It is as necessary for the reader's understanding of the following study to explain the path that produced the research as it is to present the results. This dissertation has become a case study in the theory that the examination of what is most obvious is fraught with the greatest variety of obstacles. The centuries of philosophical discourse about the relationship of the individual with the Vedic cosmos reflect perhaps one of the signature marks of South Asian religion. The topic of the self in Vedic India has been repeatedly addressed in the indigenous schools and by scholars worldwide for centuries. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I wanted to examine the relatively untrodden ground from which the vocabulary for the self arose, the earliest Vedic literature of the Rg Veda, Atharva Veda, and Black Yajur Veda. The obstacles lay in the fact that the background of understanding from which I addressed the terminology for the self was as much in need of explanation as were the references in the texts under study.

    I identified the notion of self in the early Vedas as my dissertation topic as early as my third year of graduate school. I had accordingly paid close attention to any relevant references in my coursework, comprehensive examination readings, and related academic preparation from a fairly early period. Now, as I am finally writing an introduction to this study that finds itself largely complete some seven years later, I am only beginning to address the problems that, time again, left me paralyzed when trying to write about the topic at any level: from the abstract, to the proposal, to the all-important first chapter.

    I am studying terminology for which the most likely translation in English--self, presence, body, etc.--is as much open for debate as to its religious and philosophical implications within the Western tradition as are the corresponding terms in the Vedas.

Of course a separate chapter--or even separate dissertation[s]--is warranted by the very notion of self (let alone body, presence, essence, mind, and so forth) in the West. I must first place my chosen translations for the Vedic terminology related to the self within their own linguistic and philosophical tradition. Without this consideration, every finding in the subsequent study cannot but beg the question of the nature of the self in India.


    As I wrote my drafts of the dissertation I found that translating the terms which had not been closely examined in previous studies--e.g., tanuú and tmán--was no more effective if I simply read them as "self" than if I left them in Sanskrit. For instance, tanuú had been rendered sometimes as "Leib," other times as "Körper" or as "selbst" by Geldner (1951), as "body" or reflexively as himself/itself by Maurer (1986) and Elizarenkova (1995), and so on. It was apparent that tanuú was not only--if at all--"self" in the English sense. So, how was I to refer to it, as well as to other words like bráhman which--in the Rg Veda--were not as closely associated with the notion of self as in later texts? I adopted the convention in my drafts of collectively referring to the group of words as "terms related to individual existence." This became my functional category under which I gathered all the fifteen or so words I examined. As I completed the study, it became possible to refer to the group of words as "terms related to the notion of the self" after the research in the following chapters was completed. More importantly, it was not until I reconsidered each word according to how its English or German equivalent has been used in Western thought that I was sure that the category could be renamed as "terms related to the self." This introduction summarizes this last step of reconsideration.

    Consider the following example. In the case of tanuú I have translated it most frequently as "presence." Similar to the German "Anwesenheit" (from wesen/"to be present"), but also inclusive of the various senses of "Gestalt," presence reflects the predominant uses of tanuú. As it happens, tanuú derives from the root -tan which means to extend or spread. Both extension and spreading take place in space and time. "Presence" was the most direct way to include both characteristics without additionally complicating the significations of tanuú in each passage. For instance, tanuú does not imply a dualism of soul and body--in fact, it implies both material and nonmaterial presence in its variety of uses. However, what I assume to be the meaning of "extension in space and time" is not necessarily what another reader might assume. It also does not necessarily fit the Vedic context. Such questions vexed the translation of each term I examined.

    Accordingly, I began the study with functional definitions for each term (presented in Chapter 2). I used these functional definitions as I looked at the terminology related to each key word in each passage as I conducted the research and reported the results. In effect, I tested these functional definitions against the accepted definitions presented in the major lexicons for these words from the Vedic literature (cf. Baird, 1971: 8-10). Only with the final draft of the dissertation--for which this Introduc-

tion is written--did I represent my research from the perspective of the Western materials.

    The primary reason for this degree of caution as I read the Vedic materials was to limit, as much as possible, any predilection to prejudge each passage with a later philosophical idea--South Asian or Western. If at all possible, from the geographic and temporal distance between myself and the Vedic literature at which I conducted my research, I wanted to allow the use of each word on each occasion to speak for itself as unencumbered as possible by later Vedic or Western speculation. As outlined in the survey of previous studies in Chapter 1, presuppositions as to the meaning of aatmán or púruSa were the fundamental myopia compromising what little work has been done on the notion of the self in the early Vedic period. It remains to the reader to determine if my remedy has succeeded.

    In the following pages I will attempt to succinctly consider the philosophical implications of the English terminology by which I have rendered the subtlest of the terms under study: aatmán, tanuú, tmán, púruSa, and bráhman. Following this discussion, I will reintroduce the notion of "self" as a legitimate category of inquiry for the History of Religions and briefly present the approach and arrangement of the following chapters.

Vedic and Western Thought: More than oceans--but less than worlds--apart


    In the following pages the movement from one thinker to another, while generally historical in terms of sequence, is designed to consider the specific gaps or aporia (Gr. "perplexities") between Vedic and Western thought with regard to the language and concepts used in reference to the self. Unless otherwise stated, I am not suggesting connections of cause or influence between the various Western philosophers identified. To do so would warrant yet another study. Instead, I am using a loose chronology as a means of rhetorical organization for a survey of the various issues implicit with my application of "self," "presence," "identity," "body," "existence," and so forth. In addition, I am not presuming to present a comprehensive view of Western philosophy nor an intuitive insight into "the Vedic mind," whatever either might be. I am simply comparing what has been said in the last few hundred years in the West with those ways of thinking which I have identified by close inspection of the early Vedic materials.

    I have grouped each major theme that bears upon the discussion of the Vedic notion of the self according to the "aporia" which marks the dif-

ference between Western and Vedic modes of expression on each theme. Accordingly, we have the aporia of the Western duality of soul and body; the terminological choice may be self, soul or spirit; "self" as reflexive pronoun or noun of existential reference; the differing conceptions of time and their relation to narrative language; oral as opposed to written narratives; and the conception of "body" and "flesh."

    I am guided in this undertaking by the suggestion of Wilhem Halbfass--perhaps the only Indologist to systematically address the dialogue between Western and South Asian thought--taken from his study of ontology in classical VaisheSika thought, On Being and What There Is (1992: 12-13): We have to be able to translate the texts into our own languages; we have to listen to them as carefully and patiently as possible; we have to be aware of their traditional cultural context and background. But we also have to be aware of our own background; we have to comprehend the Indian texts in accordance with our own modes of thought and discourse. . . . We are not just dealing with words. We have to think about what we mean by our own words, as well as about the meaning of the original terms we are trying to translate and comprehend.

The First Aporia: Duality of Material and Non-material Existence


    When we consider the discussion of the self in the West we must first consider that the early reflections on the individual's existence referred more often to "soul" (Gr. psuchE, anima, or pneuma- spirit) as opposed to the body (Gr. sOmaor chrOs as in surface or frame). For instance, in Plato's Georgias, the duality of the two is assumed--e.g., justice attends to the soul while medicine applies to the body. There is also the meticulously argued immortal and reborn soul presented in the Meno. The Phaedo outlines the separation of soul and body at death. This dialogue also associates the self and the soul together as a whole of which the body is not a part. That the soul is comprised of several components is further outlined in the Republic where we encounter a soul of multiple components when it is embodied. Sometimes "soul" and "self" are interchangeable in the translations (a problem shared with English renderings of Vedic) and this further complicates the examination of the Western notions of both words. In either case, however, the self or soul is juxtaposed in contradistinction to the mundane or corporeal realm along with the individual, in a dualistic conception of the individual.

    The discussion of this duality continues with Aristotle in De Anima where the soul is considered a tripartite set of moments with matter, form

and their result as potentiality and energy. Subsequently, because the soul is considered to be a principle of motion as well as the substance of living bodies, it is posited as the cause of motion in the universe. This issue is subject to a regression, of course, to the question of the first cause, or "unmoved mover." Also, in De Anima the soul is identified hierarchically among creatures by whether it is nutrient (as with plants), sensing (as with animals), and intelligent (all three are found only with humans).

    While the idea of motion and form do have cognates in the Vedic discussions of the self, the fundamental dualism--mundane or extra-mundane or material and nonmaterial--in Classical Greek thought is not transferable to the Vedic context. As mentioned earlier, the word which refers to an individual most frequently in the Rg Veda (aatmán is comparatively infrequent) is tanuú, and it is used of both the gods and the humans in such a way as to suggest both nonmaterial and material existence at the same time. Thus the duality implied by "soul" and "body" is not easily applied to this early text. When we consider the Vedic evidence, especially in the Rg Veda, the use of tanuú--almost to the exclusion of aatmán and púruSa--signifies both a physical and an abstract element. In fact, we can also infer a notion of self--by reverse implication--from Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica wherein he distinguishes what is specifically not human about God. Further, he investigates the "union of the soul and the body." This also implies a dualism of materiality/nonmateriality similar to that of Plato and Aristotle. So any adoption of terminology like self or, especially, soul is problematized if the assumption of dualism from these two Greek thinkers is present in the mind of the reader. In the case of tanuú, then, "presence" works effectively to convey both the abstract and the progressively more physical developments which take place over the course of the developing Vedic literature.

    This is not to say there are not references to a separation of some kind of physical and non-physical part of an individual which occurs at death such as in the Funeral Hymn, or an implication that the mind is abstract and capable of roaming about on its own (cf. RV 10.58), and so forth. There are also handful of similar passages considered in detail in Chapter 5. These are later hymns, however, and the apparent duality suggested in them is not so clear on closer examination. In addition, the earlier portions of the Rg Veda do not have these kinds of discussions. Following the Rg Veda, the use of tanuú changes so that, in the literature relating to sacrifice which follows the Rg Veda (and which includes some of the later parts of the Rg Veda), there appears to be a much clearer idea of duality where the bodies of the sacrificer and the victim are discussed in relation to--or in contradistinction to--their nonmaterial or noncorporeal identities. The ritual construction of the self as a composition of components represented by tanuú, aatmán, and a variety of other related words indicates not only

that these words are not synonymous, but also the greater complexity which the notion of the self had assumed by that time.

    Thus the duality of soul and body, on which much of Western philosophy is either based or from which it takes its point of departure, is not immediately applicable to the discussion of the self in early Vedic literature. There is an obvious problem here, however: Plato and Aristotle are talking about souls and this dissertation is about the self. In point of fact, much of the Western tradition addresses the individual's non-material existence as a soul (though Plato's Phaedo does associate the two together). In addition, it is unclear yet exactly to what I am referring when I use the word self in the first place.

Second Aporia: "self" or "soul" Exactly what is this Dissertation About?


    It is very tempting to save myself and the reader a very abstract discussion and cut this introduction short right here: the West talks about soul and spirit, but this dissertation is about the self, thus the ideas of the former are irrelevant, so let us move on to Chapter 1. In fact, at this point the whole project of this dissertation is at its most infuriating and illustrates the problems inherent in the writing of almost every sentence. I can hardly say what a word like self or soul to refers to without already raising the question of what is an individual and what is existence, etc. Perhaps in discussions of these most complex abstractions of religious and philosophical discourse the "willing suspension of disbelief" is essential on both the part of the reader and the writer.

    Without such a suspension, I am left with a similar outcome to my project as arrived at by Hume in his Treatise on Human Nature. In effect he concludes that in moments of thought he can never quite "catch" his actual self in a simple and constant impression over time (Selby-Bigge, ed., 1973: 252). In my case, however, it is not a perception "of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure" which gets in the way as it did for Hume, but the very term of reference--"self"--for what it is I am talking about in the first place.

    This dissertation is about the terminology for the self. I am using "self" as my referent for the thematic content of these words. I have not translated any single term as always meaning "self," yet I repeatedly assert that the fifteen or so words under examination relate to the self. Before this dissertation can go farther, the fundamental question is: what do I mean when I say "the self," such that all these fifteen words are somehow to be

considered as relating to it?

    If the notion of self is to be a legitimate category of inquiry for the History of Religions, it is essential to posit a functional definition for it. The Oxford English Dictionary lists the most original and primary designation of "self" as the demonstrative pronoun--later emphatic as with "himself," "herself"--which, aside from anything else, secures the reference of a given phrase "to the person or thing mentioned and not, or not merely, to some other" (Simpson and Weiner, ed., 1989, XIV: 905). At first glance this does not seem to help very much: what, then, is the "person," and what is "other?" I will return to the matter of "self" and "other" with regard to the reflexive pronoun later.

    Not unlike Hume, the OED continues under the nominalization "the self" to suggest "a permanent subject of successive and varying states of consciousness." This is somewhat more workable though there are some troublesome assumptions here, too, such as "permanent" or what is meant by "successive" as opposed to "varying." What is consistent here, and also with a variety of Western expositions considering the self, is a persistent reference to an identifiable point in space and time. Space and time make up the fundamental ontological preconditions for the reflections of Plato and Aristotle as mentioned above; as well as for Augustine, Locke, Hume. In addition, Kant begins his Critique of Pure Reason with these topics. The importance of space and time continues as in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, Heidegger's Being and Time with "Dasein" and so on.

    Thus a functional definition of self for this study, which remains consistent with the various inquiries in the Western religious and philosophical tradition, refers to an identifiable assemblage of characteristics (cf. OED, 1989: 907) occupying a given point in space and time. While this definition also includes a rock or a chair, both of which are somewhat removed from having a "self" according to Western sensibilities, this is precisely the point of this introductory discussion. Inclusion of a "consciousness" component as with the OED would be quite compatible with the later Vedic speculations--such as in the UpaniSads--but would exclude much of the early material from the Rg Veda. As noted below, words for mental processes like consciousness--already debatable as to the equivalency between the Sanskrit (e.g., -cit or -man) and English terminology--are used rather infrequently in connection with the other primary terms for the self.

    Therefore, what might be said to be missing from this definition--some acknowledgement that the point in space and time is an intersection

of something extramundane with the mundane or a consciousness component--reflects the same dualism of materiality and nonmateriality mentioned above with Plato and Aristotle. Even in the sacrificial cosmology of the texts which immediately follow the Rg Veda the physical, mental, and essential components of the individual self were part of an interconnected continuum of interlocked functions covering microcosmic and macrocosmic existence.

    In the KaaThaka SaMhitaa 7.15 a piece of wood has the tanuú of Agni as part of its composition. The fire is then brought forth by ignition and by the addition of clarified butter. At first glance, Agni appears to be something extramundane included inside the wood. As the research below shows, however, it becomes clear that Agni is not only part of wood, but also of water which feeds the growth of the wood in the form of rain (cf. Rg Veda 10.51 in Chapter 5). It is his presence or tanuú which is part of the wood--and part of water, rain, and so forth. If we use a definition of self which suggests that there is something yet again outside of, extramundane to, or intersecting with Agni this would misrepresent the Vedic understanding of Agni's forms.

    The identity of each component of the early Vedic cosmos is interconnected in this way such that categorical lines representing distinctions like mundane and extramundane, material and nonmaterial, do not work as part of a functional definition for the self. In order to effectively illuminate these previously overlooked developments, the breadth of the functional definition for self must allow for a rock, chair--or piece of wood--to be referred to just as would be a god or human. The Western categories of inquiry into the self which I have chosen--identity, space, and time--are compatible with the conceptual continuum between divine and human realms which characterizes early Vedic. At the same time, the Vedic notion of an interconnected or interwoven-tan means to "to spread or weave"cosmos is not excluded or prefigured with material and nonmaterial distinctions which are not implied, for instance, with the early uses of tanuú.

    I am not suggesting that this definition of the self replaces or even summarizes the conclusions of the various Western thinkers. It is only necessary that it be compatible with them such that it does not exclude any of their fundamental categories, while at the same time including each term that I have chosen to examine in the Vedic literature. Thus aatmán, tanuú, tmán, and púruSa all refer to assemblages of characteristics occupying a given point in space and time. Similarly, the words related to men

tal processes, those derived from the roots -cit, -dhii, -budh, and -man; those related to life such as ásu, aayú, jiivá, and praaNá; those related to the body including kraví, gaátra, déha, ruupá and sháriira; and even the designation for powerful efficacious speech, bráhman, can be collected under the category of words for the self because they represent the various characteristics which are part of the identifiable assemblage in space and time.

Third Aporia: Memory and the Self

    The self as an identifiable assemblage of characteristics in space and time corresponds as well to the reflections of Locke as to Hume. It enables the next important consideration with regard to the self: that of memory and the mind. In many ways, this issue was prefigured by Descartes with the veritable genesis of modern Western thought, "je pense donc je suis." And the "je suis" was anticipated, again, by Augustine in his monumental admission of helplessness in the Confessions when confronted with the question of time: "For what is time? If no one asks me, I know: if I wish to explain it to one that asketh, I know not" (Pusey, trans., 1966: 262). And so the elusiveness of time and self presents itself for the current study.

    When John Locke considered the question of the self, he arrived upon a predominantly material existence marked by a presence in space and time. According to his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke felt that this material existence, as a sequence of otherwise unrelated instances, can be related over time by consciousness with the use of memory (John Perry, ed., 1975: 48). Similarly, as mentioned above, Hume can never ultimately "catch" conceptual hold of himself. Here also the notion of memory is pivotal for the recognition and examination of the self. He could not identify the self over time in any way other than as a recollection of sensations.

    Comparing this to the Vedic literature, the importance of memory becomes central in the later Vedic tradition not only as a category of text--smRti, that which is remembered--but also as one of the most definitive acts of the mind/mánas. Thus an aporia arises between the early Vedic literature and one of the fundamental mechanisms by which the self is recognized in the West: memory. In the following study, the terminology related to the actions of the consciousness and mind--collectively designated in this study as "mental processes"--does not play a defining role in the articulation of or the references to the early Vedic notion of self.

    The primary term related to the mind that we find is mánas, which is not used in relation to the other terminology for the self very frequently in the Rg Veda, though it is more frequent later. Mánas as "mind" is the place of articulation for the mantras (which, incidentally, derive from the same verbal root -man which refers to thinking, or positing thought). The root -smR, from which smRti is derived, is quite uncommon in the early Vedas. It is informative to mention it in this context with regard to the mental processes which take place in the human mind, but it is not considered further below as smRti is found less than ten times in all the SaMhitaas considered in this study combined. With the exception of these few of occasions, it might be inferred--due to the nature of time in the Rg Veda, where the past is continually anticipating the future in the ongoing cycle of narration/creation--that memory is not considered in the Rg Veda as frequently as are the mental processes by which these prototypical cosmic events are posited in mantra's and ritual reenactment.

    Of course the mental processes are referred to frequently. The work of the mental organ of an individual is represented primarily by four verbs in the early Vedas which can be roughly split into two groups. Along with forms of -man, we also see -dhii which has a similar sense of generative mental activity in that it refers to reflection and perceptive insight. The forms of -man and -dhii as "generative mental processes" are complemented by -budh and -cit which are more "reactive" modes of thought. From -budh (waking, being alert) we get the well-known past passive participle buddha. Also quite common is -cit, which refers to noticing, perceiving, and responsive thinking.

    What is significant, however, is that in light of the conception of Vedic time as presented in the early text of the Rg Veda, the mental activity of memory is referred to only about ten times. None of the occasions of -smR are in the Rg Veda and most are in the form smará/remembering in the Atharva Veda, with only one in the Black Yajur Veda texts under examination. The discussion of memory entails a reference to temporality in which one "looks back" with recollection. There is a great deal that can be said about Vedic time as presented in the verbs of being--roots -as and -bhuu--as suggested, for instance, by Halbfass who notes that both imply a process or action, and -bhuu--the more common in the early Vedic literature--has "dynamic implications" (1992: 22). More specific to the kind of time in which the Vedic individual existed, however, is the observation by Tatyana Elizarenkova in Language and Style of the Vedic RSis, that--as in the

texts of other cultures which viewed time as a cyclical process--the Vedic hymns present a mythology of creation and order which, through the ritual, is simultaneously reenacted and reestablished with every performance (1995: 188). In such a conception, memory is not as central to the discussions of the events in narrated time as is their reenactment or repetition.

    Also, in grammatical terms, the present tense and the injunctive are interchangable: calling Indra to mount horses to slay enemies is spoken first in the present tense and immediately after referred to in the injunctive in Rg Veda 6.20.9. Thus the problem of continuity and memory--at least for the establishment of identity--is obviated in these early texts by a temporal stance wherein the past is an anticipation of the future and everything continually regenerates itself.

    What we will see as we move from the Rg Veda to the later ritual literature is that the process of recreating/reenacting these cosmic cycles becomes more and more complex. At the same time, the terminology with respect to the self becomes much more intricate. A range of terms referring to a sequence of components or layers which constitute the individual both in the ritual and, by implication, in life as well is repeatedly affirmed in the ritual reconstruction of the cosmos (cf. Plato's multiple components and Aristotle's layers above). However, for the earlier text of the Rg Veda, where the predominant word--almost the only word--referring to an individual is tanuú, the simpler cycle of time requires a much less complex means of reference for an individual.

    Perhaps the most simplified designation of the self among the words I am studying, tanuú refers to a specific presence of given characteristics--human or divine--in space and time. Thus Agni cannot be touched when his tanuú blazes with fury (Rg Veda 2.10.5d: naábhimR'Se tanvaá járbhuraaNaH), or the Maruts are called to present their ornamented tanuú's (Rg Veda 6.20.6c: yátraa náro dédishate tanuúSv aá). Each passage designates a specific occupation in space and time. Little else is said within the Rg Veda, or even the subsequent Vedic texts, concerning any other significations of tanuú. Within the limits of Vedic time as it was conceived and represented in these hymns, it was only necessary to mark the location of the individual. This was accomplished efficiently with the uses of tanuú.

    The way of referring to the myths frequently implied that they were being newly told, reformulated, or created at the very moment of perform

ance by the seers. There are dozens of occasions where the statement is made that "this new/náva hymn" is formulated (e.g., Rg Veda 2.24.1: yaá vidhema návayaa mahaá giraá; also 1.12.11; 3.1.20; 5.42.13; 6.50.6; 7.61.6; 8.25.24; 10.89.3; etc.). Time was not a linear sequence to be held in memory but, at least in this respect, was a palette of continually-evoked reenactments which defined and confirmed the Vedic cosmos.

    Within this cycle the self was located as "this human or deity being this way here" and little more was necessary. Like the numbers on a clock which can be continually reshaped by various artistic renderings of style and fashion or even be removed, it is the location which was important to represent, not the independent existence of it apart from that time. Thus when Augustine cannot ascertain the nature of time, it is not because he cannot define the "one" of one o'clock, but because he cannot posit the meaning of "o'clock."

    Tanuú marks a place of reference just as a "one" on a clock face. The clock in Vedic time was cyclical and "moved" by the reenactment and retelling of key events. The individual players in those events--denoted most frequently by tanuú in the Rg Veda--were the numbers on the clock (e.g., at such and such a point, Indra's tanuú grew to such strength through the invocations empowered by bráhman that he struck down the enemies, etc.). The identity and characteristics of tanuú become more specific as additional words related to the self are included in its semantic field such as aatmán and púruSa. Accordingly, time becomes a topic of speculation in the subsequent texts where both words are prominent.

    The designation by tanuú of a locus in space and time--a presence or, as in the German word "Anwesenheit" (roughly translatable as "being present" or "presence") and "Gestalt" (including form, figure, character, and shape)--lends itself not only to the relatively simple ontology of the Rg Veda, but also to the more complex ideas of the cosmos which come later in the ritual literature. As we will see, under these circumstances tanuú comes to take its place in a progressive or composite notion of self which is ritually "constructed"--literally and symbolically--in the Vedic sacrifice. Before these significations arise, however, it is important to understand that tanuú refers to a notion of self in the Rg Veda which is not dependent upon the actions of the mind or reflection for its existence. It is a place marker rather than an object of of abstract speculation.

    Returning to the Western implications of tanuú with respect to "presence," it was Heidegger who raised the idea of Anwesenheit to a point of

philosophical subtlety in his explication of the Dasein ("Being-there" literally, or "Being-in-the-world," the primary mode of existence for the self) in Being and Time. Before continuing it is important to note that much of the discussion of "being" which stems from Heidegger's thought is not applicable to the conceptions in the early Vedic literature. As Heidegger characterizes the Dasein as that Being for whom its own being is an issue (1962: pp. 32f.), his conception diverges from most of the Vedic situation. While there are speculations in the later Rg Veda (e.g., the Naasadiiya Hymn of whether there was anything existing before creation) and Black Yajur Veda SaMhitaas as to the nature of existence of an individual and the experience of death, it is not part of the earliest Vedic hymns. In the sacrificial liturgy the relationship of the individual to the cosmos through symbolism and substitution is a central theme. The question of the actual existence of the individual is more central in the UpaniSads when the theme of pre-creation and nothingness is taken up again with respect to the self as in the Chandogya UpaniSad.

    The speculations of the Vedic texts are not as concerned with the ontology of the self as they are with its fundamental unity with the cosmos in which it is located. As Halbfass notes, the Veda's do not have a science of being--Aristotelian or otherwise. It is a topic of reflection and debate in the later schools, but does not have specific treatises solely devoted to the explication of being (1992: 21). In addition, Dasein is temporal in its orientation of Sorge or Care (1962: 225f.). Care is very much related to the "Being-with-others" of Dasein which, for the Vedic self, is not a topic of speculations.

    Thus the terminology related to Dasein, while at times quite relevant to the Vedic notion of the self--as with Anwesenheit moreso than Gestalt which is, at times, too explicitly corporeal to fit early Vedic uses of tanuú--is nonetheless grounded in fundamental questions of a different nature than those of the Vedas. Still, the discussion of "presence" with regard to past, present, and future time reflects quite well the mode of Vedic temporality discussed here and, accordingly, supports the rendering of tanuú as presence. The Being of the Dasein is primarily directed toward the future, and the resolution to action which is prompted by the temporality engendered by Care interprets a past from this future which, in turn, enables this Being to present a setting for that action (1962: pp. 471ff.). As suggested by Werner Brock in Existence and Being, "The 'past' originates from the 'future' so as to engender the 'present'" (1968: 79). In a similar way, as

Elizarenkova notes, the Vedic time anticipates the future from past events which, with the grammatical assistance of the injunctive, are made present. It is the tanuú which marks the "presence" of the actors in these events.

    Finally I should note that, even though I am not fully appropriating Heidegger's use of the word Anwesenheit, it has not been without its critics. In his book Of Grammatology, Derrida has critiqued the logocentrism (text and word centrism) of the determination of being as presence and adds to this his foreboding of the assumptions of linear historical sequence with which presence then becomes laden (1976: 12-13). This gives rise to the epoch in which belongs the separation of sign and signifier (for Heidegger, the present in which presence occurs is primarily the realm of otherness connoted in what is Vorhandensein or "ready-to-hand"). The whole problem of the sign and signifier, in which the issue of presence is bound for Derrida, is centralized on the exteriority of writing (i.e., writing is exterior to, or secondary to the thought it ostensibly is employed to represent) in general and its determinative role in history in specific (1976: 14).

    In short, the basic problem of dualism between self and soul mentioned earlier extends to the very nature of language and its references to existence for the Western thinkers mentioned here. Language becomes a duality of sign and signifier, these issues later become a topic of speculation in Vedaanta and also in the Madhyaamika of Nagarjuna, as well as BartRhari's consideration of the kernel of language found in the sphota (initial grain or burst of expressive sound). They do not bear directly upon the Early and Middle Vedic scene, however. Thus when I refer to existence, language, and speech in the following pages it should be clear to the reader that these issues are eventually part of the horizon of post-Vedic thought, but they do not bear upon these words as they are used in Early and Middle Vedic.

    Before we can resolve this new aporia of written language and oral tradition, it is important to note how it arose. By way of the question of memory and the self, we considered the place of time as it is conceived in the Vedic period we are studying. In so doing, I introduced the notion of "presence" which represents the role of the self as indicated by tanuú in the cyclical narratives of the Veda. The examination of "presence" in Western thought gave rise to the critique by Derrida. And so we are presented with the next important issue of Western thought which bears upon this dissertation. How is the space and time of the Vedic self, which we encounter in the form of the written history presented in the texts and the oral

narrative in the Vedic tradition to be reconciled with Western speculation on these matters?

Fourth Aporia: Vedic Time and Narration

    It is fortunate that I cannot pretend to summarize in a few short pages the three volumes of Time and Narrative by Paul Ricoeur which mark the "state of the art" for this topic in Western thought. Accordingly, there is no great loss when I note--as already implied above--that the nature of time in the early Vedas is not constructed in the terms of linear trajectory with which Ricoeur deals at length in his volumes. In addition, and I do not want to appear overly simplistic in this observation, it has to be remembered that the narratives with which I am working in this study evolved in a tradition of oral performance, not a heritage of written expression. Thus from the very outset there is an uneasy juxtaposition between the oral Vedic tradition--which I study in its textual rendering--and the Western critique of narrative and time presented by Ricoeur which deals primarily with a tradition which has always been in written form.

    Nonetheless, there are some important observations in his work which accentuate this aporia between the tradition upon which he comments and the literature of the Vedas. It is hard to be certain that, as I read the written form of the Vedas, I am not already finding myself within the framework of understanding which characterizes the hermeneutics of a text. I am certain as I read that I am dealing with material that was first articulated and then preserved as performance. Indeed, this performance was viewed as empowered with the potency to affect action in the world, as noted throughout the volume Understanding Mantras, edited by Harvey Alper (1989). In addition, the Vedic materials--especially the Rg Veda--are concerned to a great extent with the narrative of events in a distant past even if only to recreate these in the present.

    The relationship between time, narrative, and the self as suggested by Ricoeur is that "time becomes human to the extent that it is articulated through a narrative mode, and narrative attains its full meaning when it becomes a condition of temporal existence" (McLaughlin and Pellauer, trans., 1984, I: 52). There is no question that the Vedic literature addresses the actions of both humans and deities in time as narrated in the hymns. In addition, though infrequent, the manner in which time is referred to in the Vedas is informative. Often there is a pronominal derivative such as kíyaati aá/since what time?; as in Rg Veda 1.113.10a: kíyaati aá yát

samáyaa bhávati. The passage is rich with temporal references as samáyaa can also mean time because it refers to a point of coming together (sam + -i/to go together). It is a hymn to the Dawn, USas, and the verse in which this passage is found asks for how long the Dawns have been and will be. Traditionally time is referred to as kaalá from -kal/to enumerate. It is remarkable, and significant for underscoring the points already mentioned earlier about Vedic time, that kaalá is not found in the early Vedic collections of the Rg, Atharva, or Yajur Veda's. Other words referring to time such as vela are also not found.

    Obviously, if we have verses like Rg Veda 1.113.10, this does not mean that they had no conception of time. It does suggest, however, that time had yet to become a topic or conception of abstraction and reflection. Thus, while we must be aware of the presence in time and space denoted by the tanuú in the Vedic narratives, a major portion of the Western philosophical considerations of time do not have correlating vocabulary in the materials I am examining. We can, instead, infer time from the recapitulation of past deeds in the hymns. We cannot know, however, what "time" meant, per se, to Vedic thought as it is preserved for us.

    Therefore, when Ricoeur builds his discussion upon the speculations of time formulated by Augustine, we do not have an applicable correlate in Vedic thought. When he suggests of narrative that (1984: 64): To imitate or represent action is first to preunderstand what human acting is, in its semantics, its symbolic system, its temporality. Upon this preunderstanding, common to both poets and their readers, emplotment is constructed and, with it, textual and literary mimetics. I am left both in agreement and in the realization that the period of Vedic literature with which I am dealing does not figure time as a characteristic of the self but only, perhaps, as a place of its appearance. Both the medium of oral tradition and, more important, the lack of emphasis upon time as a topic or object of conceptual reflection leaves this category of understanding for the self inapplicable.

    It is frustrating, however, to accept such an aporia, as the other gaps identified thus far have yielded valuable terminological clarification for the notion of the self. In this case, it is more the case of Occam's razor as the absence of speculation about time in the Veda is the message with which we are left concerning the narrative of the self in time. However, Ricoeur further underscores the inseparability of reflection upon ontology and upon the self in Oneself as Another: "There is no world without a self who

finds itself in it and acts in it; there is no self without a world that is practicable in some fashion" (1992: 311). This does not exclude the way the Vedic poets conceived the cosmos as an interaction of selves--divine and human--marking space and time by their respective characteristic activity. Nonetheless, it is still not necessarily the assumption from which their "seeing" of the hymns concerning the individuality of the gods and the humans began.

    What is ironic at this point in my introduction of the philosophical issues bearing upon the analysis of the self in the Vedic period is that, where the current aporia of time and narrative was occasioned by Derrida, it is unresolved by the hermeneutical arc of understanding as presented by Ricoeur. Even more ironic, as I turn again to Derrida, it is he who furnishes some closure to this issue insofar as the purposes of this introduction are concerned.

    In his own response to the problem of logocentrism, Derrida begins to address natural writing as opposed to the common writing of history which is "the dead letter, the carrier of death. It exhausts life." (1976: 17). "Writing is that forgetting of the self, that exteriorization" (1976: 24). In opposition to this dead letter is metaphoric writing which is "natural, divine, and living writing, it is venerated; it is equal in dignity to the origin of value, to the voice of conscience as divine law, to the heart, to sentiment, and so forth∞Natural writing is immediately united to the voice and the breath" (1976: 17).

    We could hardly be more aptly returned to the topic at hand--in Vedic terms--than by this reference to the voice and breath. It is upon these two elements that the progression from the sacrificial to the meditative traditions of the later Vedic material takes place in the form of Vaac and praaNá. The power of formulated speech represented in the early Vedas as bráhman is linked, in turn, with Vaac and subsequently with praaNá, the breath which plays such a pivotal role in its formation. Prior to the later abstractions, this link with the breath becomes the vital component by which the self is ritually constructed--via a series of breaths representing bodily processes and, symbolically, cosmic and social processes--in the Vedic sacrifice. This relationship of voice, bráhman in Chapter 5, and breath is part of Chapter 6.

    It is important to resolve the question of narrated time with this particular critical turn, as any other rhetorical measures would blur what is of fundamental importance in the Vedic tradition as an oral transmission.

Derrida refers to Hegel's observation of the power of sound to produce the concept and self-presence of a subject. Similarly, Bodewitz discusses the transition from the "external" sacrifice of the Agnihotra to the internal offering of breaths in the meditative PraaNaagnihotra in Jaiminiiya BraahmaNa 1.1-65. The sound and breath of uttered mantras is pivotal to the philosophical abstraction of the sacrificial ritual and the formation of the later notion of the self centered upon aatmán (1973). The importance of "identity" in the translation of aatmán is quite apparent here as the substitutions of internal breaths for the external ritual acts take place through a carefully contrived reasoning of sameness and selfhood: ipse- and idem-identity, to be discussed below. Also, the mantras of the Vedas are also considered to have the power of manifestation what it is they speak about. This also accords with the Vedic notion of time which uses praises and recitation of past events to make them present.

