By Laurie L. Patton
This elegantly written ebook introduces a brand new standpoint on Indic non secular background by means of rethinking the position of mantra in Vedic ritual. In Bringing the Gods to brain, Laurie Patton takes a brand new examine mantra as "performed poetry" and in 5 case stories attracts a portrait of early Indian sacrifice that strikes past the well-worn different types of "magic" and "magico-religious" idea in Vedic sacrifice. Treating Vedic mantra as a worldly type of creative composition, she develops the assumption of metonymy, or associational inspiration, as an immense motivator for using mantra in sacrificial functionality. Filling a long-standing hole in our realizing, her ebook offers a background of the Indian interpretive mind's eye and a learn of the psychological creativity and hermeneutic sophistication of Vedic faith.
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Additional resources for Bringing the Gods to Mind: Mantra and Ritual in Early Indian Sacrifice
A. B. Keith’s treatment of the hotr is another excellent early example. The hotr is the priest of the sacrifice most responsible for the recitation of mantra. Because of this function, Keith 40 Poetry, Ritual, Associational Thought characterizes the hotr’s role as essentially that of a magician, one that is contrasted with the adhvaryu, the ritualist: It is wholly impossible to doubt that, if the Adhvaryu really thought that the acts of the sacrifice and the actual offerings were what mattered, his view was not in the least shared by the hotr, who was of the opinion that his perfectly constructed hymns would give the god the greatest amount of pleasure.
2 The source of the “pride” here is, of course, that beautifully constructed words alone can effect the ends which the poet seeks—and this, to Keith’s mind, constitutes magic and not religion—religion being defined by the “actual” sacrifice and the “actual” offerings themselves. ” We are left wondering what is magic, what is religion, and where or why the line can be drawn between the two. This example from Keith is especially apt for my purposes of analyzing verbal “charms” below; however, such examples abound in both early and relatively recent Indological works as well.
Many of the professors are also trained traditionally as pandits, or teachers. On many occasions during the rites, ritual actors understood one ceremony as a form of another, and in order for the cosmic import of both the largest and the tiniest ritual to be understood, the authors of the Šrauta Sutras arranged these ceremonies into three classes: (1) the full- 22 Poetry, Ritual, Associational Thought moon ceremony (daršapurnamasa), which includes basic offerings called istis; (2) the more elaborate animal sacrifices following the model set by the offering an animal to Agni and Soma; and (3) the Soma ceremonies, where the crushed, sacred drink of eloquence was offered in a basic “model rite” called the agnistoma, and from which much more elaborate, twelve-day or even year-long rites derive.
Bringing the Gods to Mind: Mantra and Ritual in Early Indian Sacrifice by Laurie L. Patton