Asura in Early Vedic Religion

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Item Code: NAB295
Language: English
Edition: 1999
ISBN: 9788120800618
Pages: 242
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.8" X 5.8"
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Shipped to 153 countries
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100% Made in India
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Book Description
About the Book:

In the Rg-Veda the word asura is frequently used as an epithet for various deities. However, in later Sanskrit it is used instead for a class of demons who are enemies of the gods.

In this book the Vedic passages containing the word asura - are examined to see how such a remarkable shift in meaning could occur. Every verse in the Samhitas containing the word asura- or a derivative or a compound of it is quoted, translated, and discussed. The occurrences of this word and in the prose passages of the Brahmanas are reviewed and the more interesting are quoted. In order to examine the semantic field of this word, occurrences of the terms dasa-, dasyu-, and raksas- are also examined in some detail. In the appendix, the relevant occurrences of the cognate word ahura- are quoted, translated, and analysed.

If the author's conclusions are accepted, then some commonly held ideas about early Indo-Iranian religion will have to be revised. In particular, any ideas about the cult of Asuras distinct from the Devas who were worshipped by some people will have to be abandoned.

The author summarizes the prevailing theories about this semantic development of the word asura-, and subjects them to criticism. He develops his own theory and sums it up in the concluding chapter.

The book is addressed primarily to the scholars, researchers and students of Indology. It is also intended for those who are interested in the study of theology and religion.

About the Author:

WASH EDWARD HALE was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He obtained Bachelor's Degrees in Mathematics and Philosophy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970. He completed the course of Theological Studies in History of Religion in Harvard Divinity School and became the recipient of Masters Degree in 1973. In 1980, he obtained Ph. D. in Comparative Religion from Harvard University.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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