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Sanyasi Wake, Charles Julian 1973

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0 THE SANYASI by CHARLES JULIAN WAKE B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1970 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of Anthropology and Sociology We accept th i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1973 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C olumbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Department ABSTRACT After researching a l l the data I could f i n d pertinent to the Indian sanyasi, the subject of this thesis, i t became apparent that the p r i n c i p a l question raised by th i s research i s being posed again i n a contemporary form i n the c o n f l i c t between two schools of the "underground" press. On the one hand i s the position of the effervescent counter-culture, em-phasizing spontaneous personal self-expression and a kind of self-determination that ignores as much as possible i t s con-nections with the society from which i t i s a peripheral o f f -shoot. On the other i s the more r a d i c a l organized stance which argues that the former's po s i t i o n i s self-deceiving, summing i t up by saying that "personal solutions are no solutions", (see The Grape, v o l . I I , no. 12). To the l a t t e r , sanyasis are anathema, p a r t i c u l a r l y those (the 'gurus') who ask others to adopt th e i r personal solutions to the problem of s o c i a l freedom as their own. This thesis accepts the l a t t e r ' s stance and undertakes to demonstrate i t s v a l i d i t y from a s o c i o l o g i c a l point-of-view. Nonetheless i t then goes on to treat sympathetically'the re-la t i o n s h i p between the sanyasi and Indian society, arguing that this relationship allows for personal solutions that are tantamount to redemption for a few in d i v i d u a l s . Such solutions are i n fact the only ones possible to the problem of freedom from s o c i a l obligation i n India. I f renunciation alone makes i i such solutions possible, then i t may be that freedom from s o c i a l obligations, together with the implication of being free to be one's s e l f without threat to others, can be available to only a few members of any society. (There cannot be a "society" of renunciates.) By examining the other implications of renunciation, i t may be possible to learn how x/hole cohesive units of people can develop such freedoms and yet remain committed s o c i a l being-s with the desirable implications of that condition. By conceding the v a l i d i t y of the sanyasi 1s s p i r i t u a l redemption and the p a r a l l e l but compensatory and p a r t i a l redemption for those who remain within society, i t i s possible to explore the meaning of the r e l i g i o u s system of India. Since i t has to do with apparently ultimate questions, the conclusions reached are ultimately unsatisfactory. It i s tempting to suppose that a more po e t i c a l or experiential ap-proach may lead to more s a t i s f y i n g answers. The socio-l o g i c a l approach taken does however allow the questions to be framed i n a way that may illuminate how they are tackled 0 r answered i n our own society. I t i s too bad that we have to continue with only the hope that an answer can be found which avoids either the extremes of renunciation, overbearing s e l f - a s s e r t i o n or a state of self-abnegating slavery. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e to thank Professor K.O.L.Burridge, Jagadish B. Sharma and Pasan Sherpa without whose friendship and assistance this thesis, for i n s t a n c e w o u l d not have been produced. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page 1., Introduction 1 2. Chapter I 7 i ) Caste:. Membership, Excommunication & Renunciation 7 i i ) The Social Order 10 i i i ) The .ia.imani System 12 i v ) A. Test Case 15 v) Separation and Unity 18 3. Chapter II 22 i ) Grid and Group; 22 i i ) ; Symbolic Boundaries 2k-i i i ) Hbli 26 i v ) Sacrifice:, Some Af r i c a n Examples 30 v) Brahmanic S a c r i f i c e .36 v i ) Rites of Passage 42 4.. Chapter I I I 53 i ) The Religious Impulse 53 i i ) Sin and Duty 57 i i i ) Redemption and Alienation oQG iv) Transmigration 6h 5., Chapter IV 67 i ) Survival: and Innovation 67 i i ) Individuation 72 i i i ) Gurus 76 i v ) The Sanyasi and Society 80 6. Chapter V 86 i ) Peripheries and Language 86 i i ) C i v i l Death and Tra n s i t i o n 90 i i i ) Sectarian Variations 9k-i v ) ' The Symbolism of F i r e 96 v) The Symbolism of Hair 101 v i ) The Internal! Sacrifice; 104 v i i ) L i f e and Death 108 7.. Chapter VI 111 i ) History and Doctrine 111 i i ) Brahmani sm 11*+ i i i ) Sankhya and Yoga 119 i v ) The Bhagavad Gita 122 v) Vedanta 125 v i ) Shaivism 127 v i i ) Vaisfanavism 128 v i i i ) Jainism and Buddhism 132 v Page 8., Chapter VII 136 i ) Culture, and Madness 136 i i ) Anathematization 139 i i i ) Psychosocial Approaches to Culture lh8 i v ) S a c r a l i z a t i o n 151 9.. Chapter VIII 156 i ) Conclusion 156 i i ) S hivaratri 158 10.. Bibliography 165 v i 1 INTRODUCTION The principal question that t h i s thesis deals with i s the extent to which a person can be himself or hers e l f and yet remain a member of society. The investigation rests on a number of premises: f i r s t , that a l l men and women share a r e l i g i o u s impulse for order and redemption; second, that they are born into so c i e t i e s that i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e t h i s impulse; t h i r d , that the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n serves to i n -h i b i t the perception or experience of states of being and the development of i d e n t i t i e s which are not i n consonance with the order provided on behalf of thi s impulse; and fourth, that i n so doing, a society i s never wholly successful: either states of being are experienced that contradict society's "version", or an impulse to know the s e l f apart from the i d e n t i t i e s society provides outweighs the impulse for order and redemption that creates that s o c i a l provision of i d e n t i t i e s . Whichever may be the case, the question dealt with becomes a r e a l s o c i a l paradox. Different soc i e t i e s f i n d d i f f e r e n t ways of coping with those who cannot accept the provision made for the impulse for order and redemption and who therefore experi-ence the paradox. India copes with such people i n a s t r i k i n g way, ap-parently one step short of the r a d i c a l solution of incar-cerating or eliminating them. It i s for thi s reason and because of i t s very elaborate and ar t i c u l a t e d way of dealing 2 with the impulse for order that Indian society i s used to assess the degree of freedom possible to resolve the paradox. In India, those people who test t h i s f r o n t i e r renounce society by taking sannyas vows and becoming sanyasis. This i n s t i t u -t i o n a l i z e d renunciation i s known as sanyasan. This poses a secondary paradox: how can a person i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y renounce society? An i n s t i t u t i o n or renunciation must mean continuing complicity with society. Following Dumont, thi s thesis suggests that no person has a s e l f apart from society and sanyasan provides an opportunity to test t h i s i n an ultimate sense. The sanyasi s a t i s f i e s the conditions for testing the question as formulated. The sanyasi then i s somebody who renounces society but does not r e a l l y renounce society. Considerable space i s given to trying to elucidate this paradox aside from merely q u a l i f y -ing what i s meant by renunciation. He could have been con-sidered i n terms of his role and i t s functions. Sanyasan i s the fourth prescribed stage of a l l Brahmans' l i v e s . Since, however, sanyasis come from a l l varnas including the Brahman varna, i t seems more useful to treat sanyasan as a necessary structural complement to Indian society as l i v e d by "men-in-the-world" with whom he i s contrasted. Thus the t o t a l i t y of Indian society comprises persons-in-the-world and i t s renouncers. This also allows a treatment of him as a more universal i d e a l figure, a seeker after the holy g r a i l as conceptualized i n the Indian t r a d i t i o n . For sanyasan 3 r e p r e s e n t s a form of m i l l e n a r i a n i s m by which the sanyasi seeks a redemption d i f f e r e n t from that o f f e r e d by s o c i e t y , and a transcendence o f those problems posed by, and camou-f l a g e d by s o c i e t y . T h i s i s the ambience o f paradox that pervades the q u e s t i o n . The s u b j e c t i s t a c k l e d by f i r s t c o n s i d e r i n g the world the s a n y a s i renounces. For a n a l y t i c purposes i t i s t r e a t e d as a knot w i t h three s t r a n d s . By chapters, the f i r s t examines the s o c i a l order and i t s economic parameters: how the forms of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n are geared to the m a t e r i a l s u r v i v a l o f the whole, and o r c h e s t r a t e d by f i x e d r e l a t i o n s h i p s between i t s p a r t s which d e l i m i t the e x p r e s s i o n and experience o f i t s mem-ber s . These r e l a t i o n s h i p s and the consciousness o f persons-i n - t h e - w o r l d are then shown t o be expressed and c o n t r o l l e d by the symbols and r i t u a l s , the m a t e r i a l of the second chapter. The t h i r d chapter i s about the meta p h y s i c a l aspects o f t h i s o rder, which serve both as r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s f o r i t and as i n s t i t u t i o n a l channels o f grace f o r those born i n t o i t . The f o u r t h and f i f t h chapters cover the ground on which the t h e s i s s t a r t e d : a g e n e r a l t r e a t i s e on the sanyasi as an i d e a l f i g u r e from which the qu e s t i o n s emerged that r a i s e d the n e c e s s i t y o f d e l i n e a t i n g the s o c i a l order o f the man-in-the-world. Here I argue that the act of r e n u n c i a t i o n does not of i t s e l f mean that the s a n y a s i has found a s o c i a l redemption. F o l l o w i n g B u r r i d g e , I take redemption to mean a s t a t e of having d i s c h a r g e d a l l o b l i g a t i o n s . The san y a s i i s s t i l l part of the t o t a l society, and therefore, "since existence i n community, a moral order, necessarily e n t a i l s existence within a network of obligations, redemption i t s e l f can only be re a l i z e d at or after that appropriate death which brings to an end an appropriate mode of discharging one's obligations" (Burridge 1 9 6 9 : 6 ) . Rather I argue that, whereas the sanyasi has renounced p a r t i c u l a r attachments to community which constitutes that appropriate s o c i a l death, his renunci-ation leads to engagement i n another redemptive process that takes account of new knowledge and assumptions about power that are foreign to the consciousness of the man-in-the-world. These chapters focus on his relationship to men-in-the-world with whom he i s contrasted. Unlike the l a t t e r who has fixed relationships with a few elements of society, the sanyasi has r e l a t i o n s with a l l of i t . The symbolism associated with him i s examined to see i f and how i t r e f l e c t s a condition d i f -ferent from the man-in-the-world's. His exclusive si t u a t i o n i s presumed to give him special aptitudes for questioning society and for making innovations. How innovations are i n fact incorporated into authentic t r a d i t i o n to form a dynamic synthesis i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n chapter s i x . The sanyasi effec-t i v e l y reinforces the condition of the man-in-the-world by saying his only option for change for the better i s either to opt out or to do as prescribed while p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n i t , and changes for the better w i l l come i n other incarnations. 5 The seventh chapter follows the assumptions of the pre-ceding ones. I f the sanyasi's consciousness i s no longer con-t r o l l e d , h i s awareness of the ambivalence and contradictions within society, as well as his d i f f e r e n t yardstick of i n t e g r i t y , imply an experience that might be construed as insani t y . In India, however, such experience was thought of as mystically v a l i d , so I argue. This i s contrasted to the orient a t i o n i n the West towards the phenomena i n question. The Indian con-text allows for the development of unneurotic beings able to transcend the problems of society and perhaps of l i f e and death, a way out for people such as Vo l t a i r e ' s Brahman, pre-sumably a sanyasi-in-the-making: "Sometimes I am ready to f a l l into despair when I r e f l e c t that, a f t e r a l l my researches, I neither know from whence I came, what I am, whither I s h a l l go, or what i s to become of me" ( V o l t a i r e : The Good Brahmin). The thesis concludes with an account of how sanyasis can be encountered. It may highlight two curious aspects of the phenomenon. F i r s t , how selective data can seem to be and what an extraordinary step i s entailed i n framing patterns and explanations of the phenomenon i n question. And secondly, to tr y to portray a sense of the u n i v e r s a l i t y of the phenomenon despite bizarre and general differences. Encounters such as those described can be had i n North America today, from the Be-ins of major c i t i e s to pockets of what might prove to be a vanguard of a changing culture, whether they be i n the Golden Gate Park of San Francisco or countryside communes. 6 They arise out of d i f f e r e n t contexts and yet reveal s i m i l -a r i t i e s that indicate, i f nothing more, the legitimacy of the assumptions on which this thesis i s based. The most s a t i s f y i n g , and for me, the only worthwhile anthropology, i s that which t r i e s to get at answers to universal questions about the human condition, or that which t r i e s to pin down the truth about the human condition. Hopefully, t h i s thesis contributes at least minimally to an understanding of how people can be free to grow without fear. 7 CHAPTER I Castes Membership, Excommunication and Renunciation In order to participate i n the body of rights offered by Hindu c i v i l i z a t i o n , membership of a caste, bestowed by virtue of b i r t h , was e s s e n t i a l . With the rights went ob-l i g a t i o n s . What righ t s went with which obligations depended on the p a r t i c u l a r caste one was born int o . By contrast, to be without a caste, to be outcaste, might incur o b l i g a t i o n — as, for example, with the harijan caste—but debarred a person from p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the s p i r i t u a l rights offered by Hinduism. In t r a d i t i o n a l India, excommunication from caste was considered the worst fate that could b e f a l l a man. Yet the man who v o l u n t a r i l y renounced caste at a certain stage i n l i f e was paid the greatest honour and respect. The l a t t e r , the sanyasi, i s the subject of t h i s thesis, but before dealing s p e c i f i c a l l y with the phenomenon he represents, i t w i l l be necessary to explain t h i s seeming contradiction. The f i r s t part of t h i s thesis w i l l therefore attempt to describe the s o c i a l order that embraces the contradiction, the r i t u a l s that express and maintain that order, and the body of ideas, or cosmology, that goes with i t . Excommunication follows from acts which impugn the v a l i d i t y of the moral order, given that ' v a l i d i t y ' w i l l de-pend upon p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l contexts at d i f f e r e n t times. Amongst the Coorgs, for example, such offences bring de-filement to the okka, the extended family to which the 8 excommunicant belonged. However, "the okka i s something very much more than the group of l i v i n g members i n i t at any given moment. It i s a continuum through time, and the body of l i v i n g members at any p a r t i c u l a r moment form only points i n i t . Coorgs themselves c l e a r l y state that the okka has a longer l i f e than i t s members. They are also aware that an i n d i v i d u a l l i v e s , i n a s o c i a l sense, as long as his okka" (Srinivas 1 9 5 2 : 1 2 5 ) . Srinivas does not himself elaborate on what kind of offence leads to excommunication but t h e i r nature i s c l e a r : they threaten to undermine the i n t e g r i t y and status of the unit to which the Coorg i s attached for s o c i a l exis-tence. Dubois i s more e x p l i c i t as to the crimes for which Brahmansare expelled from caste. Ke reports that a Brahman who "openly cohabited" with an untouchable woman w i l l be ex-communicated, with the implication that discreet cohabitation w i l l be ignored. The eating of cow's f l e s h Is also unforgivable. In the case of ten Brahmans being accused of eating r i c e cooked i n a washerman's pots, i t was the accused who, alone, had re-frained from eating, who alone was expelled from caste by the headmen who, "though they were p e r f e c t l y sure of his innocence, were indignant about his treacherous disclosure" (Dubois 1906:41). It i s not so much the s p e c i f i c offence as i t s p o t e n t i a l for harming the status of the unit to which the offender belongs that i s culpable. "This expulsion from caste, which follows either an infringement of caste usages or some public offence 9 c a l c u l a t e d i f l e f t unpunished to b r i n g dishonour on the whole community, i s a k i n d o f s o c i a l excommunication, which de-p r i v e s the unhappy person who s u f f e r s i t o f a l l i n t e r c o u r s e w i t h h i s f e l l o w c r e a t u r e s . I t renders him, as i t were, dead to the world, and l e a v e s him n o t h i n g i n common w i t h the r e s t o f s o c i e t y . In l o s i n g h i s caste he l o s e s not o n l y h i s r e -l a t i o n s and f r i e n d s , but o f t e n h i s wife and h i s c h i l d r e n . . . " (Dubois 1906:38). T h i s i s what the s a n y a s i chooses, except that i n s t e a d of being met w i t h scorn, he i s met w i t h honour. The m o r a l l y condemned excommunicant has threatened to undermine a h i e r a r c h y o f s t a t u s . There i s no freedom o f the i n d i v i d u a l as i t i s thought of i n the West. Instead there i s an o r i e n t a t i o n towards holism. T h i s denies the p o s s i b i l i t y o f l i v i n g as an i n d i v i d u a l w i t h i n s o c i e t y . The man-in-the-world i s subordinate to l a r g e c o n s t i t u e n t u n i t s . He i s a member of s o c i e t y by v i r t u e of the r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s bestowed by h i s c a s t e . The p r o v i s i o n that the system makes f o r v o l u n t a r y r e n u n c i a t i o n suggests t h a t the s a n y a s i i s an i n d i v i d u a l who does not t h r e a t e n the order o f the whole. There i s economic evidence to suggest that t h i s emphasis on group s o l i d a r i t y was a matter o f s u r v i v a l . Before p r e s e n t i n g that evidence, the order on which group solidarities^.:were founded needs to be d e s c r i b e d and the p r i n c i p l e o f h i e r a r c h y u n d e r l y i n g that order examined. 10 The S o c i a l Orde'r The largest substantive units i n t r a d i t i o n a l Indian society are the varnas, identified, i n Brahmanic texts by duties and functions. The h i e r a r c h i c a l p r i n c i p l e can be most c l e a r l y seen i n the relationships between them. This p r i n -c i p l e i s "the a t t r i b u t i o n of a rank to each element i n re-l a t i o n to the whole" (Dumont 1970a:91). The highest varna i s that of the Brahmans who alone can perform s a c r i f i c e s . They are therefore separated from Kshatriyas, who together with Vaishyas, can order s a c r i f i c e s . Vaishyas were separated from Kshatriyas and Brahmans, who have dominion over a l l creatures, whereas Vaishyas have dominion over animals only. The duties of these three "twice-born" varnas are to study and to s a c r i f i c e ; to receive g i f t s i f Brahman, and to make g i f t s i f Kshatriya or Vaishya. Sudras represent the fourth varna who, according to R.S.Sharma, were "assimilated" to the system along with some h e r e t i c a l sects. Their duty i s to serve and obey without envy the other three varnas from whom they are separated. They are not supposed to participate i n ceremonies of i n i t i a t i o n , second b i r t h and the r e l i g i o u s l i f e i n general. The sects make way for a f i f t h estate of untouchables, who are not included within the d e f i n i t i o n of the system (Dumont 19703 :284, footnote 3 2 f ) . In Homo  Hierarchicus Dumont sets out to shoxv that this ordered hier-a r c h i c a l world of t r a d i t i o n a l Indian society i s an e s s e n t i a l l y r e l i g i o u s system. "Dominants and dependants l i v e under the 11 sway of a system of ideas" (Dumont 1970:107) . Using Bougie"1 s d e f i n i t i o n of caste, Dumont posits that each varna and the whole society i s divided into hereditary groups separated by endogamous marriage rules, rules about contact between them, and by a d i v i s i o n of labour that assigns a t r a d i t i o n a l profession to each caste (Dumont 1970a:107) . The structure that governs the rules of both t h i s separation and interdependence i s the opposition of pure and impure. Sudras are impure i n r e l a t i o n to the twice-born, Vaishyas impure i n r e l a t i o n to Kshatriyas and Brahmans, Kshatriyas impure i n r e l a t i o n to Brahmans. Sudra families and castes are ranked according to the rank of the families and castes they serve. Brahman families and castes are graded pure and impure i n r e l a t i o n to one another. A condition of impurity that contravenes t h i s structure destroys the basis of re-l a t i o n s between units and the orientation towards'the whole. Endogamy i s a "-corollary to the structure of hierarchy. By a t t r i b u t i n g status by birth,the unity of the whole i s f a c i l -i t a t e d and given s t a b i l i t y and permanence. The d i v i s i o n of labour might i d e a l l y serve the same purpose but i s complicated by the fact that not a l l caste members do follow t h e i r desig-nated profession. Nonetheless, s p e c i a l i z a t i o n assures i n t e r -dependence even though i t e n t a i l s separation. Given t h i s r e l a t i v e structuring of the whole, the family, caste or varna only has substantial significance i n r e l a t i o n to other families, castes or varnas. There i s no d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n 12 i n the l i f e of a single member of the community. His or her fate i s bound to the system whica conforms to a r e l i g i o u s i d e a l of order. The basis of that r e l i g i o u s i d e a l i s a r e l a -t i v e scale of purity and impurity whiek assigns status i n -dependent of secular power. The excommunicated have not threatened secular authority, but rather the overarching and enduring relationships between a l l the parts of the whole, only one of which properly exercises secular power. The laws of the kingdom were synonymous with Brahmanical laws, and may have worked to the polltiealadvantage of those who created and maintained them, but t h e i r souree was the attempt to s a t i s f y the r e l i g i o u s impulse of a l l as s a t i s f a c t o r i l y as possible. The .1a.1mani System The assertion that i n India there i s , or was, a r e l i g i o u s orie n t a t i o n towards the whole rather than a system based on the secular power of c e r t a i n classes f o r t h e i r material advantages can be substantiated by examining the economic system ,of agrar-i a n v i l l a g e s ; ; The eeonomie r e l a t i o n s between castes was epito-mized by the r1a.imani system. What follows does not deny the dial&efcieal r e l a t i o n s h i p between ideology and the s o c i a l con-d i t i o n s i n India. In a l a t e r chapter Brahmanism w i l l be exa-mined i n t h i s l i g h t . The present examination shows that the d i v i s i o n of labour i m p l i c i t i n hierarchy i s a function of systematizing a r e l i g i o u s impulse for order and unity and does not necessarily imply the exploitation of one class by another despite making t h i s eventuality possible. 13 The word jajman comes from the Sanskrit Ya,jmana, meaning he who has a s a c r i f i c e performed, or according to the Hindi dictionary, "he who has r e l i g i o u s r i t e s performed by Brahmans by giving them fees". Ja.jmani means the p r i -vilege or r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of taking part i n family r i t u a l . The jajman i s anybody "who employs someone i n conformity with the system" (Dumont 1 9 7 0 : 9 7 7 9 8 ) . In conformity with the system means, i n conformity with the moral rules regu-lating' relations between castes and the r e l i g i o u s functions appropriate to each. This i s an example of circumstantial evidence Dumont uses to substantiate his claim that h i e r a r c h i c a l status and power are t r a d i t i o n a l l y d i s t i n c t . It i s central to his thesis concerning the fundamentally r e l i g i o u s nature of hierarchy. A sure test would be provided by examining those cases where land has been appropriated from former jajmans. I f t h e i r status i n the community changed the hypothesis would be negated. To support his case he c i t e s the fact that the king has ultimate sovereignty over a l l the land but he i s subject to r e l i g i o u s valuesjand submits to the p r i e s t -hood, the Brahmans (Dumont 1 9 7 0 : 1 5 8 , 7 2 ) . It w i l l not be possible to test this within the scope of this paper. Counter-cases can probably be found subject to complicating factors such as the effects of Western technology or s o c i a l organization, just as i t can be shown that the ethos of Ik p r o v i d i n g f o r the needs of a l l i n the jajmani system w i l l be given up when o p p o r t u n i t i e s a r i s e i n new market s i t u a t i o n s f o r i n d i v i d u a l e n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p . Here the v a l i d i t y of the i d e a l i z e d concept o f the ja.jmani system w i l l be examined. T h i s can be done by seeing whether s t a t u s determined every-body's needs and that these v a r i e d i n good years and bad to assure the s u r v i v a l of a l l . Dumont's c o n t e n t i o n t h a t s t a t u s and power were separated w i l l be taken as an assumption f o r the r e s t of t h i s t h e s i s . The system i s d e f i n e d by Beidelman as one " o f pre-s c r i b e d , h e r e d i t a r y o b l i g a t i o n s of payment and o f o c c u p a t i o n a l and ceremonial d u t i e s between two or more s p e c i f i c f a m i l i e s o f d i f f e r e n t castes i n the same l o c a l i t y " (Beidelman 1959s6) . The o p e r a t i v e elements i n the system are j o i n t f a m i l i e s . Those that r e c e i v e payments i n k i n d i n exchange f o r f i x e d tasks o f food p r o d u c t i o n or s e r v i c e s are l a n d l e s s , e i t h e r r i t u a l s p e c i a l i s t s or permanent a g r i c u l t u r a l l a b o u r e r s , and rank lower than the f a m i l i e s whom they serve. The head of the former i s known as a kamin; the head of the l a t t e r as a .ia.jman. The r e l a t i o n s h i p was expressed i n k i n s h i p terms and s u s t a i n e d by an e t h i c of mutual t r u s t . The kamin could count on h i s .ia.jman f o r help i n debts and d i s p u t e s even a g a i n s t members of h i s own c a s t e . Debt enhances the s t r e n g t h o f the bond and c o n t r i b u t e s to the money-borrowing c y c l e o f poverty that w r i t e r s from Dubois to Myrdal have r e f e r r e d t o . Dubois c a l c u l a t e d at the beginning of the n i n e t e e n t h century that four f i f t h s of the population i n the area of South India he was f a m i l i a r with were poor as a result of loans at usurious rates of i n t e r e s t (Dubois 1906: 8O-87). The poverty of debt can however indicate a shared condition of maximal u t i l i z a t i o n of resources where the gap between the l i v i n g standard of most kamins and .Ia.imans need not be great, although i n practice i t often was owing to three f a c t o r s : sumptuary laws prescribing material perquisites appropriate t© each caste, dues l e v i e d by single large landlords and by towns with whom many v i l l a g e s had p o l i t i c a l , commercial and r e l i g i o u s r e l a t i o n s . In a n©n-gr©wtb economy, debts would be l i k e a constant eycle of payments f o r non-durable items with labour on a never-never basis. The .ia.iman's debt to the kamin implicates the ja.iman i n paying out extra food and money on demand. Constant low produc-t i o n , s t a t i c and l i m i t e d expectations, and the prescribed d i s -t r i b u t i o n of windfalls would i n h i b i t extra consumption on his own account. This i s the syndrome that f r u s t r a t e s modern economic planners today. Both the kamin 1 s and the .iajman' s l e v e l of l i v i n g has a c e i l i n g as f i x e d as the f l o o r i s s h i f t -ing, (Nair 1961:193). A Test Case The material security that the system could o f f e r to a l l would have had to be calculated on a nice reckoning of what would s a t i s f y the needs of a l l . S carlett Epstein's findings i n Wangala and Dalena provide a t e s t ease. In both v i l l a g e s every family received a f i x e d quota of the t o t a l annual output. The payments to a landless kamin from his 16 jajmans amounted to more i n bad years than that l e f t to some landowners a f t e r they had made t h e i r payments ( E p s t e i n 1967s 232,2kk). Since the s i z e o f the share f l u c t u a t e d w i t h the h a r v e s t s , the w i n d f a l l o f good years was p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y d i s t r i b u t e d and everybody's l e v e l o f l i v i n g rose accordingly,, She found that everybody could not own l a n d since i n order to take advantage o f good years, a d d i t i o n a l l a b o u r i s needed i n the s h o r t Ragi h a r v e s t season. She c a l c u l a t e d the d a i l y sub-s i s t e n c e needs of a s i n g l e household and found that f o r the whole of Wangala they amounted to 1,113 p a l l a s of R agi. The average p r o d u c t i o n o f a bad year was 1,300 p a l l a s . D i s t r i -b u t i o n was even w i t h the e x t r a going to community ceremonials, which i n c i d e n t a l l y augmented the owners' s t a t u s e s . In Wangala the arrangement f i r s t changed on account of t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n n o v a t i o n and i n Dalena on account of a new market f o r cash crops. U n t i l then both ja.jman and kamin had only to g a i n from t h e i r customary r e l a t i o n s h i p . Kamins have even been r e t a i n e d f o r p r e s t i g e reasons though they performed no tasks (Beidelman 1959:17). The s t a b i l i t y o f the system depended on the i s o l a t i o n of the l o c a l network where i t was o p e r a t i v e from exogenous f a c t o r s such as new l e g i s l a t i o n , technology, i d e a s , education and employment o p p o r t u n i t i e s , and p o p u l a t i o n expansion l e a d i n g to l a n d fragmentation. These i n t r o d u c e d the p o s s i b i l i t y of a c h i e v i n g s t a t u s under a d i f f e r e n t ethos from that which t r a d i t i o n a l l y p r e v a i l e d . In the i d e a l model, Indian s o c i e t y appears to have been o p t i m a l l y organized to meet the needs 17 o f a l l a c c o r d i n g to t h e i r f u n c t i o n and s t a t u s i n a r e l a t i v e h i e r a r c h y . The kamin had s e c u r i t y , while the advantages to jajman i n c l u d e d a guaranteed entourage to work h i s l a n d , to augment h i s p o s i t i o n and to c o n s o l i d a t e h i s p r e s t i g e , which, u n l i k e the kamin's that stemmed from a f i x e d adherence to doing what was a s c r i b e d to h i s s t a t u s , accrued from a more dynamic m a n i f e s t a t i o n of h i s g e n e r o s i t y and by promoting com-munity r i t u a l s . The s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e between a kamin and the son o f a man l i v i n g i n a modern market economy i s that the o p t i o n to break away from h i s o b l i g a t i o n s and to make h i s l i v i n g on h i s own was not a v a i l a b l e to the kamin. Furthermore, without m i t i g a t i n g l e g i s l a t i o n , the advantages of the t r a d i t i o n a l system to the kamin do n o t convert i n t o e q u i v a l e n t b a r g a i n i n g power as-"the advantage to the ,ia,jman„ when the r e l a t i o n s h i p between them changes i n t o a"' c o n t r a c t u a l one. Dumont supports h i s case w i t h the a d d i t i o n a l f a c t that those kamins w i t h the most o b v i o u s l y " r e l i g i o a s " s p e c i a l i z a t i o n s had the most s t a b l e r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e i r ja.jmans (Dumont 1 9 7 0 : 1 0 7 ) . The reckoning o f what would s a t i s f y the needs of a l l on the r e l a t i v e s c a l e o f h i e r a r c h y could not be made without con-s i d e r i n g the f a c t o r o f growth and on the assurance that the product o f a bad year was s u f f i c i e n t f o r the s u r v i v a l o f a l l . T h i s l e v e l was found presumably over time and corresponded to the l e v e l of the lowest c a s t e . (Untouchables seemed to be the p o p u l a t i o n t h a t acted as the measuring rod of how low that l e v e l could s i n k given s e v e r a l years o f unfavourable 1 8 c l i m a t e . They were not recognized i n the Brahmanic t e x t s to be part of the t o t a l s o c i e t y . ) The e x t r a wealth produced i n good years was used to adjust the caste l i v i n g standards again, to pay f o r ceremonies and p r e s t i g e p u r s u i t s (those things that separated the castes r i t u a l l y ) , and as a store against bad years ( E p s t e i n 19695 2 ^ 2 ) . Since there was a l i m i t e d range of what are c a l l e d l u x u r y goods i n modern markets, a q u a l i t a t i v e d i f f e r e n c e between the l e v e l of l i v i n g i n a kamin household and that i n a jajman household may not have been recognized. What we might consider l u x u r y goods l i k e meat and eggs were consumed i n inverse p r o p o r t i o n to s t a t u s . The economic evidence therefore suggests that i n order to assure s u r v i v a l , as w e l l as i n response to an e s s e n t i a l l y r e l i g i o u s need f o r order that w i l l be explored l a t e r , Indian s o c i e t y adopted a system implying f i x e d sets of r e l a t i o n s between d i f f e r e n t u n i t s which d e l i m i t the ways i n which the members of a l l those u n i t s can express and experience r e l a t i o n s between each other. This system i s e l a b o r a t e l y a r t i c u l a t e d by r i g i d separation of u n i t s which at the same time cements them i n t o a whole. Separation and U n i t y The manner i n which a member of Indian s o c i e t y a p p r o p r i a t e l y i n t e r a c t s w i t h others i s p r e s c r i b e d by h i s 19 b i r t h i n t o one of a number of c a s t e s , h i e r a r c h i c a l l y arranged according to the tasks i t s members t r a d i t i o n a l l y perform. Each caste i s a l s o s p e c i f i c by v i r t u e of the r e l i g i o u s r u l e s and d u t i e s that i t s members are expected to observe and by the r i g h t s they can expect. These vary between castes on a. scale of r e l a t i v e p u r i t y and determine a f a m i l y ' s consumption. Status i n t h i s h i e r a r c h y and s e c u l a r power do not c o r r e l a t e . The castes i n the two highest varnas, the K s h a t r i y a s and Brahmans, have p a r t i c u l a r r e l i g i o u s d u t i e s i n c u r r i n g cere-monial costs which are met by the w i n d f a l l of good years. Most- castes are necessary f o r the enactment of at l e a s t some ceremonies, so that the whole community i s i n v o l v e d . The interdependence and coexistence of a l l are fundamental to the s o c i e t y . The ethos that sustains the o r i e n t a t i o n towards the whole i s founded on u l t i m a t e values. I t i s mani-f e s t e d i n a cooperative economic system i n which the modern economic p r e s u p p o s i t i o n of an i n d i v i d u a l subject i s non-e x i s t e n t (Dumont 1970:10^). I t sanctions a concentration of p o l i t i c a l and economic power w i t h i n a few castes yet at the same time makes i t impossible f o r those castes to c a p i -t a l i z e on i t at the expense of denying to a l l the l e v e l of l i v i n g p r e s c r i b e d by the system. I t i s i n t h i s context that excommunication and r e -n u n c i a t i o n can be understood. Offences are not against p a r t i c u l a r castes. They are against the t o t a l order that e x i s t s by v i r t u e of t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to each other. That order a s s i g n s v a l u e s a p p r o p r i a t e to each of i t s elements. The excommunicant i s debarred from a l l castes and scorned by those at the bottom as w e l l as those at the top. This a c t i o n r e p r e s e n t s what Douglas c a l l s an a b e r r a t i o n i n the c u l t u r a l G e s t a l t . Such a b e r r a t i o n s , anomalies, or ambi-g u i t i e s are reduced, she suggests, i n one of f i v e ways. In the case of the Ind i a n excommunicant he i s both ana-thematized and p h y s i c a l l y c o n t r o l l e d . Another way of coping w i t h him might-have been to l a b e l him dangerous and i n -s t i t u t i o n a l i z e the t h r e a t he r e p r e s e n t s , or to have him t r e a t e d as a symbol " t o draw a t t e n t i o n to other l e v e l s of e x i s t e n c e " . Ambiguities can more simply be reduced by " s e t t l i n g f o r one or other i n t e r p r e t a t i o n " (Douglas 1966 : 3 9 , ^ 0 ) , which might a p p l y when a candidate f o r excommuni-c a t i o n by v i r t u e o f an offence i s pardoned because the offence has not been gi v e n p u b l i c a t t e n t i o n . I f h i e r a r c h y was s o l e l y a s e c u l a r matter, moral o f -fences could have been d e a l t w i t h by the r u t h l e s s expedients a v a i l a b l e to s e c u l a r a u t h o r i t y . P o l i t i c a l law as d e s c r i b e d i n the Arthasastra-- was untempered by moral, humanistic con-s i d e r a t i o n s o f j u s t i c e . R e l i g i o n d i d not i n t r u d e i n t o p o l i -t i c s , although p o l i t i c s , i n the hands o f K s h a t r i y a s was i n consonance w i t h the t o t a l o rder. T h i s order r e p r e s e n t s the sacred . By conforming to that order, everybody has access to the sacred, and so r e s o l v e s "man's common urge to make a u n i t y o f t h e i r experience and to overcome separateness and 2 1 d i s t i n c t i o n s i n a c t s o f atonement" (Douglas 1 9 6 6 : 1 6 9 ) . This i s the assumption u n d e r l y i n g Dumont's a n a l y s i s o f t r a d i t i o n a l I n dian s o c i e t y . In the next chapter the s t r u c t u r e o f symbols and r i t u a l s that d e a l w i t h atonement and redemption w i l l be examined to see i f they express and corroborate the s t r u c -ture o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n t h i s h i e r a r c h i c a l world. 22 CHAPTER I I G r i d and Group An assumption shared by Douglas and Dumont can be ex-pressed as f o l l o w s : r e a l i t y i s a domain of phenomena from which c u l t u r e s s e l e c t an ordered, c o n s i s t e n t range. The range s e l e c t e d c o n s t i t u t e s r e a l i t y f o r that p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r e , p e r s i s t i n g through generations by the way r e l a t i o n s h i p s are ordered, c o g n i t i v e c a t e g o r i e s l e a r n e d and symbols i n g e s t e d and expressed. I t w i l l f o l l o w that the more i t i s t h r e a t -ened the more i t w i l l be p r o t e c t e d . Thus i n I n d i a , excom-munication i s one means of p r o t e c t i o n . I t must a l s o there-f o r e f o l l o w that the d e s c r i p t i o n o f the s o c i a l system i n the preceding chapter does not c o n s t i t u t e the whole p i c t u r e be-cause i t does not take account of the Sanyasi, who, although he has renounced that world of r e l a t i o n s and i t s s e l e c t i v e r e a l i t y , has nonetheless a r e c o g n i z e d p l a c e w i t h i n the t o t a l framework. Before attempting to see what that p l a c e i s , i t w i l l be necessary to examine f i r s t , the s t r u c t u r e o f symbols and r i t u a l s , and secondly, the cosmology of t h i s h i e r a r c h i c a l world, f o l l o w i n g Douglas 1 c o n t e n t i o n that a c u l t u r e s t r i v e s "to achieve consonance at a l l l e v e l s of e x p erience" (Douglas 1 9 6 6 : 6 7 ) . In the p r e c e d i n g chapter i t was shown that each caste i s a cohesive s o c i a l u n i t , and i n r e l a t i o n to the whole, i s the b a s i s of economic s e c u r i t y , a n d moral c o n t r o l f o r each of i t s members. The experience of such c l o s e d s o c i a l groups, Douglas 23 suggests, i s "the most important determinant of r i t u a l i s m . . . the man who has that experience a s s o c i a t e s boundaries w i t h power and danger. The b e t t e r d e f i n e d and more s i g n i f i c a n t the s o c i a l boundaries, the more the b i a s I would expect to f i n d i n favour o f r i t u a l " (Douglas 1970:11+). The s t r u c t u r e o f caste and f a m i l y i s s t r o n g l y a r t i c u l a t e d by what she c a l l s group, the sense o f belonging to a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l u n i t such as a c a s t e . I t i s a l s o a r t i c u l a t e d by what she c a l l s g r i d , which i s the system o f r u l e s governing r e l a t i o n s on an ego-centred b a s i s . In I n d i a , g r i d would apply to the appro-p r i a t e behaviour and experience o f members o f each c a s t e . Given these c o n d i t i o n s Douglas w r i t e s , " i n t e r p e r s o n a l r e -l a t i o n s are subordinate to the p u b l i c p a t t e r n o f r o l e s " and "the s o c i e t y i s d i f f e r e n t i a t e d and e x a l t e d above the s e l f " . She would a l s o expect to f i n d "a condensed symbolic system", " r i t u a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of r o l e s and s i t u a t i o n s " , "magical e f f i c a c y a t t r i b u t e d to symbolic a c t s " , "symbolic d i s t i n c t i o n s between i n s i d e and o u t s i d e " , and symbols that express a "high value set on c o n t r o l of c o n s c i o u s n e s s " (Douglas 1970: 73,7^). T h i s chapter w i l l focus f i r s t on the way i n which the body s y m b o l i c a l l y expresses the p a t t e r n s of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n -s h i p s . Since those r e l a t i o n s h i p s are ordered towards the whole, the symbolic order i s expected to show the same b i a s : p u b l i c ceremonies and r i t u a l s w i l l express the experience o f l i v i n g i n a s o c i a l group comprising a l l the c a s t e s . S i m i l a r l y the rules of grid can be expected to be symbolically and r i t u a l l y represented as rules governing the relationships between the components of the whole society, and not just those between members of any p a r t i c u l a r caste. There w i l l be more symbolic d i s t i n c t i o n between those-within-society and those without (the sanyasi and the excommunicated), than between castes. Secondly, the way i n which r i t u a l and symbol control the consciousness of a l l those within society w i l l be examined. These hypotheses w i l l be tested by examining a public f e s t i v a l , the meaning of s a c r i f i c e i n Brahmanic India and some t r a n s i t i o n r i t e s . This w i l l p a r t i a l l y complete the context i n which the sanyasi l i v e s and f a c i l i t a t e a l a t e r assessment of the extent to which the sanyasi i s controlled by that context and yet can free himself from i t i n order to modify i t . Symbolic Boundaries Caste boundaries are constantly demarcated by rules of contact according to a r e l a t i v e scale of pure and impure, which Dumont considers the fundamental structure of the system, following the Abbe Dubois: " A l l that pertains to external and i n t e r n a l defilement, bodily and s p i r i t u a l , i s the very beginning of a Hindu's education, both r e l i g i o u s and c i v i l " (Dubois 1906:178). Dubois writes at some length on these 25 rules and i t i s from him that most of the following data are taken, though they are subject to regional v a r i a t i o n . Rules apply most obviously to food and i t s preparation as Douglas' hypothesis anticipates, with greatest danger of p o l l u t i o n i n proportion to status: Brahmans guard their boundaries most c a r e f u l l y , drinking only water and r e f r a i n -ing from any food that once contained sentient l i f e such as meat, f i s h and eggs. The doors to Brahman kitchens are kept closed i n case the cooking i s seen by a member of a caste impure i n r e l a t i o n to t h e i r s . Vessels once they have contained water are susceptible to defilement. Wind instruments are abhorred by Brahmans because of the s a l i v a they c o l l e c t . Even clothes washed by washermen w i l l be placed i n water again by some conscientious Brahmans, who w i l l , moreover, wash themselves up to three times a day. There are some curious anomalies to the rules, such as a ban on eating head-shaped vegetables, l i k e onions and g a r l i c , but brass, copper, s i l k , f a b r i c made from certain plants and the skins of antelopes and tigers are considered pure under any circumstances. Perhaps they can be explained by a t t r i b u t i o n of magical q u a l i t i e s a r i s i n g out of i n -t r i n s i c properties of these objects as well as h i s t o r i c a l circumstances. Later I s h a l l say more about the symbol of the cow. Its products pu r i f y almost a l l defilements, while misuse of them l a d e f i l i n g and dangerous. The sources from which water i s drawn i n a community 2 6 w i l l i f possible be p a r t i c u l a r to each caste, or group of castes with the same status. S i m i l a r l y there i s a graded scale of permissible distance:-: between members of d i f f e r e n t castes. Untouchables w i l l not go within s i x t y paces of a Brahman (Dubois 1 9 0 6 : 1 8 8 ) . These rules underscore the pr i n c i p l e of unit s o l i d a r i t y and separation of those units within hierarchy. A caste can validate higher status claims by observing s t r i c t e r r u l e s . The way i n which this separation i s overcome by caste cooperation i n r i t u a l s to make the whole society cohesive i s Srinivas' main thesis i n his book on the Coorgs. It i s hard to disprove but the next two sections of this chapter w i l l i l l u s t r a t e i t by looking at one public f e s t i v a l and s a c r i f i c e . H o l i The symbolism so far presented points to the aspects of separation inherent i n hierarchy. For expressions of unity i t i s necessary to turn to examples which indicate another function of symbolism: i t s use for c o n t r o l l i n g the way i n which r e a l i t y i s perceived and exprienced, i n d i s t i n c t i o n to what might constitute actual r e a l i t y . The metaphor used even today by Brahmans to i l l u s -trate t h e i r understanding of hierarchy and caste i s that of the human body. Brahmans "take the place of" the head, so t h e i r job i s to do the thinking, the educating, the ad-v i s i n g and so on. The arms are the Kshatriyas, so they protect the body. Kshatriyas are soldiers and kings. They do the government jobs. The body from the feet to the shoulders are Vaishyas. They look after feeding everybody and are merchants and farmers. The feet rep-resent «3udras who look after the ground they are i n contact with, so they sweep streets and do a g r i c u l t u r a l work. The inaptness of the metaphor i s most apparent now amongst Sudras and Vaishyas. And members of a l l castes do a g r i c u l t u r a l work. This model, or r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , does not f i t the r e a l i t y . I have expressed i t as I have, however, because i t i s how I r e c a l l a Brahman explaining the phenomenon, expressing two things about i t that I could not say as su c c i n c t l y any other way. One i s the i d e a l i z e d aspect of interdependence through mutually supportive functions despite d i s t i n c t grad-ations of prestige associated with those functions. The other i s that symbols and r i t u a l need not express experienced r e a l i t y but work to remedy the gap between that r e a l i t y and the ide a l i z e d order's consonant, stable categories. This i s the substance of a hypothesis coined by Douglas and by Lienhardt and i t should be possible to test i t i n the Indian context. Indian revolutionaries would say that i f the hypothesis cannot be disproved, i t 28 would show that symbols and r i t u a l s help dupe people i n t o a c c e p t i n g an i n t o l e r a b l e c o n d i t i o n . An outstanding f e s t i v a l t h a t i s at f i r s t s i g h t am-b i v a l e n t takes p l a c e a n n u a l l y i n honour of the god K r i s h n a . For twenty-four hours dur i n g h o l i , as i t i s c a l l e d , two foundations of the everyday order are suspended. Caste and sex d i f f e r e n c e s are not observed. U n l i k e the other t h i r t e e n major f e s t i v a l s i n the Hindu calendar which support the "proper s t r u c t u r e s " , t h i s one s a n c t i o n s the i n v e r s e . "The idiom of h o l i thus d i f f e r e d from that of o r d i n a r y l i f e both i n g i v i n g e x p l i c i t d r a m a t i z a t i o n to s p e c i f i c sexual r e l a t i o n s h i p s that otherwise would not be expressed at a l l and i n r e v e r s i n g the d i f f e r e n c e s of power between husbands and wives" ( M a r r i o t t 1 9 6 6 : 2 0 6 ) . Husbands, Brahmans and any unpopular neighbour can be i n f l i c t e d w i t h treatment ranging from water dousing to p h y s i c a l a s s a u l t . I would expect acrimonious a c t i o n s i n p r o p o r t i o n to the extent the t r a d i t i o n a l system has changed. However, the suspension o f observing r u l e s concerning contact w i t h what i s h e l d to be impure f o r a p r e s c r i b e d l e n g t h o f time i n d i c a t e s that the whole s o c i e t y i s at that time i n a c o n d i t i o n o f sacredness, when o p p o s i t i o n s are transcended. The worship o f M s h n a and i t s d o c t r i n e of b h a k t i were innovated by Sankara, a s a n y a s i who founded s i x c u l t s . The d o c t r i n e of b h a k t i t a c k l e d the paradox of pride and humility (Singer 1 9 6 6 : ^ 7 ) . The f e s t i v a l , i s an example of an innovations provoked by speculation from a perspective outside the d a i l y order that was incorporated i n t o the Brahmanic structure.. In Nepal the f e s t i v a l opens with overt expressions of brotherhood between a l l neigh-bours, followed by noisy, dancing processions of water bombers, loaded l a r g e l y with the extremely potent p u r i -f i e r , cow* s urine.. The bombers are themselves bombed, and the processions end at the communal baths., Marriott e n t i t l e s his essay on h o l i , "The Festival* of Love". It celebrates a sacred ideal, that transcends d a i l y l i f e f o r twenty—four hours only to reaffirm the profane, ex-perienced r e a l i t y f o r the next:- 36*+ days.. It does not negate that order but; acts as a safety-valve f o r the discrepancies experienced between the abuses that i t can give;, to r i s e t o on an interpersonal, l e v e l and the sacred v i s i o n of a world d i f f e r e n t from the profane, condition. The impaet of the i d e a l 1 of equality anomalous to a hierarchical 1 order is. thus reduced.. This, b r i e f analysis anticipates much about the sanyasi but also indicates how r i t u a l s expressing a differen t : s o c i a l order, (that of a new e g a l i t a r i a n cult) 1, was harnessed to the service of the h i e r a r c h i c a l order.. The society r e c o i l s from a. temporary excursion i n t o apparent anarchy as from culture shock, reconstituting i t s e l f by once again observing separation of i t s parts by the opposition of pure and impure.. Boundaries are 30 crossed but the danger of unleashed powers for disruption |s contained by r i t e s of reincorporation into the normal state by purifying baths. "Permanent good intention pre-v a i l s over temporary aberration" (Douglas 1966:67). The temporary aberration serves as an act of atonement for a d i v i s i o n between i d e a l and r e a l i t y , a d i v i s i o n to which the culture would be permanently committed and by which i t would be permanently endangered i f not catered for in some way. S t r i c t patterns of p o l l u t i o n rules are either uncomfortable, contradictory, or induce hypocrisy (Douglas 1966:l6l+). Ataost any Indian ethnography reveals t h i s dilemma; h o l i i s one r i t u a l that goes towards solving i t . S a c r i f i c e : Some African Examples In the f i r s t chapter i t was argued that a s o c i a l order that prescribed relationships was adopted i n India to assure the survival of a l l . So far i n thi s chapter i t has been argued that the symbolic and r i t u a l system of that order both r e f l e c t s that order and controls the perception and experience of those within i t . Both imply s a c r i f i c e by i t s members: on the one hand, the freedom of single members to have relationships apart from those prescribed i s surrendered on behalf of the whole; and on the other, consciousness of a r e a l i t y other than that n mediated by i t s symbols i s surrendered... Both these imply s a c r i f i c e of an i d e n t i t y apart from the. i n t e g r i t y pro-vided by the system. S a c r i f i c e i n India i s a primary s o c i a l r i t u a l , which I would expect to; compensate f o r such personal s a c r i f i c e s of i t s single members by making sacred the; whole,, of which i t s . members are parts., Individual i n t e g r i t y would be i n s t i t u t e d on;its terms. In order to develop) t h i s l i n e of reasoning, the meanings imputed to s a c r i f i c e i n other cultures w i l l f i r s t be examined-. An analogy from our own culture i s the manner i n which com-p e t i t i o n has been sacralized as a p r i n c i p l e : great energy and ef f e c t s are derived from the system i t e n t a i l s , although the benefits of relationships based om cooperation are sacrificed.. Douglas uses the Nuer and the Dinka too test her hypo-thesis that symbolism of the body matches the social, system along a grid-group; continuum.. S p i r i t possession and trance are central. to> the Dinka where: there i s l e s s a r t i c u l a t i o n i n the s o c i a l structure than amongst the Nuer f o r whom i t i s peripheral.. Following Douglas 1 argument, p r a c t i c a l l y none could be expected within castes where the control of members i s so strong by g r i d and group., Sanctioned l o s s of conscious control within the system outlined i n the f i r s t chapter would be inconsistent with her hypothesis- There are, however, reports of shamanistie possession p a r t i c u l a r l y amongst Sudras (Harper' 1959a:231). It i s a more admired 32 phenomenon i n India castes than Brahman castes where i t nonetheless also occurs. Such personal experiences with the Divine are predictably accessible to sanjgasis., Douglas 1 predictions with regard to. f i x e d r i t u a l s , par-t i e u a r l y s a c r i f i c e , i n s o c i e t i e s with f i x e d r e l a t i o n s holds up better to the Indian test case. She suggests that the more regulated the world i s , the greater w i l l be the piaeular nature of sacrifices.. Symbolic acts w i l l , be considered magically e f f e c t i v e to put right the moral order but i t would not be possible to coerce God int© changing the natural 1 order on man's behalf. Raymond F i r t h suggests that a l l s a c r i f i c e s are performed to es t a b l i s h communication with God and to have things put back i n t o a proper order ( F i r t h 1963:16). Three A f r i c a n ethnographers i l l u s t r a t e the sociological, significance of this assumption. Evans—Pritchard rejects the communion theory which says that s a c r i f i c e i s an act of social, fellowship mediated by an i n t r i n s i c a l l y sacred animal.. He finds the g i f t theory f a l s e too, which; assumes that God i s an i l l u s o r y symbol of society, because the v i c t i m already belongs to God.. S a c r i f i c e s may entail, haggling with disease-causing s p i r i t s who, unlike God need blood i n order to leave a sick man., He stresses that s a c r i f i c e i s part of r e l i g i o n which "expresses the relationship) between man and something which l i e s right outside his society" (Evans-Pritehard 195^:31>. What i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n the g i f t theory i s the notion that the s a c r i f i e e r gives up part of him-s e l f . He c l a s s i f i e s two kinds of s a c r i f i c e s amongst the Nuer. The f i r s t i s confirmatory, marking a change of s o c i a l status or i n t e r a c t i o n between s o c i a l groups. The second i s p i a c u l a r , on behalf of the moral or p h y s i c a l welfare of an i n d i v i d u a l . The r i t u a l s and symbols used are the same f o r both. L a t e r , i n Nuer R e l i g i o n , he c l a s s i f i e s s a c r i f i c e s as e i t h e r personal or c o l l e c t i v e . The l a t t e r are con-f i r m a t o r y , making God and the ghosts witnesses to a change i n s o c i a l s t a t u s . They b r i n g dangerous but p o t e n t i a l l y h e l p f u l s p i r i t to man, making the profane sacred (Evans-Pritchard 1962:199). The purpose of personal s a c r i f i c e s i s to avert t r o u b l e . They are con-cerned w i t h r e l a t i o n s w i t h i n the s o c i a l order. The argument i n t h i s case appears to be that the sacred has dangerously i n t r u d e d i n t o the profane world and so e x p i -a t i o n must be made to r e t u r n the world to order. A kind of bargain i s made w i t h God to a l l o w t h i s r e s t o r a t i o n or redemption, even though God's r e t u r n i s a free g i f t since everything belongs to God anyway. There i s a moral equi-valence between c a t t l e and men, so the b u l l ' s death takes away the danger. There i s " s u b s t i t u t i o n of l i v e s of c a t t l e f o r l i v e s of men" (Evans-Pritchard 1962:230) . When de a l i n g w i t h s p i r i t s who do not own animals, sub-s t i t u t i o n i s blended w i t h p r o p i t i a t i o n and the expec-t a t i o n of s a t i s f a c t i o n i n r e t u r n . Symbols are condensed and i n d i s p e n s a b l e , such as the ashes rubbed on the animal's back during the d e d i c a t i o n of i t s l i f e which rep-resent the e v i l i n men's hearts and which flow away i n t o the e a r t h w i t h the blood f o r God, l e a v i n g the f l e s h f o r men. Phenomena that endanger l i f e and the i d e a l order come from a sacred realm. Whether invoked or unexpected they are explained and coped w i t h by s a c r i f i c e s so that the l i f e of the Nuer people and the i d e a l order continue. The p r i c e i s i n the surrender of part of every man's i n d i v i d u a l i t y . Lugbara r e a l i t y according to Middle ton i s a concept of an i d e a l , unchanging order, c o n s i s t i n g , f o r a l i n e a g e , of both l i v i n g and dead members. A l l phenomena are e i t h e r s o c i a l or a s o c i a l , moral or amoral, normal or abnormal. S a c r i f i c e v a l i d a t e s and a f f i r m s the i d e a l set of r e l a t i o n -ships abetted by Reformulation of lineage genealogies and the communal f e a s t that f o l l o w s s a c r i f i c e . "By the per-formance of g h o s t l y s a c r i f i c e the l i v i n g are brought again i n t o a proper r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the a n c e s t r a l , i d e a l and unchanging order" (Middleton 1 9 6 0 : 2 6 5 ) . Animals are s a c r i f i c e d to e i t h e r ancestors or s p i r i t s , not to God, although i t i s God who, being i n c o n t r o l of the whole of nature, can change g e n e a l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e s by b r i n g i n g death, and u l t i m a t e l y accepts or r e j e c t s the animals. S a c r i f i c e s are made i n response to sickness which i s brought by the dead f o r amoral or a s o c i a l o f fences: " i t t e mporarily destroys the i d e a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between l i v i n g and dead k i n . By s a c r i f i c e the p a r t i c i p a n t s restore this r e l a t i o n s h i p , which i s seen as a perfect, i d e a l l y unchanging and unchangeable one; af t e r s a c r i f i c e order reappears" (Middleton 1 9 6 0 : 8 5 ) . Oracles w i l l reveal whether sickness i s brought by s i n , curses of l i v i n g men, bewitching, disease s p i r i t s or God. Amongst the Lugbara s a c r i f i c e s are therefore made either i n response to ghostly vengeance or as surety for healing on behalf of a. l o c a l group whose welfare depends upon the conformity of every member;. Unconformity i s apparent from sickness. S a c r i f i c e , l i k e a r i t e of passage, can bring the offender back into the moral community. So long as he i s sick, he i s outside the sphere of the l i v i n g and the dead, i n a state of s i n . Only God can bring about the change back to normal status. The "patient" i s " i d e n t i f i e d with the s a c r i f i c i a l animal by consecration", which i s then k i l l e d and so enters the realm of the dead and of God, but i s then reaccepted back into the lineage by the condensed symbolism of s p i t t i n g (Middleton 1960:107) . Lienhardt reports that every Dinka b u l l or ox destined for s a c r i f i c e demonstrates "the ordered s o c i a l relationships of the s a c r i f i c i n g group" (Lienhardt 1 9 6 l : 2 3 ) . Beasts are s a c r i f i c e d to malevolent powers or to clan d i v i n i t i e s to avert sickness. The s a c r i f i c i a l animal represents "the a c t i v i t y of the Power" and the p a s s i v i t y of Power's human vict i m (Lienhardt 1961:152). P o l i t i c a l and r e l i g i o u s leaders (The Masters of the Fishing-Spear) make the invocation on behalf of the whole community. They also carry the people's " l i f e " , more than enough to sustain them alone, the supreme g i f t of powers and d i v i n i t y . Through the twitching of the s a c r i f i c e d b u l l , " l i f e " i s made a v a i l -able to a l l (Lienhardt 1 9 6 1 : 2 0 8 ) . The Dinka lose them-selves i n the communal act of s a c r i f i c e which i s an act of freedom and dependence, supplication and control. "The s a c r i f i c i a l r i t e i s f i r s t and foremost an act of victim-i z a t i o n . A strong and active beast i s rendered weak and passive so that the burden of human passiones may be trans-ferred to i t . It suffers v i c a r i o u s l y for those for whom s a c r i f i c e i s made, and men, thus symbolically freed from the agents which image their suffering, and corporately associated with each other and with the agents which image th e i r strength, proclaim themselves the creatures whose deliberate action prevailed over the f i r s t master of the fishing-spear and received his g i f t of l i f e " (Lienhardt 1 9 6 1 : 2 5 1 ) . ' Lienhardt concludes that such symbolic acts change Dinka experience of events, i f not the events themselves. Brahmanic S a c r i f i c e I have not attempted to s p e l l out the c u l t u r a l v a r i -ations between these three African t r i b e s . Their social systems and cosmologies vary as do the meanings a t t r i b u t e d to t h e i r r i t u a l s by t h e i r ethnographers. Nonetheless, the concepts they have used to e l u c i d a t e those meanings are h e l p f u l to i l l u m i n a t e the meaning of s a c r i f i c e i n I n d i a . Dumont c r i t i c i z e s Hocart where he w r i t e s that the caste system i t s e l f i s a s a c r i f i c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n (Dumont 1 9 5 9 . S a c r i f i c e s are organized by the ki n g to maintain the l i f e of the people according to Hocart. Despite h i s questionable use of i d e o l o g i c a l t e x t s to substantiate h i s views on caste and s a c r i f i c e , t h i s conception does point to a theme common to so many commentaries on s a c r i f i c e : that the consciousness of an i n d i v i d u a l i z e d s e l f apart from the p r e s c r i b e d order of h i e r a r c h y i s s a c r i f i c e d to that order. F i r t h wrote that " s a c r i f i c e i s u l t i m a t e l y a personal a c t , a g i v i n g of the s e l f or a part of the s e l f . The s e l f i s represented or symbolized by v a r i o u s types of m a t e r i a l o b j e c t s . Such a m a t e r i a l object must have a s o c i a l s i g -n i f i c a n c e or val u e , or the i m p l i c a t i o n w i l l be that the s e l f i s t r i v i a l or worthless" ( F i r t h 1963:22) . Dumont suggests that s a c r i f i c e " i n t e g r a t e s s o c i e t y i n r e l a t i o n . t o i t s absolute values". The kings, or K s h a t r i y a s , hold temporal power and organize the s a c r i f i c e s on behalf of a l l . They can only be performed by Brahmans. The king's power i s transformed i n t o s p i r i t u a l m e r i t , sym-b o l i z e d , as i n a' r i t e of passage, by the king being iden-t i f i e d w i t h Brahma, one of the three supreme d e i t i e s , during the r i t u a l and reintegrated back into h i s profane status at the end of i t . His profane status i s not how-ever legitimized i n any way by his r e l i g i o u s r o l e , despite an exchange of s p i r i t u a l goods, inaccessible except to Brahmans according to h i e r a r c h i c a l p r i n c i p l e s , for material goods (Dumont 1970b: 6 4 - 6 7 ) . E f f e c t i v e l y then, though only Brahmans perform s a c r i f i c e s , the benefits to be de-rived from them diffuse down through the graded scale of status. The purest, the Brahmans, receive expiation from sins by s a c r i f i c i n g , and each other rank that participates takes a step nearer God. The ideas that reinforce t h i s r e l i g i o u s organization, put into e f f e c t s o c i a l l y by divorcing p o l i t i c a l power from the p r i n c i p l e of hierarchy and thus preventing i t from upsetting status and the road to salvation, are the concepts of dharma and karma. Dharma i s symbolized by the c a l f , representing righteousness. The cow stands for the earth, the body p o l i t i c and the obligations of dharma. Tagore described dharma as "the law of moral health". Sukraniti wrote that "through fear of punishment meted out by the king, eaich man gets into the habit of following his own Dharma and duty", and Santiparvan said that "The Lord created gharma for the advancement and growth of a l l creatures." It i s then the r e l i g i o u s duty of a l l men, tempered secondarily by p o l i t i c a l force, to do what i s f i t t i n g for t h e i r status because the proper order s i g n i f i e s that only 39 the p u r e s t can be saved. F a i l u r e to f o l l o w dharma i n past l i v e s b u i l d s up karma which i s l i k e an accumulated r e c o r d o f i m p u r i t y , the consequence of a c t i o n s that condemn men to r e b i r t h i n s t e a d o f s a l v a t i o n . P u r i t y i s gained i n p r o p o r t i o n to the l o s s of karma., which i s e r a d i c a t e d by f o l l o w i n g dharma. The path to s a l v a t i o n i s one but o n l y those born Brahmans have the p o t e n t i a l to reach the end of i t . Thus Dumont upholds that.the u n i t y of I n d i a n s o c i e t y i s not found i n the p o l i t i c a l realm but i n the " s o c i a l regime of c a s t e s " (Dumont 197°b:78), and the symbolism of s a c r i f i c e works towards the r e a l i z a t i o n o f everybody's " u l t i m a t e purpose". "The drawing o f symbolic l i n e s and boundaries i s a way of b r i n g i n g order i n t o e x p e r i e n c e . Such non-verbal symbols are capable o f c r e a t i n g a s t r u c -ture of meanings i n which i n d i v i d u a l s can r e l a t e to one another and r e a l i z e t h e i r own u l t i m a t e purposes" (Dumont 1966 :50,51). ^ Every member o f s o c i e t y abnegates h i m s e l f to t h i s i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d channel of grace, e^ren though the u l t i m a t e l y r e a l i z e a b l e reward f o r f o l l o w i n g dharma does not come to most people during t h e i r present l i f e t i m e . S a l v a t i o n i s d e f i n e d by Sanyasis as the e x t i n c t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l i z e d c o nsciousness: to accomplish t h i s , a man must p a r a d o x i c a l l y become an i n d i v i d u a l . The Brahmanic order a s c r i b e s a f o u r t h stage i n a Brahman's l i f e when he can apply h i m s e l f to t h i s g o a l . There i s a p a r a l l e l 1+0 graded, structure of purity between castes and stages of l i f e . I t i s r e f l e c t e d i n the divine pantheon and but-tressed by mythology where there i s no l i n e a r end to personal existence. Every god was conceived by another god so many yugas, so many kalpas, so many mayayugas i n the long ago, impossible-to-conceive dimensions of time and space. "India thinks of time and of h e r s e l f . . . i n b i o l o g i c a l terms, terms of the species, not of the ephemeral ego" (Zimmer 19*+6:21). Only Siva i s outside the s a c r i f i c i a l hierarchy. He i s the model of the re-nouncer: only the sanyasi i s outside the s a c r i f i c i a l hierarchy i n India. And. according to Dubois the sects that worship Siva, do not have Brahman p r i e s t s (Dubois 1906;127) . From what has been said i t would be consistent i f only Brahmans perform personal s a c r i f i c e s , although the magical e f f i c a c y of the sacrament i s recognized by a l l . Dubois reports that i n South India every Brahman makes at least one d a i l y s a c r i f i c e to f i r e at a ceremony c a l l e d homam (Dubois 1906:175). Fire i s one condensed symbol with p a r t i c u l a r significance for the sanyasi wheh he renounces the s o c i a l world and i t s r i t u a l s , to which I s h a l l return. It i s considered the purest of the gods. Pufla i s also performed daily.iduring which other offerings are made. Success attends correct performance, and punishment for f a i l u r e to perform at a l l . Other hi sacraments can o b t a i n the remission of a l l s i n s . Homam and s p e c i a l s a c r i f i c e s are made at t r a n s i t i o n ceremonies, which are the subject of the next s e c t i o n . The aspect of s a c r i f i c e that seems most apparent i n I n d i a i s p i a c u l a r . E x p i a t i o n i s seen as d i f f e r e n t things according to s t a t u s , but f o r sacramental e f f i c a c y , s a c r i f i c e demands the suppression of i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c , l i n e a r s e l f -i n t e r e s t f o r a l l . The symbolic system i s condensed and symbolic acts are m a g i c a l l y e f f i c a c i o u s . I t r e s t s on a symbolic d i s t i n c t i o n of i n s i d e and ou t s i d e , pure and impure, and on the c o n t r o l of consciousness. To conclude t h i s s e c t i o n , I quote A.K.Coomaraswamy from a footnote to Myths and Symbols i n Indian A r t and C i v i l i z a t i o n , which r a i s e s other, perhaps t h e o l o g i c a l , problems? "The d i s -memberment of V r i t r a , by which, the one was made i n t o many, at the f i r s t s a c r i f i c e which was a l s o the act of c r e a t i o n , i s Indra's and. the gods' o r i g i n a l s i n ( K i l b i s a ) , because of which the Regnum has ever since been excluded from the d r i n k i n g of "what the Brahmans mean by soma, of which none ta s t e s on e a r t h " , otherwise than by the t r a n s u b s t a n t i a t i o n of an analogous drought; and f o r which an e x p i a t i o n must be made by an u l t i m a t e r e i n t e g r a t i o n of the many i n t o one. Both processes, of e v o l u t i o n and i n v o l u t i o n , are p e r p e t u a l l y reenacted i n the s a c r i f i c e , whether as r i t u a l l y and v i s i b l y c e l e b r a t e d or as mentally performed throughout one's l i f e " (Zimmer 19 1+6:l89,190). The o v e r r i d i n g goal h2 o f the sanyasi i s the r e i n t e g r a t i o n of the many i n t o one by personal, concrete experience. Most d o c t r i n e s that provide the techniques f o r t h i s purpose deny that i t Is o r i g i n a l s i n but ignorance that i n h i b i t s t h i s experience. For the man-in-the-world, s a c r i f i c e provides a p a r t i a l or v i c a r i o u s sense of that r e i n t e g r a t i o n by i t s o r i e n t a -tiontowards the whole. S a c r i f i c e atones f o r the m u l t i -p l i c i t y of the whole by r e g u l a t i n g and modifying the universe on everybody's behalf. R i t e s of Passage So long as a member of an Indian caste has good moral standing i n h i s community, he does not s t r a y from that consciousness of the world which i s the l i m i t e d , a r b i t r a r y order symbolized by r i t u a l and speech. This e n t a i l s a suppression of i n d i v i d u a l self-awareness and acceptance of a persona i n r e l a t i o n to a l l he meets that i s pre-determined by the s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n and c u l t u r e . Thus a man i s son i n r e l a t i o n to f a t h e r , husband to w i f e , f a t h e r to son, impure K s h a t r i y a to pure Brahman, pure K s h a t r i y a to impure Vaishya and so on. This r a i s e s two problems. F i r s t , such a mechanistic existence must be fraught w i t h contradictions and exceptions, so how can such a fragmented element as a s i n g l e person be sustained? Secondly, new r e l a t i o n s h i p s must s i g n i f y the a t t r i b u t i o n o f new personae and d i f f e r e n t s t a t e s o f consciousness as each caste member prog r e s s e s through l i f e . How does the c u l t u r e ensure that each new r e l a t i o n s h i p and each new state o f consciousness i s kept consonant w i t h that p r e s c r i b e d by the s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n and i t s symbolic order? Part o f the answer l i e s i n the f a c t that each persona and each state o f consciousness need on l y be c a l l e d upon at any one moment since each e x i s t s by v i r t u e o f a r e l a t i o n -s h i p . Consciousness may be c o n t r o l l e d so that some con-t r a d i c t i o n s are not recog n i z e d as such and others may be ca t e r e d f o r s y m b o l i c a l l y . The taboo a g a i n s t i n c e s t can be seen as a taboo a g a i n s t the i m p o s s i b l e - t o - r e g u l a t e c o n t r a d i c t i o n o f being, f o r i n s t a n c e , both uncle and f a t h e r to somebody. Incest would s h a t t e r the r i g h t order. Part o f the answer l i e s i n the r i t u a l s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t r a n s i t i o n . The s t a t e o f sanyasan, where there are no more t r a n s i t i o n r i t e s , p r o v i d e s a l i m i t e d t e s t case f o r the problem of t a u t o l o g y i n t h i s l i n e o f argument, which amounts to saying that f o r s o c i a l order and u n i t y , s o c i a l consciousness must be c o n t r o l l e d and t h i s i s p a r t i a l l y but e f f e c t i v e l y achieved by t r a n s i t i o n r i t e s . In d i s c u s s i n g the meaning of s a c r i f i c e i n I n d i a , i t was apparent that the known order was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h l i f e and h e a l t h . T r a n s g r e s s i o n o f that order was a s s o c i -ated w i t h s i c k n e s s , death and danger, at l e a s t to s o c i a l status. Dumont states that impurity i t s e l f i s not con-sidered dangerous but t h i s can be attributed to the r e l a -t i v e scale i n which i t applies. Through t h i s r e l a t i v e scale'the sacred i s also accessible to a l l (Dumont:1970a:72). The sacred i s therefore conceived of as a state of p u r i t y or impurity inappropriate to status. A menstruating woman i s i n such a state. She i s segregated f o r four days during which she i s subject to r e s t r i c t i o n s such as no bathing or weeping. Only a f t e r thorough p u r i f i c a t o r y ceremonies i s she incor-porated back i n t o the profane world and permitted to look at people without endangering them (Dubois 1906: 155). It i s only f o r sanyasis that the sacred has a d i f f e r e n t meaning. x Since t r a n s i t i o n r i t e s marking a change from one secular state to another are performed with the greatest elaboration and attention amongst Brahmans, who are most susceptible to being polluted, i t would follow that Brahmans have closest access to the sacred and most to fear from disorder, as indeed they do i f the s o c i a l system were to break down. The predominance of Brahmanic tran-s i t i o n r i t e s correlates with the unusually cohesive and t i g h t l y bonded nature by g r i d and group of the Brahman castes. Brahmans recognize four stages of l i f e , empha-siz i n g them more elaborately than the other castes with ceremonies of i n i t i a t i o n i n t o each. Every Brahman i s expected to go through the f i r s t two, as well as having his f i r s t consumption of s o l i d food f o r instance demar-cated by r i t u a l . These stages are not observed by other castes, although ceremonies i n them are performed by Brahmans at b i r t h , marriage and death, with diminishing emphasis as status diminishes. To t h i s extent there i s the p a r a l l e l i s m Dumont observes between "the ceremonies of the ages of l i f e , and even the main actions of every-day l i f e , and caste ranking" (Dumont 1970a:55) . It i s beyond the scope of t h i s thesis to trace this p a r a l l e l i s m a l l the way into d a i l y behaviour, so I s h a l l concentrate here on the ceremonies marking the f i r s t two stages and death. These have s t r i k i n g differences from those i n -augurating the second two stages, that of the hermit and of the sanyasi, which w i l l be treated l a t e r . Between the ages of five and nine years old, a Brahman boy i s inducted into the state of Brahmachari which grants him the right to study. The ceremony i s c a l l e d upanayama which means "introduction to knowledge". The change i s symbolized by the investiture of a t r i p l e cord, the sacred thread worn around the neck and the right shoulder. The r i t u a l i s organized by the father, conducted by the family p r i e s t , attended by other caste members and l a s t s four days. On the f i r s t day, the i n i t i a t e i s adorned as for the ceremony that marked the f i r s t time his hair was cut. Together with sacred songs and s a c r i f i c e s t h i s i s equivalent to an act of separation from the state of c h i l d -hood, though I can f i n d no i n d i c a t i o n that he i s now temporarily free to break rules, as van Gennep hypothesises i s the case for those outside society (van Gennep 1960:lll+) As i n many Brahmanic ceremonies, pu.ja i s made to Ganesha, the god of obstacles and luck who can be dangerous i f not worshipped. On the second day the investiture takes place immediately a f t e r homam. The f i r e i s kept l i g h t e d through-out the rest of the r i t u a l . Following a hair-cut, and a puri f y i n g bath, he obtains remission of a l l sins committed i n youthful ignorance by virtue of songs sung by the pr i e s t This indicates that he i s now expected to be conscious of what constitutes s i n . The investiture i s accompanied by a cacophany of noise set up by a l l present, i n d i c a t i n g the actual period of t r a n s i t i o n . Rodney Needham conjectures that the cacophany i s a source of comfort for the i n i t i a t e during t h i s p o t e n t i a l l y frightening time of being i n a limbo of t r a n s i t i o n since i t approximates the noise that an experiment i n New York revealed i s the one heard by a foetus i n the womb. He then receives r e l i g i o u s i n s t r u c t i o n and eats a feast with other Brahmacharis, with whom he now shares status. As on the f i r s t two days the t h i r d and fourth days are occupied by offerings, singing and feast-ing. On the fourth day the i n i t i a t e performs homam for the f i r s t time which he i s now e n t i t l e d to do. The gods that were invoked are asked to leave, as are divine essences contained i n symbolic objects. A bracelet fastened to the boy at the beginning of the ceremony i s removed and placed i n milk. F i n a l l y he prostrates himself 47 before each p r i n c i p a l guest a f t e r a feast, and g i f t s are dis t r i b u t e d (Dubois 1906:l6l-l68). The prostration i s probably the f i r s t time that the Brahmachari overtly gives roles the honour due and can no longer expect that f a i l u r e to do so would be taken l i g h t l y , just as the guests would expect the g i f t s for the time they had given. The s o c i a l significance of upanaya|3a i s the moral status accorded to the Brahmachari. It i s annually com-memorated at the F®st of the Annual Atonement at which Brahmacharis can obtain remission of sins committed i n the preceding year. The right s and knowledge to which he now has access by studying the four books of the Yedas are moral doctrines teaching the obligations of dharma, and r e l i g i o u s lore c h i e f l y on the sacraments that lead to salvation. They do not entertain self-eonsciousness or a r e a l i t y save that which demarcates the next obligatory stage of development, that of the Grahastha. Grahastha means householder. Marriages are arranged and constitute the most important event of a Brahman's l i f e . Only a man with a son has discharged his great debt to his ancestors. The date of a marriage i s decided by astro-l o g i c a l auguries and l a s t s nine days. The f i r s t three days are preparatory, comprising p u r i f i c a t i o n r i t e s , s a c r i f i c e s 1 to household gods and to f i r e which i s con-secrated, d i s t r i b u t i o n of g i f t s , feasting and the honouring of the betrothed couple. The fourth day i s the most s i g n i f i c a n t . Home and guests are p u r i f i e d , a l l the gods and ancestors are invoked, s a c r i f i c e s are made to the p r i n c i p a l d e i t i e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y f i r e , symbolically pure objects are consecrated. The bridegroom makes atonement for a l l his sins committed since his upanayama ceremony and then leaves the v i l l a g e dressed as a pilgrim. Van Gennep wrote that Buddhist and Moslem pilgrims were "outside ordinary l i f e and i n a t r a n s i t i o n a l state" (van Gennep 1960:185) . I s h a l l l a t e r try to show that t h i s i s the condition of the sanyasi who i s i n a permanent state of pilgrimage. The groom returns after h i s father-in-law has stopped him to offer him his daughter. Following a wedding pro-cession, s a c r i f i c e s and p u r i f i c a t i o n s , the groom fastens the t a l i bracelet worn by a l l married women onto h i s bride's arm to the accompaniment of a cacophany of noise set up by the guests as at his incorporation into student status. Homage i s paid to f i r e and an oath sworn by i t that i s deemed the most binding that can be made. G i f t s , more ablutions and feasting complete the day, accented by the groom and bride eating together out of the same dish for the f i r s t and l a s t time. The next four days are similar in e ssentials. On the ninth day invoked d e i t i e s and an-cestors are dismissed (Dubois 1906:216-230). Marriage ceremonies amongst Kshatriyas and Sudras are reported to be similar by Dumont, but with l e s s elaboration and some *+9 differences of symbolic objects. Unlike members of other castes, the Brahman Grahastha i s now bound to d a i l y ob-servances, noticeably performance of the Sandhya ceremony three times a day. The Sandhya comprises prayers and sacraments for salvation and i s not available to other castes. It represents "the quintessence of the Vedas" according to one of the Vedic authors (Dubois 1 9 0 6 : 2 6 6 ) . The Grahastha i s furthermore subject to the most detailed rules governing the conduct of his l i f e , prescribing the manner in which he should clean his teeth, and eating and elimination habits. Since there are sacraments that can obtain the re-mission of a l l sins for a Grahastha, i t i s not necessary for him to become either a Vanaprastha or a sanyasi. I s h a l l argue l a t e r the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n of these l a t t e r stages was a means to accommodate the development of a consciousness that was no longer i n conformity with the state of Grahastha or that of a member of a lower caste. A Grahastha who recovers at a c r i t i c a l stage of his funeral ceremony, after the r i t e s of separation from the s o c i a l world of the l i v i n g , i s outcaste into a state similar to that of a sanyasi. A difference i n moral and s p i r i t u a l state i s thus symbolically recognized. A dying man i s f i r s t l a i d on cow dung, dharba grass and a new cloth, three symbolically pure a r t i c l e s . The ceremony of perfect expiation i s performed over him and he drinks a concoction of five r i t u a l l y pure substances to p u r i f y his body, r e c i t i n g mantrams to pu r i f y his soul. As he dies he Bolds the t a i l of a cow which w i l l guide him to paradise. Coins are distributed to those present, a symbolic termination of earthly obligations perhaps, who proceed to mourn n o i s i l y . The corpse i s then washed and adorned. The funeral procession stops three times i n case he should recover. In some parts of India the dying man i s placed with his feet i n a r i v e r . I f he should recover afte r these stages he can no longer participate i n the a c t i v i t i e s of a Grahastha. The funeral pyre i s consecrated and s a c r i f i c e made to f i r e , while the body i s completely p u r i f i e d by seal-ing every o r i f i c e . For ten days ceremonies consisting mostly of s a c r i f i c e s and offerings are conducted with r i g i d attention to d e t a i l i n order to speed him on his way to paradise and to keep him from hunger and t h i r s t . This period of t r a n s i t i o n ends when a pot and three stones representing the dead man are thrown into a r i v e r . He has now reached the paradise of Indra. The mourners wash, s a c r i f i c e , receive g i f t s and feast. On the eleventh day the chief mourner, attended by nineteen Brahmans, s a c r i f i c e s to f i r e , supplicating the gods that the deceased w i l l f i n d a place i n Swarga by dedicating a b u l l to a temple On the twelfth day, attended by eight Brahmans, he makes the same supplication on behalf of the dead man for a place amongst the ancestors. This i s repeated on s p e c i f i c 51 days d u r i n g the next year and on a n n i v e r s a r i e s o f the death. The dead would appear to continue to have a moral and s o c i a l e x i s t e n c e , only i n a d i f f e r e n t realm from the l i v i n g . The r i t u a l s ensure that the good order of the world of the l i v i n g i s p r o t e c t e d from any encroachment by another order. In Northern I n d i a , C a r s t a i r s found that though death i s not f i n a l there can be untimely deaths such as s u i c i d e : "Un-t i m e l y death i s a s s o c i a t e d with an earth-bound g h o s t l y a f t e r - l i f e , whereas t i m e l y death enhances the r e p u t a t i o n of a man's f a m i l y , because they are f e l t to have harboured a s o u l which has advanced a p p r e c i a b l y towards the most t i m e l y death of a l l , which i s not death at a l l but a f i n a l r e l e a s e from the imperfect stat e of being born as a separate s e l f . In p r a c t i c a l , as d i s t i n c t from t h e o l o g i c a l terms, death i n I n d i a i s regarded not as a s o l i t a r y a c t , but as p a r t o f the s e r i e s of domestic r i t e s and ceremonies i n which not s i n g l e i n d i v i d u a l s but whole f a m i l i e s are r e -q u i r e d to p l a y t h e i r s e v e r a l p a r t s " ( C a r s t a i r s 1955s 1+l). In t h i s chapter we have seen that r i t u a l s and symbols c o n s o l i d a t e the o r i e n t a t i o n towards the whole o f I n d i a n s o c i e t y (group), and confirm the f i x e d r e l a t i o n s w i t h i n and between i t s p a r t s ( g r i d ) . This e n t a i l s c o n t r o l o f the l i m i t s o f p e r m i s s i b l e consciousness o f men-in-the-worid, a p p r o p r i a t e consciousness being t r a n s m i t t e d d u r i n g r i t e s o f passage, s o c i a l r i t u a l s such as s a c r i f i c e s and the ob-servance of symbolic boundaries. Our c o n t e n t i o n i s that only the sanyasi can be free of this control. To what extent, and the kind of consciousness to which he has access, are questions that w i l l be explored l a t e r . The metaphysical component of the Indian s o c i a l order w i l l be examined next to complete the context from which the sanyasi can free himself, or within which he can find maximal freedom. 53 CHAPTER III The Religious Impulse In German Ideology, Marx wrote that "the more these conscious i l l u s i o n s of the ru l i n g classes are shown to be false and the less they s a t i s f y common sense, the more dogmatically they are asserted and the more d e c e i t f u l , moralizing and s p i r i t u a l becomes the language of estab-l i s h e d society". It i s tempting to make a Marxist analysis of Indian society and to assert that the twice-born castes represent a bourgeoisie and the Sudras a p r o l e t a r i a t . Had the man-in-the-world f e l t that he was being taken advantage of economically, as some began to with the introduction of an economy of growth, or had his r e l i g i o u s impulse for unity and order not been met, such an analysis may have been apposite. He live!, however, i n a system to which, no matter what h i s caste, he s a c r i f i c e d self-consciousness and his labour on behalf of the whole. He did not make thi s s a c r i f i c e on behalf of part of i t or himself, although the p o s s i b i l i t y of c a p i t a l i z i n g on p o l i -t i c a l power was invested i n one part, and of immanent s a l -vation i n another. A member of any caste was undoubtedly more cognizant of being at the mercy of impersonal forces such as the weather than he f e l t himself at the mercy of personal tyrants. In terms of consumption he was not ex-pl o i t e d , and r i t u a l d i s t i n c t i o n s between " c a p i t a l i s t " Vaishyas and the Brahman i n t e l l i g e n t s i a for example were 9* as pronounced as those between the Sudras and the other varnas. In r e t u r n f o r h i s s a c r i f i c e he got m a t e r i a l and s p i r i t u a l s e c u r i t y , even though they were of a l i m i t e d and i l l u s o r y nature from a p e r s p e c t i v e that was not a v a i l a b l e to him. Such a p e r s p e c t i v e was a v a i l a b l e to the sa n y a s i who, l i k e Marx, d i d p o i n t out that the i d e o l o g y was not simply p a r t o f the i l l u s i o n s of any r u l i n g c l a s s , but of a l l man-k i n d . Complete freedom o f d o c t r i r e was per m i t t e d i n I n d i a , so the sanyasi cannot be e x p l a i n e d as an ideologue o f es-t a b l i s h e d s o c i e t y and h i s e x i s t e n c e r a t i o n a l i z e d on those grounds. However, s i n c e he has o s t e n s i b l y renounced the s o c i a l , r i t u a l and symbolic aspects o f s o c i e t y but must s t i l l use to a l a r g e extent p r e - e x i s t i n g c a t e g o r i e s , any a f f e c t or c o n t r i b u t i o n he makes to t h o s e - l e f t - i n - t h e - w o r l d i s l i k e l y to be most apparent i n the i d e o l o g i c a l component. T n e s a n y a s i ' s language becomes i f anything more s p i r i t u a l , i f l e s s m o r a l i z i n g , than that of the In d i a n p r i e s t h o o d . In l i g h t o f t h i s and of Hinduism's s y n c r e t i c l a r g e s s e i t i s p o s s i b l e to suppose w i t h Marx that s p i r i t u a l i s n e c e s s a r i l y synonymous w i t h d e c e i t f u l . S p i r i t u a l systems and d o c t r i n e s innovated by sa n y a s i s w i l l be examined l a t e r . In a n t i c i p a t i o n i t can be s a i d f i r s t , that most do not e y a n g e l i s t i c a l l y a s s a u l t the p r i n c i p l e of h i e r a r c h y and the s o c i a l order, although many r e j e c t caste and i n - . e q u a l i t y from a moral vantage p o i n t d i f f e r e n t from the man-in-tae-world 1 s; and secondly, many Brahman ideologues have e c l e e t i c a l l y revised or embraced new perspectives to provide an ongoing, open-ended ideology i n consonance with the s o c i a l , and r i t u a l order. This has been known as Brahmanism, Hinduism and Yedanta at d i f f e r e n t stages i n history. In the l a s t 2500 years Gandhi i s the only sanyasi to have seriously affected a l l three areas of the whole. To what extent those changes are a t t r i b u t a b l e to him i s debateable. His h i s t o r i c a l r o l e was shaped as a reaction to foreign rule when r i t u a l and ideology were not i n consonance with a new or foreign economic system, and a f t e r his own education i n a country which confuses the Indian categories:; B r i t i s h "Kshatriyas", "Vaishyas" and "Sudras" could f i n d salvation through Christ as well as a p r i e s t , "even at t h i s very moment" as B i l l y Graham would say. That p r i e s t might be a l e g i s l a t o r too. Hierarchy and power are not divorced i n the s o c i a l theory of the West. The course suggested by Marx has a s t r i k i n g i m p l i -cation: any endeavour to examine the s e l f to f i n d an authentic i d e n t i t y which i s hot a r t i f i c i a l l y shaped by society, to f i n d a universal ethic neither l i m i t e d by nor deceived by moral codes within society, and f i n a l l y to seek solutions to the paradoxes of existence apart from society, a l l of which might variously be described as the r e l i g i o u s impulses o f s a n y a s i s , dttSr- s e l f - d e c e i v i n g - By i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z i n g these impulses I n d i a might have been saying the same thing? i f a man must deceive h i m s e l f , leave us who are i n s o c i e t y to l i e i n our own bed of d e c e i t which i s q u i t e s a t i s f y i n g to us and promises us when we do have pangs o f your k i n d o f impulse that s a l -v a t i o n w i l l come one day i f we do our duty now. From the p e r s p e c t i v e of the man-in-the-world the s a n y a s i nonetheless epitomizes someone who has r e a l i z e d Absolute Truth. T h i s s o c i a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n c o n t r a d i c t s the a s s e r t i o n that d e c e i t and. s p i r i t u a l i t y need be synony-mous. This i s not to deny the d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between i d e o l o g y and the s o c i a l order i n I n d i a . I t i s beyond the scope o f t h i s paper to t r a c e p o l i t i c a l and economic changes i n I n d i a but the p r e v a i l i n g s o c i a l s t r u c -ture and i t s r i t u a l s have been both shaped and l e g i t i m i z e d by i d e o l o g y . I t remains to p o i n t out some f e a t u r e s of the web w^bveri. over and by Indian consciousness during the l a s t two and a h a l f m i l l e n n i a , w i t h the p r o v i s o a l r e a d y i n -d i c a t e d that i t has been weaved wit h a consciousness of i t s own ephemeral and a r t i f i c i a l n a ture, unchampioned by arms yet e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y hardy. We s h a l l t h e r e f o r e proceed on the assumption that the s o c i a l order has a n e c e s s a r i l y s p i r i t u a l component i n order to meet s a t i s -f a c t o r i l y the r e l i g i o u s impulse f o r o r d e r . Change i n one e n t a i l s change i n the other. The impulse f o r 57 consonance "between them does not i n i t s e l f imply ex-p l o i t a t i o n or deception., S i n and Duty I t has been impossible to p r e s e n t the s o c i a l and r i t u a l eontext without making use o f a number o f S a n s k r i t terms which comprise the system of i d e a s i n t e r p e n e t r a t i n g the t o t a l c o ntext. As has been suggested the i d e a s o f the. man-in-the-world are s i m i l a r l y i n t e r p e n e t r a t e d by the thoughts of the renouncer. B e l i e f s concerning s i n and duty are two aspects o f s o c i e t y which the s a n y a s i has r e -nounced and yet which he has not a l t e r e d . Any act that threatens the s o c i a l order c o n s t i t u t e s s i n . The most s p e c i f i c are those that t r a n s g r e s s the s t r u c t u r e o f pure and impure. Sanctions are mostly r e -l i g i o u s except f o r extreme cases d e a l t w i t h by excommuni-c a t i o n . Mjsleeds are punished by r e b i r t h i n t o r e l a t i v e l y impure sta t u s which i m p l i e s r e l a t i v e m i s f o r t u n e . V i r t u e c o n s i s t s i n conforming to s t a t u s and honouring and respect-i n g those r o l e s that are h i g h e r or purer, such as f a t h e r or guru. This f o l l o w s the p a t t e r n p r e d i c t e d by Douglas i n s o c i e t i e s w i t h strong g r i d and strong group. The fate o f humans i s geared to the working of a complex cosmos whose u n i v e r s a l o r d e r i n g i s m i r r o r e d by a r e l i g i o u s 58 o r d e r i n g of s o c i e t y . "There i s no transcendant s a n c t i o n ; o n l y the n o t i o n o f t h i s v e r y order, conformity w i t h which takes on the value o f duty, dharma" (Dumont 1 9 7 0 b t h 2 ) . Zimmer sums up the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f dharma f o r the man-in-the-world t h i s way: "In I n d i a everybody wears the tokens o f the department o f l i f e to which he belongs. He i s r e c o g n i z a b l e at f i r s t glance by h i s dress and ornaments and the marks of h i s caste and trade c l a s s . Every man has the symbol o f h i s t u t e l a r y d e i t y p a i n t e d on h i s forehead, by which s i g n he i s p l a c e d and kept under the god's pro-t e c t i o n . Maiden, married woman, widow: each wears a d i s t i n c t i v e costume. And to each p e r t a i n s a c l e a r - c u t set o f standards and taboos, m e t i c u l o u s l y d e f i n e d and s c r u p u l o u s l y f o l l o w e d . Wiat to eat and what not to eat, what to approach and what to shun, w i t h whom to converse, share meals and i n t e r m a r r y : such p e r s o n a l a f f a i r s are minutely r e g u l a t e d , w i t h severe and exacting p e n a l t i e s f o r a c c i d e n t a l as w e l l as f o r i n t e n t i o n a l i n f r i n g e m e n t . The idea i s to preserve without p o l l u t i o n - b y - c o n t a c t the s p e c i f i c s p i r i t u a l f o r c e on which one's e f f i c a c y as a member of a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l s o c i e t y depends... For i n so f a r as the i n d i v i d u a l i s a f u n c t i o n i n g component of the complex s o c i a l organism, h i s concern must be to be-come i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the tasks and i n t e r e s t s o f h i s s o c i a l r o l e , and even to shape to t h i s h i s p u b l i c and p r i v a t e c h a r a c t e r . . . the i n d i v i d u a l i s compelled to become anonymous" (Zimmer 1956:151). When the s p i r i t u a l value d e r i v e d from a l l e g i a n c e to t h i s system, which i s a kind of s a c r i f i c e , i s no l o n g e r experienced and t r u t h i s sought i n more p e r s o n a l , immediate terms, the man-in-the-vrorld has recourse to becoming a s a n y a s i . "Knowledge o f the absolute presupposes not o n l y the r e n u n c i a t i o n o f the world but r e j e c t i o n o f s o c i a l forms" (Dumont 1970b:12) . U n l i k e the man-in-the-world and Western man, he negates the world, at l e a s t i n i t i a l l y . The man-in-the-world's a f f i r m a t i o n l e a d s to an experienced s t a t e of s i n . H i s a c t i v i t y i s e i t h e r that o f e x p r e s s i v e a c t i o n s that give pleasure (kama), or i n s t r u m e n t a l a c t i o n s contingent on d e s i r e , s u f f e r i n g and p o s s e s s i o n s ( a r t h a ) . These a c t i o n s may be commensurate w i t h the t h i r d sphere o f a c t i v i t y (dharma), but are c o n t r a d i c t e d by b i o l o g i c a l i n c l i n a t i o n f r e e d o f s t r u c t u r a l c o n d i t i o n i n g and by the system's premise o f a s t a t e o f p e r f e c t i o n t r a n -scending r e l a t i v e and t r a n s i e n t caste d u t i e s . They produce what i s c a l l e d karma which binds men to t h e i r con-d i t i o n w i t h i n the world. Weber a s s e r t s that the combination o f caste l e g i t i m a c y w i t h the karma d o c t r i n e cannot be the product o f any "economic" c o n d i t i o n s but of r a t i o n a l e t h i c a l thought. He concludes: "The caste system and karma d o c t r i n e p l a c e the i n d i v i d u a l w i t h i n a c l e a r c i r c l e o f d u t i e s and o f f e r him a well-rounded, m e t a p h y s i c a l l y s a t i s f y i n g c o nception of the world. However c e r t a i n and 60 unambiguous t h i s world order might present i t s e l f , the i n d i v i d u a l , once he r a i s e d the q u e s t i o n of the 'meaning 1 of h i s l i f e i n t h i s compensatory mechanism, could ex-p e r i e n c e i t as d r e a d f u l " (Weber 1958:132). Redemption and A l i e n a t i o n The i n d i v i d u a l may be provoked to t h i s experience of l i f e by awareness o f h i s own s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n and the f a i l u r e o f compensatory mechanisms to r e s o l v e paradoxes. The world negation that t h i s l e d to i n I n d i a , (which I s h a l l attempt to show l a t e r was o n l y a p r e l i m i n a r y s t e p ) , would be d e s c r i b e d as metaphysical romanticism by those who take world a f f i r m a t i o n to one l o g i c a l c o n c l u s i o n : f o r example, the view o f m a t e r i a l i s t s that the concepts o f God and s p i r i t are part o f a miasmic i l l u s i o n whether propounded by world a f f i r m a t i s t s or n e g a t i v i s t s ; t h a t power i s vested i n i n s t i t u t i o n s and s u f f e r i n g i s a f u n c t i o n of our a l i e n a t e d experience f o r which man and woman must take p e r s o n a l and c o l l e c t i v e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Such views o f the ma t e r i a l i s t s i n I n d i a s h o r t l y before our era were soon swalloi^ed up by the power o f the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f t h e i r ideas although the power of the ideas s t i l l e x i s t s . One reason f o r the temporary l o s s may be t h e i r p o s s i b l e f a i l u r e to have pr o v i d e d a methodology f o r becoming whole a g a i n such as other systems p r o v i d e d , which I propose to take as the purpose of a r e l i g i o n and the meaning o f r e -demption,, A n a l y t i c a l l y , there are three kinds of redemption i n I n d i a , although redemption i t s e l f i s i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y c a l l e d moksa, s i g n i f y i n g r e l e a s e . A v a i l a b l e to a l l i s an e v e n t u a l c e r t i t u d o s a l u t i s of having f u l f i l l e d r e l i g i o u s o b l i g a t i o n s by l i v i n g i n conformity w i t h the s o c i a l order. This i s the f i r s t kind of redemption. But o n l y the e l e c t , the Brahmans, symbolized by t h e i r r e l a t i v e p u r i t y , are e l e g i b l e f o r imminent redemption. Only they can perform the f i x e d r i t u a l s that are sacraments of redemption. Even f o r them, however, redemption i s l i m i t e d i n n a t u r e . Only Swarga, the f o u r t h paradise i n terms of absolute b l i s s i s a v a i l a b l e by v i r t u e of sacraments, as can be a n t i c i p a t e d ' i n a r e l a t i v e world of ever r e c e d i n g dimensions. None-the l e s s , t h i s r e p r e s e n t s the second kind of redemption o f f e r e d by the system: a v a i l a b l e o n l y to Brahmans. The apparent r e l a t i v i z a t i o n o f redemption and the p o s s i b i l i t y o f purer s t a t u s i n another e x i s t e n c e f o r the man-in-the-world i s d i s p l a y e d by the Hindu pantheon. D e i t i e s are p o r t r a y e d as a l l e g o r i c a l f i g u r e s i n human forms. There are over t h i r t y m i l l i o n o f them rep-r e s e n t i n g n a t u r a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l phenomena, who can be worshipped and p r o p i t i a t e d but not c o n t r o l l e d . They are p e r s o n a l i z e d but inhuman processes whose purposes are 62 obscure. Some are benign and some are malevolent but each i s a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of another more comprehensive d e i t y , c u l m i n a t i n g i n three, a l l e g o r i c a l of cosmic e n e r g i e s , each w i t h a paradise more s p l e n d i d than Swarga, the p a r a d i s e o f Indra, who i s but a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of Vishnu. For Brahmans, Brahma r e p r e s e n t s the u l t i m a t e , unchanging power of the u n i v e r s e w i t h whom union can be found i n s a c r i f i c e . I t i s an impersonal, d i v i n e essence and the u l t i m a t e goal o f a l l that e x i s t s . For non-Brahmans, the pantheon o f gods emphasizes, b o l s t e r s and l e g i t i m i z e s the f i r s t k i n d of redemptions d e f e r r e d and vague i n u l t i m a t e terms but immediate and s a t i s f y i n g on a r e l a t i v e s c a l e . Douglas p o i n t s out that i f h i e r a r c h y i s d i v o r c e d from power, " I n d i a would communicate i n a r e s t r i c t e d code of a l i e n a t i o n " . She would expect s p i r i t to be d i v o r c e d from matter and the system "to c l o t h e the top ranks of the h i e r a r c h y i n the most e t h e r e a l , n o n - p h y s i c a l symbols compatible w i t h m a t e r i a l comfort. Hence the a u s t e r i t i e s o f the s e c t s , which renounce the world by monastic wi t h -drawal, would n a t u r a l l y provide the symbols of s t a t u s f o r w o r l d l y and unworldly Brahmans, whose rank i s d e f i n e d by t h e i r o p p o s i t i o n to the r u l i n g c a s t e . . . " (Douglas 1 9 7 0 : 1 6 3?