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Vedic Ideals of Sovereignty and the Poetics of Power

Theodore Proferes

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$59.50 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-940490-21-5

167 pages
10" × 7"
2007
Distributed by Penn State University Press for American Oriental Society

American Oriental Series

Vedic Ideals of Sovereignty and the Poetics of Power

Theodore Proferes

This monograph examines a number of motifs central to the expression of the ideal of sovereignty as it is articulated in Vedic liturgical poetry. It argues that, because the qualities and privileges of a sovereign leader were coveted even by those for whom there was no possibility of attaining royal station, the language proper to the domain of kingship was gradually generalized and used to express aspirations towards a freedom and self-determination that became progressively more mystical in nature. Thus, the study is not primarily concerned with the political history of the Vedic period or the constitutional organization of a Vedic polity. Rather, it focuses on the poetic form of Vedic political discourse within its liturgical context, and upon the ways it was adapted to express new ideas.

 

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
This monograph examines a number of motifs central to the expression of the ideal of sovereignty as it is articulated in Vedic liturgical poetry. It argues that, because the qualities and privileges of a sovereign leader were coveted even by those for whom there was no possibility of attaining royal station, the language proper to the domain of kingship was gradually generalized and used to express aspirations towards a freedom and self-determination that became progressively more mystical in nature. Thus, the study is not primarily concerned with the political history of the Vedic period or the constitutional organization of a Vedic polity. Rather, it focuses on the poetic form of Vedic political discourse within its liturgical context, and upon the ways it was adapted to express new ideas.

I. Introduction:

Politics and Liturgical Poetry

II. Ritual Fires and the Construction of Sovereignty

III. Fire in the Waters and the Alchemical King

IV. The Universal Sovereign as Paradigm for Spiritual Freedom

Abbreviations

Bibliography

Index of Sanskrit Words and Phrases

Index of Passages

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