Vedic Mythology PDF ePub eBook

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Vedic Mythology free pdf Excerpt from Vedic Mythology Characteristics of Vedic mythology. - Vedic mythology occupies a very important position in the study of the history of religions. Its oldest source presents to us an earlier stage in the evolution of beliefs based on the personification and worship of natural phenomena, than any other literary monument of the world. To this oldest phase can be traced by uninterrupted development the germs of the religious beliefs of the great majority of the modem Indians, the only branch of the Indo-European race in which its original nature worship has not been entirely supplanted many centuries ago by a foreign monotheistic faith. The earliest stage of Vedic mythology is not so primitive as was at one time supposed, but it is sufficiently primitive to enable us to see clearly enough the process of personification by which natural phenomena developed into gods, a process not apparent in other literatures. The mythology, no less than the language, is still transparent enough in many cases to show the connexion both of the god and his name with a physical basis- nay, in several instances the anthropomorphism is only incipient. Thus usas, the dawn, is also a goddess wearing but a thin veil of personification- and when agni, fire, designates the god, the personality of the deity is thoroughly interpenetrated by the physical element. The foundation on which Vedic mythology rests, is still the belief, surviving from a remote antiquity, that all the objects and phenomena of nature with which man is surrounded, are animate and divine. Everything that impressed the soul with awe or was regarded as capable of exercising a good or evil influence on man, might in the Vedic age still become a direct object not only of adoration but of prayer. Heaven, earth, mountains, rivers, plants might be supplicated as divine powers- the horse, the cow, the bird of omen, and other animals might be invoked- even objects fashioned by the hand of man, weapons, the war-car, the drum, the plough, as well as ritual implements, such as the pressing-stones and the sacrificial post, might be adored. This lower form of worship, however, occupies but a small space in Vedic religion. The true gods of the Veda are glorified human beings, inspired with human motives and passions, born like men, but immortal. They are almost without exception the deified representatives of the phenomena or agencies of nature. The degree of anthropomorphism to which they have attained, however, varies considerably. When the name of the god is the same as that of his natural basis, the personification has not advanced beyond the rudimentary stage. Such is the case with Dyaus, Heaven, Prthivi, Earth, Surya, Sun, Usas, Dawn, whose names represent the double character of natural phenomena and of the persons presiding over them. Similarly in the case of the two great ritual deities, Agni and Soma, the personifying imagination is held in check by the visible and tangible character of the element of fire and the sacrificial draught, called by the same names, of which they are the divine embodiments. When the name of the deity is different from that of the physical substrate, he tends to become dissociated from the latter, the anthropomorphism being then more developed. Thus the Maruts or Storm-gods are farther removed from their origin than Vayu, Wind, though the Vedic poets are still conscious of the connexion. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at

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Details Book

Author : A a Macdonell
Publisher : Forgotten Books
Data Published : 27 September 2015
ISBN : 1330878558
EAN : 9781330878552
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 370 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
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