Vaidiks & Vedic Religion

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Thu May 13 17:00:06 UTC 1999

Thanks to Vishal Agarwal for an informative note on the Agrawals and on
Vedic recitation . I wish there were more of them... We still are in need
of an All-India (actualy, all- South Asia)
study of styles of recitation.  And we all lack the materials for some areas.

Mr. Agarwal  informed about some local conditions which not all of us will
know, given the size of India. For example, does anyone know about Vedic
recitation in Assam and Manipur?  Cutch?
Or northern Sri Lanka? Or about Vedic Srauta rituals that are performed still?

It is hard to get any information on such outlying regions unless one goes
onself,and we cannot visit each nook and corner of the subcontinent,

At 14:38 -0700 5/9/99, Vishal Agarwal wrote:

>I first encountered traditional Vedics at Poona where I lived for 6 years
>About 7 years back, the Visva Hindu Parisad had invited Vedic pundits from
>all over India ... , there was a good
>representation from North and North Eastern India.

> oral traditons of 12 Vedic
>recensions have survived

That should be about the right number: I know of remaining traditions of 2
versions for the Rgveda, 3 for the  Samaveda, 13 for the Yajurveda, 2 for
the Atharvaveda. Thus ca. 20 recensions, some very weak & fragmentary, such
as the KaTha (Kashmir), Caraka (Maharasthra), Vaadhuula (Kerala),
Aagnivesya (Tanjore area), Vaaraaha (border of Maharastra/Gujarat).
Kapisthala-Katha may survive in Gujarat.

Work needs to be done on these last remnants  before they disappear (Prof.
Y.Ikari/Kyoto U. is editing the Vadhula texts, my student S. Rosenfield the
Katha texts),  but I am not aware that anybody is  following up the other

Why not on your next trip to India? They may be just next door, outside of
Nagpur , Tanjore or Ahmedabad. Not to forget that some of these reciters
may have settled at Benares...


Michael Witzel                          Elect. Journ. of Vedic Studies
Harvard University        
my direct line (also for messages) :  617- 496 2990
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