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A Vedic Concordance

A Vedic Concordance
Item Code: NAH338
Author: Maurice Bloomfield
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9788124606650
Pages: 1100
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 11.5 inch x 9 inch
weight of the book: 2.9 kg

About the Book


This volume, A Vedic Concordance, is part of the Harvard Oriental Series. This reprint of the 1906 edition is an alphabetic index to every line of every stanza of the published Vedic literature and to the liturgical formulas; it is an index to the Vedic mantras, together with an account of their variations in the different Vedic books.


This volume is expected to serve two purposes. l. It gives a comprehensive index of all the mantras. 2. It registers the variants of mantras that are not wholly identical. In addition, it spells out few secondary uses. (i) It is a key to the liturgical employment of the mantras. (ii) It is virtually a finding index of rites and practices. (iii) It is a tool for future editors of Vedic texts. (iv) It is a repertory of the most archaic Hindu prose. (v) It also provides some miscellaneous uses to the future researchers in the domain of Vedic studies and sciences.

A must buy for all universities, colleges, institutions, scholars, researchers, and students who are engaged in Vedic studies.


About the Author


Best known as the student of Vedas, Maurice Bloomfield, Ph.D., LL.D., was a reputed philologist and Sanskrit scholar. He was born on 23 February 1985 in Austrian Silesia. Though a Polish by birth, he made, of late, America his home. He did his studies at Furman University, John Hopkins University and Princeton University. He studied Sanskrit under W.D. Whitney. Or Bloomfield taught at John Hopkins University as Associate Professor and Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology.


As an author, Or Bloomfield published numerous articles in the American Journal of Philology. He was the first to edit Kausika-Sutra (1890), and in 1905, he published Cerberus, the Dog of Hades. In 1906, he published this volume as part of the Harvard Oriental Series. His The Religion of the Veda appeared in 1908; Life and Stories of the Jaina Savior Parasvanatha and a work on the Rig Veda got published in 1916. He breathed his last on 12 June 1928.






The Concordance is part of a larger scheme.- The plan of this work dates back to the year 189Z, when two separate announcements of it were published-the one in the Proceedings of the American Oriental Society (for April, 1892, Journal, volume xv, page clxxiii) , and the other in the Johms Hopkime University circulars (for June, 1892, volume xi, number 99)’ At that time, as the reader of either of these announcements will see, I sketched the plan of a three-fold apparatus designed to facilitate and deepen the study of the Vedas: one part of it was a universal word-index to the Vedas ; another was an index of subjects and ideas; and the third, which I promised to undertake myself, was a Vedic Concordance. As commonly happens in such cases, the fulfilment of the last-named part of the plan cost much more time and labor than was expected. With correspondingly greater satisfaction I now present the result to those of the Hindu people who look upon the Vedas as their sacred books, and to all scholars in this field of Indian antiquities. That result is, an alphabetic index to every line (or pada) of every stanza (or re) of the published. Vedic literature and to every liturgical formula thereof (yajus, praisa, and so on), that is, an Index to the Vedic Mantras.


Conditions of the problem which the Concordance involves.-The Vedic mantras represent parts of a mass of traditional material which was more extensive even than that which has come down to us, material current in the various schools of Vedic learning, preserved from generation to generation by memory, and handed down from teacher to pupil by word of mouth. I have, for my part, little doubt that this oral tradition was supported at a comparatively early time-when we cannot say-by written tradition (see AV. xix. 72). As a natural consequence of the fallibility of both oral and written tradition, what was originally and essentially one and the same stanza or formula was handed down in the texts of the various schools in more or less varying forms. The variants are often of the same general character as those which appear in the various forms of ballads, or in recensions of church hymas : there are simple differences in the order of the words; differences due to the substitution of a more familiar, handy, or modern word’ or grammatical form for an archaic, inconvenient, or obsolescent one of equivalent meaning or function. To this must be added the very important point that there are also many cases in which a given mantra passage, composed under certain definite circumstances, was later on adapted and changed to serve a new purpose.


Furthermore, Vedic literary production is often in a high degree imitative and mechanical. The poets or priests, more or less consciously, fell into habits of expression such that entire lines of different stanzas or hymns, and considerable sequences of words of different prose passages, show much/similarity. This ranges from complete identity to a likeness which is sometimes so vague or fleeting as hardly to be recognizable, save to the practised eye of the expert Vedic student.




