Mantras in Vedic rituals

lusthaus at lusthaus at
Wed May 8 07:23:21 UTC 1996

> I'd greatly appreciate it if anyone could recommend some good
>references on the use of mantras in Vedic ritual, or on the use of music in
>early Indian rituals.
>John Powers

Hi, John.
Some good introductory material on Vedic rituals and music can be found in:

Sukumari Bhattacharji. _Literature in the Vedic Age_, 2 vols., Calcutta: K
P Bagchi & Co., 1984, 1986.

Lewis Rowell. _Music and Musical Thought in Early India_, Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1992

A more provocative and difficult work, but exceptionally insightful on the
role of music and a "sound model" undergirding Vedic thinking, is

Antonio DeNicolas, _Meditations Through the Rg Veda_, NY: Samuel Weiser,

 It doesn't discuss mantras per se, but gives an account of the sort of
thinking about VaaK, etc., that would lead to the conception of mantra. If
your student is not intimidated by mathematics and knows something about
music theory, another intriguing speculative work is

Ernest McClain. _The Myth of Invariance: From the Rg Veda to Plato_, NY:
Nicolas-Hays, (1977?).

Dan Lusthaus
Macalester College

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