The Developing Terminology for the Self in Vedic India
John Robert Gardner, University of Iowa, 1998

Vedavid was created as part of my research on 15 or so terms related to the notion of the self in the Rig Veda. I wanted to find the earliest uses of words like aatman, brahman, puruSa, etc.

My department chair at the University of Iowa's School of Religion was driven by historical method and so I started there. Coupled with recent verifications of Rig Vedic chronology by Michael Witzel at Harvard, there was a new view of the history of the its creation which started with the middle books placing book 10 as the latest.

Given the size of the Rig Veda, working with conventional bound books and sticky-notes was lunacy. A box (yes, they'd just come out) of wine, WordPerfect, and a deep frustration about the doability of my project in 1995 led me to stumble on HTML as a way to link my chosen passages. I only needed an electronic Rig Veda - enter the RLIN (see RV/About for more) and Oxford -- a couple emails later, countless late-nights often understood by no one (even myself), and Adobe PageMill later, I found a way to use HTML to track every term in historical progression with the click of a button. For the rest, see links under "Results" at left.

I put the dissertation online, and integrated citations in it with the online RV and SB resources at vedavid. The first online dissertation upload is under the "Original Upload" link at left, providing per-section access with older javascript, opening in a new window. Quick access to a complete text of the dissertation is under the Chapters option, and opens in this window with footnotes at the bottom.

Comments are welcome - I can make the detailed index available in this interface, as well as the 3-frame view keeping footnotes in the same window. Feel free to email me with comments technical or philosophical.