Volume 122 / Number 2 / April—June 2002

ISSN 0003-0279

JOURNAL
OF THE
aoslogo1.gifAMERICAN
ORIENTAL
SOCIETY

 


INDIC AND IRANIAN STUDIES
IN HONOR OF STANLEY INSLER
ON HIS SIXTY-FIFTH BIRTHDAY

CONTENTS

Bibliography of Stanley Insler    211
H. W. BODEWITZ, The Dark and Deep Underworld in the Veda    213
JOEL P. BRERETON, The Race of Mudgala and Mudgalani    224
GEORGE CARDONA, The Old Indo-Aryan Tense System    235
MADHAV DESHPANDE, Fluidity of Early Grammatical Categories in Sanskrit     244
HARRY FALK, How his srauta-fires Save the Life of an Ahitagni    248
ELLISON BANKS FINDLY, Borderline Beings: Plant Possibilities in Early Buddhism    252
EDWIN GEROW, Rasa and Katharsis: A Comparative Study, Aided by Several Films    264
HANS HEINRICH HOCK, The Yajñavalkya Cycle in the Brhad firanyaka Upanisad    278
STEPHANIE W. JAMISON, An Anagram in the Gathas: Yasna 51.4-5    287
JAY H. JASANOFF, The Vedic Imperatives yódhi 'fight' and bodhi 'heed'    290
JOSHUA T. KATZ, How the Mole and Mongoose Got their Names: Sanskrit akhú- and nakulá-    296
JARED S. KLEIN, Responsion in the Rigveda    311
ALEXANDER LUBOTSKY, The Indo-Iranian Word for 'shank, shin'    318
H. CRAIG MELCHERT, Sanskrit sárdigrdi-    325
CHRISTOPHER MINKOWSKI, Nilakantha Caturdhara's Mantrakasikhanda    329
PATRICK OLIVELLE, Abhaksya and abhojya: An Exploration in Dietary Language    345
MARIANNE S. OORT, Sura in the Paippalada Samhita of the Atharvaveda    355
ASKO PARPOLA, Πανδαίη and Sita: On the Historical Background of the Sanskrit Epics    361
LUDO ROCHER, Dasadasi    374
ROSANE ROCHER, Sanskrit for Civil Servants 1806-1818    381
HARTMUT SCHARFE, Kharosti and Brahmi    391
BERNFRIED SCHERATH, Vedisch ksad-    394
PRODS OKTOR SKJÆRVØ, Ahura Mazda andAirmaiti, Heaven and Earth, in the Old Avesta    399
GEORGE THOMPSON, Ádhrigu and drigu: On the Semantics of an Old Indo-Iranian Word    411
ELIZABETH TUCKER, When Old is Not Old . . . : RV jarádasti-, jaradvísam, and the Vulture Jaradgava    419
WILLIAM A. VANCE, Remarks on the Temporal Value of the Rig Vedic Terms in -pitvá-    428
CALVERT WATKINS, Pindar's Rigveda    432


Stanley Insler

Stanley Insler was born in New York City, as he surely had to have been, for he shares the city's best characteristics: cosmopolitan, resilient, creative. This year he will celebrate his 65th birthday, and that occasion has given us, his colleagues and students, the opportunity to celebrate him and to honor his teaching and scholarship. Professor Insler has taught much to many, but those of us who have been his Sanskrit students have received perhaps the finest share. He taught the history and structure of Sanskrit as an elaborate architecture, whose order, even if occasionally obscured by bizarre facade and eccentric ornamentation, can be understood by careful analysis. But more pointedly, he taught the principles upon which his own work is established: define the problem, collect the evidence-all the evidence-and lay it out methodically. By doing so, he assured us, the solution will emerge. Francis Bacon would have been proud, but, as we soon discovered, his scholarship has a hidden Cartesian side as well: Professor Insler's ability to envision plausible explanations and his acute linguistic and interpretive instincts have given him a noticeable advantage in carrying out this program. Likewise, as God instructed Muhammad not to anticipate but to await revelation, Professor Insler insisted that the text must lead and that we students of the text must avoid constraining its imagination by our own. Again, however, his own lively mind has given him the ability to respond to the text in especially compelling and discerning ways. Professor Insler's teaching extended well beyond the boundaries of formal philology. From him we learned also about English furniture, Weimar Germany, and aspic; about Barlach, Brideshead Revisited, and Burgundies; about the dangers of maraschino cherries and the art of cocktail piano; about William Dwight Whitney, scholar and turkey-hunter; and much else besides. Instruction in Sanskrit merged with instruction in life, for, after all, the art of good philology is the art of good thinking and our common humanity exists through a web of texts.

For the wider philological community, Professor Insler has taught through his contributions to Indic and Iranian scholarship. His writing has ranged through a variety of literatures, including Veda and Avesta, Sanskrit classical and epic poetry, and Pali and Prakrit texts. Within these literatures, he has concerned himself with religious history, with the interpretation of texts, with rhythmic patterns and effects, and with foundational issues of semantics, morphology, and phonology. In his work, he has constantly returned to two accomplished though notoriously problematic collections: the Rigveda and the Gathas of Zarathustra. Through the clarity and complexity of his own thinking, he has done much to allow these dense texts to reveal their intricate meanings.

Two scholarly institutions have particularly benefited by his industry and leadership. One, of course, is Yale University, where Professor Insler has taught since completing his doctorate in 1963 and where, since 1977, he has been the Edward E. Salisbury Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology. The other, as readers of this journal will surely be aware, is the American Oriental Society. From 1976 to 1982, he was the society's Secretary-Treasurer, then from 1982 to 1986 its Treasurer, and finally its President in 1997-98. However, these dates barely begin the story of Professor Insler's contribution to the society. With an acumen characteristic of the philologically practised, he brought the finances and administration of the society into order and, as Jack Sasson once remarked, gracefully led the AOS into the nineteenth century. Since the period of his official service as Treasurer, Professor Insler has continued to direct the finances of the AOS and thus to contribute to its fortunes, both general and material. Through his careful stewardship and innovations, he has been instrumental in providing for the financial stability of the society and thus in securing its role in the lives of future generations of scholars.

J.P.B. and S.W.J.

 

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Stanley Insler