Laughter and the Creeper Mantra
This chapter concludes that the Vedic themes discussed in the book show a particular kind of transformation as one traces their viniyoga, or application in ritual commentary through metonymy. Each theme involves a “ritual disassociation,” whereby images and actions are harnessed to each other in metonymic association in the early Vedic period and then become de-linked as the Vedic period progresses. It traces the changes in metonymy, or interpretation of images of Rig Vedic mantras related to fire, mental power, enemy, journey, and creation through the Vedic period and in different Vedic texts, including Grhya Sutras, Śrauta Sutras, and Vidhana. This study shows the shift from metonymic power of the image (the associative linking of one ritual element to another) to productive power of the image (the use of the single ritual image to stand in for a number of potential outcomes) with time.
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