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Vedic Investigations

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Vedic Investigations
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This volume contains 19 out of the 30 papers presented at the 12th World Sanskrit Conference, some of them revised and updated. They discuss a wide range of topics, including: * the Atharvaveda in Varanasi * authorities cited in Pratisakhyas and Siksas * Rgvedic religion: Kingship and the Deva-Asura problem * interiorization of ritual and the breaths in the Brahmana system of correspondencies * words signifying 'body' in the Rgveda * the Rgvedic hymn 1.143 * documenting manuscripts of Samavedic texts * a late catalogue of Rgvedic Khilas and Upakkilas * j.F. Staal's 'meaninglessness of ritual' and the nihnavana rite * the vaidika tradition of the Vaikhanasas * gender identity in Rgvedic hymns by female authors * traditional philology and new paradigms for studying of the past * making sense of 'senseless' Brahmana etymologies * the initiation to study (upanayana and punarupanayana) * audio recordings of the four Vedas * the wife (patni) in the Andhra tradition of Soma sacrifices * a forthcoming new edition of the Baudhayanagrhyasutra * the meaning of the priestly reward (daksina) in srauta sacrifices * ephemera of recently performed srauta rituals The Closing Address of the 12th World Sanskrit Conference is published as an appendix to the volume, which is provided with detailed indexes.

 

Preface

That the papers of a conference session appear thirteen years after the event may be something like a world record, but a record for which we are not particularly proud. We sincerely apologize to the authors for having withheld their contributions from becoming accessible to colleagues at large for such a long time. Usually, conference proceedings so much delayed do not appear at all, so the final appearance of this volume may give some consolation to everybody involved. But the shame for this delay is ours, the editors of this volume.

Ask Parole volunteered to organize the 12th World Sanskrit Conference in Helsinki in July 2003 in order to boost the profile of Ideology at Helsinki University, where the future of the chair of Ideological and South Asian Studies was going to be deliberated after his impending retirement in 2004. Besides a university lectureship in Indian languages (occupied by Dr Bertil Tikkanen until 2015, and from 2015 onwards by Dr Mikko Viitamaki), this professorship was the only position for teaching and research in this field at Helsinki University and in Finland at large. We trust that the 12th WSC substantially helped in inducing the Faculty of Arts to establish a five-year professorship in South Asian Studies; it was internationally advertised, and filled in 2006, Dr Klaus Karttunen occupying the position until 2012. Thereafter a tenure-track chair was established, and Dr Xenia Zeiler was chosen for the associate professorship in South Asian Studies in 2014.

The programme of the 12th World Sanskrit Conference with the names and affiliations of the participants and the titles and abstracts of their papers were published in booklets delivered to the participants during the conference. In this first volume of the Proceedings, we complement those booklets by publishing, as an appendix, the Closing Address delivered by Ask Parole on Friday the 18th of July 2003. As that address makes plain, the two of us collaborated very closely in organizing the 12th WSC. Essentially, AP's task consisted in getting the funding and receptions for the conference, while planning it was done together and PK was chiefly in charge of the practical arrangements. We believe that, with the help of a number of student volunteers, and blessed with good weather, we were fairly successful in our task as far as holding the conference is concerned.

We had collaborated in a similar fashion already in organizing the 12th international conference 'South Asian Archaeology 1993', held at Helsinki University in July 1993 and in publishing its 887-paged proceedings in record time in 1994. We both further collaborated with Dr Christian Carpelan in arranging the much smaller international symposium on 'Early Contacts between Uralic and Indo-European: Linguistic and archaeological considerations' at the Tvarminne Marine Research Station of Helsinki University in 1999, and in publishing its proceedings in 2001.

The plan to publish the proceedings of the entire 12th World Sanskrit Conference was the most ambitious one. Only a few organisers of the WSC have also published papers presented in them, and even then not comprehensively. We could get funds for a publication agreement with Motilal Banarsidass, securing that the volumes would be published on good paper at a reasonable price, that every author would get a free copy of the volume where his or her paper was published, and that the editors of the volumes would, in addition, each get a copy of all the volumes. But we got only a very small allowance for language checking and editing, and these funds were soon exhausted. Our plan was to ask a prominent Sanskrit scholar of the respective field who was a native speaker of English to act as one of the editors of each volume and on a voluntary basis to revise the contributions of colleagues whose native language was not English. On the whole, this plan worked very well.

Professor Stanley Insler, who participated in the 12th World Sanskrit Conference without presenting a paper, is a leading authority in Vedic studies. He most kindly promised to act as an editor of this volume and also read a couple of the papers that we edited soon after the conference. Professor Masato Fujii, with whom Asko Parpola arranged the thematic panel `Fieldwork on Vedic manuscripts, recitation and ritual traditions' in the Vedic session, was also to be one of the editors of this volume. Thus Asko Parpola, Masato Fujii and Stanley Insler were initially planned to be the editors of this volume, and this information has been repeated over the years in the advertisements of the publication series. Thus the names of Fujii and Insler have unintentionally become associated with the shameful delay of this volume. We sincerely apologize to these two eminent scholars and hope we shall succeed in clearing their names with this apology and clarification.

As already stated, the blame is all ours, as the two of us alone have been responsible for the editing of these papers and the delay of their publication. The main reason for this postponement is that Petteri Koskikallio, who has been responsible for the technical formatting of the contributions, has over the years always had his hands full, first, of earning his bread, and then, of editing other volumes of the 12th WSC on a voluntary basis without monetary compensation. Asko Parpola has been responsible, also on a voluntary basis, both for revising the language of the non-native speakers of English (though he himself belongs to the same category) and for checking the contributions also otherwise.

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