    It is fortuitous that the aporia of time and narrative has unintentionally taken this introduction to the less abstract, more tangible realm of breath, sound and voice. The Vedic world was certainly very "physical"--full of battles, births, and the symbols which would later mark the meticulous physical implements and actions of the sacrifice. In addition, however, this juncture raises the final aporia--one which is not an aporia as much as a recapitulation--the body and flesh.

    At the very beginning of this discussion I underscored that the presuppositions of "body and soul" or "body and self" dualism would not work as a starting assumption for the notion of self variously represented by the terms under examination in this study. Nonetheless, the role of the body and of flesh--there is a distinction between both in the Vedic ritual--is an essential element for understanding the composition of the multi-part self constructed in Vedic ritual. As we will see in Chapter 6, the various terms related to the self--aatmán, tanuú and púruSa especially--form a sequential progression from subtlety to physical and social presence in the symbolism of the ritual. Significantly, such a progression has been considered in similar terms in Western thought, most recently summarized by Ricoeur in Oneself as Another. I will first consider the issue of the reflexive meaning in the word "self" and how it applies to the Vedic terminology, followed by a review of the words body and flesh and how they shape perception of self and other.

Fifth Aporia: Identity and the Reflexive Meaning of Self

    The choice of "self" as opposed to "soul" or "spirit" in the framing of this study was based not only upon the religious and philosophical presuppositions of the latter two words. In addition, the grammatical origins of the word "self" come from its use in reference to the very object of this study. As identified in the OED, self "emphatically" refers to the person or thing mentioned and not to some other (cf. above). It is informative to remark that this use of "self" substantially predates the nominalization "the self" by several centuries.

    According to the OED, the reflexive use is attested as early as the late 9th century while the nominalized form appears in the middle of the 14th century (1989, XIV: 905-906). This reflexivity implies a sameness inasmuch as it suggests "this [same] one, not that [other] one." "Himself" is the same as him, only it underscores--makes emphatic--the reference. The philosophical importance of this has been addressed by Paul Ricoeur and bears mention not only as it qualifies the word "self", but also because it introduces an important way in which I have translated several words in the later portions of the Rg Veda and the ritual literature, as suggesting "itself," "himself," and so forth.

    The use of a word such as "identity" to indicate "self"as noted by Ricoeur in his analysis of the self entitled Oneself as Another (Soi-màme comme un autre)must be carefully considered (1992: 1-3). At the outset of his study, he outlines three philosophical intentions which influenced his preparations: (1) the fundamental origin of the word self (soi in French) as a reflexive designation; (2) the distinction in the word "identity" between the Latin sense of idem (implying sameness) and ipse (implying selfhood) which he feels stand in contrast to one another; and (3) by extension, that ipse-identity, or selfhood, implies a dialectic which is parallel to the dialectic of idem-identity and ipse-identity:  that of "self" and "other than self."

    Ricoeur cautions against forgetting the fundamental relationship of the nominalization "the self" with the reflexive designation "self" as this obscures the fundamental representations of sameness and selfhood which are inherent with the word. Thus "désignation de soi" (self-designation) can obscure its derivation from "se désigner soi-màme" (to designate oneself). "Self-designation" can be mistaken as the discourse about designating "the self" while "to designate oneself" can not. In this example, "oneself" is the emphatic emphasis of selfhood. It is also easy to see, however, that emphasizing selfhood in this way also implies sameness: the des

ignation is of this "same" one self "right here." Thus we see the interplay of sameness and selfhood or ipse-identity and idem-identity in the English term.

    This emphatic designation implies a possessive as well as a reflexive component. To suggest selfhood and sameness implies an ownership: it is of that self-same one (ipse-identity), of that one itself (idem-identity) that the designation in "to designate oneself" refers. It is not commonly attested in English. In fact, the use of "self" in a possessive sense requires a helper--another noun or pronoun also in the possessive, such as "herself"--and does not have quite the same independent stature as a genitive marker as is the case with the Sanskrit word svá which most frequently conveys the sense of "own." We find svá declined as an adjective with the noun that it modifies. If we are speaking of something going to Agni's own home, svá will be declined in the accusative singular with the noun it serves to emphasize, home/dámam: Rg Veda 1.75.5 (ágne yákSi sváM dámam) or it designates the Marut's "own" intentions/matyaá in Rg Veda 5.58.5d (sváyaa matyaá marútaH sám mimikSuH). Thus with svá there is an emphatic marking of ownership as with the English "own" by which it is most easily translated.

    However, there is another pair of uses of svá which bear more directly upon selfhood and sameness than does the possessive use. The notion of reflexivity in the form of svá appears when it is placed as a prefix to a noun, such as with the English equivalent "self-born" (svájanmanaa said of Agni in RV 7.1.12c). In addition, there is the independent form sváyam which is fully representative of both ipse/sameness and idem/selfhood identities. This form of svá is of great interest as it is attested from the very earliest parts of the Rg Veda through the remainder of the literature. That sváyam occurs throughout the Vedic period indicates that already from an early time there was a subtle complexity in the notion of self. In sváyam there is the full sense of both ipse- and idem-identities.

    While the uses of sváyam are presented in more detail in Chapter 2, it is important to note what the use of this word, throughout the Vedic period, tells us about the other words--especially aatmán, tanuú, tmán and púruSa--under study. There are occasions, such as in the KaaThaka SaMhitaa 14.6 where aatmán seems to have a purely emphatic meaning of "itself" referring to the very brightness of brightness ". . . eva tejasaa teja aatman dhatte'nnasya . . . (this complex passage is presented in more detail in Chapter 6). It is not uncommon to find aatmán used in this

reflexive sense and for this reason I have chosen, in the later ritual literature, to translate it as "identity" with the connotations of "sameness" and "selfhood" inherent in both the ipse- and idem- aspects of identity. However, if we did not also have the clearly emphatic pronoun of selfhood and identity in sváyam, it would be easy to mistake the reflexive sense as the primary one for aatmán and thus miss some of its subtler implications in the earlier text of the Rg Veda where it usually means a vital or active essence. Of course, the active essence of a person or deity is also integral with its identity, so neither signification is excluded.

    Thus the conception of the self, as represented through a variety of terms in the early Vedic literature, is quite intricate. It includes the subtle implications of sameness in the significations of sváyam, aatmán, and tmán especially. For instance, tmán is used to identify a given trait--such as wisdom with the Father of Prayer, BrahmaNaspati in Rg Veda 2.25.2--as inherently part of a deity's identity. Thus it implies both the sameness and selfhood suggested by Ricoeur. The more common word for referring to the self, aatmán, carries both these senses as well as the implication of essence which identifies the way an individual exists in space and time. The final component of that existence in space and time, the most physical aspect, concerns the relationship of the body and flesh.

Final Aporia: Development Over Time, and the Progression of the Self in Time


    This consideration of the word "self" as regards identity also affords a way in which to understand another group of words within this broader heading: those related to body and flesh (sháriira, kraví, ruupá, gaátra, by contrast--as it will become clear--with tanuú). In Oneself as Another, Paul Ricoeur has considered the significance of both body and flesh and their relation to the conception of self in not only space and time, but also in society. This does not necessarily imply a dualism of self and body, but rather a progressive development of the conceptual understanding of both in relation to one's own ipse- and idem-identity as it is physically experienced. In this discourse, Riceour takes us beyond the scope of Heidegger, who never considered the issue of Leib and Körper, feeling it would reduce the Dasein to Vorhandensein and inauthentic being (1992: 327-328).

    Ricoeur's closing discussion in Oneself as Another is quite intricate. He considers three basic points: reflexivity, sameness and selfhood, and the

implication of otherness inherent in sameness (1992: 297). He is addressing the encounter of the individual self with the flesh, that which is the first, most immediate perception. Because it is the organ of desire and the support of free movement, it is the first point of "ownness" and of "otherness" (1992: 324-325). As we name the flesh "ours" we also acknowledge the otherness between namer and named. As one considers the immediacy of the flesh as comprising a whole, the body, it is clear that this body is the mediator of the intimate self with the world. Thus, from that most immediate experience the individual moves to the intersubjectivity of the "other (than) self" inasmuch as one's own flesh interacts with what is other than itself. This in turn reintroduces the deeply hidden relationship of our self to itself through the implied comparisons in the intersubjectivity with other selves (1992: 317-319).

    This is where the whole import of the notion of identity and its signification of sameness, which implies also otherness, opens the door for one of the most important functions of the Vedic ritual: substitution. In the process summarized above, the movement to intersubjectivity--awareness of other bodies and selves--reflects in turn upon an individual's own relationship to his/herself: the first recognition of otherness in the flesh parallels the recognition of otherness in other bodies. This reflects back to--or enables the substitution of--the observed relationship with the other and the "first point" of awareness of otherness between self and flesh.

    This subtle level of substitution is at work in the way the terminology is used in the ritual as well. There is a progressive sequence of the identity, aatmán, as signified, for instance in KS 7.15 where the aatmán is identified according to its "size" as designated by a span of wood which is an arm's length, in turn Agni is the presence/tanuú in the wood which is brought forth with the pouring on of ghee (which causes the fire to flame up). The sequence from the identityof the sacrificer with the woodto the presence of Agni in space and time within the wood is quite clear. Earlier the sequence in KS 7.8, through the metaphor of two-footed beings, moves from the tanuú to the púruSa. The púruSa most commonly reflects the social composite of which aatmán and tanuú are the carefully constructed parts.

    From the immediacy of the identity signified by aatmán the progression moves to the presence in space and time signified by tanuú, and similarly from tanuú the progression moves to the púruSa, the two-legged beings who inhabit houses. By substitution, the identity and the presence of it in space and time are linked, in turn with the intersubjectivity of other

two-legged beings. It is worth noting that this progression is constructed in the reverse order to what we find in the KS, the link is first made between the presence/tanuú and the púruSa/"other" two-legged ones. Later the link from the tanuú to the aatmán is made. This could be accounted for by the different projects and, as the several aporias above, different world views represented by the KS and Ricoeur. The ritual of the KS endeavors to represent the Vedic cosmos--as it is experienced--to the sacrificer such that he is identified with and participates in each phase of it. Thus, the logical movement is from the familiar to the abstract.

    Thus in the consideration of the body we have been able to further account for the development of use with both tanuú and aatmán in the sacrificial tradition, as well as introduce the social "self" of the púruSa. It is important to note also that there are specific words in the Vedic tradition which mean purely flesh--flesh, e.g., kraví, which can be smeared (RV 10.87.16)--which is much less commonly referred to in the ritual. However, there is also the composite whole of the flesh, the sháriira and the déha which become more prominent in the texts which post-date these earliest ritual explications such as the KS. The development then, is toward greater and greater complexity for the Vedic self in terms which, with some small adaptations, are compatible with the Western philosophical vocabulary.

The History of Religions and the Notion of the Self


    It remains then to reconsider the discussion of the self with respect to the study of the history of religions. The notion of the self has been shown above to be a viable topic of inquiry in terms of both Western and Vedic discussions with its functional definition as an identifiable assemblage of characteristics occupying space and time. Even though the Western tradition of speculation has some fundamental differences--e.g., dualism, text-based narrative, and the emphasis upon "being"--the basic frames of reference between Western and Vedic thought are compatible and even serve to inform one another.

    The following dissertation, apart from its research on the development of the terminology for the self in Vedic India, is an experiment in which I explore the viability of the self as a category of inquiry for the history of religions. The working definition for religion in this case represents a conception of self which is variously inclusive of a dialectic of sameness and otherness, an ethical structure in which actions have given meanings,

and an ontological point of presence in space and time. This definition considers the role of religion as an answer to the fundamental question of a human being "who am I?" Whatever might be the differences from one tradition to another in ethical systems, conceptions of divinity or metaphysical otherness, and even doctrines of "no self," each can be equally considered by means of the shared consistency of "notion of self." In effect there is always a "who" for whom the system of meaning is constructed.

    As Ricoeur has noted in Time and Narrative, "We have no idea of what a society would be like without a notion of self" (1987, II: 28). In my working definition of religion as a conception of self, both history and definition form the points of departure for the scholar. The history of religions becomes the narrative of ongoing oscillation of the question "who am I?" and its answer. It is worth noting that this dialogue can take many forms. The "no self" of Buddhism is still a category available to examination under this definition as regards, for instance, the 5 skandha's of appearance which furnish the illusion of a self. Turning to the Veda's, the question "Who am I" becomes the answer to itself (selfsame answer, or ipse-identity of the answer). As in JB 1.18 (cf. also KauSitaki UpaniSad 1.6), after death the aatmán is asked by the sun as to its identity and the correct answer is "who am I/ko'ham asmi." This "answer" reflects upon the self in Vedic ritual as a representation of the full cycle of a year which is represented by Prajaapati, whose name is also "who/Ka."

    In the dissertation which follows, I have divided the inquiry about the self into two broad categories. The first three chapters outline the structure and criteria by which the analysis will be carried out. Chapter 1 is concerned with an overview of previous studies and the methodology whereby each key word related to the self is examined according to how it is used with other groups of words which surround it. These groups, called "semantic fields," are compared in turn with other passages in order to identify patterns of associated characteristics with each word under study. Thus there is the synchronic analysis of each word in each passage, followed by a diachronic comparison of these results from one text to another. Chapter 2 presents the terminology to be examined in detail with working definitions for each word. In addition, the kinds of synchronous analyses to be performed are outlined such as linguistic anomalies, phonetic word play, etc. Chapter 3 presents the diachronic framework of comparison in the form of a summary of the relative chronology of Vedic literature.

    The balance of the study concerns the detailed presentation of the

synchronic and diachronic analysis from the texts chosen for this study. Chapter 4 examines the earliest sections of the Rg Veda while Chapter 5 considers the later portions. In Chapter 6, the results of the Rg Veda analysis is "tested" against the intricate ritual explications of the relationship between the self and the cosmos. The results provide a picture of an ongoing notion of the self which characterizes not only the so-called philosophical speculations of the UpaniSads, but one which is also evident in the very earliest texts as well. While the terminology becomes more and more complex, the fundamental mode of existence for the Vedic self remains quite consistent as a point of intersection and connection between the divine and human realms. It is through the sacrifice and, later, the meditation upon these connections that the one who knows/ya evam veda is empowered to transcend death and the cycle of repetition which characterizes Vedic time.



    The vast quantity of ancient Indian material relating to myth, legend, and ritual metaphysics (SaMhitaas and BraahmaNas), cosmological and existential abstractions (AAraNyakas), and philosophical disputations (UpaniSads); to say nothing of the myriad ritual Suutra's (Shrauta and GRhya), disciplinary didactics (Vedaa^Ngas), and multitudes of orthodoxies (darshana's) have made comprehensive examination of even the most central terms and concepts impossible. Recent strides in both technology and methodology throughout the Indological disciplines have brought the field to the threshold of substantial breakthroughs in the understanding of how key ideas developed, changed, shifted in terminology, and interacted with social and geographical phenomena over the last 4000-5000 years of South Asian history.

    The present study is an effort to bring the fruits of the last 150 years--and especially the last two decades--of research on early Vedic materials to bear upon the question of the earliest discussions of existence and individual experience--that is, of the self--in the earliest period of Vedic literature. While the vocabulary has been either taken for granted due to its predominance in the later Vedic literauTre--as with aatmán, púruSa, and bráhman--or obscured by changes during the earliest periods--as in the case of tanuú and tmán--the context from which the influential philosophies of ancient and classical India arose has been paradoxically both taken for granted and largely ignored.

    The changing use of terms related to the notion of self provides a record from the earliest period of Vedic literature of different ways in which the self was identified in the early history of Vedic religion. The ideas of individual existence represented in the terminology were selectively fused together or discarded throughout the process in which the literature was composed and redacted. For instance, aatmán and púruSa are relatively uncommon terms until the later RV. They appear in a handful of largely unrelated contexts while tmán is quite common throughout this text. However, in the next period of literature in which the sacrificial texts of the Yajur Veda school predominate, tmán dissappears while aatmán and púruSa are repeatedly associated together with one another as components of a composite notion of self.

    By combining synchronic analysis of the occurrences of the terminology in a given passage with diachronic comparison of these occurrences between texts and over time this study shows that there were several developing--or even competing--ways of discussing existential presence in Vedic religion. The most direct means to illuminate these developing notions of the self with minimal presupposition is to comprehensively analyze each passage which includes one or more of the terms--over 15 words--chosen for examination in this study.

    The simplicity of the question underlying this dissertation belies the complexity involved in its answer: What was the liturgical and linguistic setting in Vedic religion from which the later speculations on the self developed? Though the terminology related to individual existence employed in both the later Vedic texts and the commentaries upon them was also used in the earliest known sources, a review of this early literature (c. 1500 b.c.e. for the RV) reveals that a greater variety of words was associated with individual existence than are found in the UpaniSads and philosophical commentaries.

    This dissertation, then, is an historical inquiry into the earliest collection of terms related to the self in the Vedic literature. It examines the Vedic origins of the concept of individuality, the distinction between living and non-living, the mental processes by which existence was suggested or explained, and the existential speculations regarding the relation between deity, individual, and environment. The material to be examined focuses on the Rg Veda followed by those texts compiled immediately after it--the Rg Veda Khilas, the Atharva Veda, as well as the Black and White Yajur Vedas--with attention to how these early ideas were treated in the BraahmaNas. These texts comprise the earliest speculations from which the majority of later darshanas chose aatmán, púruSa, and bráhman as their primary terms of existential reference and metaphysical discussions. The Early Vedic material, however, contains a wider array of terms with varying significations of self, presence, individuality, or life force. It is the examination of this wider array of terminology in the Rg Veda (RV) and its relation to the terms of later predominance in the subsequent Vedic literature that forms the central task of this study.

    The relative chronology of the early Vedic literature forms the central structure by which I will examine the Vedic material. An important aspect of this dissertation is the application of the most precise available sequence of the actual chronology of the Rg Veda and the texts that follow it. For the

most part, this has not been used by scholars for whom the traditional progression (Max Müller, 1968)--Veda's, BraahmaNa, AAraNyaka's and UpaniSads--was sufficient to support the foundations of Vedic research.1 Nonetheless, as early as the later 19th Century 2 scholars began dissecting the Vedic literature with attention to the complexity of internal chronology within each text. Thus the RV consists of several distinct chronological strata of organization, the oldest of which is MaNDalas II-VII, the so-called Family Books.3 As a result of recent research, there is a greater degree of detail available to scholars for examining the early development of key terminology than has, for the most part, been used in Vedic scholarship in the past decades. In addition, the rediscovery of internal chronology in the Vedic texts has been facilitated by the availability of additional texts enabling scholars to compare styles and periods of linguistic change, such as the Atharva Veda Paippalaada SaMhitaa, the KaaThaka SaMhitaa of the Black Yajur Veda, the Jaiminiiya SaMhitaa and BraahmaNa, and varous Shrauta Suutra's (Witzel, 1997: 289).

    The discussion of individuality in the RV is marked by changes in vocabulary between the early and later portions. In point of fact, terminology for the self in the RV is marked most prominently by tanuú and tmán which are substantially more common than aatmán and púruSa. By contrast, the earliest portions of the RV reflect only two instances of aatmán, and a handful of púruSa, while bráhman occurs with great frequency, though not in a context of metaphysical speculations regarding identity of the self with the cosmos. Later, throughout the BraahmaNa's and UpaniSads, to say nothing of the later commentaries and philosophical schools, there was little variance in the terminology for an individual's essence or presence.

    In most of the earliest UpaniSads--BRhadaaraNyaka, Chandogya, Taittiriiya, and Aitareya, for example--aatmán predominated in speculative debates of Yaajñavalkya, Janaka of Videha, Shvetaketu, Uddaalaka, etc. For the early RV, however, in the place of aatmán, tanuú and tmán appear as the words of choice, predominating in frequency of use. Beginning with the later Rg Veda and continuing through subsequent Vedic literature, tanuú changes in meaning and then, with tmán, falls out of use altogether. Tanuú''s predominance as an early term throughout the RV is also contrasted in the early literature of the BraahamaNa period. Occasions of tanuú in the Shatapatha BraahamaNa are less than one fifth in number as opposed to those of the earlier Taittiriiya BraahamaNa.4 Correspondingly,

aatmán overwhelmingly predominates in frequency of use over tanuú in the Shatapatha, while in the Taittiriiya BraahmaNa the relative frequency of aatmán is substantially less compared with tanuú. Both terms appear almost equal in number, though both are fewer in their respective number of occurrences as opposed to the ShB. This reflects a change in vocabulary and a corresponding change in the manner in which individual existence was conceived. Such changes have yet to be even recognized, let alone examined, prior to the present study.

    This dissertation integrates three tools of analysis as a model for precise study of Vedic material that correlates the data historically, linguistically, and--where possible--geographically. First, the most detailed data available for discerning the precise sequence of development in the Vedic literature is assembled here as a framework and research "control" for examining the terminology related to the self. This framework is presented in detail in Chapter 3. Second, with the aid of electronic research tools--Hypertext-Markup Language (HTML), electronic editions of Vedic texts, and electronic database sorting technologies (see below)--a level of detail and breadth of examination is made manageable which, until now, has required years of painstaking management of volumes of notes, texts, primary source editions, and references. Finally, the theoretical approach in the method employed here uses both the historical and electronic resources to integrate two vital research techniques: diachronic comparison over time within and between texts as to how a term is used, and precise synchronic semantic and linguistic analysis of each occasion of terms under study as it is used with those words forming the semantic field of its immediate setting.

    The terms to be examined include the primary group of words that are used in reference to the self--aatmán, tanuú, tmán, púruSa and bráhman.5 As part of the composite references to individual existence, the words referring to life--ásu, aayú, jiivá and praaNá--are considered as well as the words for corporeal or physical body--kraví, gaátra, déha, and sháriira. Finally, the words related to various mental processes or awareness--krátu, and those derived from the roots -cit, -dhii, -budh and -man--are also reviewed when they are found with the primary terms. I have chosen this group of words due to their prominence in later discussions of the self in the UpaniSads or--as with tanuú and tmán--due to their presence in semantic groups which are later used with aatmán or púruSa.

    This group of words represents pervasive or internal essence, life and

being-alive or vitality, comprehension and perception, reflexive self-reference (as most commonly demonstrated with svá and sváyam), individual identity or characteristics, and physical presence. These are the conceptual categories which most frequently figure into discussions of the self in the later Vedic and post-Vedic literature. In addition, there is a "catalogue of boons" from the Yajur Veda tradition in the Agnicaayana ("piling up of Agni" or building of the fire altar) which lists groups of benefits sought by the sacrificer. These include such things as cattle and worldly goods, ethical and moral uprightness, and so forth. The catalogue begins in each text with a groups of words related to the self, including the terminology chosen here (see Chapter 6 re. MS 2.11, KS 18.7, TS 4.7.1, and VS 18). Finally, my chosen terminology compares favorably when cross-referenced with the terminology chosen for examination in the previous studies which bear upon the self in Vedic literature (discussed below).

    The methodology for this study requires that a widely inclusive range of terms related to the self be examined across a range of genres and historical periods. Each term under study will, in turn, be analyzed synchronically with reference to words occurring in its "semantic field"6 (e.g. 1/4-verse, 1/2-verse, verse, hymn, etc.). Frequently the words adjacent to these terms for individual awareness are less ambiguous, affording a clear line of semantic analysis. The results of these synchronic, passage-by-passage analyses are then compared diachronically across different historical periods and text genres. Part of the synchronic analysis includes the identification of variant form--se.g., later development of the infinitive in -toH following the RV--that indicate particular historical or geographical information about the composition of the hymns.

    As I am not a linguist, the reader should know that I was led to incorporate this technical data as a result of my research into some of the more intractable passages which frequently included these exceptional forms. As the research progressed, a pattern of anomalies emerged which required some explanation. There was a remarkable frequency for linguistic anomalies in obscure passages dealing with the terminology for the self. I have followed this pattern wherever possible. The results suggest that, where two different dialect variations combine, the "fault lines" frequently intersect with the discussions of the self.

    It stands to reason that the symbolism which relates the microcosmic individual (usually the sacrificer)--in terms of body, mind, breath, social function, etc.--to the macrocosmic cycles of seasonal, celestial, and even

social order places a great deal of significance on the way in which the individual self is understood. For instance, the púruSa is given microcosmic and macrocosmic symbolism in RV 10.90, but the uses of aatmán suggest a less complex idea of vital or active essence. Later, the Black Yajur Veda ritual uses aatmán for the subtle associations of the sacrificer with Agni, while púruSa refers to the social aspect of dwelling in a house (Chapter 6). The problem, of course, lies in determining if and when aatmán and púruSa ever represented conceptions of the self from distinct peoples or dialects. Elizarenkova has suggested that púruSa might be a borrowing from another language (1995: 67), but this is still too vague for decisive conclusions.

    The field of inquiry wherein specific sociological, geographical, and historical information can be extrapolated from linguistic phenomena is still in its infancy. The significations of these anomalies awaits further research along the lines of Witzel's "Tracing the Vedic Dialects" (1989) and "The development of the Vedic Canon and its Schools" (1997) before it can be determined with precision whether competing doctrines of self account for the variations or whether they are all chance idiosyncrasies. For this study, I will simply note the patterns of linguistic anomalies where they are evident, though always with the awareness that there could be greater significations of differing religious perspectives on the self at work.

    The trajectory of the study and its results are organized according to the historical line of sequential development within and between each text. The dissertation is roughly divided into two categories. The first three chapters present the methodology, tools for analysis and the historical framework of the Early and Middle Vedic literature. Consistent with the way each passage is examined, the synchronic tools of analysis are presented first in Chapter 2. This includes a summary of scholarship for each term as it was used in the RV and a corresponding functional definition with which to begin the study of each word in its immediate semantic field. This will serve as the starting point from which subsequent use of the words in each passage can begin. The second half of this chapter outlines the synchronic tools of the analysis: polysemy, synonymy, distinctions between divine and human language, phonetic choices, and the linguistic anomalies that identify specific historical and geographical periods in the literature. The third chapter presents the diachronic material for the analysis of the synchronic results. A detailed presentation of the internal chronology of the RV and the later developments of the Middle Vedic period provide both

the framework for this study and a useful summary of the wide-ranging bibliography of such research for Vedic scholars. The remaining chapters address Early Vedic in two detailed parts: RV 2-7 and the later portions of the RVMaNDala's 1, 8, 9, and 10 and also the "appendices" or RV Khilaani. The final chapter tests these results as to how compatible they are when applied to the occasions of each term in Middle Vedic, including the Black Yajur Veda, White Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda, and several BraahmaNas.

    The detailed analysis of each occasion of the terminology examined in the RV is made possible by HTML "links" (programmed connections between each word in an electronic edition of the text that enables movement from occasion to occasion instantaneously with a simple mouse-click).7 For example, each occasion of the word púruSa has been searched and identified in a line-by-line reading of the RV according to text chronology (e.g., 2-7 are the oldest MaNDala's, then 1.51-1.191 and 8.1-8.65--excepting 8.49-59--etc., see Chapter 3). Each identified occasion of puruSa was then linked such that a mouse click upon it will take you to the next occurrence of puruSa according to the actual historical sequence of the text.

    In this way each term can be reviewed without interruption across the historical course of its use in the given text, and can be cross-referenced with citations of one text within another (e.g., RV mantras used in the ShB).8 In so doing, multiple terms across many non-sequential periods in a text, as with the RV, can be mapped and then analyzed with regard to meter, adjacent vocabulary, period of composition, etc., with the ease of a mouse click. Additionally, sub-groupings of detailed studies based upon these initial inquiries are then automatically maintained in historic format and additional links can be continuously built--and evolved--upon the original study. As in this example, once occasions of púruSa were first marked, then these were reviewed (i.e., each link followed in historical sequence through the text) with an eye to occasions where púruSa occurs with -dhii, -man, -budh, and -cit, reflecting mental presence or awareness, occasions with words for body, etc.

    Immediately the challenge to this study in terms of its theoretical methodology arises when the question is asked: Does this suggest that the meaning and use of the terms changed while a universal concept of self remained the same? Or, does it mean that the concept of self changed such that different words from the terminological pool were required to keep up

with the changes? The results of the research presented in Chapters 4-6 indicate that the terminology reflects a change both in the way it is applied to discussions of individual existence and also a change in the notion of self that is discussed over time and from text to text. One or both of these possibilities have been addressed, at least three times, in this century. It is the purpose of the methodology discussed below to reconcile the apparent antitheses between these possibilities. First, I will present the current approach as it contrasts with the three studies that are closest to it in scope and subject.

Previous Studies

    There is no lack of studies on the idea of self in Indian religion. Most of these are focused on the UpaniSads and the later darshana's. There are also broad studies that consult--to some degree--the earlier Vedic sources. These studies do not work with the primary sources nor do they address historical development within or between texts in any detail. In addition, the Black Yajur Veda texts are virtually ignored in all related studies. Citations are from standard translations, which are not sensitive to the issues addressed here. The authors are inclined to predetermined agendas in their analysis and choice of data.

    Typical of studies with a predilection for reductionism and simplification of Vedic concepts according to Western paradigms is Troy Organ's The Self in Indian Philosophy. Organ does present an introduction in which he outlines the importance for the West of the study of the self in other cultures. Aside from never setting out exactly what he means by "philosophy," "self-knowledge," and "the East," he also feels that the steady "decline" of Western civilization is directly attributable to what Aurobindo and Radhakrishnan cited as the deliberate ignorance of the self in Western thought (1964: 14). Whether this ignorance does in fact exist--ironically, he nonetheless cites William James' four-fold notion of self among other ("deliberately" ignorant?) Western studies of the self--he makes it clear that the purpose of his study is not so much to identify the notion of self in India as it is to extract one as a model that will fit the absence of one which, he perceives, persists in the West.

    Organ's approach, which seeks the self in some abstract, transplantable, or even universal concept, is a limiting factor in many of the studies discussed here. It leads Organ to suggest--without use of primary sources and only limited, non-critical translations--that a spirit-body dualism is

implicit in the Rg Veda: "These [Rgvedic] quotations indicate that the rishis believed man is a self which is other than the body" (1964: 28) He neglects the other SaMhitaas altogether, as well as the BraahmaNas and AAraNyakas, moving directly to the UpaniSads where he reads them according to Sha^Nkara, without the benefit of examining the texts themselves.

    In a more recent related study, N. Ross Reat has provided a sound, systematic analysis of early South Asian discussions of individual existence and psychology in The Origins of Indian Psychology. This study is one of the few that addresses a wide range of terms beyond those traditionally associated with the self--aatmán, tanuú, tmán, and púruSa--instead including jiivá, praaNá, ásu, and so on. His basic approach is based on the assumption of Heinrich Zimmer that all Hindu thought does not come solely from the Vedas but from both the Vedic and non-Vedic traditions. Unfortunately this prompts him to limit his text pool to the RV for early Vedic origins as it is the "purest," or least influenced by non-Vedic traditions ". . .since one of the major goals of the present study is to distinguish Vedic from non-Vedic characteristics in Indian psychology" (1990: 3). It prompts him to have "ignored to a large extent" (1990: 4) the other SaMhitaas, the BraahamaNas, and the AAraNyakas. The starting point for his investigation of the origins of Indian psychology is the monism of the UpaniSads, and he reviews the RV with the intention of finding the origins of this "monistic absolute" (1990: 9).

    Reat offers a useful discussion of a few RV passages, focusing primarily on building a composite notion of identity around the heart (hRd),9 cít/thought (1990: 99), -man/to think and mánas/mind (1990: 97ff.), tanuú/a "quasi-material," "personification" (1990: 63-64),10 and aayú/duration of life (1990: 84). He relies on translations for this analysis--Griffith and Muir--while nonetheless attending carefully to a substantial term pool. His summary of the functional roles of tanuú, shariira/physical body (1990: 69), ruupa/body or appearance (1990: 70-71), naama/name (1990: 74), the "Vital Faculties" jiiva/alive (1990: 81) , ásu/vitality (1990: 82), váyas/food (1990: 89), and praaNá/breath (1990: 91) are quite helpful as starting points for further investigation. Nonetheless, his ultimate objective is to analyze them according to a pre-determined idea of monism in the Rg Veda as the foundation for a conception of psychology in ancient India. He is not engaged in systematic analysis of the texts or terminology. This leads him to make broad generalizations concerning the Vedic terminology, suggesting that bráhman,

aatmán, and púruSa are all equally interchangeable words for the "unitary principle of the universe" (1990: 78). Yet he still feels confident enough to suggest that the terms "overlap considerably" and are "non-technical" in nature (1990: 63).

    Nonetheless, it is worth pointing out--in contradistinction to the other scholars cited--that Reat scrutinized the word tanuú fairly closely. Reat does not accept the view that tanuú means only "body." Based upon his analysis of "afterlife" in the Rg Veda, he suggests " . . . it should be clear that in Vedic thought the most essential element of the human being is his individual identity, which resides primarily in the quasi-material tanuu" (1990:63). It is "the identity link through which [the] carry-over into an afterlife was thought to be accomplished" (1990: 64). In fact, Reat feels that human existence is not so different from that of the divine: "Not only are humans like gods; they are intimately linked to them, and to the cosmos in general, in origin and essence" (1990:58). This link is facilitated by tanuú, a term to which Reat alone attends in detail.

    The significance of this attention is further underscored by a review of Indological literature as a whole (Dandhekar; 1973, 1978, 1985, 1986, 1993). There are a handful of isolated studies of tanuú with regard to tantu and the "warp and woof" on which the cosmos is woven. Otherwise, and particularly with regard to the studies of the self, the term remains largely taken for granted and unexamined apart from a recent internet discussion on the Indology listserve. Among other useful notes, the electronic mail discussion confirmed the paucity of such studies while underscoring the meaning of -tan and its sense of "to spread/stretch forth."11


    Unlike the other scholars discussed here, Reat offers citations drawn widely from throughout the RV (as opposed to later RV mantras in 1 and 10). Unfortunately, however, he does not show any awareness of historical development or relative chronology within the text. He has chosen to focus on the RV alone, and does not address any subsequent literature except the UpaniSads. This leaves his findings, which have little linguistic grounding, without any systematic or historical rigor. His work is not systematically traced through the texts according to their historical development or with regard to the changing terminology surrounding each word he examines. Because he does not work with primary sources, idiosyncratic uses of the terms are not accounted for. Of course, it should be noted that systematics of this kind are not his main focus. His predilection for demarcating an arbitrary, undefined set of "Vedic" ideas from "non-Vedic" bring to his

study a useful perspective, but it is otherwise somewhat ancillary to this dissertation. In addition, he never specifies what he means by "non-Vedic," though he considers the Atharva Veda (AV) quite prone to "non-Vedic" material (1990: 3-4).

