Version classiqueVersion mobile

All about the Rites

 | 
Anne Cheng
, 
Stéphane Feuillas

Rites in the world

The exegesis of Vedic ritual: a note on Arthavāda1

Charles Malamoud

Texte intégral

  • 1 The following text is based on the transcription kindly made by Mr. Sanchit Kumar of Professor Mala (...)

1Before stating anything on the exegesis of Vedic ritual, I would like to thank Professor Anne Cheng for her invitation to present a paper at the symposium “All about the Rites: from canonised ritual to ritualised society” she organised with Professor Stéphane Feuillas, and now for having this short text integrated in these proceedings. I was very honoured and grateful to take part in this intellectual endeavour. However, I also felt a little embarrassed, for I was to speak in front of an audience mainly composed of sinologists. This meant that I was at the risk of being somewhat dogmatic and obscure and at the same time to repeat what is common knowledge to Indologists. I hope that this synthesis on the topic at hand has overcome both these pitfalls.

  • 2 A convenient presentation of the Veda is Staal 2017.

2All we know of Vedic India, a period comprised roughly between 1500 and 500 BC, comes from texts called Veda2: there are neither other textual materials, nor data coming from other sources. There are indeed almost no archaeological remains. Another term for Veda, in the Indian or, more specifically, the Vedic tradition, is śruti, literally “what is heard” or “the process of hearing.” This refers to the fact that one has to learn the Veda by listening to a master while he recites the text and by repeating what he says. Even today it is forbidden, in principle, to learn the Veda by grasping it from a written or printed copy. This rule may find a partial explanation in the fact that the Vedic “texts” were composed long before writing came into use in India. As such, there is no mention of writing in the Vedic texts.

3The Veda, or Śruti, is a set of texts and layers of texts. It is a corpus. Let us briefly characterise the elements of this corpus. There are four Vedas. The most ancient layer of each of these Vedas consists in collections, samhitā: collections of poems for the gveda, the Veda of verses, and the Atharvaveda; collections of sacrificial formulas for the Yajurveda. The Sāmaveda is a selection of poems from the gveda arranged to be sung. A second layer for each of these Vedas consists in treatises in prose, the Brāhmaa. These offer a full and profuse doctrine of ritual and more specifically of sacrifice, yajña.

  • 3 The various texts the Veda consists of compose the body of a mysterious “person” described in Taitt (...)
  • 4 The word kalpa means primarily “(mental) construction.” On the kalpasūtras, cf. Gonda 1977. The ved (...)

4Could we compare the corpus of Vedic texts to a body? This question, which could sound strange or even presumptuous in other traditions, makes sense here because one finds in this literature the following turn of phrase: veda-aga, “limbs of the Veda.”3 Actually, these “limbs” are not made of the same content as the Veda proper nor do they have the same status. They consist in treatises meant to highlight certain aspects of the Vedic text. There are six of these “limbs”: grammar (vyākaraa), phonetics (śikā), meter (chandas), etymology (nirukta), astronomy (jyotia) and ritual (kalpa). Now, the science of Vedic ritual is the subject matter of the “limb of the Veda” called kalpa-sūtra “aphorisms on the (Vedic) ritual.”4 More precisely there are two groups of kalpa-sūtra, because there are two groups of rituals: the śrauta-sūtra for the solemn rites and the ghya-sūtra for the domestic rituals. Furthermore, the kalpa-sūtra whose subject matter is the ritual of the Vedic texts are called śrauta because śrauta is an adjective derived from the name śruti, a synonym of Veda in the Brahmanic tradition. People who are entitled to learn the Veda have to acquire this knowledge by listening to a master and repeating what they hear.

  • 5 Nirukta (the vedāga of etymology) is masterfully presented in Kahrs 1998.

5Despite this precise classification, the most orthodox view concerning the origin and nature of the Veda (but not the only one in Indian tradition) is that the Veda text is eternal and therefore has no author. The authorlessness and eternity of the Veda is a major argument for the most orthodox exponents of the Vedic creed: “We have to believe what the Veda says, it is true precisely because it is totally free from any kind of bias.” Some men in the remote past endowed with supernatural power of vision, the ṛṣi, “saw” various parts of the Veda. That does not mean that they saw a text but that they had the direct intuition of the realities that are the subject matter of the Veda. They then transposed their vision in sequences of words and sentences.5

6Distinct from the śruti, that is of the Veda, is the loose ended set of texts called smti “memory.” The smti texts have individual authors, although they can be mythical. They include such texts as the Laws of Manu (also called manu-smti) and the Epics. The Vedic śruti and the post-Vedic smṛti are the two sources of Brahmanic orthodoxy. The veda-aga, members added to the Veda but not parts of the Veda itself, belong to the smti. Before turning to those kalpa-sūtra that bear on the ritual teachings of the Vedic śruti, that is the śrauta-sūtra, it could be useful to give some information on the structure of the Veda.