^)• She c i t e s v e g e t a r i a n i s m as one such s t a t u s symbol. What she says of s e c t s i s a l s o true o f s a n y a s i s , who a l i e n a t e themselves not o n l y from temporal power but a l s o r e l i g i o u s h i e r a r c h y i n the world, seeking a p e r s o n a l s a l v a t i o n more ab s o l u t e than that o f f e r e d by Brahmanic sacraments. T h i s recourse, taken by the s a n y a s i , i s the t h i r d k i nd o f redemption. I t i s the way that K s h a t r i y a s i n p a r t i c u l a r can be expected to take, sharing as they do the i d e a l s and assumptions o f the Brahmans and yet denied the rewards promised by the system (Burridge 1969s88). (This p r e d i c t i o n i s m i t i g a t e d by a d e n i a l of u l t i m a t e rewards to the Brahmans too, u n l e s s they become sa n y a s i s . ) Douglas' phrase, "a r e s t r i c t e d code o f a l i e n a t i o n " needs e l a b o r a t i o n . A l l castes are u n i t e d by u l t i m a t e v a l u e s l e a d i n g t o moksa. This i s the framework of a r e -s t r i c t e d code of communication. S o c i a l u n i t s were recog-n i z a b l e by t e r r i t o r i a l boundaries, but w i t h i n these groupings, other u n i t s , bonded by k i n s h i p and o c c u p a t i o n a l s p e c i a l i z a t i o n , were s t r i c t l y a l i e n a t e d from each o t h e r . The r e l i g i o u s o r i e n t a t i o n towards the whole suppressed s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s , so every man-in-the-world was a l i e n a t e d from h i s s e l f . But by p r o v i d i n g a s p i r i t u a l u n i t y of the whole, the code a l s o compensated f o r t h i s , and p r o v i d e d each person w i t h a way f o r f i n d i n g i n t e g r i t y . Douglas expected the d i a l e c t i c a l process between a r e s t r i c t e d code of language and c u l t u r a l symbols and a s o c i e t y s t r o n g l y c o n t r o l l e d by g r i d and group to l e a d to a p a s s i v e idea o f the s e l f as an u n d i f f s e n t i a t e d element 6h i n a s t r u c t u r a l environment: "Since i n d i v i d u a l m o t i v a t i o n i s i r r e l e v a n t to the demand f o r performance, we would expect to f i n d l i t t l e r e f l e c t i o n on the n o t i o n of the s e l f ; the i n d i v i d u a l i s h a r d l y concerned as a complex agent" (Douglas 1 9 7 0 : 2 8 ) . This i s s u b s t a n t i a t e d by the Indian context and a l l o w s f o r the d e f e r r e d kind of redemption. Dumont takes the l o g i c of Douglas' p r e d i c t i o n a step f u r t h e r : "To say that the world of caste i s a world of r e l a t i o n s i s to say that the p a r t i c u l a r c a s t e , the p a r t i c u l a r man have no substance: they e x i s t e m p i r i c a l l y but they have no r e a l i t y i n thought, no Being...on the ..level of l i f e i n the world the i n d i v i d u a l i s not" (Dumont 1970 s ^ ) . I f a 1 s man-in-the-world r e a l i z e d t h i s , h i s recourse was to leave the world and r e j e c t i t s code u n t i l he found one that s a t i s f i e d him. T h i s i s the redemption sought by the s a n y a s i s , the t h i r d k i n d that I n d i a n s o c i e t y made a v a i l -able to those who were not s a t i s f i e d with the d e f e r r e d kind and d i v o r c e d by d e f i n i t i o n from the second. Tran s m i g r a t i o n In another context Dumont argues that the fundamental u n r e a l i t y of the p a r t i c u l a r being i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the concept o f t r a n s m i g r a t i o n s "The p a r t i c u l a r being a c q u i r e s a r e a l i t y only by e p i t o m i z i n g i n s u c c e s s i o n the sum o f 6 5 p a r t i c u l a r i t i e s found i n the world; a chain o f e x i s t e n c e s i s the e q u i v a l e n t o f a s i n g l e , i n d i v i d u a l , e x i s t e n c e i n the West. Yet there i s a s h o r t - c u t , there i s , that i s , an e x c e p t i o n , a momentous exception to Indian h o l i s m . I t appears from the f a c u l t y — c l a s s i c a l l y r e s e r v e d to Brahmans or the twice-born, but a c t u a l l y enjoyed by a l l — a man has of l e a v i n g the world proper and becoming a renouncer (a Hindu sanyasi or h i s e q u i v a l e n t ) " (Dumont 1965:91)• Trans-m i g r a t i o n t i e s the s o c i a l order, p r e s c r i b e d i n t e g r i t y and consciousness, and d e f e r r e d redemption i n t o one cohesive bundle, each of which i s renounced by the san:/asi. The i d e a o f t r a n s m i g r a t i o n complements the n o t i o n of maya, which denotes, according to Z'immer, not that the e x t e r n a l world and the ego have no r e a l i t y but t h a t "the observed and manipulated world, as w e l l as o f the mind i t s e l f i n the conscious and even subconscious s t r a t i f i -c a t i o n s and powers of the p e r s o n a l i t y " are u n s u b s t a n t i a l and ephemeral i n nature (Zirijmer 1956:19)? - Together they complement the n o t i o n o f karma which holds that d e v i a t i o n from dharma i n one e x i s t e n c e i s p a i d f o r by misfortune i n the next. A l l f o u r are a n a l y t i c concepts. They comprise a t a u t o l o g i c a l package which c o u l d o n l y have been c r e a t e d by a s e l f - c o n s c i o u s i n d i v i d u a l , perhaps to e x p l a i n the c o n d i t i o n o f man-in-the-world, and which were then adopted by Brahman ideologues to e x p l a i n , l e g i t i m i z e , p r e s c r i b e and compensate f o r l i f e i n t r a d i t i o n a l I n d i a . T h i s may 6 6 d i s p l a y not so much i d e o l o g i c a l c h i c a n e r y as the way i n which the temporal was r e l e g a t e d to the s p i r i t u a l and was t h e r e f o r e founded on the absolute order t h a t embraces both the renouncer and the man-in-the-world. Indian r e l i g i o n conceded that s p i r i t u a l access to Absolute T r u t h was p o s s i b l e f o r the i n d i v i d u a l but that i t co u l d o n l y manifest i t s e l f i n a d i l u t e d form i n the f i n i t e , temporal world of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . Thus from the i d e a l i z e d p e r s p e c t i v e of the s a n y a s i , symbols and s o c i a l forms do not c o n t a i n an i n t r i n s i c absolute t r u t h but are to be measured by something extraneous to them. T h i s p e r c e p t i o n i s expressed by C a s s i r e r i n t h i s ways "For a l l mental processes f a i l to grasp r e a l i t y i t s e l f , and i n order to represent i t , to hold i t at a l l , they are d r i v e n to the use o f symbols. But a l l symbolism harbors the curse o f mediacy; i t i s bound to obscure what i t seeks to r e v e a l " ( C a s s i r e r 1 9 & 6 s 7 ) . But f o r the man-in-the-world, s o c i a l forms and symbols are v i t a l organs o f r e a l i t y , r e v e a l i n g processes o f thought, i f not o f being. 67 CHAPTER IV The preceding chapters have d e l i n e a t e d the s o c i a l order of I n d i a , f o c u s i n g on the way i t i s a r t i c u l a t e d to meet a r e l i g i o u s impulse f o r order and consonance, and on the p r i c e t h at the man-in-the-world pays f o r the s o l u t i o n to h i s impulse. The system p o r t r a y e d has l i m i t e d para-l l e l s w i t h p o r t r a i t s o f animal s p e c i e s , x^hich are geared to maximize the s u r v i v a l of the whole. The primary d i f -ference between the two i s , I contend, a human p r o p e n s i t y to experience i n d i v i d u a t i o n , and s p i r i t u a l concerns which may f o l l o w t h i s p r o p e n s i t y . As we have seen, such " d e v i a n t " i n d i v i d u a t i o n i n I n d i a n s o c i e t y i s d e a l t with i n ways short o f k i l l i n g o f f the d e v i a n t , which i s the expedient adopted by animal s p e c i e s , u n l e s s the i n n o v a t i o n i s a mutation that enhances the changes of s u r v i v a l f o r the whole s p e c i e s . I n d i v i d u a t i o n and i n n o v a t i o n can be i n i m i c a l to the s u r v i v a l o f f i x e d and a r b i t r a r y o r d e r s . In t h i s chapter t h i s i n -d i v i d u a t i n g and i n n o v a t i n g p r o p e n s i t y w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n the I n d i a n context. I t i s s o c i a l l y c a t e r e d f o r to s a t i s f y the impulse f o r order without t h r e a t to the s u r v i v a l of the whole, r a t h e r than randomly allowed to f l o u r i s h or die by v i r t u e o f s o l e l y b i o l o g i c a l u s e f u l n e s s . S u r v i v a l and Innovation This chapter c o n s i d e r s the r e l a t i o n s h i p o f the sanyasi to I n d i a n s o c i e t y . As we s h a l l see, most w r i t e r s who deal at a l l w i t h the s a n y a s i approach the subject from the p o i n t o f view o f the f u n c t i o n they see he may perform, as though to answer the q u e s t i o n how can a s o c i e t y as poor as I n d i a t o l e r a t e the e x i s t e n c e o f a s i g n i f i c a n t number o f apparent p a r a s i t e s , who are not expected to do any u t i l i t a r i a n work. The o n l y data that I have found concerning the p r o p o r t i o n they represent of the t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n i s an estimate of e i g h t m i l l i o n i n 1 9 6 l out of about 430 m i l l i o n (Yale 1 9 6 1 : 2 1 1 ) . The approach taken here, f o l l o w i n g Dumont, w i l l be to suggest that the i n s t i t u t i o n o f sanyasan complements a h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i e t y , so that i t s f u n c t i o n i s secondary to i t s s t r u c t u r a l n e c e s s i t y as a way o f coping w i t h the human p r o p e n s i t y to innovate and to seek God i n new ways. The primary d e r i v a t i v e f u n c t i o n i s to provide a dynamic to a c u l t u r e which i s threatened on the one hand by s t u l t i f i c a t i o n and on the other, by c o l l a p s e , i f no pro-v i s i o n i s made f o r i n n o v a t i o n s and i n n o v a t o r s . A l a t e r chapter w i l l examine the kinds o f i n n o v a t i o n s i n t r o d u c e d by s a n y a s i s . That t h i s i s a q u e s t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r l y human pro-p e n s i t i e s i s a t t e s t e d to by the f i n d i n g s of e t h o l o g i s t s As i n the somewhat mechanical p o r t r a i t of Indian s o c i e t y i n the preceding chapters, the s i g n i f i c a n t f e a t u r e o f r e l a t i o n s w i t h i n and betx-zeen animal s p e c i e s i s symbiosis: one l e v e l does not work ag a i n s t another but f o r t h e i r mutual b e n e f i t o A small u n i t o f one s p e c i e s can e x i s t f o r thousands of years without change or "new b l o o d " . L i f e i s maximized f o r the u n i t , and u n l i k e humans,•animals w i l l take the most d r a s t i c step suggested by Douglas o f d e a l i n g w i t h d e v i a n t members, that of k i l l i n g them o f f . The c o s t , as i t were, o f humans behaving i n such a way, would be the p r o h i b i t i o n , or d e n i a l , of s e l f - c o n s c i o u s experience and of channels f o r p e r s o n a l development. The transcendent would be crushed by a s t a t i c , s e c u l a r system based on ownership o f the land and an u n a s s a i l a b l e i d e o l o g y of c o n t r a d i c t i o n s . The i d e o l o g y would e v e n t u a l l y become redundant as each budding c r i t i c a l f a c u l t y was a n n i h i l a t e d . The s a n y a s i t h e r e f o r e r e p r e s e n t s a " s a f e t y - v a l v e f o r the Brahmanic order which g i v e s a permanent place to the transcendent, while remaining out of the range of i t s a t t a c k s " (Dumont 1970bs51) The Brahmanic order was absolute i n the sense o f imposing i t s r u l e s on everyone w i t h i n i t s law and r e l i g i o n were one (as manifested by dharma), and the i n d i v i d u a l d i d not e x i s t . The recourse f o r those who d i d not conform was to leave i t . Such a person, the s a n y a s i , exchanged the a u t h o r i t y of s o c i e t y f o r h i s own. In place o f the d i f -f i c u l t i e s o f a p r o d u c t i v e member o f s o c i e t y contingent on attachments, o b l i g a t i o n s and the n e c e s s i t y of work, he exchanged the e x i s t e n t i a l s u f f e r i n g contingent on making p e r s o n a l e t h i c a l c h o i c e s , u n c o n s t r a i n e d by the busy a c t i v i t y o f the householder. Being dependent on the householder, he d i d not c o n t r a d i c t the householder's ex-per i e n c e although he negated i t . The va l u e s and r e l a t i o n -ships that f i x and s u s t a i n the householder are r e j e c t e d along w i t h t r a n s m i g r a t i o n . For these, the san y a s i sub-s t i t u t e s a quest f o r the attainment o f e t e r n a l l i f e . He s t r i v e s to l i b e r a t e h i m s e l f from the human c o n d i t i o n , seeking what, i n Western e s c h a t a l o g i c a l terms, has been r e f e r r e d to as "the coming o f man to h i m s e l f " ("to h i s a u t h e n t i c i t y and p r i m o r d i a l i t y " ) (Moltmann 1 9 6 7 s 4 6 ) . He i s now beset, i n popular s t e r e o t y p i c terms, by the human paradoxes o f p e r s o n a l s e l f - d i s c o v e r y and cosmic s e l f - s u r r e n d e r , s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n and a l i e n a t i o n and transcendent i n t e g r a t i o n . The next three chapters i n v e s t i g a t e what a p p l i c a t i o n they may have, i f any, i n the Indian context. For example, s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n i s a sanctioned stage, that o f the hermit, i n h i s endeavour t o be t r a n s c e n d e n t l y i n t e g r a t e d w i t h Brahma, the source o f being. Furthermore, since t h i s i s p a r t o f the t o t a l order, i t may be that the con-n o t a t i o n s o f s o c i a l a l i e n a t i o n are not p e r t i n e n t to the s a n y a s i . To Westerners u n f a m i l i a r w i t h m e t a p h y s i c a l concepts o f freedom, -&s4 the i d e a o f a " l i b e r a t e d man" i n a context where i t seems l i k e another r o l e that can be chosen c o n d i t i o n a l on renouncing s o c i e t y i s p a r a d o x i c a l and even f r a u d u l e n t . T h i s view i s f u r t h e r s u s t a i n e d by the small p r o v i s i o n made f o r " l i b e r a t e d women". I f sanyasan was a s t y l i z e d way o f coping with i n n o v a t i v e 71 non-conformists, then i t r e p r e s e n t s a c u l t u r a l a d a p t a t i o n safeguarding the s u r v i v a l o f Indians s o c i a l o rder. I f women could have been more i n n o v a t i v e , then there would have been more female s a n y a s i s . This l i n e o f argument can be c l a r i f i e d by c o n s i d e r i n g the present s i t u a t i o n o f the world. I t i s c u r r e n t l y being s a i d that i n order to guarantee the s u r v i v a l of the human s p e c i e s , men and women must see themselves as belonging to a g l o b a l community i n which fre e market f o r c e s can no l o n g e r operate to a l l o w i n d i v i d u a l s to maximize p a r t i a l i n t e r e s t s without en-dangering the s u r v i v a l of a l l : r e s o u r c e s would be ex-hausted and c o n d i t i o n s f o r p l a n t and animal l i f e d estroyed. Whatever the advocacy of g l o b a l s a l v a t i o n , s o l u t i o n s are of two k i n d s : e i t h e r i n d i v i d u a l s can become conscious o f t h e i r own p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the process and re g u l a t e them-s e l v e s by, f o r example, determining p e r s o n a l consumption and waste u t i l i z a t i o n p a t t e r n s ; or, l e g i s l a t i o n can be imposed. For the l a t t e r to work, however, i t would need to be based on i n t e r n a l i z e d moral a t t i t u d e s and v a l u e s , which would themselves be the product o f o b j e c t i v e pro-d u c t i o n and consumptionr.patterns mediated by a s t r u c t u r e o f accepted b e l i e f s concerning p o l l u t i o n . Rules o f i n g e s t i o n and e x c r e t i o n might not i n that case be very d i f f e r e n t from the o p p o s i t i o n o f pure and impure adopted i n t r a d i t i o n a l I n d i a . I f such b e l i e f s were adopted g l o b a l l y , the m o r a l i t y s u s t a i n i n g i t might approach a 7 2 u n i v e r s a l e t h i c . The challenge t h a t the I n d i a n example poses however, i s the c r e a t i o n o f a s o c i e t y o f s e l f - c o n s c i o u s , s e l f - r e g u l a t i n g members, n e i t h e r a l i e n a t e d from themselves by adopting a h i e r a r c h y , nor from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n i t by having to leave i t i n order to d i s c o v e r the s e l f . This i s e f f e c t i v e l y to ask f o r the c r e a t i o n of a s o c i e t y o f i n -d i v i d u a l s . The concept " i n d i v i d u a l " , a p p l i c a b l e to s a n y a s i s , w i l l now be examined w i t h the p r o v i s o that a f t e r i t s exam-i n a t i o n , t h i s s e c t i o n can o n l y be concluded by c o n f e s s i n g that the challenge o f g l o b a l s a l v a t i o n can o n l y be met by a temporary, compromise job. I n d i v i d u a t i o n Dumont suggests that the category " i n d i v i d u a l " can be thought o f i n two ways. F i r s t there i s the p h y s i c a l phenomenon, an e m p i r i c a l agent; and secondly there i s the mental c o n s t r u c t of the i n d i v i d u a l , who i s a r a t i o n a l being and the normative su b j e c t o f i n s t i t u t i o n s . In t h i s l a t t e r sense the i n d i v i d u a l i s a c o n f i g u r a t i o n of v a l u e s who b e l i e v e s that h i s d e s t i n y i s i n h i s own hands and who " i n c a r n a t e s the whole of mankind". He i s r e p l a c e d i n I n d i a as the b e a r e r o f values by Dharma, the u n i v e r s a l o r d e r . Those that l i v e under i t s sway cannot d e v i a t e from the p a t t e r n s that work f o r the w e l l - b e i n g o f the 73 whole. The s m a l l e s t elementary u n i t where order i s present i s the subject o f I n d i a n s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s (Dumont 1970a: 5-10; 1970btl !+l). By renouncing c a s t e , the s a n y a s i "becomes to h i m s e l f h i s own end" as the i n d i v i d u a l l i v e s i n the s o c i a l theory of the west. Dumont m o d i f i e s t h i s view o f the sanyasi i n two ways. F i r s t there can be no such t h i n g as a t o t a l l y i n d i v i d u a l -i s t i c world because every i n d i v i d u a l must use s o c i a l l y l e a r n t c a t e g o r i e s of thought, and secondly, l i v i n g v ery o f t e n by alms and by preaching, the sanyasi s t i l l has r e l a t i o n s w i t h s o c i e t y and cannot be s a i d to have r e a l l y l e f t i t . Although he has f o r s a k e n s o c i a l r o l e s , he now adopts a r o l e which, transcending man and s o c i e t y , i s both u n i v e r s a l and p e r s o n a l and t h e r e f o r e " i s r i g h t l y i n -cluded i n the d e f i n i t i o n of the system" (Dumont 1958:17). Evidence that he nonetheless a c q u i r e s an i n d i v i d u a t e d o u t l o o k i s f u r n i s h e d by the founding o f s e c t s . These are open to a l l , and t h e r e f o r e , l i k e the s a n y a s i , transcend caste and serve as a means o f p r o s e l e t y z i n g to the man-i n - t h e - w o r l d . Dumont a t t r i b u t e s a l l " i n v e n t i o n s " to the renouncer, which a r i s e from h i s unique p o s i t i o n o f being able to q u e s t i o n the system and i t s b e l i e f s . Together they may " r e l a t i v i z e " past v a l u e s , but when new d o c t r i n e s c l a s h e d w i t h them a c l e a r l i n e was drawn between s p i r i t u a l t r u t h and normative codes: "the d e n i a l of i m p u r i t y and s o c i a l h i e r a r c h y i s q u i t e n a t u r a l f o r the renouncer because 7h he transcends...the s o c i a l world. Therefore i t i s enough to suppose that the renouncers taught the men-in-the-world t h e i r own t r u t h as the absolute t r u t h , without having i n -tended to do away w i t h the other aspects of c a s t e , being content to degrade i t i n t h i s way from a r e l i g i o u s f a c t to a p u r e l y s o c i a l f a c t " (Dumont 1970a:190). T h i s i s borne out by Fuchs i n h i s book o f Indian messianic movements, R e b e l l i o u s Prophets. New t r u t h s w i t h im-p l i c a t i o n s of change i n the s o c i a l order are i n t r o d u c e d i n t r i b a l areas where the Brahmanic Order can be p r e -sumed to be weak, or where s o c i a l or e t h i c a l c o n f u s i o n e x i s t e d as a r e s u l t o f new technology and western, i n -d i v i d u a l i s t i c thought. Other evidence o f the i n d i v i d u a t i o n c i t e d by Dumont i s that o f the c r e a t i o n of the b h a k t i c u l t s where the devotee s t r i v e s to i d e n t i f y h i m s e l f w i t h a p e r s o n a l God. To hold a b e l i e f i n a p e r s o n a l god, the b e l i e v e r must be able to see h i m s e l f as an i n d i v i d u a l . The a g g r e g a t i o n of such c u l t s i n t o the main stream o f V a i s h n a v i t e Hinduism i l l u s t r a t e s the complementarity o f the s a n y a s i ' s r e l i g i o n o f choice and that of the r e l i g i o n of the group. The i n d i v i d u a l i s m o f the s a n y a s i i s nonetheless of a d i f f e r e n t k i n d to that o f the economic i n d i v i d u a t i o n of the west. A l l the s a n y a s i ' s e f f o r t s tend towards the e x t i n c t i o n or transcendence; of an uncomfortable i n d i v i d -u a l i t y maintained by the e x e r c i s e of w i l l (Dumont 1970b :*+!?). 75 They have no need to present a p a r t i a l or false s e l f to others and i n fact, a l l four yogic d i s c i p l i n e s stress the control of unconscious drives so that the t h e o r e t i c a l concept of a t o t a l being can emerge, very d i f f e r e n t from the i n d i v i d u a l of western society. "Engaged i n a quite d i f f e r e n t order of r e a l i t y , unconcerned about a s e l f which they regard with suspicion, yet s o c i a l l y absolutely safe because of the role they have taken up, sadhus sesm to suffer from no s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n " (Brent 1972:304). It appears that the sanyasi i s both nobody and everybody. The Buddha gave ontological significance to the e s s e n t i a l nonentity of a person and as far as h i s re-l a t i o n s with society are concerned he i s nobody, (unless he adopts a p a r t i c u l a r function such as teaching);. Others can make what they w i l l with him. By virtue of this he i s anyone, and, perhaps i n honour to the great respect accorded his r o l e , usually a virtuous i d e a l . He i s said moreover to be one with Brahma, the ultimate A l l . "A yogin sees himself i n a l l things and a l l things i n him-s e l f " (Bhandarkar 1965:16) . Some found Ramakrishna to be God the Father, others the baby Krishna, others master (to t h e i r servant) and others Father and Mother combined: " A l l found something d i f f e r e n t i n the Master, and each discovered there some at t r a c t i v e p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of the Divine that elevated his mind" (Yale 1 9 6 l : 5 D « Swami Shyam Sunderdass, head of an ashram i n Hardwar asserts: "And as for the d i s c i p l e , i t i s as i f the Guru represented the whole world the whole u n i v e r s e " (Brent 1 9 7 2 s 7 2 ) . The ambivalence o f such a s s e r t i o n s d o u b t l e s s provok^sthe f r u s t r a t e d and sub-l i m a t e d s e x u a l i t y hypotheses to account f o r the phenomenon of the guru and h i s sanyasi d i s c i p l e s . These w i l l be exam i n e d l a t e r , but f i r s t the phenomenon i t s e l f w i l l be d i s -cussed i n terms of whether or not the apparent adoption of such a r o l e as guru i s compatible w i t h what has been s a i d so f a r about the s a n y a s i . Gurus Dubois wrote that "Gurus, as a r u l e , rank f i r s t i n s o c i e t y . They o f t e n ree'eive tokens o f r e s p e c t , or r a t h e r of a d o r a t i o n , that are not o f f e r e d to the gods them-s e l v e s " (Dubois 1 9 0 6 : 1 2 9 , 1 3 0 ) . They are then, i n Hindu metaphysical theory, those s a n y a s i s who, to use a metaphor of Western s l a n g , have made i t , which r a i s e s the spectre of g l o r i f i e d t eachers doing v i o l e n c e to the experience o f a young sanyasi e n t e r i n g an uncharted world and t r y i n g to f r e e h i m s e l f from the c o n d i t i o n i n g of the o l d one. The guru, however, i s not a teacher but a guide, a sheet anchor i n a p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous voyage, who can i n t r o d u c a new sanyasi to some t i m e - t e s t e d techniques o f decondi-t i o n i n g and s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n . They may or may not have "made i t " themselves. Most i n s i s t they have done no such t h i n g , m a i n t a i n i n g that the g o a l may be i n d e s c r i b a b l e but nonetheless a t t a i n a b l e : the way to i t can be found by a d i s c i p l i n e d passage through d i f f e r e n t s t a t e s o f conscious-ness. Because the guru has been through some o f them him-s e l f he can p o i n t out when the d i s c i p l e i s g e t t i n g stuck i n one of them. He can help i n h i b i t i n h i s d i s c i p l e s those elementary human i n c l i n a t i o n s which are inimical".-: t o the g o a l o f d e c o n d i t i o n i n g . D i s c i p l e s j o i n e d gurus i n order to g a i n a t r a n s f e r e n c e of knowledge. A s s o c i a t i o n w i t h an exemplary guru was c o n s i d e r e d s u f f i c i e n t l e a r n i n g experience i f the student ( a d h i k a r i n ) f e l t t r u s t and reverence, and was s u f f i c i e n t l y eager to l e a r n . Formal i n s t r u c t i o n was unnecessary, or had been l e a r n t as a student. The power o f the guru was augmented by orthodox i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n at the same time as i t was checked by i t . T h i s place f o r the r o l e of the guru w i t h i n the t o t a l system embraced by Brahmanism would have moderated the t e n s i o n that must have p r e v a i l e d between the Brahman p r i e s t h o o d and h o l y men o f f e r i n g s a l v a t i o n ex opere operato. Not a l l gurus are n e c e s s a r i l y s a n y a s i s . Brahman house-h o l d e r s can become gurus f o r other householders, a t r a -d i t i o n most evident i n the Suddh A d v a i t a d o c t r i n e founded by V a l l a b h a c h a r y a i n the e a r l y s i x t e e n t h c entury. His descendants are householder gurus f o r b h a k t i devotees. A c c o r d i n g to one o f them, S r i D i x i t j i Maharaj, they say that " e m o t i o n a l l y renouncing e v e r y t h i n g to God,...we are the servants o f God" (Brent; 1972:189). The m o t i f o f surrender coupled w i t h that o f s e r v i c e i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h devotees s t i l l w i t h i n s o c i e t y . But the concept o f surrender, about which more vri.ll be s a i d i n a l a t e r chapter, i s found i n other forms. P r o f e s s o r J a i n says o f h i s guru, Swami Muktananda, whose f o r c e f u l p e r s o n a l i t y p r e s i d e s over a t h r i v i n g ashram: " i f you are r e a l l y able to give y o u r s e l f and to accept h i s w i l l i n every matter, to b r i n g y o u r s e l f completely i n harmony wit h h i s w i l l , then you f i n d y o u r s e l f i n the p r o c e s s . . . And g i v i n g y o u r s e l f to him doesn't mean l o s i n g your i n -d i v i d u a l i t y ; on the c o n t r a r y your i n d i v i d u a l i t y becomes s t r o n g e r " (Brent 1972:269). Here again the quest i s f o r "your supreme d i v i n e p e r s o n a l i t y " . For any p r e c i s e understanding o f the nature of the g u r u - d i s c i p l e r e l a t i o n s h i p , each guru and each sect needs to be t r e a t e d s e p a r a t e l y , w i t h c l o s e a t t e n t i o n to the t r a n s l a t i o n o f terms such as i n d i v i d u a l i t y and p e r s o n a l i t y . U n f o r t u n a t e l y there i s very l i t t l e i n f o r m a t i o n at a l l on s a n y a s i s and most o f Western i n v e s t i g a t i o n has concentrated on the sanyasi as guru. Quotations such as the two above l e n d themselves to two e x p l a n a t o r y models proposed by Brent. He suggests that r e n u n c i a t i o n i s the one area f o r a c h i e v i n g s t a t u s and developing t a l e n t i n a too t i g h t l y o rganized s o c i e t y but t h a t , while s e r v i n g as a s a f e t y - v a l v e , the 79 guru-disciple relationship i s simply a p r a l l e l authoritarian structure, though an alternative one. Brent contrasts the role of the guru to the role of the psychoanalyst i n Western society. The former i s a teacher concerned with transcendence over that section of the mind which makes us aware of the s e l f , whereas the l a t t e r i s a doctor who uses that same part of the mind to "reconstruct the ego-sense". The former i s a model for s p i r i t u a l as-pirants to emulate so that •oneness' may be found with the absolute. The l a t t e r i s a neutral analyst dealing with the psychologically maimed, who must dismiss s p i r i t u a l aims as u n r e a l i s t i c or outside his competence (Brent 1 9 7 2 : 2 9 5 - 2 9 9 ) . He also suggests that the guru-shishya relationship i s an i d e a l father-son r e l a t i o n s h i p . The guru represents an avenue of rescue from the r i g i d i t i e s of r e l a t i o n s i n society. By becoming a guru's d i s c i p l e , the "son" seems to choose his "father" but l i v e s i n p o t e n t i a l l y deluded, happy slavery, despite being provided with a focus for his s p i r i t u a l drive. The former contention may be true of that "daemonic" type of guru categorized by Emmett. This type "has not achieved their sense of freedom from a sense of personal importance" and y i e l d s to a Fuhrer-Prinzip (Emmett 19^6:22). It does not describe other sanyasis or gurus. The other argument i s also presented by Ca r s t a i r s , who l i k e Brent, presents psychological arguments to explain the phenomenon, 80 which w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n another chapter. He a l s o r e f e r s to the guru as a f a t h e r , unambivalent and d i s i n t e r e s t e d , but p o i n t s out too h i s r o l e as mediator and "moral a d v i s e r " , r e p r e s e n t i n g as he does a d e s i r a b l e i d e a l ( C a r s t a i r s 1957? ^5-^7)« The a b i l i t y to r e s o l v e moral c o n f l i c t s would appear to be r e s e r v e d to people who have transcended c e r t a i n paradoxical s i t u a t i o n s o f s o c i a l l i f e . The sanyasi i s somebody who has renounced attachments that l e a d to many such c o n f l i c t s , which makes him amenable to t h i s d e r i v a t i v e f u n c t i o n of h i s r o l e . The Sanyasi and S o c i e t y What i s undeniable about the sanyasi i s h i s power, which i s not d e r i v e d from s e c u l a r a u t h o r i t y , though given unbounded s e c u l a r deference. Indians t r a d i t i o n a l l y be-l i e v e d that a l l power comes from God, a God that embraces good and e v i l . Sanyasis are e x c e p t i o n a l i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h that k i n d of emotional or s p i r i t u a l poxrer Weber c a l l e d charisma. T h i s kind o f e x t r a l e g i t i m a t e a u t h o r i t y can e i t h e r be e t h i c a l so t h a t the bearer becomes a preacher o f new moral demands, or exemplary, so that the bearer e x e m p l i f i e s a new way of l i f e . In her a r t i c l e s on prophets, Emmett c r i t i c i z e s t h i s d e s i g n a t i o n because i t i s too g e n e r a l . T h i s c r i t i c i s m i s v a l i d when a p p l i e d 81 to sanyasis. While many can be described i n Weber's terms, there are many who do not have followers owing them personal allegiance which i s a condition of a s c r i p t i o n for this type. Emmett also c r i t i c i z e s Durkheim 1s functional analysis of prophets, which might be applied to sanyasis as to criminals. Sanyasis may prevent r i g i d i t y i n moral codes but are not s o c i a l l y condemned deviants as Durkheim implies. They also prepare the way for new sentiments of c o l l e c t i v e conscience but these changes only occur when other conditions i n society-have prepared i t for them. Like the prophet, the sanyasi i s a holy man, separate from the ordinary s o c i a l system. Unlike prophets i n some so c i e t i e s , he has a s o c i a l l y recognized framework of ex-pression. They may be lonely s p i r i t u a l pioneers but they also have a recognized role i n r e l a t i o n to Indian r i t u a l and l i t u r g y , an opposition Emmett makes i n regard to prophets. They were not however revolutionary free lancers, though they may have appealed "against contemporary abuses to what are presented as ancient and purer t r a d i t i o n s " . Granted s p i r i t u a l progress towards the r e a l i z a t i o n of be-coming a t o t a l being i s what the l i f e of the sanyasi i s dedicated to, there are four t r a d i t i o n a l ways for doing t h i s . It may be that each of these ways correspond to one of the castes and the d i s p o s i t i o n attributed to them. There i s also a p a r a l l e l between sanyasis following these ways and Emmett's typology of prophets. She points out that 82 these types may o v e r l a p and i t may not be exhaustive o f a l l kinds of s a n y a s i s . The way o f jnana y o g i s i s through d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and knowledge. L i k e moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l l e a d e r s they may be founders and i n n o v a t o r s and may work w i t h i n the s o c i a l o r d e r . Raja y o g i s seek God by mediation and contemplation w i t h the i n t e n t o f rousing the k u n d a l i n i . T h i s i s p o s s i b l y the o l d e s t way of b u i l d i n g on pre-Vedic shamanistic technique and can take v i s i o n a r y or o r g i a s t i c forms as i n t a n t r i s m . Bhakti yoga i s the way o f progress through love o f God. As i n karma yoga, the way o f de v o t i o n and s e r v i c e i s s t r e s s e d . What Emmett says o f the v o c a t i o n a l person who " l e a r n s to l i v e as a servant o f some work which i s g r e a t e r than h i s own purposes" can be s a i d of the f o l l o w e r s o f these l a s t two ways. The paradox o f suspending p e r s o n a l ambitions while a p p a r e n t l y s t r i v i n g f o r a state w i t h i m p l i c a t i o n s to one's p e r s o n a l sta t e o f l i v i n g i s r e -f l e c t e d by the numbers o f f o l l o w e r s of these ways who d i s p l a y Weber's charisma and by the e x i s t e n c e here of the daemonic type. I t may be that s a n y a s i s i n s e c t s guided by these d i s c i p l i n e s do not n e c e s s a r i l y take the vows of r e n u n c i a t i o n as i s the case o f the V a l l a b h a c h a r y a s e c t . The sanyasi d i s p l a y s an u n o b l i g i n g unreadiness to f i t i n t o the c a t e g o r i e s p r o v i d e d by Douglas, d e s p i t e being the product of a s o c i e t y s t r o n g l y a r t i c u l a t e d by g r i d and group. Despite s t r i v i n g f o r what she c a l l s a romantic i d e a l o f p u r i t y and b e l i e v i n g i n pure s p i r i t , they do not r e j e c t s o c i e t y , which a f t e r a l l i s not working to t h e i r l o s s . S i m i l a r l y they do not r e j e c t the body, nor h o l d i t to be e v i l . They do t r y to master i t s autonomous working. Furthermore, d e s p i t e t h e i r e n t r y i n t o " i n a c c e s s i b l e r e g i ons (beyond the c o n f i n e s of s o c i e t y ) " , where they g a i n power "not a v a i l a b l e to those who have stayed i n c o n t r o l o f themselves and of s o c i e t y " , they do not c o n s t i t u t e a m i l l e n n i a l i s t t h r e a t to I n d i a n s o c i e t y . The c o n t r a s t she makes between r i t u a l -i s t s and a n t i - r i t u a l i s t s does not apply to men-in-the-world and s a n y a s i s , except to the extent that sanyasis i n t e r n a l i z e r e l i g i o u s experience and may adopt humanistic p h i l o s o p h i e s . The s a n y a s i does not r e j e c t e x t e r n a l forms since he owes h i s being and i d e n t i t y to them. He i l l u s t r a t e s a d i f f e r e n c e between tr a n s c e n d i n g s o c i a l v a l u e s and being a l i e n a t e d from them. Although he adopts an e l a b o r a t e d and p e r s o n a l code of communication, h i s g e n e r a l c o s m o l o g i c a l i d e a s are not l i k e those of the Western i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i z e d by s t o r e set on p e r s o n a l success, doing good to humanity, and of f e e l i n g h i m s e l f alone e x p e r i e n c i n g g e n e r a l i z e d g u i l t . His r e l i g i o n may be p e r s o n a l but h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to God i s a f e e l i n g o f oneness so that t h e o l o g i c a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s and c u l t s are t h e o r e t i c a l l y redundant. H 6 l i v e s i n a world uncon-t r o l l e d by g r i d or group, but i t i s q u a l i f i e d by h i s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h and r o l e i n a world opposite i n charac-t e r . Far from q u a l i f y i n g the c o s m o l o g i c a l i d e a s Douglas 8^ a s s o c i a t e s w i t h such a world, t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p seems to render them i n a p p r o p r i a t e or redundant. This can o n l y be e x p l a i n e d by the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t the sanyasi can a c q u i r e a t o t a l i t y of being which transcends the a r t i f i c i a l o p p o s i -t i o n posed between the two types o f s o c i e t y , as w e l l as the o p p o s i t i o n between matter and s p i r i t , between e x t e r n a l form and extreme value on p e r s o n a l consciousness. Douglas wrote that the " f i n a l paradox o f the search f o r p u r i t y i s that i t i s an attempt to f o r c e experience i n t o leg i c a l c a t e g o r i e s o f n o n - c o n t r a d i c t i o n . But experience i s not amenable and those who make the attempt f i n d themselves l e d i n t o con-t r a d i c t i o n " (Douglas 1 9 6 6 : 1 6 2 ) . Abetted by a p r e s c r i b e d stage of hermitage, by vows o f s i l e n c e , and y o g i c techniques, when l e a r n t l o g i c a l c a t e g o r i e s are forsaken, s a n y a s i s have d i s c o v e r e d ways towards a transcendant experience beyond the d i s t i n c t i o n s o f a n a l y t i c l o g i c . However that may be e x p e r i e n t i a l l y , the s a n y a s i ' s apparent h o l i n e s s does draw a t t e n t i o n to other l e v e l s of e x i s t e n c e . By i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n and s a c r a l i z a t i o n o f h i s r o l e outside s o c i e t y , s o c i e t y reduces the anomaly he would be w i t h i n s o c i e t y . Sanyasan i s l i k e "a c u l t of the paradox o f the u l t i m a t e u n i t y o f l i f e and death" (Douglas: 1 9 6 6 : 1 7 6 ) . Owing no group a l l e g i a n c e , the s a n y a s i takes r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the d i v i s i o n between i d e a l and r e a l i t y by i n c a r n a t i n g an i d e a l . D i v o r c e d from the bonds o f s o c i e t y he can do t h i s without o t h e r s having to take the s t r a i n of him f a l l i n g short or f a i l i n g . A s a i n t may not recognize the kinds of bonds, o b l i g a t i o n s and demands that l u b r i c a t e f a m i l y l i f e . To spare the members the sort of n o n - p a r t i c i p a t i o n that h o l i n e s s i m p l i e s , the s a i n t renounces the f a m i l y . Renun-c i a t i o n became a conjunct to s o c i e t y f o r i t s members' as w e l l as the renouncer's purposes and b e n e f i t . In In d i a the choice was e i t h e r the p u r s u i t of s p i r i t u a l absolutes and a process of i n d i v i d u a t i o n at the cost of s o c i a l bonds and t h e i r comfort, or a s o c i a l and r e l i g i o u s con-f o r m i t y at the cost of i n d i v i d u a t i o n . The sanyasi chose the former and so was freed of the leavening of compromise and moral r e l a t i v i s m contingent to c i v i l e x i s t e n c e . 