    Apart from these admittedly partial instances, publications offering detailed linguistic and semantic analysis of the terminological contexts from which the broad themes relating to the self arise are largely non-existent.12 Some of the studies that do attend to the semantic and syntactic data in detail, such as Elizarenkova's Language and Style of the Vedic RSis, are indispensable tools for understanding the wide range of syntactic devices employed in the composition of the Rg Vedic vision. There are also isolated articles addressing particular hymns of the RV that also include some of the wider pool of terms. Many of these studies offer a specific view representing a particular school of interpretation, frequently that of Sha^Nkara's Vedaanta. Studies that address the historical question of development surrounding any one of the many terms used in relation to the self are scarce.

    There are only three studies that address any of this terminology in detail. Two of these are concerned with aatmán and one with púruSa. Of the three, excepting the earliest study--that of aatmán --by H. G. Naraharithe issue of the wider terminological pool is still left largely unaddressed. There is some analysis of usage across several texts in T. Sahota's study of púruSa, and a little in B. R. Sharma's survey of pre- UpaniSadic uses of aatmán. However, little attention, if any, is given to the distinctions of literary or ideological genre and the varying composition periods over time in each text.


    In 1944, H. G. Narahari published a detailed recapitulation of several previous articles (1942a, 1942b) in which he proceeds with the assumption that aatmán means "soul" in early Vedic texts, primarily the Rgveda. His book, AAtman in pre-UpaniSadic Vedic Literature, which grew out of his dissertation and other related articles offers his conclusions that aatmán was known to the Vedic R'Sis as "the spirit [which] is something . . . entirely different from the body" (1944, p. 15). He suggests that the aatmán-bráhman relationship was part of their speculations along with immortality, heaven, and traces of transmigration and kárma theories, and--interestingly--that UpaniSadic thought was not the result of a sociological upheaval in which the kSátriyas supplanted brahmín authority in the hierarchy. Instead, Narahari feels the role played by the kSátriyas was

"allegorical" to indicate the applicability of the refined doctrines to everyday problems. Against the idea that the wise kshátriyas represented any kind of revolution he suggests that there are as many ocasions when a king calls on a priest for wisdom as there are of the king correcting the priest (1944: 162ff).

    He arrives at most of his conclusions regarding the self by way of a detailed analysis of the occasions in the RV where aatmán is used. Apparently, this is primary word which he recognizes--to the exclusion, for instance, of tanuú--as representing the self in the Vedic literature. He is only somewhat attentive to the wider pool of words that surround aatmán. Ultimately, his work often seems more quantitative than analytical as his first chapter is entirely devoted to cataloging the various forms of the words he is reviewing. He includes aatmán, cít, ajóbhaaga, tmán, jiivá, sátya, mánas, and ásu. Narahari concludes this "conspectus" of terminology by suggesting that

The Rigvedic seers can thus be credited with the knowledge of the following: (1) that there is some "Spirit" or "Self" in man; (2) that it is different from the body and survives the destruction of it; (3) that it is eternal, neither born nor liable to destruction; (4) that it forms the 'essence' of the body and is its controller; (5) that it is the experiencer of the reward of man's actions i.e., Heaven or punishment after death; (6) that it is composed of the three qualities, Sat, Cit, and AAnanda (1944: 15-16).

He also suggests that it was the work of the UpaniSadic seers to simply consolidate and further systematize all this pre-existing doctrine.

    Narahari presents a good model for the present study with his multi-term analysis, but he remains focused upon locating the sense of aatmán as he perceives it to have been used later in the UpaniSads. One notices that his second chapter, after introducing a quantitative survey of the uses of aatmán in the RV, provides an extensive study of the later UpaniSadic applications of the word in relation to bráhman. Further, his citations in support of the "pre-existing" doctrine of aatmán (i.e., sát, cít, and aanandá) are almost exclusively from the first and last maNDala of the RV.

    A major limitation in Narahari's study lies in his inattentiveness to issues of historical precision in his analysis of the literature. This lack of attention takes two forms: failure to recognize the internal chronology of the RV, and mistaking later doctrinal views as appropriate guiding assumptions for his inquiry into the earlier texts. With respect to the first, he fails to see earlier and later strata of composition in the RV: all parts of the text are treated as part of a unitary, monolithic whole. Second, his inquiry is guided by a hindsight that seeks the origins of aatmán as it came to be

understood the later texts, largely according to Vedaanta. He sees aatmán as it was defined in the 19th-century UpaniSadic scholarship of Deussen13 and others as "the soul," - something distinct from the body.

    In his dissertation at Kyoto University in 1956, T. Sahota explored The Development of the Concept of PuruSa, offering a study very much like this one with regard to his analysis of terminology across multiple Vedic texts. Handwritten, with only one copy outside of Japan,14 it is in Japanese which I cannot read, but the romanized citations and references yield several observations. Sahota is attentive to the uses of púruSa throughout the early and later Vedic literature, though he seems somewhat concentrated upon the BraahamaNa period and later texts. A remarkable percentage of his RV discussion appears directed to hymns 10.71-72 (neither hymn contains púruSa, both contain tanuú), 10.81 (one occasion of tanuú, two of mánas, and none of púruSa), 10.121 (no occasions of púruSa, but aatmán, praaNá, and Prajaapati are included), and 1.162-164 (there are no occasions of púruSa in all of MaNDala I, but several occasions of aatmán, tanuú, and sháriira). It is not surprising, however, that Sahota's study reflects a shortage of hymns containing púruSa because, as noted in Chapters 4 and 5, there are only 23 occasions of púruSa in various forms, and 7 of these are in the PuruSa Suukta, RV 10.90. In addition, with the exception of RV 10.71, the hymns he chooses are those cited in the Shatapatha BraahmaNa (ShB).

    Additionally, this prevalence among Sahota's RV citations of mantra's used in the ShB indicates not only a concern for the later literature, but his predominant interest in the development of the sacrificial cosmology through the representation of the cosmic person--or puruSa. He also discusses puruSamedha/human sacrifice on several occasions as he moves deeper into his examination of the ritual texts in which púruSa comes to figure prominently in the sacrificial cosmology.

    Take, for example, his extensive use of RV 10.121, beginning with the second half of the 9th verse:

yásh caapásh candraá bRhatiír jajaána kásmai devaáya havíSaa vidhema ||

". . . (he) who birthed that shining great water, who is the god that we should worship with our oblations?" Sahota includes this question from the hymn to Ka/Prajaapati in his initial introduction of the puruSamedha citing ShB 13.6.1-2 (1956, I: 68). Following this discussion he begins an examination of Viraaj15 by way--it seems--of addressing his concern with

the multiple doctrines of sacrifice echoed in the literature. Citations for his other publications, also in Japanese, have been summarized by R. N. Dandekar and the summary shows a tendency in Sahota's work--including his dissertation--to examine doctrinal differences along caste lines (e.g.,"On the KSatriya origin of the UpaniSadic philosophy" [1978: 83]). Sahota continues to address various occasions of multi-gendered birth/begetting cycles in his dissertation as with Viraaj in BAAU 4.2.3, and with DakSa/Aditi by way of RV 10.72.4:

bhuúr jajña uttaanápado bhuvá aáshaa ajaayanta | áditer dákSo ajaayata dákSaad v áditiH pári ||

"The earth was birthed from the birthing womb,16 the regions were birthed from the atmosphere; from Aditi, DakSa was birthed, of DakSa Aditi also (was created) back again." In this case DakSa--who is named in RV 2.27.1 as a son of Aditi along with other deities known as the AAdityas (including Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, VaruNa, and AMsha in 2.27, their names and number varies elsewhere)17--has been born from Aditi, who in turn is born from him. Aditi herself is an abstract deity who is mostly known for her offspring, the AAditya's.18 Sahota follows the development of these trans-gender couplings through the BraahmaNa period citing Prajaapati's illegal coupling with USaa (AB 3.33), and that of Prajaapati and speech in PB 20.14.2.

    Sahota is concerned with the increasing prevalence of Prajaapati, and the corresponding development of monistic emphasis upon Vaac. Not surprisingly, he moves on to a discussion of RV 1.164 (1956, 1:75n) and 10.129 (1956, 1:85n). He then returns to 10.121, this time with the second verse and the occurrence of aatmadaá:

yá aatmadaá baladaá yásya víshva upaásate prashíSaM yásya devaáH | yásya chaayaámR'taM yásya mRtyúH kásmai devaáya havíSaa vidhema ||

Walter Maurer translates the passage as follows " - who is giver of breath,19 giver of strength; whose bidding all acknowledge, whose bidding the gods acknowledge; whose shadow is immortality, whose shadow is death. Who is the god we should worship with our oblation?" (1986: 268). Here with Ka exalted as the aatmadaá, or "self-giving," Sahota commences a lengthy discussion of the relation between aatmán and púruSa (1956, 1:88n).

    Sections II and III of the dissertation continue the discussion of

aatmán. The juxtaposition of both aatmán and púruSa occupies the remainder of the third section, with a persistent emphasis upon the occasions when both words are juxtaposed. Frequently, as here with AAA 3.2.4, his emphasis rests upon passages where one term is elevated or "marked" (e.g., with antar-, maha-, param-, adhi- or sarva- ), in contradistinction to the other:

sarveSaaM bhuutaanaamantarapuruSaH sa ma aatmeti vidyaat

"Let him know: the inner púruSa of all beings, that is my aatmán." The portion quoted by Sahota follows a lengthy exposition that "he/sa" is the one not heard, not thought, not seen, etc.; but who hears, thinks, sees, etc. This correlation of the inner puruSa of all beings is being related to aatmán in a passage on which A. B. Keith remarks (and is quoted in full by Sahota): "This is the most advanced point in the definition of the aatman arrived at (Keith, 1909: 254, n. 18) in the AAraNyaka" (1956, III: 66). As the dissertation moves to its conclusion, then, Sahota begins a discussion of "puruSa-vid" and "aatma-vid" in which Viraaj figures prominently (1956, III: 102-105). Opportunities to directly compare aatmán and púruSa in the same passage are rare--only twice in the RV at 10.97.4c and 8c, which Sahota does not address at any point in his otherwise apparently thorough study!--and these are addressed in Chapter 5. Sahota's work remains in need of a proper translation as even a survey of its contents in Sanskrit, German, and French suggest that he is covering ground that has not been considered, apart from the present study.

    Based on a survey of the database and of Vishva Bandhu's Vaidika-Padaanukrama-KoSaH (1973) it is apparent that neither aatma-vid nor puruSa-vid were terms of parlance in either the SaMhitaa's or BraahmaNa's. PuruSa-vid is found once in Maitri U. 6.33, discussing the three breaths and the sacrificial fire. AAtma-vid is more prevalent in the later literature of the UpaniSads, but has only one occurrence earlier in ShB which includes the following litany of kinds of knowledge:

brahmavitsá lokavitsá devavitsá vedavitsá yajñavitsá bhuutavitsá aatmavitsá sarvavid This passage occurs in a debate where Yaajñavalkya

questions Patañcala Kaapya about whether he knows the thread/suutra by which the world is held together (cf. BAAU 3.7.1, also 3.3.1). In the case of ShB, the question is asked about whether Kaapya also knows the antaryaamín, the inner course or controller of all things. The knower would then possess

all the knowledge enumerated above. It is worth noting that one of the few occurrences of either term occurs in a "knowledge catalogue" of sorts, which does not list puruSa-vid.

    It appears that Sahota has either adopted both terms out of context as a means to explain the distinction in doctrines--that of aatmán vs. that of púruSa--or as a foil that he uses to argue for a homogenous sacrificial doctrine regarding individual presence in the ritual cosmos. It is more likely that Sahota argues for the former. This is suggested as well by his citations from Winternitz (1972: 167) and Oldenberg (1888) which emphasize the panoply of ideas from which the Vedic literature was codified (1956: I, 86ff).

    The suggestion that appears to be a central element of Sahota's thesis--that puruSa-vid represents a distinct school of thought from aatma-vidis quite viable. This is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5, but there are other scholars who have considered that there were distinctly different groups of priests whose ideas were incorporated into the ongoing Vedic tradition. The research supports this in several ways.

    By way of introduction, consider the prominence of púruSa in the later schools such as SaaMkhya and Yoga, also in the Shvetaashvatara UpaniSad. However, when comparing aatmán and púruSa in the RV, aatmán is used twice as frequently as púruSa. Yet the semantic fields surrounding aatmán do not in any way represent a subtle or abstracted meaning such as became prominent in the later literature. However, the most frequent use of púruSa, found in RV 10.90, displays an extremely advanced micro-macrocosmic symbology already in place. It is also curious to note that the entire 9th MaNDala does not contain a single occasion of púruSa (in addition, the Saamaveda hymns that do are not repetitions of any other part of the RV hymns which contain púruSa). Also, there are only eight occasions of púruSa in the Family Books of the RV, and they contain no acknowledgement of púruSa as anything more than a human--e.g., manuSya, puMs-, etc. As noted above, Elizarenkova has suggested that púruSa, for instance, may well represent borrowing from another language (1995: 67). Consider also the suggestion by Frits Staal that (following Kosambi, 1950), "Vedic brahmins were to a large extent recruited from the priest class of the conquered pre-Aryan population" (1983, I: 138). The resolution of the question insofar as Sahota has or has not addressed it, of course, awaits the knowledgeable reading of a scholar conversant with Japanese.20

    In a similar vein, Baldev Raj Sharma offers a study quite like Narahari's, The Concept of AAtman in the Principal UpaniSads (in the Perspective of SaMhitaas, BraahmaNas, AAraNyakas, and Indian Philosophical Systems). While he is careful to outline an array of possible terms related to the self, he does not follow through on their analysis. He is familiar with Narahari's work, citing his quantitative results, and listing him with Edgerton (1916: 1977ff.), Bloomfield (1930: 220ff.), Ranade (1921: 3f.), Radhakrishnan (1956: 72), and Keith (1925: 493f.) as an authority who controverts "the majority of scholars [who] without adequate appraisal of the Pre-UpaniSadic Vedic texts came to the much doubtful conclusion that the philosophy in the real sense started in India with the UpaniSads" (1972: 29). As the analysis below in Chapters 4-6 indicates, he is quite right in this observation. Simply because some of the later philosophical vocabulary--aatmán and púruSa--is largely absent in the RV, this does not mean that there is no philosophy as well. As demonstrated in Chapter 4, other terminology--specifically tanuú and tmán--serves to portray a complex interrelation of the divine and human realms. This is not Sharma's conclusion, however. Sharma chooses to equate early terminology with aatmán and, in so doing, affirms that the doctrine of the UpaniSads is argued consistently in every text of the Veda's.

    While correcting the idea that the Vedic texts were lacking philosophy is surely warranted, throughout his study Sharma seeks the aatmán as it became known in the later texts, or, as he translates it, "Ultimate Reality." He seeks a "clear and comprehensive meaning of the concept of AAtman in the UpaniSads scientifically through a comparative and historical study of the various views on the subject" (1972: iii). While there were originally many terms for this "Ultimate Reality," they came to be "dropped (due to semantic changes), or replaced by some new terms and names" until the words aatmán and bráhman "became standard for the expression of Ultimate Reality in the UpaniSads" (1972:8-9). This predilection to find one later meaning--Ultimate Reality--in all words related to individuality in the Vedic texts renders Sharma's study problematic for the objective historian, apart from the other methodological concerns described below. He asserts:

In the SaMhitaas, like the word Brahman, which is equated with AAtman, the words: puruSa, haMsa, suparNa, ajobhaaga, praaNa, jiiva, satya, Vishvakarman, BRhaspati, Prajaapati and hiraNyagarbha, and so on, also denote the sense of AAtman. . . . While UpaniSads breathlessly used the terms AAtman and Brahman to denote the Ultimate Principle, the SaMhitaas had their own terms to express the same thought " (1972:14-15, [emph. mine]).

He subsequently suggests that these terms "stand as equivalent to AAman in the Vedas" (1972:15; cf. also a similar tendency in Reat, above).

    However, Sharma does a masterful job of drawing together references for the variety of words listed as synonymous to aatmán in Nirukta 14.10,21 considered by some as a later addition (1972: 23). His study surveys a relatively large portion of the Vedic literature. Nonetheless, he relies primarily upon hymns from the first and tenth maNDalas of the Rg Veda. From the other SaMhitaas he chooses a handful of hymns based on his perception of their overall theme regarding "Ultimate Reality." He does not deal with any other terms in detail. In addition, it is apparent that he is not aware of historical sequence of composition--certainly within the RV--and has only a general sense of relative sequence for the early Vedic texts of the other branches.


    It would appear from this survey of previous scholarship that the paucity of comprehensive analytical studies of this question of the self in the early Vedas has arisen more from methodological challenges than from inattention to the importance of the question. It is more than feasible to examine one term in isolation but the choice of terms examined thus far reflect the perspective of the later UpaniSadic traditions. It would almost seem as though for scholars of the Veda's a notion of self had not "appeared" until the terms of later predominance--aatmán and puruSa--came into popular parlance.22 More importantly, any trajectory of change or development is lost in every one of these studies due to the lack of awareness--or inattentiveness--to relative chronology within the texts, particularly the RV.

    In the case of each study there were elements of the current approach, but inevitably all were oblivious to successive periods of composition within the RV. In addition, while all were attentive to other related words, these were not studied systematically. Excepting Sahota, all studies sought a single axiomatic meaning for the term under study. For Sharma and Narahari, this was a later doctrine of aatmán as understood in the UpaniSads. It is also interesting that neither Sharma nor Narahari even mentions tanuú. Sahota does so only once, directly after his conclusion regarding aatmadaá, púruSa and aatma-vid (1956, III: 106).

    One study that stands as a transition to the method employed in this dissertation from those above is Jan Gonda's Notes on Brahman (1950). Gonda is not particularly concerned with the notion of the self, and his

study of bráhman is directed more to its early uses and etymology as opposed to the later, more specialized, applications. In essence, he sees the term as derived from -bRh, to increase, expand, promote (1950: 69). He disagrees with Charpentier that bráhman derives from the terms for grass on the sacrificial vedi, barhis (1950: 5, 70-72), and with Hertel's assumption that it is fire (1950: 4). While Gonda says his purpose is not primarily etymological, he does devote a fair amount of time to etymology (1950: 39). He rejects Renou's conclusion (1949: 7) that it is an enigma, owing to Renou's proposed meaning that bráhman is power or expansion (1950: 57-58). He observes that it belongs to a type of Indo-European terminology that blurs the distinction between "nomen actionis and nomen rei," and thus that the distinction between action and object was not always clear (1950: 72). In this connection the enigmatic nature of power and expansion associated with bráhman is not unlike that of extension and expansion in the root -tan. In both cases, it is not clear where the "thing" (power, or expansion) itself ends and where the action entailed by it (growth, extension) begins. It is clear that definitions presented in isolation leave as many questions about a concept denoted by a term as they do answer. Accordingly, it becomes necessary to determine the function of these terms in relation to each other.

    Gonda observes, "Thus, one of the outstanding characteristics of Ancient Indian thought was a persistent adherence to the quest for knowledge of the mutual connection of all that has a name (whether it is, to our way of thinking, substance or attribute, spiritual or material, animate or inanimate, abstract or concrete), and is, consequently, a reality, a power, -- for knowledge of the inherent causality of things" (1950: 9). This attentiveness to connectivity stems from Gonda's larger methodological approach that significantly influences a major component of the approach in this study. He looks for meanings of words based on the associated ideas in each context--or "semantic field"--where the word, he calls this a key word, occurs (1962: 243). His article on the study of Indian religious terminology actually redresses some of the apparent contradictions in the bráhman study by way of clarifying the nature of his approach. He hopes to find ". . . how either traditionally or in a definite period, the Indians themselves thought about the basic, central or 'original' sense of a 'key word'" (1962: 269).

    Gonda cites texts throughout the Vedic corpus in his analysis without attending to the historical or genre distinctions between them. He goes so far as to say ". . . I criticized the main views upheld by my predecessors,

emphasizing the weakness of evolutionistic constructions and the difficulty of arranging the senses of ancient Vedic terms of outstanding importance, like bráhman, in such a manner that a definite historical development may be read off from the very arrangement" (1962: 267-268, cf. 1950: 4). Thus we are left with a compendium of comprehensive citations without any historical framework in which to understand one in relation to another.

    The strengths and weaknesses of these studies have been carefully considered in designing the content and method of this dissertation. There were a multitude of terms that were variously employed in the early discussions of individual presence and existence. It is also apparent that this term pool 'shrank' with the passage of time--or coalesced into the more prevalent aatmán, bráhman, púruSa, and, to a lesser or different extent, jiivá and praaNá groups. Beyond this, we have no systematic map of the pool of terms related to the self, no accurate or even vaguely specific understanding of historical development, and no analysis of the terms in context--apart from later doctrinal or thematic assumptions.

    Thus we are left with three issues to be resolved in the methodology as suggested by the studies listed above. First, the pool of terms chosen for study must reflect as broadly as possible the range of expressions related to individual existence and awareness in the early texts. This overcomes the problem of ignoring complex changes in the vocabulary and reduction of the findings to a single doctrine due to a myopic focus on a single word. Second, the terminology chosen for analysis must first be studied synchronically within the immediate semantic field of each occurrence. This prevents the interpretation of later developments (such as discussions in the UpaniSads or schools of Vedaanta) of the word--and the passages in which it is found--from influencing the analysis. Finally, the results of the synchronic analysis must be considered diachronically according to the historical development of the various texts. This creates an empirical, historical, and objective--rather than doctrinal--tool for comparing one occasion with another. In this way the results of the study are systematized along temporal rather than philosophical or doctrinal lines.

Methodological Challenges


    The first methodological challenge is the need to focus upon more than one or even a few words. Otherwise the study cannot adequately reflect the full context of expressions used with regard to individual presence in early and later Vedic literature. In place of continuing the ineffective

diachronic analyses of a single term--with or without the hindsight of a later philosophy or darshana--it is necessary to encompass the largest feasible body of words related to the self across the earliest texts and emerging literary genres of the Vedic period. As mentioned above, the primary pool of words chosen is ásu, aatmán, aayú, krátu, tanuú, tmán, púruSa, praaNá, and bráhman. I have added several observations about ahám and svayám to this primary base of words. To these are added a secondary tier of related conceptual term pools: those related to processes of thought derived from the roots, -man, -cit, -budh, and -dhii; and those related to physical or corporeal existence kraví, gaátra, déha, ruupá, and sháriira, largely in comparison with tanuú that later comes to refer to corporeal presence. To avoid the imposition of external or historically posterior perspectives, these terms under study--key words--must be examined within each context--semantic field--in which they occur.

    Secondly, there must be a timeline along which to organize the otherwise synchronous results of the analysis of key words and semantic fields. Recent studies have clarified the last 120 years of scholarship concerning the relative sequence of composition within Vedic texts whose contents until now have been treated homogeneously. These are addressed in detail in Chapter 3. As the fundamental "control" for this research, it has been attended to at length. Tracing the developing pool of terms related to the self in Vedic times requires a clear line of historical sequence in the development of the texts themselves. As mentioned above, for instance, periods of early and later composition in the RV have been known for over a century, but have only recently been consciously applied in Vedic Scholarship (e.g., Witzel, 1995a; cf. Chapter 3).


    This necessarily generates the third methodological problem, that of feasibility, a problem that has made studies of this kind quite cumbersome. Even if one were to study the full group of terms, doing so across the multiple layers of order in which a text like the Rg Veda was composed is a daunting prospect. This becomes even more problematic if several texts are under scrutiny across a wider period. Thus it has been necessary to use the technological assistance of electronic texts and hypertext links (HTML) between words to facilitate a working model of the available record of historical development for all eighteen terms for the RV and the ShB. For other texts not yet in electronic form, the VaidikapadaanukramakoSaH provides a ready resource of citations.

    Each of these three methodological problems have been addressed in

the design and implementation of this dissertation. The methodology combines the latest historical and linguistic evidence with regard to the sequential development of each text with a systematic analysis of the key terms under study and those that are commonly associated with them. The function of this methodology for addressing each will be discussed in turn with working HTML examples where appropriate.

Terminology Related to the Self and its Analysis

    Both the model and the terminology--"semantic fields" and "key words"--for the synchronic portion of the methodology are drawn from the work of Jan Gonda. Gonda, in a discussion of methodology suggests the need for addressing

. . . the distance in time, space, and cultural environment between Vedic mankind and the most modern specialists; the incompleteness of our sources; the reinterpretations suggested by the traditional views of the Indians; the prejudices and limitations of modern scholarship itself, which has often been guided by the tenets of contemporaneous philosophy, by the religious conviction of the research workers, or by the political systems of their own countries (1962: 244).

He affirms the importance of terminological studies because "our knowledge of, and insight into, Vedic religion largely depend on a correct understanding of a considerable number of Indian words and phrases" (1962: 243). To effect this "correct understanding," Gonda prescribes not only thorough philological and historical knowledge of the contexts and situations in which key terms under study occur, coupled with an understanding of the phenomenology of religion, but also "a readiness systematically to investigate the 'semantic fields' to which the term belongs and the cultural system to which it is related" (1962: 246).

    Nearly twenty years later, Gonda again reiterated the specific limitation of traditional lexical works (e.g., Graßmann) in which the same Western word is often applied as the first meaning to two otherwise different words, such as medhaa and maniiSaa both rendered as "wisdom" in the sense of "sound judgment" (1980-81: 3) In a further statement of his "semantic field" methodology, he suggests:

Instead of pursuing largely atomistic and often pseudo-historical methods we had better realize that in a given period and milieu words are used in synchronous systems as networks held together by differences, oppositions and distinctive values; that groups of words constitute 'lexical or semantic fields' intermediate between the individual words on

the one hand and the whole vocabulary of a given period and milieu on the other; that within such a 'field' the semantic areas of the individual units reciprocally limit one another. That is to say, we should first and foremost study the meaning of words synchronistically, regarding them as forming aggregations or associations of units between which there exist relations and connexions [sic] and attempt to understand these connexions, that is, the differences in use and meaning of the separate units, as well as the extent to which they are semi-synonymous, that is interchangeable (1980-81: 5-6).

Here, and in the article previously cited, Gonda owes much of his terminology to S. Ullman, whose work on semantics examines the historical development of semantic analysis considering the problems of cross-cultural and cross-linguistic studies. Ullman suggests such a synchronic approach to counter-balance the genetic and other fallacies inherent in diachronic studies (1951: 151f.) such as those listed above involving the influence of hindsight or later philosophical/doctrinal developments.

    In "Some notes on the translation of Indian religious terminology," Gonda cites how Vedic aMshu, which literally means "filament" or "filament of the Soma," is sometimes used by way of metonymy to mean the soma-juice. Little insight into Vedic thought or Weltanschauung is gained, he asserts, by simply labeling one instance of aMshu or another a case of metonymy. The question is "what made the Vedic poets use this word in what would appear to us to be 'two senses'" (1962: 247). In the present work, comparison between semantic fields, where the key word remains identical, will be used in conjunction with contextual analysis of the ritual, its component elements, the myth illustrated (if any), and related passages in other texts to illuminate the developing connections of concepts associated with a key word.

    Gonda's apparent unwillingness to take into account the historical developments when he deals with texts from widely differing temporal genres produces problems almost as large as those he seeks to overcome. His inattention to historical development proves counter-productive to the very aims he has set forth. As noted earlier, availability of additional manuscripts of previously unknown texts has enabled recent studies to have established a more precise sequence of development than--perhaps--was clear when Gonda articulated his method. However, Oldenberg's work was

done as early as 1888 and must surely have been known to Gonda. It is possible, however, that Gonda's unwillingness to reduce complex terminology to a singular "original" meaning might have accounted for his avoidance of chronological sequence in most of his work. The issue as to why other scholars have also remained unaware of this information is not clear.23

    Thus, in the analysis of AAA 2.6.1, Gonda makes no effort to distinguish the possible doctrinal and historical differences between the many texts used to explain the passage, and draws from the Rg Veda, Atharva Veda, Shatapatha BraahmaNa, and various UpaniSads indiscriminately as to their relative sequence or genre differences. Working in this way, Gonda blurs important historical developments by failing to consider the Vedas' own internal linguistic record of change and sequence. Perhaps Vedic kaala did develop along cyclical lines, but that did not eradicate the awareness among R'Si's of relative sequence and its function for identifying particular phases of doctrine or practice. However much a monolith the Veda might well have been considered, for the historian of religions this does not obviate the necessary distinctions of shaakhaa, relative chronology, and genre within it. This limitation in Gonda's work has not gone unnoticed by other scholars reviewing his research such as Stanley Insler (1993: 596-597), Richard W. Lariviere (1987: 837), and Joel Brereton (1988: 336-337; 1990: 369-370).

Timeline of Vedic Development


    It is important to maintain historical perspective for categorizing and systematizing data without also interpreting the chronological sequence as a causative factor in the development of the terminology for the self. Without this proviso the same errors as in the studies above, arising from hindsight, will be perpetuated and reiterated. It becomes too easy to review a text with later developments in mind. Instead, understanding that a given text has different chronological periods in its development gives diachronic structure and distinguishes difference in time within one genre when combined with detailed synchronic analysis. Synchronic analysis alone, however, can provide only a limited perspective on the concept under study. Gonda, who otherwise questions and even disregards historical categories in his research, notes that, "A thorough understanding of the literary peculiarity and significance of the Veda will however require supplementation by historical methods (1975: 59)."

    As has been apparent throughout the preceding discussion, applications of historical methodology can easily fall prey to a tendency to use history not as a perspective of inquiry, but as an axiomatic datum of explanation. Reading Vedic development of ideas with an assumed telos of historical causality was evident in the discussion of prior studies. To the credit of these authors, the refinement in scholarship as to the date and relative chronology of Vedic literature--even within a single text--has been a recent development. Implementation of this recent research forms the fundamental organizational premise of the current study.

    The idea that there is a sequence of broad text genres is hardly new to Indology. In point of fact, the idea that internal sections of a single text, or portion of a text, can each represent distinct ideological or historical phases of composition is not at all new. Besides the work of Keith (1909, 1914, 1920), Bergaigne (1878), Oldenberg (1888), and others on the internal chronology of the texts they either edited or studied, W. Norman Brown (1968) has offered an analysis and translation of RV 1.164 that seeks to understand its contents by identifying segments as separate additions, or periods of independent composition. He suggested viewing the contents of the hymn as consisting of independent units representing various periods. More representative of systematic study that yields earlier and later segments within the same text was the work of R.C. Hazra on the PuraaNa's (1975). In order to explain the variations in content and style within a single PuraaNa he suggests that it represents a composition of several periods, often separated by centuries.

    Careful consideration of known historical periods of composition provide a fundamental framework in which to place analysis. However, history cannot, at the same time, be the rule for interpreting the data without begging the question under study. The sheer volume of material written about the Vedic period necessitates this distinction in the methodology for this study. The material of the last century of scholarship concerning the chronology of the various segments of Vedic literature is provided in Chapter 3. As the specific dates for each text and segment still remain in much dispute, the more readily acceptable data of sequence will receive greater emphasis. To date, the most concise summary of all the relevant materials is that of Witzel and it is upon his conclusions, therefore, that the present study frequently bases its timeline.

    Witzel has used comparative analysis of Vedic linguistic phenomena to posit movements and change in three major Vedic population centers:

KurukSetra, Pañcaala, and Kosala-Videha (1989, also 1997). This careful linguistic work has opened the door to the reality of competing ideas, grammars, and their peoples (cf. Kenoyer, 1991: 332). He cautions on several occasions as to the importance of considering the literature within an accurate historical framework. Based upon the linguistic evidence, the relative chronology for the RV can be more precisely divided into groups of hymns comprising general periods as well as specific hymns that are later additions (1995b: 309).

    There are distinct strata of composition periods that correspond with linguistic and stylistic features. Witzel, following Mylius (1970: 423, also Narten, 1968: 115, n. 13), distinguishes between three broad layers of texts: Early Vedic (the RV), Middle (YV, BraahmaNas, and UpaniSads) and Late Vedic (suutras) (1995a: 97). In a more detailed chronological subdivision of the Vedic literature, he places the Rgveda alone as the sole text in the oldest category, Early Vedic. Next comes Mantra language, that of the AV, SV, and YV; followed by SaMhitaa-prose that is distinct from the prose of the previous category, distinguished in its content as expository, BraahamaNa-style discussions, in the MS, KS, KpS, and TS. BraahamaNa-prose includes two divisions of earlier and later: the older UpaniSads--BAAU, ChU, JUB, late BraahmaNa's, (GB), and the earliest of the Shrauta Suutras form this group. Finally in "Suura Language," the balance of the ShS and the GRhya Suutras, as well as UpaniSads of later origin like KaTha, Maitri, and Prashna UpaniSads are found. Only after this period do we find the clear emergence of PaaNini's local bhaaSa, Epic speech, and Classical Sanskrit. This will be of use below as Witzel notes that these three later forms are linked with the ShB and the AB (1995a: 96-97).

    I have found that the study of semantic changes can add a corollary to this kind of linguistic research. For instance, an hypothesis as to the later date of RV 3--later than all the Family Books--has been correlated by the distinct changes I have demonstrated in the uses of tanuú (see, for instance, summary in Chapter 3). As will be seen below, the HTML database differentiates each section of the RV as well as the relative chronological placement of the ShB, to be correlated with texts from later periods. Changes along that timeline in the vocabulary for the self can then be assessed and drawn upon to further refine and explore the religious developments of the period. This is made possible, in turn, by the wealth of stylistic analysis of the Vedic period as in the work of Elizarenkova (1995: 107), Gonda (1962: 243), and Renou (1938: 153ff.). who have pioneered exploration of the principles for linguistic analysis for the understanding of Early Vedic religion. With the exception of Renou, however, these authors have, at times, overlooked the historical develop

ment within one particular text (RV) and generalized across the entire text as though its content and composition represent a single period and perspective.24

    It is important to balance the variety of datalinguistic, historical, and philosophicalin such a way as to shed light on the actual conceptions of the self as presented in the Vedic terminology. Wilhelm Halbfass, in Tradition and Reflection, observes "In some central instances, the resolution of technical problems, and the attention to minute philological details, are indispensable in order to approach the broader issues. Philology and philosophical reflection cannot be separated in such cases" (1992: viii). In his recent study, On Being and What There Is: Classical VaisheSika and the History of Indian Ontology, Halbfass emphasizes the importance of linguistic analysis for the understanding of key concepts (in this case, "being"), citing John Stuart Mill, the Sinologist Arthur C. Graham, Willem Dilthey, and W. V. Quine among others (1992: 9ff). Quine, for instance, echoes Gonda's semantic field methodology calling for analysis of a semantic framework which discusses concepts such as being and existential participation (1961: 1f.).

    Thus, in this dissertation, the careful synchronic analysis of each key word in its semantic field, including lexical and linguistic considerations, will be placed according to the relative chronology of the Vedic corpus. This means not only attending to which text came before which, but which segment within each text precedes or follows another--either within or between texts. This is afforded by mapping data from the texts, by means of line-by-line analysis of the terminology in electronic format, with Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML).

