West does not meet East, does it?


« Raimon Panikkar »

For more than two centuries, the West has produced a small but highly committed phalanx of Indianists, Sanskritists and Veda specialists. Their translations, commentaries, reviews, and scholarly theses are generally of good quality and show a high level of scholarship. The specialized departments of some Western universities have been able to promote, year after year, excellent contributions to the knowledge of the enormous mass of documents and texts, Vedic and post-Vedic, belonging to a tradition whose origins go back more than four thousand years.

One is quickly struck, however, by the dazzling diversity of the points of view expressed by these specialists on the deep meaning and the very nature of the Veda. One is surprised by the remarkable differences in the interpretations provided, and in the end, in spite of a smooth harmony of facade, by their incompatibility and their irreconcilable cacophony.

To give a quick idea of the spectrum of opinions, I would like to briefly quote some of the best experts on Vedic India.

Of course, if one wanted to be complete, one would have to make a systematic review of all the research in indology since the beginning of the 19th century, to determine the structural biases, the interpretative flaws, the blindness and the cultural deafness…

I will limit myself to just touching on the issue by evoking a few significant works by well-known specialists: Émile Burnouf, Sylvain Lévi, Henri Hubert, Marcel Mauss, Louis Renou, Frits Staal, Charles Malamoud, Raimon Panikkar.

The following ideas will be found there in a jumble, – surprisingly eclectic and contradictory:

Vāk is the Logos. Or: The Vedic Word (Vāk) is equivalent to the Greek Logos and the Johannine Word.

-The Veda (a.k.a. the « Aryan Bible ») is « coarse » and comes from « semi-savage » people.

-God’s sacrifice is only a « social fact ».

-The Veda got lost in India quite early on.

-The rites (and especially Vedic rites) have no meaning.

-The sacrifice represents the union of the Male and Female.

-Sacrifice is the Navel of the Universe.

Émile Burnoufi: Vāk is the Logos

Active in the second half of the 19th century, Émile Burnouf asserted that the Vedic Aryâs had a very clear awareness of the value of their cult, and of their role in this respect. « Vedic poets state that they themselves created the gods: ‘The ancestors shaped the forms of the gods, as the worker shapes iron’ (Vāmadéva II,108), and that without the Hymn, the deities of heaven and earth would not be. » ii

The Vedic Hymn « increases the power of the gods, enlarges their domain and makes them reign. » iii

But the Hymn is also, par excellence, the Word (Vāk).

In the Ṛg-Veda, a famous hymniv is called « Word ».

Here are some excerpts, translated by Burnouf :

« I am wise; I am the first of those honoured by the Sacrifice.

The one I love, I make him terrible, pious, wise, enlightened.

I give birth to the Father. My dwelling is on his very head, in the midst of the waves (…)

I exist in all the worlds and I extend to the heaven.

Like the wind, I breathe in all worlds. My greatness rises above this earth, above the very heaven. »

Emile Burnouf comments and concludes:

« This is not yet the theory of the Logos, but this hymn and those that resemble it can be considered as the starting point of the theory of the Logos. » v

From Vāk to Logos! From the Veda to the Word of theGospel of John!

Multi-millenium jump, intercultural, meta-philosophical, trans-religious!

Remember that Vāk appeared at least one thousand years before the Platonic Logos and at least one thousand five hundred years before John the Evangelist used the Logos as a metaphor for the Divine Word.

Does Burnouf force the line beyond all measure?

Is this not an anachronism, or worse, a fundamental bias of an ideological nature, unduly bringing religious traditions closer together without any connection between them?

Or is it not rather a great intuition on his part?

Who will tell?

Let’s see what other indianists think about it…

Sylvain Levivi: the « Aryan Bible » is « crude ».

Curious figure that that of Sylvain Lévi, famous indologist, pupil of the Indianist Abel Bergaigne. On the one hand, he seems cheerfully to despise the Brāhmaṇas, which were nevertheless the object of his long, learned and thorough studies. On the other hand, he acknowledges a certain relative value with his lips.

