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Books > Hindu > The Cult of Skanda-Karttikeya in Ancient India (A Rare Book)
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The Cult of Skanda-Karttikeya in Ancient India (A Rare Book)
The Cult of Skanda-Karttikeya in Ancient India (A Rare Book)
Description

About the Book

 

As has been pointed out in the Preface by the Author himself, the book attempts to present the history of the War-god in ancient India. Skanda, who as Subrahmanya is still highly popular in South India, was a favourite god of the ancient Indians and his worship was practised in almost all the regions of India. He is still worshipped in some parts of Northern India and festivals are held in hi, honour. Numerous images of this god have been found from different places of India and some of them are preserved in the leading museums of the country.

 

About the Author

 

The youngest son of the Late Sri Debinarayan Chatterjee, the Author was born on the 1st day of January, 1940 in Lahore. He received his early education in Lahore and Delhi. After graduating from Asutosh College, Calcutta in 1957, he passed the M.A. Examination in Ancient Indian History and Culture from Calcutta University in 1959. Afterwards he took also his M.A. Degrees in English (both the Groups) and Bengali. In March, 1963 the Author joined Jangipur College, Murshidabad as a lecturer in English. In January, 1968 he was admitted to the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Calcutta University. He has already contributed a number of papers in various historical journals and recently his Bengali work entitled Rabindranath (Fimna K. L. Mukhopadhyay, Calcutta) was published. It has already been hailed as one of the finest and most original works on Tagore’s poetry ever written in Bengali.

 

Preface

 

In the following pages an attempt has been made, for the first time, to tace the history of the worship of the War-god in ancient India. The first chapter deals with the Karttikeya-worshlp as revealed in the later Vedic literature. The god was not known to the Rgvedic hymnists, there being no reference either to him or to his worship in the Rgveda. He is mentioned several times in the Upanisads and, the Sutras, It has been shown that, by the end of the period of the Sutra literature, Skanda-Kartrikeya became a prominent member of the Brahmanical pantheon.

 

Worship of Skanda-Karttikeva as known to the epic and Puranic poets is the subject of the second chapter. The present author has had to ransack almost all the printed Puranas (including the Upa Puranas) and also the two epics. By the time of the’ composition of these works the god became a favourite deity and accounted for a good number of verses of almost an these works.

 

The third chapter shows the development of the Karttikeya cult in the historical period in Northern’ India. Non-Brahmanical literature as well as the works of non- religious character have been consulted j the present writer has also spared no pains to go through the published inscriptions. The fourth chapter tells the story of the development of Skanda-worship in South India. Ancient Tamil works as available in English translations have been studied in this connection. Available South Indian inscriptions have also been duly consulted and every effort has been made to make the account as much authentic as possible.

 

The fifth chapter gives an exhaustive account of the different places which were sacred to Karttikeya in ancient India. The writer is indebted to none but the original sources, so far as this chapter is concerned. Some of-the places, mentioned here, have not been referred to by any previous writer.

 

Different names of the War god have been discussed in the sixth chapter. The fact that ‘the god had so many names indirectly testifies to his extensive and solid popularity with the ancient Indians. ‘Aspects of Karttikeya’s character” is the subject of study in the seventh chapter; that he was a vastly complex deity will be evident from this section. Skanda was not only regarded as a god of war, but was also looked upon as a god of learning and wisdom; the same god was also the patron deity of thieves and burglars and his amorous nature too, has been alluded to.

 

The last chapter deals with the iconography of Karttikeya; in this connection the Iconographic descriptions of this god as found in the early literature, have been thoroughly discussed. A large number of Karttikeya Images of both North and South India have been described in this chapter. The writer’s Indebtedness to the previous scholars has been indicated In the Foot-notes.

 

Both the Venkatesvara and Vangavasi editions of the Puranas have been consulted. References are mostly from the more well-known Venkatesvara edition; quotations, etc., from the Great Epic have been generally taken from the Gita Press edition of that work published from Gorakhpur ; nothing, however, has been referred to, which does not find a place in the Critical edition published by the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona.

 

The topic of the present thesis was suggested to the author by D. C. Sircar, Carmichael Professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture, Calcutta University In 1962. Since then, he has remained a perennial source of inspiration of this author. The writer is also deeply indebted to Sri D. Mukherjee. Reader in Ancient Indian History and Culture, Calcutta University, his Supervisor, who has been his unfailing guide throughout. The volume, now published, was submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Calcutta University, in January, 1967. The author is perfectly and painfully aware of the various shortcomings of his work. There are also a few misprints for which he can only crave the indulgence of his readers.

 

Lastly, the author desires to thank Sri A. C. Ghosh, the Director-In-charge of the Ghosh Printing House Private Limited, for his help in piloting the book through the press.