History of the Texts and Making the Links


    The combined impact of the issues and problems listed above has likely proven to be the primary reason why the current study will be the first of its kind. Additionally, of course, the advent of electronic text (e-text) manuscripts of primary sources, the World Wide Web (WWW), Hyptertext Mark-up Language (HTML), and the PowerPC are assisting in the resolution of many of these obstacles. In the present study, the results of historical analysis of internal and external evidence for establishing chronological date and sequence for Vedic literature, coupled with linguistic analysis of the relevant passages, will provide both the innovation and organization necessary for a detailed assessment of the Vedic conceptions of the self. These conceptions, derived

from semantic and syntactic analysis of the usage of key words related to individual existence, will provide a framework for sociological investigation of the changing currents of Vedic culture.

    The use of technology cannot replace detailed analysis. A "search and find" mechanism with an e-text--even if there were one that worked with the complexity of the Vedic alphabet and accent--cannot reliably identify the many possible variations in nominal declension or compounds, to say nothing of the intricacies of verbal inflection. Accordingly, nothing can replace the time-honored approach of detailed, line-by-line reading and identification of terms for study and analysis. The real problem comes when trying to extract and synthesize this data. A scholar is faced with cumbersome stacks of volumes that are hard to manage when the study embraces thousands of citations that are, themselves, a-synchronous as to the order of the pages in a text versus the historical sequence of composition within the text. It becomes logistically impossible to adhere to the actual historical development within a text.

    Indological lore tells the tale of Jan Gonda's study wherein one whole wall was filled with small boxes. As his scrutiny of a text yielded instances of one word or another, he would make an index card with appropriate notes, and place it in a box labeled with that word or concept. When a box was filled, he took the notes and wrote a book or article. Historical sequence is not easily facilitated by this method, as noted repeatedly above. With electronic texts, the boxes are replaced by historically sequenced HTML links. As new topics are considered, the original links can be instantaneously followed and annotated or augmented to take this new term or concept into consideration. The re-examination will still follow historical progression for the texts. With the analogue, or "paper" method, each note and box's collection represents a clutter of notes that must be re-sorted, a range of texts that must be re-assembled and examined, and a database which only has meaning--and to which access is effectively limited--for one scholar. It is idiosyncratic rather than empirical and systematic.

    For instance the RV, which has several periods of composition that are not reflected in its composite arrangement, makes detailed study of any concept or term--let alone several as in the present study--altogether impossible or prohibitively time-consuming. Not only would one have to read and make notes from the text, but this collection of notes would then have to be sequenced according to historical timelines, then be physically

accessed from volume-to-volume and note-to-note. This procedure is time-consuming for a scholar to manage and does not facilitate the ease of access needed for the scholar to have an adequate perspective to analyze the large quantity of data identified. The paucity of studies similar to this dissertation that consider even two words over a moderately broad historical range of materials is mute testimony to these logistical problems.

    The technology of electronic texts and HTML is not some convenient shortcut, it isas technological innovations have always beena tool with which new questions can be addressed for the first time. The most traditional research procedures were still employed at each step: line-by-line reading of the text, comparison between related genres, implementation of systematic criteria of synchronic linguistic and philological analysis, and carefully marking of these steps so each point of the process can be retraced for diachronic analysis. What is important about the way this dissertation employs the technology is not only its unique presence in the world-wide revolution of information access that the Internet and HTML represents. Instead, it is the first time that the traditional, proven methodologies of historical inquiry, linguistic and philological analysis, and primary source research are woven together in a systematic framework that is instantaneously accessible to any scholar with a computer and telephone anywhere in the world. The speed and precision of HTML links enable the research to be empirically verified and built upon systematically.

    The arrival of hyptertext and e-text databases simplifies large-scale studies, and offers a convenient, efficient, and rapid means of accessing the data such as that chosen for study. It can be cross-linked with related terms being studied within one text or throughout several. The concept, at least in a technological sense, originated in 1945, with the article "As We May Think," by Vannevar Bush. Bush was hypothesizing a "memex" as a solution to the "growing mountain of research," confronting and even overwhelming scholars. The memex would be a "sort of mechanized private file and library" (1945: 102). Its function would be to store, link and retrieve information. Espen J. Aarseth remarks, "His user is clearly modeled on the traditional academic author, who can carry out his critical comparisons and annotations of sources with the same serene distance as before, only much more efficiently" (1994: 68). The word "hypertext" was not coined until 1965.

    The title of Bush's article is somewhat ironic in connection with the creation in this dissertation of a "memex" for Vedic data. While "As We

May Think" is considered the "modern" origin of the concept (1994: 68), I would argue that--in Vedic terms--the title could well be "As They Did Think." Certainly it is a model of how modern thought is being conceived in the physical and neurological sciences. Theories of associative thinking and memory are common. In the present study, I am suggesting that this is not only a modern but a human phenomenon, and that this emulates how the Vedic R'Si constructed images of the universe and human presence within it. The development of the canon, and its existence and transmission in the form of an oral tradition, provide a dynamic database to the ya evam veda/"one who knows" from which a multitude of thematic, metrical, and semantic links could be drawn for ritual and meditative purposes. There are instances of this in which the BraahmaNas directly quote the RV as an invocation in a ritual, or the justification of mantra choice according to the content of a ritual or significance of a given word, and--especially as evidencing "developmental" thought--the brahmodya. At any given moment, the R'Sis had at their mental disposal an intricately interlinked database in their mind from which they could draw in expounding on a topic. With computer technology, I have built an electronic model of that canon to systematically and comprehensively trace developments within it.

    This is also consistent with the manner in which the mantras became composed according to the analysis of Elizarenkova. She describes the importance of multivalence in vocabulary, particularly in the form of polysemy. The R'Sis would correlate their semantic choices on multiple levels, most frequently with the myth and ritual, in a context of stylistic play (1995: 285). Gonda notes in Vedic Literature: SaMhitaas and BraahmaNa's (1975: 65f.) that the R'Sis would take their revelation and transpose it into a verbal form marked and shaped by tradition and the canon as it was handed down and stored in memory from previous times. Elizarenkova expands upon this "handed down" criteria, characterizing it as a palette that includes syntax, metrics, sound, vocabulary, and morphological hues that can be woven and reworked according to the demands of expression for a given revelation. This database of stylistic elements was selectively drawn upon in the dynamic utterance of the mantras and later in the chosen tapestries of their repetitions in sacrificial or meditative contexts.

    In the research for this dissertation, I have constructed and employed a "cyber R'Si " of sorts. While the hybrid term may be novel, the reality is valid: the hard drive on the computer or WWW server has memorized the

shruti, and I draw upon this database to examine or explain a topic as would a R'Si in active thought (e.g., brahmodya or yajña recitation), through the HTML coding programmed into the e-text. In this case I have tried to create something akin to the Yaajñavalkya of BAAU 4 with regard to the self in Vedic and pre-UpaniSadic literature. However, as this study is an analysis of diachronic change in the terminological palette from which images of individuality were drawn in Vedic times, I have imposed a strict linear timeline of links upon this virtual Yaajñavalkya. As in the case of the RV, the order of the text as canonically transmitted and its actual historical sequence of composition differ greatly. There are a multitude of non-sequential segments--that is, for presentation in conventional analogue form. Thus, in reading and mapping with HTML the terminology related to the self in the RV I have linked each term according to the temporal--rather than textual--sequence of the passage. The RV is also cross-linked with the ShB.25 I also use the VaidikapadaanukramakoSaH for terms either not included in the primary database, or for those texts not currently in electronic form.

    It is ironic that the most fundamental, enabling element of this study--the HTML database (if you can imagine, in spite of the forward-thinking members of my committee and the Graduate College, my actual defense was a vestige of days arguably soon to pass: the technology did not even get mentioned, not once)--is found nowhere in the hardcopy pages for which it served as the resource. Here, in this electronic edition, however, the reader can access this text according to his/her interests--I have linked this dissertation intricately, freeing the reader from the constraints of my own chosen narrative sequence for recounting the investigation. Even more valuable is the inclusion of the entire databased, linked as needed throughout the study so that the reader can investigate passages and contexts for themselves, with the ease of a mouse click, without having to track down volumes, flip through pages, re-collate for historical sequence, placemark for cross-referencing, and so forth. All this is immediately available at any time throughout the study using either the JavaScript menu above in the control panel, or the links herein.


    The reader who has not used a resource like it cannot imagine what it is like to sit writing in the wee hours and find a word in a particular verse and be able to see--in less than 20 minutes (I have made an animation which, while large, shows how the RV-ShB web network lets me enter the world of the texts)--if that word occurs with the other hundreds of occasions where a related term occurs. The animation in the link here is continued below, viz. a discovery about how word use can reveal specific points of relative chronology as, for instance, between RV 10.27 and 10.34 (The Gambler Hymn). When I was working with bráhman, I wanted to know how many times words for speaking or utterance--verbs like -vac, -stu, and -gaa--were used with it. Bráhman occurs over 160 times in the early RV Family Books--MaNDala's 2-7--alone. Asking such a question with conventional research tools would require using the VaidikapadaanukramakoSaH (which may or may not be in the library--as at the University of Iowa--and costs over $200 for the early texts alone) for all occasions of bráhman, then all occasions of each root, cross-referencing each, then examining each passage to see if the verb form in any way modifies or acts upon bráhman. Once those occasions are listed, they must be put in historical order. With electronic resources, once I had mapped each occasion of bráhman, I can ask as many questions about the words used with it as I wish. Every time I do so, the results will always be pre-formatted in historical order--since this is how I mapped them--as well. Because I have linked the ShB to the RV, I can also check if any occasions where the RV mantra's are used in the ShB offer a different perspective. In

each case I am only investing about 1/2 hour to perform the inquiry. Computer technology is not some curious frill for adding flash and trendiness to scholarship. It opens the door to a multitude of questions that enable comprehensive study on a scale not possible before. The systematic and meticulous use of the conventional methodologies described above when ascertaining the answers maintains the quality of the academy amid the quantity of answered questions.




    The primary components for the synchronic analysis of the terminology related to the self are the linguistic elements that comprise the semantic field in each occasion of the key words, as well as the key words themselves. For this chapter, the objective is the presentation of the synchronic resources that are applied in the study--the terms--and the tools for their analysis. I begin with a semantic analysis of each term--where possible--according to the early commentary on the Rg Veda represented in Yaaska's Nirukta followed by a summary of the relevant research relating to the word over the past two centuries. After introducing the terms and their arrangement for the inquiry (e.g., terms related to mental processes form one group, those representing the body form another, etc.), the linguistic tools of analysis are introduced with brief examples of how each figures in the study of a given passage.

    While Vedic studies are enjoying a rebirth--or, at least, a reinvigoration--from the careful analysis of scholars such as Tatyana Elizarenkova (1995), Madhav Deshpande (1995), Michael Witzel (1989, 1995a; 1995b; 1997), and others, it is important to bring the sharp edge of analysis that their work has provided to bear upon major thematic issues that have been taken for granted in recent centuries such as the notion of the self. Some of the most exciting ground Elizarenkova, et al., have covered lies in the application of philological, phonetic, and linguistic analysis to questions of historical, geographical, and ethnographic import. Studies such as Witzel's "Vedic Dialects" is a good example of "an investigation of language in its relation to those who use it," which--in Vedic terms--amounts to the study of "speech acts and the contexts wherein they're realized" (Elizarenkova, 1995: 9). The "contexts where [the terminology for the self] is realized" forms a major component of the history of religion in Vedic India. Paul Mus26 has even exulted that the doctrine of the self is the seminal development in India comprising its "dharma in its multifarious [religious, social, and political] senses" (1959: 75).

    In less expansive and, perhaps, less overinclusive terms, I have defined the self as an identifiable (you can refer to it) assemblage of characteristics (there can be mental, physical, sensory, etc. components) occupy

ing space and time (it is "somewhere"--abstractly as an essence or physically as located in space--such that it can be refered to). This enables the many characteristics of Vedic religion--the relationship of the self to the world, the right action and sacrifice to maintain this relationship, and cosmogonic origins of the universe as exemplified in the components of the ritual self in Middle Vedic--to be assessed along a consistent line of inquiry which is also followed by the native commentaries: the notion of self.

    In The Language and Style of the Vedic RSis, Elizarenkova has addressed the nature of the connection between the Vedic ritual and the language employed both in its performance and its prescription (1995: 7). She concentrates, in a fashion similar to the analysis of semantic fields discussed in Chapter One, upon word-groups that represent a notion and, accordingly, are the basic unit of the language according to the fixed position each word occupies in the group (1995: 4). As she describes it, factors including caesura, meter, accent, phonetic marking, and choice of vocabulary all figure into this palette of possible expressive decisions by the R'Si. In turn, the linguistic detail found in Witzel's "Vedic Dialects"--the results of which are discussed in some detail in Chapter Three--addresses a different set of questions: that of the linguistic and ethnographic/geographic change represented in carefully defined subdivisions of each Vedic text.

    In the first portion of this chapter, a detailed summary of the available data--ancient and modern--with respect to the terminology under examination is the starting point for the study of each term in context. This synchronic material provides the working understanding for each term that, if well chosen, allows for consistent translation across the range of uses so that the change in how each word is used e.g., the increasingly corporeal significations of tanuú--can be illuminated without reliance upon semantic sleight of hand when rendering the key word from one passage to the next. In addition, an introduction of some statistical data on how the use of each word changes from text to text is offered by way of introduction to the kinds and periods of change that are presented in detail throughout Chapters 4-6.

    In the second portion of this chapter, the criteria of polysemy or synonymy for assessing the vocabulary used for the self or in relation to it, in addition to the intermittent influence of phonetic stylistics and linguistic change upon the composition of Early and Middle Vedic will be outlined as categories of analysis. In the subsequent chapters, the results of this level

of synchronic examination will be filtered, where possible, through the matrix of linguistic categories of dialect and geographical variance over time as outlined by Witzel. This filtering provides much of the criteria for assessing the synchronic analysis against the diachronic sequence of development within and between the texts.

     Terminology: "The State of the Art" for Early and Middle Vedic


    The primary terminology for this study has, for the most part, been quite frequently discussed throughout the history of Indological scholarship. However, a major achievement of this dissertation is the illumination of the words related to the self beginning with the Early Vedic attestations--in the RV--of each word, instead of seeking (or striving to justify) the subsequent meanings with which each word became associated in later literature and during the last 250 years of Indology. It has been one of the most intractable challenges in my research to look consistently at each occurrence of each term in the relative isolation of its temporal period--e.g., earliest books of RV, etc.--without resorting to scholarship based on later literature--or the later Vedic texts themselves--to resolve an impasse (and there were many such impasses as the rhetoric surrounding the terminology of the self is quite frequently confounding in its obscurity).

    So the current task, the presentation of a working definition or understanding of each term according only to research done on the Early Vedic materials, is a difficult project in any case. As the summary of scholarship in the first chapter indicates, some terms remain either unexamined--as, for instance, tanuú and tmán--or examined only through the lense of preconceived perspectives--such as aatmán from the perspective of Vedaanta. The project of this study is not absolute definitions--if such were even possible--but examination of the changes that can be identified in each word from its earliest identifiable uses up to the period of Vedic religion that is more commonly studied: the BraahmaNas, AAraNyakas, and UpaniSads. Still, some starting point for each word is needed, a working understanding or functional definition, by which the early occurrences can be understood and to which the later occurrences can be compared. Brian Smith has noted that the initial assessment or "definition" of a term is "a tentative classification of a phenomenon that allows us to begin an analysis of the phenomenon so defined" (1989: 5).27

    As the research progressed, my choice of terminology was confirmed

in the secondary studies I consulted.28 However, other than Narahari, Sahota, and Reat, most studies emphasized aatmán, púruSa and bráhman; and few other than Reat and Sahota address tanuú and tmán. The multitude of terms clearly reflected different meanings (cf. even Reat's study that relies solely upon secondary literature, primarily Muir, 1872), such that a case for synonymy would be futile and, to some extent, repetitive of past errors.

    After consulting various theoretical studies (Deussen, Sharma, Narahari), I decided not to base my research upon the approach demonstrated in the extensive history of studies of the 'Vedic self' which address the issue 'from the outside.' By this I mean that it is redundant to initiate a search for the "soul" in Indian thought, or diagram a singular conception of the self that molds together all the disparate terminology into a homogeneous notion. I have categorized the terminology of the present study as "related to the self," but it is not reasonable to suggest that 3500 years and several continents' removal can provide a theory of self, soul or otherwise in India as has been attempted--unsuccessfully--often before.

    Bodewitz (1991) has provided an excellent summary of additional early efforts to categorize the terminology related to the self under one central doctrine or development, tracing them as far back as E. B. Tylor's in 1871 Primitive Culture. Scholars have tried to patch together a multipart "soul" out of the variety of terminology producing theories such as a free-from-the-body-soul/púruSa which is complimented by several body-souls: a breath-soul/praaNá, another breath-soul/aatmán, a life-soul/ásu, and an ego-consciousness soul/mánas (Arbman, 1926-1927). Bodewitz notes that Tuxen (1919) denied a unitary soul idea in the Rg Veda in an article that failed to have widespread influence as it was available only in Danish and therefore was not widely consulted outside Scandinavia (1991: 38). Other scholars have sought to show a development of a singular self through the successive adoption and discarding of different terms: a physical-impersonal vital power/ásu and a spiritual principle/mánas to which was added a breath-soul/praaNá, and this breath-soul was in turn replaced by aatmán (Horsch, 1971: 113). In fact, these words do not find hardly any use in the Family Books, and a careful analysis of their use in the Later RV indicates how truly erroneous these studies, inattentive to internal text chronology, can be. The words have very distinct meanings in the RV.

    Apart from systematically refuting the various meanings assigned to the terms in these theories (to which the present study assents and attests in further detail in Chapters 4-6), Bodewitz suggests the following principles of inquiry. First, in response to Tuxen, Bodewitz agrees, but notes that while a unitary soul concept may well be missing, it "does not exclude a

pluralism of soul-concepts" (1991: 38). Second, in response to the range of efforts to address the terminology from a single-soul or consecutive-doctrine-of-soul perspective, he surmises: In my opinion we should not start from the hypothetical construction of developments and replacements. Rather we should emphasize the cultural diversity of the texts and contexts in which these terms occur (1991: 40). The conclusions reached by Bodewitz outline the two fundamental principles guiding the application of both the synchronic and diachronic elements of the methodology in this study. As will be demonstrated in the following chapters, and appears even in the few examples below, the variations in the terminology applied to discussions of the self are often best accounted for as representations of a plurality of conceptions of individual existence. Therefore this study will proceed to assess each term first independently of the other terms chosen for study (i.e., synchronically) and secondly in comparison with other occurrences of the same term followed by its occurrences with other related terms (i.e., diachronically). I have proceeded in this section to begin--where possible--with Yaaska's comments on each word in the primary group, followed by a survey of major lexicons, and finally with the results of recent scholarship that pertain to Early Vedic. In addition, there are two sections added to the discussion of Primary Terminology which address ahám and sváyam.

Primary Terminology: aatmán, tanuú, tmán, púruSa, and bráhman




    There are only two attestations of aatmán in the earliest portions of the RV, both in the 7th MaNDala. In the native lexicon, Amarakosha 3.3.110, many of the later ideas of the self as designated by aatmán and reflected in the meditative traditions of Vedaanta are apparent in the following synonyms: dhRti- resolution, support, will, command; búddhi intelligence, reason, discernment; yátna- from -yat/to place in order or join, with this derivation meaning will or volition; várSma- form or body; svabhaáva- own being; and bráhman. That bráhman is included as a synonym reflects the strong influence of the later UpaniSadic and Vedaanta thought upon the meaning of aatmán which, in turn, has marked much of the scholarship with regard to the self in the Vedas.

This was not its original sense in Early or Middle Vedic, however.

    AAtmán is addressed carefully by Yaaska several times. In a common appositional statement (athaadhyaatman "now with regard to the

aatmán"), aatmán is presented in contradistinction to discussion of deities (after ityadhidaivatam: "thus with regard to the deities"). Yaaska inserts this transition after his discussion of RV 1.164.2129 an esoteric reference to the myth of two birds and use of it to explain the divine origin of human wisdom. In the next section he gives a conspectus of synonyms such as those for great/mahaán, truth/sátya, etc. (N 1.13). Just before, the etymology of aatmán as derived from -at/to go or go constantly; or -aap/to reach or obtain (N 3.15 aatmaatatervaa | aaptervaa | api vaapta vi syaat ), however, he includes an exposition on simile's, using the image of the higher/known and the inferior/unknown as an example of a means to explain the former in the pair.

    This mantra with aatmán is from the late hymn to healing herbs in RV 10.97.11c-d (aatmaá yákSmasya nashyati puraá jiivag'Rbho yathaa). Yaaska introduces this discussion with a note stating that particles have been explained and that he is turning to address yathaa which means "a comparison or simile of action"/karmopamaa. The three hymns quoted--RV 5.78.8, 1.50.3, and 10.97.11 (each of which are cited elsewhere in the Vedas except 5.78.8)--each contain yathaa in a simile where different actions are likened to one another: the ocean stirs like/yathaa the wind (5.78.8), Suurya's rays are like/yathaa the blaze of a flame (1.50.3), and the aatmán of a disease/aatmaá yákSmasya is called to depart before it captures a life (10.97.11). The etymology for aatmán--the only etymology in this section which treats yathaa--firmly establishes the meaning of the word as related to action. But Yaaska also adds that -aap is viable because the aatmán may be obtained or striven for. Thus aatmán can represent an active principle, worthy of aspiration. It is important to note, however that on some isolated occasions--not in the RV--it appears that aatmán has a reflexive meaning which underscores the self-referentiality of a passage. This characteristic of "sameness" reflects the range of caegories of "self" which are part of the Vedic discussions of an individual. Usually this is conveyed by sváyam (see below in the current chapter, also discussion of KS 14.6 in Chapter 6).

    The meaning we have for aatmán from the "earliest" non-Vedic commentary on the Vedas is already from a "late" hymn of the latest MaNDala (Lanman, 1880; Oldenberg, 1888; Witzel, 1995b, etc.). RV 10.97 is a later insertion into the collection, so also is 5.78.8, while 1.50 is perhaps the oldest of the citations (but is also later than MaNDala's 2-7, and later than much of RV 1 and 8). We are still presented with useful

information, as long as we do not ask more of the passage than it provides. Gonda has suggested that: ". . . very often a . . . popular etymology" may prove to be a source of welcome information of the important question about how either traditionally or in a definite period, the Indians themselves thought about the basic, central or "original" sense of a "key word" (1962: 271). It is significant that in this text which is substantially later than the RV (Yaaska quotes the BraahmaNa's frequently), in citations that represent hymns that are also late, aatmán still has a fairly pragmatic and not overly metaphysical signification: it is what is active or obtainable.

    This is fairly neat and tidy but for the point at which Yaaska began this exposition: ity adhidaivatam/"thus with regard to the deities;" athaadhyaatman/"now with regard to the aatmán." If we accept the observation of Gonda that the Vedic R'Si 's displayed "a tendency to view the deities preferably as functions . . . " (1992: 7), the aatmán as Yaaska applies the term suggests the primary attainment (cf. -aap) or activity (-at) which characterizes the deity or human to whom it refers. We can then suggest that ityadhidaivatam athaadhyaatman translates as "thus with regard to the deities, now as regards their primary function/action." It is easy to see how this meaning became abstracted as an essence or sense of intrinsic identity such that doctrines of the self would be based upon it. Already in Yaaska's use of the word in the ity adhidaivatam athaadhyaatman statements (N3.12, 10.26) he describes the aatmán as the guardian, lord, and convener of an individual's powers (iishvaraH sarveSaam indriyaaNaaM gopaayitaatmaa -- 3.12; paramash ca saMdarshayitendriyaaNaam -- 10.26). Then he describes notions of central unity or essence and associations with wisdom in 3.12 and beyond the powers of the seven R'Si 's in 10.26 (vipakvaprajña aatmaa | ity aatmagatim aacaSTe -- 3.12; ebhyaH para aatmaa | taany asminn ekaM bhavantiity aatmagatim aacaSTe -- 10.26). Also, in N 7.4 Yaaska is accounting for those passages where it is not clear which deity is praised. Suggesting that sometimes a single god is praised in terms of the variety of its manifestations/prakRti, Yaaska asserts that these manifestations are still born of the same action/kárma which is, in turn, the same essential function/aatmán (karmajanmaanaH | aatmajanmaanaH).

    This initial understanding of aatmán is consistent with passages in the early and later portions of the RV. In 7.101.6b, Parjanya, who enriches the crops with rain, would thus be the bearer of activity or motion for all things (tásminn aatmaá jágatas tasthúSash ca). The same semantic

field is found again in 1.115.1d, this time applied to Suurya whose rays are equally as essential as is Parjanya's moisture to ensure vitality and activity of life (suúrya aatmaá jágatas tasthuSash ca). These meanings are also consistent with the verbs from which Yaaska derives their meaning: -at (to go, go constantly [Monier-Williams, 1899: 12]; gehen, wandern),30 and continues with -aap (to reach, overtake, meet with [Monier-Williams, 1899: 142]; erreichen [Graßmann, 1964: 178; Mayrhofer, 1956: 74], erlangen, finden [Mylius, 1975: 64], einholen, stossen auf, antreffen [Böthlingk, 1959: 175]).

    When we turn to the various lexicons, the later signification of aatmán as it comes to be known in the UpaniSads is the predominant meaning. Böthlingk suggests "Hauch, Seele, das Selbst, die eigene Person, Wesen, Natur, Leib, Körper, Verstand, Intelligenz" (Böthlingk, 1959: 167; also Mayrhofer, re. Hauch, Seele, Selbst, 1956, I : 73); Mylius adds "weltseele" (1975: 63); Monier-Williams gives "the breath, the soul, principle of life and sensation, the individual soul, self, abstract person" (1899: 135); Apte (1988) follows Monier-Williams.


    Mayrhofer's discussion of aatmán latter in Etymologisches Worterbuch des Altindoarischen (1996) includes the consideration of its correlates with tmán ". . . stehen 'schwache' von tmán-) . . . (1996: 164). As noted below, tmán marks those occasions where a given trait is expressly identified as part of a deity's nature. This raises the interesting hypothesis that the correspondence between the appearances of púruSa, which is arguably "extra-Vedic" (see below), and the sudden frequency of aatmán indicates that the latter could have developed out of tmán in a competitive doctrinal response to the complexity of púruSa (e.g., RV 10.90). More importantly, the opinion that aatmán is somehow derived from "to breath" is finally discarded (1996: 165). As I note in Chapter 4, if it were not for the isolated occasion with vata in RV 7.87.2, there would be no case for it based upon the results below.

    Following my observation in Chapter 1, there are not many studies of aatmán as it occurs in the literature prior to the UpaniSads. Those that have been done approach the word from the perspective of its later significations. Bodewitz has attended to much of the terminology in this study in the article previously cited (1991) admonishing that aatmán must be considered in its relationship to praaNá.

The difference between these two concepts is that praaNá has a specific function in the body and as such has obtained the supremacy over other vital functions in the classifications of the

vital powers, whereas aatmán is unspecific. The praaNá became the microcosmic counterpart of the highest cosmic principle and thus prepared the way for the identification of aatmán and bráhman. Unlike praaNá and the sun the aatmán and the bráhman are not concrete (whatever may have been their etymological origin). The aatmán is just the self. As such it forms together with the bráhman the final result of the originally rather concrete micro-macrocosmic identifications in which it hardly participated in the beginning (1991: 48).

     It is clear, however, that Bodewitz is attending to these terms in their later incarnations. As I conclude this survey of recent scholarship on aatmán in any literature prior to the UpaniSads I am reminded again of why I began this study in the first place. There simply are too few text-critical studies of aatmán that deal with primary sources prior to the UpaniSads and that do not begin with an assumed meaning which arises in later literature.

    The following chapters begin with a working understanding of aatmán as the active, defining nature or function in a deity or human. However, as the study develops, it becomes clear that "self" is a philosophically and semantically viable translation. As we will see, aatmán displays the same reflexive use--ipse-identity--and the sense of selfhood--idem-identity--that we find in the English word. It is true that, as I mentioned in the introduction, the English word "self" has certain philosophical connotations--including a duality in the idea of self and "other"--which does not easily fit with the RV cosmos or the ultimate oneness of the later UpaniSads. In some cases I have found that "vital essence" was most descriptive, and that "identity" was best in others. "Vital essence" works well in those instances such as where the active aspect of wind is referred to as aatmán. Similarly, when complex substitutions and equivalencies are made in the ritual texts, the important connection preserved between the sacrificer and the elements of ritual is best described as "identity."

    Both vital essence and identity are mutually compatible as aspects of a self. But they are at times quite cumbersome in translation. On the other hand, it is not safe to assume that the reader will always see these nuances in the word "self." If we consider the self to be an identifiable assemblage of characteristics occupying space and time, the various applications of aatmán fit well with this definition. Still, it is sometimes necessary to preserve the more surgically precise translations of "identity" and "vital essence" for the sake of analysis and leave aesthetics aside.



     Elizarenkova discusses tanuú's root form, -tan, as one of a class of verbal roots that clearly have a bifurcated application depending on

whether it is the language of gods or of men that is found in a given passage (1995: 42-43). She notes that it was Renou who first outlined a dual aspect of Vedic language, suggesting the categories "propice"--where the gods thrive and the humans are under protection--and "peu propice"--where there are adverse forces affecting both (1939: 161f.). For Elizarenkova, the "language of men" is largely lost to us because, for her, it is the "every day colloquial speech" which is not part of the RV (1995: 80). Renou's first category--where gods thrive and humans are under protection--seems to include both of Elizarenkova's.

    The realm of "propice" as Renou refers to the language concerning the gods and their relations with humans applies specifically to the first observation we are considering for tanuú. There is one way in which it is used to refer to how the gods thrive and humans are to be protected and another way where tanuú refers to adversity that threatens human frailty. Renou's second category of "peu propice" does not apply to tanuú--or the other words for the self when applied to deities--in the RV and most of Middle Vedic.31 In the material of the RV and much of Middle Vedic, the tanuú of the gods does not need help, but their tanuú is called upon to respond to requests that a deity manifest a certain desirable characteristic--most frequently with Indra becoming strong as above, or manifestations beauty and ornamentation as with the Maruts, Ashvins, Agni, Vishve Devaas, USas, and several other singular occasions with other deities.32 In the discussion of tanuú I have adopted the terminology of Elizarenkova--language of gods or the divine, and the language of humans--to refer to the two categories of use for tanuú which fall within Renou's realm of "propice."


    Understanding the notion of self conveyed by tanuú begins first with the root from which it is derived. Elizarenkova suggests the application of -tan in the language of the gods is the realm in which light is extended (ÿ4.52.7a: aa dyaáM tanoSi rashmíbhir "Thou piercest the sky with rays"), and in the language of humans as sacrifice or prayer extended up to the level of the deities (7.29.3c-d: víshvaa matiír aá tatane tvaayaá- /ádhaa ma iindra shRNavo hávemaá "All the prayers I have extended to thee33 / So listen to these calls of mine, O Indra!, " [1995: 43]). This sense of the realm of humans reaching out to the realm of the gods is not uncommon for uses of -tan (5.13.4, 5.15.3, 5.47.6, 7.10.2). The sense of the root, "to spread" indicates that the nominal derivation, tanuú, designates a place of extension, or "presence" (Anwesenheit, sometimes Gestalt) in the

Vedic cosmos. "The spread" occupies space and time with different characteristics according to how it is used.

    Over two-thirds of the uses of tanuú throughout the RV refer to the divine realm in the context of a request that a deity show a particularly beneficent aspect to the worshipper or in the context of praise a particular aspect of a deity. For example, in 3.34.1c Indra is called to be strong in his tanuú with the assistance of bráhman (bráhmajuutas tanvaá vaavRdhanó) or the Ashvins praised for their beauteous presence in RV 7.72.1d (spaarháyaa shriyaá tanvaá shubhaanaá). When refering to humans, tanuú designates their presence as vulnerable and frail, subject to sin and disease such as in RV 1.189.6a where Agni is lauded to protect the humans (gRNaanó agne tanvé váruutham), or Indra is asked to provide his protection for humans in 2.21.6c (póSaM rayiiNaám áriSTiM tanuúnaam).


    Dual levels of reference for the same word is also a characteristic of Vedic according to the earliest non-Vedic commentary in the Nirukta (technically the BraahmaNas are commentaries on the SaMhitaas, UpaniSads commentate upon BraahmaNas and AAraNyakas). A distinction between higher and lower references for the same word is also valid semantic category for understanding a word according to Yaaska. It is interesting that the example upon which he demonstrates this concerns tanuú. Yaaska illustrates his point with the suggestion of -tan as a possible etymology for taskara/thief (jyaayasaa vaa guNena prakhyaatatamena vaa kaniiyaaMsaM vaaprakhyaataM vopamimiite | athaapi kaniiyasaa jyaayaaMsam). He also stresses the need to be attentive to the expressive use of higher and lower language in Nirukta 3.13-14 where he also addresses the uses of similes. The categories of higher/jyaayasá and lesser or inferior/kaaniiyasá language not only exist within the similes but also have a specific rhetorical character.

    An inferior entity or quality--the thief in Yaaska's example--can be used to illustrate an aspect of a higher entity:  the two arms that firmly churn forth the fire are like the firm grasp of thieves/táskara, or, if derived from -tan, because thieves are spread through a forest, or because the actions of thieves are spread through day and night. It is consistent with this early commentary to suggest that tanuú has a higher and lower sense. Durga's commentary specifies that this particular distinction applies only in the case of the RV (tad etac chandasy evadraSTavyam). I am broadly categorizing them as the divine and human levels of language according

to which realm is referred to in each attestation of a word. This category of synchronic analysis will apply primarily to tanuú as it is the only term with such pronounced differences in the notion of self which it signifies when referring to gods or humans.

    While the beauty, strength, and ornamentation references with tanuú are quite frequent, and also point to a certain physicality in space and time for tanuú, there are also the more abstract references of self-reflexive or sameness as well as multiple manifestations of tanuú attributed to some deities. As noted in the introduction, the idea of self implies a sameness (ipse-identity) and selfhood (idem-identity) which occurs also with tanuú. For instance, in RV 6.18.14d Indra is lauded for his tanuú--for his "same self" (noted also the sense of ownership and selfhood)--as he gives freedom/várivo to heaven/divé and the people/jánaaya both of which are oppressed/baadhitaáya (káro yátra várivo baadhitaáya divé jánaaya tanvé gRNaaháH).34

    Sometimes the self-sameness of a person or deity's tanuú is further underscored with the addition of svayám/itself as in 10.81.5d to Vishvakarman where the importance of his role as an officiating priest at a great primordial cosmic sacrifice is called forth again--cf. Vedic notion of time with past events called forth in the present to effect the future--in his cosmic role to insure his own strength as the sacrifice (cf. RV 7.56.11b with the Maruts). Thus the occasion requires that it be him--"he himself"--present at the sacrifice and as the sacrifice (. . . havíSi svadhaavaH svayáM yajasva tanváM vRdhaanáH). The use of svayám will be discussed further below. If tanuú meant only a corporeal body, the more abstract significations of self-sameness would always require a form of svayám or of svá to indicate his/her "own/same body."