1. It is a comprehensive index of all mantras -Thanks to the editors of a considerable number of Vedic texts, we have, for each of the various Samhitas, and for some Brahmanas, Sutras, etc., an index of first lines of each stanza. These indexes are of course scattered over divers volumes; and they do not take cognizance of lines other than the first. Moreover, these indexes do not as So rule register such prose-formulas as the texts may happen to contain: they simply register the pratikas of the metrical stanzas. The advantage of having, as in the present work, one comprehensive index, which shall include every line of every stanza, as well as every prose formula, in one single alphabetic arrangement and in one single volume, will, I am certain, be prized by every student of the Veda.


2. It registers the variants of mantras.! not wholly identical.-Mantras which occur only a single time, or appear in a wholly identical form in two or more texts, require no comment after they have been properly arranged in an alphabetical index. Again, mantras which are not wholly identical, but are alike in their beginnings, will also fall into the same or nearly the same place in a direct alphabetic arrangement. It is obvious that the places of occurrence of a’ given mantra of this kind may be advantageously grouped’ together, with a statement of the various readings of the different texts. The method used for this purpose is explained below, at page xiv. Once note, if the forms of the mantra in question differ at the beginning, then-obviously again-they will occupy places in the alphabetic arrangement more or less widely apart, and it will be necessary to connect them by some system of cross-references. This also is explained below, at page xv. To sum up, the Concordance affords, primarily, an easy and ready means of ascertaining the following things: First, where a given mantra occurs, if it occur but once; second, whether it occurs elsewhere, either with or without variants, -and in what places; and third, if it occur with variants, what those variants are.




1. It is a key to the liturgical employment of the mantras.-The above-mentioned uses are plainly the direct or primary ones for which a work like this is expected to serve. The nature of the subsidiary Vedic literature (Brabmanas, Sutras, etc.). However, and its intimate relation to the fundamental texts, are such that the Concordance may also he readily put to certain indirect or secondary uses, which are scarcely less important for the systematic progress of Vedic study. First, since the Concordance give not only the places of actual occurrence of a given mantra in the Samhitaa, but also the places where it is cited in the subsidiary work, on ritual and household custom and the like. It furnishes the key to the liturgical or ritual employment of every mantra as prescribed by the ceremonial books. I hope that the Concordance will prove to be a most effective means of advancing our knowledge of the hymn and the ceremonies in their relations to one another. The hymn or prayer, and the ceremony that accompanied it, often serve mutually each as a commentary on the other. The subtle blend of song and rite makes a full knowledge of both necessary for the understanding of either.


2. It is virtually a finding-index of rites and practices.-As a eorollary to the use just mentioned, I may add that, since a given prayer to liable to be rubricatod in similar or identical rites, and practice described in the large mass of Hindu ritual texts the Concordance will incidentally serve no inconsiderable extent, as a helpful finding-index of similar or identical rites and practices.


3. It is a tool for future editors of Vedic txts.-The future editor of a Vedic text will find in a complete assemblage of all the mantras an auxiliary of the very first importance. In the work of constituting a Vedic text, the mantras are the most intractable part of the material concerned, because they are written in a dialect which-differing, as it does, considerably from the later forms of Sanskrit-was imperfectly understood by the scribes, Since much of the material of this kind with which the future editor will have to deal is quite certain, as experience shows, to be contained in the literature previously published, it is obvious that the Concordance will greatly facilitate the establishment of the new texts and the revision of some that have already been edited. Moreover, since, as has been already said, parallel prayers are to a large extent imbedded in parallel ceremonies, the Concordance will not pe without value in establishing the text of the liturgical books themselves.


4. It is a repertory of the most archaic Hindu prose.-The Concordance presents, far the first time and in a form ready and convenient for systematic study, the prose mantras as distinguished from the metrical mantras of the Vedic hymns on the one hand, and from the rest of the early prose on the other. It seems to me that these prose formulas are in a dialect or in a style that differs not a little from the narrative or descriptive prose of the Brahmanas and Sutras, The formulas abound, at any rate, in poetic or other archaisms that deserve to be collected and heated by themselves. There is also good reason to believe that the prose of the formulas is the oldest Hindu prose and so the oldest Indo-European prose. The study here suggested seems to me likely to prove to be a not unfruitful one.


