Vedic Religion and Culture — An Exposition of Distinct Facets
Despite two centuries of their multifarious, critical studies in India and the Western world, Vedic writings unveil myriad questions that have either baffled scholars or have led to serious controversies. A distinguished Indologist, Professor P.L. Bhargava marshals, for the first time, indisputable evidence to resolve some of these questions like, for instance: Who wrote the Rigvedic hymns? Which deities, in the Rigveda, constitute the group, called Adityas? Or, again in the Rigvedic contexts, what does the word ‘asura’ mean? Who, of the two major Vedic gods: Indra and Varuna, has greater antiquity? Is Ayodhya: the birth place of Lord Rama, mentioned in the early Vedic literature? Where did Lord Rama’s ancestors: the kings of Ikshvaku dynasty originally rule? And how far danastutis (“the praises of gifts”) of the Rigveda can help scholars to reconstruct the political history of the Vedic Age? Combining in him the erudition of a Sanskritist and a historian, the author also comes to grips with the idea of God’s omnipresence in Aryan religious thought, the enigmatic “Hymn of Vishvedevas” in the Rigveda, or the confounding words/phrases in its “Hymn of Creation”; besides several other issues of religious, cultural; historical and literary importance — all these on the basis of his unbiased, life-long studies of the Vedic texts. An exquisite presentation of Dr Bhargava’s writings, the volume covers a variety of themes that range from the very authorship of the Rigvedic hymns to the status of Vedic religion today. Invaluable to the scholars and specialists of Vedic lore.
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