    In additon there are occasions where tanuú signifies a variety of manifestations which are not described in physical terms of a change in shape. Thus in RV 7.101.3b Parjanya changes his presence at will (yathaavasháM tanváM chakra eSáH). Indra is said to change his tanuú as like an illusion/maayaáH in 3.53.8b (maayaáH kRNvaanás tanvám pári svaám). The addition of svaám further underscores it is Indra's own, his self-same, tanuú that changes. A sense of corporeal body, which certainly does apply to tanuú in many of the references where it signifies a physical presence in space and time--e.g., something to be decorated--cannot accout for the variety of more abstract senses in which tanuú refers to multiple manifestations or self-referentially implying same


    This is perhaps the most significant departure in my findings from previous scholarship. By the time of the Amarakosha, the use of tanuú to mean body was undisputed. In Amarakosha 2.6.71, there is a rather interesting reference to gender in connection with tanuú (f) and tanú (m) in this passage. Following kaáya, and déha which refer to a corporeal meaning associated with tanuú, the passage continues with kliiba- weak, cowardly, eunuch; puMsoH- human being (m); striyaam- woman; muurtis- solid, substantive matter (f); tanus tanuuH. It is worth noting that tanuú (f) is almost the only form which we find in the RV. The masculine form in tanú does not occur in the RV. It would seem that in the Amarakosha, the subtler meanings of tanuú as presence had become lost or forgotten. This later sense of tanuú has dominated the way in which the word is treated, even in texts--like the RV--which significantly predate the Amarakosha.

    Tanuu, from -tan, to spread, is frequently used to describe life or corporeal presence in Western lexicons: "Leib, Körper," but Graßmann also gives: "wol als der lange, schlanke, oft auch das geistige Dasein mit umfassend . . . in Verbindungen wie Leib mit Leib sich vereinen u. ähnl., von Seelen der Verstorbenen, der Leib der Götter, namentlich" (1964: 519). Mayrhofer suggests, "auch in reflexiven Gebrauch, den in der späteren Sprache aatman" (1956, II: 475). He rejects the suggestion of a link between aatmán and tanuú"--Hochst fraglich!"(1956, II: 476)--and suggests a range of meanings in his later (1996) edition including Person, Selbst, Ausdruck des Reflexivurns (see below) and the manner in which aatmán also comes to serve the reflexive function (1996, I: 621). Böthlingk, including it under the -tan derivative tanú, adds "den Körper fahren lassen, das Leben aufgeben" (1959, III: 7). Finally there is also body, person, or self, and form of manifestation (Monier-Williams, 1899: 435).

    Franklin Southworth has considered the possibility of loaning between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian with regard to tanuú in an article entitled "Lexical Evidence for Early Contacts Between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian" (1979). Bodewitz does not discuss tanuú in his article on the soul (1991), but there are several publications apart from that of Reat (1990) and Sahota (1956) which address the term. Renou (1958, IV: 20) offers the opinion that the word has some degree of abstraction but still represents the body in a fairly physical sense "tanuú est souvent 'corps mystique'." Similar to Reat's suggestion of tanuú as an extension or continuum between

the humans and deities in the RV is the opinion of R. N. Dandekar that the term connotes certain aspects among humans and deities that may coexist in later Shaivism (1968: 458). These authors do not attend to the divine/human distinction, however, in which tanuú is a word for the many wondrous presences that a deity can show forth, but when referring to a human it denotes frailty and vulnerability to sin.

    It is not inaccurate to translate tanuú as "self" or "body" if the sense meant is like that of "everybody, somebody" and "themselves/itself." These words do not work for smooth translation in every case. Accordingly, I am going to work with tanuú as "presence" which is flexible enough to accommodate the range of uses for the word in the Early and Middle Vedic literature without the inconsistency which arises with other terms--as with "self"--or physical consequence--as with "body."35 This also allows for Elizarenkova's suggestion that, "What we perceive as different meanings of the same word in the hymns might have appeared to the RSi as a single meaning in different contexts" (1995: 29).



    Contrary to the closely-related aatmán, tmán does not have any etymology offered for it by Yaaska. In addition, tmán is not present in the NighaNTu, but aatmán is. Yaaska is prone to clarify the signification of tmán with aatmán as in 8.17 with RV 10.110.10 upaávasRja tmányaa samañján devaánaam paátha Rtuthaá haviíMSi where he replaces tmán with aatmán in his commentary (upaavaRjaatmanaatmaanaM). It appears that for Yaaska, tmán had a meaning that was well-understood, and was best explained by aatmán. Elsewhere it is directly glossed as aatmán as in N 11.31 with the discussion of raaka from RV 2.32.4, bódhatu tmánaa | bodhatvaatmanaa.

    Lebenshauch, Selbst, das eigene Person are prominent translations offered in most lexicons (Böthlingk, 1959, III: 45; Mayrhofer, 1956, I: 528; and Mylius, 1975: 192, see also Mayrhofer above re. aatmán). Rather than a later gloss, Graßmann suggests tmán is "aus aatman gekürzt" (1964: 552). Monier-Williams, similarly, links it directly with aatmán as vital breath, self, person and also an emphatic particle at the end of a paada (1899: 456), as variously do the others. Fundamentally, as discussed below in the notes on svayám, ahám, tmán is a word which identifies a particular trait or characteristic as fundamentally part of a deity's identity. It is a word that is largely limited to the divine realm to refer to those qualities--most frequently of Agni--which are the characteristics of that deity (e.g.,

Agni as priest to the gods in RV 4.6.5a pári tmánaa mitádrur eti hótaa). If Yaaska's meaning for aatmánthe highest attainment or function of a human or deity is considered, the suggestion that tmán signifies an identifying characteristic of a deity fits with the early uses.



    PúruSa, as with aatmán above, is all but nonexistent in the oldest portion of the RV, appearing on only a few occasions with a meaning very different from its famous significance in RV 10.90. Its later meaning is more notable in RV 10.90 and 97, and in later Early Vedic. In Early Vedic it is rarely used along with aatmán but this changes significantly in Middle Vedic (see Chapter 6). In fact, it almost seems to represent a different conception of the self, as it is being frequently associated with Ishvaara, and in such cases is associated with vocabulary which is distinctively in keeping with SaaMkhya. Whereas aatmán is found some 50 or more times throughout the RV, the occasions of púruSa number only 23--7 of these occasions are in the PuruSa Sukta (10.90) and 3 are in the praise of herbs (10.97).


    There are very few occasions of púruSa, most of which suggest nothing of its meaning apart from 'person.' However, in 10.90 the word demonstrates what is arguably the most subtle doctrine of micro-macrocosmic significance in the RV. Nothing like this is found for any other word related to the self. Van Buitenen even mentions this feature of púruSa that it is "already" great/mahaán and world-encompassing by the time of its appearance in 10.90 (1964: 104 n.2). As noted above, Elizarenkova has suggested that púruSa, for instance, may well represent borrowing from another language (1995: 67). The origins of the word púruSa lie outside the boundaries this study. The likelihood that the relationship of púruSa to aatmán and tanuú in the construction of a composite self in the Yajur Vedic ritual indicates a heirarchy of competing notions of the self as represented in these terms warrants further examination.

    The use of púruSa to represent a social "person" or self is suggested in the earliest traditional etymology of the term. Yaaska attends to the etymology of púruSa twice, in the first and second Adhyaaya's. First he etymologizes it by way of explicating proper derivations of substantives as puruSaM purishaaya ity aacakSiiran (N. 1.13). This suggests puruSa derives from puri and shaya: city-dweller. Puri derives from 3.-pur: a rampart, fortress, or town. Shaya from 1.-shii (to repose, lie down), means to rest or abide--in effect, "one who sits in a city." Less pragmatic and sociological in tone, but not altogether abandoning the link with puri, is the

etymology later in N 2.3 suggesting it derives from -puu/to blow into, fill with air (puruSaH puri SaadaH | puri shayaH | purayater vaa | purayaty antar ity antarapuruSam abhipretya). Yaaska here indicates a more esoteric sense with the derivation from -pRii, to fill, blow into, fill with air. Immediately the association with aatmán as breath comes to mind, suggesting that púruSa might simply imply "self" in a more social context rather than indicate an altogether different idea of individual existence. As indicated below, however, usage in context--especially where aatmán is not otherwise part of the lexicon--indicates this is not necessarily the case in the early literature. The association between the two becomes quite close by the time of the UpaniSads.36

    There is some variance in the Western lexicons regarding the primary meanings of púruSa. Böthlingk (1959, III: 100), Mayrhofer (1956, II: 312), and Mylius (1975: 288) all suggest "Mann, Mensch, Person, Diener." Graßmann's interpretation largely follows suit, after initially suggesting "Der Grundbegriff ist vieleicht 'Seele' . . . als das den Leib erfüllende [von pur], daher der Geist, die Lebenskraft 'der Pflanzen;' die ähnlich wie manuSa" (1964: 833). As "die Lebenskraft 'der Pflanzen,'" the conception is directly suggested in RV 10.51.8 in which Agni is described as the puruSa of plants. Interestingly, however, Geldner suggests "den Mann der Pflanzen" (1951, III: 213). Graßmann, however, seems more in keeping with Yaaska's derivation from -puu implying "filling." Of course, Graßmann's lexicon is concerned primarily with the RV, but this does not explain the silence of the others on the matter. Monier-Williams follows Böthlingk, et al, and much later in his sequence of meanings he suggests "animating principle" (1899: 637), while Apte does not suggest anything other than a social entity (man, person, etc.), until his tenth iteration, with "soul" (1988: 626).

    The "social" sense of púruSa is certainly supported in the significations of the cosmic púruSa and its representation of the caste system in RV 10.90. Similarly, as discussed in Chapter 6, the púruSa is mentioned in reference--among other things--to the social role of householder in a discussion of how the tanuú of Agni affords protection as does the house for a householder. The púruSa is also used to denote the general populace in AV 6.133.3 from which Yama solicits an individual (mRtyór aháM brahmacaarií yadasmi niryaácan bhuutaát puruSaM yamaáya). It seems to be a designation of the human species in AV 3.28.5 where it is juxtaposed with animals/pashuúMsh (táM lokáM yamíny abhisáMbabhuuva saá no

maá hiMsit puruSaan pashuúMsh ca). This does not replace the abstract sense of the púruSa either, however, as it is referred to as the container/suSiró into which the active essence of the sacrifice is placed in MS 3.6.2 (praaNaá vaá áshanaM praaNaánevaátmándhitvaá díkSate suSiró vaí puruSaH).

    As with the previous terms, secondary studies are equally scarce. Brian Smith has suggested that Prajaapati comes to replace púruSa in the BraahmaNas in terms of its significations as the archetypical center of creation (1989: 54-55). Bodewitz suggests that púruSa and aatmán alike cannot "be concretized as a soul concept" (1991: 48). Whatever this might mean--in Bodewitz' defense I do not have access to the original Dutch edition of his article--he does indicate that púruSa is "the person."37 Here again we find ourselves begging our own question, however, because the meaning of púruSa, "person," and Mensch are equally ambiguous.

    More than any other translation, however, "person" is favored for púruSa. The use of the word in the oldest parts of the RV would appear to support this as púruSa signifies mortals who are vulnerable to sin and in need of divine assistance (4.12.4a, 7.57.4b, repeated in 10.15.6b, see Chapters 4 and 5). AAtmán and púruSa appear together in 10.97 twice, to refer to the healing of the púruSa by means of the herbs and it is the aatmán that is called back from the state of being diseased while the púruSa is simply a human. RV 10.51 speaks of the "púruSa of plants"/púruSaM óshadhiinaam as Agni's share of the sacrifice. Apart from 10.90, this occasion in 10.51.8 is the only time púruSa has abstract significations. Of any word considered thus far, púruSa is the most elusive in terms of finding a working understanding. Considering its designation as a simple mortal in most occasions of the RV, púruSa will first be considered, as Bodewitz suggests, to be "person."



    "Brahman" presents a different kind of ambiguity. For instance, in the RV, bráhman (neuter) refers to a power which generally is invoked by prayer or incantation, while brahmán (masculine) refers to the priest (Elizarenkova, 1995: 97). As she notes, however, the designation of the neuter is hardly a hard-and-fast rule, though it offers a starting point for sorting this word's plethora of polysemantic significations. For instance, one must also determine when--or even if--Brahma, the deity is intended. Even more significant a challenge for this study is the fact that throughout the RV, both early and later portions, bráhman has nothing to do with the

terminology related to the self in any way reflecting its later significations in the UpaniSads. It is quite interesting, however, to watch the development of bráhman as a word for a power which--while most frequently associated with prayer--represents an independent empowering agent which is arguably the most essential force in the RV, for without it the deities do not act upon the requests of the worshippers.

    Where the compiler of the NighaNTu found brahma to be sufficiently multivalent to include among the list of unclear words (2.7, 2.10), Yaaska's commentary upon the NighaNTu does not seem to reflect the same uncertainty. Forms of bráhman are employed throughout the text to clarify of other terms, but no etymology is provided for bráhman itself. However, this is implied in N 2.12 where he says, directly after a gloss of BRhaspati as Brahmaa, that bRhat had already been explained. The closest he comes to an etymology, and the implied reference in 2.12, arises in N 1.7, a discussion of bRhát as a synonym of mahaán. Later, in N 1.8, bráhmaa is discussed as sarvavídyaH, sárvaM veditum arhati, and so forth.38

    Bráhman has received no lack of attention by scholars, including careful studies by Gonda (1950) and Paul Thieme (1952). Western lexicons echo the general resonance between bRhát and bráhman, and also recognize the several etymologies offered in Middle and Late Vedic literature, and the subsequent darshana's in the post-Vedic period. Böthlingk largely follows the parameters allowed in Yaaska's usage for bráhman: "die als Drang und Fülle des Gemüths auftretende und den Göttern zustebende Andacht, überh. jede fromme Aeußerung beim Gottesdienst, ein heiliger Spruch, das heilige Wort, heilige Weisheit, Theologie, heiliges Leben" (Böthlingk, 1959: 236). Mylius also adds "Frömmigkeit, Keuschheit," also, "Brahmanenkaste," with Böthlingk (1975, II: 332). Mayrhofer follows Thieme (1952) with "älteste faßbare Bedeutung etwa Formung, Gestaltung, Formulierung" (1956, II: 452). Graßmann, somewhat more discursively, suggests "Erhebung des Gemüthes, fromme Begeisterung, das ausgesprochene Gebet, sei es Preis, Dank oder Bitte, die fromme Herzensergießung, Kraft der Begeisterung, mit der die Götter herrliche Thaten wirken" (1964: 916). Monier-Williams specifies a derivation from 2. -bRh, "'growth,' 'expansion,' 'evolution,' 'development,' 'swelling of the spirit or soul' . . . pious effusion or utterance, outpouring of the heart in worshipping the gods, prayer" (1899: 737).


     Brahmán (m.), by contrast, shows little substantial deviation in the lexicon being always variously identified with the priest, officiant, or reciter

of mantras. For bráhman, Gonda suggests power, growth, and preservation (1950: 32, 39, 43). Elizarenkova identifies its role as a "substance" to be "set in motion" which was autonomous and abstract (1996: 97). I have suggested in Chapter 4 that there is an observable pattern in the uses of bráhman similar to that mentioned above with tanuú. In the language of the gods, or when refering strictly to a deity--e.g., Indra's strengthening--bráhman frequently represents an independent power or pure energy. When a reference to the human realm is in the semantic field with bráhman, Formulierung or formulated speech is more applicable.

    It is my suggestion beginning in Chapter 4 that bráhman represents an independent power, pure energy variously invoked by a range of priests, which frequently is indistinguishable from Thieme's sense of an efficacious formula. Identifying the beginnings and later development of bráhman from this meaning into a concept which came to be associated so closely with the identity or essence/aatmán will be considered in Chapter 5 and, especially, Chapter 6.

    While the issues of "identity" with regard to one's birth into the brahmáNa caste could be addressed under conceptions of self, this becomes an issue more appropriately addressed in sociology, anthropology, and similar disciplines. However, several observations regarding brahmán in the RV have necessitated an examination of its changing use. First, the designation of a priest as brahmán is quite uncommon--only 17 times in the older books as opposed to 50 or more with vípra, R'Si, and kaví. More relevant for this study is the fact that it is the vípra, R'Si or kaví who is said to evoke bráhman almost exclusively (the only exception in the Family Books is 6.45.7). Therefore I have included in Chapters 4 and 5 a discussion of the relative frequency and identifiable distinctions between each category of priest (by the time of the later literature R'Si, kaví, and vípra are almost nonexistent while brahmán is the predominant word for a priest associated with prayer).39

    Naturally, by the time of the Middle Vedic literature the active composition of the canon hymns is no longer as central as is the proper recitation of them at appropriate times in the ritual, thus partly accounting for the decrease of references to priest-composers (i.e., R'Si's, kaví's, and vípra's). In turn, however, bráhman is also rarely found in the same verse with R'Si's, kaví's, or vípra's, further underscoring its independence as a power to be invoked--cf. Elizarenkova--than as a power which served the wishes of the poet. Bráhman certainly responds to the poets, but only if

they are right-minded (RV 7.61.2 notes that the vípra must be righteous/Rtaávaa vípro for the power to be unleashed).

    Yaaska's implication of "sárva" (N. 1.8) is not inconsistent--at least according to Middle and Late Vedic speculations--with the all-pervading, going, and obtaining nature of aatmán, thus easily correlating late UpaniSadic and Vedaantic speculations on the aatmán-bráhman relation. In the current study, it will be very important to trace the thread of development from Early Vedic uses of bráhman to this later doctrinal significance. For the initial period of the literature, bráhman designates the power invoked by a prayer or invocation which is, however, independent of that prayer. This power has the potential to strengthen/várdhan a deity or achieve other ends, but is only efficacious if the poet or speaker is righteous. As power is a somewhat ambiguous term with respect to the sacred context in which a prayer is uttered, I am going to work with a general translation of pure energy which conveys the potency, the sacredness, and the relative independence which bráhman represents.

A note regarding ahám


     Yaaska discusses ahám in context of the three forms of address in the Veda: the direct, which uses the second-person/madhyamapuruSa in both pronoun and verbal conjugation; the indirect, which uses verbs of the prathamapuruSa (equivalent to the English third-person); and self-invocation--which uses verbs in the first person and the first-person pronoun, the uttamapuruSa (N 7.1-2). The indirect and direct forms of address do not use the uttamapuruSa pronoun, instead it is left implied by verbal conjugation. The uses of ahám are claimed by Yaaska to be a flag for self-invocation: athaadhyaatmikya uttamapuruSayogaaH, though he says later in 7.3 that these are few.

    The self-invocations, or athaadhyaatmikya which use the first person/uttamapuruSa, are of two primary kinds, those uttered by a priest, and those in which a priest speaks as a god in first person, or the aatmastuti. The first type occupies most of the occurrences of ahám. These are the occasions where a priest refers to the praise he has uttered and/or its efficacy. For example, concerning the discussion above of tmán, we see ahám in a passage invoking the self-generated powers of PuuSan and Vaayu through the deliberate, self-conscious effort of the priest in RV 5.43.9:

prá távyaso námarktiM turásyaa
aahám puuSNá utá vaayór adikSi |
yaá raádhasaa coditaáraa matiinaáM
yaá vaájasya draviNodaá utá tmán

"I have presented this praise of worship to the strong triumphant PuuSan and for Vaayu; to them who, by their beneficence are its inspiration, and of their own nature give power as their own to give."40 Consistent with the discussion above which suggests that tmán draws attention to an inherent or self-evident intrinsic power which is part of a person or god's nature, it is not surprising that the self-invocation of the priest is found elsewhere with tmán, as in 2.32.4a-b addressed to various deities:

raakaám aháM suhávaaM suSTutií huve
shRNótu naH subhágaa bódhatu tmánaa

"I call to Raakaa the easily invoked with excellent praise; may she, with blessedness, hear us and waken herself to us."41 Ahám identifies the speaker's conviction and affirmation of his own effectiveness and power in his praise. These occasions of ahám and others like them are the greatest in number as compared with the aatmastuti which is identified in only a few hymns.42 However, as the recent study by George Thompson (1997b) indicates, there is not a great deal of difference between both self-affirmation and aatmastutis insofar as the self-assertion of the speaker is concerned.

    In the aatmastuti, it is the god speaking in first person (through the priest who is asserting himself43 via "ahám" and elevating himself from the realm of humans to that of the gods). The construction leaves little doubt as to the assumption of divine identity by the priest. This phenomenon is especially favored by the Vaamadevas of RV 4, who use it several times, e.g., 4.26.1f. in which Indra identifies himself as appearing in the form of Manu and Suurya (ahám mánur abhavam suúryas ca) and then proceeds to enumerate his deeds. In 4.27.1-2, the poet takes the identity of The Falcon, and in 4.42.2a, and 3a, the poet takes on the identity of VaruNa (aháM raájaa váruNo, --2a; ahám índro váruNas, --3a) and then enumerates his deeds as that identity in 4.42.4, 6.

    In these early passages ahám signifies a point where the poet actively places himself into communion with gods and humans. Much as tmán marks a node of self-generative quality or characteristic in the realm of gods to which humans seek access, ahám serves as a podium, or lectern, from which the priest draws special attention to himself or the deity for an efficacious invocation marking the deity with the priest's praise, and em

phasizing the priest himself as someone capable and fit to do so (cf. Thompson, 1997b: 168). Thompson notes that the speaker "takes on" the identity of the deity whose presence--a presence which Thompson specifies as vocal--the speaker enacts:

. . . the RV aatmastuti is of particular interest precisely because it shows us a moment in Vedic, wherein the gods manifest themselves here on earth, for all to hear, if not to see: they are made manifest within, are represented by, and are performed by the poets, in such performances . . . [emphasis mine] (1997b: 153)

An especially interesting suggestion in Thompson's article comes by way of his summary of Marcel Mauss (1979: 57f.) that:

. . . the roles played by individuals in countless ritualized dramas, by means of which ancestors or other spirits are evoked or incarnated, are more or less homologous with the notion of the self, as it has evolved over the millennia, and as it is currently understood in contemporary Western terms (1997b: 158).

As might be expected, the last comment regarding "contemporary Western terms" for the self somewhat disqualifies this observation from the strict parameters of the current study. To apply this avenue of analysis might too easily lead this study down the same paths it strives to avoid--the imposition of later and/or external notions upon the analysis of the early terminology. Still, the idea bears some attention considering Thompson's consistent affirmation of the aatmastuti as "self-affirmation."

    Is there a "self" as a distinct conception identifiable in the aatmastuti or the "signature lines"? Unfortunately there are not many occasions where any terminology for the self is found with occurrences of ahám. As above in RV 2.32 and 5.43 with tmán, the deity's inherent or self-evident qualities are affirmed, but this is not necessarily occasioned by ahám as will be seen in Chapters 4-5 with the other occasions of tmán. This does not preclude the possibility that the aatmastuti marks the development of a notion of self. It simply indicates that there is no close association of ahám in these hymns with the other key terms for the self. This is not necessarily the case, however, in the later Vedic literature where the invocation of ahám is pivotal for passages where the self is related with death or with the cosmogonic ritual of creation. For instance, the Jaiminiiya BraahmaNa (1.18) tells of how the sun inquires who a man is after death (kas tvam asi), and the appropriate answer is ko'ham asmi: "who am I." The statement/question is a pun wherein one of the names of Prajaapati is Ka/who. Prajaapati is a symbol of the year as is the sun because both represent a complete cycle as does death. If man who has died

has kept the sacrifices, he will know to identify himself as sun/death/year by saying ko'ham asmi. In a different setting, the relationship between aatmán and púruSa is introduced in BAAU 1.4.1 where the first aatmán says "it is I"/so'ham asmi. This and similar passages have been discussed by Biardeau--cf. also Van Buitenen (1957)--as they relate to the development of SaaMkhya (1965).

    It is not possible, however, to be certain that the development of the notion of the self in the Early Vedic literature was specifically related to the self-assertive uses of ahám by the poets. Thompson's discussion does, however, draw attention to the importance of assertions of identity--those with ahám--for developing notions of the self. As will be seen in the following chapters from the relatively limited use of tmán, its disappearance coincides with the increasingly existential use of aatmán and púruSa. In addition, in the occasions where tmán is used, its primary function is to establish a characteristic as intrinsic to, or inherently a part of, a deity's existence. To conclude the current discussion, however, ahám is reserved primarily for self-referential utterances of the priest who is deliberately presenting himself as pre-eminently qualified to praise to a deity.

A note regarding svayám


    The self-designation, reflexive reference, or connotation of sameness in Vedic is consistently conveyed by svayám. Its use from the earliest portions of the RV throughout the subsequent periods of Vedic literature attests to the complexity of the Vedic notion of the self. Monier-Williams suggests that svayám might derive from the nominative singular of the possessive pronoun svá in a similar fashion to ahám (1899: 1278). The meaning of svayám however is more specialized with regard to the notion of the self in Vedic than is svá as noted already in the Introduction. Svayám is often used with another pronoun or, as in the examples below, with the words related to the self. It perfectly encompasses the sameness (ipse-identity) and selfhood (idem-identity) of "self" as it is used in English for phrases like self-determination, self-discovery, the thing itself, etc. It does not have an independent of nominalized meaning in the Early and Middle Vedic Literature as "the self." When used with the other words for the self it adds emphasis in the same way as we would say "he, himself." In later literature, the sense of svayám as "the self" is pronounced as suggested, for instance, in Amarakosha 3.5.16 (svayamaatmanaa).

    The sense of svayám which indicates sameness as opposed to

otherness/anyá is well-illustrated in RV 2.35.13-14 addressed to AponaaptR, the son of the waters. In 2.35.13c-d, he enters the waters as if into the presence/tanuú of another/anyá (só'paáM nRapaad ánabhimlaatavarNo 'nyásyevehá tanvaá viveSa). The waters, in turn, flow about AponaaptR himself, bearing food and ghee (aápo náptre ghRtám ánnam váhantiH svayám átkaiH pári diiyanti yahviíH). Svayám is often found with tanuú--moreso than any of the other words related to the self and never with aatmán in the Early Vedic literature--and serves to underscore a sense of sameness in the uses of tanuú. In effect, tanuú requires a "helper" to have existential significations of "self" and "other", while aatmán, on the other hand, does not.

    As noted earlier, tanuú can be self-designating in the manner of ipse-identity without the addition of svayám (e.g., the well-born Agni pays worship to his presence/tanuú in 10.7.6d: evaá yajasva tanváM sujaata). Accordingly, it is worth considering what occasions the use of svayám to underscore this sameness. In RV 7.8.5d the well-born/sujaata Agni is called to increase or strengthen his very presence/tanuú (svayáM vardhasva tanváM sujaata). The role of the fire in ritual is well-attested and this emphasis upon its presence is consistent. The use of svayám empahsizes that the fire itself is to be strengthened. In other cases, Agni and forms of -vRdh are found where svayám is not used such as in 6.9.4d ('martyas tanvaá várdhamaanaH). The hymn is a more general praise of Agni Vaishvaanara in which general characteristics of his presence--e.g., immortality--are listed.

    Svayám draws attention to the specific characteristic which is desired by the worshipper. This is not to be understood in the same way as the function of tmán which indicates that the specific characteristic is an identifying or inherent part of the deity's presence. In fact, svayám is never used with tmán. It would exceedingly redundant to say, in effect, "Indra's own strength its same self." With tanuú, however, its meaning as "presence" is not so self-evidently reflexive as tmán and thus it is augmented with svayám in order to underscore the specificity of the characteristic chosen for praise. In 7.56.11d the Maruts, frequently spoken of as having beauteous tanuú's, decorate their very self-same tanuú (utá svayáM tanváH shúmbhamaanaaH). Similarly, Vishvakarman the "All-maker" is praised for having made the universe in a primordial sacrifice (Maurer, 1986: 277f.). Consistent with the Vedic sense of time where a past act is called forth in the present to affect the future, RV 10.81.5d calls upon his

presence, its-very-self/tanuú, to come to the sacrifice and strengthen it (svayáM yajasva tanváM vRdhaanáH).

    In the later literature svayám is formed in compounds for several well-known terms such as the svayámvara--one's own choice, used to refer most frequently to a woman's choice of her husband such as in the Nala tale. More relevant to the current study is svayámbhuu, or self-being, self-existent. It is only found twice in the SaMhitaas, in RV 10.83.4b and TS In RV 10.83, a hymn addressed to Manyu the spirited or energetic (angry?) one, svayámbhuu appears in a list of his praises as fierce and triumphant (tváM hí manyo abhíbhuutyojaaH svayambhuúr bhaámo abhimaatiSaaháH). In TS a discussion of the placement of fire in the Agnicaayana refers to the fire as self-existant (sá eva tásya syaadáto hyeSa sambhávaty eSa vaí svyambhuurnaam bhávaty).

    It is apparent that the notion of self-existence is a later occurence in the Vedic literature which had not developed in the early period. Somewhat more common is the compound svayámkRt, self-made. It is used in the discussions of sacrifice such as to describe the védi as self-made in the Raajasuuya in TS (svayáMkRtaa védir bhavati). It appears to be a slightly later term as it is not used in the same discussion in MS 2.6.5 (a passage of accented prose or Mantra Language) while it is used in the slightly later KS 15.5 (in unnacented SaMhitaa Prose which is, again, a later strata of language style than Mantra Language--see Chapter 3).

    The use of svayám in the Vedic vocabulary adds dimension to the Vedic notion of the self by affirming the sameness and identity of particular characteristics of deities and humans on specific occasions. While aatmán and tmán have a self-reflexive or sense of sameness which is integral to their meaning, tanuú does not. When svayám is added to tanuú, it underscores that a given characteristic is identified with the deity--e.g., the strengthening of the fire--in a specific way. In the absence of svayám tanuú can also be self-reflexive for example RV 3.1.1d has Agni being joyful in himself or in his presence/tanuú (agníM tanváM juSasva). Of course, it works as well in such cases to say that Agni is joyful in his presence as the same meaning is conveyed. The addition of svayám serves to add emphasis which is not otherwise immediately so clear with tanuú as it is, for instance, with aatmán and tmán. It is interesting to note, as well, that púruSa has neither a self-reflexive meaning nor is it used with svayám. Apparently the aspect of its meaning as person in a social context

does not entail so much sameness--ipse-identity--and selfhood--idem-identity--as it does a sense of otherness and externality.


    For the primary terms, the functional or working definitions are: aatmán

     derived variously from -at/go or -aap/reach, obtain, for Yaaska, and -an/to breathe in the West, it is a central referent for self or soul, is dynamic in both its verb roots and suggested etymologies, and is a pervader equally as well of both humans and deities, it is the central or primary active function of a deity or human, often it is more expressive to translate it as active essence or identity, though both senses can also mean self, it can also be used reflexively to mean itself/himself/herself


     thin, attenuated, point of coalescence between the body and life, "den Körper fahren lassen, das Leben aufgeben;" the presence of humans which is most frequently frail, and of deities which can show a variety of manifestations according to the request or praise made by a worshipper, it has self-reflexive meanings but is frequently augmented with svayám


     possible predecessor to aatman, vital breath, self, soul, self-referential pronoun, emphatic particle pointing to an inherent, or identifying characteristic of a deity in a strongly reflexive sense


    from -pRii/fill, blow into, or pur + -shi/ to sit or repose in a city, also signifying Mensch, Person, self, and so on, closer to aatman as with -pRii, or social self or person as with western lexicons and, for instance, RV 10.90.


    no etymologies in Yaaska, but associated with sárva-, mahaán, all-knowing, pervading, great, a power most frequently prompted by, but independent of, prayer, a pure energy

    These various working definitions of the terms are analyzed below according to their change over time within and between texts. This analysis

is carried out by the systematic implementation of the synchronic tools of analysis which are introduced and demonstrated in the following discussion.

Linguistic and Phonetic Categories of Analysis

    The semantic field methodology--examining a key term with respect to its use and relation to those terms adjacent to it--accommodates an integration of both synchronic and diachronic analyses. I am dividing the synchronic and diachronic components of the dissertation according to the order of implementation for each type of analysis. I have already considered each term and the existing scholarship on its meaning in Early Vedic. This second part of the synchronic analysis presents the actual tools applied to the appearances of the terminology in each passage.

    The reader will notice that many examples chosen for each category of analysis involve cases of the word tanuú. Several factors bear upon this. The uses of tanuú relate to the most central questions in this study as this word is predominant in the Early and much of the Middle Vedic periods. Also, tanuú is more prominent in early Vedic than other terms like aatmán, tmán and púruSa. Finally, and perhaps most intriguing, even in anomalous cases--e.g., the one case of khálu in the RV--the hymn or passage invariably also includes an occurrence of tanuú. As I mentioned in Chapter 1, the process of trying to resolve some of the more intractable passages led me to consult those materials--e.g., Witzel--that address the historical significance of linguistic change. Tanuú is noteworthy both because of its frequency and, even moreso, its appearance in almost every passage containing a unique occurrence of one or another form or linguistic anomally. It is therefore to be expected that the examples provided for each category of analysis below are largely concerned with tanuú.

    From the work of Elizarenkova, I am utilizing her notion of the expressive category of polysemy and synonymy, the distinction between the language of gods and that of men, as well as the phonetic choices made by the R'Sis. Accordingly, in my analysis of each passage in question I will consider both literal and implied meaning. Overt meaning is, of course, the meaning of a word in a passage. Implied meaning brings to bear the image of the terminological, metric, and phonetic palette which Elizarenkova suggests each R'Si had in hand for the composition of a hymn. In addition, words carried different weight according to whether they were employed as

language of gods, with reference to the divine realm; or of men, with reference to the mortal realm (1995: 81; Renou, 1939: 161ff.). This is refigured according to my own divine/human criterion introduced earlier with tanuú.

    In the passages below we see the implied level of meaning repeatedly with tanuú, which carries two very different connotations: a multiple range of beneficent presences when referring to a god, as opposed to a frail and vulnerable presence/tanuú when referring to a human. The implied meaning becomes more complex as we see tanuú meaning something quite glorious--divinely glowing--when referring to humans in battle (e.g., RV 6.25.4b: tanuurúcaa táruSi yát kRNváte). The implied level of language can also exist entirely on the phonetic plane of a hymn where a deity is "mentioned" by play upon the sound of its name rather than the poet ever actually naming the deity.44

    These synchronic categories of analysis enable a high level of precision when tracing the development of Early Vedic ideas from their earliest form in the RV Family Books to the later portions of the RV and the Middle Vedic literature. Keeping precise track of these developments is facilitated by the timeline of Vedic literary development (presented in Chapter 3) combined with the application of specific criteria of linguistic change. "Tracing the Vedic Dialects" (Witzel, 1989) provides much of the information for the Middle Vedic chronology and the criteria for linguistic analysis, in addition to Keith (1875), Weber (1892), etc. I am employing such observations as the regional and temporal changes suggested by infinitives with the form toH (Witzel, 1989: 155f.), and so forth. In the following sections I will introduce first the synchronic categories of analysis most effectively presented by Elizarenkova45--polysemy, synonymy, human/divine language, and phonetics--followed by an introduction to some of the linguistic variations suggested by Keith, Lüders, Witzel, etc., which can be readily applied to the material examined in Chapters 4-6.

