Understanding the Veda NOTES

Understanding the Veda NOTES - Understanding the Veda Risis...

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Understanding the Veda, Risis and the Mantras: [A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy: CHANDRADHAR SHARMA M.A., D.Phil., D.Litt., LL.B., Sāhityāchārya, Sāhityaratna, Shāstrī, DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY, BANARAS Publication Information: Book Title: A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy. Contributors: Chandradhar Sharma - author. Publisher: Rider. Place of Publication: London. Publication Year: 1960. Page Number: 3.] The name 'Veda' (knowledge) stands for the Mantras and the Brāhman ̣ as (mantra-brāhman ̣ ayor veda- nāmadheyam). Mantra means a hymn addressed to some god or goddess. The Rsis of the Vedas are not the authors, but only the 'seers' of the Mantras (R ̣ṣ ayo mantra-dra traā). The Brāhman ̣ ̣ as, unlike the Mantras, are written in prose. They are the elaboration of the complicated ritualism of the Vedas. They deal with the rules and regulations laid down for the performance of the rites and the sacrifices. Their name 'Brāhman ̣ a' is derived from the word 'Brahman' which originally means a prayer. There is little philosophy in these, though some philosophical ideas flash here and there in the course of some speculative digressions. The appendages to these Brāhman ̣ as are called Āran ̣ yakas mainly because they were composed in the calmness of the forests. The Āran ̣ yakas mark the transition from the ritualistic to the philosophic thought. We find here a mystic interpretation of the Vedic sacrifices. The concluding portions of the Āran ̣ yakas are called the Upani ads. These are intensely philosophical and spiritual and may be rightly regarded as the cream of the Vedic philosophy. The Mantras and the Brāhman ̣ as are called the Karma-Kān ̣ D ̣ a or the portion dealing with the sacrificial actions, and the Āran ̣ yakas and the Upani ads are called the Jñanā-Kān ̣ D ̣ a or the portion dealing with knowledge. Some people include the Āran ̣ yakas in the Karma-Kān ̣ D ̣ a. Really speaking, they represent a transition from the Karma-Kān ̣ D ̣ a to the Jñanā-Kān ̣ U+. The Upanisads are also known as 'Vedānta' or 'the end of the Veda', firstly because they are literally the concluding portion, the end, of the Vedas, and secondly because they are the essence, the cream, the height, of the Vedic philosophy [Explaining Mantras: Ritual, Rhetoric, and the Dream of a Natural Language in Hindu Tantra. Book by Robert A. Yelle; Routledge, 2003. 187 pgs. ] Mantras have been a distinctive feature of the Hindu religious tradition since the time of its most ancient texts, the Vedas (c. 1500-1000 BCE) and earliest Upaniads (c. 800-500 BCE), but became even more central in the later Hindu movement known as Tantra (c. 600 CE-present). 2 According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the word mantra signifies "a sacred text or passage, esp. one from the Vedas used as a prayer or incantation." 3 Mantras are used for both mundane and spiritual purposes, and span the
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This note was uploaded on 10/12/2009 for the course RS ST 145 taught by Professor Holdrege during the Spring '09 term at UCSB.

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Understanding the Veda NOTES - Understanding the Veda Risis...

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