5. Miscellaneous uses.-It can hardly be doubted that the Concordance will be of service in the work of determining the relations of the different Vedic schools or fakha, 8 to one another. I am not sure but that the present time is just as opportune for this interesting and fundamental research as any that is likely to present itself within the next fifty years or so. And there are various other interesting questions that will suggest themselves to different scholars, according to their bent of mind and habits of investigation, for the solution of which. the Concordance can not fail to be a useful tool. For example, it may be noted that this Concordance assembles an enormous number of passages beginning with the prohibitive adverb md, and that even a cursory examination of them reveals the interesting fact that only a very few contain verb-forms other than in juntives or augmentless preterits. Or, again, the extreme frequency of mantras beginning with the name of -a divinity has as its consequence that mantras concerning a. certain deity are here, to a very large extent, grouped together. For instance, the mantras beginning with the name of Agni fill twenty eight pages, and those beginning with the name of Indra fill twenty-three. Consequently, in this book will very often be found, most conveniently assembled, much of the material for the study of questions relating to Vedic mythology. N or must I omit to say that the initial words of the mantras form by themselves a very considerable part of a word-index to the mantras.




1. Certain published texts not included.-Although the title claims that the entire published Vedic literature is incorporated in this Concordance, yet the claim is made with certain reservations. The Paip palada-Qakha or Kashmirian text of the Atharva Veda, to begin with, is in a sense published, being accessible to scholars in the chromophotographic reproduction edited by Professor GARBE and myself; but it is too corrupt to be incorporated here and compared with the rest of the material, and the birch-bark original still remains unfortunately the only one known to us for this text. We may hope that the Concordance will prove of great service in restoring this text so far as is feasible under these singularly distressing circumstances. Again, the edition of the Drahyayana Qrauta-Sutra, promised, and in part, I believe, issued, by Dr. J. N. REUTER of Helsingfors, I have not as yet received. So, too, the Qanti-Kalpa, edited by Professor G. M. BOLLING, in the Transactions of the American Philological Association, volume xxxv, appeared too late. I believe I have read all the later Upanisads and Simti or Dharma texts which seemed likely to be of interest in this connection; but I have not thought it necessary to continue, among all kinds of late paralipomena or parisistas, a pedantic search which might be indefinitely prolonged without commensurate results, Anything that may come to light within the next twenty years or so may well await the day when the accumulation of new texts or (If new editions of old ones shall render a supplement to the Concordance a profitable undertaking.


Once more. the claim of t he title-page calls for a word of explanation M to certain doubtful elements of late or less important published texts. "What I have endeavoured to embody in the Concordance with absolute completeness is the following: all the stanzas and all the prose pasages of formulaic character contained in the Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, older Upanisads, Qrauta·Sutras, and Grhya Sutras. On the other hand, in the case of the later Upanisads or of the metrical Dharma-Castras and Smrtis, or of such a text as the Rig Vidhana, I have adopted a selective method. It would clearly be inadvisable to include in this Concordance all the stanzas that occur in the works last mentioned. From them, accordingly, I have culled whatever appeared to have Vedic form or Vedic flavor. Unerring judgment in such choice no one will expect: I do not believe that I have erred on the side of including too little. It is perhaps more likely that I have included some things that might just as well or better have been left out.


2. Unpublished texts included.-The Concordance, on the other hand, gives more than is promised by the title-page, in that it includes a very considerable amount of material not yet published. Of the four books of the Kathaka-Samhita only the first has so far been actually issued by the editor, Professor LEOPOLD VON SCHROEDER of the University of Vienna: it is to me a source of peculiar satisfaction that I am able to give in this Concordance the mantra material from this highly important text entire. I made a special journey to Vienna, in 1902, for the express purpose of copying the material from the three unpublished books, and the editor generously met my wishes by the loan of his manuscripts. From them, by the close and arduous labour of a month, I excerpted the needed parts, and embodied them later in the Concordance. To Professor VOY SCHROEDER I owe an especial debt of gratitude. Again, by the kind cooperation of Professor FRIEDRICH KNAUTER of the University of Kiew, I have been enabled to present the mantras of the entire Manava-Qrauta Sutra, an important text in eleven books of which only five as yet are published. Professor HANNS OERTEL, of Yale University, has enriched the Concordance by the not too numerous, and unfortunately very corrupt, mantras contained in the Jaiminiya-or Talavakara-Brahmana. Finally I should note that I have incorporated all the material from the so-called , dedications’ of the ritual of the horse-sacrifice or acuamedha, and human sacrifice or purusmedha. Not all of these arc mantras in the stricter sense of the word; hut they have been included because they figure in the Samhitas and because they sometimes interchange with real mantras of the same or similar import.






General Plans of Concordance


Primary Uses of Concordance


Secondary Uses of Concordance


Scope of Concordance


Future work Complementary to the Concordance


Acknowledgment of obligations


Explanations Introductory to the Use of the Concordance


General Scope of these Explanations


General Remarks on the character of the variants


Method used in reporting the variants


Bibliography of the works cited, with abbreviations of their titles




Vedic Concordance



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