The Satapatha Brahmana, five volumes of commentary and speculation, written by priests participating in the ritual, has usually been passed over by scholars as too difficult to read, and merely ritualistic. This book proves that viewpoint erroneous.
The author has presented three extraordinary rituals of the S. Br., the Agnistoma, the Asvamedha, and the Agnicayana in everyday language but without losing their distinctive identity as Brahmanic ritual. The S. Br. is revealed as storehouse of rituals, myths, and symbols and these were used to express the religious experiences of a highly complex culture.
At the same time, because of her interest in world religions, ancient and modern, the author has been able to make comparisons between the Brahmanic material and carefully selected material from cultures other than Indian. These comparisons serve not only to deepen our understanding of the complexity of the Brahmanic experience, but also demonstrate that no comparative study of ritual or sacrifice can be complete unless the Brahmanic contribution is considered.
This book also examines the profound religious experiences which were part of the ritual / sacrificial system, that very core of the Brahmanic system which when ritual lost its vitality, formed part of new developments in religious experience.
About the Author:
Naama Drury was born in Queensland, Australia, and completed her studies in the History, Philosophy, Psychology, and Literature of World Religious at the University of Queensland, gaining First Class Honours in a Primary degree and being awarded a Master of Arts in 1979.
To be creative whilst living in the simplest life style has brought her, a world traveler, to live beside the sea in a bushland setting on Coochie Mudlo, a small island in Moreton Bay on the Queensland coast.
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