[Buddha-l] FW: [INDOLOGY] gajagāminī and other elephant similes in early kāvya

Jo ugg-5 at spro.net
Wed Aug 14 10:40:38 MDT 2013

X-posted, for the fun of it. Buddhist tantric yogis are included.

Joanna K.


Though perhaps not directly relevant, Apte's Dictionary lists under Hastini a quote from the Ratimanjari, a text from the Kamashastra tradition which includes a description of the classic types of women lovers.  Ratimanjari 8 describes the 'elephant-like' woman.  Here's a possible translation of the quote:  "With thick womb, thick buttocks and lips, thick fingers, thick breasts, amiable, eager for love, delighting in intense sexual passion, a tremendous eater, (unusually short), indeed the hastini is, she is considered the female elephant."

The other three classic Kamashastra types are Shankini, Citrini and Rupini.  

These same typologies appear in some of the Buddhist tantras, with sometimes amusing, relatively unflattering male yogi versions to match.  See for example Kalacakratantra/Vimalaprabha, Abhishekapatala vss 138-144, wherein the 'Elephant' yogi is described as a passionate lover who also moves slowly, is extremely foolish, and has a putrid smell. 




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