 

Contents

 

Chapter One

Skanda-Karttikeya in the Vedic Literature

1

Chapter Two

Skanda-Karttikeya in the Epics and the Puranas

8

Chapter Three

Karttikeya Worship In Northern India

29

Chapter Four

Worship of Skanda-Karttikeya In South India

60

Chapter Five

Places Sacred to Karttikeya in Ancient India

82

Chapter Six

Different Names of Skanda-Karttikeya

89

Chapter Seven

Aspects of Karttikeya’s Character

98

Chapter Eight

Iconography

112

Appendix

A Note on Kumari Iconography

139

 

Bibliography

142

 

Index

151

 

Corrigenda

168

 

The Cult of Skanda-Karttikeya in Ancient India (A Rare Book)

Item Code:
NAH284
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1970
Publisher:
Language:
English
Size:
8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Pages:
188 (32 BW Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 325 gms
Price:
$35.00
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$26.25   Shipping Free
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About the Book

 

As has been pointed out in the Preface by the Author himself, the book attempts to present the history of the War-god in ancient India. Skanda, who as Subrahmanya is still highly popular in South India, was a favourite god of the ancient Indians and his worship was practised in almost all the regions of India. He is still worshipped in some parts of Northern India and festivals are held in hi, honour. Numerous images of this god have been found from different places of India and some of them are preserved in the leading museums of the country.

 

About the Author

 

The youngest son of the Late Sri Debinarayan Chatterjee, the Author was born on the 1st day of January, 1940 in Lahore. He received his early education in Lahore and Delhi. After graduating from Asutosh College, Calcutta in 1957, he passed the M.A. Examination in Ancient Indian History and Culture from Calcutta University in 1959. Afterwards he took also his M.A. Degrees in English (both the Groups) and Bengali. In March, 1963 the Author joined Jangipur College, Murshidabad as a lecturer in English. In January, 1968 he was admitted to the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Calcutta University. He has already contributed a number of papers in various historical journals and recently his Bengali work entitled Rabindranath (Fimna K. L. Mukhopadhyay, Calcutta) was published. It has already been hailed as one of the finest and most original works on Tagore’s poetry ever written in Bengali.

 

Preface

 

In the following pages an attempt has been made, for the first time, to tace the history of the worship of the War-god in ancient India. The first chapter deals with the Karttikeya-worshlp as revealed in the later Vedic literature. The god was not known to the Rgvedic hymnists, there being no reference either to him or to his worship in the Rgveda. He is mentioned several times in the Upanisads and, the Sutras, It has been shown that, by the end of the period of the Sutra literature, Skanda-Kartrikeya became a prominent member of the Brahmanical pantheon.

 

Worship of Skanda-Karttikeva as known to the epic and Puranic poets is the subject of the second chapter. The present author has had to ransack almost all the printed Puranas (including the Upa Puranas) and also the two epics. By the time of the’ composition of these works the god became a favourite deity and accounted for a good number of verses of almost an these works.

 

The third chapter shows the development of the Karttikeya cult in the historical period in Northern’ India. Non-Brahmanical literature as well as the works of non- religious character have been consulted j the present writer has also spared no pains to go through the published inscriptions. The fourth chapter tells the story of the development of Skanda-worship in South India. Ancient Tamil works as available in English translations have been studied in this connection. Available South Indian inscriptions have also been duly consulted and every effort has been made to make the account as much authentic as possible.

 

The fifth chapter gives an exhaustive account of the different places which were sacred to Karttikeya in ancient India. The writer is indebted to none but the original sources, so far as this chapter is concerned. Some of-the places, mentioned here, have not been referred to by any previous writer.

 

Different names of the War god have been discussed in the sixth chapter. The fact that ‘the god had so many names indirectly testifies to his extensive and solid popularity with the ancient Indians. ‘Aspects of Karttikeya’s character” is the subject of study in the seventh chapter; that he was a vastly complex deity will be evident from this section. Skanda was not only regarded as a god of war, but was also looked upon as a god of learning and wisdom; the same god was also the patron deity of thieves and burglars and his amorous nature too, has been alluded to.

 

The last chapter deals with the iconography of Karttikeya; in this connection the Iconographic descriptions of this god as found in the early literature, have been thoroughly discussed. A large number of Karttikeya Images of both North and South India have been described in this chapter. The writer’s Indebtedness to the previous scholars has been indicated In the Foot-notes.

 

Both the Venkatesvara and Vangavasi editions of the Puranas have been consulted. References are mostly from the more well-known Venkatesvara edition; quotations, etc., from the Great Epic have been generally taken from the Gita Press edition of that work published from Gorakhpur ; nothing, however, has been referred to, which does not find a place in the Critical edition published by the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona.

 

The topic of the present thesis was suggested to the author by D. C. Sircar, Carmichael Professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture, Calcutta University In 1962. Since then, he has remained a perennial source of inspiration of this author. The writer is also deeply indebted to Sri D. Mukherjee. Reader in Ancient Indian History and Culture, Calcutta University, his Supervisor, who has been his unfailing guide throughout. The volume, now published, was submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Calcutta University, in January, 1967. The author is perfectly and painfully aware of the various shortcomings of his work. There are also a few misprints for which he can only crave the indulgence of his readers.

 

Lastly, the author desires to thank Sri A. C. Ghosh, the Director-In-charge of the Ghosh Printing House Private Limited, for his help in piloting the book through the press.

 

Contents

 

Chapter One

Skanda-Karttikeya in the Vedic Literature

1

Chapter Two

Skanda-Karttikeya in the Epics and the Puranas

8

Chapter Three

Karttikeya Worship In Northern India

29

Chapter Four

Worship of Skanda-Karttikeya In South India

60

Chapter Five

Places Sacred to Karttikeya in Ancient India

82

Chapter Six

Different Names of Skanda-Karttikeya

89

Chapter Seven

Aspects of Karttikeya’s Character

98

Chapter Eight

Iconography

112

Appendix

A Note on Kumari Iconography

139

 

Bibliography

142

 

Index

151

 

Corrigenda

168

 

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