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Agni: The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar (In 2 Volumes)

Frits Staal (Author)
Synopsis Agni is not only fire and the name of God, but also the name of the Agnicayana ceremony itself, and the name of the bird shaped alter constructed during that ceremony. This book deals with Agni in all these forms. The first volume of Agni: The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar contains a discussion of the place of the Agnicayana in the Vedic Srauta tradition, its textual loci, traditional and modern interpretations of its origins and significance and an overview of the Nambudiri Vedic tradition. The bulk of the volume, devoted to a detailed description of the 1975 twelve-day performance, is richly illustrated with tipped-in photographs, mostly in colour. There are numerous text illustrations, tables and maps. The mantras are given in Devanagari with English translation. The second volume contains contributions by an international galaxy of scholars on archeology, the pre-Vedic Indian background, geometry, ritual vessels, music, Mudras, Mimamsa, a survey of Srauta traditions in recent times, the influence of Vedic ritual in the Homa traditions of Indonesia, Tibet, China, Japan and related topics. There are translations of the relevant Srauta Sutras of Baudhayana (together with Caland's text and the Jaiminiya (with Bhavatrata's commentary) as well as the Kausitaki Brahmana; and a survey of the project with an inventory of the films and tape recordings made in 1975.
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About the author

Frits Staal

Frits Stall has written about language, philosophy and ritual but his scientific pursuits encompass diverse areas and disciplines.  Born in Amsterdam in 1930, he studied several languages, including Greek and Arabic, but concentrated on physics and mathematical logic before a Government of India scholarship took him to India, Indian philosophy and Sanskrit.  He traveled on both sides of the Himalayas, taught and did research for extended periods in Europe and Asia, but spent most of his life in the Departments of Philosophy and of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is now Professor Emeritus.  His most well-known books are The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar, Universals: Studies in Indian Logic and Linguistics and Rules without Meaning.  After retirement he moved to Thailand, having long predicted that civilization would return to Asia under the intellectual guidance of India and China.

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Bibliographic information

Title Agni: The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar (In 2 Volumes)
Author Frits Staal
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 9788120816602
length xxxviii+716p; xviii+832p., Plates; Figures; Maps; Tables; Appendix; Bibliography; References; Index; 29cm.