86 CHAPTER V P e r i p h e r i e s and Language Douglas suggests that a s o c i e t y such as Indians, s t r o n g l y c o n t r o l l e d by g r i d and group, may have a p e r i p h e r y whose symbolic mode and gen e r a l b e l i e f s w i l l be s i m i l a r to those of a s o c i a l system w i t h weak c o n t r o l by g r i d and group. A p e r i p h e r a l c l a s s she d e f i n e s as "one which f e e l s l e s s the c o n s t r a i n t s o f g r i d and group than other c l a s s e s of people w i t h i n i t s s o c i a l ambit, and expresses t h i s freedom i n the p r e d i c t e d way, by shaggier, more b i z a r r e appearances" (Douglas 1970:8l+). In Chapter II i t was shown that the a s s o c i a t i o n s Douglas p r e d i c t e d be-tween s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e and symbolic systems h e l d true f o r Ind i a n s o c i e t y . For the p e r i p h e r y o f such a s o c i e t y she p r e d i c t s that moral judgement w i l l l a c k c l e a r d e f i n i t i o n and i t s symbolic mode w i l l be spontaneous as f o r a weakly a r t i c u l a t e d s o c i e t y . She a s s e r t s moreover that i t s s p i r i t u a l resources w i l l be p e r i p h e r a l i n o r i g i n and i t s a t t i t u d e to trance s t a t e s ambivalent and manipulated to secure advantages i n the s o c i e t y to which i t i s p e r i p h e r a l . Having argued that s a n y a s i s are both separated from s o c i e t y and yet can be i n c l u d e d i n a d e f i n i t i o n o f the whole system and i n l i g h t o f some of t h e i r m a n i f e s t l y b i z a r r e appearance, they might be c l a s s i f i e d as j u s t such a p e r i p h e r y . However, t h i s chapter w i l l attempt to show that they do not s t r i c t l y f o l l o w the p a t t e r n 87 p r e d i c t e d o f a p e r i p h e r y . Sanyasis are not, f o r i n s t a n c e , i n t e r e s t e d i n s e c u r i n g advantages i n the s o c i e t y they have renounced. The symbols, r i t u a l s and cosmological i d e a s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h them are a n t i c i p a t e d to be a more accommoda-t i n g mixture o f those p a t t e r n s d e s c r i b e d i n Chapter I I and of e f f e r v e s c e n t d i v e r s i t y . I f t h i s i s the case i t w i l l sub-s t a n t i a t e the c l a i m that the s a n y a s i s , as i n d i v i d u a l s , are not a l i e n a t e d from and opposite to the c o l l e c t i v e world he renounces. T h i s hypothesis w i l l be t e s t e d by i n v e s t i -g a t i n g a d i f f u s e range of symbols and r i t u a l s as w e l l as some o f the a s s e r t i o n s made towards the end of the l a s t chapter. The most obvious symbolic form i s language, w i t h which Douglas makes an extensive analogy to r i t u a l (Douglas 1970: 2 2 - 2 4 ) . She focuses on the work of B e r n s t e i n who attempts to show that the choice o f speech forms determines the p e r c e p t i o n or grasp o f r e a l i t y ( t h a t i n f i n i t e and p o s s i b l y d i s o r d e r e d realm o f phenomena). S o c i a l determinants c o n t r o l the form of speech that i s chosen. Thus i n s i t u a t i o n s o f a s c r i b e d r o l e c a t e g o r i e s , ( a s c r i b e d by the c r i t e r i a o f sex, r e l a t i v e age and s t a t u s ) , such as the Indian extended f a m i l y or caste, a r e s t r i c t e d code i s l e a r n t which con-veys i n f o r m a t i o n but a l s o r e i n f o r c e s the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n . Quoting B e r n s t e i n , she w r i t e s that i t "helps s u s t a i n s o l i d a r i t y w i t h the group at the cost o f v e r b a l s i g n a l l i n g of the unique d i f f e r e n c e s o f i t s members". The a c t o r s 8 8 share the same assumptions and t h e i r values "are l e a r n t i n terms o f the g i v e n s t r u c t u r e " . An e l a b o r a t e d code, however, can a l s o a r i s e i n highly-d i f f e r e n t i a t e d s i t u a t i o n s "where the speakers do not accept or n e c e s s a r i l y know one another's fundamental assumptions". Since i t s f u n c t i o n i s to d i s c o v e r or examine d i f f e r e n c e s i n the p e r c e p t i o n o f r e a l i t y and to cope with new d i s -c o v e r i e s , where i t has the f u n c t i o n " o f making e x p l i c i t unique i n d i v i d u a l p e r c e p t i o n s , and b r i d g i n g d i f f e r e n t i n i t i a l assumptions", i t has no g i v e n s t r u c t u r e to ex-p r e s s , except that which i t c r e a t e s by v i r t u e o f ex-p r e s s i n g i t . What It expresses w i l l o f course be a r e -combination o f what e x i s t s , hew " c a p t a " from the realm of phenomena. Such an e l a b o r a t e d code one would expect to be used by s a n y a s i s i n I n d i a f o r B e r n s t e i n ' s t h e s i s to h o l d t r u e . I t would take a l i n g u i s t to t e s t f o r r e -s t r i c t e d codes i n I n d i a n f a m i l i e s but, as i t t u r n s out, the g r e a t e r p a r t o f post-Vedic p h i l o s o p h i c s p e c u l a t i o n , which must f a l l i n t o the category o f an e l a b o r a t e d code by d e f i n i t i o n , i s a s c r i b a b l e to s a n y a s i s , who, f r e e d of r e s t r i c t e d s o c i a l u n i t s , can l e a d as d i f f e r e n t i a t e d ex-i s t e n c e s as they p l e a s e . Nothing and anything i s a v a i l -able to them. The Upanishads comprise the most remarkable o f t h i s l i t e r a t u r e whose g r e a t e s t achievement, ac c o r d i n g to the E n c y c l o p a e d i a o f R e l i g i o n and E t h i c s was "to have e s t a b l i s h e d the f i r m b e l i e f i n a transcendent cause o f the world, an impersonal and unmoral God m y s t e r i o u s l y 89 i d e n t i c a l w i t h one's s e l f " . I n dian s o c i e t y as a whole i s so d i f f e r e n t i a t e d that the task o f f i n d i n g symbolic e x p r e s s i o n f o r the whole o f i t i s performed by men who have denied a l l e g i a n c e to any s i n g l e p a r t o f i t and so can draw on the f u l l range o f r e a l i t y o f which each p a r t expresses a p o r t i o n . Douglas makes no p r e d i c t i o n about the kinds o f language she would expect a p e r i p h e r a l group to use. Nonetheless, f o r c o n s i s t e n c y i t would probably develop a r e s t r i c t e d code o f i t s own. I t s members would probably be capable o f sw i t c h i n g to the s o c i e t y ' s code when i t was convenient f o r them. I t might a l s o c o n t a i n i t s own e s o t e r i c forms, such as e c s t a t i c p o e t r y . Some w r i t i n g s by s a n y a s i s were of t h i s nature, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the b h a k t i c u l t s , but the mainstream o f sanyasis developed codes that complemented and developed s o c i e t y ' s . The symbolism a s s o c i a t e d w i t h them can t h e r e f o r e be expected to express t h i s separate yet complementary r e l a t i o n w i t h s o c i e t y . In order to e l u c i d a t e i t b e t t e r , the methodology used i n Chapter I I w i l l be i n v e r t e d to see what the symbols and r i t u a l s o f sanyasan can r e v e a l about the s a n y a s i ' s p l a c e i n that s o c i a l order which i n c l u d e s him. 90 C i v i l Death and T r a n s i t i o n The manner i n which t r a n s i t i o n r i t e s work to c o n t r o l experience of a r e a l i t y d i f f e r e n t from that commensurate to s t a t u s , and the manner i n which they c u r t a i l s e l f -consciousness has already been described. The stage of t r a n s i t i o n between separation from one state and i n c o r -p o r a t i o n i n t o another was marked by r i t u a l s safeguarding the i n i t i a t e from the dangers inherent to that s t a t e . Danger i s comprised i n part of the power accruing from ex-posure to an unregulated perception of r e a l i t y , which can be s o c i a l l y d i s r u p t i v e . Other powers of a s p i r i t u a l nature may a l s o attend t h i s p e r i o d , whose use could be ambivalent depending on the f i t n e s s of those who acquire them. When the sanyasi renounces s o c i e t y according to s o c i a l usage, i t can be expected that there w i l l be a r i t u a l of separation but none of r e i n c o r p o r a t i o n . This i s i n f a c t the case. A sanyasi can only re-enter s o c i e t y w i t h the status of an untouchable, which i s e f f e c t i v e l y no st a t u s at a l l . The untouchable i s as much a non-person as the sany a s i . The sanyasi therefore enters a permanent c o n d i t i o n of t r a n s i t i o n ( u n t i l h i s theoret-i c a l i n c o r p o r a t i o n w i t h Brahma, which the Encyclopaedia of R e l i g i o n and E t h i c s describes as the Supreme Soul which i s an impersonal, all-embracing d i v i n e Essence and the o r i g i n a l source and ult i m a t e goal of a l l that e x i s t s . No secular r i t u a l could presumably mark such an i n c o r p o r a t i o n , ) 91 Despite the d i v e r s i t y o f sannyas r i t e s which mark r e -n u n c i a t i o n , a l l have s a l i e n t f e a t u r e s w i t h i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s k i n d . Some o f them and t h e i r f e a t u r e s w i l l be de-s c r i b e d . Dubois r e c o r d s the r i t e s as performed by Brahmans who must have a c q u i t t e d t h e i r debt to t h e i r ancestors by having been a grahastha and r a i s e d c h i l d r e n (Dubois 1906; 523-527. A f t e r announcing h i s i n t e n t i o n to other Brahmans, he baths and p r o v i d e s h i m s e l f w i t h four s a f f r o n - y e l l o w * c l o t h s f o r h i m s e l f and s i x as pr e s e n t s f o r o t h e r s , a bamboo s t a f f w i t h seven knots, small s i l v e r and copper c o i n s , f l o w e r s , coloured r i c e , sandalwood and panchagavia. The o f f i c i a t i n g guru performs homam and pu.ja and whispers mantrams to him that are m e d i t a t i o n a l guides s u i t a b l e to h i s new s t a t e . He puts on one s a f f r o n robe, breaks h i s sacred thread and shaves o f f h i s t u f t o f h a i r . A f t e r d r i n k i n g the panchagavia (and i n some areas the ashes o f h i s sacred thread that w i l l have been b u r n t ) , he d i s -t r i b u t e s the co i n s and c l o t h s to the attendant Brahmins. His bonds w i t h s o c i e t y are now severed f o r ever. Taking up a s t a f f , a gourd f o r water and. an antelope s k i n , he i s a s a n y a s i . He i s h o w subject to r u l e s o f conduct o f which Dubois a s c e r t a i n e d f o u r t e e n , a p p l y i n g * I n a footnote to Zimmer, A.K.Coomaraswamy r e p o r t s that s a f f r o n robes were o r i g i n a l l y worn by c r i m i n a l s condemned to death and by r a j p u t w a r r i o r s r i d i n g to c e r t a i n death (Zimmer 1956:162). 92 to the orthodox, post-Brahman sanyasi. These r u l e s have the immediate e f f e c t of s e t t i n g him apart from men-in-the-world, as w e l l as f o r c i n g him i n t o a v/orld where o r d i n a r y r u l e s do not apply. No longer may he even look at women. He should cover h i m s e l f w i t h ashes a f t e r bathing. He may only l i v e by alms but these he should not ask f o r . Chewing b e t e l i s p r o h i b i t e d and h i s one meal a day must be eaten standing. He may only carry the three possessions already mentioned and only wear wooden shoes. He may not stay i n an i n h a b i t e d area when t r a v e l l i n g and, i f he s e t t l e s , h i s hut should be b u i l t beside a r i v e r or tank. A l l men are to be regarded as equals and equanimity towards a l l events must be f o s t e r e d . F i n a l l y , " h i s one object i n l i f e must be to acquire that measure of wisdom and degree of s p i r i -t u a l i t y which s h a l l f i n a l l y r e u n ite him to the Supreme D i v i n i t y , from which we are separated by our passions and m a t e r i a l surroundings. To achieve t h i s end he must keep h i s senses under p e r f e c t c o n t r o l , and e n t i r e l y subdue any tendency to anger, envy, a v a r i c e , s e n s u a l i t y ; i n f a c t to any unholy impulses" (Dubois 1906:525-527). To these r u l e s may be added a p r o h i b i t i o n to l i g h t a f i r e , (a powerful inducement to develop tapas). The sacred f i r e i s now s a i d to be i n t e r i o r i z e d . The s i x t h book of the Laws of Manu, the volumes of post-Vedic Brahmanic l o r e , has t h i s to say about the sanyasi: 93 "Let him remain without f i r e , without h a b i t a t i o n ; l e t him r e s o r t once a day to the town f o r food, regardless of hardship, r e s o l u t e , maintaining a vow of s i l e n c e , f i x i n g h i s mind i n m e d i t a t i o n . "With h a i r , n a i l s and beard w e l l - c l i p p e d , c a r r y i n g a bowl, a s t a f f and a p i t c h e r , l e t him wander about c o n t i n u a l l y , i n t e n t on meditation and avoiding i n j u r y to any being. "In t h i s manner, having l i t t l e by l i t t l e abandoned a l l w o r l d l y attachments, and freed h i m s e l f from a l l concerns about p a i r s of opposites, he obtains absorption i n t o the u n i v e r s a l S p i r i t . " Needless to say, he has no r i g h t s such as r i g h t s to i n -h e r i t a n c e . Eut, as Brahmanism could not contain what i t would take to be a precocious r e l i g i o u s impulse amongst members of other castes, so the form of sanyasan deviated from the a r t i c u l a t e d p a t t e r n and took on more of the d i f f u s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of an u n c o n t r o l l e d p e r i p h e r a l group. Whether Brahman or Sudra i n o r i g i n , the sanyasi has none-t h e l e s s crossed what van Gennep c a l l s a m a g i c o - r e l i g i o u s boundary. P o l i t i c a l , blood and occupational boundaries have no more meaning. Boundaries are now determined by u l t i m a t e values. Seeking a transcendant m o r a l i t y i m p l i e s s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s , and knowledge must f o l l o w . This im-p l i e s knowledge of what s o c i a l r i t u a l s conceal: con-t r a d i c t i o n s , anomalies, "good" and " e v i l " . A transcendent e t h i c must f o l l o w t h i s too. S e c t a r i a n V a r i a t i o n s Ghurye r e p o r t s some d e t a i l s -of the v a r i a t i o n s but s u g g e s t s t h a t the essence o f a l l o r d i n a t i o n ceremonies f o r s a n y a s i s i s t h a t o f " s y m b o l i z i n g h i s c i v i l d e a t h " (Ghurye 1953 : 2 2 3 ) . T h i s i s t h e case even when the r i t e has s t a g e s a c c o r d i n g t o s e n i o r i t y i n a s e c t w h i c h i n -d i c a t e s t h a t some s a n y a s i s form, i n t o genuine p e r i p h e r a l groups w i t h m o n a s t i c o r d e r s o f t h e i r own. These s e c t s appear t o be a r t i c u l a t e d by g r i d and group w i t h a mahant the s p i r i t u a l l e a d e r , p r e s i d i n g over i t s v e r y s e c u l a r a f f a i r s as w e l l . Some abbots even serve as l o c a l banker (Ghurye 1 9 5 3 1 8 5 ) . Such " s a n y a s i s " are not the s u b j e c t o f t h i s t h e s i s . A l l s a n y a s i s o f the t e n o r t h o d o x Dasanami s e c t s founded by Sankara wear t i l a k marks and r u d r a k s h a or t u l a s i beads. Each o f t h e i r c e n t r e s has a d i f f e r e n t t u t e l a r y d e i t y , m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f S h i v a , and p r e s c r i b e s ^ d i f f e r e n t ways o f g e t t i n g f o o d , based on d i f f e r e n t c o s m o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n s . At I n i t i a t i o n t hey bathe w a i s t deep to "wash away w o r l d l y i m p u r i t i e s " . The shraddha o f f e r i n g made a t s o c i a l f u n e r a l r i t e s i s a l s o made on t h i s o c c a s i o n amidst f e a s t i n g and p r a y e r s to the sun f o r i n t e l l e c t u a l c l a r i t y . As w i t h o t h e r o r d e r s , the i n i t i a t e i s g i v e n a new name. I n i t i a t i o n may take t h r e e s t a g e s : f i r s t , V a s t r a d h a v i when a s c e t i c c l o t h e s are put on; second, Tangatoda, w h i c h has c a s t r a t i o n i m p l i c a t i o n s 95 and t h i r d , Digambara, when he may renounce a l l c l o t h i n g and become sky c l a d . They may not remain anywhere f o r more than three days except i n the r a i n y season. A f t e r the i n i t i a l h a i r - c u t , h a i r i s allowed to grow (Ghurye 1953:90-94.) Sanyasis who take t h e i r r e n u n c i a t i o n vows through e s t a b l i s h e d sects can g e n e r a l l y be c l a s s i f i e d as S h a i v i t e s or V a i s h n a v i t e s , depending on whether they conceive of Shiva or Vishnu as t h e i r t u t e l a r y d e i t y . * The Vaishnavite sects are more recent (from the s i x t e e n t h c e n t u r y ) , more r e f o r m i s t and b h a k t i o r i e n t e d . Service to the guru i s seen as a way to s a l v a t i o n . Their sanyasis wear white and three t i l a k marks on the forehead. At i n i t i a t i o n they adopt such d e f i n i t i v e marks as w e l l as the bow and arrow mudra of Rama (a m e d i t a t i o n a l posture p e c u l i a r to a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of V i s h n u ) . At the same time, a new name, a necklace of 108 t u l a s i beads and a mantram i s bestowed on them. They are not clean shaven. There are other "small s e c t a r i a n d i f -ferences, p a r t i c u l a r l y amongst i d i o s y n c r a t i c S h a i v i t e s who i n general are not noted f o r observing r u l e s . Shiva i s par excellence the d e i t y most c l o s e l y a s s o c i -ated w i t h the s a n y a s i , being without possessions, having * Shiva and Vishnu have ambivalent, s e l f - c o n t r a d i c t o r y , e n i g m a t i c a l c h a r a c t e r s , and are " f i t to represent i n p e r s o n a l i z e d form the p a r a d o x i c a l , all-embracing nature of the Absolute" (Zimmer 1946J124). 96 matted hair, his body covered i n ashes and frequenting cremation grounds, who destroys l i f e when i t becomes too s i n f u l to be redeemed. Moreover, the Shiva Lingum, symbol of s i n g u l a r i t y or perhaps "the f e r t i l i z i n g power of God" (Leach 19!?8sl58,15>9), i s devoutly worshipped throughout the Hindu world and i s the central icon i n a l l the great p i l -grimage spots v i s i t e d by sanyasis. There appears to be some correspondence within Hinduism between sexual i d e n t i t y c o n f l i c t s a r i s i n g from the adoption of celibacy and the development of an i d e n t i t y which can transcend the cycle of b i r t h and r e b i r t h . The Shiva Lingum i s a symbol through which the sanyasi can v i c a r i o u s l y transform and re syn-thesize his psychosexual i d e n t i t y . The process i s given potency by the i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of the s a c r i f i c i a l f i r e . He has renounced p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the soc i a l r i t u a l of s a c r i f i c e and t h e i r effects of reconfirming the continu-ance of the g i f t of l i f e , even i f i t i s , according to Hindu doctrine, a two-edged g i f t . For the sanyasi, the g i f t sought i s a personal immortality, a transcendance of l i f e and death. The Symbolism of Fire In The Psychoanalysis of F i r e , Bachelard attempts to explain the primitive sexualization of f i r e , how the con-quest of f i r e i s o r i g i n a l l y a sexual conquest (a theme 97 expounded by J.G.Frazer i n Myths of the O r i g i n of F i r e ) . "That f i r e i s the p r i n c i p l e of a l l seed appears so true to a p r e s c i e n t i f i c mind that the s l i g h t e s t appearance i s enough to prove i t " (Bachelard 1 9 6 4 : 5 0 ) . F i r e i s pro-duced by rubbing; i t reproduces i t s own k i n d ; red embers can die or grow and correspond to waning and ardent l i f e ; f i r e s i d e r e v e r i e s make the f a l s e equation between spark and seed or semen, small causes producing great e f f e c t s ; f i r e i s the formal p r i n c i p l e of i n d i v i d u a l i t y ; and f i r e i s the masculine p r i n c i p l e p e r t a i n i n g to the centre, "at the very heart of the e s s e n t i a l being", as opposed to the feminine p r i n c i p l e which p e r t a i n s to surface. Furthermore, f i r e was the f i r s t phenomenon on which the human mind r e f l e c t e d (only those changes caused by f i r e are s t r i k i n g ) , and awakened the d e s i r e f o r knowledge. The Prometheus complex, the w i l l to know more than the f a t h e r , i s the Oedipal complex of the i n t e l l e c t . Bachelard then goes on to say that while f i r e as the p r i n c i p l e of l i f e i s i n general convincing, there can be no p a r t i c u l a r ob-j e c t i v e proof of t h i s s u b j e c t i v e equivalence. What can be done i s to show the subjective coherence of these c o r r e l a -t i o n s , which w i l l defy o b j e c t i v e a n a l y s i s because they have no o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y . " A l l metaphors i n d i c a t e that we are not d e a l i n g w i t h o b j e c t i v e p r o p e r t i e s but psycho-l o g i c a l values" (Bachelard 1 9 6 4 : 7 6 ) . I w i l l t r y to i n -d i c a t e here that w i t h i n sanyasan, f i r e i s the metaphor of 98 a transforming q u a l i t y , representing a w i l l to change. Later I w i l l attempt to make this correspondence clearer by ana-l y s i n g the structure of symbolism i n yogic practices, par-t i c u l a r l y those employing the concepts of "chakras" and the "kundalini", the serpent of f i r e , which through a u s t e r i t i e s can r i s e to the pineal gland of the subtle body, where the flame i s "dematerialized; i t loses i t s r e a l i t y ; i t becomes pure s p i r i t " (Bachelard 196 l+:10 l+). Pure s p i r i t sweeps away a l l i n s t i t u t i o n a l forms. A sanyasi who has reached the ultimate goal i s known a s paramahamsa, which means supreme discriminator (Ghurye 1953'73 )• The word "hamsa" has three meanings. It can mean goose, which i s the vehicle of Brahma, the Supreme deity. "Ham" means "I am" and "sa" means " t h i s " , approxi-mating the sound of in-breathing and out-breathing respec-t i v e l y . It therefore acts as a potent mantram* i n pranayama yogic exercises, which w i l l lead the i n i t i a t e , according to Zimmer, to discover the secret of maya which * Denn da wo die Begriffe fehlen S t e l l t ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein. (Goethe) Rather than a word, a mantram i s a composite of sound and ether, the f i f t h primary substance of Hinduism. Sound i s the vehicle of speech, conveyer of revelation, t r a d i t i o n , incantation, magic and divine truth. Associated with ether, i t i s "the primary and most subtly pervasive mani-festa t i o n of the Divine Substance" and together "they s i g -n i f y the f i r s t , truth-pregnant moment of creation, the productive energy of the Absolute, i n i t s p r i s t i n e , cosmo-genetic strength" (Zimmer 19^6:152). Quantum phy s i c i s t s now say that the substance of atoms can be thought of as both discreet e n t i t i e s and insubstantial vibrations or processes. i s the i d e n t i t y of opposites, (For example, subject "ham" and object "sa") (Zimmer 1946:46 -50). I t s t h i r d meaning i s p u r i t y . The S a n s k r i t roots or the usual words f o r pure and impure mean c u l t u r e d and b o o r i s h , s i g n i f y i n g the e r u p t i o n of the b i o l o g i c a l i n t o s o c i a l l i f e (Dumont 1970a? 6 l ) . Those-in-the-world must breed and are always susceptible to becoming impure but the h i e r a r c h y of caste, as has been argued, i s ordered around the absolute value of pure and impure. In i t s s u b j e c t i v e a s s o c i a t i o n to s e x u a l i t y , f i r e has a q u a l i t y of i m p u r i t y . The struggle against s e x u a l i t y i s symbolized i n r a j a yoga by the struggle against and w i t h the serpent of f i r e . Since the sanyasi i s concerned w i t h absolutes, he must of course master s e x u a l i t y , i f f o r no other reason than because i t i s such a powerful inducement to r e t u r n to the world. The struggle i s framed i n India as a problem of overcoming the o p p o s i t i o n of s p i r i t and matter, which i s why f i r e , a d i a l e c t i c a l synYbol, i s used i n s t e a d of water, which only p u r i f i e s and cannot d e f i l e . As Bachelard p o i n t s out, however, there are o b j e c t i v e ' roots to the p r i n c i p l e that f i r e p u r i f i e s ; i t deodorizes and i t separates substances, destroying mineral i m p u r i t i e s (Bachelard 1964:102). This d i a l e c t i c a l sublimation a r i s i n g from the struggle against passion, symbolized by the t r a n s -formation of f i r e i n t o pure l i g h t , i s the p r i n c i p l e of transcendence (Bachelard 1964:106). I f t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y 1 0 0 was adopted by a l l men and women i n I n d i a , I n d i a n s o c i e t y would l o s e i t s i n t e g r a t i o n by caste, and i t s c o n t i n u i t y -"But f o r the man who s p i r i t u a l i z e s h i s emotions, the r e -s u l t i n g p u r i f i c a t i o n i s o f a strange sweetness, and the consciousness o f p u r i t y pours f o r t h a strange l i g h t . P u r i -f i c a t i o n alone can permit us to examine d i a l e c t i c a l l y the f i d e l i t y of a great love without d e s t r o y i n g i t . Although i t d i s c a r d s a heavy mass of substance and f i r e , p u r i f i -c a t i o n contains more p o s s i b i l i t i e s , and' not l e s s , than the n a t u r a l impulse. Only a p u r i f i e d love permits a deepening of the a f f e c t i o n s . I t i n d i v i d u a l i z e s them. The charm of n o v e l t y y i e l d s p r o g r e s s i v e l y to the knox/ledge of c h a r a c t e r " (Bachelard 1 9 6 ! + : 1 0 1 ) . E l i a d e claims that " 'mastery o f f i r e ' and 'inner heat' are always connected w i t h r e a c h i n g a p a r t i c u l a r e c s t a t i c s t a t e or, on other c u l t u r a l l e v e l s , w i t h reaching an unconditioned s t a t e , a state o f p e r f e c t s p i r i t u a l freedom" ( E l i a d e 1 9 6 9 : 3 3 2 ) . * The purpose o f the m e d i t a t i o n on f i r e i s to experience the physiochemical process o f * E l i a d e a l s o makes the c l a i m that the yogi whose aim i s to transcend t o the human c o n d i t i o n i s d i f f e r e n t from the Brahmanic sa n y a s i who seeks Vedic ' i m m o r t a l i t y ' . He bases t h i s c l a i m on the pre-Vedic, shamanic o r i g i n s o f yoga and a d i f f e r e n c e he p o s i t s between the former's i n -t e r i o r i z a t i o n and s t r e s s on p e r s o n a l experience as a g a i n s t the l a t t e r ' s ascent up ai s a c r i f i c i a l l a d d e r . This i s to presuppose that no sanyasi adopts yogic techniques. The second d i s t i n c t i o n i s a f a l s e o p p o s i t i o n . S t r u c -t u r a l l y , i n r e l a t i o n to s o c i e t y , the yogi and the sany a s i are e q u i v a l e n t and are occupied by the same purpose. 101 combustion which i s the same i n the human body as i n c o a l s ; to i d e n t i f y f i r e on e a r t h and the f i r e of the sun; to u n i f y the contents o f a l l f i r e s and to see existence and substance as f i r e . To master i n n e r f i r e i s to penetrate the cosmic process at a l l l e v e l s and to get to the essence of the r e a l ( E l i a d e 1 9 6 9 : 7 2 , 7 3 ) . The Symbolism o f H a i r That sexual energy, when i s o l a t e d from c o n v e n t i o n a l e x p r e s s i o n , i s s t i l l a c t i v e and must e i t h e r f i n d an out-l e t or be transformed i n c u l t u r a l l y p r e s c r i b e d ways i s a c u r r e n t theme. I t was s a i d o f Gaudi, who w i l f u l l y r e -nounced c i v i l l i f e i n the l a t t e r p a r t o f h i s l i f e , that he "repressed h i s s e n s u a l i t y i n the depths o f h i s sub-conscious only to have i t r i s e , transformed, Into v i s i o n a r y c r e a t i o n s . . . " ( C i r l o t 1 9 6 7 : 2 ) . I t may go p a r t way to e x p l a i n i n g how sanyasis came to be i n n o v a t o r s i n I n d i a n h i s t o r y . In l i n e w i t h t h i s approach, Leach suggests that the a b s t r a c t and sacred concepts i n c o r p o r a t e d i n the i d e a of s e x u a l i t y (by which he may mean the i d e o l o g y o f b i r t h and r e b i r t h s u s t a i n e d by the profane f a c t s of s o c i a l i t y and sexual d e s i r e ) are m a t e r i a l l y r e p r e s e n t e d by h a i r style;, that there i s an i n h e r e n t equivalence be-tween h©d h a i r and male g e n i t a l s : "For the Brahman the 1 0 2 tonsured tuft "means" sexual r e s t r a i n t , the shaven head "means" celibacy and the matted head "means" t o t a l de-tachment from sexual passions because hair behaviour and sex behaviour are consciously associated from the s t a r t " (Leach 1 9 5 8 : 1 5 6 ) . Zimmer comes close to Leach's point of view. Inter-preting a stone fresco sculpted three centuries before our era, he writes that even the Asparases of Indra's paradise, singers and dancers who give divine sensual love to those who have made i t to Swarga, rejoice at the Buddha's decision to cut his h a i r - t u f t and his impending Buddhahood, even though the decision " i s to negate and annihilate their own very power and existence". For they too "are so many projections, mirages, externalizations, of our own vegetative, a n i m a l i s t i c , emotional-intellectual propensities". That i s to say, part of may a. (Zimmer 19 * + 6 : 1 6 ^ ) . I f sanyasis were consulted they might say, l i k e one questioned by Gervis, that i t i s so they w i l l be recognized as genuine seekers after God: "So that...they may know that I have for many years studied the scriptures and meditated upon God. So that they w i l l know that I am no humbug who has suddenly decided that this i s an easy way to l i v e " (Gervis 1970:187). 