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Vedic Religion and Culture

An Exposition of Distinct Facets by: P.L Bhargava

To resolve controversies related to Vedic Religion/Culture, the author comes to grips with the idea of God’s omnipresence in Aryan religious thought, the Rgvedic “Hymn of Visvedevas”, etc. and explores matters of historical and literary importance.

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ISBN: 9788124604472
Year Of Publication: 2008
Edition: 3rd
Pages : xiii, 120
Bibliographic Details : Index
Language : English
Binding : Paperback
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 22 cm.
Weight: 200

Overview

Despite two centuries of their multifarious, critical studies in India and the Western world, Vedic writings unveil myriad questions that have either baffled scholars or have led to serious controversies. A distinguished Indologist, Professor P.L. Bhargava marshals, for the first time, indisputable evidence to resolve some of these questions like, for instance: Who wrote the Rigvedic hymns? Which deities, in the Rigveda, constitute the group, called Adityas? Or, again in the Rigvedic contexts, what does the word ‘asura’ mean? Who, of the two major Vedic gods: Indra and Varuna, has greater antiquity? Is Ayodhya: the birth place of Lord Rama, mentioned in the early Vedic literature? Where did Lord Rama’s ancestors: the kings of Ikshvaku dynasty originally rule? And how far danastutis (“the praises of gifts”) of the Rigveda can help scholars to reconstruct the political history of the Vedic Age? Combining in him the erudition of a Sanskritist and a historian, the author also comes to grips with the idea of God’s omnipresence in Aryan religious thought, the enigmatic “Hymn of Vishvedevas” in the Rigveda, or the confounding words/phrases in its “Hymn of Creation”; besides several other issues of religious, cultural; historical and literary importance — all these on the basis of his unbiased, life-long studies of the Vedic texts. An exquisite presentation of Dr Bhargava’s writings, the volume covers a variety of themes that range from the very authorship of the Rigvedic hymns to the status of Vedic religion today. Invaluable to the scholars and specialists of Vedic lore.

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
1. The Self-Introducing Rishis of the Rigveda and the Chronology of its Hymns
Self-Introducing Rishis
Chronology of the Hymns
2. The Word Asura in the Rigveda
3. The Adityas in the Rigveda
4. The Comparative Antiquity of Indra and Varuna
5. The Enigmatic Hymn of Vishvedevas in the Rigveda
6. Some Problematic Words and Phrases in the Hymn of Creation
7. Origin of the Idea of Omnipresence of God in Aryan Religious Thought
8. Position and Status of Women in India in the Early Vedic Period
9. Historical Importance of the Danastutis of the Rigveda
10. The Original Home of the Ikshvakus
11. Ayodhya in Early Vedic Literature
12. Yaska and Panini
13. Additions and Interpolations in the Bhagavadgita
14. Names and Epithets of Krishna in the Bhagavadgita
15. Vedic Religion Today
The Founders
The Scriptures
Cardinal Beliefs
Theology
Mode of Worship
Cosmology
Festivals
Holy Places
Index

Meet the Author
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Dr. P.L Bhargava is an eminent Indologist, who retired as Professor and Head of the Sanskrit Department, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. A historian of equal renown too, he had been at the McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for about two years: 1974-76, as a Visiting Professor of Religion. His Ph.D thesis, entitled: India in the Vedic Age, was hailed as “the most original work of our times” (U.N. Ghoshal), “a distinct advance over Pargiter’s work” (A.S. Altekar), and “a brilliant sorting out of the very complex data into clear and logical pattern” (A.L. Basham). A recipient of many academic honours — the latest among which being the 1994-95 President’s Award for “Eminent Sanskritists”, Professor Bhargava has already published eight books and over 60 papers.
Books of P.L Bhargava