The Religion of the RigVeda.

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Item Code: IDD388
Author: H.D. Griswold
Language: English
Edition: 1999
ISBN: 8120807456
Pages: 416
Cover: HardCover
Other Details 8.75" X 5.8"
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Book Description
About the Book:

The present work expounds substantially the value and significance of Indo-Aryan religious ideas as represented in the Rgveda.

The Work is divided into three Sections arranged in thirteen chapters. Section I deals with the origin of Indo-European and Indo-Iranian religion, its development into the concept of Godhood, Demonology and Priesthood. It describes Vedic tribes, their expansion, colonization, settlement, Organization, and culture. Section II discusses the peculiar traits of major and minor Vedic Gods, theories of henotheism, monotheism and the eschatology of the Rgveda. Section III discusses the impact of Vedic religion on the later-day popular and philosophical Hindu religious thought.

The work is very interesting and instructive. It offers an adequate equipment for the reconstruction of Vedic religion. It is sure to fulfil the long-felt need of the general reader.


Part A. Introduction

I. The Antecedents of the Rigvedic Age
    1. Indo-European Period
      a) The Rigveda and the Aryans
      b) The Indo-European
      c) Table of Indo-European cognate words
      d) Comments on the relations of these words
      e) Stage of Indo-European
      f) Indo_European religion
      g) Signigicance of Indo-European religious ideas
      h) Original home of the Indo-European tribes
      i) Date of dispersion
      j) India a land of archaic survivals
    2. Indo-Iranian Period
      a) Sources of information
      b) The undivided Aryan tribes
      c) Indo-Irian religion
      d) New developments in Indo-Iranian religion
        (1)The conception of 'Order'
        (2) The ethical conception of God
        (3) Amesha Spentas and Adityas
        (4) Development of demonology (5) Development of the priesthood
II. The Rigvedic Age
    1. Sources
    2. Geography
    3. Climate
    4. Aryans
    5. Dasyus
    6. Conquest of the land
    7. Organization of society
      a) Vedic tribes
      b)King and Ksatriyas
      c) priesthood
      d) Vaisyas
      e) Sudras
    8. Conclusion
The Rigvedic Book
    1. Introductory
    2. The text of the Rigveda
    3. The language of the Rigveda
    4. The chronology of the Rigveda
    5. The interpretation of the Rigveda

Part B. Religious Contents of the Rigveda

IV. The vedic World of Gods and Demons
    1. Introductory
    2. Process of personification
    3. Gods and demons
    4. Specimen of vedic demonology
      a) Genesis of vedic belief in demons
      b) Relatin of demon and demon-possessed
      c) Depravity of the demons
      d) Demons in theform of night-wandering animals
      e) The doom of the demons of darkness
      f) They are overcome by the gods of light
    5. Father Dyaus and his children the Devas
    6. Common characteristics of the vedic gods
    7. Two recent theories of the Rigveda
      a) Max Miller's Henotheism in the Rigveda
      b) Swami Dayanand's Monotheism in the Rigveda
V. Varuna the Ethical God
    1. Introductory
    2. Distribution of the Rigvedic material
    3. The prehistoric Varuna
    4. Mitra and Varuna
    5. Varuna and ethical order
      a) Varuna inflicts disease as a reminder and punishment of sin
      b) Fellowship with Varuna is broken by sin
      c) Varuna is besought to loose the sinner from sin ans its penalty
      d) Sin is 'the transgression of the law' of Varuna
      e) Varuna is a witness of the deeds os men
      f) Means of gaining the mercy of Varuna
      g) Varuna grants protection and happiness to his worshipers
      h) Varuna as Lord of ethical order is a holy god
    6. Varuna and cosmic order
      a) Creator and sovereign
      b) Varuna and the waters
    7. Varuna and the Aditas
      a) Varuna and Mitra the Aditya chiefs
      b) Common characteristics of the Aditya-group
      c) Place of Aditi among the Adityas
      d) Adityas and Amesha Spentas
      e) Semitic influence possibly to be recognised in the Adityas and Ameshya Spentas
VI. Agni the Priestly God
    1. Introductory
    2. The prehistoric Agni
      a) Domestic character as a primitive trait
      b) Dispeller of darkness, demos, hostile magic, etc.
        (1) Agni dispels darkness
        (2) Agni repels enemies
        (3) Agni wards off hostile magic
        (4) Agni destroys demons
        (5) Agni banishes illness
    3. The Sacrificial Agni
      a) Agni dwells in the vedic or 'fire-pit'
      b) Agni is strengthened with fuel, ghee and soma
      c) Agni is mediator between gods and men
    4. Agni's heavenly origin
    5. Agni as the great High Priest
      a) The divine counterpart of the earthly priesthood
      b) The King of sacrificial rites
      c) Wise and able to correct mistakes in worship
    6. Agni is Intercessor and Judge
      a) Agni is an all-seeing god
      b) Agni takes account of sin and punishes it
      c) Agni intercedes with Varuna for sinners
      d) Agni is besought to forgive sin
    7. Agni and Brihaspati
    8. Vedic nature studies on the subject of fire

