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Picture of The Elusive Aryans

The Elusive Aryans

Archaeological Search and Vedic Research; The Origin of the Hindus

Author(s): Pradhan Shrinivas Vasudeo
Series: India Studies

Book Description

The question of the original home of the Aryans and their migrations to India is only part of the problem of their “elusiveness.” Their subsequent assimilation and nativization in India also contributed to this elusive quality. This socio-cultural process can be traced through a study of their gods, rituals, and philosophy. Thus changes in the nature and function of Ṛgvedic gods; the appearance of upstart gods in the late Ṛgvedic period; the elaboration of the soma ritual with elaborate supplementary rituals; the introduction of the new ritual of Agnicayana; the rise of the eschatology of “punarjanma” (rebirth) and “saṁsāra” (eternal return) based on “karma”; and the ideal of “mukti”, or liberation from life, in place of the former ideal of a life of “śaradaḥ śatam” (a hundred autumns) are symptoms of, as well as a witness to, the transformation of the original identity of the Aryans as revealed in the Family Books of the Ṛgveda. This cultural transformation is no less significant than the “Yakṣa praṣṇa” (knotty question) of their original home and their “indubitable” archaeological traces. The book addresses itself to both these questions, and, for that purpose, takes another look at some of the archaeological material and Aryan life and thought as reflected in Vedic literature.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-6032-1
ISBN-10: 1-4438-6032-8
Date of Publication: 01/08/2014
Pages / Size: 315 / A5
Price: £52.99


Pradhan S.V. received an MA from Elphinstone College, Bombay, and a PhD from the University of Manitoba. He has taught at the University of Manitoba, Dalhousie University, Canada, and the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad, India. He is the author of Philocrisy and its Implications: Essays on Coleridge (Allied, 1999), and of papers on critical theory, J.S. Mill, E.M. Forster, and the Indus Valley in the British Journal of Aesthetics; Studies in Romanticism; Philological Quarterly; Dalhousie Review; the Centennial Review; and Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.