Vratyas

Timothy Lubin tl4d at uva.pcmail.virginia.edu
Mon Mar 31 12:17:19 EST 1997


In response to Dick Oliver's request for sources on the VrAtya-s, an old but
thorough study of textual sources is:

J. W. Hauer, _Der VrAtya: Untersuchungen ueber die nichtbrahmanische Religion
Altindiens_, vol. 1: Die VrAtya als nichtbrahmanische Kultgenossenschaften
arischer Herkunft (Stuttgart: Verlag von W. Kohlhammer, 1927).

As painstaking and valuable as this volume is, one should bear in mind the
cultural climate that helped shape the interests of that generation of German
indologists, i.e., the sense that they were recovering traces of the history
of their own glorious past.  That is not to say that this book preaches any
nefarious doctrine, but it is at least a product of, and perhaps contributed 
to, the spirit of the times.  (Note that a decade later, Hauer became a
member of the National Socialist Party and held the rank of
SS-Untersturmfuehrer (SS No. 107179)--for more on this period, see Sheldon
Pollock, "Deep Orientalism?  Notes on Sanskrit and Power Beyond the Raj" in
_Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament_.)

A more recent and intriguing study is:

Harry Falk, _Bruderschaft and Wuerfelspiel_ (Freiburg: Hedwig Falk, 1986),
ch. 1, "Bruderschaften in Indien."

Jan Heesterman, "VrAtya and Sacrifice," _Indo-Iranian Journal_ 6 (1962), pp.
1-37.

I can mention, but have not myself seen, the following dissertation:

Biswas, Samarendranath, _Die VrAtyas und die VrAtyastomas_ (diss. Berlin,
1955).


Timothy Lubin
Dept. of Religious Studies
Cocke Hall, University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
office phone: (804) 924-6314; fax: (804) 924-1467





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