Movement 1: Sacredness and vegetation / Sacralità e vegetazione

The pistil of the renounciant, a fire without flames. Considerations on the symbology of the night jasmine in the Indian world


Abstract


Although the night jasmine – in Sanskrit pārijāta – is very well-known in the South Asian world, very few scholars have reflected upon its many significances, which go from mythology to medicine. Nevertheless, such a pleasantly fragrant, delicate and immaculate flower evocates several echoes in the Indians’ representative minds. In fact, due to some of its special features, the night jasmine is surely full of symbolism: it blossoms at the evening twilight and falls down at the morning one, its pistil is of an intense ochre colour, etc. In this essay will be analysed some of the peculiarities of the pārijāta flower, which connect it to the ascetic renounciant (saṃnyāsin).

Keywords

Indian asceticism; Renunciation; saṃnyāsa; Night jasmine; pātijāta

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13135/1825-263X/1874

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