The book deals with variety of concepts, images and beliefs in the Vedic tradition, revealed through Vedic hymns and rituals. Several images and symbols, at times, are influenced by folk beliefs at that period some of which are current even today
The complex image of 'Aksara'not only having a rain-symbolism but also getting a dimension of proto-philosophy, that of the Son-husband current even today, that of the "crying worlds" not restricted only to the Vedic literature, the images centering round Soma as a ritual-drink, the 'eye' of Prjapati, the problematic "Sasarpari", divinity of the banners, Vana though a war-trumpet changing into ritual musical instrument, the unique birth of Vasistha and Agastya from a jar, the words 'Dvibarhas' and 'siprin' indicative of power and status , the riddle of the black antelope, dance of Indra and Chaya giving a glimpse of ancient war dance - these and many more, delving in the Vedic hymns and rituals display a treasure of myriad images.
About the Author
Prof. Sadashiv Ambadas Dange is very well known in India and outside India for his contribution to the study of Indology, Particularly Sanskrit, and is considered to be an authority on Vedic-Hindu myths, rituals and practices.
He formulated and delivered a course of fifteen lectures on Hindu Mythsat the International Institute of Semiotics and Structural Studies, arranged by the Central Institute of Languages, Mysore University (Dec. 1984 - Jan. 1985) and five lectures on Indian myths and Symbols, at the National Centre for Performing Arts Bombay (1988).
His numerous books include - Pastoral Symbolism from the Rgveda (University of Poona, 1970), Vedic Concept of 'Field' and the Divine Fructification, (University of Bombay, 1971), Sexual Symbolism from the Vedic Ritual (Ajanta Publications, Delhi, 1979), Divine Hymns and Ancient Thought, 2 Vols., (Navrang, New Delhi, 1992, 1995), Encyclopaedia of Puranic Beliefs and Practices, Vols. I-V, (Navrang, New Delhi, 1986-90) and Towards Understanding Hindu Myths (Aryan Books International, New Delhi, 1996).
Prof Dange was R.G. Bhandarkar Professor and Head, Dept of Sanskrit, University of Bombay (Mumbai) and twice President of the Vedic Section at the All India Oriental Conference (1980 and 1985). He was consultant Editor for the Encyclopaedia of Human Ideas on Ultimate Reality and Meaning and Editor for the Indian Section of its Journal, Ultimate Reality and Meaning, Regis College, Toronto (Canada) for more than a decade.
The honours conferred on him include - Silver Medal from the Asiatic Society of Bombay (1983), Felicitation by the State Govt. of Maharashtra (1990), 'Special Honour' by the Uttar Pradash Sanskrit Academy (1989) and the Certificate of Honour from the President of India (1992), to a mention a few.
1. Folk-beliefs and Rain-imagery of the Vedic Seers
2. The Thunder and the Aksara
3. Cosmic Foetus
4. The Vision of Vasukra
5. The Son-Husband
6. The Crying Worlds
7. The Advent of Soma
8. Symbolism in the Ritual of Soma
9. The Ritual of Soma and Kavya-rasa
10. The Eye of Prajapati
12. Sasarpari : A war-spell
13. Asplects of War
14. Drum and the Dance of Indra and Chaya
15. The Vana
16. The Birth of Vasistha
17. Dvibarhas : A Wonder-working Priest
18. Siprin and Sipivista
20. Sisna-deva and the Cult of the Nude
21. Ajamita and Speech-coupling
22. Garta and Garta-aruk
23. Dirghatamas : His Vision of Jiva and Atman
24. Metempsychosis and the Rgveda
25. The Riddle of the Black Antelope
26. Kuntapa and Symbolism in Ritual-Birth
27. Features of Tantrism and the Veda
28. Mother-Goddess on the Vedic Scene
29. The Goddess of Speech Pumscali
30. The Principle of Continuity in Vedic Ritual
33. Havirdhana-mandapa and the Temple
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