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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, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

A History of the Quest for Mental Power

A History of the Quest for Mental Power

(p.142) Chapter 6 A History of the Quest for Mental Power
Bringing the Gods to Mind

Laurie L. Patton

University of California Press

This chapter examines the history of images used for the attainment of mental power and verbal ability by describing metonymical interpretations of the Rig Veda mantras 1.18.6, 8.100.10–11, 8.101.11–16, 10.21.1, 10.71, and 10.125. In the Śrauta literature, these mantras tend to be used in the invitational verses just before an offering during sacrifice, usually an animal offering. In the Grhya literature, they are used before the arrival of a guest, before a meal, or when a Vedic student is returning home and encounters strange sounds. In the Vidhana literature, however, they are recited to secure a more general form of verbal eloquence, mental agility, peace, as well as averting any and all consequences in case one has uttered a falsehood.

Keywords:   metonymy, Vedic mantras, Vidhana, mental power, verbal ability, Rig Veda, Śrauta Sutras

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