. V a), who hurl bawdy insults at each other. In fact the stick held by the ascetic is that of a magician, and the snake represents kuṇḍalinī.
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