'They' refers to men-in-the-world, so long hair i s also a sign of separation. C.R.Hallpike points out that hair has "great mani-pulative p o t e n t i a l " and there are a " m u l t i p l i c i t y of uses f o r h a i r i n r i t u a l c o n t e x t s " ( H a l l p i k e 1969:257). The symbolism o f h a i r i s about the "world" r a t h e r than about the subconsciouso On t h i s premise he argues "long h a i r i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h being o u t s i d e s o c i e t y and that the c u t t i n g o f h a i r symbolizes r e e n t e r i n g s o c i e t y , o r l i v i n g under a p a r t i c u l a r regime w i t h i n s o c i e t y " , and long h a i r i s i n d i c a t i v e o f "being l e s s amenable to s o c i a l c o n t r o l than the average c i t i z e n " ( H a l l p i k e 1969:260,261) . T h i s l a s t p o i n t and h i s c o n c l u s i o n t h a t growing l o n g h a i r equals s e p a r a t i o n from s o c i e t y to God i s s u b s t a n t i a t e d by the example of the s a n y a s i . There i s the v a r i a t i o n a l r e a d y mentioned and the J a i n s go so f a r as to tug out each h a i r one by one every year (Stevenson 1 9 7 0 s l 8 6 ) , but t h i s can be imputed to the d i s c i p l i n e demanded of a l l e g i a n c e to a p a r t i c u l a r a u t h o r i t y s t i l l separate from s o c i e t y ' s . When a p p l i e d to the sa n y a s i , Leach's and H a l l p i k e ' s analyses may not be as diver g e n t as they seem. In r e -l a t i o n to s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , the s t r u c t u r e o f symbolism represented by h a i r s u b s t a n t i a t e s H a l l p i k e ' s view: the sany a s i i s separated from s o c i e t y , i s de d i c a t e d to God and wears h i s h a i r l o n g ; the man-in-the-world i s compara-t i v e l y more c o n t r o l l e d , i s s t i l l occupied by s e c u l a r , s o c i a l p u r s u i t s and cuts h i s h a i r . In r e l a t i o n to Hindu cosmology and v a l u e s , Leach's a n a l y s i s has v a l i d i t y : the sany a s i i s d e d i c a t e d to God, to an end to d e s i r e and the generative processes o f l i f e and death, i n p u r s u i t o f 104 which goal he transcends his sexuality; the man-in-the-world i s s t i l l begetting children, putting o f f the at-tainment of ultimate goals but retaining his sexuality, while according that the renunciation of a l l contaminating associations with the secular world i s the highest s p i r i t u a l action. The Internal S a c r i f i c e This symbolic variety, of which only an i n d i c a t i o n has been supplied, with focus on the possible meanings of some of the more general c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , indicates a world with few l i m i t a t i o n s imposed on experience by s o c i a l structures, r i t u a l s and symbols. Personal goals are sacro-sanct and self-consciousness a precondition, of the i r r e a l i z a t i o n . For symbolic consonance, a struc-tured system such as the body should be downgraded or frankly rejected. This, however, i s not the(B.se. Some sanyasis do i n f l i c t themselves with t e r r i b l e ordeals and some b e l i e f s discount any ontological r e a l i t y to the body. But probably the majority favour mastery of man's physical nature rather than r e j e c t i o n . The very formation of sects favours this d i f f e r e n t orientation while some em-bellishments of raja yoga, such as tantrism, claim that the human body i s a model of the cosmos. There i s no 10? evidence to t e s t t h i s hypothesis but I would expect to f i n d that those sa n y a s i s who indulge i n the more extreme a s c e t i c p r a c t i c e s come from lower c a s t e s . Sanyasan f o r the twice-born permits metaphysical endeavour without the n e c e s s i t y o f r e j e c t i n g s o c i e t y . A t t i t u d e s to s a c r i f i c e may c l a r i f y t h i s p r o j e c t e d d i f f e r e n c e between sanyasi as renouncer and s a n y a s i as r e j e c t e r , a l i e n a t e d man and a n t i - r i t u a l i s t . The evidence and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of some commentators • appears to negate the h y p o t h e s i s . Ghurye claims that sanyasan was added to the other three asramas to accommodate d i s s e n t e r s who had l o s t f a i t h i n s a c r i f i c e , b e l i e v i n g that i t was inadequate f o r s p i r i t u a l b e n e f i t (Ghurye 195.3*25)° Fuchs records that the Sudra V a i s h n a v i t e who l e d a m i l l e n a r i a n movement i n Assam i n the middle ages, preached that sac-r i f i c e was u s e l e s s without s i n c e r e d e v o t i o n to God but that i t s b e n e f i t s were to be had by a l l devotees, not j u s t the twice-born (Fuchs 1965:130). Commenting on J a i n i s m and Buddhism, Rapson says that t h e i r f o l l o w e r s "deny the a u t h o r i t y o f the Vedas and of the whole system of sac-r i f i c e and ceremonial which was founded on the Vedas... (and) p l a c e themselves outside the pale of Brahman orthodoxy" (Rapson 191 )+:3 It). Both the Gautama Buddha and the founder of J a i n i s m were K s h a t r i y a s . Stevenson, i n her book on J a i n i s m , suggests that i t f l o u r i s h e d because of K s h a t r i y a resentment at being shut out from s a c r i f i c e . L a t e r she argues that the " p h y s i c a l 1 0 6 world i s governed by the law of s a c r i f i c e s t h a t a l l e x i s -tence i s maintained through the death of o t h e r s , and that every l i v i n g organism i s b u i l t up through the s i l e n t and i n v i s i b l e work o f the minute b a c t e r i a of decay, which r e -l e a s e from the dead the m a t e r i a l needed by the l i v i n g . I t i s the same law of s a c r i f i c e o f l i f e through another's death, which governs a l s o the s p i r i t u a l world" (Stevenson 1 9 l 5 s 2 9 5 ) « The J a i n s a nyasi breaks away from s o c i a l r e -c i p r o c i t y and from t h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n process, adopting the p r i n c i p l e o f ahimsa, which i s the absence of the d e s i r e to k i l l . (The p r i n c i p l e o f J a i n i s m i s ahimsa dharma.) Van Gennep suggested that t r a n s i t i o n r i t e s are p e r i o d s of r e c u p e r a t i o n between r i t e s of death and r e b i r t h , provoked when b i o l o g i c a l and s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s have run out of energy (van Gennep 1 9 6 0 s l 8 2 ) . T h i s paper argues that upon r e n u n c i a t i o n the sanyasi e n t e r s such a stage of t r a n s i t i o n , and so transcends s p i r i t u a l l y the profane meaning of the a c t of s a c r i f i c e . R e j e c t i o n of the c e r e -monies because t h e i r meaning and b e n e f i t s are f e l t to be l o s t i s not a necessary m o t i v a t i o n f o r becoming a s a n y a s i . There i s other evidence to corroborate t h i s fundamentally u n t e s t a b l e p o i n t o f view. Amongst the sayings o f a Tamil a s c e t i c o f Sudra o r i g i n whose sayings comprise the §lill^M'3g5, t r a n s l a t e d by Pope i s one that a s s e r t s , "The advantages which might flow from d e s t r o y i n g l i f e i n sac-r i f i c e , i s dishonourable to the wish (who renounced the 107 w o r l d ) , even although i t should be s a i d to be productive of a great good" (Pope 1970:88). Dumont contends that ahimsa and the four d i v i n e q u a l i t i e s are "the reward of the i n t e r n a l s a c r i f i c e which tends to replace Vedic s a c r i f i c e f o r those t h i n k e r s who are at that moment renouncers-in-the-making" (Dumont 1970a:l l+8). Dasgupta suggests that there was a post-Vedic development towards i n t e l l e c t u a l i z i n g m a t e r i a l s a c r i f i c e . E i t h e r an animal or a Siva Lingum was s u b s t i t u t e d , symbolic of the cosmos, and meditated upon. M y s t i c a l power was thought to derive from forms of meditation, not from e x t e r n a l performance (Dasgupta 1927 :l8-20). What was most commonly i n t e r n a l i z e d was f i r e . Agni, the god of f i r e , was c e n t r a l to a l l Vedic s a c r i f i c e . The m a t e r i a l s a c r i f i c e was poured i n t o h i s mouth. As messenger of the gods he c a r r i e d i t up to the heavens to feed the c e l e s t i a l beings. He was the son of wood (rubbing) and the gran d c h i l d of water and h i s e x i s -tence i n the body traced to the d i g e s t i v e b i l e . He was therefore the p r i n c i p a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the macro-cosmic f i r e i n the microcosm (Zimmer 1956:339-3^0). A s c e t i c p r a c t i c e s of the Brahman before s a c r i f i c e procure the r e l a t i v e p u r i t y necessary f o r making a s a c r i f i c e . The sanyasi s t r i v e s f o r an absolute p u r i t y to make s a c r i f i c e unnecessary. This would be the goal of the sanyasi according to E l i a d e but h i s informat i o n i s c o n t r a d i c t o r y . He argues 108 t h a t s i n c e o n l y s a c r i f i c i a l a c t s do not procure karma, the a s c e t i c t r i e s to transmute a l l profane a c t s i n t o s a c r i f i c e by renouncing the f r u i t s of a c t i o n ( E l i a d e 1 9 6 9 : 1 5 8 ) . Yogis have used the symbolism o f Brahmanism to j u s t i f y the i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n o f s a c r i f i c e . Pranayama, the b r e a t h i n g e x e r c i s e s a l r e a d y mentioned i s homologized w i t h the con-c r e t e s a c r i f i c e o f homam but transformed i n t o an e x p e r i e n t i a l i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n . "Thus a s c e t i c i s m becomes e q u i v a l e n t to r i t u a l , to Vedic s a c r i f i c e " ( E l i a d e 1 9 6 9 : 1 1 2 , 1 1 3 ) . Instead of s o c i a l good r e s u l t i n g , however, tapas i s generated, as by o l d shamanistic techniques, which i s the i n t e n s e i n n e r heat that rouses the k u n d a l i n i and changes the p s y c h i c , s p i r i t u a l nature o f the p r a c t i t i o n e r . In an unpublished paper, Beck has poin t e d out that blood s a c r i f i c e i s the marker of t r a n s i t i o n i n I n d i a . The in t e n s e , i n t e r n a l flame provoked by the i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n o f s a c r i f i c e i s the e q u i v a l e n t symbol f o r the s a n y a s i . What changes i s a profane s t a t e o f d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n to a sacred experience o f oneness. L i f e and Death At death the person-within-the-world i s cremated. From what has been s a i d about the symbolism of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n f i r e and the suspension o f the sanyasi from s e c u l a r 109 i n c o r p o r a t i o n , i t can be expected that the death o f a sa n y a s i w i l l be attended by very d i f f e r e n t ceremonies. I f he has become one wit h Brahma, he w i l l have transcended a l l p o s s i b l e contaminations and the n e c e s s i t y f o r more t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s . He would be complete i n and of h i m s e l f beyond the magical e f f i c a c y o f f i r e to transform. "When the f i r e devours i t s e l f , when the power turns a g a i n s t i t s e l f , i t seems as i f the whole being i s made complete at the i n s t a n t o f i t s f i n a l r u i n and that the i n t e n s i t y o f i t s f i n a l d e s t r u c t i o n i s the supreme proof, the c l e a r e s t p r oof, o f i t s e x i s t e n c e . T h i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n , at the very ro o t o f the i n t u i t i o n o f being, favours endless t r a n s -formations of v a l u e " (Bachelard 196k:79)° Such may be the s p i r i t u a l consequence o f cremation, but i s i t a l s o the consequence o f i n t e r n a l i z e d s a c r i f i c i a l f i r e s and tapas? As i t turns out, the sanyasi i s e i t h e r b u r i e d or thrown i n t o a r i v e r . Dubois p r o v i d e s the d e t a i l s (Dubois 1 9 0 6 : 5 3 8 - ^ 0 ) . I f i t i s to be b u r i e d the body i s bathed, wrapped i n two s a f f r o n c l o t h s and rubbed with ashes. Rudraksha beads, ( r e p r e s e n t i n g the t e a r s o f S h i v a ) , are put on him and he i s placed w i t h l e g s crossed on a s t r e t c h e r as Brahmans p l a y bronze c a s t i n e t s . The grave i s c i r c u l a r and near a r i v e r . S a l t i s poured i n t o the bottom and up to h i s neck. The s k u l l i s then s h a t t e r e d w i t h coconuts and covered w i t h s a l t . A lingum i s e r e c t e d on top and worshipped w i t h o f f e r i n g s o f l i g h t e d lamps, 1 1 0 f l o w e r s , incense, bananas, a d i s h of r i c e , coconut and sugar. Hymns are sung i n honour of Vishnu. For ten more days and on a n n i v e r s a r i e s more o f f e r i n g s are made. There i s no c u t t i n g of h a i r i n mourning, f e a s t i n g or present - g i v i n g , except f o r d i s t r i b u t i o n of pieces of the s k u l l - s h a t t e r i n g coconuts f o r l u c k . There w i l l undoubtedly be r e g i o n a l or o r d i n a t i o n a l v a r i a t i o n s but the outstanding feature i s that the worship-pers do not f e e l they need, a p u r i f i c a t i o n bath. Even though the corpse i s washed, i t i s t r e a t e d as an incarnate i c o n of Vishnu or Shiva. There have been i n India many accounts of the sanyasi f o r e c a s t i n g or choosing the time of h i s death. This phenomenon i s s i m i l a r to the deaths of Dinka spear masters who are buried a l i v e w i t h the object of showing people that some i n d i v i d u a l s close to the D i v i n i t y can choose, as i t were, t h e i r death. The o b j e c t i v e s i t u a t i o n of aging and death i s c o n t r o l l e d , the experience modified by a r i t u a l whose symbolic meaning i s "a s o c i a l triumph over death" (Douglas 1 9 6 6 : 6 8 ) . When I t comes to a f i n a l r e n u n c i a t i o n of s o c i e t y , the sanyasi r e a f f i r m s i t s u l t i m a t e values. His death s y m b o l i c a l l y sustains those condemned to the wheel of l i f e w i t h i n s o c i e t y , and j u s t i f i e s h i s s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p to s o c i e t y . CHAPTER VI H i s t o r y and D o c t r i n e In the p r e c e d i n g chapters, the sanyasi has been con-s i d e r e d as an i d e a l f i g u r e e x t r a p o l a t e d from the many forms he has taken i n I n d i a n s o c i e t y . These forms have v a r i e d w i t h the d o c t r i n e s (darsanas) upon which sanyasis have hung t h e i r p u r s u i t o f redemption. In l i g h t of the h i g h l y i n -d i v i d u a l i s t p u r s u i t they are engaged i n , i t could be ex-pected that there are as many d o c t r i n e s as s a n y a s i s . None-t h e l e s s , the l i t e r a t u r e c a t e g o r i z e s s i x orthodox and at l e a s t two i d e n t i f i a b l y heterodox d o c t r i n e s . In The Re- l i g i o n .of I n d i a , Weber t r a c e s some o f the p o l i t i c a l and economic changes that accompany d o c t r i n a l i n n o v a t i o n s . He shows that p o l i t i c a l conquests, f o r i n s t a n c e , when shared assumptions can be presumed to be l o s t , have l e d to o r g i a s t i c trends f o l l o w e d by more a s c e t i c t r e n d s . A s c r i p t i o n to e i t h e r k i n d o f d o c t r i n e i s c o r r e l a t e d w i t h the economic system and a t t i t u d e s of the advocates. I t i s beyond the scope o f t h i s paper to demonstrate the consonance between the emer-gence of these d o c t r i n e s and h i s t o r i c a l c o n d i t i o n s . A p o r t r a i t o f the s a n y a s i however, would not be complete without some r e f e r e n c e to t h e i r systems of thought. In c o n d i t i o n s of l i t t l e or no a r t i c u l a t i o n by g r i d and group such as those i n which s a n y a s i s l i v e , Douglas pre-d i c t s a premium set on i n t e r n a l experience and contempt f o r e x t e r n a l forms. T h i s would be based on the a l i e n a t i o n 112 she a n t i c i p a t e s from s o c i a l v a l u e s . T h i s a l i e n a t i o n i s however q u a l i f i e d i n the case o f the s a n y a s i , as was argued e a r l i e r , so that although s o c i a l forms are r e j e c t e d , they are not d i s v a l u e d . Her i n i t i a l p r e d i c t i o n can be amply i l l u s t r a t e d as can her e x p e c t a t i o n that t h e i r con-d i t i o n would l e a d to humanistic stances. The t r a n s i t i o n a l nature of sanyasan, but not i t s i n s t a b i l i t y , f o l l o w s her p r e d i c t i o n , but o n l y i n an u l t i m a t e sense since o n l y death ends i t . The spontaneity of c u l t s does not apply here since they are f o r s a k e n along w i t h s o c i a l forms. Most, though not a l l , s a n y a s i s i n f a c t set a premium on d i s c i -p l i n e . The adoption o f p e r s o n a l gods i s a l s o v a r i a b l e amongst sanyasis i n i n v e r s e p r o p o r t i o n to the degree of i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f d o c t r i n e s and thus negates her p r e d i c t i o n i n t h i s r e s p e c t . F i n a l l y , the wrong a c t i o n s that c o n s t i t u t e s i n s w i t h i n s o c i e t y are r e j e c t e d i n favour of c u l t i v a t i n g r i g h t a t t i t u d e s such as were seen i n the q u a l i f i c a t i o n s of becoming a guru's d i s c i p l e . I t i s not the purpose of t h i s chapter to e x p l a i n the d i s c r e p a n c i e s between Douglas' p r e d i c t i o n s and the a c t u a l st a t e of a f f a i r s . What f o l l o w s i s meant r a t h e r to i l l u s -t r a t e them, as w e l l as the h i s t o r i c a l process o f i n n o v a t i o n s "out o f the j u n g l e " , and t h e i r l e g i t i m i z a t i o n and i n s t i t u -t i o n a l i z a t i o n . I t i s Dumont's c o n t e n t i o n that the c o l l e c -t i v e l i f e w i t h i n the v i l l a g e was a h i s t o r i c a l . According to Zimmer, St. Augustine was the f i r s t man i n the Greco-Roman t r a d i t i o n to introduce a l i n e a r , i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c concept of time (Zimmer 19^ 6 : 2 0 ) . This i s the concept adopted by the f o r e s t - d w e l l e r (vanaprastha) p r e l i m i n a r y to complete r e n u n c i a t i o n (sanyasan). In the Indian t r a -d i t i o n , the Hindu renouncer was preceded by the Vedic philosopher (Dumont 1 9 7 0 : 1 8 6 , 1 9 5 ) . I t may be that the systems that w i l l be reviewed here are i n f a c t a t t r i b -u table to the f o r e s t - d w e l l e r whose h i s t o r i c a l , i n d i v i d u -ated perspective was a n t i t h e t i c a l to that of the man-in-the-world's, x^hich together, the sanyasi t h e o r e t i c a l l y or m y s t i c a l l y synthesised. The sanyasi's transcendence of t h i s o p p o s i t i o n would be p a r a l l e l l e d by a transcendence of the s e l f - a l i e n a t i o n of the man-in-the-world and the world-a l i e n a t i o n of the f o r e s t - d w e l l e r which the t o t a l system o f f e r s . I t would a l s o imply the redundancy of any doc-t r i n e or personal god. The reviews of the systems are not intended to be p h i l o s o p h i c a l c r i t i q u e s . The d o c t r i n e s are complex and comprehensive, and beyond the present a b i l i t i e s of the w r i t e r to understand s a t i s f a c t o r i l y . Three aspects only w i l l be t r e a t e d : the r e l a t i o n s h i p s proposed between man and God and between man and the world, and the nature of the s e l f . By concentrating on these three s u b j e c t s , the i n t e n t of i l l u s t r a t i o n w i l l be f u l f i l l e d and perhaps some answers to the problems r a i s e d i n t h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n i n -c i d e n t a l l y i n t i m a t e d . 114 Brahmanism Orthodox systems can be c l a s s i f i e d according to whether they accepted the a u t h o r i t y of the Vedas and Brahmanas which were w r i t t e n between 1500 and 800 B.C. These s p e c i f i e d the r e l i g i o n of works (karmayoga) f o r the man-in-the-world, de-s c r i b i n g the r i t u a l s and ceremonies that complemented caste and dharma. P r o v i s i o n was made i n these documents f o r the sanyasi who sought p e r f e c t i o n , which, i t was accepted, was not a v a i l a b l e to the man-in-the-world. The s t i p u l a t i o n that p e r s i s t e d was that he leave the world to achieve t h i s end. Upon doing so he had access to p o s s i b l y pre-Aryan yogic techniques and a system of thought that complemented them c a l l e d Sankhya, which w i l l be considered next. More probably, however, he took an e n t i r e l y i n t e l l e c t u a l path (.jnanayoga) whose content was being f o r m a l l y set down from 800 to 400 B.C. i n the Upanishads. These w r i t i n g s emphasized that e r u d i t i o n and s c h o l a r -ship could l e a d to that release (mukti) from ignorance which keeps man s u f f e r i n g i n what h i s ignorance leads Mm to suppose i s the r e a l world. In r e a l i t y the i n d i v i d u a l s o u l (atman) i s everything, and everything i s the i n d i v i -dual s o u l . This i s i d e n t i c a l w i t h Brahman. Brahman i s the supreme p r i n c i p l e that transcends the world of names and forms (namarupa), but produces that world i n the s o c i a l sphere and the sphere of the Vedic pantheon. When the ignorance that keeps p l a y i n g t h i s c r e a t i v e t r i c k and 115 holds the p r o d u c t i o n to be r e a l i s d i s p e l l e d , then the r e a l s t a t e o f oneness between atman and Brahman i s r e a l i z e d . T h i s might a l s o imply a s o c i a l sense of oneness wi t h other people even though they may s t i l l be i n "ignorance". The phenomenal world t h e r e f o r e , i s one o f o p p o s i t i o n s and of moral i m p e r f e c t i o n or even " i m p o s s i b i l i t y " but i n which man i s enmeshed through ignorance and i m p u r i t y . I t s animating p r i n c i p l e (Brahman p l u s atman) i s non-dual, yet immanent and transcendent, n e i t h e r pure nor impure. By s e l f - a n a l y s i s and understanding of the u n i t y u n d e r l y i n g the v a r i e t y of the manifest world, a transcendent s y n t h e s i s and a sense of oneness w i t h a l l being can be a c h i e v e d . Being i n touch w i t h t h i s "micromacrocosmic essence" i n s t e a d of being preoccupied w i t h i t s t r a n s i t o r y products, whether the moods of the ego or the occupations o f the world, con-s t i t u t e d a h o l y power which l e d to a transcendence over the t h r e a t of death and the s u f f e r i n g o f l i f e . "Brahmanical t h i n k i n g was centered, from the beginning, around the paradox of the simultaneous a n t a g o n i s m - y e t - i d e n t i t y o f the manifest f o r c e s a,nd forms of the phenomenal world, the g o a l being to know and a c t u a l l y to c o n t r o l the hidden power behind, w i t h i n , and precedent to a l l t h i n g s , as t h e i r hidden source" (Zimmer 1956s338). One way of e x p r e s s i n g t h i s c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n might be to say that i t i s p o s s i b l e to become pure and whole but the p r i c e you pay i s that you leave the world. Or, i f you 116 l e a v e the world, o f course you become pure and whole because there i s nobody to be anything e l s e with, so that a l l t a l k o f transcendence i s merely t a l k o f escaping. T h i s i s not th6 case. The sanyasi i s s t i l l f i x e d by r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h p e o p l e - i n - t h e - w o r l d . I t might more f a i r l y be expressed as saying that we i n Indian v i l l a g e s three thousand years or so ago found that our busy minds or g a n i z e d us by c a t e g o r i e s and l a b e l s i n order to i n t e r a c t with one another s o c i a l l y . Our minds t h e r e f o r e began to take precedence over our pure, f r e e , e s s e n t i a l b e i n g s . Our minds and s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n produced problems and c o n t r a d i c t i o n s which s o c i a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s e s and ignorance perpetuated. These we covered up or made up f o r as best we could i n r i t u a l s and ceremonies of atonement. But by knowledge and c o n t r o l l e d a c t i v i t y o f our minds, we can r e d i s c o v e r our e s s e n t i a l beings, x^hich can, f o r i n s t a n c e , observe the machinations o f our minds; we can d i s c o v e r that our being and essence are one and overcome i n t e r n a l l y those problems and c o n t r a d i c -t i o n s o f our i g n o r a n t , s o c i a l minds: t h i s i s the process o f transcendence. A transcended s t a t e g i v e s us the f r e e -dom of u n c o n d i t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h the world. I t i s the s t r i v i n g a f t e r t h i s which i s the opposite o f the s l a v i s h , a l i e n a t e d , fragmented c o n d i t i o n i n the world, that i s human. I s i t more unhuman to f i n d t h i s k i n d of transcendence or to accept the c o n d i t i o n of the world? T h i s approach may l e a d to "the genuine r e s o l u t i o n o f 1 1 7 the antagonism between man and n a t u r e , between man and man; the true r e s o l u t i o n o f the c o n f l i c t between e x i s t e n c e and essence, o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n and s e l f - a f f i r m a t i o n , freedom and n e c e s s i t y , i n d i v i d u a l and s p e c i e s " (McLellan, quoting Marx, I 9 7 0 s l 8 3 ) . I t would not l e a d to the " r i d d l e o f h i s t o r y s o l v e d " however, because the premise of i t s d o c t r i n e and methodology i s t h a t i t i s only g i v e n to p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i -duals to be human. The h i s t o r i c a l c r e a t i o n o f a whole s o c i e t y of f r e e i n d i v i d u a l s , I n d i a seemed to say, was one c o n t r a d i c t i o n that cannot be r e s o l v e d . H i s t o r i c a l c o n d i t i o n s and more a c t i v i t y of the mind would l e a d to d i s c r e p a n c i e s or d i f f i c u l t i e s i n any con-c e p t u a l i z a t i o n t h a t proposed to cope w i t h u l t i m a t e q u e s t i o n s . Reformulations o f a more or l e s s r a d i c a l nature i n pro-p o r t i o n to the i n t e n s i t y f e l t over the d i s c r e p a n c i e s and d i f f i c u l t i e s continue to appear. To some extent the guru was e n t r u s t e d w i t h the task o f r e f o r m u l a t i o n and s y n t h e s i s , f o r most new d i f f i c u l t i e s were pro b a b l y r a i s e d by p u p i l s ( a d h i k a r i n ) . What remained constant was the p r e r e q u i s i t e s s t i p u l a t e d f o r becoming a p u p i l or s a n y a s i - t o - b e . These i n c l u d e d i n i t i a l l y a f e r v e n t d e s i r e to hear, obey and r e v e r e , and t r u s t and composure o f mind. Thus i t was hoped that he would g a i n a t r a n s f e r of knowledge from the guru who had to be an " a c t u a l i n d i v i d u a l communal being... e q u a l l y the t o t a l i t y , the i d e a l t o t a l i t y , the s u b j e c t i v e e x i s t e n c e o f s o c i e t y e x p l i c i t l y thought and experienced", 118 a f o r m u l a t i o n by Marx that I propose as a model o f the s a n y a s i who has reached the Brahmanic goal ( M c L e l l a n 1970s l 8 6 ) o Furthermore he should have s t u d i e d the Vedas, be cleansed of s i n s through having a b s t a i n e d from a l l r i t u a l s performed f o r the f u l f i l l m e n t of worldy d e s i r e s and which cause i n j u r y to other beings, and should continue to do m e d i t a t i o n s , a u s t e r i t i e s and d a i l y devotions f o r p u r i f i -c a t i o n and " s i n g l e - p o i n t e d n e s s " . A f t e r p a s s i n g through n i t r - l o k a (heaven of a n c e s t o r s ) and s a t y a - l o k a (sphere of t r u t h ) , he would a r r i v e at knowledge o f s e l f , (Zimmer 1 9 5 6 : 5 2 , 5 3 ) . This c o d i f i c a t i o n must:have i n h i b i t e d to some extent the kind of c r i t i c i s m that would present new d i f f i c u l t i e s and ask that t r u t h be expressed d i f f e r e n t l y . The Brahmanic d o c t r i n e was expounded much more e l a b o r a t e l y than the p r e s e n t a t i o n here would i n d i c a t e however. T h e i r " s p i r i t u a l " d i s c o v e r i e s had s o c i a l a p p l i c a t i o n and s i g n i f i c a n c e . Not l e a s t o f these, was use to which c h a r l a t a n s c o u l d put the powers d e r i v e d from these d i s c o v e r i e s by t u r n i n g the c o n t r o l they a c q u i r e d over themselves i n t o c o n t r o l over p e o p l e - i n -the-world whose l i v e s seemed to be governed by u n i n t e l l i -g i b l e f o r c e s . The secrecy and s t r i n g e n t s t i p u l a t i o n s surrounding knowledge would safeguard a g a i n s t t h i s ten-dency. The challenge o f pre-Aryan yoga and the Sankhya d o c t r i n e which was founded on d i f f e r e n t premises from a d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e was not answered i n t e l l e c t u a l l y by Brahmanism u n t i l the f o u r t h century B.C The Bhagavad G i t a represented a syn t h e s i s of two t h e o r i e s f o r a r r i v i n g at u l t i m a t e t r u t h , one proposing reason as the means, the other more i n t u i t i v e , e c s t a t i c techniques. Sankhya and Yoga Sankhya i s the olde s t independent system of thought i n I n d i a . I t shares w i t h Brahmanism and yoga the assump-t i o n that i t i s ignorance of s p i r i t that keeps men and women enslaved i n the world. Brahmanism and Sankhya d i f f e r from yoga as to the means of f i n d i n g freedom from t h i s c o n d i t i o n . The former s t r e s s metaphysical knowledge while the l a t t e r employs techniques of meditation, e x p l o r i n g d i f f e r e n t s t a t e s of consciousness. Unlike Brahmanism and yoga, Sankhya i s a t h e i s t i c but i n other e s s e n t i a l features complements yoga. The god of yoga, I s v a r a , i s only of secondary importance. Like other gods i n other systems, Isv a r a i s created a f t e r the yogi's i d e a l image, a sort of macroyogi, w i t h a s t r u c -t u r a l correspondence to the y o g i . He i s not the cre a t o r but can help the yogi's deliverance w i t h "metaphysical sympathy" (E l i a d e 19695 74). E l i a d e contends that d e d i c a t i o n to yoga and Sankhya i s an e f f o r t to become unhuman. With the i n t e n t of t r a n s -cending the human c o n d i t i o n , the yogi explores the l i m i t s of h i s p h y s i o l o g i c a l , s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and r e l i g i o u s 1 2 0 c o n d i t i o n i n g to see i f anything e x i s t s beyond. T h e i r answer i s t h a t there i s a m u l t i p l i c i t y of autonomous, i s o l a t e d s e l v e s , e t e r n a l l y f r e e and without a t t r i b u t e s . There i s no a l l - i n c l u s i v e Being to be one w i t h and from which the world of matter and energy emanates. The s e l f i s drawn i n t o l i f e i n the world, which i s r e a l , by i n t e l l e c t , the s u b t l e s t m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f matter. The i n d i v i d u a t i o n pro-duced by consciousness of s e l f i s not a transcendent but a m a t e r i a l p r o c e s s . There i s an e n t i t y behind t h i s psychomental i n d i v i d u a t i o n which transcends the p r o c e s s . The i n t e n t i o n i s to go beyond a d i v i n e c o n d i t i o n produced by the attainment of o c c u l t powers i n the process of de-c o n d i t i o n i n g . The sta t e reached (samadhi) i s without c a t e g o r i e s , beyond i m a g i n a t i o n , and transcends a l l dichotomies. The i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s d o c t r i n e are a s o c i a l . There are many shamanic aspects to yoga. Of a l l the systems of Indian thought and method, i t remained the l e a s t i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d . Even a f t e r i t i n f i l t r a t e d orthodoxy and was accepted by V e d a n t i s t s on the grounds that i t s techniques p r o v i d e d the necessary p u r i f i c a t i o n p r e l i m i n a r y to u l t i m a t e metaphysical knowledge, i t remained suspect f o r the p r o f u s i o n o f forms that s a n y a s i s began to take: "from the s o r c e r e r and f a k i r who perform cures and m i r a c l e s to the n o b l e s t a s c e t i c s and l o f t i e s t m y s t i c s , t a k i n g i n c a n n i b a l magicians and e x t r e m i s t Vamacaris 121 along the way" ( E l i a d e 1969:294). Where before, r e n u n c i -a t i o n had been a stage of n e g a t i o n o f s o c i e t y to prepare the sanyasi f o r a w h o l i s t i c s y n t h e s i s , the embrace o f yoga opened the way to baroque p r a c t i c e s o f r e v e r s i n g s o c i a l v a l u e s , aberrant to r e s p e c t a b l e i d e o l o g i e s , x/hose watchword remained r e n u n c i a t i o n of a l l i m p u r i t y i n c l u d i n g the s e c u l a r use of power. Nonetheless, yoga o f f e r e d a c c e s s i b l e , i n t i m a t e , concrete experience and was s i g -n i f i c a n t l y most popular when Brahman r i t u a l i s m was most s e t t l e d between the fourth century B.C. and the f o u r t h century of our era ( E l i a d e 1969:144). Despite Sankhya and yoga's a p p a r e n t l y r a d i c a l d i f -f e r e n c e s from Brahmanism, t h e i r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n was pre-d i c t a b l e on account o f t h e i r fundamental s i m i l a r i t y of d i v o r c i n g s p i r i t from matter; of seeking the s e l f i n order to surrender the s e l f and s e l f i s h n e s s , which, Dasgupta suggests, does not imply a p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p to God but the moral q u a l i t i e s of compassion, h u m i l i t y , s e l f - c o n t r o l and p u r i t y (Dasgupta 1927 : 1 1 8 ) . With regard to yoga t h i s i m p l i c a t i o n seems l o g i c a l l y q u e s t i o n a b l e . At any r a t e , E l i a d e claims that a l l y o g i c e x e r c i s e s pursue a g o a l , s i m i l a r to Brahmanism, "which i s to a b o l i s h m u l t i p l i c i t y and fragmentation, to r e i n t e g r a t e , to u n i f y , to make whole" and to r e a l i z e the paradox that " l i f e " c o i n c i d e s w i t h "death" ( E l i a d e 1969:97,98). L i v i n g w i t h the f a c u l t i e s and a t t r i b u t e s o f the dead past 122 d e t r a c t s from the f u l l , immediate experience o f the present,. Becoming d e c o n d i t i o n e d must t h e r e f o r e l e a d to a f r e e , f u l l consciousness of l i f e now, but how t h i s can then l e a d to an i l l o g i c a l mastery over death can presumably on l y be r e a l i z e d e x p e r i e n t i a l l y by, f o r example, a d e d i c a t e d y o g i . The Bhagavad G i t a The t e n s i o n that must have e x i s t e d between the p r i e s t h o o d and s a n y a s i s has a l r e a d y been r e f e r r e d to i n r e l a t i o n to gurus. On:the one hand were the t e c h n i c i a n s o f r i t u a l o f f e r i n g a remote, i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d grace and on the other, more v i s i b l y h o l y people e x e m p l i f y i n g an indepen-dent s a l v a t i o n ex opere operato (Weber 1 9 5 8 . 1 7 9 ) . An examination of the Bhagavad G i t a , of which there have been many i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , sheds f u r t h e r l i g h t on how t h i s problem was coped w i t h . Zimmer says i t i s a s y n t h e s i s o f Vedic and pre-Aryan thought. What i t c e r t a i n l y r e p r e s e n t s i s the way i n which the orthodox d o c t r i n e coped w i t h d i f f e r e n t i d e a s by en-l a r g i n g i t s own framework f o r r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , i f not by s y n t h e s i s . T h i s t o l e r a n c e was consonant wi t h the caste system and showed the p o s i t i v e and r e l i g i o u s p e r s p e c t i v e o f s t r i v i n g f o r completeness. Commenting on the "organismic", i n n e r - w o r l d l y e t h i c i n the poem, Weber suggests t h a t the 123 r e l a t i v i z i n g of a l l e t h i c a l and s o t e r i o l o g i c a l command-ments by caste i s not a matter o f negative t o l e r a n c e but " ( 1 ) of p o s i t i v e — o n l y r e l a t i v e and g r a d e d — a p p r e c i -a t i o n f o r quite c o n t r a r y maxims o f a c t i o n ; (2) o f the r e c o g n i t i o n of the l a w f u l and e t h i c a l autonomy, the equal and independent values, o f the v a r i o u s spheres of l i f e which had to r e s u l t from t h e i r equal d e v a l u a t i o n as soon as u l t i m a t e q u e s t i o n s o f s a l v a t i o n were at stake" (Weber 1 9 5 8 : 1 9 0 ) . T h i s i s the a p p r a i s a l of an i n d i v i d u a l who, l i k e the author of the poem, must have renounced the p a r t i c u l a r maxims and v a l u e s o f a s i n g l e " c a s t e " . In other words, r e p r e s s i v e o p p o s i t i o n o f any p o i n t o f view would have been inconsonant w i t h the s t r u c t u r e o f h i e r a r c h y coupled w i t h the unattached p e r s p e c t i v e of the s a n y a s i which comprised the t o t a l i t y o f Indian s o c i e t y . According to Bhandarkar, the G i t a i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i t s a s s e r t i o n of the e t e r n i t y o f the human s o u l , and that c o n t r o l o f senses ( d e s i r e s ) l e a d s to i n t e l l i g e n c e and knox^ledge, which develops w i l l , which i n t u r n l e a d s to knowledge o f s p i r i t . I t accepts both the Sankhya d o c t r i n e and jnanayoga, and the karmayoga o f caste duty and work as ways to the s e l f (Bhandarkar 1965:1*+)° Zimmer agrees w i t h t h i s l a s t p o i n t and claims that i t a l s o accepts the v a l i d i t y of other ways. I t i s however f u l l o f paradoxes. The main p r o t a g o n i s t i s the god K r i s h n a and i t suggests t h a t dualism belongs to the i l l u s o r y , phenomenal 124 world. I t s b i a s would appear t h e r e f o r e to be towards the orthodox. With regard to karmayoga, i t e l e v a t e s t h i s way i n t o bhaktiyoga, e x p l a i n i n g that the surrender of s e l f i s h d e s i r e s by d e v o t i o n a l performance of caste d u t i e s can be an e f f i c a c i o u s way to knowledge o f the s e l f (Zimmer 1 9 5 6 ; 3 7 8 - 4 0 9 ) . I t s tone ranged from rebuking the twice-born f o r abusing t h e i r wealth to t h e o l o g i c a l c r i t i c i s m o f Vedic Brahmanism and o f the caste system, making the r a d i c a l s uggestion that s a l v a t i o n could be found by a l l r e g a r d l e s s of varna or ashrama. The d o c t r i n a l l a r g e s s e - d i s p l a y e d i n the G i t a opened the way to a d i f f u s i o n o f d o c t r i n e s and s e c t s w i t h i n the orthodox t r a d i t i o n . No l o n g e r were the s t r i c t u r e s o f the Upanishads as absolute as they had been. T h e i r tone had been l e s s compromising; "The S e l f i s not e a s i l y known. I t cannot be r e a l i z e d except by the g r e a t e s t e f f o r t . E v e r y v e s t i g e o f the normal waking a t t i t u d e , which i s a p p r o p r i a t e and necessary f o r the d a i l y s t r u g g l e f o r e x i s t e n c e ( a r t h a ) , p l e a s u r e (kama), and the attainment o f ri g h t e o u s n e s s (dharma), must be abandoned" (Zimmer 1 9 5 6 : 3 6 3 ) ' W r i t t e n f o r the l a i t y , the t o l e r a n c e of the G i t a must have s a t i s f i e d the demand f o r t r u t h under new c o n d i t i o n s at the same time as i t subverted r a d i c a l change. 