The Grhya Rites Vis-a-Vis the Atharvanic Tradition- Vedic Studies: Vol.I- 1996 (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAZ464
Author: Sushanta Kumar Chakravarti
Publisher: Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata
Language: English
Edition: 1997
Pages: 154
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 180 gm
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Book Description
I prepared a comparative study of the Grhya tradition as described in the Grhyasutras and of the Atharvanic tradition as recorded in the Kausikasutra with reference to (i) the sacraments, viz. Garbhadhana, Namakarana, Upanayana etc. and (ii) the other rites, viz. Agrahayani, Upakarana, Parica-Mahayajna-s etc, and arrived everywhere at an unvaried conclusion.

The part of my study relating to the sacraments, which was submitted to and approved by Rabindra Bharati University for the award of the Ph.D. Degree, has been presented in this volume in a revised form. The remaining part of my study as to the other rites will, I hope, be published in future in a separate volume.

The present study comprises ten chapters (followed by an appendix), and fructifies in the following theses :

(a) The domestic rituals of the Atharvaveda as propounded by the Kausikasutra of the Atharvanic tradition, have been characteristically different in almost all cases from the domestic ceremonial of the tradition of the three other Vedas, viz. the Rgveda, the Samaveda and the Yajurveda.

(b) Almost seventy to seventy five percent of the mantras used in the Non-Atharvanic Grhya tradition belong to the corpus of the Vedas other than the Atharvaveda, while ten percent of such mantras, which find no place in the Vedas, figure well in the Non-Atharvanic Grhya texts alone, and the remaining fifteen to twenty percent of the mantras employed in the Grhya texts are either similar to, or identical with, or even largely or partly altered forms or variants of those contained in the Atharvaveda.

(c) The conception of a great many scholar in India and abroad seeking to establish the Atharvaveda as a great source material of the Grhya rites is on the whole fallacious.

The deduction submitted above applies, to the best of my knowledge, not only to the sacraments, but also to almost all the rites delineated in the Grhyasutras.

In preparing the work, the original Vedic texts and modern publications have been utilized.

On the connection between the AV and the GS-s Bloomfield says, "On turning to the Grhya-sutras it would be natural to anticipate a closer degree of intimacy with the Atharvan, and hence a more frequent and less formulaic reference to its writings".' The very "anticipation" of this kind on-the basis of an apparent similarity of contents on the one hand and occurrence of a number of the Atharvanic mantras many a Grhya rite on the other leads to the conventional conclusion that the• Grhya rites were 'generally borrowed from the Atharvanic tradition, and that the Atharvanic mantras were largely borrowed by the GS-s.2 Scholars in favour of this view agree to the statement of Bloomfield: "For the subject-matter of these texts is itself, broadly speaking, Atharvanic, besides being dashed strongly with many elements of vidhana or sorcery-practice, i.e. Atharvanic features in the narrower sense and by. distinction".3 They presume that the Atharvanic tradition predominates in different Vedic schools so far as the Grhya rites are concerned.

But a comparative study of the rites and mantras as recorded in the AV and the Kau.S, and those as noted in the GS-s, does not prove the aforesaid findings of the scholars, and that is why a fresh labour on the subject is a desideratum.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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