Item Code: NAB029
by Uma Marina VesciHardcover (Edition: 1985)
Size: 8.8" x 5.7"
Price: $33.90 Shipping Free
The author, through an exhaustive examination of Vedic, Brahmanic and Srauta Sutric texts, traces the beginning and development of the idea of cooking as transforming energy, from early Vedic hymns to the classical and fully complete sacrifices of the later Brahmanic times.
The work is divided into two major parts: The first, comprising four chapters, follows the emergence and development of the first intuition the rishis had of their use of fire as God of energy; the second part, consisting of the remaining four chapters takes into account four emblematic rituals where heat is especially prominent, discussing, how the presence of heat has worked in shaping those rituals and the spirituality that has arisen from them. An introduction has cast the problem in its human, temporal and geographical conditions, while a conclusion has brought the entire matter to its heavenly accomplishment.
About the Author:
Born in Roma (Italia), Uma Marina Vesci received her education in Roma itself, graduating in Ancient History and Archaeology with a thesis on: " the use of Musical Instruments in the religious Life of Ancient Greece". Further, she specialized in History of Religions with a thesis on: "God, Man and Salvation in the Spiritual change in the VI century B.C. from China to Greece". At the end of 1963 she won a scholarship to India where she continued her studies centered on Hinduism and especially on Vedic texts. Since then she has continuously lived in India to the present with support from various scholarships and fellowships in B.H.U. (Varanasi), Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Simla, at center of Advanced study in Philosophy, Visva Bharati(Shantiniketan), and in the Italian Embassy Cultural Centre in Delhi and Varanasi. In this last capacity she has taught comparative religions for a short while in Patiala at the Dept. of Religious Studies. Dr. Vesci has contributed many articles on Indological subjects to numerous international journals and has lectured widely.
Foreword by R. Panikkar Introduction 1. The Choice of Topic 2. Layout of our Study 3. Thanksgiving
Part 1 THE CREATIVITY OF RITUAL HEAT IN THE VEDIC SACRIFICE (SRATA YAJNA) ACCORDING TO THE HYMNS (MANTRAS)Chapter One: Preliminary Perspectives on the Problem 1. The Importance of the Sacrificial 'Means' and the Role of Fire with Respect to the Divine in the Mediterranean Religions and in India 2. The Role of Ritual Cooking in the Vedic Sacrifice 3. Etymology and Semantics of the Words Denoting Heat in the Vedas Chapter Two: Ritual Heat as a Source of Energy in the Rgveda 1. The Texts (a) The Soma Sacrifice (b) The Horse Sacrifice (c) The Funeral Rite 2. Some Historical-Religious Parallels 3. First Consequences of Ritual Cooking as an Agent of Transformation 4. The Role of Sacred Heat in the Divine World Chapter Three: Ritual Heat as a Source of Energy in the Atharvaveda 1. Sacred Heat in the Rite 2. Divinization and 'Cosmicization' of the Offering 3. Prajapati Chapter Four: Ritual Heat as a Source of Energy in the Yajurveda and in its Brahmanas 1. General Premises Regarding the Effects Obtained by the Sublimation of Ritual Heat 2. In the Rite (a) In General (b) Different in the Amount of Heat Amounting to difference of Obtainment 3. Conclusion Part II THE CREATIVITY OF RITUAL HEAT IN SOME VEDIC RITES ACCORDING TO THE BRAHMANASChapter Five: Animal Sacrifice (Pasuyajna or Pasubandha) 1. Circumambulation of Again (paryagni) 2. The Torch 3. Blood 4. Omentum (vapa) 5. The Sacrificial Cake (pasupurodasa) 6. The Cooked Offering (havis) Chapter Six: The First Kindling of the Sacrificial Fire by the Head of the Family (Agnyadhana or Agnyadheya) 1. Gathering of the Material (Sambhara) 2. Preparation of the Fireplaces and Preliminary Rites 3. Kindling of the Sacred Fire Chapter Seven: Construction of the Fire-alter (Agnicayana or Agniciti) 1. The 'Foundation Sacrifice' and Baking of the Brick 'Earth' (a) The Myth (b) The Foundation Sacrifice (c) Making the Brick 'Earth' (d) Baking the Brick (e) Agnicayana, half murti and half altar 2. Making and Baking the Ukha (a) Gathering of the Material (b) Making the Ukha (c) The Putting of the Ukha into the Furnace (d) The Fumigation of the Ukha (e) Baking 3. The Use of the Ukha During the Initiatory Period (diksa) (a) The Transfer of the Fire (b) The Use of the Ukha during the Diksa (c) The Rite of the Steps of Visnu (visnukarmah) and Other Rites Chapter Eight: Ritual Heat in the Pravargya 1. The History of Pravargya (a) The Myth (b) The Interpretation 2. The Intermediate Initiation (avantaradiksa) 3. Mahavira and How to Make and Bake it 4. Heating of Mahavira and its Place in the Rite (a) Preliminaries of the Rite (b) Kindling of the Sacred Fire (c) Stirring the Sacred Fire (d) Hierophany (e) Adoration (f) The Sacrificial Offering as a Sacramental Meal (g) Sacrificial Creation through the Three Phases of the Boiling Process 5. Pravargya as Mystery About to Surpass the Ritual 6. Other Rites in Pravargya Conclusion: Brahmanic Cosmology 1. Transformation of the Divine 2. Transformation of Man: His Immortalization and Divinization Glossary Bibliography Indexes