  • 6 The most illuminating exposition of the Vedic sacrifice as it is the subject matter of the Brāhmaa(...)

7The Veda (or śruti) is made of two layers of texts. The first layer consists of collections (sahitā) of prose formulas (yajus) and of verses (c) arranged into poems. Some of the verses can also be sung; they are then provided with a melody (sāman). The second layer is made of treatises in prose, the Brāhmaas, the subject matter of which is a complete (but not methodically arranged) exposition of the Vedic doctrine of ritual, more specifically of “sacrifice” (yajña).6

  • 7 In the grammatical terminology, what we translate by “middle” is ātmanepada, “word for oneself.”
  • 8 On the relationship of sacrificer and officiating priests, a major topic in the Veda itself and in (...)

8Not all the rituals in the Vedic text are “sacrifices,” nor all the yajñas entail the killing of an animal or a human victim: plants can also be assimilated to victims because they have to be crushed in the process of being transformed into offering. Moreover, the sacrificial model is so strong that even domestic rituals, discussed in the ghya-sūtras, especially those that are called saskāras, “making perfect or complete,” actually rites de passage, are interpreted in terms of “sacrifice.” The Brahmanic scheme of sacrifice rests on notions expressed by derivatives of the verbal root yaj-. The sacrificer, the man who offers the sacrifice and hopes to benefit from it is the yajamāna: this word is the present participle of the “middle” voice of the verbal root yaj; his action is rendered by the verb yajate “he sacrifices for himself.” The “middle voice”7 is used when the result of the action affects the doer directly. The sacrificer is affected or transformed by his action. Normally the yajamāna is one person (a man, with his wife present on the sacrificial ground). Of course, he must be entitled by his birth in one of the three upper varas or “classes” since only men born in these varas are entitled to learn the Veda. Therefore, they are the only one who can become sacrificers in the śrauta rituals for they imply the recitation of Vedic verses and formulas. Sacrifices offered by a group of sacrificers or sacrificial “sessions” (sattras) are exceptions. Yet the presence of officiating “priests” (ṛtvij) is required in the śrauta rituals: there are four teams of them, each specialised in one of the four Vedas and the performance of a specific set of gestures. Their action is rendered by the verb yājayati, the “causative” of the verb yaj: “he makes the sacrificer sacrifice.” They are experts hired by the sacrificer.8

9The Brāhmaa layer of the Veda is made of instructions on the various types of solemn sacrifices and of speculations regarding those. These instructions are not given in a systematic way, they are interspersed with speculations on the meaning and the form of the verses or mantras (taken from the sahitās) that are to be recited (or sung) at each phase of the performance. There is a special stress on metrics, that is on the symbolism of the number of lines in each stanza and the number of syllables in each line. These speculations are in turn interspersed with narratives on the origin of such and such ritual: how the gods discovered it, how men got hold of it, and so on. The origin of a ritual is quite often connected to the etymology of its name or the name of the divine persona involved in it.

  • 9 There are a few exceptions. For instance, ĀpŚS VI, 19, 4 sq., cf. TS I 5, 9, 5 sq., quoted in Gonda (...)
  • 10 See for instance, Krick 1982.

10Let us now turn to the vedāga called kalpa-sūtra, that is the rules of ritual, and among them, the rules of Vedic solemn ritual, the śrauta-sūtra. In principle, the subject matter of the śrauta-sūtra is ritual as it is dealt with in the Brāhmaas: the śrauta-sūtras are authoritative because they are just reformulations or selections of what is said in the brāhmaa part of the Veda. However, the śrauta-sūtras provide some information that does not come from the Brāhmaas as we know them. Now the main feature of the śrauta-sūtras is precisely their sūtra style, made of short dry sentences. Each of these sentences is like a thread (this is the original meaning of sūtra) in the fabric (tantra) of one specific ritual. This ordered succession of sūtras results in a thorough and dry description of the ritual process, step by step. And there is nothing else aside this description.9 This runs counter to the Brāhmaas, in which the elements of the description can be scattered and interrupted by sentences regarding other subject matters dedicated, for instance, to the value, the “meaning,” the origin or the history of the particular phase or aspect of the ritual which is being enjoined. This has had an effect on the methods used by modern scholars to investigate Vedic rituals. To study a particular ritual, they had to begin with an analysis of what is said in the relevant kalpa-sūtra before turning to the text of the Veda proper (mostly the Brāhmaa section of the Veda) where this ritual is enjoined, “explained” and praised.10

