It was late Sri Erkara Raman Namboodiri of Trissur District, Kerala, a distinguished traditional Vedic Scholar, who first drew attention to the Srauta Ritual tradition of Kerala in his two Malayalam works namely Ekahahinasatranna ! and Srautakarmavivekam. In 1975 an Atiratra was performed at Pannal, in Kerala under the auspices of Dr. Frits Staal. Dr. Staal made a study of the ritual and the result was his monumental work, Agni in two volumes, which attracted the attention of the scholarly world to the Ritual tradition of Kerala. This work induced the present writer to make a humble study of the Srauta Rituals of Kerala which is presented in this book. Here an attempt is made to study the Ritual Tradition of Kerala mainly based on the manuals of the ritualists in the background of the original ritual literature giving due importance to its social bearing.
I am thankful to Dr. N. V. P. Unithiri, professor and Head of the Department of Sanskrit, University of Calicut for suggesting this subject for research work and for the guidance given by him.
I express my gratitude to late Sri Vallabhan Somayaji and his son Sri Vasudevan Akkittiri for having introduced me to the Srauta Sutra explaining the procedure of Agnistoma. My thanks goes to Sri Taikkat Nilakanthan Namboodiri for allowing me to go through the paper manuscripts kept with him and for rendering help to understand the ritual procedure. There are other ritualists who have helped me to whom I express my thanks here.
I am grateful to the authorities of the University for including this book in the Calicut University Sanskrit Series.
V. Govindan Namboodiri
The principal objective of the Publication Division of the University of Calicut is to publish textbooks and other research-oriented and socially relevant books at a reasonable price without compromising on quality of production. All the books brought out so far have been received by the reading public, comprising mainly students and teachers, with overwhelming enthusiasm.
This book Srauta Sacrifices in Kerala by Dr. V. Govindan Namboodiri is the thirteenth books in Calicut University Sanskrit Series.
The Publication Division acknowledges its profound gratitude to The Vice Chancellor, Members of the Syndicate, Publication Advisory Committee, Editorial Board and Dr. N. V. P. Unithiri, Head of the Department of Sanskrit, University of Calicut for their whole hearted co-operation in publishing this volume.
We are happy to express our sincere thanks to Sri. Omprakash. V, Sri. A. Hameed and to the Art and Photography Unit, University of Calicut for the help rendered.
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