Monday, April 22, 2013

Another odd animal

Not the actual caterpillar
This blog, among other quirks, tries to keep its readers up on any interesting "odd animals" Baba ever spoke about. Most of these animals Baba described are extinct, but here is one that sounds like it is still around. My friend Ken Neunzig reminded me of this odd creature mentioned by Baba, and also supplied the source.

In Treasures from the Meher Baba Journals by Jane B. Haynes (1980), there is a quote by Baba in reply to a question about a Sufi spiritual practice called Tawajjuh, which Baba describes as the focussing of the spiritual force by a saint onto a disciple. While discussing a particular type of Tawajjuh, Ittehadi Tawajjuh, Baba digressed for a moment to give an example of a kind of power found in nature that is akin to it. He proceeded to describe the following odd type of insect.
There is an insect in the East called Anjanhari (a species of caterpillar) which never procreates in the ordinary way by laying eggs. When it is about to die, it brings another insect from the fields and concentrates upon it by droning away on the object of concentration for some length of time until the insect is transformed into its own likeness—that of a caterpillar. No sooner is this physical tranformation achieved than the original insect expires. (Treasures, pp. 184-5)
While I could find nothing on Google on the Anjanhari caterpillar, I did find that precise spelling in the source code of a Hindi language website, but don't know how to read what the context is or if it is even referring to the same thing. The site is here if someone wants to check it.

While I have no picture of an Anjanhari caterpillar to end this blog post with, just the process of looking for a cool weird caterpillar image opened up a whole new world to me. I must say, after looking at some of these caterpillars, anything is possible.

Update: 4/23/2013

Kendra Crossen Burroughs suggested I search Google Books. The most relevant sounding reference I could find was a book titled Indian Literature by Sähitya Akademi, which on one page refers to an Anjanhari as a kind of bumble bee.

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