  • 11 Gonda 1977, 508–513.
  • 12 Max Müller’s summary-commentary of Āp ŚS XXIV 1, 11–15, in his translation of Āpastamba’s Yajña-par (...)

11One remarkable feature of the śrauta-sūtras is that some of them also contain a set of meta-rules and basic definitions, called paribhāā, “discourse surrounding the text.”11 The paribhāā provide also instructions on the procedure of ritual that are not given in the Brāhmaa source. For instance, it is in the paribhāā section of the Āpastamba-Śrauta-sūtra (XXIV 1–14) that we learn that in the recitation of some mantra, the speed of pronunciation is connected with the volume of the voice: “the voice moves quickly when the words are to be pronounced high; slowly when low; and measuredly, when neither loud nor low.”12

  • 13 The Sanskrit word artha means “object”: the real thing or the subject matter as opposed to śabda, t (...)
  • 14 According to Oberhammer 1991, arthavāda in the Śrauta-sūtra is not the encompassing term, it is an (...)

12One of the items dealt with in the paribhāā of Āpastamba is called arthavāda, a term I propose to translate by “discourse on purpose” or, alternatively, by “discourse with purpose.”13 We find statements such as brāhmaaśeo’rthavādo nindā praśasā parakti purakalpaś ca, ato’nye mantrā (XXIV 1, 33 sq.), “the rest of the Brahmanas, that which does not contain precepts, consists of explanations, i.e.,14 reproof, praise, stories and traditions. All the rest are mantras” (Max Muller), or, more accurately translated by Caland in German: “Der übrige Teil der Brāhmaṇas (d. h. sofern die Brāhmaṇas nicht eine Handlung angeben) ist Exegese, nl. Tadel, Lob, Beispiel anderer, Geschehnis aus der Vorzeit. Alles übrige (in die Brāhmaṇas) ist Mantra.”

13As such, for the authors of the Śrauta-sūtra, the source of our knowledge of solemn Vedic ritual (that is of yajña) is the Brāhmaa layer of the Veda. The Brāhmaas contain instructions (vidhi) on the performance of the ritual along with the text of the mantra, verses and formulas taken from the sahitā layer of the Veda that are to be recited as a part of the performance, and then arthavāda, that is various types of exegetical explanations or comments. Here are several examples:

  • 15 Krick 1982, 512. This sentence actually contains two parts: a (negative) injunction in the form of (...)

14For nindā, “reproof,” “Tadel”: “one should not give silver as a sacrificial fee because silver is born from a tear shed by the god Agni” (TS I 5, 1, 1 sq.).15

15For praśasa, “praise”: “by pouring the oblation into fire the officiating priest makes the sacrificer go to heaven” (TS VI, 3, 2, 1).

16For “example,” (taken from what has been done by others), parakrti (TB I 3, 10, 1): in the ritual of the new moon (amavasya), men follow the example of what was negotiated between gods, the ancestors and sacrifice (yajna) as a person: the offerings to the ancestors are given first (on the eve of the day), prior to the offerings to the gods.

17For “tradition,” stories from the past: “Sarvaseni Sauceya desired: ‘May I be rich in cattle’. He grasped this five-night rite and sacrificed with it. Then indeed he obtained a thousand cattle. He who knowing thus offers the five-night rite obtains a thousand cattle.”

  • 16 In Bṛhad-devatā III 104, arthavāda, according to Bloomfield, means “statement of an object.”

18One can see here that all the varieties of arthavāda are in fact narratives. This is the great divide in the Brāhmaa texts: on the one hand, prescription of rituals (often in the guise of description of action), on the other hand, narratives and also descriptions. This is a brief summary of what can be said of the exegesis of rituals in the Veda and the “limbs of the Veda.”16 Let us now consider the later periods.

