Japā ジャパー

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Shoe-flower)


An evergreen, woody unarmed glabrous showy shrub, with pale grey or whitish bark; leaves simple, bright green, ovate, entire below, irregularly and coarsely serrate towards the top, glabrous on both sides, minute stellate hairs on the nerves beneath; flowers showy, solitary and axiliary, pedicles jointed with pistils & stamens projecting from the centre, anthers reniform or kidney shaped; 1 – celled. Flowering throughout the year. (Ashok Sheth (Ed.). 2005 The herbs of ayurveda vol.3 Gujarat : Ashok Sheth. p602)

पश्चादुच्चैर्भुजतरुवनं मण्डलेनाभिलीनः

सांध्यं तेजः प्रतिनवजपापुष्परक्तं दधानः ।

नृत्तारम्भे हर पशुपतेरार्द्रनागाजिनेच्छां

शान्तोद्वेगस्तिमितनयनं दृष्टभक्तिर्भवान्या ॥ ३६ ॥

After that, embrace from above the forest trees extending like arms,
While you wear the sunset light, as red as a fresh Japā flower.
The Beast Lord Śiva has a desire for the blood wet skin of an elephant;
But your devotion will take it away at the beginning of his dance,
Witnessed by his consort Bhavānī, whose eyes are steady from her fear calmed. (36)

舞の始めに拭い去るのだ 獣の王シヴァ[パシュパティ]の、血濡れた象の皮を欲する衝動を

In the cloud’s journey. “When Śiva killed Gajāsura (Elephant-demon), he wore his skin dripping with blood, and danced about and wore it afterwords as a trophy. … Śiva is described as wearing this skin whenever he has his Tanḍava dance” (Kale 1999: 69-70). Since a cloud resembles grey elephant skin, the cloud may replace it and calm Śiva’s covet for the skin. The Japā-red colour shone by the sunset light serves as the elephant’s blood.
[Reference: Kale, M. R. 1999. The Meghadūta of Kālidāsa. Corrected Edition. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited.]


(c) Tomomi Sato 2013

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