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Cosmogony in the Vedas, Brāhmanas and Upanisads, with reference to early Buddhism

Davies, Alan James (1990) Cosmogony in the Vedas, Brāhmanas and Upanisads, with reference to early Buddhism. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The approach I have taken here is basically descriptive rather than analytical. I have concentrated a lot on the Vedas, possibly at the expense of the other material, led partly by personal preference and partly by awareness of past neglect by many writers on Indian thought and religion. The introduction contains an outline of the literature being studied, drawing some attention to attitudes taken towards it in India and the West. Further comments are made regarding its interpretation and the theme of cosmogony is then introduced in the context of the literature. The first four chapters look at different aspects of Vedic (essentially Rgvedic) cosmogony: some important underlying principles; the creative process itself; and some problems associated with describing or explaining the source of reality, whether philosophically or mythologically. Chapter five turns attention briefly to the Atharva Veda. The next two chapters concentrate on the Brahmanas: firstly on sacrifice- and other principles and secondly on certain aspects of Brahmanic mythology. Next there are four chapters on the Upanisads, looking at their different language but similar fundamental concerns to the Vedas. Finally, Early Buddhism is touched on in the next two chapters, and the last compares some Buddhist ideas with Upanisadic ones. A short appendix includes some further notes on cosmogony in other cultures, helping to put the Indian ideas in a wider context.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1990
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:37

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