19Several centuries after the end of the Vedic period, in the first centuries of the common era, the sūtra style was used as a device for a new kind of text: the treatises of what is traditionally called darśana, “views,” that is philosophical systems. Some of these “views” are deemed orthodox in as much as they consider the Veda authoritative. They include the Vedic text among the sources of valid knowledge. The pattern of these orthodox darśana is: first a set of sūtras, very brief, dense sentences hardly understandable by themselves; then a bhāya, a basic and fundamental explanation of each sūtra; then the superposition of secondary commentaries in which conflicting interpretations of the sūtra and the bhāya can be expressed.

  • 17 The word mīmāṃsā appears in the Brāhmaṇas, where it means “discussion.” For instance ŚB I 3, 5, 12. (...)
  • 18 Jaimini is the name of a mythical “seer” who “saw” the Jaiminīya-Brāhmaṇa. This holds for what is c (...)

20One of these orthodox “views” is the system called mīmā,17 “endeavour to think.” The mīmā is primarily a philosophy of language. But it is also a philosophy of ritual, since the specimens of language that are used as examples are excerpts of Veda, more precisely of the Brāhmaa. Actually, the aim of the “endeavour to think” as it is defined in the first sūtra of the fundamental text, the mīmāsā-sūtra attributed to Jaimini,18 is: athāto dharmajijñāsā, “now, therefore, the endeavour to know the dharma.” The basic commentary by Śabara (the Śabarabhāya) explains that “now therefore” means the following: once the Vedic student has learnt how to recite and memorised the Vedic text he must (have the desire to) study it in order to understand it, that is to understand what it teaches as far as duty is concerned –“duty” indeed being the most appropriate translation of dharma in this context. It appears that “duty” in the texts of the Mīmā is nothing else than the obligation to perform rituals although the definition of dharma given in the second sūtra of Jaimini seems to be more comprehensive: codanalakao’rtho dharma, literally “dharma is artha as it is indicated by injunctions.” Actually, the commentary by Śabara implies another analysis: dharma is indicated by injunctions. These injunctions, codana, are to be followed because they are given in the text of the Veda, and the fact is that all the Vedic injunctions taken into account by the Mīmā texts belong to the sphere of ritual. It is conducive to artha, which is the bliss, more generally the “good” the sacrificer desires when he undertakes the ritual.

  • 19 This arthavāda is commented upon in Śabarabhāṣya I 2, 1, 10. Cf. also Āpadevī, str. 364–367.
  • 20 Actually, the genuine text of Taittirīya-Brāhmaṇa is different. Cf. Garge 1952.

21What is the meaning of artha in the compound arthavāda? The arthavāda that accompanies an injunction is not supposed to be a discourse on its meaning, but a discourse destined to make it pleasant, desirable, mostly by describing as beautiful or remarkable in some way or another such and such item of the ritual prescribed in the injunction. Several of these arthavāda are closely connected to the injunction itself. For instance, in Taittirīya-Sahitā II 1, 1, 1 the injunction “he who desires prosperity should offer a white (beast) to Vāyu (the god Wind)” is immediately followed by the arthavāda: “Vāyu is the swiftest deity.”19 Another example is the sentence “The sacrificer is the sacrificial post,” commented upon in Śabara’s bhāya ad Jaimini 1 4, 22. This sentence in Taittirīya-Brāhmaa II 1, 5, 2 is supposed to be a eulogy of the sacrificer who is tall and bright, just like the sacrificial post.20 Elaborate myths of origin, such as the story (in TS II 1, 1, 10) of the cosmogonic god Prajāpati cutting his own fat in order to create cattle is described by Śabara I 2, 1, 10 as an arthavāda to encourage the sacrificer to perform the rituals meant to bring what he desires, namely cattle. Śabara does not hesitate to declare that this myth is just a myth, it does not refer to what Prajāpati really did, but it produces an effect on the sacrificer’s mind, it is a statement (vāda) whose purpose (artha) is to create a feeling of attraction in the sacrificer’s mind.

22Myths in the Brāhmaa part of the Veda are mostly narratives on the origin of rituals: they tell us how gods discovered (rather than created) such and such ritual, how men, in turn, acquired the knowledge of these rituals and by performing them established their relation to the gods.

