Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Cosmology Of The Rigveda

The Cosmology Of The Rigveda Cover

Book: The Cosmology Of The Rigveda by Horace Wallis

THE object of this essay is not so much to present a complete picture of the Cosmology of the Eigveda, as to supply the material from which such a picture may be drawn. The writer has endeavoured to leave no strictly cosmological passage without a reference, and to add references to illustrative passages where they appeared to indicate the direction in which an explanation may be sought. In order to avoid any encumbrance of the notes by superfluous matter, references which are easily accessible in other books, such as Grassmann s Lexicon, are omitted, and those references which are intended to substantiate statements which are not likely to be the subject of doubt, are reduced to the smallest number possible. The isolation of the Eigveda is justified on linguistic grounds.

On the other hand, the argument which is drawn from the Atharvaveda in the Introduction is based on the fact, attested by the internal character of that collection and by tradition, that the Atharvaveda lies apart from the stream of Brahmanic development : on the testimony of residents in India to the Superstitious character of modern Hindoos : and on the striking similarity of the charms of the Atharvaveda to those of European nations. If, as eems most probable, the cosmological passages and hymns of the Eigveda are to be classified with the latest compositions in the collection, the conceptions with which the essay deals must be regarded as belonging to the latest period represented in the Eigveda, when the earlier hymns were still on the lips of priests whose language did not differ materially in construction from that contained in the hymns which they recited.

The writer desires here to express his sincere gratitude to those teachers who have assisted him in his general Sanskrit studies, Professors E. B. Cowell, R. v. Roth, G. Biihlcr, F. Kielhorn, and K. Geldner, some of whom have also kindly suggested corrections in this essay while it was Passing Through the press. Above all, his thanks are due to that Trust which, in the first place, rendered it possible for him to devote himself to the study, and now has undertaken the publication of this book.

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