    The application of both categories of synchronic analysis--juxtaposed in this way--is consistent with the expressed intent of both Elizrenkova and Witzel. Elizarenkova describes hers as a synchronic study within the bounds of which she addresses diachronic questions: e.g., a synchronic analysis of a given passage may address the diachronic question of "the language of the gods" vs. "the language of men" (1995: 8). However, it is important to specify that, in the way I am categorizing the present study, synchronic analysis includes the category of gods-vs.-men within the

synchronic examination of each passage.46 By contrast, the diachronic analysis refers to the comparison of the synchronic results between passages and across temporal stratifications within and between the various texts. The combination of both forms presents a new methodological perspective for examining large, previously unexplored, topics--such as the origins of the terminology of the self--the history of Vedic religion with systematic precision. It is a development which is now possible with the state of Vedic research made possible by Elizarenkova with primarily synchronic analysis and by Witzel, who extensively employs diachronic analysis. He takes issue with the assumption that a dialectical variant is simply due to "matters of style" or later linguistic influences devoid of diachronic significance (1989: 99), suggesting instead that diachronic assessment of these matters can reveal new insights into the geographic and historical developments of the Vedic culture and its people (1995b: 307f.). The blending of both perspectives in this dissertation yields a procedure in which the synchronic analysis of the expressive element in the semantic fields is correlated, in turn, with the diachronic evidence of regional dialectical variance and the changes over time according to the historical outline of Vedic literature presented in Chapter 3.

Synchronic Analysis I: Polysemy and Synonymy

    In many ways, this section presents the crux of the question underlying this dissertation: How can scholars most accurately examine the manifold terms related to the self, which variously replace one another without any apparent pattern in differing semantic contexts, and which themselves appear to change in meaning over time? For instance, with aatmán and praaNá we encounter both polysemy and synonymy: there is polysemy when it appears that aatmán can mean self, body, or breath; there is synonymy when both aatmán and praaNá are rendered as breath in some translations. It is predominantly Monier-Williams (1889: 135) who suggests the derivations from -an/to breathe and -va/to blow, however, cf. Maurer (1996).

    There is a susceptibility to subjectivity in these categories. As soon as I suggest that a pair of terms are synonymous, I have made the assumption that both share the same essential meaning. This is not far removed from the manner in which the previous studies mentioned in Chapter 1, such as Narahari (1944) and Sharma (1972), begin with an idea of what the terminology for the self means and proceed to find it in every passage, no matter

how strained. It certainly must be admitted that the difference between words such as aatmán and praaNá, tanuú and tmán are quite subtle in certain contexts. Therefore, the category of synonymy must be applied with great care. It is more systematic, and less prone to begging the questions, to utilize polysemy and synonymy as categories of inquiry rather than as categories of conclusions.

    Synonymy and polysemy can be best used to categorize the starting point of an inquiry. For example, tanuú seems prone to polysemy when it can be taken to mean both "self" and "body" in many early contexts. However, even in English, "body" is plagued--for these purposes--with polysemy. It can mean a generic reference to an individual such as in "somebody" or, in Holden Caulfield's mantra of choice in Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, "When a body meets a body comin' through the rye." It can also mean a corporeal presence. This latter meaning of body applies to some of the cases of tanuú as well, and could well explain why translators have chosen to use body for tanuú. The matter of the corporeal body is discussed in great detail below in Chapters 4 and again in 5. For the current example, I will consider only the "generic individual" meaning--unless indicated otherwise--when I suggest "body" for tanuú.

    RV 4.16.14a-b praises Indra, who places "himself"/tanuú next to the sun (suúra upaaké tanvàM dádhaano ví yát te céty amR'tasya várpaH). Translating tanuú as "body" would apparently work equally as well. But in RV 2.17.7 Indra is asked to show the particular tanuú which makes people glad (kRdhí praketám úpa maasy aá bhara daddhí bhaagáM tanvií yéna maamáhaH). Again, a case can be made for either "self" or "body," though the former seems a little less strained. The situation is somewhat more difficult when we apply what Elizarenkova called diachrony within synchrony. Her suggestion of diachrony is the reference of a hymn or mantra to the gods as opposed to men.

    As mentioned above, this is what Renou calls the realm of "propice" which refers to a cosmology in which the deities are the powers which must aid and protect frail humans. In this study, I am distinguishing--within Renou's notion of "propice"--the language of the gods as those occasions of a term which refer to deities. Consequently, the language of humans is found in those occasions where the same term is used in reference to mortals. In short, I am using Elizarenkova's terminology--language of gods/humans (1995: 8)--to describe the relationship outlined by Renou as "propice." This relationship is a synchronic category of analysis. The dia

chronic category, in this study, will be the comparison from passage to passage and text to text.

    When we consider the use of tanuú in reference to the human realm, its meaning shows almost no variation, referring almost always to a frail, sin-prone, vulnerable "self" or "body."47 Hymns repeatedly seek divine assistance for this tanuú of the mortal realm (e.g., Agni called to be a protector of the tanuú in 5.4.9c-d: ágne atriván námasaa gRNaanií 'smákam bodhy avitaá tanuúnaam). Here it might even work to translate tanuúnaam as "our lives." As soon as we consider this possible translation, we compound the polysemy of tanuú as self, body, and life; with the possible synonymy of aayú, ásu, jiivá, and now tanuú, all of which seem to mean life in various ways.48

    As demonstrated in the first section of this chapter, it is not inaccurate to translate tanuú as "self" or "body" if the sense meant is like that of "everybody, somebody" and "themselves/itself." These do not work well for smooth translation in the early RV and in much of the later RV. The synchronic analysis of these few passages reveals the polysemy of tanuú both among the references to the gods and those to the realm of humans, combined with the synonymy of aayú, ásu, and jiivá with tanuú in the realm of humans.

    Elizarenkova suggests that modern Vedic scholars must allow for categories of semantic syncretism which are different from our own such that the same word might operate differently depending on its semantic field (1995: 29). Thus the synchronic analysis--from the early books of the RV alone--has sharpened the issue of tanuú by identifying polysemic contexts where it has the sense of body or self (such as when its semantic field reflects the divine realm), and an additional context where it is synonymous with other words for life when it refers to the existence of humans as frail (when the semantic field refers to the mortal realm).

    These few occasions are examples of the polysemy and synonymy found with tanuú which make it necessary to find a meaning that will unobtrusively work in both categories. "Presence" functions effectively in each case: Indra places his presence/tanuú by the sun and turns toward humans that presence/tanuú which gladdens them, while the continued presence/tanuú of humans upon the earth requires the protection of Agni. In each case, "presence" means something slightly different. The word "presence" not only accommodates the various meanings in this limited example, such as body (because a gladdening presence would be physically

tangible to some degree), self (the gladdening is a particular manifestation of Indra), and life (for a human, their life is marked by being present) yet it also avoids the need to use several different words--life, body, self--each of which are heavily laden with connotations which make simple passages unnecessarily complex.

    While it is valuable to identify workable translations for each term related to the self, it is still the primary focus of this study to examine how each changes. It may seem like I am stating the obvious, but when reading each passage in Sanskrit, tanuú is always tanuú. In order to effectively apply the diachronic analysis it is easier to address a term like tanuú--which does change over time to mean a more and more physical presence--with the same word in translation. This provides a constant for the reader to compare from passage to passage without confusing the issue by using body in one place, self in another, and continuously clarifying: "I mean body as in 'everybody' here," and "I mean 'body' as in the physical sense here," etc. It removes some of the idiomatic unpredictability of interpretation in translation if consistency is observed with pivotal words such as those related to the self. Still, following the suggestion of Witzel in "How to Enter the Vedic Mind," I will clarify that it is tanuú that I am rendering as--mostly--presence or body on each occasion below.

    Accordingly, when the synchronic analysis of tanuú is applied in the later RV, we can identify a distinct diachronic change in its meaning when its semantic field includes aatmán, one of the later terms related to individual existence. Take for example the use of tanuú and aatmán in RV 8.3.24a: aatmán pitús tanuúr vaása (see Chapter 5). The tanuú is the garment or clothing while aatmán is the vital essence or food in a testament to the great quality of the sacrificial fee/dakSina given to the R'Si of this hymn. Considering what we have indicated above with aatmán: that its early uses show it to be a core essence--usually indispensable and animate--of deities and living beings, translating tanuú as presence is an accurate way to describe the outer function of clothing in this passage. The food is the essence, the clothing is the presence/tanuú, i.e., what is present externally. Without question this implicit duality of internal/external reality indicates the development of a much more tangible, material meaning for tanuú, but one which is still accurately conveyed by presence. Another word such as appearance would be more abstract than needed for the association of tanuú with clothing or garments/vaása. Similarly, translating tanuú as body would indicate what clothing is placed onand the grammar

does not support this meaning which would, in any case, misrepresent the passage.

    These examples indicate how one kind of synchronic analysis presents the range of meanings which are possible for a word. In this way, it is possible to assign to each key term a working translation which makes it possible to focus upon the changes in how the word is used and associated with other terms in its semantic field instead of confusing the issue with changes in how the word is translated. This is one of the most important functions of synchronic analysis for this study: to focus the possible ambiguities of particular terms by revealing any cases of polysemy and synonymy, and comparing the applications of the word in the divine and human realms. These categories direct the questions by which the first level of diachronic analysis proceeds: the comparison between one semantic field and another, first within (where possible) and between hymns, then within and between MaNDala's, and finally across different periods in the chronological sequence.

    Polysemy, synonymy, and divine/human language analyses are not the only categories of synchronic analysis which can be used to identify diachronic questions, but they do form the primary tools of analysis. Additional light can also be shed upon the synchronic analysis of word choice in a given passage with the examination of the phonetic content in the semantic field.

Synchronic Analysis II: Phonetic Choices


    The phonetic choices relate to the choice of terminology for the self in several ways. Considering that there is a large palette of possible words related to the self from which a poet could choose, and that this takes place in an oral tradition carefully structured by meter and accent as well as sound-dominated rules of euphonic combination in the grammar (sandhi), certain occasions of inclusion or omission of various elements of vocabulary are significant. Elizarenkova feels she is drawing directly upon the exhortations of the Veda itself when she identifies this as a category of analysis for implied meaning in a passage, quoting RV 10.125.4d, from the hymn to Vaac (Speech): shrudhí shruta shraddhiváM te vadaami: "Listen, O famous one, I am telling thee (things) worthy of faith!" (1995: 135). Verse 4a-b makes clear that Vaac is the key by which one who comprehends this Veda eats/ánnam, perceives/vipáshyati, and who breaths/praáNiti 49 by hearing/shRNóty what is pronounced/uktám (máyaa só ánnam atti

yó vipáshyati yáH praáNiti yá iiM shRNóty uktám). The use of uktám/pronounced is a sound play as well, this time on the name of Vaac AAmbhRNa, daughter of RSi AmbhRNa, who is the deity addressed in the hymn--though nowhere by name--with repeated sound hints.

    In a discussion of what she terms Sprachmalerei ("verbal painting") with phonetics, Elizarenkova takes RV 9 as a prime example of the role played by phonetics in the R'Si 's choice of terminology. This MaNDala is composed entirely of hymns to purified Soma (the intoxicating or illuminating beverage sacred to Indra and central to the Vedic ritual)/soma pávamaana. She notes that the hymn is replete with phonetic word-play upon -su/to press and -pRR/to purify (1995: 129). One would expect to find púruSa in such a phonetic paradigm. However, not only is púruSa completely absent from RV 9, there are several occasions of the phonetically unrelated term aatmán.

    This provides an example of expressive communication with phonetics by way of absence rather than presence. If púruSa and aatmán were largely synonymous, púruSa would be an obvious phonetic choice. For instance, aatmán is used to describe Soma Pavamaana's essentiality to the sacrifice with almost identical semantic fields in 9.2.10c (aatmaá yajñásya puurvyáH) and 9.6.8a (aatmaá yajñásya ráMhyaa). We cannot argue that only aatmán carries the sense of internal essence because púruSa conveys this meaning in 10.51.8c, where Agni requests the púruSa of plants as one of his shares of the sacrifice (ghRtáM caapaám púruSaM caúSadhiinaam). In addition the sacrificial púruSa of RV 10.90 from whom the entire cosmos is created also offers an applicable--though, perhaps, too expansive--sense of púruSa. Thus the introduction of the phonetic category of synchronic analysis with the 9th MaNDala provides an additional point of analysis which would not otherwise be apparent if our inquiry were confined to polysemy, synonymy, and the language of gods as opposed to that of humans.

    The absence of púruSa is also significant in this MaNDala because the hymns have been drawn from the earlier collections. This makes the absence difficult to analyze,50 however, unless these instances were compared with the Saama Veda's additional 75 hymns (those not already included in the RV). It may be the case that púruSa is part of the Saama Veda, but not part of those hymns which are repeated in the RV. The Kauthuma Saama Veda contains 4 occurrences of púruSa and the Jaiminiiya Saama Veda contains 6 occurrences.51 This will be examined

further in my forthcoming book, based upon this research, The Self and Vedic Religion.

    The phonetic analysis begins synchronically with the verse in which a key word occurs. From there it can extend diachronic comparison to other hymns by the same family and to other chronological periods where a key word is found--or, as with RV 9, is not found.

Synchronic Analysis III: Linguistic Variations


    In this category of analysis I am applying those observations of specific linguistic anomalies or geographical/historical variants identified by Witzel (1989) which are applicable to the Early and Middle Vedic material under examination in this study. The examples are not comprehensive, of course, but they serve to indicate the range of possible analyses which can be brought to bear upon a passage. In addition, these variations of linguistic form-and quite a few more like them--provide the justification for the intricate chronology of Middle Vedic literature which is presented in Chapter 3, and which draws extensively upon this data.


    Witzel discusses phenomena which change over time from one period and region of a text to another. Unique occurrences of decidedly later phenomena--e.g., khálu/indeed, found only once in the RV in 10.34, the hymn of the gambler (Witzel, 1989: 193f.)--provide an additional filter through which the synchronic studies in this dissertation can be clarified. As it happens, RV 10.34.6b contains an occasion of tanuú (jeSyaámiíti tanvaá shuúshujaanaH). RV 10.27.2b reflects a similar semantic field (ádevayuun tanvaá shuúshujaanaan), discussed in detail in Chapter 5.

If the use of khálu in 10.34.14a suggests that this is a later hymn, then we can make certain assumptions about tanuú in this hymn as well as in 10.27. Tanuú in 10.27.2b refers to the godless who are worked up, or fired up (shuúshujaanaH, lit. emboldened, colloq. "cocky" ) for battle, only to be crushed by Indra. In 10.34.6b, the gambler wanders again to the game, "cocky" at the thought that he will win, only to be crushed by the merciless dice.

    The repetition of the semantic field tanvaá shuúshujaanaan from 10.27 in 10.34 adumbrates that the gambler is just as foolish as a godless, wrongly sacrificing foe of Indra. In each case, we not only see evidence of a borrowing from earlier to later, but of an aspect of tanuú which indicates something more abstract than a corporeal body. The two passages suggest the tanuú means something similar to a demeanor or attitude. However, since RV 10.34 already may be identified as later than the rest of the RV,

Witzel's analysis suggests that khálu in this hymn may represent a regional variation as much as one of chronological sequence (there is animation of how the world of the texts and what lies behind them is revealed through close linguistic analysis, which is itself a continuation of an animation first discussed above as a demo of the technology behind this dissertation).

    Another characteristic which allows for specific placement in chronological sequence and, to a certain extent, geographic location is the infinitive verb form in -toH. The form appears 11 times in the RV, and of these Witzel identifies two which present themselves as an example of how these anomalies intersect with the study of terminology for the self. From the limited origins of toH in the RV, the form varies in frequency through the later texts after an increase in the KaaThaka SaMhitaa and less marked increase in the MaitrayaaNiiya SaMhitaa, indicating that in the initial Western development of the form it was more influential and then spread gradually, and not consistently, eastward. There are two cases where the peculiar infinitive is found in the formula iishe . . . *-toH, RV 6.18.11, 7.4.6 (1989: 159). RV 6.18 also contains tanuú in line 14c (divé jánaaya tanvé gRNaanáH) and 7.4 contains one of the few occasions of púruSa in the early books of the RV in 7.4.3c (ní yó gR'bham paúruSeyiim uvóca). RV 6.18.14 includes a use of tanuú which refers to Indra being lauded in his own nature. This is a more abstract sense of tanuú which, when considered with the regional variations represented by toH, might well account for the inconsistent change in tanuú to sometimes appear abstract as presence and at other times as more physical without any apparent temporal sequence.

    These anomalies suggest some of the subtler themes of change which are examined in this study regarding the notion of the self. For RV 7.4.3, this occasion of púruSa simply signifies mortals--cf. mártaasaH in 3b--without the more metaphysical sense in 10.51 and 10.90. If, as suggested by Staal (1983: 138) and Kosambi (1950), cf. Sahota (1956) that the Vedic priests represented a mix of pre-Aryan and Aryan views, the checkered meaning of púruSa throughout the older and later books (in 7.102 puruSiíNaam, where Parjanya is germ/ gárbham of birth in women vs. 7.57.4b puruSátaa, referring to frail mortals) might be accounted for as a mixing of doctrines. Only in the latest period is the púruSa presented as abstract in two places: 10.51 where Agni seeks the púruSa of plants as his portion of the sacrifice and, of course, the lofty metaphysics of the primordial púruSa in 10.90 where the púruSa appears with a complex pre-existing metaphysics attested nowhere else in the RV. Accounting for such a sudden change--it stands in stark contrast to aatmán which nowhere in the RV has such auspicious significations--becomes easier when regional

and, accordingly, complete doctrinal shifts are considered.

     Other variations include the shift from D- to L- in the later literature, and the genitive feminine singular in ai which, while primarily a BraahmaNa and Taittiriiya SaMhitaa trait (1989: 135), also shows up in the other SaMhitaa's. Witzel notes its occurrence in the PadapaaTha to the RV for 3.53.20 as a particularly remarkable occasion. RV 3.53 is discussed in detail in Chapter 3 as a later hymn, and Witzel takes the occasion here to suggest that the entire MaNDala might be of later origin; considering the peculiar uses of tanuú in 3.53 (see Chapters 3 and verse analysis with tanuú in Chapter 4, pp. 138 and 209f.), this could well be the case (1989: 138).



    This chapter has presented in detail the two primary aspects of the synchronic analysis employed in this study. Each primary term which is under examination has been surveyed according to ancient commentary (Yaaska) and recent scholarship. In addition, the semantic fields surrounding each word will be examined with the assistance of the tools demonstrated in the second part of this chapter. Accordingly, synchronic analysis with polysemy and synonymy as central concerns effectively illuminates the initial range of possible uses for a term in each occurrence. This is further refined when the additional categories of divine-vs.-mortal language and phonetic word choice are considered. Finally, each of these synchronic tools of analysis can be extended to diachronic comparison of the results from each semantic field between different poets, texts, and chronological periods. With these synchronic tools and the terms to which they are applied set forth, it only remains to outline carefully the diachronic course of chronological sequence in the development of each text under examination. This will provide the control according to which the various semantic fields are compared.




    The recent resurgence in Vedic studies has been driven, in large part, by innovations in two key areas of textual analysis: a systematized relative chronology of the texts, and an understanding of the stylistic elements at work within them, ranging from meter to lexical choice, morphology, and accent. Both frontiers bear closely on each other and, in turn, form the foundation upon which the current study of the self is constructed. This recent work brings into focus the discussions which have been ongoing for decades and simply overlooked by scholars for whom Vedic literature was sufficiently explained by Max Müller over 100 years ago. It is not easy to say why this has remained the accepted understanding among most scholars.52 It is possible, however, that the recent availability of additional manuscripts of Black Yajur Veda texts and other previously unknown Suutras has added additional correlation to the research done in the late 19th century by Arnold (1897), Avery (1880), Lanman (1880), and Oldenberg (1888; cf. Witzel, 1995a: 85; 1998: 289).

    This wealth of data about the Vedic materials which has gone largely unnoticed. Like a lost heritage, it has to be reclaimed--not just by Vedic scholars, but by Indologists as a whole. Without careful reconstruction and awareness of the actual developing ideas and texts of ancient South Asia, even the most conscientious scholarship concerning later eras has a weak foundation which is susceptible to the winds and whims of the current political climate. The material for a more precise reading of the early development of Vedic history is plentiful and long-lived, going back as far as 120 years. This "wealth of data" is scattered throughout numerous articles and introductions to translations or editions of primary texts. There is also the statistical work of E. Vernon Arnold (1897, 1905), the grammatical analysis of Mylius (1970), Hoffman (1975), and J. Narten (1968).

    It is essential for the success of this study to construct the most pre

cise available framework for the diachronic analysis of the terminology related to the self. An additional objective in the detailed study of the RV which follows immediately below is a precise analysis of the internal arrangement of each MaNDala such that the changes in vocabulary for the self can be correlated with the respective families and--where the data allows--geographical regions of Vedic India. In many cases this study will offer only a beginning for understanding geographic and ethnographic shifts as the field of such inquiry is quite new and available data is limited. However, it will be impossible to analyze with any precision whether there were competing notions of the self in Vedic India without the results of this examination as a point of comparison from one family of poets to the next. The texts chosen for this study represent the periods of Early and Middle Vedic: the Rg Veda representing the former "Early Vedic" period, and the Rg Veda Khilas, the KRSNa and Shukla Yajur Vedas, and the Atharva Veda as well as related BraahmaNa's representing the later, or Middle Vedic period.

Relative Chronology of the Texts

    An excellent summary of the early explorations of the relative date of the Vedic materials is found in the recent publication of Lars Martin Fosse's dissertation "The Crux of Chronology in Sanskrit Literature: Statistics and Indology, a Study of Method (1997). Inattention to this stratification engenders the problem in which scholars frequently persist in generalizing between decidedly earlier portions of the Rg Veda and later portions (Witzel, 1995a: 96).53 Perhaps the attention of modern scholars has been unintentionally directed elsewhere as a result of the popular movements in methodology. For instance, as recently as 1968, J. Narton's study of verb usage in early Vedic presented layers of text stratification. "Dei Marke RV hat also a priori mehr Aussicht auf sprachhistorische Relevanze als etwa TB, die Marke Vedisch54 mehr als Episch, Episch wiederum mehr als Klassiches Sanskrit, da dies ja weitgehend nur noch Lernsprache war" (1968: 115-6).

    More recently, Mylius worked with a general partition of stylistic periods in Vedic literature which were more precise than Max Müller's generic sequence of SaMhitaas, BraahmaNas, AAraNyaka's and UpaniSads, initiating a categorization of the literature after the SaMhitaas as "Middle Vedic" (1970: 423). Mylius strove to correct the theories of date based either upon the evolution of the Brahmii script or astronomical data (1970: 427). Specific problems have been perpetuated by the premature comparisons across

cultures--e.g., with the Avesta--when internal dates of the Vedic corpus remain unclear: "Bevor diese und andere Ansichten diskutiert und witere Anhaltspunkte gesucht werden, empfiehlt es sich, einige allgemeine Bermerkungen zur Methodik der Vedadatierung zu machen" (1970: 422). He draws instead upon a philological analysis of the periods of redaction for several genres of literature--Buddhist, BraahmaNas, GRhyasuutras, Shrautasuutras, etc.--to build a matrix of composition periods and cross references for determining relative sequence. He concludes, nonetheless, that for the earlier Vedic literature, "Die Schicten der vedischen Literatur sind chronologisch nicht scharf gegeneinander abgegrenzt" (1970: 428). The Rg Veda's chronological stratification, while clearly redacted over several centuries, occurred "so muß sich die endgültige Zusammenstellung . . . wegen der starken geographischen, sozialen und religiösen Veränderungen über mehrere Jahrhunderte hingezogen haben" (1970: 429), the specific periods of which remained unspecified at the time of his writing.

    The available research in Vedic chronology was not limited to publications in German. There is the translated work of Weber (1892) or the original work of Keith (1914, 1920) which regularly described the various layers of stratification in the Yajur Veda texts. Winternitz also noted multiple voices in the redaction of the Rg Veda (1959, I: 57), a developing tradition of innovation in recitation as recorded in the Yajur Veda tradition (1959, I: 163), and the potential relationship between text history and social history (1959, I: 172).

    It is ironic that the temporal and chronological errors referred to above--e.g., Gonda's generalization about Vedic social structures, et al--also postdate studies which present more detailed stratification schemes, as do Narten and Mylius. Specifically, Gonda himself characterizes Vedic literature as an evolving, developing body of ideas, expressions, and commentary (1975: 24-25), yet he nonetheless obviates his conclusion when applying semantic field analysis to the problem of a term or concept used in several different texts. Still, the inattention to the reality of internal chronology in Vedic texts persisted. Some twenty years after Gonda's articulation of semantic field study mentioned in Chapter One, "Some notes on the study of Indian religious terminology" (1962), he published "Translating the Veda (with regard to AiAAr. 2.6.2)" In which he quotes from RV, AV, ShB and various UpaniSads with complete inattention to historical periods (1980-81: 15f.) in his efforts to clarify a semantic field of terms which includes bráhman, dhii, vaaja, and maayaa.55 The predilection to reductionism

in the quest for of central meanings rather than attention to historical development is also clearly evidenced in his otherwise comprehensive history of Vedic literature, which remains all but silent on chronology amid exhaustive detail in analysis.56

    Thus, the analysis of the developing terminology for the self, as a philological exercise, requires careful attention both to the limits of philology itself and to the stratification of the texts. The consensus of a conference on the subject of philology, held at Harvard in 1988, was that it entailed " . . . a Kulturwißenschaft based on texts" to which Witzel adds, ". . . the study of a civilization based on oral and written texts, in contradistinction to such subjects as linguistics, history, archaeology and sociology which also make use of other categories of evidence" (Witzel 1995a: 115). Thus, the summary of the best discernible chronology, presented below, will facilitate proper historical analysis of the developing terminology for the self while avoiding reductionism, oversimplification, lack of attention to genre, or chronological blurring of distinct periods. The variety of sources scattered in different volumes and articles, as well as those in the introductions to editions of the major texts have been gathered below in order to establish a working chronology of Early and Middle Vedic. This yields a picture, if not of the actual development of the conception of the self, then of the changes in how that conception was expressed. The actual conception may very well remain outside the realm of academic scholarship to determine, considering the resources which have survived time, cultural change, and ideologies of orthodoxy.

    The following chronology is divided into the major categories of Early and Middle Vedic. Within these I propose to offer a detailed chronology of text development for those sub-periods outlined and comprehensively defined by Witzel (1989: 124ff, 1995a: 96-97), based on the pilot study by Narten (1968: 115-6), as part of a five-part stratification included under Early, Middle, and Late Vedic: 1. Rgveda, 2. Mantra language (AV and the metric portions of the YVS), 3. SaMhitaa prose (those portions of expository writing, not in metric or accented form, of the YVS), 4. BraahmaNa prose (older and later), and 5. Suutra Language. For the current study, however, it will be the sections of Rgvedic, Mantra language, SaMhitaa prose, and BraahmaNa prose which will be of primary importance.

Early Vedic: The Rg Veda


    Early Vedic is comprised entirely of the text of the Rg Veda. date, the most thorough study of its contents, developments, dialectical variation

and peculiarity as to families of R'Si's is found in the work of Witzel (1995b: 308ff). As mentioned in Chapter One, the oldest portions of the RV are found in the so-called "family books," MaNDala's 2-7. These are clearly distinguished by the homogeneity of the family line to which each R'Si belongs, the order of the hymns according to the deity addressed and the meter employed. The six books are ordered according to the ascending number of hymns per "book" or MaNDala (Oldenberg, 1888; Witzel, 1995b).57

    Within each book the first principle of order is the deity addressed. Agni invariably precedes Indra, who is followed in turn by any one of several deities depending on each respective family collection (Gonda, 1975: 5f.; Weber, 1892: 29f.; Witzel, 1995b: 309; etc.). For instance, following Indra the GRtsamada's of RV 2 include BrahmaNaspati and BRhaspati; for the Vishvaamitra's of RV 3 it is the Vishve Devaas; the Vaamadeva's of RV 4 laud the Rbhus third; etc. Each deity's "collection" is, in turn, ordered in descending sequence based on the number of stanzas in each hymn with the longest coming first, the next longest second, and so on. Where the number of stanzas remains the same, the hymn with a meter containing a greater number of syllables--e.g., the jagatii with four 12-syllable paadas--takes precedence over one with fewer syllables--triSTubh with four 11-syllable paadas--in terms of relative order (1995b: 309).

    As early as 1897, E. Vernon Arnold suggested: "For the successful study of the Rigveda no preliminary is more urgently needed than a true grouping of its parts." The order of deities addressed depends upon how many hymns are devoted to each divinity or group of divinities. The deity having the most hymns comes first--almost without exception. This quantity varies with different deities from MaNDala to MaNDala. This raises an interesting point with respect to certain predilections from one clan to the next for different deities. Evidently some clans "favored"--or at least the redactors did--one deity over another and this often to the exclusion of another deity.

    As the Early Vedic material is comprised solely of the RV, and the analysis of its contents is the sole concern of Chapters 4 and 5, I will attend to Arnold's suggestion in detail and provide a careful outline of the arrangement of the hymns in each chronological portion. In this way the patterns of emphasis on one deity or another by one family can be compared with that of another. As this arrangement of hymns from one MaNnDala to the next is explained, the characteristics of the key words

under examination in this study are tested according to how much each word is used by each family and its use as it changes with different deities. I have examined the Family Books in greater detail with respect to the terminology under examination because, as we saw with previous studies in Chapter 1, if any examination of the terminology for the self has been done in the RV, it has almost invariably emphasized the later books. The present study is providing a detailed record of this largely unstudied collection of the earliest known Vedic material.

    There are exceptions to the general scheme of arrangement of hymns in the Family Books as it is outlined above. Variation in the pattern is also a key to identifying later insertions (Oldenberg, 1888), and there remains a need to determine a pattern of arrangement for the 8th MaNDala (Bergaigne, 1878-83, II: 76ff.), also noted in Witzel, 1995b: 311). In addition, Lanman foresaw many of Oldenberg's findings in his own monumental study, published in 1880, which initiated the list of late RV insertions examined further in Arnold (1897), and Oldenberg (1888). Lanman also suggests the lateness of 1.162 and 1.164 (1880: 581). It was Lanman who influenced Arnold to undertake his own study of statistics with Vedic meter in 1897 and 1905.


    Of particular interest for this study is Arnold's 1897 "Historical Vedic Grammar" in which he summarizes the work of Graßmann (1876), Lanman (1880), Zimmer (1879), Brunnhofer (1881), and Oldenberg (1888) as to the different criteria by which each hymn of the RV could be placed in its relative chronological order of composition. He defines five basic criteria for determining the relative date of composition which, in descending order of reliability, are 1) lateness of vocabulary and grammatical forms (this would include, for instance, with the infinitive in toH identified many decades later by Witzel [1989]); 2) later AnuSTubh verse; 3) position in the collection (e.g., does it violate the order of arrangement according to number of hymns to a given deity, number of verses, etc.); 4) the fourth and fifth categories are equally unreliable: subject matter and a mixture of TishTubh-Jagatii verse/TriSTubh with extra syllable (1897: 211).

    In this dissertation, I have prioritized the lateness of vocabulary and grammatical forms, followed by asynchronous position in the order of arrangement as the two most reliable categories for determining lateness as there is a greater body of research in recent years on these criteria. This more recent work relies upon the semantic and linguistic data more than upon meter (Narten, Witzel, Mylius). In addition, the work on metrics is

based in large part upon statitistical studies which have had a mixed record of success and acceptance over the last century. One additional caveat to my use of Arnold is that his distinction between two periods of later composition--"C1 and C2"--are too difficult to place in historical time and, in the absence of additional manuscripts with which to compare styles and vocabulary, such detailed resolution of chronology thus remains too uncertain to serve as a control for diachrony in this study.

    Fosse notes that Whitney and others began to recognize the data to be unearthed in statistical study in their encounters with the work of John Avery, beginning in 1872 (Fosse, 1997: 18f.). Acceptance of statistical analysis of Vedic literature remained in its infancy, however, and the early efforts of scholars like Arnold or Wüst (1927) although impressive considering the absence of computer technology, came to be viewed as flawed in their results (Van Nooten and Holland, 1994: ii; Keith [1906]; Bloomfield [1901]). Fosse adds an additional nail to Gonda's coffin by noting that the work of Arnold, Wüst, and others were not only rejected in Vedic Literature (Gonda, 1975: 27), but they were not even fully consulted (Fosse, 1997: 28).

    In spite of presenting the current state of the art for statistical technique in the analysis of Sanskrit texts, however, Fosse himself concludes that, with respect to philology, statistical studies remain largely problematic in their application.58 The fundamental factor which affects the application of statistics to a text like the RV is that one must begin with categories in order to compare the statistical analysis within them (Fosse, 1997: 2). One begs the question before asking it. To begin with MaNDala's is far too broad and, as the analysis below reveals, the MaNDala's have very limited chronological integrity. For this obvious reason, Fosse does not pursue his statistical experimentation in the RV (1997: 3). The present study takes due consideration of Fosse's conclusion and strives to articulate additional structural (e.g., more precise analysis of the internal chronology for the hymns of the Family Books--RV 3 seems later) and terminological categories (the changing vocabulary for the self) such that statistical analysis of the RV might overcome these shortcomings.

    Witzel (1989: 127) observes that with the advent of electronic texts and systematic statistical methodologies--something now provided in Fosse's model--additional delineations of date, social strata, and geographical region can be determined. What is first necessary is a chronological framework within which to begin such a project. I am suggesting that the

outlines presented by Witzel, Narten, Keith and others--when correlated as they are below and augmented with the philological data adduced in the chapters to follow--will offer the level of detailed category formation necessary for systematic statistical analysis of Early and Middle Vedic. Thus it is important to note that I am not relying on statistical data as a basis for the conclusions in the following pages but rather as a resource for structuring the results of philological inquiry. In the following discussion, I have drawn mostly upon information adduced from the edition of the RV recently prepared by Van Nooten and Holland (1994) in order to present the structure of each Family Book in detail. Since the words aatmán and púruSa are quite scarce in the Family Books, and the meaning of tanuú and tmán is one of the significant contributions this dissertation makes to the understanding of the Vedic self, careful attention will be paid to the changing use of these words throughout the summary of arrangement in the Family Books.