Let’s judge:

« Morality has found no place in this system [of Brāhmaṇas]: the sacrifice that regulates man’s relationship with the deities is a mechanical operation that acts through its intimate energy; hidden within nature, it is only released from it through the magical action of the priest. The worried and malevolent gods are forced to surrender, defeated and subdued by the very force that gave them greatness. In spite of them, the sacrificer rises to the heavenly world and ensures himself a definitive place in it for the future: man becomes superhuman. » vii

We could ask ourselves why eminent specialists like Sylvain Lévi spend so much time and energy on a subject they denigrate, deep down inside?

Sylvain Lévi’s analysis is indeed surprising by the vigor of the attack, the vitriol of certain epithets (« coarse religion », « people of half savages »), mixed, it is true, with some more positive views:

« Sacrifice is a magical operation; the regenerating initiation is a faithful reproduction of conception, gestation and childbirth; faith is only confidence in the virtue of the rites; the passage to heaven is a step-by-step ascent; the good is ritual accuracy. Such a coarse religion supposes a people of half-wild people; but the sorcerers, the wizards or the shamans of these tribes knew how to analyze their system, to dismantle its parts, to fix its laws; they are the true fathers of the Hindu philosophy. » viii

The contempt for the « half-wild ones » is coupled with a kind of more targeted disdain for what Levi calls, with some sharp irony, the « Aryan Bible » of the Vedic religion (reminder: Levi’s text dates from 1898):

« The defenders of the Aryan Bible, who have the happy privilege of tasting the freshness and naivety of the hymns, are free to imagine a long and profound decadence of religious feeling among the poets and doctors of the Vedic religion; others will refuse to admit such a surprising evolution of beliefs and doctrines, which makes a stage of gross barbarity follow a period of exquisite delicacy. In fact it is difficult to conceive of anything more brutal and material than the theology of Brāhmaṇas; the notions that usage has slowly refined and taken on a moral aspect, surprise by their wild realism. » ix

Sylvain Levi condescends, however, to give a more positive assessment when he points out that Vedic priests also seem to recognize the existence of a « unique » divinity:

« Speculations about sacrifice not only led the Hindu genius to recognize as a fundamental dogma the existence of a unique being; they may have initiated him into the idea of transmigrations ». x

Curious word that that of transmigration, clearly anachronistic in a Vedic context… Everything happens as if the Veda (which never uses this very Buddhist word of transmigration…) had in the eyes of Levi for only true interest, for lack of intrinsic value, the fact of carrying in him the scattered germs of a Buddhism which still remained to come, more than one millennium later….

« The Brāhmaṇas ignore the multiplicity of man’s successive existences; the idea of repeated death only appears there to form a contrast with the infinite life of the inhabitants of the heaven. But the eternity of the Sacrifice is divided into infinitely numerous periods; whoever offers it kills him and each death resurrects him. The supreme Male, the Man par excellence (a.k.a. Puruṣa) dies and is reborn again and again (…) The destiny of the Male was to easily end up being the ideal type of human existence. The sacrifice made man in his own image. The « seer » who discovers by the sole force of his intelligence, without the help of the gods and often against their will, the rite or formula that ensures success, is the immediate precursor of the Buddhas and Jinas who discover, by direct intuition and spontaneous illumination, the way to salvation. » xi

The Veda, one sees it, would be hardly that one way towards the Buddha, according to Levi.

Henri Hubert and Marcel Maussxii: The divine sacrifice is only a « social fact ».

In their famous Essay on the Nature and Function of Sacrifice (1899), Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss undertook the ambitious and perilous task of comparing various forms of sacrifice, as revealed by historical, religious, anthropological and sociological studies, affecting the whole of humanity.

Convinced that they had succeeded in formulating a « general explanation, » they thought they could affirm the « unity of the sacrificial system » across all cultures and all eras.

