Tag Archives: ritual

On the rise of the mātṛkā-s and the goddess Cāmuṇḍā

The roots of the mātṛkā-s in the śruti and the Kaumāra tradition The standard list of 7/8 goddesses known as the mātṛkā-s is a hallmark feature of the classical religion: Brāhmī, Māheśvarī, Kaumārī, Vaiṣṇavī, Vārāhī, Indrāṇī, Cāmuṇḍā, sometimes with the … Continue reading

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The strange case of the Āpastamba sprite

This is the second of the two stories that arose from incidents during the visit of Yaśaśravas, Somakhya’s cousin. With the autumnal vacations, Somakhya was having a good time with his visiting cousin, giving him lectures on the theory and … Continue reading

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Agni as the divine commander in the Veda and the Purāṇa

With the Sākamedha-parvan with the oblations to Agni Anīkavat having just passed, we present a brief note on Agni as the general of the deva army. Agni is presented as the commander of the deva-s in the brāhmaṇa literature. For … Continue reading

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Some further notes on the old Mongol religion-2

O fire mother, whose father is flint, whose mother is pebble, whose meal is yellow feather grass, whose life is an elm tree. An incantation to the Fire Goddess Ghalun-eke; translation from the Mongolian by Yönsiyebü Rinchen This note revisits … Continue reading

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The phantoms of the bone-pipe

As Vidrum was leafing through some recent case studies to gather the literature for his own production, he received a call from his chauffeur. He had fetched Vidrum’s new car. Vidrum went out to take a look at it. As … Continue reading

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Notes on miscellaneous brāhmaṇa passages from the Yajurveda

The upasthāna ritual is performed to let the sacrificial fire remain in residence after the primary oblations are complete. In the triple-fire śrauta rite this is done at the āhavanīya altar with several incantations specified in the saṃhitā-s of the … Continue reading

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Matters of religion-3

Lootika seeing Somakhya contemplating something remarked: “That great clash of men is upon us, where, as the śruti says, our flag will be mingled with that of the enemy in close combat.” Somakhya: “It’s almost as if your mind is … Continue reading

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A note on āmreḍita-s in the Ṛgveda and issues of word distribution

sa darśataśrīr atithir gṛhe-gṛhe vane-vane śiśriye takvavīr iva । janaṃ-janaṃ janyo nāti manyate viśa ā kṣeti viśyo viśaṃ-viśam ॥ RV 10.91.2 by Aruṇa Vaitahavya He, with visible auspiciousness, a guest in house after house, in forest after forest lurking like … Continue reading

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Revisiting dawn in the R^igveda

One of the most physically and mentally demanding performances in the agnichayana and other soma rituals based on that model is the atirAtra or the overnight rite. The highpoint of it is the great ritual to the gods agni and … Continue reading

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Some notes on the shaiva temple celebrations and an excursus on the fishing, diving and hunting festivals of rudra

An integral aspect of the life of the post-Vedic Hindu community was participation in the temple celebrations. It was considered highly beneficial in the tAntrika tradition, both to the individual and the community, and helps explain the basic premises of … Continue reading

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AtharvavedIya tArkShya yAga

We had earlier seen the mantra deployments relating to the vedokta Ashu-tArkShya vidhi. We shall now consider another tArkShya vidhi practiced by the knowers of the atharvaNa shruti. The day before the rite a pandal is put up and and … Continue reading

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The shrauta animal sacrifice

The shrauta animal sacrifice is a tradition of great importance in the development of Hindu science because it was here that they first learned their anatomy. This knowledge was to come of good use in their medical tradition. However, the … Continue reading

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