Hayagrīva in the Hayaśīrṣa Saṃhitā

Hayagrīva previous to Veṅkaṭanātha seems to have a non-specific Vaiṣṇava iconography, with only his horse-head as a fixed element. He is, for instance, a standing figure in Khajurao, where he carries a club and has one hand in the dānamūdrā.

Hayagrīva at Khajurao

By contrast, after Veṅkaṭanātha, the iconography radically changes and two possibilities become fixed:

EAAA on reuse in visual arts

As you migh already know, I am leaving tomorrow for Olomouc where I will host on Friday the 26th with Julia Hegewald and Cristina Bignami a panel on reuse in visual arts. Here is the program of our panel:

Title: Re-use at the Borders of South Asia: Himalayas and South India
9-9:30 Elisa FRESCHI “Reuse in Texts and the Arts: The case of Hayagrīva’s Descriptions”
9:30-10 Julia HEGEWALD “The Theory of Re-use as a Method in Art-historical Research”
10-10:30 Gerald KOZICZ “The re-use of the nidhi iconography in the Tibetan context”
10:30-11 Verena WIDORN “The use and re-use of aesthetic concepts in the Himalayan area”
11:30-12 Cristina BIGNAMI “The re-use of the iconography of the lion/tiger in the Karṇataka Medieval sovereignty
12-12:30 Tiziana LORENZETTI “Appropriation and re-interpretation of symbolic and architectural elements in the Lingayat religiosity”
12:30-13: Mallica KUMBERA LANDRUS “Sharing and reshaping collective memories in Portuguese Goa”
17-17:30 Elena MUCCIARELLI “The Plucking of different flowers: Re-use in Kerala theatrical tradition”
17:30-18 concluding session: DISCUSSION

Should you come to the conference, don’t forget to join the discussion (or to join me for a coffee break).


I am often inclined to think that some battles have been won and that people will, like Brian Leiter notes, ignore Indian philosophy, but probably also feel they should not. Then, sometimes I am brought back to reality, in this case by the introduction of an otherwise interesting book about the function of images in Christian theology. The blurb says that

“None other among the great religions has ever had a comparably deep relation to the images of God as the Christian faith […]”

(Nessuna delle grandi religioni ha intrattenuto con l’immagine un rapporto così stretto come quella cristiana, fede in un Dio trascendente e incarnato, eterno e storico, che, per questo e da subito si è posta come essenziale la domanda su come e dove vedere il «Dio invisibile».)

None, really? What about the so-called Hinduism? What about the importance of the localisation of deities in a precise icon in which God is not only re-presented, but actually present? Could not we stop using comparison to enhance the value of what we are doing? Could not we start saying that “Christian faith has had a deep relation to the images of God” without claiming what we do not know?

IABS, IDhC, etc.: which paper did you like more? UPDATED FOR THE THIRD TIME with further papers

UPDATE: I received further new suggestions per email or personally. You can add yours in the comments below.

I cannot help but enjoying papers dealing with Mīmāṃsā (especially if from a philosophical viewpoint, as it happened during the last IABS), they are just more interesting to me, but I asked friends and colleagues to forget about their personal interests and to tell me which papers of the IABS and IDhC they enjoyed more and why. The following ones are the results I collected.

Theology in a community of believers in methodology? (On Ram-Prasad 2014)

Can one speak of theology without partaking a given faith and belonging to a given community of believers? Religious texts can be read as historical or literary documents, but can they also be read as theological ones outside a community of believers?

Dharmakīrti Conference—Summary of my posts

You can read my views on the written version of the paper presented by Kei Kataoka on apoha (and of the views by Kiyotaka Yoshimizu discussed in it) here, here and here.
A discussion of K. Yoshimizu’s paper (on the chronology of Kumārila and Dharmakīrti) can be found here.

A summary of likes and dislikes of my readers and colleagues can be read here (don’t forget to add your own favs).

Philosophers’ Carnival No. 167

The 167th edition of the Philosophers’ Carnival can be found here! It includes also a post by Eric Schwitzgebel on the unavoidability of studying Chinese philosophy and a post by Amod Lele on the “double standard” we adopt while looking at re-readings of the tradition by contemporary or ancient authors. I am grateful to the compiler of this edition of the Carnival (D. Papineau) and to the readers who signalled these posts. May the discussion of philosophical blogs always be broad enough to reach beyond traditional geographical and disciplinary boundaries!

You can signal your favorite posts of September for the October’s Philosophers’ Carnival here. Don’t forget to include some non-mainstream philosophy in your recommandations!

In the Indian tradition, by and large, people have tried to emphasize continuity and underplay the change or novelty except in some fields of arts. […] On the contrary, what happens in the west is that because novelty is valued very much, so, every new thing is claimed as novel, So, what the historians do there is to tell us that it is not really so new and they find the seeds of it or the sources of it in the past. In the Indian context therefore we should try to find out where the difference is occurring or where the change is occurring.