« It is that, in the end, under the diversity of the forms that it takes, [the sacrifice] is always made by the same process that can be used for the most different purposes. This process consists in establishing communication between the sacred and profane worlds through a victim, that is, something destroyed in the course of the ceremony. » xiii

The unity of the « sacrificial system » is revealed mainly as a « social fact », through the « sacralization of the victim » which becomes a « social thing »: « Religious notions, because they are believed, are; they exist objectively, as social facts. Sacred things, in relation to which the sacrifice functions, are social things, and that is enough to explain the sacrifice. » xiv

The study by Hubert and Mauss is based in particular on the comparative analysis of Vedic sacrifices and sacrifices among the ancient Hebrews.

These authors attempt to determine a common principle, unifying extremely diverse types of sacrifice. « In the course of religious evolution, the notion of sacrifice has joined the notions concerning the immortality of the soul. We have nothing to add on this point to the theories of Rohde, Jevons and Nutt on the Greek mysteries, whose facts quoted by M. S. Levi, borrowed from the doctrines of the Brahmanasxv and those that Bergaigne and Darmesteter had already extracted from vedicxvi and avesticxvii texts, must be compared. Let us also mention the relationship that unites Christian communion to eternal salvationxviii. (…) The characteristic feature of objective sacrifices is that the main effect of the rite is, by definition, on an object other than the sacrificer. Indeed, the sacrifice does not return to its point of departure; the things it is intended to modify are outside the sacrificer. The effect produced on the latter is thus secondary. It is the central phase, the sacrifice, which tends to take up the most space. It is above all a question of creating spirit. » xix

This principle of unity takes all its resonance with the sacrifice of the god.

« The types of sacrifice of the god that we have just reviewed are realized in concreto and gathered together in one and the same Hindu rite: the sacrifice of soma. We can see first of all what a true sacrifice of the god is in the ritual. We cannot expose here how Soma god is confused with the soma plant, how he is really present there, nor can we describe the ceremonies in the middle of which he is brought and received at the place of the sacrifice. One carries him on a bulwark, worships him, then presses him and kills him. » xx

The « sacrifice of the god », whatever its possible metaphysical scope, which is absolutely out of the question here, is never really a « social fact » …

Louis Renouxxi: The Veda was lost in India early on.

Louis Renou emphasizes in his Vedic Studies what he considers to be a « striking paradox » about the Veda.

« On the one hand, we revere him, we recognize in him an omniscient, infallible, eternal principle – something like God in the form of « Knowledge », a God made Book (Bible), an Indian Logos – one refers to him as the very source of Dharma, theauthority from which all Brahmanic disciplines are derived. And on the other hand, the traditions, let us say philological traditions, relating to the Veda, the very substance of the texts that compose it, all this has been weakened early on, if not altered or lost. » xxii

In fact, Renou shows that the sharpest enemies of the Veda proliferated very early on in India itself. For example, he lists the « anti-Vedic attitudes » of the Jainas, the Ājīvika and the Buddhists, the « semi-Vedic tendencies » of the Viṣṇuïtes and the Śivaïtes, or the « a-Vedic » positions of the Śākta and the Tāntrika. Renou reminds us that Rāmakrisna has taught: « Truth is not in the Vedas; one must act according to the Tantras, not according to the Vedas; the latter are impure by the very fact that they are pronounced, etc…. « xxiiiand that Tukārām said: « Pride is born from the repetition of the syllables of the Vedaxxiv.

It was with the appearance of the Tantras that the Vedic period came to an end, » explains Renou. It accelerated with a general reaction of Indian society against the ancient Vedic culture, and with the development of popular religiosity that had been bullied by the Vedic cults, as well as with the appearance of Viṣṇuïsme and Śivaïsme and the development of anti-ritualistic and ascetic practices.

The end of the Veda seems to be explained by root causes. From time immemorial it was entrusted to the oral memory of Brahmins, apparently more expert at memorizing its pronunciation and rhythm of cantillation as faithfully as possible than at knowing its meaning or perfecting its interpretations.

Hence this final judgment, in the form of a condemnation: « The Vedic representations ceased early on to be a ferment of Indian religiosity, it no longer recognized itself there where it remained faithful to them. » xxv

From then on, the Vedic world is nothing more than a « distant object, delivered to the vagaries of an adoration deprived of its textual substance. »

And Renou concludes with a touch of fatalism:

« This is a fairly common fate for the great sacred texts that are the foundations of religions. » xxvi

Frits Staalxxvii: Vedic rites make no sense

Frits Staal has a simple and devastating theory: the rite makes no sense. It is meaningless.

