However, the recent discussion on the role of food in society and ritual Rau , p. Jouer avec le feu. Any study of Vedic religion thus must begin with the texts. Just as the “meaning” of ritual has shaped recent discussion of the synchronic questions, diachronic questions have been shaped in response to Heesterman’s equally provocative but over-simple theories [48] see esp. Rather they delegate these actions and substitute another person and avoid direct “contact”. Also of utility is Keith’s The Religion and Philosophy of the Veda and Upanishads , though marred, like most works of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, by an excessive reliance on the nature mythology paradigm. This baldly presented set of equations does not do justice to the subtlety or lack thereof of each scholar’s discussion of these gods or the textual evidence, but does show what the “bottom line” inevitably was.

Reflections on resemblance, ritual, and religion. It may be seen that already in the Vedic period these beings are set in opposition to each other in the various levels of the universe, with typical functions attached. The underlying principle is the exchange of brides. The date of the Buddha reconsidered, Ind. There are remedies for such perennial male problems as grey hair This was followed by a Pravargya van Buitenen These, including many of the Vedic ones, have been collected by J. Smith ; for references to other lit.

In particular, certain rituals serve, as has been alluded to above, as the type or model of a group of variants. The Vedic period is the zgnihotra period of Indian history for which we have direct textual evidence, but even with this evidence it is difficult to fix even imprecise chronological limits to the period, much less to establish absolute dates within the period.

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Moreover, the speculations are often framed as questions “who? Even in early Vedic men could use the ritual to manipulate or at least influence gods’ behavior, as we will see; in the middle and late Vedic period the sacrifice is almost coercive and the gods subject to it — though it does not seem to be the case that the gods are imprisoned by the sacrifice and completely controlled by it, as is sometimes claimed.


Archaeology now confirms this fact: Renouand the first volume of a Russian translation by T.

Studia Indogermanica et Slavica, Suppl. Until this time, it was only the lot destined for felons who had committed severe offenses see above.

It is unfortunate that Vedic studies subsequently have disappeared from the view and the agenda of anthropologists. Veda recitation in Varanasi. Reflections on resemblance, ritual, and religion. The Kosala-Videha area was one of great mixture of peoples due to various movements of tribes and individuals, and consequently also of ideas Witzel a: Finer social and occupational divisions within the great varNa s are enumerated in the texts e. Due to their preservation in various parts of India, a fairly wide spectrum of religious thought of this early period has survived to this day, and we do not have to rely on the authoritative texts of a single school of thought.

An important alternative view, which has not met general acceptance, is that of Kuiper e. Slightly behind Indus civilization practice but more advanced than much that we note today is the use of a latrine At night, VaruNa accordingly is found at the top of the sky, holding up the world tree with its roots pointed upwards RV, KU, cf.

The individuality lies in the art — the ingenious deployment of poetic devices — rather than the emotional revelations of the poet. The TB has been partly translated into English in a series of articles by P. It exists in three major versions, parallel in great part, but often differing from each other in both phraseology and points of doctrine: Their earliest, but so far unused MSS.


The detailed and elaborate schemas of e. Some women’s rites and rights in the Veda. We know very little about actual popular worship during this period. As Thieme once proposed: They are of special interest as they contain the earliest geometry of India; in addition, they are based on an independent development of the mathematical sciences that began from clear, and unusual, maxims see Michaelsfor all further details of editions and translations; cf.

Barret, in a series of articlessave for one book done by F. Sexual Life in ancient India.

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Der Somaraub des Manu. This “ritual science” is based on the strictly logical application of the rule of cause and effect, even though the initial proposition in an argument of this sort “the sun is gold” is something that we would not accept. The form and reason for exchange in archaic societies.

It is not useless or thrown away as “soiled” food is apt to be. It is important to note that Agni, along with Soma, is one of the few gods that are actually present and visible on the offering ground. The Hindu religious tradition. Mayrhofer, Die Sprache 32, These are new ideas, and the way at least one of them is introduced is indicative of their singularity: He extracted Vedic religion from the sphere of the “classical” tradition.

The UpaniSads, however, must be treated as texts embedded in their Vedic context.

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