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Yima, Yama, and the Luminous Underworld
2019 (English)In: Journal Asiatique, ISSN 0021-762X, E-ISSN 1783-1504, Vol. 307, no 2, p. 255-264Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Yima’s vara- or “enclosure,” generally held to reflect ancient Indo-Iranian afterlife beliefs, is described in the Vīdēvdād as a cavernous structure not reached by the light of the sun or the moon. Mention is instead made of its artificial or “self-created” lights. But the heavenly luminaries are also said to be in the vara at their setting and rising, a statement that seems to accord with the underground localization of the vara in Pahlavi sources. In the following paper it is argued that this conception has parallels in the Veda, where Yama’s otherworld realm is depicted as a subterranean enclosure (only later relocated to heaven) where the sun is at night. The light there is said to be unceasing. Later Indic sources also refer to the light of the otherworld as independent of sun, moon, and stars.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 307, no 2, p. 255-264
National Category
History of Religions Languages and Literature
Research subject
History of Religions; Indology with Classical Sanscrit
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401393OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-401393DiVA, id: diva2:1383330
Available from: 2020-01-07 Created: 2020-01-07 Last updated: 2020-01-07

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