The present work' is an attempt to make a detailed analysis and an exegetical study of 196 metrical Mantras occurring in the Asvalayana Srautasutra. These Mantras are cited for ritual application and are not to be traced in the Rgveda to which that Sutra belongs. The author is fortunate to have had the practical experience as a priest in the traditional performance of Vedic rituals and has tried to interpret the text from the traditional ritualistic point of view. The results of the modern comparative and linguistic studies made by western as well as Indian scholars have been examined and utilised wherever it was necessary. A newly discovered commentary on these Mantras, called Yajtiasiddhi, has also been made use of extensively for the work. It is hoped that this systematic analysis of the non-Igvedic Mantras of the Asvalayana Srautastitra in their ritual setting will serve as a complementary to the purely philological and historical approach to the Vedas generally made by modern scholars.
The work was prepared under the direction of Professor K. Krishnamoorthy, Head of the Department of Sanskrit, Karnataka University, Dharwar, during the years 1966-69 and approved for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by the Karnataka University. Owing to circumstances beyond the control of the author it remained unpublished for such a long time. Since practically no revision to the original dissertation has been made many important recent works on Vedic rituals, e. g. that of Heesterrnan, Parpola and Witzel could not be taken into account.
I am deeply grateful to Dr. K. Krishnamoorthy for the encouragement and guidance he has given me at all stages in the preparation of the dissertation. I am indebted to my teacher, the late Kota Subraya Somayaji who initiated me into the traditional ritualistic literature in its theoretical and practical aspects. I am also thankful to the authorities of the Adyar Library and Research Centre for the excellent facilities afforded to me in my work.
I also want to thank Prof. K. L. Janert, Cologue, who has suggested and encouraged the publication of the work. In spite of innumerable difficulties the publishers have not swerved from their original intention to publish the work and I cordially thank them for their patience and persistence.
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