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The Religion and Philosophy of the Veda and Upanishads: Reprint of Volume 31 and 32 of Harvard Oriental Series (2 Volumes)

Item Code: NAB401
Publisher: Publication Division, Ministry Of Information And Broadcasting
Author: Arthur Berriedale Keith
Language: English
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 9788120806443
Pages: 706
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.8" X 6.6"
Weight 1.43 kg
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Book Description
From the Jacket:

The work presents to the student of religion, in objective form and with constant reference to the original sources and to modern discussions, a comprehensive but concise account of the whole of the religion and philosophy of the Vedic period in India.

The work comprises twentynine chapters grouped in five main parts, viz (i) Sources, (ii) God and Demons of the Veda, (iii) Vedic Ritual, (iv) Spirits of the Dead, (v) Philosophy of the Veda. It draws mainly from the original sources. A genuine student of religion and philosophy will find in this work an invaluable and exhaustive store of facts. This monumental work in meant to restore to the Vedic religion its just place in the study of theology.


It is the object of this work to present to the student of religion in objective form and with constant reference to the original sources and to modern discussions a comprehensive but concise account of the whole of the religion and philosophy of the Vedic period in India. The difficulty of the task lies not merely in the abundance of the original sources which I have had occasion to study in detail in making my translations of the Taittiriya Samhita and the Brahmanas and the Aranyakas of the Rigveda but also in the extreme divergence of view among modern interpreters of Vedic literature. Doubtless it is owing to this cause that the extraordinary value of Vedic religion to the student of religious belief has been so completely overlooked by Sir James Frazer and Professor S. Reinach in their theories of religion and that it has been so gravely misinterpreted by Professor Sir William Ridgeway in his essays on the origin of the Drama. The account of Vedic religion given in this work will I trust do something to restore to that religion its just place in the study of theology.

The writer of such a work must at every turn derive much from his predecessors. An effort has been made to assign to their authors the most important of the theories mentioned but I desire to acknowledge a more general obligation to certain scholars. In the treatment of the mythology I am deeply indebted to Prof. A.A. Macdoneell’s Vedic mythology which is not merely an invaluable and exhaustive storehouse of facts but is distinguished by unfailing sureness and clearness of judgment and I have derived much help from Bergaigne’s religion vedique Hillebrandt’s Vedische Mythologie and Oldenberg’s religion des Veda though I have been unable to follow these authors in the more imaginative of their theories. For the ritual I owe many facts to hille brandt, Sehwab Caland, Henry, Weber and last, but certainly not least to my predecessor Prof. J. Eggeling. In this explanation I fund myself often in agreement with Oldenberg, the brilliansce and charm of whose work in this sphere can hardly be overestimated. I have made free use of the light cast on ritual by other religions and I am conscious of having derived great profit from the works of Dr. L.R. Farnell but neither the totemism of Durkheim or S. Reinach nor the vegetration spirits of Mannhardt and Sir J. Frazer have helped me in my study of the Veda. For the philosophy of the Brahmanas and the Upanisads Levi, Oltremare and Deussen have been of the greatest assistance through the completeness of the collections of material which they have made and the fact that I have found it necessary to refuse to accept Deussen’s main theories must not be taken to indicate any lack of appreciation of the great merits of his work. Max Muller, Whitney Hopkins, Bloomfield and to the untiring labors and accomplished scholarship of Prof. Charles R. Lanman who has added to the many obligations which I owe to him by permiting these volumes to appear in the Harvard Oriental series that monumentum aere pernnius of his unselfhish devotion to the study of the life and literature of India.

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