VII. Indra the Warrior God
    1. Introductory
    2. Indra the slayer of Vritra
      a) Indra's mythological essence
      b) Vritra the chief enemy of Indra
      c) Indra's equipment for the fight with Vritra
      d) Indra's winning of the light
    3. Indra and the earthly waters
    4. Indra the war-god of the Vedic Aryans
    5. Heroic deeds wrought by Indra
    6. Character of Indra
      a) Indra's relation to Varuna
      b) Indra's relation to Rita
      c) Indra's relation to the wicked
    7. Indra and the Maruts
    8. Indra the bountiful

VIII. Soma the Deified Sacrificial Drink
    1. Introductory
    2. The origin and habitat of Soma
      a) Soma's heavenly origin
      b) Soma's earthly habitat
    3. The identification of the Soma plant
    4. The sacramental preparation of the Soma Juice
      a) The pressing of the Soma
      b) The straining of the Soma
      c) The mixing of the Soma
    5. Soma as an offering to the gods
    6. Soma and the moon
    7. Soma and immortality
IX. Usas and the Asvins
    1. Usas
      a) Plural Usasah, dawn-gleams or successive dawns
      b) Dawns as aspects of the Lady Dawn
      c) Usas banishes night, bad dreams and evil spirits
      d) Usas is the lady bountiful
      e) Dawn-gleams are conceived as cattle
      f) Usas awakes man, beast and bird
      g) Usas is the sister of Rastri 'Night'
      h) Usas is a path-maker
      i) Usas is called immortal
      j) Usas and the duration of time
      k) Repeated births of Usas suggestive of transmigration
      l) Usas is an expression of cosmic rita
      m) Usas us closely connected with the sun
      n) Comparisons
    2. The Asvins
      a) The Pre-Vedic Asvins
      b) Identification of the Asvins
      c) Asvins closely associated with Usas
      d) Asvin hymn VII. 71 translated
      e) Asvins are heralds of the dawn and harbingers of day
      f) Genealogy of the Asvins
      g) Asvins are connected with love, courtship, marriage, etc.
      h) Asvins as compared with Indra
X. The Minor Gods of the Vedic Pantheon
    A. Celestial Gods
      1. Surya
      2. Savitar
        a) Connected with evening and morning
        b) Seems to have charge of the sun at night
        c) Has two arms, which he raises up
        d) Pre-eminently a golden deity
        e) Puts creatures to sleep evenings and awakens them mornings
        f) The lord of stimulation
        g) The Savitri (Gayatri) stanza
        h) Savitar makes men sinless
      3. Pusan
        a) Shepherds domestic animals
        b) Pusan is a path-lord
        c) His birth, habitat and connections are heavenly
      4. Visnu
    B. Atmospheric Gods
      1. Vayu-Vata
        a) The restlessness of the wind
        b) Connection between morning breeze and morning dawn
        c) Vayu joined with Indra as a dual divinity
        d) Vayu has the first draught of Soma
        e) Collective wind and individual grsts of wind
        f) The mysterious of the wind
        g) Hygienic and vital aspects of wind
      2. Apah
        a) Heavenly waters chiefly referred to
        b) Waters naturally thought of as feminine
        c) The waters are wealthy and wealth-giving
        d) The waters are nourishing and life-giving
        e) The waters cleanse and purify
      3. Rudra
        a) Father of the Maruts
        b) Rudra is both divine and demonic
        c) Extension of Rudra's original function
        d) Rudra as a physician god
        e) Rudra as a god of grace
      4. Apam Napat, Trita Aptya, Matarisvan, Ahibudhnya and Aja Ekapad
    C. Terrestrial Gods
      1. Sarasvati and the Rivers
      2. Mountains
      3. Forests, Plants, and trees
XI. The Eschatology of the Rigveda
    1. Translation of the funeral hymn x.14
    2. Disposal of the dead by burial cremation
    3. Rigvedic psychology
    4. The Paradise of the Rigveda
    5. The Rigvedic hell
    6. The pitris or fathers
    7. Yama the king of the blessed dead
      a) Ancestry and relationships of Yama
      b) Origin and future life of mankind
      c) Yama's two dogs
Part C. The Significance and Value of the Rigveda

XII. The Rigveda and Later Hindu Developments
    1. The Rigveda and Hindu art
      a) Poetry
      b) Music
      c) Painting and Sculpture
    2. The Rigveda and Hindu society and history
      a) Historical names
      b) Caste
      c) Pessimism
    3. The Rigveda and Hindu popular religion
      a) Ritual
      b) Magic
      c) Priesthood
      d) Austerity
    4. The Rigveda and Hindu Philosophical and religious thought
      a) Philosophical conceptions
      b) Ethics
      c) The forgiveness of sin
      d) Polytheism
      e) Pantheism
      f) Monotheism
XIII. The Fulfilment of the Religion of the Rigveda
    1. Difficult of reaching and maintaining ethical monotheism
    2. Lack of a strenuous ethical temper in the Rigveda
    3. Vedic anticipations of Christian doctrine
    4. Vedic and Christian eschatology compared
    5. General suggestions of truth in Rigvedic polytheism
    6. The theism of Swami Dayanand Sarasvati
    7. Conclusion
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