What is important in the ritual is what one does, – not what one thinks, believes or says. Ritual has no intrinsic meaning, purpose or finality. It is its own purpose. « In ritual activity, the rules count, but not the result. In ordinary activity, it is the opposite. » xxviii

Staal gives the example of the Jewish ritual of the « red cow »xxix, which surprised Solomon himself, and which was considered the classic example of a divine commandment for which no rational explanation could be given.

Animals also have ‘rituals’, such as ‘aspersion’, and yet they don’t have a language, » explains Staal.

The rites, however, are charged with a language of their own, but it is a language that does not strictly speaking convey any meaning, it is only a « structure » allowing the ritual actions to be memorized and linked together.

The existence of rituals goes back to the dawn of time, long before the creation of structured languages, syntax and grammar. Hence the idea that the very existence of syntax could come from ritual.

The absence of meaning of the rite sees its corollary in the absence of meaning (or the radical contingency) of the syntax.

Frits Staal applies this general intuition to the rites of the Veda. He notes the extreme ritualization of Yajurveda and Samaveda. In the chants of Samaveda, there is a great variety of seemingly meaningless sounds, extended series of O’s, sometimes ending in M’s, which evoke the mantra OM.

Staal then opens up another avenue for reflection. He notes that the effect of certain psychoactive powers, such as those associated with the ritual consumption of soma, is somewhat analogous to the effects of singing, recitation and psalmody, which involve rigorous breath control. This type of effect that can rightly be called psychosomatic even extends to silent meditation, as recommended by Upaniṣad and Buddhism.

For example, controlled inhalation and exhalation practices in highly ritualized breathing exercises can help explain how the ingestion of a psychoactive substance can also become a ritual.

In a previous article I mentioned the fact that many animals enjoy consuming psychoactive plants. Similarly, it can be noted that in many animal species we find some kind of ritualized practices.

There would thus be a possible link to underline between these animal practices, which apparently have no « meaning », and highly ritualized human practices such as those observed in the great sacrificial rites of the Veda.

Hence this hypothesis, which I will try to explore in a future article : the ingestion of certain plants, the obsessive observation of rites and the penetration of religious beliefs have a common point, that of being able to generate psychoactive effects.

However, animals are also capable of experiencing some similar effects.

There is here an avenue for a more fundamental reflection on the very structure of the universe, its intimate harmony and its capacity to produce resonances, especially with the living world. The existence of these resonances is particularly salient in the animal world.

Without doubt, it is also these resonances that are at theorigin of the phenomenon (certainly not reserved to Man) of « consciousness ».

Apparently « meaningless » rites have at least this immense advantage that they are able to generate more « consciousness » .

I would like to add that this line of research opens up unimaginable perspectives, by the amplitude and universality of its implications, at various levels of « life », and from cosmology to anthropology…

Charles Malamoudxxx : Sacrifice is the union of Male and Female.

By a marked and even radical contrast with the already exposed positions of Sylvain Lévi, Charles Malamoud places the Veda at the pinnacle. The Veda is no longer a « grossly barbaric » or « half-wild » paganism, it is in his eyes a « monotheism », not only « authentic », but the « most authentic » monotheism that is, far above Judaism or Christianity !

« The Veda is not polytheism, or even ‘henotheism’, as Max Müller thought. It is the most authentic of monotheisms. And it is infinitely older than the monotheisms taught by the religions of the Book. » xxxi

Once this overall compliment has been made, Charles Malamoud in turn tackles the crux of the matter, the question of Vedic sacrifice, its meaning and nature.

On the one hand, « the rite is routine, and repetition, and it is perhaps a prison for the mind »xxxii. On the other hand, « the rite is to itself its own transcendence »xxxiii. This is tantamount to saying that it is the rite alone that really matters, despite appearances, and not the belief or mythology it is supposed to embody….