23So great is the importance of rituals in the shaping of gods that sacrifice, the ritual par excellence, is itself thought of as a deity: there is a god Sacrifice, Yajña. Besides, we can find myths that describe a kind of rivalry between this god and the other personae of the Vedic pantheon. There is, first of all, Indra, whose feats as a warrior, a magician and as a drinker of the soma liquor are the subject matter of many poems in the gveda. Another deity involved is Vāk, that is Speech, the sum of all the verbal devices and utterances of the Veda. We read this story (this myth) in Śatapatha-Brāhmaa III 2, 1, 25–28:

  • 21 Translation by Eggeling 1885.

That Yajña (sacrifice) lusted after Vāk (speech), thinking, “May I pair with her!” He united with her. Indra then thought within himself, “Surely a great monster will spring from this union of Yajña and Vāk. I must take care lest it should get the better of me.” Indra himself then became an embryo and entered into that union. Now when he was born after a year’s time, he thought within himself, “Verily of great vigour is this womb which has contained me: I must take care that no great monster shall be born from it after me, lest it should get the better of me!” Having seized and pressed it tightly, he tore it off…21

24Other versions of this myth are told in Taittirīya-Sahitā VI 1, 3, 1 sq.; Maitrāyai-Sahitā III 6, 8; haka-Sahitā XXIII 4. They do not differ from the version of the Śatapatha-Brāhmaa except on one point: the female partner of Sacrifice is not Speech but the dakiā, that remuneration, the fee which the sacrificer must give to the officiating priests. In both versions the rape of the female partner of Sacrifice by the god Indra and the trick by which Indra manages to be reborn from her womb can be interpreted as an arthavāda meant to explain a tiny detail of the rule the sacrificer has to observe in the preliminary phase of the sacrifice, the dīkṣā, “consecration,” during which he is supposed to get rid of his profane body and become the embryo of a new self that will enable him to go on with his ritual endeavour.

Bibliographie

Classical Vedic Texts

Āpastamba’s Yajña-paribhāṣa-sūtras

Āpastamba-śrauta-sūtra

Bṛhad-devatā

Kāṭhaka-Saṃhitā

Maitrāyaṇi-Saṃhitā

Śabarabhāṣya

Taittirīya Upaniṣad

Taittirīya-Brāhmaṇa

Taittirīya-Sahitā

Secondary Literature and translations

Caland, Wilhelm, 1921, 1924 & 1928, Das Śrautasūtra des Āpastamba, 3 vol. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.

Eggeling, Julius, 1885, The Śatapatha-Brahmaṇa, Part II, The Sacred Books of the East, vol. XXVI. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Garge, Damodar Vishnu, 1952, Citations in Śabara-Bhāṣya: a study. Poona: Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute.

Gonda, Jan, 1977, The Ritual Sūtras. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

Hume, Robert Ernest, 1975, The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, reprint of the second edition revised, 1931. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kahrs, Ewind, 1998, Indian Semantic Analysis, the Nirvacana Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Krick, Hertha, 1982, Das Ritual der Feuergründung (Agnyādheya). Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Levi, Sylvain, 1966, La doctrine du sacrifice dans les Brāhmaṇas, second edition, with a preface by Louis Renou. Paris: PUF.

Malamoud, Charles, 1976, “Terminer le sacrifice”, in Le sacrifice dans l’Inde ancienne, edited by Madeleine Biardeau & Charles Malamoud, 155-204. Paris: PUF.

Minard, Armand, 1949, Trois Énigmes sur les Cent Chemins. Paris: Belles Lettres.

Oberhammer, Gerhard, 1991, Terminologie der frühen philosophischen Scholastik in Indien. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Oldenberg, Hermann, 1964, The Gṛihya-Sūtras: Rules of Vedic Domestic Ceremonies, Part 2. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass.

Renou, Louis, 1954, Vocabulaire du rituel védique. Paris: Klincksieck.

Renou, Louis, 1963, “Sur le genre du sūtra dans la littérature sanskrite”. Journal asiatique: 165-216.

Staal, Frits, 2017, Discovering the Vedas, Origins, Mantras, Rituals, Insights. Gurgaon: Penguin Books India.

Verpoorten, Jean-Marie, 1987, Mīmāsā Literature. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

Notes

1 The following text is based on the transcription kindly made by Mr. Sanchit Kumar of Professor Malamoud’s oral presentation at the “All about the Rites” conference in June 2018. The editors would like to express their thanks for this valuable effort which allows the reader to have at least an insight into Vedic ritual.