125 Vedanta F o l l o w i n g the G i t a and the p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f S h a i v i t e and then V a i s h n a v i t e c u l t s , the mainstream o f Vedic s p e c u l a t i v e thought came to be known as Vedanta. I t was expounded most c o g e n t l y and comprehensively i n the e i g h t h c entury of our era by a sanyasi named Sankara. His system was c a l l e d A d v a i t a ( n o n - d u a l i s t ) , and was propounded by s i x s e c t s that he founded. His language i s Vedic but he argued that the study o f the Vedas and the performance o f Vedic r i t e s were not necessary p r e c o n d i t i o n s of r e l e a s e from ignorance. The p r e s c r i b e d moral a c t i o n o f p r e - s a n y a s i l i f e stages were upheld. Ignorance i s s t i l l the cause of the m a t e r i a l world. When ignorance i s d i s p e l l e d the " U n i v e r s a l S e l f " (Atman-Brahman) which i s a completely i n a c t i v e , i s o l a t e d p r i n -c i p l e , can be known. Knowledge o f t h i s non-atomic, i n -s u b s t a n t i a l e n t i t y c o n s t i t u t e s r e l e a s e . Four q u a l i t i e s are necessary to possess i t . F i r s t , d i s c r i m i n a t i o n be-tween " e s s e n t i a l and a c c i d e n t a l , Being and beings, the e t e r n a l and n o n - e t e r n a l ; 2 , complete nonattachment to the f r u i t s o f a c t i o n both i n t h i s world and h e r e a f t e r ; t h i r d , p r a c t i c e o f s i x v i r t u o u s e x e r c i s e s ; sama (mental t r a n q u i l l i t y ) , dama ( c o n t r o l of senses), t i t i k s a (being u n a f f e c t e d by dual c o n d i t i o n s such as pleasure and p a i n , c o l d and heat, e t c . ) , u p a r a t i (temporary withdrawal from a c t s ) , samadhana (concentrated a t t e n t i o n ) and sraddha ( f a i t h ) ; f o u r t h , a burning d e s i r e f o r moksa ( r e l e a s e ) " (Singer 1 9 6 6 s l 5 8 , l 5 9 ). F a m i l i a r i n g r e d i e n t s but a d i f -f e r e nt p i e . The goal of bhaktiyoga which i s a union of l o v i n g ecstasy w i t h the highest personal d i v i n i t y i s considered a prelude to complete i l l u m i n a t i o n . These formulations appear to r e v e a l p r o g r e s s i v e l y more d r a s t i c r e n u n c i a t i o n of the m a t e r i a l and s o c i a l nature of man. But again, the sanyasi did remain i n a s o c i a l o r b i t . The s e l f he presents to others need not be anything e s s e n t i a l l y p a r t i c u l a r to himself, nor one that has been fashioned by p r e s c r i b e d r e l a t i o n s h i p s from the past. V a l i d a t i o n of the e n t e r p r i s e , formulations and claims of Hindu d o c t r i n e s may not be e m p i r i c a l l y p o s s i b l e , but they d i d express what was f e l t to be true at the h i s -t o r i c a l periods i n which they were made. By the end of the l a s t century, Debendranath Tagore had updated Vedanta f o r Ram Mohan R©y's Brahma Samaj i n the f o l l o w i n g ways "God i s a personal being w i t h sublime moral a t t r i b u t e s . — God has never become I n c a r n a t e d . — God hears and answers p r a y e r . — God i s to be worshipped only i n s p i r i t u a l ways.— Hindu a s c e t i s c i s m , temples and f i x e d forms of worship are unnecessary.— Men of a l l castes and races may worship God a c c e p t a b l y . — He r e q u i r e s no worship but reverence of s p i r i t . — Repentance and c e s s a t i o n from s i n i s the only way to forgiveness and s a l v a t i o n . — Nature and i n t u i t i o n are the sources of knowledge o f God.— 127 No book Is a u t h o r i t a t i v e " (Schweitzer 19515212), Among other i n f l u e n c e s , that o f Vaishnavism i s evident here. Shaivism Between the second and t w e l f t h c e n t u r i e s o f t h i s e r a , many orthodox s a n y a s i s took Shiva as t h e i r t u t e l a r y d e i t y . Shiva had a t t a i n e d the f u l l majesty o f godhead by the time of the Vedas and s p e c u l a t i o n i n some Upanishads accorded that gnosis w i t h Shiva was u l t i m a t e b l i s s (Bhandarkar 1965:105) . Shiva i n c o r p o r a t e d the D r a v i d i a n god Rudra, the howler, r e p r e s e n t i n g the awful, d e s t r u c t i v e , uncon-t r o l l a b l e aspects o f the u n i v e r s e . H is appeal was probably g r e a t e r i n r u r a l areas matched i n the towns by the ascendance o f Vishnu and a worship o f love as opposed to f e a r . There were two extreme S h a i v i t s s c h o o l s and. a mors moderate one that a t t r i b u t e d more p a r a d o x i c a l , i n -c l u s i v e q u a l i t i e s to him. Sects v a r i e d according to the methods p r e s c r i b e d by t h e i r founders f o r a c h i e v i n g g n o s i s . The moderate sc h o o l was a form o f q u a l i f i e d monism.. Shiva was an immanent God, made to act by the karma of i n d i v i d u a l s o u l s . These were f e t t e r e d to karma by im-p u r i t y , ignorance and. o b s t r u c t i v e powers that prevented them from seeing t h e i r own atomic, e t e r n a l and a l l - p e r v a s i v e nature (Bhandarkar 19655124-27). The i n d i v i d u a l soul a t t a i n e d union w i t h God by a combination o f i n t e l l e c t u a l , 128 metaphysical knowledge, a u s t e r i t i e s , m e d i tations and de-v o t i o n , depending on the s c h o o l . There were three c l a s s e s of S h a i v i t e s : a s c e t i c s , a s c e t i c s ' f o l l o w e r s and the l a i t y , a l l o f whom presupposed r e n u n c i a t i o n f o r u l t i m a t e u n i o n . The K a p a l i k a s e c t s s t r e s s e d d i s c i p l i n e l e a s t and enacted the g r o s s e r of the e c c e n t r i c i t i e s a t t r i b u t e d to Rudra. Some sch o o l s i n Kashmir founded by K a l l a t a and h i s p u p i l Vasugupta d e v i a t e d by a s s e r t i n g that God i s i n -dependent of h i s c r e a t i o n which i s brought i n t o being by h i s w i l l . The most outstanding v a r i a t i o n was the Lingayat sect founded i n the t w e l f t h century by Basava who had been a Brahman before r e n u n c i a t i o n . Basava was p o l i t i -c a l l y i n v o l v e d and h i s sect became a r i v a l i n s t i t u t i o n to the p r i e s t h o o d . Despite i n i t i a l reforms w i t h i n i t i n c l u d i n g an e f f o r t to e q u a l i z e the s t a t u s of i t s female members, i t became s t r u c t u r e d by caste and c o n s i s t e d mostly of t w i c 6 » b o r n adherents (Bhandarkar 1 9 6 5 : 1 3 9 ) • Vaishnavism Many of the most outstanding sanyasis belonged to V a i s h n a v i t e t r a d i t i o n , p a r t l y perhaps because of i t s s t r e s s on b h a k t i . T h i s allowed that God represented, an u n i n t e l l i g i b l e power and t h a t man, whether i n or out of the world, can but serve him as an empty v e s s e l that i s 129 f i l l e d and emptied o f h i s grace 1 r e g a r d l e s s o f man's w i l l . I t s b a s i c metaphysical b e l i e f s d i d not deviate g r e a t l y from Brahmanism and Vedanta. I t s a t t i t u d e to God found v a l i d a -t i o n a l s o from t r a d i t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e : "The Atman cannot be known and experienced by mere study and e x p o s i t i o n of the Vedas, nor by i n t e l l e c t , nor by l e a r n i n g . He whom the Atman chooses, by that man alone can Atman be r e a l i z e d " (Katha Upanishad, 1 , 2 , 2 3 ) . As Venkateswaran p o i n t s out, i t s a t t i t u d e e n t a i l e d a r e t u r n o f the sanyasi to s o c i e t y ( S i n g e r 1 9 6 6 : 1 5 0 ) . Vishnu was a minor d e i t y i n the Rg-Veda, but was l a t e r i d e n t i f i e d w i t h Vasudeva of the Brahmanas who was i d e n t i -f i e d w i t h the e a r l y Brahmanic Narayana. Vishnu's a v a t a r s , K r i s h n a and Rama, took on s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the C h r i s t i a n e r a , being considered human forms o f i n c a r n a t e s p i r i t . Vishnu, l i k e Shiva, m a n i f e s t s sus; an ambivalent, c o n t r a d i c t o r y , e n i g m a t i c a l ^ c h a r a c t e r . His devotees were opposed to the kind o f monism that contained the d o c t r i n e o f may a, which' c h a l l e n g e d the e f f i c a c y o f b h a k t i . There were two c l a s s e s o f V a i s h n a v i t e , t e a c h e r s : a l v a r s , who were l i k e p r i e s t s o f the b h a k t i c u l t u r e ; and acaryas whose business was to e s t a b l i s h the V a i s h n a v i t e creed. Among the l a t t e r was - Ramanuja who was born at the beginning of the e l e v e n t h century when Sankara's system was posing a c o n s i d e r a b l e challenge to V a i s h n a v i t e c r e d i b i l i t y . Ramanuja's response seems to have been 130 more d i s p u t a t i o u s and e x c l u s i v e than the tone o f compromise that marked other d o c t r i n a l d i f f e r e n c e s , and may have been a symptom of a new dependence on s e c u l a r adherence. C o n f l i c t s were based, on d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f t r a d i t i o n a l sources. For Ramanuja there was one Supreme Soul who was the cause o f i n d i v i d u a l (animal) s o u l s ( C i t ) and o f the i n s e n s a t e world ( A c i t ) . The i n d i v i d u a l s o u l i s an e t e r n a l , atomic, s e l f - i l l u m i n e d , unchangable, un-t h i n k a b l e a t t r i b u t e o f God, devoid of p a r t s , impervious to senses and dependent on God f o r e x i s t e n c e (Bhandarkar 1966:52-5^)o H i s system developed i n t o s i x t e e n f a i r l y r i t u a l i s t i c forms o f worship which s p l i t i n t o two schools, one emphasizing that God b r i n g s grace and the other that man's e f f o r t b r i n g s d e l i v e r a n c e . According to Bhandarkar, Ramanuja Brahmanized the t r a d i t i o n a l b h a k t i form o f worship (Bhandarkar 1966:57) . In the t h i r t e e n t h century, Madhva i n t r o d u c e d v a r i -a t i o n s on Sankara's pure monism and Ramanuja's q u a l i f i e d monism. His p r i n c i p a l i n n o v a t i o n was to teach i n the v e r n a c u l a r as w e l l as i n S a n s k r i t . This opened the way f o r Ramananda (l*+th - l ; 5 t h century) who c a r r i e d the acceptance of Sudras a step f u r t h e r . Rama and S i t a took the p l a c e of K r i s h n a and Radha as t u t e l a r y d e i t i e s . K a b i r continued changes i n the t r a d i t i o n by condemning i d o l a t r y . The next two c e n t u r i e s saw the founding of new s e c t s by Malukdas, Dadu and Raida, the l a t t e r two having been themselves Sudras. I n Bengal the V a i s h n a v i t e sect was described by Dimcock as "a formalized sublimation of human sexual and emotional e r o t i c experience as a means to the experience of the d i v i n e " (Singer 1966:42). Another outstanding f i g u r e was Vallabhacharya (1479-1531) whose sects continue today, a f f i r m i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the world and l e d by h e r e d i t a r y teachers. The opposite trend was e x e m p l i f i e d by the p o e t - e c s t a t i c Caitanya, who was wholly a n t i - f o r m a l i s t i c . Dadu's r a d i c a l concern was the u n i f i c a t i o n of Hindus and Moslems. This was again taken up i n the seventeenth century by Atmarama Paramahamsa and has continued s i n c e . I t was part of the i n c r e a s i n g trend to incorporate secular i d e a l s i n t o the r e l i g i o u s ideology, which i s probably the V a i s h n a v i t e s p r i n c i p a l i n f l u e n c e on Vedanta. Preceding Gandhi was the notable r e f o r m i s t work of Vivekananda ( a f t e r Ramakrishna), who s t a r t e d p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l e n t e r p r i s e s w i t h the founding of schools, h o s t e l s , r e -l i e f centres and h o s p i t a l s (Ghurye 1954:228). Serving the s t a t e had become part of the i d e a l of serving God. The concern now i s the u n i f i c a t i o n of the s e c t s . I t would be erroneous to suppose that sanyasis were a l l l i t e r a r y men. Their t r a d i t i o n s have of course come down through scholars and poets but there must have been m i l l i o n s of sanyasis who r e j e c t e d i n t e l l e c t u a l paths. In an u n t i t l e d t r a c t of p o s s i b l y Taoist o r i g i n , I found the 132 f o l l o w i n g anagram: "To a r r i v e at understanding from being one's true s e l f i s c a l l e d nature, and to a r r i v e at being one's true s e l f from understanding i s c a l l e d c u l t u r e ; he who i s h i s true s e l f has thereby understanding, and he who has understanding f i n d s thereby h i s true s e l f " . The former o f these two ways was c u r r e n t i n I n d i a when Alexander the Great entered the sub-continent. Mandanes, the " o l d e s t and w i s e s t " o f the gymnosophists i n t e r v i e w e d by Alexander thought that Pythagoras, Socrates and Diogenes "were mis-taken i n p r e f e r r i n g custom to n a t u r e " (M'Crindle 1969:391). Amongst many K r i s h n a s e c t s , the devotees endeavoured to express an i d e a l state o f love by i g n o r i n g d i f f e r e n c e s o f age, p o s i t i o n , caste and l e a r n i n g . I f t h i s tendency o f r e v e r s i n g the s o c i a l system i n more than a p e r s o n a l way ever a s s e r t e d i t s e l f , i t was too patchwork to make any impact on Indian s o c i e t y as a whole. The problem of s o c i a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n on the b a s i s of sex was never t a c k l e d . L i k e the example of the s a n y a s i , t h i s tendency must have made the i n t r u s i o n o f We s t e r n i d e a s l e s s a l i e n . J a i n i s m and Buddhism The two e m p h a t i c a l l y heterodox systems were pro-pounded w i t h i n s i x t y years of each other by two sanyasis who had been powerful K s h a t r i y a s . Both i n course o f time became i d o l i z e d and both were r e j e c t e d by t h e i r f o l l o w e r s as founders i n favour of e q u a l l y h o l y predecessors from a h i s t o r i c a l timess Mahavira was the twenty-fourth J a i n a saviour and the Gautama Buddha the e i g h t h i n c a r n a t i o n of the p e r f e c t Buddha. Both d i s c a r d e d the r i t u a l s , t e achings and h o l y language of the Vedas, yet n e i t h e r posed a s e r i o u s t h r e a t to the s o c i a l o r d e r . Despite being a n t i - p o l i t i c a l , Buddhism nonetheless be-came the only m i s s i o n a r y Indian s o t e r i o l o g y o u t s i d e I n d i a . T h i s can probably be a t t r i b u t e d to the support i t r e c e i v e d from K s h a t r i y a s whereby i t even became the s t a t e r e l i g i o n under Ashoka, one of the f i r s t kings to u n i t e I n d i a p o l i t i -c a l l y . This r a d i c a l departure from the p r e s c r i b e d separ-a t i o n of h i e r a r c h y and power and the ensuing c o n t r a d i c t i o n s must have hastened i t s c o l l a p s e and departure from I n d i a , a lthough i t may have c o n t r i b u t e d to the humanistic regime f o r which Ashoka was c e l e b r a t e d by modifying the amoral p o l i t i c a l code w i t h r e l i g i o u s v a l u e s of compassion. The J a i n r e l i g i o n continues amongst more than a ' m i l l i o n people, most of whom belong to p r o s p e r o u s ' s e c t o r s of the V a i s h y a c a s t e . Although J a i n a d o c t r i n e and p r a c t i c e d i f f e r from the orthodox r e l i g i o n and a l l other s e c t s , these d i f f e r e n c e s are minimized by t h e i r adherence to orthodox l i f e stages and i n t r o v e r t a p p l i c a t i o n . There are many epithets that have been used to d e s c r i b e the two d o c t r i n e s s the p e s s i m i s t i c , m a t e r i a l i s t i c monism o f J a i n i s m , and the n e g a t i v i s t i c e x i s t e n t i a l i s m o f Buddhism. I do not propose, however, to e l a b o r a t e on t h e i r p h i l o s o -p h i e s beyond saying that both J a i n i s m and Buddhism d i f f e r from a l l other Indian systems and each other as to the nature of the u n i v e r s e , of the i n d i v i d u a l soul and of f i r s t causes, as w e l l as to the means o f a r r i v i n g at l i b e r a -t i o n . They do not however, depart from the two fundamental s t r u c t u r e s o f Indian s o c i e t y and thought: the o p p o s i t i o n between pure and impure and that between s p i r i t and matter. The manner i n which san y a s i s o f a l l d o c t r i n e s t r i e d to bridge these o p p o s i t i o n s e n t a i l e d p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h t r u t h , u n s e l f i s h n e s s , moral d i s c i p l i n e and humanitarian concerns, which, along w i t h the i d e a o f s o c i a l p r o g r e s s , were concerns that the Western i n d i v i d u a l brought w i t h him to I n d i a (Dumont 1970a:236). Because I n d i a p r o v i d e d the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r i n d i v i d u a l s to indulge these concerns w i t h i n i t s t o t a l framework, i t cannot be s a i d t h a t the s a n y a s i n e c e s s a r i l y communicated i n an a l i e n a t e d and r e s t r i c t e d code commensurate w i t h weak or no c o n t r o l by g r i d and group. In such a s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s , " o p p o r t u n i -t i e s f o r i n d i v i d u a l development are l i m i t e d by l a c k o f o r g a n i z a t i o n " , "the range and q u a l i t y o f p e r s o n a l i n t e r -a c t i o n are r e s t r i c t e d " , "the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of knowing the s e l f reduced by l i m i t e d contact w i t h other s e l v e s " , and the cosmology " i n t e l l e c t u a l l y n u l l " w i t h " e v i l i m p l i c i t l y i g n o r e d " (Douglas 1970:1^0). In t h i s c u r s o r y review of 135 some Indian cosmologies I hope to have shown that renunci-a t i o n does not mean escapism, but the opportunity to seek new t r u t h i n a dynamic, d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h s o c i e t y . Zimmer begins h i s P h i l o s o p h i e s of I n d i a by saying that "though t r u t h , the radiance of r e a l i t y , i s u n i v e r s a l l y one and the same, i t i s mirrored v a r i o u s l y according to the medium i n which i t i s r e f l e c t e d . Truth appears d i f -f e r e n t l y i n d i f f e r e n t lands and ages according to the l i v i n g m a t e r i a l out of which symbols are hewn" (Zimmer 1956 s i ) . As the world grows i n t o a g l o b a l community, i t i s conceivable that the ways i n which people i n one area of i t have f o r three thousand years a r r i v e d at t r u t h s which transcend l i m i t a t i o n s imposed on i t s discovery, might be blended w i t h other ways i n other c u l t u r e s to a r r i v e at u n i v e r s a l values. The d o c t r i n e s themselves are u n l i k e l y to reach a s t a t i c expression. CHAPTER VII Cu l t u r e and Madness I f the language and c a t e g o r i e s o f Western s o c i a l psychology had u n i v e r s a l a p p l i c a t i o n , a sound case could be made that the san y a s i I s a madman. Sanyasis d i s p l a y many o f the m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f "psychopathology", " s c h i z o -p h r e n i a " , and "identity d i f f u s i o n " , as w e l l as f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h a category o f phenomenon l a b e l l e d , f o r want o f i n -v e s t i g a t i o n and knowledge i n the West, as e x t r a sensory p e r c e p t i o n and the s u p e r n a t u r a l . These i n c l u d e f o r example, t e l e p a t h y , being aware o f the thoughts o f o t h e r s , and a d i f f e r e n t awareness of time which may i n -clude f o r e s i g h t and h i n d s i g h t . U n t i l r e c e n t l y a t any r a t e , i n d i v i d u a l s who r e f u s e d to deny t h e i r own apper-c e p t i o n o f phenomena that d i d not f i t i n t o c u l t u r a l l y a c c e p t a b l e c a t e g o r i e s had recourse e i t h e r to conscious d e c e p t i o n , to s u i c i d e , to j a i l s or to mental i n s t i t u -t i o n s . Diagnoses and treatment i n the l a t t e r c o n t r o l those p e r c e p t i o n s by s t i f l i n g them, w i t h drugs and e l e c -t r i c shocks. The " p a t i e n t " i s r e i n c o r p o r a t e d back i n t o s o c i e t y by being t o l d that h i s symptoms are u n r e a l becaus they do not correspond w i t h the v e r s i o n o f r e a l i t y h e l d by s e c u l a r power. T h i s " c u r i n g " process i s i n consonance w i t h a s o c i e t y where the place o f the i n d i v i d u a l w i t h i n the c o l l e c t i v i t y i s determined by m a t e r i a l power. S p i r i t f a r from being d i v o r c e d from matter, Is j o i n e d w i t h i t to 137 serve i t . Aside from i n v e r t i n g the precedence of matter over s p i r i t found i n I n d i a , the Western o r i e n t a t i o n to the sub-j e c t matter o f t h i s chapter o f t e n l e a d s to the removal o f any s t a t u s from those who admit of s p i r i t u a l experience, save that o f madman. Such i n d i v i d u a l s were t r e a t e d d i f f e r e n t l y i n I n d i a . The phenomena that they claimed to become aware of were considered dangerous powers ( s i d d h i ) . They belonged to the realm thought o f as sacred and. dangerous, to which people i n a t r a n s i t i o n a l s t a t e had ac c e s s . The phenomena were o n l y denied so long as they were experienced w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l grouping. R i t e s o f i n c o r p o r a t i o n and the c o n t r o l o f consciousness by caste and ashrama m i t i g a t e d a g a i n s t the experience of them. Those who d i d not escape the evidence of t h e i r own deviant experience had recourse to a permanent s t a t e o f t r a n s i t i o n (sanyasan ). T h i s pro-v i d e d the freedom f o r the i n d i v i d u a l to experience phenomena not admitted w i t h i n s o c i e t y . I t d i d not matter whether experience o f these phenomena came before or a f t e r r i t e s o f s e p a r a t i o n from s o c i e t y f o r t h e i r v a l i d i t y to be accepted. They were judged u n r e a l by a y a r d s t i c k d i f f e r e n t from s o c i e t y ' s v e r s i o n o f r e a l i t y . T h i s y a r d s t i c k was the s t a t e o f being approximating the f u l f i l l m e n t o f the s a n y a s i ' s u l t i m a t e purpose. Rather than escape from them, they were to be transcended, and the powers d e r i v e d from t h i s t r a n s c e n -dence renounced. Laing has w r i t t e n that "experience may be judged to be i n v a l i d l y mad or v a l i d l y m y s t i c a l " (Laing 1967:108) 0 This o b s e r v a t i o n h i g h l i g h t s the d i f f e r e n c e i n a t t i t u d e between the West and I n d i a towards experience that endangers the s e c u r i t y and comfort o f l i f e w i t h i n society,, I n d i a may have had a category of " i n v a l i d l y mad", but i t d i d not im-pinge on what was considered v a l i d l y m y s t i c a l . T h i s chapter e x p l o r e s some connections between self-knowledge, madness and transcendence. A p s y c h o s o c i a l a n a l y s i s of the Indian context i s a l s o c o n s i d e r e d . I t may be p o s s i b l e to t r a n s l a t e some concepts of Western psychology \tfhich d e a l w i t h the process of i d e n t i t y c r i s i s through madness to r e i n t e g r a t i o n , so that they shed l i g h t on the process towards self-knowledge through t r a n s i t i o n and s i d d h i s to transcendence i n I n d i a . Both c u l t u r e s guard themselves a g a i n s t these processes by s e p a r a t i n g those who undergo them from i t s other members. I t w i l l , however, be argued that I n d i a ' s approach f o r i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z i n g t h i s separ-a t i o n i s more humane and more b e n e f i c i a l to the develop-ment of h e a l t h y i n d i v i d u a l s . The d i f f e r e n c e i s between ana t h e m a t i z a t i o n on the one hand and s a c r a l i z a t i o n on the other. 139 Anathematization The s t r u c t u r e o f Western s o c i e t y demands t h a t the i n -d i v i d u a l adopt, c o n s c i o u s l y or otherwise, an accept a b l e persona so that h i s search f o r self-knowledge can happen c o i n c i d e n t a l l y w i t h s o c i a l i n c o r p o r a t i o n . I f self-knowledge i s not thereby s t i f l e d , i t a l s o demands a d e f l a t i o n o f the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f s o c i a l r o l e s which could l e a d to a con-t i n u a l sense o f charade or f r a u d , and p o s s i b l y ensuing s e l f - h a t r e d , f e a r , anomy and i s o l a t i o n . Such s t a t e s and t h e i r c o r o l l a r y symptoms are t r e a t e d as temporary i d e n t i t y c r i s e s between the adoption of p s y c h i c a l l y comfortable, f u n c t i o n a l and s y n t h e t i c personae. The development o f a transcendent s e l f i s i n h i b i t e d by an i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n that i n s i s t s on r e i n c o r p o r a t i o n i n t o o c c u p a t i o n a l , k i n and p o l i t i c a l u n i t s , endowing these w i t h s p i r i t u a l a t t r i b u t e s . A n a l y s i s during i d e n t i t y c r i s e s i s comparable to the t r a n s i t i o n r i t e s that c o n t r o l the caste member's conscious-ness- from one p r e s c r i b e d s t a t e to the next. What f o l l o w s i s concerned w i t h European psychology based on i n d i v i d u a l i s m , which s t u d i e s p r o c e s s e s of i n d i v i d u a t i o n and of which E r i k s o n ' s work i s t y p i c a l . The arguments that f o l l o w are not intended to apply to schools o f psychology studying other p r o c e s s e s . Of the f o u r a n a l y t i c mechanisms that E r i k s o n proposes are o p e r a t i v e i n the formation o f i d e n t i t y , the caste member, u n l i k e the Western i n d i v i d u a l , o n l y uses threes I n t r o j e c t i o n , iko p r o j e c t i o n and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . The sanyasi alone can r e -pudiate and a s s i m i l a t e the e f f e c t s o f these three by u s i n g techniques p e c u l i a r to Indian s o t e r i o l o g i e s and the f r e e -dom sanyasan p r o v i d e s to do so. Most o f E r i k s o n ' s a n a l y t i c concepts d e a l w i t h i d e n t i t y c o n f l i c t s a r i s i n g from s o c i a l -i z a t i o n processes i n the Western f a m i l y . These create personae more deeply imbedded than other attachments. E r i k s o n suggests that the processes which form a s e l f operate on the "ego i d e n t i t y " which i s "the more or l e s s  a c t u a l l y a t t a i n e d but f o r e v e r to be r e v i s e d sense of the r e a l i t y of the s e l f w i t h i n s o c i a l r e a l i t y " ; on the ego, which i s the c e n t r a l o r g a n i z i n g agency; and on the super-ego, which i s "that set of t o - b e - s t r i v e d - f o r but f o r e v e r  n o t - q u i t e - a t t a i n a b l e i d e a l goals f o r the s e l f " and which i s h i s t o r i c a l l y contingent ( E r i k s o n 1959*l !+9; E r i k s o n ' s i t a l i c s ) . The c r i s e s that precede the formation of the s e l f are presented by E r i k s o n as r e s o l u b l e c o n t r a d i c t i o n s but the emergence o f a h e a l t h y s o c i a l i n d i v i d u a l depends on a form of r e s o l u t i o n imposed by s o c i e t y . Apart from a p h i l o s o p h y that says the s e l f and i d e a l c u l t u r a l g o als can become one, and techniques that are used i n a r e a l i t y apart from s o c i e t y ' s f o r t h i s e v e n t u a l i t y , the i n s t i t u t i o n of sanyasan i t s e l f renders E r i k s o n ' s framework i n a p p l i c a b l e to the s a n y a s i . That framework i s inadequate to e x p l a i n the sanyasi's experience i n seeking the s e l f because what cou l d be e q u i v a l e n t to i d e n t i t y c r i s e s f o r the s a n y a s i are 141 r e s o l v e d d i f f e r e n t l y by him. E r i k s o n 1 s concepts, which I take as a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e example of the psychology produced by Western s o c i e t y , w i l l be examined here to show how t h i s i s so. According to E r i k s o n , the f i r s t c r i c i s encountered by a developing i n d i v i d u a l a r i s e s from "the f i r s t experience of mounting need t e n s i o n , of delay of s a t i s f a c t i o n , and f i n a l u n i f i c a t i o n w i t h the s a t i s f y i n g 'object'" ( E r i k s o n 1959 *141)o R e s o l u t i o n of t h i s c r i s i s determines the degree of t r u s t or m i s t r u s t f e l t by that person towards the world, xtfhich can be a s c e r t a i n e d by h i s a t t i t u d e towards time. "Malignantly regressed young people are c l e a r l y possessed by general a t t i t u d e s which represent something of a mis-t r u s t of time as such...time must be made to stand s t i l l , i f necessary by the magic means of c a t a t o n i c i m m o b i l i t y — o r by death" ( E r i k s o n 1959 :141). Less extreme forms manifest themselves i n utopianism. The very p o i n t f o r the sanyasi i s that he does not simply m i s t r u s t time; he wants to be r e l e a s e d from i t s cycle once and f o r a l l . He has i d e o l o g i c a l teachings which make that a r e a l p o s s i b i l i t y . C h i l d r e a r i n g p r a c t i c e s i n I n d i a by and large o f f e r immediate g r a t i f i -c a t i o n to breast-feeding i n f a n t s and so, by E r i k s o n * s a n a l y s i s , basic t r u s t has been f o s t e r e d i n the c h i l d by the time he becomes a man-in-the-world. By p u r p o s e f u l l y r e -g r e s s i n g , by stepping out of the world, the sanyasi can experience the a n t i t h e s i s , a necessary step towards the * lk2 r e s y n t h e s i s of a new, independent i d e n t i t y 8 There i s no i n s i s t e n c e on conforming to s o c i e t y ' s time s c a l e , nor that i t s time scale i s the only one. Another c r i s i s to which the sanyasi w i l f u l l y r e g r e s s e s i s that which E r i k s o n says comes i n e a r l y c h i l d h o o d , when the c h i l d begins to r e a l i z e there i s a d i s c r e p a n c y between what he wants and what i s c u l t u r a l l y p o s s i b l e or p e r m i s s i b l e . The h e a l t h y response to t h i s c r i s i s i s a f e e l i n g of autonomy, whereas the r e g r e s s e d i n d i v i d u a l experiences shame and doubt, whose o r i g i n i n the f r u s t r a t e d outrage that anyone should want more or d i f f e r e n t l y than what i s given, E r i k s o n i g n o r e s . S o c i e t a l l y t h i s second c o n f l i c t i s transcended by a " u n i -v e r s a l trend toward some form o f u n i f o r m i t y (and sometimes to s p e c i a l uniforms or d i s t i n c t i v e c l o t h i n g ) through which incomplete s e l f - c e r t a i n t y , f o r a time, can hide i n a group c e r t a i n t y , such as i s provided by the badges as w e l l as the s a c r i f i c e s o f i n v e s t i t u r e s , c o n f i r m a t i o n s and i n i t i a -t i o n s " ( E r i k s o n 1959:l ! +3)o In I n d i a , the developing s e l f -consciousness of the c h i l d i s e c l i p s e d by i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d i n v e s t i t u r e i n t o "group c e r t a i n t y " , the f a m i l y and the c a s t e . O c c a s i o n a l l y , the sanyasi w i l l f o l l o w the p a t t e r n o u t l i n e d by E r i k s o n by j o i n i n g a d i s t i n c t i v e sect such as the m i l i -tant b a i r a g i s . So long as he i s a member of a sect the s a n y a s i i s suspended from r e s o l v i n g the c o n f l i c t and t h i s may be why some sany a s i s become hermits f o r a w h i l e — t o t e s t t h e i r autonomy. 143 J u s t as autonomy i s not a r e a l i s t i c p o s s i b i l i t y f o r the man-in-the-x^orld i n I n d i a , so shame i s not p r e c i s e l y i t s a n t i t h e s i s f o r the sanyasi. The ideology behind the i n -s t i t u t i o n of sanyasan so permeates the whole of s o c i e t y that there i s no s o c i a l approbation of, f o r example, the sanyasi's nakedness. E r i k s o n hypothesises that being naked epitomizes a sense of shame: "Shame supposes that one i s completely exposed and conscious of being looked a t : i n one word, s e l f - c o n s c i o u s . One i s v i s i b l e and not ready to be v i s i b l e ; which i s why we dream o f shame as a s i t u a t i o n i n which we are stared at i n a c o n d i t i o n of com-p l e t e undress" ( E r i k s o n 1959:142). Hypothesising that t h i s may be the case i n I n d i a too, the sanyasi's nakedness can be seen as a r e j e c t i o n of the conventional, dressed persona i n order to dis c o v e r the s e l f that transcends i t . Nakedness develops that self-consciousness which transcends the con-d i t i o n a l shame of the a r t i f i c i a l persona. The next c r i s i s that E r i k s o n p i n p o i n t s r e q u i r e s equal m o d i f i c a t i o n when a p p l i e d to the sanyasi. Here the con-f l i c t i s between the development of i n i t i a t i v e or g u i l t . I f i t i s s u c c e s s f u l l y r e s o l v e d , the Western adolescent experiments w i t h d i f f e r e n t r o l e s ; i f u n s u c c e s s f u l l y , he chooses a negative i d e n t i t y . For the adolescent i n t r a -d i t i o n a l I n d i a , the problem does not present i t s e l f , at l e a s t i n t h i s form. Once again, caste, Brahmanism and i n i t i a t i o n ceremonies circumscribe i n i t i a t i v e and r o l e e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n . The s a n y a s i , however, i s f r e e to take i n i t i a t i v e s : he i s dead to c a s t e , he can he a l l t h i n g s to a l l men. Sanyasan sa n c t i o n s what would be a negative i d e n t i t y w i t h i n s o c i e t y , namely, an autonomous i n d i v i d u a l . S i m i l a r l y , sanyasan s a n c t i o n s h i s being m a n i f e s t l y u n p r o d u c t i v e , though he may be s o l i c i t e d f o r p r a y e r s and a d v i c e . E r i k s o n diagnoses work p a r a l y s i s as the adolescent r e g r e s s i o n stemming from f e e l i n g inadequate when engaged i n competitive work s i t u a t i o n s , the c r i s i s encountered by Western c h i l d r e n when they f i r s t go to s c h o o l . Again, the nature of caste s o c i e t y f o r e s t a l l s the c r i s i s and the very f a c t o f becoming a sanyasi transcends i t even as i t p r e s e n t s i t . There i s one other c r i s i s I s h a l l d e al w i t h u s i n g E r i k s o n ' s concepts, whose i n a p p l i c a b i l i t y to the s a n y a s i ' i s nonetheless r e v e a l i n g . E r i k s o n suggests that some qu e s t i o n s such as whether l i f e happens to the i n d i v i d u a l or i s l i v e d by h i s i n i t i a t i v e can be a t t r i b u t e d to i s o l a -t i o n which i s a r e g r e s s i o n from the i s s u e of i n t i m a c y ( E r i k s o n 1959:126). I t i s the coincidence of f o u r c i r -cumstances that make t h i s and the other i d e n t i t y c r i s e s c r i t i c a l f o r the Western adolescent i n d i v i d u a l : f i n d i n g h i m s e l f faced w i t h competition, an o c c u p a t i o n a l c h o i c e , p h y s i c a l i n t i m a c y and a p s y c h o s o c i a l d e f i n i t i o n ( E r i k s o n 1959:123)• N e i t h e r competition nor the need f o r a p s y c h o s o c i a l s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n a r i s e i n the caste system. ik5 Occupation i s p r e s c r i b e d and so I xrould argue i s the nature o f p h y s i c a l i n t i m a c y . Whether by childhood marriage or by the moral a b s o l u t e s of 1 dharma, which, w i t h i n j o i n t f a m i l y l i v i n g , p r e s c r i b e u n q u a l i f i e d obedience to the f a t h e r , the caste member's sexual i d e n t i t y i s pre f a b r i c a t e d . To be i s o l a t e d would be to become a s a n y a s i . I t i s o n l y f o r the sanyasi that the problem has r e a l i t y . (In terms o f u l t i m a t e v a l u e s , the " r e a l i t y " o f these problems i s i l l u s i o n a r y — t h e substance of the concept o f "maya".) The caste member i s bound to l i f e a f t e r l i f e , an endless c y c l e of them and i t s concomitant p r o c r e a t i o n . The c o n f l i c t s a r i s i n g from competition and o c c u p a t i o n a l choice are transcended f o r the s a n y a s i , as I have t r i e d to show, by the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d complementarity o f caste and sanyasan ( c h i e f l y by the r e s u l t i n g s a n c t i o n of "work p a r a l y s i s " ) . P h y s i c a l i n t i m a r y , however, and i t s bearing on a new p s y c h o s o c i a l s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n , i s not so e a s i l y r e s o l v e d . The i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d mechanism f o r coping w i t h i t i s c h a s t i t y . That t h i s does not n e c e s s a r i l y work, or i s not the only s o l u t i o n , i s witnessed by profuse forms o f sexual experimentation such as the t a n t r i c c u l t s . The d e i f i c a t i o n of the r i v e r Ganges as Mother (Ganga Ma) and even I n d i a as a whole can be s a i d to be ways o f t r a n s f e r r i n g uneasy i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s . ( E r i k s o n claims that an u n s u c c e s s f u l sexual i d e n t i t y l e a d s to b i s e x u a l c o n f u s i o n ) . The p r e s c r i b e d course of a b s t i n e n c e , upon which most t s a n y a s i s take vows at t h e i r i n i t i a t i o n s , suggests that the s a n y a s i , having been a householder, i s a l r e a d y f a m i l i a r w i t h h i s sexual persona. Tantrism would represent an attempt to s a n c t i f y i n t i m a c y which threatened to become a f o r m a l i z e d program f o r p r o c r e a t i o n . I t was a n t i - a s c e t i c and a n t i -s p e c u l a t i v e , d e v i s i n g i t s own r i t u a l s and use of yoga. I t grew out of the m y s t i c a l e r o t i c i s m (maithuna) of the Vedic era whose p h i l o s o p h y p o s i t e d that f l e s h , the l i v i n g cosmos and time were the fundamental elements of the world. L i k e yoga, i t claimed to r e a l i z e e x p e r i e n t i a l l y , not j u s t s y m b o l i c a l l y , that " l i f e c o i n c i d e s w i t h death". The tan-t r i s t experiences a s t a t e o f "non-conditioned e x i s t e n c e , of pure s p o n t a n e i t y " and i s a "dead man i n l i f e " who has been reborn i n t o another l i f e ( E l i a d e 1969: 268;273-3-:). The a u s t e r i t i e s p r a c t i s e d by some sany a s i s would represent the other side o f the same c o i n , advocating i n h i b i t i o n as the best course to overcome a s t y l i z e d persona to handle sexual energy. What both t a n t r i s m and absti n e n c e , ex-p r e s s i o n i s m and i n h i b i t i o n i s m , have i n common i s the attempt e v e n t u a l l y to transcend s e x u a l i t y a l t o g e t h e r and to r e s o l v e the c o n f l i c t that a r i s e s from the d e s i r e to be known i n t i m a t e l y by another and yet to know the s e l f apart from o t h e r s . S e x u a l i t y i s hot treated as something t h a t should be l e f t alone, but as another sacred energy that i s c o n t r o l l e d s o c i a l l y by the s t r i c t a s c r i p t i o n o f sexual personae. 