the gods

Gregory {Greg} Downing downingg at
Thu May 29 16:08:28 UTC 1997

>...Greg Downing, who might be
>wondering what happened to his innocuous question to this list, if he has
>not given up on us...
>Edwin Bryant

Not at all, brave vedicists and indeologicians (that last word's a joke...).
I wanted to reply to people and/or post again *after* getting a chance to
read and digest the several articles etc. (all highly helpful) that were
recommended by various of you in the middle of the past week. I've now
obtained and read them. And I was also trying to finish M"uller's _Science
of Thought_ (700 pages, arrgh -- I must have read 3000 pages by MM at this
point, a certain amount of it repetitive of course). And meanwhile a phrase
somewhere in my last post to the list somehow occasioned a discussion of
whether god(s) exist or not, something about which I was not stating or
implying any personal opinion, and about which I am quite openminded (and
not at all in some covertly hostile way). I never intended to cause a
problem. But obviously this is an issue some of you wanted to discuss!!! And
so it goes....

In the meantime, thanks again for all the help to date. I'll post and/or
answer private emails by this weekend. Any upcoming post to this list by me
will of course be even more heavily vetted than before, in order to
eradicate any wording that could foment polemics!

Also, since I'm here, a colleague who is teaching an ancient cultures course
in the fall and wanted to expand her range to early India as well as Greece
and China etc., asked me if I knew someone who could recommend possible
texts for an undergraduate class that would be inexpensively accessible for
students in paperback, and which also "read well." I suggested things such
as the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, that extract from the Vedas published
I think by Penguin, etc.

I know there are various versions of each: for the Bhag-G for example, there
are translations by Mascaro and Edgerton and Zaehner etc.

Are there texts people would either recommend, or steer others away from?
Again, this is for students who have no prior exposure to early Indian
culture (I hope that isn't too silly a question to ask this highly learned

Thanks again for all your help to date....

I sent this earlier this morning but it apparently did not get through to
the list (on this list, I always get an echo of the posting back).... I hope
this is not in fact a duplicate posting (if so, sorry).

Gregory {Greg} Downing
greg.downing at
downingg at 

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