A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion, Geography, History, and Literature

A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion, Geography, History, and Literature

Rs. 1,400.00
  • Book Name A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion, Geography, History, and Literature
  • Author John Dowson
  • Language, Pages Engish, 430 Pgs. (HB)
  • Last Updated 2024 / 02 / 21
  • ISBN 9788170308782,817030878X

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A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion, Geography, History, and Literature
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In this work an endeavour has been made to supply the long-felt want of a Hindu Classical Dictionary. The late Professor Wilson projected such a work, and forty years ago announced his intention of preparing one for the Oriental Translation Fund, but he never accomplished his design. This is not the first attempt to supply the void. Mr. Garrett, Director of Public Instruction in Mysore, published in India a few years ago a "Classical Dictionary of India," but it is of a very miscellaneous character, and embraces a good deal of matter relating to the manners and customs of the present time. It has not obtained favour in Europe, and it cannot be considered as any obstacle in the way of a more complete and systematic work.

The main portion of this work consists of mythology but religion is bound up with mythology, and in many points the two are quite inseparable. Of history, in the true sense, Sanskrit possesses nothing, or next to nothing but what little has been discovered here finds its place. The chief geographical names of the old writers also have received notice, and their localities and identifications are described so far as present knowledge extends.

 

Introduction

THE Aryan settlers on the banks of the Indus and in the land of the Five Rivers were possessors of a large number of hymns addressed to the elements and powers of nature. Some of these hymns they no doubt brought from their earlier homes in the West, but others were composed after they had reached the land of their adoption. These ancient hymns cover a long period, the length and the era of which can only be conjectured, but fifteen hundred years before Christ is about the mean of the various ages assigned to them. The hymns form what is called the Rigveda Sanhita, a collection which embraces all the extant compositions of the early Aryans. It is the Rigveda which is of primary importance in Hindu religion and mythology; the other Vedas are later in date, and the second and third Vedas consist almost exclusively of hymns derived from the Rig, but specially arranged for religious purposes. The fourth or Atharvaveda borrows less from the Rigveda, but it is considerably later in date, and is of a different character.

The Aryan hymns of the Veda embody the ideas of the Indian immigrants. These ideas were inherited from their forefathers. They were originally the property of the united progenitors of the Aryan races, and the offshoots of this great human stock have spread their primitive ideas over a large portion of the earth. In the Vedic hymns the ideas and myths appear in their simplest and freshest forins, directly connected with the sources from which they sprang by clear ties of language. Comparative philology and mythology go hand in hand, and as the language of the Vedas has proved the great critical instrument in the construction of the science of philology

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