2 A convenient presentation of the Veda is Staal 2017.

3 The various texts the Veda consists of compose the body of a mysterious “person” described in Taittirīya Upaniad II 3: “verily other than and within that one that consists of breath is a self that consists of mind (manomaya)… This, verily, has the form of a person (puruavidha). The Yajurveda is its head; the Ṛgveda, the right side; the Sāmaveda, the left side, teaching (ādeśa), the body (ātman); the hymns of the Atharvan and Angirases, the lower part, the foundation (puccha, pratiṣṭhā).” Cf. Hume 1975, 285. The fundamental meaning of aṅga is limb of the body as distinct from its central part. In classical sanskrit poetry aṅga is sometimes used also as a synonym for “body”: the god of love, once he was deprived of his body, became an-aṅga, “bodyless.” In the terminology of ritual, yajña-aṅga, “limb of the sacrifice,” refers to a secondary rite attached to another one, considered as the main part of the performance. Cf. Renou 1954, s.v.

4 The word kalpa means primarily “(mental) construction.” On the kalpasūtras, cf. Gonda 1977. The vedāgas, especially the science of grammar, are the most ancient examples of what is called the sūtra style. Cf. Renou 1963.

5 Nirukta (the vedāga of etymology) is masterfully presented in Kahrs 1998.

6 The most illuminating exposition of the Vedic sacrifice as it is the subject matter of the Brāhmaas is still Levi 1966 (originally published in 1898).

7 In the grammatical terminology, what we translate by “middle” is ātmanepada, “word for oneself.”

8 On the relationship of sacrificer and officiating priests, a major topic in the Veda itself and in the exegesis of the Veda, see Malamoud 1976.

9 There are a few exceptions. For instance, ĀpŚS VI, 19, 4 sq., cf. TS I 5, 9, 5 sq., quoted in Gonda 1977, 498.

10 See for instance, Krick 1982.

11 Gonda 1977, 508–513.

12 Max Müller’s summary-commentary of Āp ŚS XXIV 1, 11–15, in his translation of Āpastamba’s Yajña-paribhāa-sūtras, published as an appendix to Oldenberg’s translation of the Ghya-sūtras, (Oldenberg 1964, 311–364). For a German translation of the whole Āpastamba-Śrauta-sūtra (including the paribhāa section), see Caland 1928, 385–399.

13 The Sanskrit word artha means “object”: the real thing or the subject matter as opposed to śabda, the word that designates it; the “meaning” of a word or a sentence as opposed to their form; the “aim” or “purpose,” as opposed to the means; and also “wealth.” The compound puruārtha refers to the “aims” of human life: one of these “aims” is artha in the sense of “wealth.” The Arthaśāstra, a treatise ascribed to Kauṭilya, deals with the “purposes” of the king’s action and also with what is beneficial to the kingdom.

14 According to Oberhammer 1991, arthavāda in the Śrauta-sūtra is not the encompassing term, it is an item on par with the other terms of the list.

15 Krick 1982, 512. This sentence actually contains two parts: a (negative) injunction in the form of prohibition and a statement on the reason for it, that is its purpose.

16 In Bṛhad-devatā III 104, arthavāda, according to Bloomfield, means “statement of an object.”

17 The word mīmāṃsā appears in the Brāhmaṇas, where it means “discussion.” For instance ŚB I 3, 5, 12. Cf. Minard 1949, I, § 325. The noun mīmāṃsā is built on the “desiderative” form of the verb man- “to think,” therefore it literally means “desire to think,” just as jijñāsā is built on the “desiderative” form of the verb jñā “to know.” For a detailed survey of texts belonging to this school, see Verpoorten 1987.

18 Jaimini is the name of a mythical “seer” who “saw” the Jaiminīya-Brāhmaṇa. This holds for what is called pūrva-mīmāṃsā “first mīmāṃsā” as opposed to uttara-mīmāṃsā, “next mīmāṃsā,” also called vedānta “end and final aim of the Veda,” which starts with the sūtra athāto brahmajijñāsā, “now therefore, the endeavour to know the brahman,” that is the “absolute,” a notion dealt with in the Upaniṣads.

19 This arthavāda is commented upon in Śabarabhāṣya I 2, 1, 10. Cf. also Āpadevī, str. 364–367.

20 Actually, the genuine text of Taittirīya-Brāhmaṇa is different. Cf. Garge 1952.

21 Translation by Eggeling 1885.

Le texte et les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont sous Licence OpenEdition Books, sauf mention contraire.

Lire

Open access

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search