- Tapa blanda: 180 páginas
- Editor: Literary Licensing, LLC (30 de marzo de 2014)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 1497973104
- ISBN-13: 978-1497973107
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
Vedic Mythology (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 30 mar 2014
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This Is A New Release Of The Original 1897 Edition.
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The contents, though, are excellent, even though dry. It is, however, as an encyclopedic kind of work, fantastic.
It would just be far more useful and helpful if the publisher had taken a bit more care and pride in reprinting it. I give the book itself five stars but in this reprint can only give it three.
RgVeda is one of the ancient cultures of humanity which gave rise to the concept that the humans were created by the divine power. The sense that human's existence and welfare depends on those powers made the Vedic Aryans feel the desire to worship gods in various natural forms. One of the most commonly evolved methods was to make offerings to the gods and perform sacrifices and follow certain ritualistic practices that became the part of the Vedic culture. In the evolution of faith and the belief system, the interdependence of gods in protecting the universe was essential. The Vedic tradition also provided for the existence of forces that are disruptive to the rule of gods. Hence, according to the Vedic literature gods had to engage these destructive forces, called rakshas, in constant battles to preserve the divine order and bring peace to the world he loves so dearly. Vedic gods were friends and guardians of honesty and righteousness, and morality in general. They are upholders of the moral law. Gods are angry with evil-doers, but they are also forgiving. Agni is supposed to free us from sin; Varuna and Indra are punishers of sin, and so on.
Nature became the major form of Vedic worship. Earth, mountain, river, plant, air, sky, sun, wind, fire, cow, horse and other animals became symbols of divine power. In some verses gods are described as human beings with supernatural powers and the difference being that gods are immortal. The ancient Vedic interpreter Yaksha (Nirukta 7:4) states that the Vedic deities are not necessarily anthropomorphic as we observe in the case of earth, sun, wind or water.
The author has a given a brief description and discussed the nature of several RgVedic gods in categories; Celestial gods (Varuna, Mitra, Surya, Vishnu, etc.); Atmospheric gods (Indra, Rudra, The Maruts, etc.); Terrestrial gods (Agni, Prithvi, rivers (Sarasvati), Soma, etc.); Abstract gods (Prajapathi, Aditi, etc.); Mythical priests and heroes (Manu, Bhrgu, Angirases, etc.); animals and inanimate objects (horse, bull, cow, goat, birds, serpent, etc.); and finally demons, rakshas and fiends (Vrtra, Vala, Asuras, Panis, Dasas, etc.)
This is by no means an exhaustive work but an excellent introductory book to understand the religion of RgVeda from one of the leading Sanskrit scholars of nineteenth century. For a more in depth study, I recommend "The Religion and Philosophy of the Veda and Upanishads" (2 Vols) by Arthur Berriedale Keith.
1. The Religion and Philosophy of the Veda and Upanishads (2 Vols)
The author remains within the Vedic mythology with at best some connections with its Indo-Iranian antecedents and a couple of remarks on the descending Indo-Aryan Hinduism, as for example rebirth and reincarnation, but he does not stay long on the question. He should have discussed it more because another religion will come out of this Rigveda, Buddhism, that will develop this rebirth line, will make it a standard passage for everyone except those - and everyone can be one of these - who will have been able to step out of the way, of the cycle, of dukkha by their own efforts, by their own meditation through nirvana.
I am sure there is more in the Vedas, because "nirvana" is a Sanskrit word. On the other side he does not envisage at all the Semitic religions that were growing in constant and hostile contact with the Indo-Iranian or Persian branch of this Vedic culture. He does not point out the resemblances and he misses the essential anthropological question of the value and meaning of the number three that is a real pattern: the three main gods, the three worlds, the three steps of Vishnu, the three heavens, etc.
And then what is the meaning of the definitely less numerous dual elements like Yama's two four-eyed dogs. He even notes a Semitic linguistic fact about the parentalization of abstract qualities. There is more to do about the contacts, exchanges or rejections, and other questions, between the Jewish Semitic world and the Persian Indo-European world. Of course these questions are modern. But when you gather facts the way this author does, you have to be struck by some recurring elements.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU