Discovering the Vedas: Origins, Mantras, Rituals, Insights by Frits Staal

By Frits Staal

It is a extraordinary booklet. It untangles the various complexities of the Vedas and combines Staal's scholarly recognize for the texts, with reasons which are lucid and sometimes witty. His insights are considerate and perceptive. ??"Romila Thapar during this remarkable advisor to the Vedas, Frits Staal, the prestigious writer of Agni: The Vedic Ritual of the hearth Altar and Universals: stories in Indian common sense and Linguistics examines virtually each element of those old resources of Indic civilisation. Staal extracts concrete details from the Oral culture and Archaeology approximately Vedic humans and their language, what they proposal and did, and the place they went and while. He offers crucial information regarding the Vedas and contains decisions and translations. Staal sheds gentle on mantras and rituals, that contributed to what got here to be often called Hinduism. major is a latest research of what we will be able to research from the Vedas this day: the unique types of the Vedic sciences, in addition to the perceptive knowledge of the composers of the Vedas. the writer places Vedic civilisation in a world standpoint via a wide-ranging comparability with different Indic philosophies and religions, basically Buddhism For Staal, initially a truth seeker, the voyage of gaining knowledge of the Vedas is like unpeeling an onion yet with out the understanding of attaining an finish. in spite of this, his e-book indicates that the Vedas have a good judgment all their very own. obtainable, finely-argued, and with a wealth of data and perception, gaining knowledge of the Vedas is for either the student and the lay reader.

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Sample text

The expression ‘sacred book’ is also an erroneous appellation. It is applicable to the Bible or Qur’ān and was insisted upon by missionaries and colonial administrators who could not imagine anything else. It is less easy to explain why this misleading construction has been thoughtlessly embraced by moderns. It is true that the Vedic poets were regarded as inspired and their speech was considered a powerful agent. 1). ’ It is heard only in the sense that it is transmitted from father to son or from teacher to pupil.

They are not found or depicted in the Indus Civilization. Their earliest traces in South Asia come from Pirak, southeast of the Bolan Pass, and date from the seventeenth century BCE as we shall see in Chapter 2. Horses have always been rare in India. They do not thrive on Indian soil and the climate does not smile on them. But they are rampant in the Vedas. In the Rigveda, I counted 792 occurrences of the word aśva in various forms. The word for chariot, ratha, is equally common; but there was no need for chariots to be carried across mountains.

But he found me a pandit who taught Sanskrit to little children using Pāṇini’s grammar through the medium of Tamil; and was willing to use the same method for me but through English. Thus, I was taught Pāṇini’s method before I learned Sanskrit. How did I do it? Again, I recall only some facts. First, I had to correctly pronounce my teacher’s name: R. Sankarasubrahmanya Ayyar. Second, I walked daily, under a large black umbrella, from the Victoria Student Hostel in Triplicane to the Kuppuswami Research Institute in Mylapore.

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