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On Hinduism$

Wendy Doniger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199360079

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.001.0001

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(p.579) Appendix I Limericks on Hinduism

(p.579) Appendix I Limericks on Hinduism

On Hinduism
Oxford University Press

(p.579) Appendix I

Limericks on Hinduism

On Being Hindu

  • A worshipper of Minakshi
  • Objected to strict orthodoxy.
  • He said, ‘If I wish to
  • I’ll also praise Vishnu
  • In person, or else by proxy.’
  • A Jew with cirrhosis of liver
  • Jumped into the pure Ganges river.
  • His sons all drew lots
  • On the funeral ghats
  • And the loser was forced to sit Shiva.
  • There once was a Rig Vedic hotr
  • Whose birth was within the wrong gotra.
  • He made some oblations
  • To change his relations
  • And wrote his own family stotra.

Gods, Humans and Anti-gods

  • ‘A goddess's fury when scorned,’
  • Said a Babu, ‘is not to be borned.’
  • So this pious Bengali
  • Made statues to Kali
  • And argued, ‘Four-armed is fore-warned.’
  • A learned young man from Barbados
  • Decided to study the Vedas.
  • For he wanted to see
  • If Prajapati
  • Was really the true god who made us.

(p.580) Women and Other Genders

  • ‘In India,’ said the Mahatma,
  • ‘We honour the thin or the fat ma.
  • That a wife should be modest
  • And act like a goddess
  • We hold not as dogma but catma.’

Kama and Other Seductions

  • The Kamasutra's Vatsyayana
  • (An expert on Indian fauna)
  • Wrote a law of the fishes
  • For unconscious wishes:
  • A sexual Matsya Piranha.
  • A Hindu who didn't like kama
  • Refused to take off his pajama.
  • When his bride's lustful finger
  • Reached out for his linga
  • He jumped up and ran home to Mama.

Horses and Other Animals

  • There once was a young Bengali
  • Who covered his dog, a Kali,
  • With snakes and an eel
  • Till it looked so surreal
  • That his friends shouted, ‘Hello, Dali!’
  • There once was a farmer, a Tamil,
  • Who mated a cow with a camel.
  • When friends would insist
  • That the varnas were mixed,
  • He denied it, ‘For each is a mammal.’

Illusion and Reality in the Hindu Epics

  • The yogis and naths and hakkims
  • Tell their pupils, ‘It's not as it seems.
  • Though you think that your mind
  • Made up God, you may find
  • You're a figment of one of His dreams.’
  • ‘The Indian sage,’ said the Pope,
  • ‘Theologically is just a dope.
  • For the world, so it seems,
  • Is just one of His dreams,
  • And He Can't tell a snake from a rope.’
  • The story of Parashurama
  • Is truly a Freudian drama.
  • He over-reacts
  • To his dad, takes his axe
  • And cuts off the head of his mama.
  • Poor Renuka lost her head
  • When she saw Kartavirya, and said:
  • ‘My dear son will find
  • One more axe he must grind,
  • And behead a Pariah instead.’

On Not Being Hindu

  • A scholar named Coomaraswamy
  • Learned Sanskrit and Greek from his Mommy.
  • But the Doctrine Perennis
  • Became such a menace,
  • His colleagues all thought he was balmy.
  • The Sanskritists find it a treat
  • To tell the tales of the élite,
  • While folklorists pillage
  • The lore of the village,
  • Thus working both sides of the street.