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By Franciscus Bernardus Jacobus Kuiper
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Additional info for Ancient Indian Cosmogony: Essays Selected and Introduced by John Irwin
P. 366. The recent, thorough philological treatment by Thieme, Untemrckungetr aw nhtikzozdc uttd Auslezung des Iiigreda (Halle, 10491, pp. 55-73, untoi-tuhately offers little that is new. In my opinion Thieme did not penetrate to the core of the matter and has misjudged that character of the tree, as well as of the two suparnas. Thus Garbe. R. Otto, Geldner. and also Bosch, p. 70. with it until the Kath. 90, this is not essential for the argumentation. ( 2 2 ) Everywhere it is a mystery that is hinted at.
There is no reason, therefore, to consider the possibility that one may have arisen from the other. T H E INVERTED FIG-TREE As was pointedout above, the fig-tree plays a prominent part in the explana2"lle same holds good for Bosch's analogous remarks about the world-order (p. 238): the classification makes use of the tree-symbol. 2There seems to have been as close a relation between mountain and jar as between lotus plant and lotus root. Just as in the branching of a tree, there seem to have been in the mythical world conception, after Indra "split open" the mountain, two or four rivers streamingfrom the top of the mountain (cf.
As far as I can see, the answer must be that it is possible to parallel the classification consistently with the world-tree. This, however, is rather due to the fact that this cosmic synlbol is a styli~eclform of the natural tree, and that only in this for111 it corresponcls to the classificntion based upon a progressive partitioning. No wonclei, then. that this classification can also be found in the symbol. 2 V t is clear. h o w e \ ~ rthat , the functional meaning of an opposition like North and East (=divine)versus 'IVest and South (=demonic) callnot be explained fiom the branching of a tree But presupposes a pre-existent complex of notions that is fully inclepenclent of it.
Ancient Indian Cosmogony: Essays Selected and Introduced by John Irwin by Franciscus Bernardus Jacobus Kuiper