The name of this god is identical with the common noun agni- ‘fire’, and there is little about this god that is not interpretable in the framework of deified Fire, especially ritual Fire. Note, for example, her insistence of translating, e. Museum for Ethnology Kokuritsu Minpaku Hakubutsukan 10, For good or ill, many of the main 20th century currents in general mythological scholarship have passed Vedic by, e. Without cataloging every mythic episode and its treatment in the secondary literature, we will make global reference to several scholars who collected and annotated a number of myths from a variety of texts, namely M. An ancient Indian iconic ritual described and annotated. A number of important and elaborate rituals incorporate Soma sacrifices and conform to their model.

Aus Brahmanas und Upanisaden. The unalloyedly ritualistic focus of middle Vedic texts makes recovery of personal religious experience extremely difficult. The TB has been partly translated into English in a series of articles by P. Nonetheless, the seminal nature of these works, particularly of Bergaigne’s, should not be forgotten. Bloomfield primarily in his series “Contributions to the interpretation of the Veda” , H. Bulletin des Etudes indiennes 6, Die Frau im Brahmanismus. For certain aspects of Vedic religion cf.

Indirectly, this kind of experience is also reflected in the self-praise of agnihptra small bird RV The latter has preserved, to this day with hardly a deviation, not only the exact wording of the text, but even the Vedic accents which had disappeared already at the beginning of our era.

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Nevertheless, even this well known myth can be taken up for a re-examination, notably on comparative grounds, which do not only include materials from the Indo-Iranian notably Kafiri and Greek cows of Geryoneus, cf. The amount of space just devoted to text editions, translations, and purely philological research tools may seem excessive, but it should not be forgotten that a major barrier to the understanding of Vedic religion has always been the difficulty of Vedic language and expression.


The text has been translated and copiously annotated, with many valuable references to and partial translations of JB, by Caland a. The process of Sanskritization Srinivas had been going on, at that time, as we witness already in the RV where some kings with clearly non-Indo-Aryan names were being praised as episdoe proper Aryan rituals cf.

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As so often in Vedic thought, their mutual spheres of influence have perhaps to be conceived as concentric circles or frames. The Laws of Manu. The exchange of “food” takes part on the offering ground, the model of the universe. For the framework structure of Vedic ritual see Heesterman They mark the liminal points of these two ‘stars’ and the dangerous periods of time. The system of reciprocity identified for early Vedic remained in force in the middle Vedic period, notwithstanding a large amount of political and social change.

It is rather discouraging constantly to encounter, at the end of a stimulating and nuanced discussion fully utilizing the textual resources, the same shortcut taken: Staal a,b;contra, e. Howardas well, which is quite different by its very nature.

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Little can be said about the religion of the aboriginal tribes that survived in Northern India before merging into the lower Hindu castes. Structure, development and interpretation of the Tantric Agnihotra ritual of Nepal.

The text contains, among common white and black sorcery practices, the many healing procedures and cases of omina and portentasuch interesting items as the use of lacquer for healing a wound, Whatever the history and sources of this complex pantheon, it cannot be reduced to a single organizational principle, nor can certain members, that might not conform to such a principle, be defined as outsiders and latecomers, given that gods of various types have counterparts outside of Vedic.

Die Bedeutung des Wortes UpaniSad. Asunder wanders my mind, pondering far away Language, Ritual and Meaning. LanmanBloomfieldOldenberg on Namuci; SiegSchneider on the stealing of Soma from heaven; Oertel and Rau on the “misdeeds” of Indra; Dandekarp.


Before proceeding to a catalogue of the important texts, we should first discuss the categories of texts and their organization into schools. The extraordinary power and prestige accorded to verbal behavior is another important aspect of Vedic thought that is visible from the earliest times.

Rau, SparreboomKlausJamison passim, to appear b. There is no dearth of other such references in the RV, but this is perhaps our problem: The standard treatment of this ritual is Dumont ; for its development cf.

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Thus we have a daunting amount of primarily descriptive material about Vedic ritual. These views have to be taken up in more detail now as they are closely linked with the emergence of the “classical” doctrine of rebirth, reincarnation and karma.

Smithshould be taken into account. The principal and central act of almost all Vedic rituals is the offering of various edible or drinkable substances into the fire. Etudes sur l’origine de l’ascetisme indien.

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It sums up the knowledge gathered by the turn of the century and is still a very useful – and the only – compendium. In both the fire is agnihotrx center of ritual activity e. However, because of the means of preservation — through schools at once orthodox and intellectual in bent — we have little access to information about either heterodox or popular religious practices, but only to the orderly and cerebral system of an entrenched priestly class.