« The rites become gods, the mythological god is threatened to be erased and only remains if he manages to be recreated by the rite. Rites can do without gods, gods are nothing without rites. » xxxiv

This position corresponds indeed to the fundamental (and founding) thesis of the Veda, according to which the Sacrifice is the supreme God himself (Prajāpati), and conversely, God is the Sacrifice.

But Charles Malamoud is not primarily interested in the profound metaphysical implications of this double identification of Prajāpati with the Sacrifice.

The question that interests him, more prosaically, is of a completely different nature: « What is the sex of the Sacrifice? » xxxv, he asks …

And the answer comes, perfectly clear:

« The Vedic sacrifice, when assimilated to a body, is unquestionably and superlatively a male. » xxxvi

This is evidenced by the fact, according to Malamoud, that the sequences of the « accompanying offerings », which are in a way « appendages » of the main offering, called anuyajā, are compared to penises (śiśna). The texts even glorify the fact that the Sacrifice has three penises, while the man has only one. xxxvii

Of the « male » body of the sacrifice, the « female » partner is the Word.

Malamoud cites a significant passage from Brāhmaṇas.

« The Sacrifice was taken from desire for the Word. He thought, ‘Ah, how I would like to make love with her! and he joined with her. Indra thought, ‘Surely a prodigious being will be born from this union between the Sacrifice and the Word, and that being will be stronger than I am! Indra became an embryo and slipped into the embrace of the Sacrifice and the Word (…) He grasped the womb of the Word, squeezed it tightly, tore it up and placed it on the head of the Sacrifice. » xxxviii

Malamoud qualifies this very strange scene as « anticipated incest » on the part of Indra, apparently wishing to make the Sacrifice and the Word her surrogate parents…

For us  » westerners « , we seem to be confronted here with a real « primitive scene », in the manner of Freud… All that is missing is the murder…

And yet, murder is not far away.

Crushing soma stems with stones is explicitly considered in Vedic texts as « murder, » Malamoud insists.

« Killing » soma stems may seem like an elaborate metaphor.

It is however the Vedic metaphor par excellence, that of the « sacrifice of God », in this case the sacrifice of the God Soma. The divinized Soma is seen as a victim who is immolated, who is put to death by crushing with stones, which implies a « fragmentation » of his « body », and the flow of his substance, then collected to form the essential basis of the oblation?

This idea of sacrificial « murder » is not limited to soma. It also applies to the sacrifice itself, taken as a whole.

Sacrifice is seen as a « body », subject to fragmentation, dilaceration, dismemberment?

« The Vedic texts say that one kills the sacrifice itself as soon as one deploys it. That is to say, when we move from the sacrificial project, which as a project forms a whole, to its enactment, we fragment it into distinct temporal sequences and kill it. The pebbles praised in this hymn Ṛg-Veda X 94 are the instruments of this murder. » xxxix

If the Word makes a couple with the Sacrifice, it can also make a couple with the Silence, as Malamoud explains: « there is an affinity between silence and sperm: the emission of sperm (netasaḥ siktiḥ) is done silently. » xl

A lesson is drawn from this observation for the manner of performing the rite, – with a mixture of words, murmurs and silences :

« Such a soma extraction must be performed with inaudible recitation of the formula, because it symbolizes the sperm that spreads in a womb »xli.

The metaphor is explicit: it is a question of « pouring the Breath-Sperm into the Word-Matrix ». Malamoud specifies: « In practice, to fecundate the Word by the Breath-Sperm-Silence, this means dividing the same rite into two successive phases: one involving recitation of texts aloud, the other inaudible recitation. » xlii

All this is generalizable. The metaphor of the male/female distinction applies to the gods themselves.

« Agni himself is feminine, he is properly a womb when, at the time of the sacrifice, one pours into the oblatory fire, this sperm to which the soma liquor is assimilated. » xliii

Permanence and universality of the metaphor of copulation, in the Veda… according to Malamoud.

Raimon Panikkarxliv : Sacrifice is the navel of the universe

Panikkar says that only one word expresses the quintessence of Vedic revelation: yajña, sacrifice.

