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Bringing the Gods to MindMantra and Ritual in Early Indian Sacrifice$
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Laurie Patton

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520240872

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520240872.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 21 October 2019

Poetry, Ritual, and Associational Thought in Early India

Poetry, Ritual, and Associational Thought in Early India

The Sources

Chapter:
(p.15) Chapter 1 Poetry, Ritual, and Associational Thought in Early India
Source:
Bringing the Gods to Mind
Author(s):

Laurie L. Patton

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520240872.003.0002

This chapter provides an overview of the general genres of early Vedic India, including Śrauta, or formal ritual texts; Grhya, or domestic ritual texts; and Vidhana, or “magical” ritual texts. The Śrauta Sutras acted as manuals or ritual handbooks, compiled to give directions to those performing public rites in Vedic times. The manuals for the rituals in different stages of domestic life are contained in texts called the Grhya Sutras. The Vidhana literature consists entirely of viniyogas, or the applications of Vedic mantras, outside the sacrificial situation entirely. The Vidhana literature is characterized by its emphasis on the personal ambition or desire of the reciter; its emphasis on japa, or soft recitation of the mantra; its belief that the mantra can be efficacious without necessarily being accompanied by a rite; and the attendant emphasis on visualization—through both mental and physical imagery. The chapter further discusses the śakha, or institutional branch of Vedic interpretation.

Keywords:   viniyoga, Vedic ritual, mantras, Vedic India, Vedic literature, Grhya Sutras, Śrauta Sutras, Vidhana

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