[INDOLOGY] Vedic studies and vimeo-channel on Vedic ritual

Jan E.M. Houben jemhouben at gmail.com
Mon Feb 15 10:04:21 UTC 2021

Dear All,
Thanks Natalia for having asked about the 1955 brochure of the Vaajapeya
Anu.s.thaana Samiti, Poona and on J.A.B. van Buitenen's 1955 film on the
Vaajapeya and the accompanying typescript;
and thanks Madhav and Michael and others for having provided authentic
information on  these.
Michael, you refer to a Pravargya performed in Delhi around a decade later,
that would be around 1965. Perhaps there was at that time a big Soma ritual
in Delhi, but I believe that the performance of large Vedic rituals was not
yet that fashionable at that time. The urge to perform such rituals first
in the areas where they were still marginally surviving or being regularly
reinvented and adapted to the very new and rapidly evolving circumstances
of the twentieth century -- mainly in Maharashtra (see now the recent
sociological study by Borayin) and India's southern states -- and next to
go with these 'treasuries' of symbolic value to the Raajadhaanii came a
little later, one or two decades after Staal's recording of the 'last'
great Vedic ritual in 1975 in Kerala, that is, in, at that time, strongly
Kommunist Kerala (which was, in the Indian context, still a combination of
communism and capitalism, the electricity company advertised itself
extensively with slogans such as "power to the people" according to
first-hand information provided to me by Henk Bodewitz, who assisted at
that Vedic ritual: just to show that Vedic ritual, if it survives and wants
to survive, adjusts to any political system that is in place).
I am, however, aware of the performance of a Pravargya in the context of a
Paundarika Ekadasha Ratra Soma ritual that took place not one but ca. four
decades after the Vaajapeya in Poona, namely in 1996 in Delhi (yajamaana:
Selukar Maharaj from Maharashtra). A few years later I produced a film on
the basis of my footage with the help of professional ethnographic
filmmakers Dirk Nijland and Nandini Bedi; this film I made available in the
form of a VHS cassette that appeared in Leiden in 1999.
At present two of in total three parts of this film have been made again
available (third and last to follow soon) on my vimeo-channel on vedic
ritual (vimeo.com/channels/vedicritual), which also contains other material
on the study and performance of Vedic ritual -- incidentally, I received
feedback from several colleagues who find these short documentary pieces
useful in their introductory classes on Sanskrit and Vedic studies.
With best regards to all,
Jan Houben

*Jan E.M. Houben*

Directeur d'Études, Professor of South Asian History and Philology

*Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite*

École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, Paris Sciences et Lettres)

*Sciences historiques et philologiques *

*Groupe de recherches en études indiennes (EA 2120)*

*johannes.houben [at] ephe.psl.eu <johannes.houben at ephe.psl.eu>*


*https://www.classicalindia.info* <https://www.classicalindia.info>

LabEx Hastec OS 2021 -- *L'Inde Classique* augmentée: construction,

et transformations d'un savoir scientifique

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