    In the following section, I am including an overview of the vocabulary as it is correlated with the hymns assigned to each deity which yields, in turn, several patterns of use for tanuú and tmán which vary somewhat from family to family.59 Often this variation corresponds to deviations from the standard structure of arrangement for the hymns by a given family or to the emphasis by one family upon a deity which is less important to other families. Both tanuú and tmán are used predominantly with Agni or Indra (2/3's to 3/4's of their occasions in each Family Book). The other occasions of each word are applied to deities such as VaruNa, the Ashvins, SavitR, USas, and other gods whose realm is closer to the upper atmosphere.

    Bráhman is most prominently an "Indra word" inasmuch as it is by means of these empowering utterances that Indra is strengthened, called upon for assistance in battle, and/or lauded for his primordial victory over VRtra. AAtmán and púruSa are much less common in the Family Books and so it is much harder to identify patterns with both terms. However, the two occasions of aatmán (7.87.2, 7.101.6) occur in hymns which differ from the established patterns of the other books. RV 7 has the single largest group of hymns to VaruNa alone (without its usual other half, Mitra) and 7.87 is one of these. In addition, the only three hymns in the Family Books to Parjanya includes 7.101 (the other two are 7.102 and 5.83). In addition, the only occasions of feminine puruSiíNam is also found in a Parjanya hymn (7.102).

    Thus variations in the arrangement of the hymns, emphasis on one

god over another, or unique occasions of praise to a divinity or group of divinities all prove to be ripe fields for changes and unique uses of the key words under examination. Tanuú is most frequently used with Agni and Indra of all the deities in every Family Book with the clear exception of the 7th MaNDala. Chapter 4 explains that, in the almost complete absence of aatmán and púruSa in the Family Books, tanuú and tmán serve to represent the individual--whether divine or human. Tanuú is used in reference to the divine realm in over three quarters of the occasions where it is used in the Family Books.

    Throughout the RV, both the Family Books and later portions, tanuú never denotes a frailty in the divine realm. However, since there is not a great deal of discussion of a physical body in the RV--i.e., with words like sháriira, or "flesh words" like kraví--I have taken the position that tanuú denotes the individual so far as s/he was conceived--divine or human--as a presence which entailed both physical and abstract traits. The overview of the Family Books and later RV below confirms that this is workable. As indicated in Chapter 2, tmán does not refer to a finite individual self or essence, but rather serves to underscore a particular characteristic as intrinsic to the identity of a deity. In the Family Books there is little or no variation in the uses of tmán from one MaNDala to the next (MaNDala 6 is a slight exception as there are only two occasions of tmán) and it is a predominantly "Agni" word with 12 of its 28 occasions occurring with this deity while no other single god has more than 5 (the Maruts).

    The hypotheses regarding the meaning of each term as it was introduced in the previous chapter are borne out in the analysis of the arrangement of hymns in the Family Books. As the later portions of the RV do not have significantly large groups of hymns by one poet or family, the detailed examination of terms has not been applied. In the present chapter and the discussion immediately below the intention is to identify the patterns and variations in the use of the terminology under study in each family's MaNDala and with each deity. There has been little or no study of the terminology in the earliest books of the RV, so I have included a summary of how each family treats various words related to the self. It is repeatedly the case that a variation in the arrangement of a Family Book will coincide with a unique occurrence of one or several of the key words in this study. The priority in this chapter is to establish relative sequence more than to fix dates. However, where possible, I will note what information has been determined with some degree of certainty as to the date of the different periods of literature.

Composition and Arrangement of the Family Books


    MaNDala 2 contains 10 Agni hymns, followed by 12 to Indra, then four to BrahmaNaspati (the only one of the Family Books with hymns specifically to BrahmaNaspati). The remaining 17 hymns are addressed to a variety of deities including AAdityas, VaruNa, Vishve Devaas, Rudra, Maruts, miscellaneous gods (e.g., 2 to the seasons, 2. 36-37), and the Ashvins (Van Nooten-Holland, 1994: 114-137). The various hymns to different deities are fairly evenly distributed according to the ratio of the other Family Books.

    Tanuú indicates the aspect of the deity which is especially desired for assistance or singled out for praise--e.g., Indra's strength ( 2.16.2, 2.17.2). It is worth noting that tanuú frequently refers to Indra showing his strength, and often this will coincide with an occasion where bráhman is used as in 2.16.7 and 2.17.3. The empowerment coming from bráhman--or second-most in frequency, from Soma--is what strengthens Indra. Tmán is never used to indicate that Indra's strength is intrinsically part of the god's nature.

    When tanuú refers to humans, it invariably denotes something subject to frailty and vulnerability (2.21.6; 2.23.8; 2.34.4, 6). Agni hymns use tanuú to indicate his bright presence ( 2.1.9) or with a presence/tanuú of fury ( 2.10.5). The remaining occasions of tanuú are ascribed to more abstract deities of the skies and heavens such as the Ashvins in 2.39. RV 2.39 includes both uses of tanuú as a reference to the embellished presence/tanuú of the Ashvins in 2.39.2, and frail human tanuú which is vulnerable to injury and in need of assistance (2.39.4, 2.39.5, 2.39.6).

    Where tanuú is used to emphasize one of several possible traits--for praise or to enlist it for assistance--tmán identifies an autochthonous quality of a divinity. Like tanuú it is also most common with Agni and is rare with Indra. In addition, those occasions of tmán which are not used for Agni refer, instead, to abstract deities--usually those associated with the heavens (as in 2.32.4 with Raakaa the goddess of the full moon's day), but also with gods who preside over less tangible things such as BrahmaNaspati, the father of prayer, who is wise of his own accord (2.25.2). When the occasions of tmán are used as the criteria, Agni is the most clearly defined deity as to his inherent traits. In RV 2.1.6 Agni takes on various identities of other deities such as Rudra, TvaSTar, and so forth. When Agni is PuuSan, an all-seeing, weapon-wielding (among other traits) deity, tmán is used to

underscore that Agni himself is a protector.

    The emphasis on BrahmaNaspati in RV 2 is unique among the Family Books. In this collection of BrahmaNaspati hymns, we have two of only four hymns in the RV concerned with both BRhaspati and BrahmaNaspati together. The distribution of the lexical elements under study show BRhaspati as the more physically present, active protector of what is great (N 10.11- bRhaspatir bRhataH paataa vaa); in 2.23 we find BRhaspati associated with key terms such as tanuú (2.23.8a), -dhii (2.23.10a), kárma (2.23.12b), and krátu (2.23.15a). On the other hand, BrahmaNaspati is associated more directly with prayer (N 10.12- brahmaNaspatir brahmaNaH paataa vaa) and is accordingly found in verses with mánas (2.23.12a). These associations are consistent with 5.46 wherein BrahmaNaspati is asked for help (5.46.3b), while BRhaspati is called upon to guard and shelter (5.46.5b); and with 7.97 where BRhaspati exalts (7.97.2a), brings blessings (7.97.4a), is foeless (7.97.5b), and full of strength (7.097.6a) where BrahmaNaspati is king of prayer (7.97.3b), and called upon to favor praises and awaken thought (7.97.9b). Thus when the Family Books are examined in detail, resolution of issues pertaining to the words related to the self are revealed which, as in this case, revise traditional opinions60 that the two terms--BRhaspati and BrahmaNaspati--were simply synonymous. In fact, it appears that BrahmaNaspati is the older term which is replaced by BRhaspati (see below, Chapter 4).

    In MaNDala 3 we have 29 hymns to Agni, 24 to Indra, then four to the Vishve Devaas, and one each to Mitra (3.59), Rbhus (3.60), USas (3.61), and the final hymn to a variety of deities (1994: 138-169).

The Vishvaamitra's of RV 3 use several words quite uniquely in comparison with the other Family Books. For instance, while masculine brahmán/priest is decidedly less common than neuter bráhman/empowerment or power of prayer (17 of the masculine compared with 165 of the neuter) throughout the Family Books, the Vishvaamitra's do not refer to this type of priest at all.61 Tmán occurs only twice, in 3.3.10b where Agni is all encompassing, and 3.9.5a where he wanders as of his own nature. Both attributes are distinct characteristics of fire, and of the journey Agni takes on his way to the gods as he bears the offerings. This suggests that RV 3 is somewhat later than the other Family Books, a possibility considered below and in Chapter 4.

    The occasions of tanuú are completely confined to Agni and Indra hymns with a fairly even distribution between both deities. In addition, tanuú has the most corporeal of its significations when it is used with the

Agni hymns in RV 3. When considered in comparison to the other Family Books in which tanuú is used with more abstract (BrahmaNaspati, VaruNa) deities and those associated with the atmosphere (SavitR), the confinement of tanuú to Indra and Agni accentuates the more corporeal sense of tanuú in this MaNDala. This distinction is quite pronounced in the hymns of the rival VasiSTha's in RV 7 where tanuú is much more abstract and is largely absent in the Agni and Indra hymns. While the AAprii hymn suggests Night and Day have different colored tanuú's (3.4.6), Agni's tanuú is born in 3.15.2, and decorated in 3.18.4. The tanuú of Agni is referred to in triplicate along with his three tongues in RV 3.29.2. Tanuú is somewhat less corporeal in the Indra hymns, but the line between a simple meaning of "body" and a more abstract presence as suggested in Chapter 2 is still quite thin. His tanuú is besought to become great (3.34.1), delight in the Soma (3.41.6), gain vigor from the Soma (3.48.4), sate his tanuú's hunger (3.50.1), and attend itself to the Soma (3.51.11).

    When a hymn violates the typical arrangement of the Family Books, a change in its ideas and vocabulary almost invariably coincides. In 3.53.8, tanuú is quite abstract compared to the rest of the Vishvaamitra hymns. It is also different from the balance of the RV where tanuú is used with Indra. It is an odd occasion where the tanuú of Indra is magically or illusorily changeable (3.53.8b: maayaáH kRNvaanás tanvám pári svaám). Tanuú is used elsewhere in the other Family Books to refer to the multiple aspects of a deity's tanuú ( 2.17.7, 3.4.6, 3.20.2, 5.67.5), but never to Indra's (click here to follow a chronological series of all occasions in which tanuú is found in the RV, in a separate browser window).62 In addition, 3.53.18 contains the only case in the 3rd MaNDala where we find the familiar statement as to the frailty of the human tanuú (bálaM dhehi tanuúSu no bálam indraanaLútsu naH). This is not altogether surprising, of course, as RV 3.53 is a late hymn (Lanman, 1880: 518; Witzel, 1995b: 311). As a later addition, it could possibly have been added to make the praises of the deposed Vishvaamitras (by the VasiSThas of RV 7, see discussion below) more homogenous with the other books.

There is additional evidence that the hymn is a later insertion such as the deification of Vaac in 3.53.15-16 which is an idea from the later RV.63 In addition, Bloomfield has observed that 3.53.7, regarding benefits of proper gifts to the Vishvaamitra's by the sacrificers is also said of the frogs in the late addition to the 7th MaNDala, 103.10 (1916: 204). Part of the praise to Vaac, RV 3.53.16 is echoed in 7.80.2 (Bloomfield, 1916: 205).

    In the 4th MaNDala, we find the Rbhus receiving five hymns (4.33-37) following 15 to Agni and 17 to Indra, then a miscellany of gods including 3

to Dadhikraa (there are only 4 hymns in the entire RV devoted to this battle horse and its exploits), then the Ashvins (4.43-45), Vaayu (4.46-48), BRhaspatitogether with Indra(4.49-50), various heavenly deities (e.g., USas, SavitR), natural phenomena (KSetrasya Pati, Lord of the Soil) in which is included one hymn (4.55) to the Vishve Devaas (1994: 170-201). The concern of the Vaamadeva family with the Rbhu's remains to be determined,64 but for the present purposes it is noted that the Rbhu hymns contain no instances of tanuú and tmán, and only once a reference to bráhman (cf. RV 2.33, also to the Rbhus, is devoid of these three words).

    Tanuú is quite frequently associated with humans in RV 4, moreso than in the other Family Books. Human tanuú strives to be worthy servants of Agni (4.2.14), the human tanuú is frail and in need of Indra's assistance (4.16.17, 4.16.20), or referring to the glorious presence/tanuurúca of humans when in battle (4.24.3, 4.38.7). When used with deities, Agni has the sweetest tanuú (4.10.6), USas is radiant (4.51.9), Indra places his tanuú with the sun (4.16.14). Tmán continues the same pattern and frequency of use as it had in RV 2 and 3. Tmán indicates that Agni, bearer of oblations to the gods, is a priest of his own nature (4.6.5), Indra himself leads the horses forward (4.29.4), and the atmospheric deity SavitR provides defense and sets the heavens in motions of his own accord (4.53.1, 5). Bráhman/neuter is again the predominant form, with only one of four instances in the Agni series, 4.9.4c, is in the masculine, and the same is true for Indra, only one masculine out of ten (4.24.2c). This predominance of bráhman over brahmán remains consistent throughout the Family Books, and in all cases of 2-7, occasions of bráhman with Indra outnumber those with Agni almost four-to-one on average, and six-to-one in RV 5 and 6.

    With the 5th MaNDala the number of hymns increases substantially (MaNDala's 2-4 having 43, 62, and 58 hymns respectively), to 87 hymns. Of these hymns by the AAtreya's, Agni receives 28, Indra 12, the Vishve Devaas 11, then 9 to the Maruts (the largest concentration of the family booksRV 6 contains only one partial praise in 6.48.11-12 & 20-21 and there are 4 in RV 7), 11 to Mitra-VaruNa (the "first" of the family books to address them as a pairRV 2 addresses VaruNa in 2.28, 3.59 addresses Mitra while 3.62.16-18 has a brief mention of the pair, and 6.67 addresses the pair, 6.68 addresses Indra and VaruNa), then 6 to the Ashvins, and a variety to atmospheric deities and others (USas/5.79-80; SavitR/5.81-82; Parjanya, Earth, VaruNa, Indra-Agni, and the Maruts each receive one). The distribution of bráhman/empowerment or power through prayer for both

Indra and Agni remains consistent with the previous MaNDala's, though brahmán/priest is slightly more frequent with Indra, outnumbering references in hymns to Agni by five to four.

    Tanuú is substantially less frequent with Indra and Agni compared with the previous MaNDala's (in RV 2, 3, and 4 tanuú is used with Indra and Agni more than with any of the other deities addressed in each MaNDala). There is also a greater emphasis upon the human tanuú than in the other Family Books. Both occasions of tanuú with Agni refer to the human tanuú as needing protection (5.4.9, 5.15.3). With Indra there is only one occasion which refers to the deity's beneficence to a dutiful worshiper (5.34.3). Tanuú is used much more frequently with the abstract and atmospheric deities than with Indra and Agni. The remaining uses of tanuú include 5.41.17 in a Vishve Devaa hymn to refer to the mortal's need for food in his tanuú, a plea for assistance in battle against the Dasyus (5.70.3). The Maruts are twice mentioned with well-decorated tanuú's (5.57.6, 5.60.4), and the dawn is described as having a bright and splendored tanuú (5.80.4, 5).

    The uses of tmán show no discrepancy with the patterns found in RV 2-4. TvaSTar, who is wealthy already, comes to assist in the sacrifice because it is his own nature to do so (5.5.9). Agni wanders of his own nature (5.15.4). It is the nature of the hymn itself which awakens Indra (5.10.4). Indra's thunder pervades heaven with a roar of its own nature as Indra's voice (5.25.8). This is the only attribute which is self-evident of Indra based upon uses of tmán in the Family Books. The Maruts, commonly associated with storms, are described as powerful of their own accord through an association with lightning (which, incidentally, instantaneously heats the surrounding air to 50,000 degrees F in a standard bolt from ground to air). ViSNu himself yokes the Maruts in 5.87.4.

    There are several exceptions to these patterns of composition and terminology in the Bharadvaaja hymns of the 6th MaNDala. This collection contains 12 fewer hymns than the 5th, with 16 devoted to Agni, 30 to Indra, several hymns to a variety of deities and personalities, 4 to the Vishve Devaas, the only hymns of the Family Books devoted exclusively to PRSan (6.53-58), 2 to Indra and Agni (6.59-60), 1 to Sarasvatii (6.61), 2 to the Ashvins (6.62-63), a handful to USas and Maruts, and a variety of combination hymns beginning with 6.67 to Mitra and VaruNa (others include Indra and VaruNa in 6.68, Indra and ViSNu in 6.69, etc.) as well as one to SavitR (6.71), and 6.73 to BRhaspati (1994: 244-285).

    Agni is treated quite differently considering the terminology in its semantic fields in comparison to any of the other Family Books. There are only two occasions of bráhman in the Agni hymns, both of which are found in RV 6.16 in verses 30 and 36. The other Family Books are not so disproportionate in the distribution of bráhman between Indra and Agni (though Indra normally will have the larger share). This is also the single largest collection of hymns to Indra by one poet or family in the entire RV. Additionally, the typically even distribution of tanuú between Indra and Agni in the other Family Books (with the exception of RV 5) is not the case here where we find only one occurrence of tanuú with Agni (6.11.2c) and 6 with Indra. One of the Indra hymns contains the only occasion of sháriira in the whole of the Family Books (6.25.4) along with an occasion of tanuú in the same verse referring to mortals in combat (see Chapter 4). While one exception does not make the rule, it is clear that tanuú signifies something different than a strictly corporeal body, even when it is used to refer to humans.

    Tmán occurs only twice, once with Agni (6.12.3c) and once with the Vishve Devaas (6.49.5c). Of 28 the occurrences of tmán in the Family Books, Indra claims only three (2.19.7a, 4.29.4c, and 7.18.20c), while Agni has 12. In Bharadvaaja hymns of the 6th book, the Indra hymns substantially outnumber those addressed to Agni and still there are no occasions of tmán in an Indra hymn. This further underscores the observation that Indra's self-evident characteristics are all but non-existent compared with Agni in the Family Books. This changes somewhat in the later portions of the RV. Similarly, of the remaining 14 occasions in the Family Books, the Vishve Devaas hymns have tmán 4 times, and the Maruts 5 times. The remaining occasions are scattered without any specific pattern apart from a predilection for abstract or atmospheric deities, such as the instances with VaruNa (7.84.1c), Dadhikraa (4.41.10), SavitR (4.53.1c, 5c), BrahmaNaspati (2.25.2a), and Raakaa (personification of the full-moon day, 2.32.4a).

    The distribution of the word tmán demonstrates that among the deities, Agni is the most clearly defined in his characteristics. The roles assigned to the fire in the Vedic ritual support this suggestion: he is the highest priest to the gods (4.6.5), he wanders and spreads of his own nature (3.9.5, 5.15.4c), he knows that it is his own nature to be brought forth from plants in the kindling of fire (6.12.3, cf. the discussion of Agni in water and plants in Chapter 5, viz. RV 10. 51), and it is he himself who reaches to the gods (7.7.1).


    The 7th MaNDala contains decidedly more hymns than any of the other Family Books, as well as several unique hymns like that to the frogs (7.103), and a spell against evil spirits in 7.104. Interestingly, however, Agni and Indra receive substantially fewer invocations by ratio than in any other Family Book, with only 17 and 15 respectively. Following these 32 hymns there is the interesting anomaly of the singular hymn by VasiSTha to his sons, 7.33 (in a separate browser window), which occupies the "rightful" hierarchical place of the next deity collection of 8 hymns devoted to the Vishve Devaas. This is the first of several deviations in the arrangement of MaNDala 7 that point to possible later additions and variance in the relative chronology suggested here.

    Notoriously "obscure" (Roth, 1846; Muir, 1967: 319-321), 7.33 warrants further inspection.65 Witzel (1995b: 311) lists it with some 60 other hymns or portions of it that violate order of arrangement as noted also by Oldenberg (1988) and others (Arnold, 1897: 212, Lanman, 1880: 581) For our purposes, it is simply worth noting that a possible reason for this aberration in order might well be reflected in the rivalry with the Vishvaamitras (who also place the Vishve Devaas as third in their "hierarchy" of deity collections). The instance of this hymn, and the rivalry to which it refers, offers an additional point of analysis regarding the family books and the nature of the self. The neuter bráhman is used 3 times (7.33.3, 4, 11) attesting to the VasiSTha's ability to empower Indra against his enemies, repair the axle of his chariot, and in placing VasiSTha himself upon a sacrificial pitcher. Indra is most frequently spoken of as responsive to the VasiSTha's words (7.33.2, 4, and 5).


    The rivalry between the VasiSTha's and Vishvaamitra's affords several comparisons of how each family uses the terminology for the self. This is especially apparent when the uses of tanuú are compared between both families. The use of tanuú between both families is almost equal which is surprising considering that RV 7 has nearly twice as many total hymns. There are 16 occasions of tanuú in RV 3 as opposed to 17 in RV 7. The use of tanuú in RV 3 is applied equally--and only--in Agni and Indra hymns (8 times each). For RV 7, tanuú is used only 2 times with Agni to designate his resplendent presence/tanuú (7.3.9), that he increases (7.8.5); and twice with Indra regarding how he assists Kutsa in battle (see discussion of Kutsa below in Chapter 5, cf. also note 92 above) by means of his tanuú (7.19.20), and the heros invoke Indra to the aid of their tanuú (7.30.2). The use of tanuú elsewhere in the 7th MaNDala differs from the Vishvaamitra's in that the tanuú is decidedly

less corporeal. Even the uses here with Agni and Indra suggest a less corporeal sense of tanuú than the occasions with both deities in RV 3. In the Vishvaamitra hymns tanuú was used only with Indra and Agni whereas the VasiSTha's use tanuú predominantly with other deities.

    In the VasiSTha hymns as a whole, tanuú is more abstract by means of the tanuú humans seek to unite with VaruNa in 7.86.2 (cf. Reat's suggestion of the tanuú as a point of connection between divine and human realms [1990: 38f., 63ff.]), ViSNu's is measureless (7.99.1), the evil spirits/rákSa use the tanuú as a veil to hide their evil (7.104.10-11), and Parjanya's tanuú has a variety of manifestations according to his will (7.101.3). In RV 7 there is a greater number of "new" ideas signified, among other things, by the first occurrences of aatmán (7.101, 7.87), and most of the occasions with púruSa of the Family Books (7.4.3, 7.29.4, 7.57.4, 7.75.8, 7.102.2), the use of tanuú with deities other than Indra and Agni that is more abstract in its significations, the wry hymn to the Frogs (7.103) which, as noted above, echoes RV 3.53.7, and is itself a later addition. These statistics are of interest especially regarding the observation later in this study that the decrease in usage of tanuú corresponds to the increase of aatmán and púruSa, both of which appear for the first time in this family book. However, púruSa invariably denotes a weak and vulnerable mortal or group of mortals, who are vulnerable to sin. The only clear exception is found in 7.102.2 where Parjanya is the germ of life in all living things, including women/puruSiíNam.

    The unique nature of the VasiSTha hymns is identifiable with other terms as well. Tmán is relatively infrequent in RV 7 by ratio in comparison with other Family Books, excepting RV 6, which had only two occasions, both of which were in Agni hymns. In the 7th MaNDala there are only five hymns containing the term, with only one each to Agni (7.7.1) and Indra (7.18.20). One occasion, 7.84.1c occurs in a hymn to VaruNa, a deity conspicuously overlooked in the Vishvaamitra collection, perhaps owing to his role as the progenitor of VasiSTha. While RV 3 has four hymns to the Vishve Devaas, tmán is not found in any series but twice with Agni, and the other predominant occasion for tmán--based upon the pattern observed above--would be with the Maruts which are not addressed at all by the Vishvaamitras.

    The remainder of MaNDala 7 is marked by deviations from the basic structure of order maintained consistently in the first five Family Books. Several more aberrations appear in the deity/number of hymns criterion

for sequencing the collection. The eight Vishve Devaas hymns that follow the self-congratulatory focus of 7.33 precede several hymns of miscellaneous nature (SavitR in 7.45, Rudra in 7.46, a handful to water and the Rbhus, 2 to the AAditya's, one to Heaven and Earth, and two to VastoSpati), apparently resuming the proper ordering according to number of hymns addressed to each deity. However, another series of incorrectly ordered hymns are next, beginning with 4 hymns to the Maruts, 7 to Mitra and VaruNa (again breaking "normal" order), eight to the Ashvins, and 7 to USas. After this disruption, the normal criteria again emerges with four hymns addressed to Indra and VaruNa, and 4 to Vaayu and Indra-Vaayu. These "combination hymns"-- or, as Gonda terms them, dual-deity hymns (1974)--also include two to Indra and Vaayu as distinct entities rather than "dual deities." The remainder of RV 7 is quite diverse: 2 hymns to Sarasvatii, a handful to Indra, BRhaspati, and ViSNu, 2 to Parjanya, and one each for the frogs and the charm against evil in 7.104.

    There arises a clear distinction in the chosen emphasis upon various deities from family to family that is not limited to the squabbling of the VasiSTha and Vishvaamitra clans. It appears, then, that careful observation of the structure of each Family Book yields patterns reflected in the usage, by each clan, of the lexicon under examination in this study. Tmán shows a prevalence of occurrences in MaNDala's that emphasize Agni, the Maruts, and the Vishve Devaas. The frequency of its use with Agni attests to the clearly-defined characteristics attributed to the deity. Tanuú is most predominant in the smaller collections of MaNDala's 2-4, and decreases in frequency in the larger collections, with significantly fewer occasions by relative frequency in the largest of the Family Books, RV 7. Indra hymns have the greatest frequency of the uses of tanuú (excepting RV 7). This correlates with the predominance of occurrences of bráhman with Indra which serve to call forth a strength and power from him that is not considered intrinsic to his nature (i.e., tmán is not used to designate it).

Composition and Arrangement of the Later Rg Veda


    Following MaNDala's 2-7, the homogeneity of each MaNDala is much less clear. There are multiple subdivisions representing a multitude of poets, none of whom are credited with more than 20 hymns. There are four identifiable periods in the later RV. The first identifiable segment is 1.51-191 and 8.1-66--with the exception of the Vaalakhilya hymns 8.49-59 (Gonda, 1975: 11; Witzel, 1995b: 309). For convenience, this period is abbreviated as RV Late-a in the following chapters. The variety of R'Sis in

cluded and the relatively small number of hymns attributed to each makes the distinctions of deity and so forth too isolated to be of great use, though it is still maintained (e.g., 1.58-1.64, attributed to Gautama Nodhas, follows the order of 3 to Agni, 3 to Indra, and 1 to the Maruts). RV Late-a contains eight occasions of aatmán and a wide range of uses for tanuú. The ratio of hymns where tanuú refers to human frailty as opposed to the manifestations of divine presence is still consistent with the Family Books. As aatmán appears more frequently, tanuú takes on decidedly more physical characteristics. In 1.162.20 the tanuú is vulnerable to the axe in the horse sacrifice.

    In the uses of tmán we see Indra having more characteristics of his own nature that are consistent with his exploits in the mythology of the Family Books. Indra himself gives vigor (1.63.8), and he himself strikes down the demon Shambara (1.54.4). The use of tmán that was primarily seen with Agni, the Vishve Devaas, and Maruts in the earlier MaNDala's disintegrates into a largely unsystematic usage. Agastya--to whom is credited 1.170-184, eight of which are to Indra--shows a substantial predilection for the word, using it twice with the Ashvins (1.183, 184), with Heaven and Earth (1.185.1c), in an AAprii hymn (propitiation or invitation hymns to various deities whose presence is needed at the sacrifice, here in 1.188.10a), and once to Indra (1.178.3). Words for the self are comparatively scarce in this early portion of the 8th MaNDala (click here to review the 8th MaNDala, in a separate browser window-- scrolling through the book ismost recommmended), but 8.3 does include both aatmán and tmán. There is also a certain predilection for shatákratu/hundred willed in the Indra hymn 8.36 (six occasions). Indra receives the predominant uses of tmán, though in this portion there are only four occasions to be considered (8.3.21 and 8.6.8 are to Indra, 8.4.3 is to Agni, and 8.46.27 is to Vaayu).

    The next sequence, RV Late-b, includes the first MaNDala, with RV 1-50 and 8.67-100 (Witzel: 1995b, 310). There is no marked increase or decrease in uses of words for the self. Tanuú remains consistent in relative proportions to both aatmán and tmán. There is a reasonable scattering of bráhman, but with no particular patterns of association with other words related to the self and, in 1.18, many occasions of BrahmaNaspati (cf. Chapter 4 below). There are also many combinations of various terms with krátu. No real pattern emerges considering there are only two occasions of tmán, 1.30.14a to Indra and 1.41.6a to the AAdityaas. It is significant, however, that where the Family Books had isolated occasions of púruSa--it appeared in several times in RV 7, also in 3.33.8 to Indra, 4.12.4 to Agni,

and 5.48.5 to the Vishve Devaas--both RV Late-a and RV Late-b contain not one occasion of púruSa with the exception of 8.71.2 in RV Late-b to refer to Agni. In addition, there is one occasion of aatmán in RV Late-b, in 1.34.7 to the Ashvins. There seems to be a very limited concern with individual existence in RV Late-b, as there are also only eight occasions of tanuú and five occasions of tmán. No instances of púruSa are found in RV Late-b.

    As to the arrangement of the hymns in RV Late-b, we do not find a systematic order based upon deity, though frequently Agni or Indra are presented first in a R'Si 's collection. However, variations and interspersed exceptions throughout their "collection" obviate this as a reliable criteria of arrangement. Immediately following RV Late-b are the Vaalakhilya hymns, 8.49-59, in which there is one occasion of tmán to Agni (8.49.4) and one of tanuú (8.56.6). There are no occasions of aatmán or púruSa in the Vaalakhilya's and just two of bráhman (8.52.9, 8.53.8). Winternitz suggests they are of comparable date with the other portions--at least of RV 8--but that there seems no clear reason for their insertion in the course of redaction (1959: 60). Not all these 11 hymns are recognized--the BRhaddevataa 6.84, for instance, recognizes only 8.49-56 (not by those numbers). Gonda suggests they were considered "inferior and half-apocryphal" (1975: 37). Haug draws attention to the complexity of their recitation that was deemed a high level of achievement for the HotR (1977: 416).

    The last two segments of the Early Vedic period are, respectively, the 9th and 10th MaNDala's. Especially in the case of the 9th, however, as it is a collection of the hymns for the Soma ritual drawn from the other books, much of the material is quite old. Similarly, not all hymns of 10 are, by default, considered younger, whether due to their style or content (Witzel, 1995b: 310; Gonda, 1975: 11). RV 9's antiquity, by way of its relation to the Saama Veda (1/3 of the SV hymns are found in RV 9), has been suggested by Weber (1892: 8, 32) to stem from the absence of hymns from RV 10 in the SV (as compared with the large number of RV 9 hymns). Keith affirms the SV as prior to the TS (1967: 164). These are fairly broad inferences and suggest, if nothing else, that further study of the SV is warranted--and, by connection, study of RV 9 appears to be wanting as the familiar quote (Weber, Winternitz, Gonda) of "75 [or so]" verses additional to RV 9 are found in the SV is almost all that is said--Weber suggests 78 (1892: 65); Winternitz counts 75 (1972: 164); Gonda suggests 76 (1975: 314). Winternitz notes that the 75 not found in the RV (the other 1549

hymns of the SV, not counting repetitions come mostly from RV 8 and 9) can be variously found in disconnected segments of the other SaMhitaas. There are only three occasions of tmán, and there is not enough significant correlation between them to place them in the wider patterns noted in this section of the study. AAtmán is found several times in reference to Soma as the essence or vital center of the sacrifice (9.2.10, 9.6.8), and to describe Soma as Indra's primary food (9.85.3). Butter and milk are drawn from it in 9.74.4. There are no occasions of púruSa in RV 9.

    Witzel refers to RV 10 as "the great appendix" to the collection (1995b: 310). Stylistic issues, such the equivalence of 191 hymns in both RV 1 and 10, the use of agnim iiLe ("Agni I call upon") to commence 10.20-26 as found in RV 1.1.1, and so forth suggest that its authors were already conversant with the older segments of the text. Like RV 9, the 10th MaNDala contains hymns of an antiquity similar to those of the Family Books, especially that of the VasiSTha and Vishvaamitra collections (Gonda, 1975: 12-13). The book has three broad divisions, 1-60 with thirteen family groups, 61-84 is a series of pairs devoted to the same deity, and then hymns 85-191 representing the most recent and eclectic part of the collection (Gonda, 1975: 12). Another feature of this MaNDala is its close relation with the AV, excepting the final of its 20 books, but with variations (Gonda, 1975: 13; Arnold, 1967: 22f). When considering the one-seventh of the AV material coming from the RV, Winternitz notes that one half of that portion is derived from RV 10 (1972: 121; also Weber, 1892: 146).

    It is not surprising, then, that this late collection in RV 10, taken as a whole, yields frequent occasions of the terms of later predominance with regard to the self, aatmán and púruSa. In particular, it is only in RV 10 that púruSa signifies something abstract--as in RV 10.90, the PuruSa Suukta--in contrast to the uses in the Family Books where it refers to a sin-prone, vulnerable mortal (or mortals). There are hymns such as 10.97 to the herbs that present a study in and of themselves in the terminology's evolution as we find aatmán, púruSa, krátu, and tanuú in a hymn cited (Brown, 1931: 108ff.), among other things, as an origin of the later associations of Agni and púruSa which became vital to the mysteries of the Agnicaayana such as it is discussed in ShBM 10. There are, in general, frequent occasions--more than in any other MaNDala or, proportionally, temporal strata--where tanuú is used in close conjunction with aatmán (e.g., 10.16), tmán (10.110), and púruSa (10.51, 10.90) affording a closer point of discrimination in the developing signification of all four terms just at the

point where the former begins to decrease in frequency as the Middle Vedic period approaches. Regarding tmán, the apparent indication of later usage shown in RV 1 and 8--earlier and later portions--signified by association with Indra is consistent. Of 11 occasions, four are associated with Indra, two with Agni, and the remaining five scattered among various deities including BRhaspati (10.68.7b), Suurya (10.170.1b), an AAprii hymn (10.110.1a), and two hymns similar to the Family Strata pattern: 10.64.6b to the Vishve Devaas and 10.77.3a to the Maruts.

    The later portions of the RV are marked by several changes in the terminology that occur largely without specific association to one poet's hymns over those of another. The most significant change is the more corporeal meaning which begins to attach to tanuú once aatmán appears to signify the central or vital essence of an individual's presence/tanuú. In addition, the predominant association of tmán with Agni as the most defined deity in terms of its self-generated characteristics (as opposed to those called forth by prayers) breaks down and Indra comes to have his own characteristics. Most significant is the appearance of púruSa--after a complete absence in RV Late-a and only one occurrence in RV Late-b--as a being whose sacrifice creates the entire cosmos.