Sacrifice is the primordial act, the Act which makes beings be, and which is therefore responsible for their becoming, without the need to invoke the hypothesis of a previous Being from which they would come. In the beginning, « was » the Sacrifice. The beginning, therefore, was neither the Being nor the Non-Being, neither the Full nor the Empty.

The Sacrifice not only gives its Being to the world, but also sustains it. The Sacrifice is what sustains the universe in its Being, what gives life and hope to life. « Sacrifice is the internal dynamism of the Universe.» xlv

From this idea another, even more fundamental, follows: that the Creator God depends in reality on his own Creation.

« The supreme being is not God by himself, but by creatures. In reality he is never alone. He is a relation and belongs to reality. »xlvi

« The Gods do not exist autonomously; they exist in, with, above, and also through men. Their supreme sacrifice is man, the primordial man. (…) Man is the priest but also the sacrificed; the Gods, in their role as primary agents of sacrifice, offer their oblation with man. Man is not only the cosmic priest; he is also the cosmic victim. »xlvii

The Veda describes Creation as resulting from the Sacrifice of God (devayajña), and the self-immolation of the Creator. It is only because Prajāpati totally sacrifices itself that it can give Creation its own Self.

In doing so, the Divine Sacrifice becomes the central paradigm (or « navel ») of the universe:

« This sacred enclosure is the beginning of the earth; this sacrifice is the center of the world. This soma isthe seed of the fertile horse. This priest is the first patron of the word. » xlviii

The commentator writes:

« Everything that exists, whatever it is, is made to participate in the sacrifice. » xlix

« Truly, both Gods and men and Fathers drink together, and this is their banquet. Once they drank openly, but now they drink hidden.»

*************

The competence of the Indian and Sanskritist scholars cited here is not in question.

The display of their divergences, far from diminishing them, increases in my eyes especially the high idea I have of their analytical and interpretative capacities.

But no doubt the reader will not have escaped the kind of dull irony I have tried to instil through the choice of accumulated quotations.

It seemed to me that the West still has a long way to go to begin to « understand » the East (– here the Vedic Orient).

It so happens that sometimes, in reading some Vedic texts (for example the hymns of the 10th Mandala of Ṛg Veda, and some Upaniṣad), I feel some sort of deep resonances with thinkers and poets who lived several thousands of years ago.

____________________

iEmile Burnouf. Essay on the Veda. Ed. Dezobry, Tandou et Cie, Paris, 1863.

iiEmile Burnouf. Essay on the Veda. Ed. Dezobry, Tandou et Cie, Paris, 1863. p.113

iiiEmile Burnouf. Essay on the Veda. Ed. Dezobry, Tandou et Cie, Paris, 1863. p.112

ivRV iV,415

vEmile Burnouf. Essay on the Veda. Ed. Dezobry, Tandou et Cie, Paris, 1863. p.115

viSylvain Lévi. The doctrine of sacrifice in the Brāhmanas. Ed. Ernest Leroux.1898.

viiSylvain Lévi. The doctrine of sacrifice in the Brāhmanas. Ed. Ernest Leroux.1898.p. 9

viiiSylvain Lévi. The doctrine of sacrifice in the Brāhmanas. Ed. Ernest Leroux.1898.p. 10

ixSylvain Lévi. The doctrine of sacrifice in the Brāhmanas. Ed. Ernest Leroux.1898.p. 9

xSylvain Lévi. The doctrine of sacrifice in the Brāhmanas. Ed. Ernest Leroux.1898. p.10-11

xiSylvain Lévi. The doctrine of sacrifice in the Brāhmanas. Ed. Ernest Leroux.1898. p.11

xiiHenri Hubert and Marcel Mauss. Mixed history of religions. From some results of religious sociology; Sacrifice; The origin of magical powers; The representation of time. Collection: Works of the Sociological Year. Paris: Librairie Félix Alcan, 1929, 2nd edition, 236 pages.