147 The manner i n which a wide range o f phenomena and experience i s t r e a t e d so d i f f e r e n t l y i n two d i f f e r e n t c u l -t u r e s i n d i c a t e s t hat the concepts d e v i s e d by one c u l t u r e to i n v a l i d a t e them as mad or deviant are crutches f o r i t s s t a b i l i t y and comfort. In a s e c u l a r community where so-c i e t y ' s v e r s i o n o f r e a l i t y and order i s no lon g e r designed f o r s u r v i v a l as i t was i n famine-prone I n d i a , these concepts may only serve the comfort and s e c u r i t y o f those who b e n e f i t from an e s t a b l i s h e d c u l t u r a l g e s t a l t . The kind o f knowledge and experience that threatens that order i s connected w i t h self-knowledge. Western c u l t u r e has anathematized those who f i n d t h e i r way i n t o such experience w i t h the r a t i o n a l i z -a t i o n that they are harming themselves. I t has co-opted the c h o i c e s they can make i n face o f them, denying the pos-s i b i l i t y of transcending them. When s p i r i t u a l experience has been c o n s i d e r e d v a l i d , i t i s co-opted to s a n c t i f y the s o c i a l order and to el e v a t e i t s m o r a l i t y . For example, the C h r i s t i a n t h e o l o g i a n Jurgen Moltmann suggests there can be no i n t e l l e c t u a l knowledge o f l a s t t h i n g s , but the i n t e l l e c t can give them moral s i g n i f i c a n c e and t h e r e f o r e they are not voids "In moral a c t i o n , man gets beyond the mechanism of b l i n d l y working c a u s e s . . . a t t a i n s to the n o n - o b j e c t i v e , n o n - o b j e c t i f i a b l e realm o f freedom and of a b i l i t y to be a s e l f . Thus as Hans Urs von B a l t h a s a r a p t l y remarks, 'tran s c e n d e n t a l p h i l o s o p h y becomes the method to\\rard inward apocalypse'" (Moltmann 1 9 6 7 : 4 8 ) . I*f8 The s a n y a s i ' s transcendence has moral i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r I n d i a n s o c i e t y , which may be why i t s concepts are d e v i s e d to v a l i d a t e h i s experience as m y s t i c a l . There, however, the "madman" or "mystic" can i n t e r a c t as u s e f u l l y w i t h h i s f e l l o w c i t i z e n s as the C h r i s t i a n t h e o l o g i a n can i n the West. An i n c r e a s e i n the number of s u i c i d e s i n I n d i a w i l l be one i n d i c a t o r of an expansion of i t s category " i n v a l i d l y mad" and the d e c l i n e o f sanyasan. de f a c t o as w e l l as de .jure breakdown of caste w i l l i n c r e a s e i n d i v i d u a t i o n . P s y c h o s o c i a l Approaches to C u l t u r e Before c o n c l u d i n g t h i s chapter, a b r i e f d i g r e s s i o n w i l l be made to d i s c u s s C a r s t a i r s ' p s y c h o s o c i a l approach to I n d i a n s o c i e t y and the s a n y a s i . which s u f f e r s from the same e t h n o c e n t r i c r e l a t i v i t y as E r i k s o n ' s f o r m u l a t i o n s . C a r s t a i r s assumes that a theory o f n a t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r and m o t i v a t i o n can be d e r i v e d from examining the conscious i d e a l s , the l e a r n e d behaviour and accepted d e v i a t i o n s o f a c u l t u r e , and the i n f l u e n c e o f c o n s i s t e n t , shared but con-c e a l e d , i n f a n t i l e p h a n t a s i e s , which a c u l t u r e imparts to i t s members by c h a n n e l l i n g what he c a l l s t h e i r i n s t i n c t s . T r a d i t i o n a l I n d i a n f a m i l i e s e a s i l y l e n d themselves to Freudian i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . I f , as Dubois wrote, a man's debt to h i s a n c e s t o r s , was the most important duty o f h i s l i f e , the pressures of that duty alone would lead to s e l f -perpetuating conformity. The f a m i l y would be "the s o c i a l product of the interweaving of the l i v e s of many people over many generations" (Laing 1 9 7 2si). P a t e r n a l c o n t r o l would be very powerful. The Indian v i l l a g e r ' s i n t e g r a t i o n and s t a b i l i t y IS found by conformity "to the p a t t e r n of h i s enveloping s o c i e t y " at the cost of a s s e r t i n g h i s own p e r s o n a l i t y ( C a r s t a i r s 1 9 5 7 s l 4 6 ) „ This means that he l i v e s i n a world of deceptive appearances c o n t r a d i c t e d by the i n i t i a l s e l f - c e n t r e d view of the universe that he has l e a r n t as a c h i l d . C h i l d r e n are never made to f e e l hungry or alone, so f e e l i n g secure, they become imperious. Their p o s i t i o n i s suddenly usurped by t h e i r f a t h e r . The i n c o n s i s -tency of r e l a t i o n s w i t h parents-in-lax^ and the mystery of the menstruation taboo contribute to plunging him i n t o a world where nothing i s sure (hence a l l i s maya) ( C a r s t a i r s 1957s l57)« The only p o s s i b l e access to the mother and f a t h e r i s through t o t a l submission and c a s t r a t i o n . With t h i s upbringing, the murder of a s e l f - a s s e r t i v e younger brother by h i s Rajput e l d e r brother i s i n e v i t a b l e . (Car-s t a i r s 1 9 53* 5 4 S 5 D O The Hindu's constant s t r i v i n g a f t e r essences and absolute c e r t a i n t y i s f u r t h e r exacerbated by "the dilemma of being confronted w i t h a number of f o r - e v e r - i n a c c e s s l b l e r o l e s " . C a r s t a i r s ignores that the patterns of conformity and dharma i n h i b i t the s t r i v i n g a f t e r i n a c c e s s i b l e r o l e s . 150 And so he argues that the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s of h i s upbringing can only be overcome "by the r e l i g i o u s techniques of complete r e n u n c i a t i o n of a l l m a t e r i a l and personal t i e s " ( C a r s t a i r s 1957 :6l)o Aside from the self-made wealthy businessman, (a new phenomenon), who renounces a l l "sentimental t i e s and o b l i g a t i o n s towards t h e i r fellow-men", the v i l l a g e r ' s constant pradox^is only transcended by the i d e a l f i g u r e of the a s c e t i c . Only the s e l f - d e d i c a t i o n of the sanyasi r e -ve a l s "prolonged and unremitting a p p l i c a t i o n to a task", so that they "escape from t h e i r f e l l o w s ' r e c u r r i n g c r i s e s of doubt and m i s t r u s t because they have renounced the attempt to form personal t i e s w i t h anyone at a l l " (Car-s t a i r s 1957:55-56) . Holy men are i n f l i c t i n g extreme punishment on themselves. Their reward i s an omnipotence greater than f a t h e r f i g u r e gods, a b l i s s more e c s t a t i c than sex, and "release from separate self-hood". In other words, the sanyasi seeks to triumph over h i s f a t h e r , to repossess h i s mother, and to r e t u r n to p r e n a t a l existence ( C a r s t a i r s 1957.161). Shiva, f o r instance, i s a sanyasi's godhead because, being the essence of maleness, he represents both generative power and u n i v e r s a l d e s t r u c t i o n . His i d e a l conduct of a u s t e r i t i e s (tapassya) i s the s e l f - c a s t r a t i o n of o b l i t e r a t e d s e x u a l i t y , so he i s both v i c t i m and destroyer of the demon goddess ( C a r s t a i r s 1957:163). This approach c o n t r a d i c t s i t s e l f and that taken i n 151 t h i s papero C a r s t a i r s may i l l u m i n a t e the state of repressed self-consciousness and the cost of conformity without s e l f -knowledge, but i t i s u n l i k e l y that many caste members used to see themselves as separate selves so that they questioned t h e i r s o c i a l personae, "Ultimate r e d o n c i l i a t i o n w i t h one's mother and f a t h e r f i g u r e s " may be what i s meant by moksa and union w i t h Brahma through self-knowledge, but i t seems more l i k e l y to be an i n c i d e n t a l e f f e c t . E l i a d e , among other com-mentators, i n s i s t s that such b l i s s f u l union (samadhi) i s not comparable w i t h s p i r i t u a l escape i n t o the deep sleep of pre-n a t a l e x i s t e n c e , "even i f the recovery of t o t a l i t y through u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d e n s t a s i s seems to resemble the b l i s s of the human being's f e t a l pre-consciousness" ( E l i a d e 1969:99). For the sanyasi, sublimation and suppression are not com-parable w i t h self-knowledge and transcendence. S a c r a l i z a t i o n Self-knowledge presupposes knowledge of a l l the personae that f i x s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s moulded by a f f i l i -a t i o n to p o l i t i c a l , o ccupational and k i n groups. They have been f i x e d f o r generations and ingested from the moment of b i r t h . The sanyasi seeks to know the s e l f that remains when these personae have been s t r i p p e d away (the atman). S o c i a l l y , he becomes everyone and no one. The experience and teachings of others seeking that s e l f inform him that i f he acquires u l t i m a t e self-knowledge, he a l s o f i n d s u n i t y w i t h Brahma, the a l l - p e r v a s i v e , Supreme S p i r i t . The f i r s t step i s r e -n u n c i a t i o n of those a f f i l i a t i o n s that determine h i s s o c i a l personae. Henceforth "routine d i s t i n c t i o n s and observances of the mundane world are' not binding on him" (Ghurye 1 9 5 3 ' 7*0. Where the man-in-the-world i s s t a t i c , the sanyasi be-comes mobile w i t h the freedom to wander i n s a f e t y a l l over the sub-continent; Where before h i s s a f e t y depended on productive work, he i s now provided f o r by a l l he meets. To avoid s t r a i n i n g l o c a l economies he does not stay more than four days i n one place except i n those i n s t i t u t i o n s (mats and ashrams) e s p e c i a l l y p a t r o n i z e d f o r the maintenance of him and h i s f e l l o w sanyasis. To these he can come and go as he chooses f o r meditation and schooling i n yoga techniques and ayurvedic medicine f o r example. By seeing to h i s p h y s i c a l welfare and i n d i r e c t l y h i s psychic welfare the p a t r o n i z i n g community r e c e i v e s medical care, s p i r i t u a l advice and. s p i r i t u a l merit. Where before he had l i v e d by day, he might now l i v e by night too. Where before he had worn cl o t h e s he may now go naked. His eating and sleeping h a b i t s may change by l e a r n i n g to l i v e w i t h i n c r e a s i n g l y l e s s of both. Wo boundaries are taboo. He has access to graveyards and cremation grounds. Therefore despite negating most aspects of h i s l i f e i n the world, he i s supported i n h i s e n t e r p r i s e by the whole s o c i e t y . By f u r n i s h i n g him w i t h p h y s i c a l and psychic support, he i s free to s u s t a i n a detached perspective towards a l l those personae that have c o n s t i t u t e d h i s former being. This s a n c t i f i c a t i o n of h i s i n d i v i d u a t i o n a l l e v i a t e s those pressures a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s e l f - e x a m i n a t i o n that can l e a d to i s o l a t i o n , doubt, f e a r and d e s p a i r . Detachment de f l a t e s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of s o c i a l personae which are a r t i -f i c i a l l y organized forms to cope w i t h sacred e n e r g i e s that are formless and l i m i t l e s s . The more p r i s t i n e forms of these energies may be experienced as a b s t r a c t love or hate c r e a t i o n and d e s t r u c t i o n , f o r i n s t a n c e , or they may be anthropomorphised as Vishnu and S h i v a . T h e i r emotional forms were given t r i p a r t i t e c a t e g o r i z a t i o n (gunas), a t t r i b u t e s o f s p i r i t r e s p e c t i v e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h one of the three twice-born varnas. The sanyasi f i n d s h i s way to t h e i r most p r i s t i n e , u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d s t a t e by f i n d i n g h i s own p r i s t i n e and u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d s e l f . This i s the pro-cess o f transcendence which l e a d s to c o n t r o l over the d i f -f e r e n t i a t e d personae that must be adopted i n s o c i a l i n t e r -a c t i o n . I t i s as i f the s e l f i s a prism through which energy i s r e f r a c t e d i n t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e d personae. Another metaphor used i n the Vedas was that each i n d i v i d u a l has a spark whose essence i s the same as that of the cosmic f i r e As the l i g h t from the sun d i f f e r e n t i a t e s through time and space i n t o c o l o u r s , so i t s energy d i f f e r e n t i a t e s i n t o m a n i f o l d l i f e forms. Such transcendence would imply the redundancy o f worshiping any d e i t y which the Upanishads p r o f e s s e d was u l t i m a t e l y a v a i n o c c u p a t i o n . The g r e a t e r the m u l t i p l i c i t y , the more profane that I5h s t a t e i s . States of l e s s d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n are more sacred. Indian s o c i e t y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d to form as c o n s i s t e n t a f a c -s i m i l e of- the sacred order as p o s s i b l e . S o c i a l and c u l -t u r a l boundaries and r e l a t i v e moral values , however, are themselves f i n i t e , d i f f e r e n t i a t e d forms of that energy, h i d i n g t h e i r true nature and source i n the s p i r i t u a l centre of the i n d i v i d u a l (the atman) and the s p i r i t u a l centre of the cosmos (the Brahman). This d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n may none-t h e l e s s p r o t e c t c i v i l s o c i e t y from the transcendental power of the sacred. I t i s transcendental because i t i s l e s s d i f -f e r e n t i a t e d , which the sanyasi can know by knowing h i s own s e l f . The t o t a l i t y of s o c i e t y comprised a c o l l e c t i v e t r a n -scendence of the problem of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n celebrated i n r i t u a l s a c r i f i c e . This order, however, r e s t r i c t e d i n d i -v i d u a l transcendence by denying more than p a r t i a l awareness of the t o t a l i t y . For the man who sought i n d i v i d u a t e d t r a n -scendence, the way l e d through r e n u n c i a t i o n , through per-sonal awareness of the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and problems i n -herent i n d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n as manifested i n h i s own adopted c o n d i t i o n and that of s o c i e t y , to self-knowledge and transcendence. U n f o r t u n a t e l y very l i t t l e i s apparently known about transcendence. From the Indian experience, i t can be pre-sumed to have something to do w i t h r e s o l u t i o n of c o n t r a d i c -t i o n s and problems and states of madness. I t has to do w i t h a sense of being l e s s p e r s o n a l l y t r o u b l e d by m u l t i -p l i c i t y , which has been described as an e f f e c t o f i n t e r n a l s a c r i f i c e . S a c r i f i c e does not have connotations o f de-s t r u c t i o n , d e n i a l or escape but p r o p i t i a t i o n on a conscious l e v e l f o r the profane state of o p p o s i t i o n s and m u l t i p l i c i t y . 155 By i n t e r n a l s a c r i f i c e , the sanyasi transcends d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n and i s thereby "more sacred". He becomes a "hlerophant of the sacred" f o r s o c i e t y (Laing 1967:109), and a man who can accept the state of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n contingent to c i v i l l i f e . Whatever the "inner v o i c e s " are that sanyasis such as Krishnamurti and &&Mfei a t t e s t t o , they are not dismissed as the machinations of an "overwheening superego" advocating the r e j e c t i o n of the s o c i a l background which formulated the "ego i d e n t i t y " ( E r i k s o n 1959 : 1 3 0 ) . I t i s thought of as the m a n i f e s t a t i o n of a more comprehensive m o r a l i t y which must come w i t h knowledge of that energy which men-in-the-world cope w i t h by breaking i t up and encapsulating i t i n systems of good and bad, pure and impure. The process of detachment, r e n u n c i a t i o n and transcendence has been systematized by sanyasis themselves and the dangers inherent i n the e n t e r p r i s e l e f t to them to surmount. Society p r o t e c t s i t s e l f by i n s i s t i n g that i t be undertaken apart from i t s e l f . I t may therefore b e n e f i t by being able to set i t s e l f against a standard that prevents the e r u p t i o n of dangerous messianic energies i n t e n t on imposing the same absolute standards of good and e v i l on a l l i t s members i n a s e c u l a r , t o t a l i s t i c form. I t s b a s i s i s that a l l power i s of sacred o r i g i n and not the product of human i n s t i t u t i o n s , , The paradox i t presents i s that the whole s o c i e t y i s none-t h e l e s s subject to r e l i g i o u s ideas of an absolute order. The sanyasi's l i b e r a t i o n from that order i s a transcendence of i t l i m i t e d by the c u l t u r a l l y determined degree of d i f -f e r e n t i a t i o n . 156 CHAPTER V I I I Conclusion Sanyasan i s a p e c u l i a r s t r u c t u r a l complement to Indian s o c i e t y which a l l o w s a few i n d i v i d u a l s to explore t h e i r human p o t e n t i a l to the l i m i t . By being outside of the e s t a b l i s h e d order, t h e i r experience does not represent a threat to the e s t a b l i s h e d order, but i n d i r e c t l y r e i n f o r c e s i t . From that order the f o l l o w i n g hypothesis can be derived; the greater the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n a system, the greater the number of c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and problems; the scope f o r transcendence w i l l therefore be greater, and f o r those who t e s t t h i s , the greater the scope to explore t h e i r human p o t e n t i a l . Tran-scendent experience seems to be c o n d i t i o n a l on f o r s a k i n g p r e v i o u s l y held assumptions and b e l i e f s . This process cannot be induced but only made more f e a s i b l e by s o c i a l r e n u n c i a t i o n . I f the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n I n d i a was a r t i c -u l a t e d l e s s s t r i n g e n t l y , sanyasan might have taken a d i f -f e r e n t form and sanyasis have greater impact on changing the s o c i a l order. Now that Indian s o c i e t y i s changing, so i s sanyasan. There are e f f o r t s afoot to turn i t i n t o a p r o f e s s i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , somewhat analagous to a trade union. What i t s f u n c t i o n s or source of l i v e l i h o o d w i l l be remain to be seen. I t could become something l i k e an e l i t e research establishment i n t o human p o t e n t i a l , s y n t h e s i z i n g t r a d i t i o n a l Indian knowledge w i t h Western science. Or i t could become a stagnating t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s ' c l u b . I t s form may depend 157 on i t s membership. I f i t becomes e x c l u s i v e to former Brahmans as t r a d i t i o n decreed, or i f i t focuses on i t s r o l e i n contemporary I n d i a , the l a t t e r may prove to be the case. These two ways o f t r e a t i n g the s a n y a s i I have eschewed, the f i r s t on the grounds that s a n y a s i s come from a l l c a stes anyway, and. the second because the s a n y a s i ' s f u n c t i o n s do not appear to be the c h a r a c t e r i z i n g f e a t u r e s of the i n s t i t u t i o n . I f on the other hand, i t s member-ship i s comprised of seekers a f t e r t r u t h , i t s v i t a l i t y may be assumed, though the v i a b i l i t y o f a d i f f e r e n t i n -s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n may prove q u e s t i o n a b l e . The q u e s t i o n remains as tb-the d e s i r a b i l i t y o f sanyasan i n contemporary Western s o c i e t y . I f i t s establishment i s contingent, as I have argued, on a complementary s o c i e t y such as I n d i a ' s , the answer must be no. On the one hand, an a f f i r m a t i v e answer would condone a s o c i e t y b u i l t on a s c r i b e d i n e q u a l i t y and waste. In t h i s r e s p e c t our two c u l t u r e s may not be so d i v e r g e n t . To c i t e one example of pressure f o r p r e s c r i b e d but a r b i t r a r y order and experience i n our s o c i e t y , (which may be pressure f o r a homogeneity without the range of r i g i d l y unequal d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n ) , the campaign a g a i n s t the use of c e r t a i n drugs m i l i t a t e s a g a i n s t c e r t a i n s t a t e s of a l t e r e d consciousness as much as a g a i n s t those drugs. On the other, the problem w i t h i d e a l f i g u r e s i s that they a l l o w other men and women to l e a d v i c a r i o u s l i v e s and ignore the challenge of r e a l i z i n g t h e i r own p o t e n t i a l . Moreover, the challenge o f c r e a t i n g a whole s o c i e t y o f men and women wit h equal r i g h t s and equal oppor-t u n i t y remains unanswered. T h i s i m p l i e s a d i f f e r e n t i a t e d s o c i e t y i n which people can see themselves and other apart from t h e i r r o l e s , t h e i r i d e n t i t i e s as f i x e d by blo o d , p o l i -t i c a l and o c c u p a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and apart from i d i o -s y n c r a t i c d d s i r e s , g r a t i f i c a t i o n s and p e r c e p t i o n s . Such an e n t e r p r i s e may be c o n t r a d i c t e d by our s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n from which we may d e r i v e any i d e n t i t y at a l l , but the human c o n d i t i o n s u r e l y i m p l i e s s t r i v i n g to achieve i t . The sanyas holds out hope that i t may be p o s s i b l e . With t h i s i n mind, I s h a l l conclude w i t h a small p i e c e o f e x p e r i e n t i a l e t h -nography that seems to suggest that sanyasis too may have need o f other i d e a l f i g u r e s a n y a s i s to s u s t a i n them i n t h e i r venture. On the premise that what we have i n common i s our p a r t i c u l a r i t i e s , not our g e n e r a l i t i e s , i t may a l s o show that at l e a s t i n terms o f b i z a r r e phenomena, e x p e r i -ences i n Kathmandu are s t r i k i n g l y analagous to experiences on the p e r i p h e r i e s o f our own c u l t u r e today, S h i v a r a t r i " J u s t t h i n k . There's aeons of time s t r e t c h i n g t h i s way and. aeons o f time that way, and every way, and here we've got j u s t t h i s t i n y l i t t l e b i t to spend together, so l e t ' s make i t memorable!" J a g a d i s h h e l d up two f i n g e r s together and h i s cor p u l e n t frame j i g g l e d up and down on h i s knees as he laughed. "Today i s S h i v a r a t r i , so l e t ' s 159 go to Pasu p a t i n a t . That's the temple where Shiva's buttocks f e l l to the e a r t h at the c r e a t i o n o f the world. Three other p a r t s of him f e l l at the other three corners o f t h i s sub-c o n t i n e n t . Today we have a f e s t i v a l i n h i s honour and t h e r e ' l l be hundreds o f saddhus t h e r e . " We p i l e i n t o a bus f o l l o w i n g the h o l y Bhagavati r i v e r a c r o s s the Kathmandu v a l l e y to where i t flows p l a c i d l y through a g©rge from the f o o t h i l l s that l e a d up to the-Himalayas. The bus o n l y comes w i t h i n h a l f a mile o f the temple before i t i s stopped by the crowds on the tarmac and p u b l i c g r a z i n g f i e l d s . The way Is l i n e d w i t h wander-ing t r a d e r s , s q u a t t i n g or s i t t i n g c r o s s - l e g g e d behind s m a l l r e c t a n g l e s o f c l o t h on which they have spread t h e i r p o r t a b l e waress gems and c o l o u r e d stones from the Punjab, l o c a l flower wreaths and p e t a l s , r o s a r i e s and necklaces of rudraksha beads, vari e t i e s o f hemp, p i e c e s o f rubber t y r e s and l e a t h e r f o r mending shoes and sandals, sweet-meats and sacred food. We j o s t l e d towards the gold pagoda r o o f g l i n t i n g below us. Past the o l d stone mats, where saddhus can be seen s q u a t t i n g by f i r e s . Past the b u l l s and cows l y i n g i n the route, o b l i v i o u s to the n o i s y hubbub, chewing provender of leaves and v e g e t a b l e s . Past armless, l e g l e s s men. "Bomi saddhu," J a g a d i s h g r e e t s a naked, brown man, c a r r y i n g a t r i d e n t and wooden bowl. "Boml" he resonates, but h i s eyes,- h i g h l i g h t e d by three white t i l a k marks between, never waver and h i s long b l a c k 160 h a i r i s swallowed by the t h r o n g . "Hey J 0 e . J o e , come smoke w i t h u s . " The i m p e r i o u s v o i c e emanates from the shadows o f a g r e y stone s h e l t e r . Three gaunt and. b l a c k e n e d f i g u r e s p e r c h t h e r e . "You not American?" and t h e y l a u g h d e r i s i v e l y but g o o d - n a t u r e d l y . Two o f them say th e y have come here on t h e i r hands and knees from Madras. " M i s t e r , b a k s h i s h , m i s t e r I " G r o p i n g l i t t l e brown hands, p l u c k i n g a t u s . "Me orphan, m i s t e r . Me good g u i d e . Me your g u i d e . " They s m i l e e x c i t e d l y i n the sun. The o l d l a d y w i t h a baby a t her b r e a s t p l u c k s p e r s i s t e n t l y and w o r d l e s s l y , her cheeks l i n e d w i t h t e a r s . We" n e a r l y t r i p over a p i e c e o f s t r i n g . A monkey s c r e e c h e s and l e a p s around our f e e t t o c l i n g t o a saddhu w i t h a begging bowl. He has no l e g s . B e s i d e him a. t a p e s t r y o f f l o w e r p e t a l s . We sto p to l o o k at some m i n i a -t u r e stone l i n g u m s and beads. We d i s c u s s t h e i r q u a l i t y w i t h the ea s y - g o i n g t r a d e r , s i t t i n g back on h i s H e e l s . He t u r n s to some saddhus behind him f o r an e x p l a n a t i o n o f t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e . Some joke and l a u g h . One o f them sta n d s up and. says h e ' l l show me something. L o o s e n i n g h i s l u n g i , he bends f o r w a r d and i n f l a t e s one s i d e o f h i s stomach a c t i v a t i n g d i f f e r e n t p a r t s o f the d e f l a t e d s i d e , a p p a r e n t l y a t w i l l . Then he r e v e r s e s the o p e r a t i o n , d o i n g the same to the o t h e r s i d e . T h i s , he sa y s , i s an e x e r c i s e c a l l e d N a u l i K r i y a which e n a b l e s a p e r s o n t o c o n t r o l e v e r y p a r t o f h i s body. I t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y e f f i c a c i o u s i n 161 r i d d i n g the i n t e s t i n e s , stomach and b i l e of a l l i m p u r i t i e s . He has been a doctor of ayurvedic medicine and has r e c e n t l y given up a government job teaching i n Kashmir. As we leave he presents me w i t h a rudraksha bead " f o r high-blood, pressure". We reach the main gates but are prevented from e n t e r i n g . "For Hindus only". I n s i d e , w i t h i t s backside to us, we can see an enormous statue of a b u l l , round which the crowd breaks i n t o two streams. S i t t i n g cross-legged on i t s rump i s a saddhu. His only adornment i s a r i n g w i t h a large red stone on h i s penis, which he p o i n t s out w i t h a g r i n to those who glance up. We move around the outer w a l l s onto a stone bridge across the r i v e r , and up stone t e r r a c e s to look back onto the temple. "Under that main gold r o o f , the one w i t h the garudas on i t s corners. That's what they've come f o r . They go i n there and walk around a pure black stone lingum i n water and then out and down the steps i n t o the r i v e r to wash..." Jagadish i s an orthodox high Brahman, so has never been i n s i d e though he used to come here to p l a y as a boy. "That stone sort of hut w i t h the i n t r i c a t e b a r r e d gate i s where the kings come when they are about to d i e , and those other ones are f o r l e s s important people. The ghats i n f r o n t are where t h e i r bodies are burnt. Only the kings can be cremated on that one beside that stone where there's an imprint of the Buddha's f o o t . There, where a l l those bathers are queuing up." The r i v e r i s s l u g g i s h , shallow and muddy but crowded 1 6 2 w i t h people t r y i n g to immerse themselves i n i t . Lower down, below the bridge we had crossed, are other ghats. On one of them a f i r e has been s t a r t e d . A p i l e of wood and a white corpse. "A very poor man. See, he's got no mourners." I t blazes and a p a l l of smoke flows down the r i v e r obscuring some fishermen who are wading beside the ghats w i t h hand nets. "Oaly l i t t l e f i s h now." There i s a loud popping crack as the s k u l l bursts i n the flames. The monkeys scrambling about above us on the buttresses of stone shrines i n whose shade we s i t , pay i t no more a t t e n t i o n than the bathers. "Hey m i s t e r , t h i s man t e l l f u t u r e . " The l i s s o m f i g u r e of our guide i s a l l arms and l e g s p u l l i n g a grey-bearded man up the high g r a n i t e steps, who surmounts them w i t h no apparent haste and c e r t a i n l y no need of help. For ten minutes or so we gather a crowd of i n t e n t l i s t e n e r s , who laugh when I laugh w i t h an ease dampened by my f u t u r e ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n : Saturn and J u p i t e r i n my hands; marriage; money; a l l p l a i n s a i l i n g but I should not cut my n a i l s or h a i r on Thursdays, nor s t a r t a journey on Tuesdays, eat meat on Sundays. I must pay more to l e a r n more: the f i r s t l e t t e r s of the names of the women i n my l i f e ; and other d e t a i l s or were they from the a s t r o l o g i s t on Galiano, the Tarot reader i n Vancouver or t h i s d i g n i f i e d , migrant pro-f e s s i o n a l ? My future s l i p s by vacuously, as weightless as the past has weight. We wander f a r t h e r back up the h i l l s i d e , i n amongst the trees and monkeys, away from the crowds, l o o k i n g f o r the saddhus somebody had said they had seen yesterday l y i n g h o r i z o n t a l to the ground w i t h only t h e i r necks on the limbs of t r e e s . More gran i t e s h r i n e s , g r a n i t e steps, g r a n i t e s h e l t e r s , ash-covered, b l a c k - h a i r e d , naked men about small f i r e s . By one, a giant bronzed f i g u r e leaps to h i s f e e t , shouting, waving a sword. Others rush forward, grab at him, disarm him. He subsides back down, l a y i n g ultimatum t h r e a t s . An out-of-the-way s h e l t e r . Three or four younger men and two or three grey-beards s i t t i n g i n the sunshine. "Ah, we can discus s philosophy here," Jagadish remarks. We s i t down too, or l e a n against the w a l l s . The same conversation seems to continue but now w i t h more E n g l i s h . In response to my question one old man says w i t h a t w i n k l i n g smile that i n h i s l i f e , he's been everything but nothing. We are joi n e d by Hermanta. and S i r o j i , two student f r i e n d s . Jagadish has lead the conversation on to the sexual prowess of Shiva, Pasupati h i m s e l f , Lord of the Beasts. I cannot t e l l i f he i s being f a c e t i o u s on my account because he b e l i e v e s that Westerners consider saddhus f o o l s , or whether h i s animated smile, h a l f i n my d i r e c t i o n as though to gauge my response, i s c o n s c i o u s l y amused by what we are a l l doing. The o l d man t r e a t s h i s responses that r a i s e new d i f f i c u l t i e s w i t h a smile e q u a l l y animated, only more benign and p a t i e n t . I too smile and respond s e r i o u s l y but without grim concen-t r a t i o n . "What do you think happiness i s ? " I think a moment and say that i t always seems l i k e I think of happiness when I look back at some time i n the past. Jagadish says he thinks of happiness as steps on a staircase; that i f you fi n d your way onto one step, there i s another one to step onto. I ask i f you ever get to the top step, but we seem to lose connection here and he says there are always steps to climb but maybe... Hermanta says his childhood was happy and S i r o j i says rather l o f t i l y that he doesn't think i t does any good to think about such things, at least not u n t i l l a t e r . S i r o j i and Hermanta laugh happily with each other and then with the rest of us. Our attention then moves back to the old man who says gently that happiness i s l i k e words...you keep trying to pin i t down and i t recedes farther back u n t i l you only have a t a n t a l i z i n g sense of i t . He quotes something i n Hindi to which Jagadish quotes some-thing else. I ask Jagadish to t e l l me what they are say-ing. He says the saddhu said the problem of happiness does not arise when you lose the words and control the thoughts, but then, i f worshipping Pasupati i s happiness... We wander back down to the r i v e r and into the crowds. "J u l i a n , ever since I li v e d so long i n the States, I've been hungry for meat, but since I'm a Brahman, you're going to have to get i t . Tomorrow you can s a c r i f i c e a goat to Parvati, Shiva's lady, and then we'll feast." BIBLIOGRAPHY 165 A v i n e r i , Shlomo. The S o c i a l and P o l i t i c a l Thought of K a r l  Marx, Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, London 1%8T^ Bachelard, Gaston. The Psychoanalysis o f F i r e . Alan CM. Ross, t r a n s . , Beacon Press, Boston 1 9 6 4 . B a i l e y , F.G. Stratagems and S p o i l s . Schocken Books, New York 1969. B e a l s , Alan. "The Government and the Indian V i l l a g e " from Economic Development and C u l t u r a l Change, V o l . 2 , 1954. 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