xiiiHenri Hubert and Marcel Mauss. Essay on the nature and function of sacrifice. Article published in the review Année sociologique, tome II, 1899, p.76

xivHenri Hubert and Marcel Mauss. Essay on the nature and function of sacrifice. Article published in the review Année sociologique, tome II, 1899, p.78

xvDoctr, pp. 93-95. We absolutely agree with the rapprochement proposed by M. L., between the Brahmanic theory of escape from death by sacrifice and the Buddhist theory of moksà, of deliverance. Cf. Oldenberg, The Buddha, p. 40.

xviVoir Bergaigne, Rel. Véd., sur l’amrtam « essence immortelle » que confère le scma (I, p. 254 suiv., etc.). Mais là, comme dans le livre de M. Hillebr. Ved. Myth., I, p. 289 et sqq. passim, les interprétations de mythologie pure ont un peu envahi les explications des textes. V. Kuhn, Herabkunft des Feuers und des Göttertranks. Cf. Roscher, Nektar und Ambrosia.

xviiCf. Darmesteter, Haurvetât et Amretât, p. 16, p. 41.

xviiiBoth in dogma (e.g. Irenaeus Ad Haer. IV, 4, 8, 5) and in the most well-known rites; thus the consecration of the host is done by a formula in which the effect of the sacrifice on salvation is mentioned, V. Magani l’Antica Liturgia Romana II, p. 268, etc., etc. – One could also relate to these facts the Talmudic Aggada according to which the tribes who have disappeared in the desert and who have not sacrificed will not have a share in eternal life (Gem. to Sanhedrin, X, 4, 5 and 6 in. Talm. J.), nor the people of a city which has become forbidden for having indulged in idolatry, nor Cora the ungodly. This talmudic passage is based on the verse Ps. L, 5: « Bring me together my righteous who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. »

xixHenri Hubert and Marcel Mauss. Essay on the nature and function of sacrifice. Article published in the review Année sociologique, tome II, 1899, p.55-56.

xxHenri Hubert and Marcel Mauss. Essay on the nature and function of sacrifice. Article published in the review Année sociologique, tome II, 1899, p.72-73

xxiLouis Renou. The fate of the Veda in India. Vedic and Paninean studies. Volume 6. Ed. de Boccard. Paris. 1960

xxiiLouis Renou. The fate of the Veda in India. Vedic and Paninean studies. Volume 6. Ed. de Boccard. Paris. 1960, p.1

xxiiiThe teaching of Ramakrisna. p. 467, cited in Louis Renou. The fate of the Veda in India. Vedic and Paninean studies. Tome 6. Ed. de Boccard. Paris. 1960, p4.

xxivTrad. of the Pilgrim’s Psalms by G.-A. Deleury p.17

xxvLouis Renou. The fate of the Veda in India. Vedic and Paninean studies. Volume 6. Ed. de Boccard. Paris. 1960, p.77

xxviIbid.

xxviiFrits Staal. Rituals and Mantras. Rules without meaning. Motilar Banasidarss Publishers. Delhi,1996

xxviiiFrits Staal. Rituals and Mantras. Rules without meaning. Motilar Banasidarss Publishers. Delhi,1996, p.8

xxixNo. 19, 1-22

xxxCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005.

xxxiCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.109

xxxiiCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.45

xxxiiiCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.45

xxxivCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.58

xxxvCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.62

xxxviCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.64

xxxviiSB XI,1,6,31

xxxviiiSB III,2,1,25-28, cited in Charles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.55

xxxixCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.146

xlCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.74

xliCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.74

xliiCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.74

xliiiCharles Malamoud. The dance of the stones. Studies on the sacrificial scene in ancient India. Seuil. 2005. p.78

xlivRaimon Panikkar. I Veda. Mantra mañjari. Ed. Bur Rizzali, 2001

xlvRaimon Panikkar. I Veda. Mantra mañjari. Bur Rizzali, ed. 2001, p. 472.

xlviRaimon Panikkar. I Veda. Mantra mañjari. Bur Rizzali, ed. 2001, p. 472.

xlviiRaimon Panikkar. I Veda. Mantra mañjari. Bur Rizzali, ed. 2001, p. 480.

xlviiiRV I,164.35

xlixSB III,6,2,26