    Returning to Witzel's work with the geographical, archeological and linguistic evidence of the Vedic period, a general period during which the RV Family Books were composed would be close to 1250 B.C.E. (1989: 249). According to Witzel, the collection of these hymns occurred closer to 1180 B.C.E. when the "appendices" or RV Khila's were composed and collected. This latter group of materials is more properly classified as part of the earliest segment of Middle Vedic, the Mantra Language. Many of the Khila's are a few lines attached to the beginning or end of later RV mantra's (with a few exceptions, RV Kh. 2.5 is attached to RV 5.85; RVKh. 2.11 is attached to RV 6.1; RV Kh 2.13 is attached to RV 7.35; and RVKh 2.12.1 is attached to RV 6.45). Most of the Khila's, including those found in RV 8.49-59, 'stand alone' without attachment to any specific hymn (1946: 915f.). In this study I am including the survey of their contents in Chapter 5 with the later portions of the RV instead of in Chapter 6 that addresses the Mantra Language of Middle Vedic to which the KhilaaNi properly belong.

    The terminology for the self is widely scattered through the Khila's. Terms for the body such as déha and sháriira are as scarce as elsewhere in the RV with only four occasions of sháriira (RVKh 2.12.1, 4.8.5, and 4.11.7, 4.11.8), and one of déha (2.12.1). It is also interesting that púruSa

is significantly more common than aatmán, outnumbering it by 13 to 6. PúruSa continues to be a general term for mortals in the Khila's, (1.4.6, 2.6.2, 2.6.15, 2.9.1), but we do not see the connotations of the púruSa as sin-prone and wicked as with the occurrences in the RV other than, for instance, RV 10.90. Tanuú occurs 6 times displaying a range of meanings such as the many presences of the gods in RVKh 3.11.2 and 5.6.6. There are also occasions where tanuú is something that can be united with the gods as seen in RV 7.7.1 between VaruNa and tanuú, such as RVKh. 1.8.1. Thus the RV Khilas will provide a useful point of analysis for the transition from the RV to the Middle Vedic literature which has not been considered in any other study of the terminology related to the self.

    The importance of the results in this study for the earliest origins of the notion of the self in Vedic India, which are diagrammed in detail in the following chapters, cannot be adequately assessed without careful consideration of the findings in the literature that immediately follows Early Vedic. In this way the results of the research presented in Chapter 4, the Family Books, and Chapter 5, the later RV, can be placed in context with the changes and continuities in the next major period of Vedic literature that includes the Black and White Yajur Vedas, the Atharva Veda, and the early BraahmaNa's. This period is collectively called Middle Vedic (Mylius, 1979: 423; Witzel, 1995a: 97). The portions of Middle Vedic to be examined in Chapter 6 are divided into the Mantra or metric Language of the early Black Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda, the SaMhitaa Prose of these same texts, and the BraahmaNa Prose of the Shatapatha BraahmaNa, the Jaiminiiya BraahmaNa, and the Aitareya BraahmaNa (cf. Narten, 1968: 115; Witzel, 1995a: 96-97).

Middle Vedic


    In this period of the Vedic literature the development, specialization, and even abandonment of various terms becomes clearly apparent. The analysis of terminology is confined to an assessment of the findings in Chapter 4 and 5 with the terminology for the self and how the uses of each change in this period. In addition, there is a primary emphasis upon two main groups of Middle Vedic texts. The material of the Black Yajur Veda (BYV), particularly the MaitraayaNi SaMhitaa (MS), the KaaThaka SaMhitaa (KS), and the Taittiriiya SaMhitaa (TS), receives greatest attention as it was completely overlooked throughout the previous studies of the self in Vedic literature (cf. Chapter 1). In fact, there are few studies of these texts--es-

pecially the untranslated MS and KS--so this dissertation will be charting important new territory by exploring how these SaMhitaa's treated such key terminology. The second primary emphasis is upon the Jaiminiiya BraahmaNa (JB) and the Shatapatha BraahmaNa (ShB) for exactly the opposite reason. Both texts have received substantially more attention by scholars than the BYV texts (e.g., Bodewitz, 1973, 1976, 1990; Gonda, 1986, 1988; Smith, 1989; Thite, 1975; Tull, 1989; etc.). Another reason for attending to these two BraahmaNas, apart from their prominent place among recent publications, is the availability of electronic editions of each.

    By examining these two groups of texts I will also be addressing the sub-categories of Middle Vedic identified as Mantra Language (metric and prose mantras from the BYV), SaMhitaa Prose (non-metric expository passages that explain the rituals that are also included with Mantra Language sections of these texts, but represent a later period of composition), and BraahmaNa Prose (the material of the ShB and JB). I will also examine the Atharva Veda, PañcavMsha BraahmaNa, Taittiriiya BraahmaNa, Aitareya BraahmaNa, the AAraNyaka's, and UpaniSads whenever they quote--or are quoted in--these texts of primary emphasis. Accordingly, the following sections will summarize the existing research on the relative chronology of each period of texts in Middle Vedic to provide a timeline for comparing the changing uses of the terminology for the self.

Mantra Language


    Defined as the mantras of the RV Khila, the SV, ShYV and KYV, as well as the mantras in verse and prose of the AV (Witzel, 1995a: 96; 1989: 124), the majority of non-electronic texts studied here fall within this category. Terminological analysis will be carried out in these texts with the assistance of the VaidkapadaanukramakoSaH.66

    As Witzel suggests, Mantra Language includes the oldest Indian prose along with the metric portions, but it requires further study (1995a: 96). In this examination of the developing terminology for the self, changes in use and frequency of various elements of the early-Middle Vedic discussions that employ the words for the self will add to the understanding of stratification within this chronology. Witzel suggests that the period of phonological revision, or orthoepic diaskeuasis, during which a "free-floating" mantra collection underwent gradual linguistic change (1989: 124-5), formed the palette from which these texts drew their ritual invocations.

    Addressing the same issue, Keith posits an ur-YV [my term] from which the MS, KS, and TS derived their mantras. In this case, the TS would

reflect a slightly later or, at least, different ("derivate") collection from the ur-YV regarding its more consistent harmony with the VS and the RV (1914: 90). By contrast, the KaaThaka and MaitraayaNi SaMhitaas "mutilate" RV passages. Keith's discussion includes tentative agreement with Oldenberg's suggestion (1888: 304, n. 1) that the TS and MS together derive from an intermediate sub-collection of an ur-YV that was, in turn, a direct source for the VS as it was derived with stronger RV influence (1914:89).

    Unfortunately, accounts beyond these broad speculations, as Witzel observes, are largely missing from the pool of available scholarship on the subject. The paucity of research in this area is compounded by the view held by Keith that geographical data can be of little use (1914:92). When examined according to the relative chronology, changes in semantic field terms can reveal changing nuances of the key words which are traceable to geographic locations and corresponding historical peridos of settlement.

    To provide a working paradigm of the chronological stratification in the Mantra Language, I offer the following hypothetical framework of scholarship: if we were to accept Keith's rejection of L. L. Von Schroeder's suggestion that PaaNini's silence on certain forms of the MS therefore implies the older date of the KS, then the three BYV SaMhitaa's are of relatively equal date in their derivations of mantras from the ur-YV (1914: 96-7). Next, relying on the ratio of imperfects to perfects, a criteria first identified by Whitney (MS: 22.37 to 35, TS: 19 to 27, and KS "similar"), Keith feels that comparative equivalence in date is a fair conclusion (1914:97; also Gonda, 1975: 327).

    This quantitative similarity alone is not convincing, for two reasons: in the first case, Keith rejects geographical variants that may or may not have bearing on relative chronology--cf. regional variants tracked by Witzel--such that, in the second case, a combination of regional/dialect evidence when combined with philological evidence adduced in the current study allows for drawing finer distinctions. I will provide an example here of the level of detail involved in drawing such chronological stratifications, based on linguistic evidence. Much of this material, as it pertains to the study of the self, is of a more limited applicability. Where it is possible to regularly apply it, I have outlined the linguistic criteria that will be used in

the previous chapter.

    On the point of TS/KS/MS sequence, for instance, Witzel identifies the priority of the MS to the KS. Next he adds that there is an additional contrast of the MS and KS with the TS as can be seen with genitive feminine singular ending in -ai. This feminine singular ending is a later Taittiriiya development that differs from the earlier form with -yaaH as, for instance, in TS prásityai compared with KS 1.12 prashityaaH (1989: 135). Keith's examples, as Witzel notes, do not come from the Mantra portions of the SaMhitaa, a distinction of genre recognized by Keith, who even divides his sub-headings according to these categories (1914: 72f, 98f, 159ff.), but does not consistently observe them when drawing his conclusions (Witzel, 1989: 135, n. 80).

    Distinctions such as ai/-yaaH are not fixed by rule, as the occurrence of ai is often sprinkled in contradistinction to what would be expected with accepted chronology (e.g., the accepted posteriority of AB 6-8 does not reflect what would be expected and -ai is actually found in AB 1.27 and 4.27). Suffice it to say that in gaps and contradictions of Mantra Language and SaMhitaa Prose chronology, deference to Witzel's study will be the rule, with emendations as needed from the collation of data from the current study.

    Based on the evidence above, the general sequence of Mantra portions in the YV schools is accepted here as MS, KS, TS, and VS respectively. With regard to the VS, it is true the VSM uses ai, but this has been noted as more a case of redaction, while VSK aligns with the Western dialects and is later (1989: 137; also Gonda, 1975: 331), vs. Weber (1892: 90-1). In the chronological period immediately prior to the YV collection, the Mantra Language of the Atharva Veda Paippalaada recension precedes the Sama Veda, and will be treated in that order (Witzel, 1989: 250; Gonda, 1975: 274; Keith, 1914: 163-4). The RV Khilas are situated, as noted above, just after the RV and the AVP, but prior to the MS and KS. These texts fall within and shortly after 1180 B.C.E., the date mentioned for the RVKh above (Witzel, 1989: 250).

    The next consideration which must be distinguished is the relation of the Shaunaka and the Paippalaada recensions of the Atharva Veda, which Keith does not treat. In addition, following Weber (1892: 65), the antecedence of the SV to RV 10 is open to debate in light of, at least, the words currently under study since, for instance, aatmán is relatively more frequent in RV 9 than 10, while tanuú, the "earlier" term of choice is more

plentiful by proportion in the latter. The reliance of the SV upon RV 8 and 9 for much of its content draws Weber's conclusion into question.

SaMhitaa Prose


    Although the full study of SaMhitaa Prose is still in its infancy, the category SaMhitaa Prosea YV phenomenonwas nonetheless recognized as a distinct category from Mantra Language in earlier studies such as that of Keith (1914: 159f., albeit his categories were "Mantra portions" and "BraahmaNa portions"). Not to be confused with the language of the BraahmaNas to be discussed later, Witzel identifies this narrow strata as consisting of BraahamaNa-type expositions of the mantras in the previous category (1995a: 97).

    Keith suggests that the older AB 1-5 predates the prose portions of the TS, while the later 3 Pañcika's are not recognized (1914: 99). In addition, these portions are reckoned to be earlier than the ShB and JB. TS 3 and 7 are suggested as altogether later, with the PB (22.11, 14-16; 21.1, 9.2, 10.5-10) as the probable source for the latter with respect to the Ahiinas (1914:69, 72, 100-1). The TS is held by Weber (1892: 108) as equal in time of composition with VS 1-18 and some of 22-25 without distinctions of mantra/prose. All the TS prose, as Keith suggests, was known to Yaaska and PaaNini (Keith 1914:167-9). Witzel ascribes the YV prose of the MS and KS as prior to (c. 900 bce.) to the TS prose (1989: 250).

BraahmaNa Prose


    Witzel notes that this literary period should be divided into an earlier and later portion (1995a: 97), which I will abbreviate for convenience here as BPa and BPb. Again, a great deal of research could further these delineations, but I will attend primarily to the AB, ShBM/K, JB, TB, and PB that are the primary texts of interest for this portion of the Middle Vedic study. The AAraNyaka's, as part of the BraahmaNas, are treated as components of this period, with sequential distinctions as necessary or identifiable from available research.

    The chronology of the BraahmaNas presents a substantial challenge to even the most diligent scholar (Gonda abandons the task, after an uncharacteristically brief four-page foray, as laden with difficulties that "prove to be enormous" 1975: 360). Part of the problem arises from the fact that these texts are composed in several different segments and their chronological order is not reflected in the order of their arrangement. The safest course is to begin with the most widely agreed upon facts--both of them--and move from there instantly into the melee of Jaiminiiya jousting and

Shatapatha shuffling and the other minutiae of subdivisions in BraahmaNa prose chronology. There is general assent that AB 1-5 represents the earliest of the BraahmaNa portions (Keith, 1914: 99, 100; by implication 1981: 42, 46-7; Gonda--allowing possible precedence to the PB--1975: 357; Witzel, 1989: 250), though, for instance, Wackernagel (1896: xxx) dissents, preferring by linguistic argument the PB, JB, and TB in that order. Immediately the more fiendish of the features of this dating arises as there are a multitude of temporal layers in these texts, enough to make the deliberations above on Mantra Language appear not unlike a frolic.

    Witzel (1989) sorts these matters with sufficient clarity to serve the needs of the current study for a relative framework upon which to build the detailed analysis in the following chapters. Following AB 1-5, the TB is fairly well accepted as the next oldest and, where dissent over precedence between the TB and AB 1-5 arises, the consensus of scholars nonetheless favors it as next in sequence (Gonda, 1975: 357; Keith, 1914: 97; Witzel, 1989: 250-51). Next there is the tangle over the sequence between the JB and PB. Bodewitz (1990: 15f.) has taken the principle of subdividing the text to an altogether higher level of detail by comparing the JB with PB 6-9 as follows: JB 1.66-191, 206-228 (232), and 3.42-364 in that sequence, with JB 1.1-65, 192-205, and 233-341 as later additions. Caland, defers to linguistic arguments to place the entire PB as younger than the JB (1931: xix-xx). Gonda notes that Wackernagel holds the PB as older, and concludes himself that the JB and ShB are both later (1975: 357-8), where Keith says both the AB and KB predate the PB (1981: 42).

    Keith is closest to the mark, placing both the AB and KB prior to the PB, with the KB younger as a whole ((1981: 24), and AB 7-8 following the KB (1981: 47). Caland allows priority of the JB to the early portions of ShBK and ShBM. On the ShBM/K issue, Gonda punts entirely--as he does also with JB/PB--declining to identify one or the other redaction as older (1975: 354, 348). Most authors agree, however, that three distinct strata may be identified in both texts, most easily described in ShBM as 1-5, 6-9, 10-14. Weber broadly identifies ShBM 1-9 as older, with 10-14 successively younger (1892: 108, 119-20). Keith specifies ShBM 6-9, the ShaaNDilya books, as oldest, followed by 1-5, the Yaajñavalkya books, and finally the last five, 10-14 (1967: 102-3). Witzel's sequence is the same. In addition, he offers the following broad resolution, to the conundrum: AB 1-5; TB; then the KB. This group will be called BraahmaNa Prose-a (BPa). More divisible by regional variation than clearly defined temporal progression, and fitting the

designation of BPb, are the JB, ShBM 6-10, ShBM 1-5, ShBK 1-7, and somewhat subsequently, AB 7-8 follow as a largely overlapping group at roughly ~500 bce (1989: 250-51). The last strata under consideration here is composed of the Chandogya and Taittiriiya UpaniSads, and the Pañcavimsha BraahmaNa.


    This chapter has established the temporal framework on which analysis of the lexicon of words related to the self will be based. An overview presents the following broad sequences: for Early Vedic, RV 2, 4, 5, and 6 are the oldest, with MaNDalas 7 and 3 slightly younger, respectively. Following the results for BraahmaNa prose, it is also likely that RV MaNDalas 5 and 6 could simply represent regional variations rather than temporal ones. Consequently they are included as the oldest of Early Vedic, though under scrutiny. RV 3 and 7 reflect a unique set of contrasts and similarities that suggest a possible later date for one or the other MaNDala. This portion of the RV is followed both in time and in sequence--as Chapter 5--by RV 8.1-66 (excepting 8.49-59) and 1.51-191 as one unit, and 8.67-103 and 1.1-50 as a second, subsequent unit. Just prior to RV 9 are the Vaalakhilya hymns 8.49-59, then RV 9 and RV 10. It is not possible at this time to establish dates for the subsections of the RV.

    For Middle Vedic, the Mantra language of the Atharva Veda will be considered the oldest, with the recension of Paippalaada as prior to the Shaunika. This is followed immediately by the SV and the RV Khilas. These latter two mantra texts are likely earlier than the Shaunika which, in turn, will be scrutinized as later than the MS, KS, and TS Mantra language, while remaining earlier than that of the VSM and VSK. The SaMhitaa prose of the MS, followed by that of the KS and TS will be the accepted order, with careful attention to the relation to the later portions of the RV as noted with 10.121. BraahmaNa prose has three broad divisions of a, b, and c. BPa follows a clear sequence of AB 1-5, TB and KB. Following these RV and BYV BraahmaNas is BPb that consists of internal divisions possibly attributable in some cases to region rather than to sequence. In this category-BPb--I am placing, in chronological order, the JB, ShBM 6-10, ShBM 1-5, ShBK 1-7, AB 7-8, and ShBM 11-14. These texts are briefly touched upon with regard to the earliest appearances of the relation between bráhman and speech as well as aatmán and bráhman. Finally in BPc where temporal distinctions remain in need of further structure there is the Chandogya UpaniSad, the Taittiriiya UpaniSad, and the Pañcavimsha BraahmaNa. In a broader sense, however, the sequence of BPa, b, and c as temporal categories will be used for comparing the results of each synchronic analysis of terminology for the self.




    The religion of the Family Books of the Rg Veda is characterized by a potent, interconnected cosmos of interacting deities, priests, poets, and worshippers. The content of these books is concerned with how to make these different elements interact for the benefit of the worshipper. Accordingly, this chapter demonstrates that terminology for individuality, primarily represented in the words tanuú and -dhii, is restricted in its application to the realm of the gods. More than three-fourths of the uses of tanuú are in reference to deities. When humans are the referent, the tanuú is decidedly frail and in need of assistance. Mánas is the source of the thought posited and directed to prompt the desired response from the gods.

    The means of acquiring this assistance forms the central theme the Family Books. Efficacious prayers, prayers that achieve the desired attention of the deities, are those which are endowed with a special power, bráhman. It is the task of a variety of priests to utter these prayers. Moral and ethical considerations are referred to only generally--and infrequently with the terms under study--as with R'ta. The components of individuality are not discussed objectively. Words for mental processes-derivatives of -cit, -man, -budh, and -dhii--are applied to the actions of the poets. References to corporeal presence--i.e. the body--are all but non-existent. In the oldest segment of the RV, MaNDalas 2-7, the so-called "Family Books," the predominant word for existential presence is tanuú. The other primary terms--especially aatmán and púruSa--are quite scarce, though ahám and tmán are not entirely uncommon.

    AAtmán, púruSa, and bráhman are usually the predominant terms with respect to discussions of individuality and its relation to the cosmos in Vedic literature, yet of the three terms, only bráhman is found with any frequency in this earliest portion of the RV. AAtmán and púruSa are all but absent in the Family Books (RV 2-7). In addition, púruSa is largely absent from later RV MaNDala's as well, as we will see in Chapter 5, while aatmán makes a more marked increase in its appearance in these same later portions. There are only two occasions of aatmÿán, in 7.87.2a and 7.101.6b, and four of púruSa in 3.33.8d, 4.12.4a, 5.48.5c and 7.57.4b.

    Other lexemes from the core group--e.g. ahám, tanuú, and tmán--are found in place of aatmán and púruSa in the semantic fields which, in later literature, are dominated by them. Accordingly, I will turn to the isolated occasions of aatmán and púruSa after first addressing the other core terms in detail, beginning first with bráhman, followed by tanuú, tmán, and ahám.

    The words will be studied within two general fields of comparison: the immediate semantic field (the words within the same line or paada), and the larger semantic field (within the same or, on occasion, adjacent verses). Each word is first studied in relation to words which frequently occur in its semantic field--immediate or larger--and then with regard to words for mental processes (derivatives of -cit, -dhii, -budh, -man, as well as krátu) when they occur in the semantic field of the term under examination. For instance, with bráhman the other words for prayer--arká, ukthá, -stu derivatives, and -gaa are considered. Following this there is an examination of words like -cit and -budh with bráhman as well as forms of -man and -dhii. In addition, where translation of an entire verse is warranted I have included comparison translations--usually Geldner--to enable analysis of syntax and the overall sense of the passage as rendered here.

    In this first portion of the RV survey, the primary objective is to determine, as closely as possible, the way the words under scrutiny were used in this early portion of the literature. This leaves the whole of this chapter as predominantly synchronic in its analysis, as distinctions between earlier and later portions of the Family Books is largely impossible. However, there are times when the difference in meaning from one hymn to another happen to coincide with particular findings by Arnold, Lanman, and Oldenberg as to the lateness of a given hymn. When this occurs, I have made note of the internal chronology and the development of the term which is implied. In addition, it becomes apparent that of the Family Books, MaNDalas 3 and 7 are slightly later and, of the two, the evidence I have gathered--regarding tanuú in particular--indicates that MaNDala 3 is later than 7 (suggested by Witzel, 1989; reiterated, 1997). Diachronic findings of a mostly statistical nature (e.g. observation of numerical changes in the relative frequency of use with tmán in later literature) are included where appropriate but, for the most part, extensive diachronic analysis is not practical here.

    The main project here, then, is to outline starting points for comparison in the next two chapters. The basic collection of common semantic fields and meanings for each word will be brought under the focus of diachronic analysis in Chapter 5 (covering the later RV) and Chapter 6 (Middle

Vedic & conclusions). By far the most complex and frequently ambiguous term is bráhman. There is no paucity of scholarship on the word, and the effort here is to comprehensively consider it, most specifically as it relates to prayer, priests, and deities.


    If there is any term among those chosen for this study which shows a consistent development from its Early Vedic uses to the role it assumes in Middle and Late Vedic, it is bráhman. In other words, bráhman is first seen in the Family Books with a meaning of pure, independent power (cf. Elizarenkova, "independent force" in some early passages, 1996: 97). This meaning is complemented by occasions where its association with an act of speech, or word of prayer, is equally apparent, as Thieme suggests "Formulierung" (1952: 103). It never loses these basic connotations but, instead, develops both independent force, which I have sometimes translated as "pure energy," and Formulierungthe latter by way of the association with Vaac which develops in Middle Vedic, especially in the BraahmaNa Prose--into the all-encompassing totality of the universe, or macrocosm, in the aatmán-bráhman teachings of the UpaniSads.

     As I have indicated below and in Chapter 5, several changes in the use of aatmán and púruSa were yet to occur in the Family Books and the later RV before the early stages of their association with bráhman could begin. I suggest this--even acknowledging my own reservations against seeking

later meanings in early uses (cf. Bodewitz vs. "development" theories, 1991: 40)--in careful consideration of the data assembled below.

    Inasmuch as Indra and the other deities require the potency of bráhman in order to most effectively perform their characteristic feats, bráhman appears already to have a significance which is, at the very least, on a par with--if not ascendant over--the Early Vedic pantheon. I am suggesting that bráhman represents the pure energy which is invoked by a rightly delivered praise. As a pure energy, it is both independent and ritually sacred. By rendering it in this way, I can more easily draw the reader's attention to the development in the use of bráhman to represent an energy or power which is almost inseparable from speech in the later portions of the RV. In these later occasions it is more appropriate to suggest "empowered speech" or, with Thieme (1952) "formulated speech" or "formulation." My only problem or reluctance with "formula" is that it implies the priest as sole creator of this kind of potent speech which is not supported in every case below. If the priest is righteous, bráhman is a power which attends upon his speech as an additional element of potency in what he utters or sings. When bráhman is present, it is in response to a righteous priest's praise (see 6.38.3-4 below). The word "formulated" implies that the priest "creates" bráhman with his invocation which is not consistently the case in the Family Books.

     Bráhman is frequently associated with prayer but bráhman does not consistently indicate a dependence upon the prayer or the priest for its existence. In fact it is often the other way around, bráhman exists of its own accord as a power which can bring about desired traitsfor example, strengthening/várdhan Indraand it is the task of the priests to rightly articulate prayer such that it resonates with, or "accesses" bráhman for the desired ends. As Thieme notes (1952: 98), the function of bráhman to produce strength is in large part reason for the suggestion of Gonda (1950: 40-41) that the word means power. Etymology is another reason for this association, of course, but Thieme disagrees with the use of etymology or religious interpretation "die Feststellung der Grundbedeuteng is nicht Angelegenheit riligionsgeschichtlicher Interpretation" (1952: 93).

    Bráhman is primarily used to signify an empowerment which attends upon priestly utterances--whether of or from prayer, worship, and devotion; it is also a resource of human and divine potency, not unlike the "inherent firmness, supporting or fundamental principle" noted in detail by Gonda (1962: 70). The research here reveals that there are definite

indications of a broader signification similar to Gonda's suggestion of power, growth, and preservation (1950: 32, 39, 43). However, as noted in Chapter 1, Gonda's findings need to be reconsidered in an historical, developmental context as his conclusion arises from a compilation of many textual sources--BraahmaNa's (1962: 10), UpaniSads (1962: 11-12), or even the Mahaabhaarata and the Shatapatha BraahmaNa at the same time (1962: 29)--without attention to temporal sequence or development of meaning from one text to the next. Thieme has noted that Gonda does not attend accurately to the formation of the tradition as well (1952: 95). However, the current study is especially attentive to the developments of the tradition--diachronic change--within the RV which is not, apparently, part of Thieme's argument (e.g., he cites the later period with 1.47, a later hymn 3.53, and several hymns of the Family Books--4.16, 7.37--together [1952: 103]). Thus the attention to Thieme's finding will be useful to inform those occasions where "Formulierung" is supported.

    The first point which must be established, if the sense of pure, independent energy is to be accepted for bráhman in the Family Books, is the role of the priests in the crafting of praises, both vocally in the act of uttering them, and mentally in the act of conceiving them. First I will attend to the various priests who performed these functions: the R'Si's, kaví's, brahmán's, and vípra's. This will lead us to a discussion of the role of mental processes in the formulation of prayer and the invoking of bráhman. I will close the section on priests with a discussion of the two deities of prayer, BrahmaNaspati and BRhaspati. Both deities are differently related to bráhman by the tradition--king and father, respectively--and, aside from the fact that a majority of the neuter genitive forms of bráhman are part of the name BrahmaNaspati, there is a distinct development and change in the role of each god and the place of bráhman with respect to each.

Makers of Mantras: poets, priests and seers


    Throughout the Family Books, it is the neuter form, bráhman, which predominates over masculine brahmán. H. G. Narahari notes that there are over 200 occurrences of "brahman" in the RV (1944: 3). In fact, most of these appear in the Family Books alone. RV 2-7 contains 165 cases of bráhman/power and 17 of brahmán/priest. The neuter form bráhman is hardly ever found with either vípra, R'Sii, or kaví.67 Brahmán/priest is found in the semantic field of bráhman only once, in RV 6.45.7,

to be discussed below. Bráhman/pure or poetic energy rarely shares its semantic field with the other terms for priests or liturgists.

    In the Family Books, bráhman frequently appears as an active emboldening power independent of any kind of priest or poet--brahmán, vípra, R'Sii, kaví--and it is sometimes a separate category of potency distinct from words for hymns or sacred utterance, e.g., arká, ukthá, gír, -stu derivatives (stutá, stóma, etc.), and -gaa--which are rarely68 found in its semantic field (in the same paada or line, or sharing a given declension, occurs in 18 hymns).69 For instance, in RV 6.45.4c-d, praise is offered/árcata and songs are sung/prá - gaayata to Indra, the one to whom pure energy is brought (sákhaayo bráhmavaahase 'rcata prá ca gaayata). Later in the same hymn, bráhman is brought to the priest--instead of being generated by or through him--in 6.45.7a (brahmaáNam bráhmavaahasaM).

In the same MaNDala, however, we see a case where it is unmistakable that bráhman is best rendered as formulated speech in the following list of spoken acts which strengthen Indra along with sacrifice in RV 6.38.4a-b (várdhaad yáM yajñá utá sóma índraM várdhaad bráhma gíra ukthaá ca mánma).

    This observation may come as quite a surprise considering the frequent association of bráhman with Vaac in the later literature. But that is precisely the point: what is commonly seen with a given term in the later literature, particularly in those texts most intricately concerned with notions of self and the micro-macrocosmic equivalences, is exactly that--a feature of the later literature. There are ample points of origin in the RV Family Books from which these later ideas develop, and even more such origins in the later portions of the RV.


Such is the case with Vaac and bráhman. To be sure, they are occasionally associated quite directly in the later RV as in 10.114.8d where Vaac extends only so far as does bráhman (yaávad bráhma viSThaM taávatii vaák). This is a significant occasion for the suggestion that the association between the two is a development predominantly associated with the ritual literature. RV 10.114 has been noted by Staal as containing the only occasion in the RV (10.114.3) with a description of the shape of a sacrificial altar (1983, I: 129). In addition, 10.114 meets three of Arnold's five criteria for determining a later hymn--one which post-dates both the composition and arrangement of the RV--including the most reliable category of later vocabulary and grammar (1897: 213).70 In addition, the godhood of Vaac is infrequently attested, as in 8.100.11a-b where her crea

tion by the gods and her form as the speaking of all animals is described (deviíM vaácam ajanayanta devaás taáM vishváruupaaH pashávo vadanti).71 The various forms of association between Vaac and bráhman in the later literature is repeatedly evident from the Mantra Language, SaMhitaa Prose and BraahmaNa Prose.72 Subsequent to this, of course, are the intricacies of Vaac's role in the Tantric traditions as discussed by Padoux (1990).

    Vaac is not specifically identified with bráhman in the Family Books--and hardly at all apart from a handful of verbal forms (for example, RV 2.16.7, 5.73.10, 6.29.4, 7.22.3, 7.23.1, 7.72.3)--except in RV 7.103.8 in the famous Frog Hymn where it appears not to designate a divinity so much as the generic voices of the priests raised yearly for rains73 (braahmaNaásaH somíno vaácam akrata bráhma kRNvántaH parivatsariíNam) in what is a later hymn (Oldenberg 1888; Arnold, 1897: 212; Vajracharya, 1990; Witzel, 1995b; cf. note 6 above). I do not agree with Padoux, however, that while Vaac appears in "a number of isolated stanzas in various books of the Rg Veda, including those held as the oldest ones: the creative role of the Word [Vaac] seems therefore a notion present from the greatest antiquity" (1990: 7). The evidence in the Family Books does not support this (cf. note 71). Bráhman is not "spoken"--with forms of -vaac, -gaa, -stu, etc.--in the Family Books. Bráhman's association with spoken praise does become quite strong in the later portions of the RV and, of course, significantly greater in the later Vedic literature.

    The kind of power bestowed by invoking bráhman is not dependent for its existence upon human conjuring (through hymns, etc.) or on the beneficence of any deity. This is qualified somewhat by BrahmaNaspati as the king of bráhman and BRhaspati as its father in 2.23.1-2. However, it is BRhaspati who comes to be fully associated with, and is even the maker of passage for, bráhman (7.97.8). This is a product both of the later predominance of BRhaspati over BrahmaNaspati, as well as the inherent differences between each deity (see discussion below). Considering that bráhman denotes a power which is sought by humans and is necessary to the full well-being of the gods--e.g. Indra's or the Ashvins' strength--its association with BRhaspati, who is "protector of what is great" (N 10.11 bRhaspatir bRhataH paataa vaa), is a logical consequence.

    Only marginally more common in the semantic fields surrounding bráhman are the words relative to mental processes, primarily -man, and -dhii (see below). Bráhman is rarely posited or actively reflected upon in

thought. In addition, only five times in the immediate semantic fields (i.e. within the same paada) of all 165 occasions of bráhman in the Family Books is the verb -shru (to hear) to be found (cf. 5.85.1, 6.17.3, 6.40.4, 7.29.2, and 7.83.4). Bráhman is intimately related to prayer and to the priest, but that is not its primary or predominant meaning, nor is the priest its source.

    In contrast, however, words of "making" and "forming" do occur in bráhman's semantic fields as we see below with RV 7.97.9 (átakSad), and 4.16f. (ákaari). We also see bráhman made or performed in 4.6.11a (ákaari bráhma samidhaana túbhyaM). The priests also claim bráhman as their own in efforts to attract the gods to their worship rather than that of anyone else as in 2.18.7a asking Indra to come over to the priest's bráhman (máma bráhmendra yaahy áchaa). Thieme notes the occasions of 4.6.11 and 2.18.7 as well as 2.39.8, which offers a point where the distinction between bráhman and prayer or stóma is suggested (1952: 103-104). In 2.39.8 the GRtsamadas have made both bráhman and stóma to strengthen the Ashvins (etaáni vaam ashvinaa várdhanaani bráhma stómaM gRtsamadaáso akran). While bráhman is clearly made by the priest, it is clearly distinct from the connotations of speech attested with stóma. In this connection it is important that Thieme suggests "Formulierung" which lies somewhere between prayer and independent power, excluding neither meaning. My only problem with applying this term throughout the translations is that it does not illuminate a change in the way that bráhman is understood as it comes into closer association first with speech and then, later, with an abstract metaphysical monism in Middle Vedic. As we will see below in Chapter 5, with several exceptions bráhman is justifiably considered a formulation.


    The well-known term for the singer of the sacred hymn,RSi, the gifted or wise poet, the kaví, and from -vip (to quiver, be stirred) the vípra, the one who is stirred or excited, are the three terms which share similar meanings with regard to uttering or conceiving prayer. RSi is the most scarce, appearing only 29 times in the Family Books compared with 78 in the remainder of the RV74 (33 of which are in RV 8 and 9). Far and away the most dominant term is kaví with 113 occasions in the Family Books (32 in RV 3 and 27 in RV 5 comprise over half these occurrences) and 184 in the later RV portions. Thus kaví is relatively more frequent in the Family Books than in the later books in which 72 occurrences of kaví are found in RV 9 (almost half of which are the nominative singular

kavíH). We find vípra in the Family Books 99 times, two-thirds of which are in the Vishvaamatra (RV 3) and VasiSTha (RV 7) MaNDalas in near-equal distribution. This is in comparison with 159 occasions in the later books where it is relatively less common.

    After the RV became "fixed" or cemented in its form and content, the role of the "stirred" poet/vípra and the kaví is substantially diminished. New hymns were not added, the existing ones were recited. The mental effort of positing thought signified in -man and the reflections and intent of devotion in -dhii are no longer pivotal. The proper recitation and remembering of the hymns is more important over time, and with this change the brahmán priest becomes more prominent and the kaví and vípra as well as the R'Si become less prominent. The R'Si is already scarce in the RV which reflects that the period of its composition was coming to a close and its transition to a repository for recitation is marked with a steady decline in references to the poets.

    The relative frequency of reference to the poets--vípra, kaví and R'Si--decreases coincidentally with the increase in references to the brahmán priest. However, the brahmán--while still somewhat uncommon in the RV--was a poet in these RV references. He later became a priest such as, for the most part, in the AV (Witzel, 1998: 271). Eventually, as the RV becomes solidified as a canon, the role of the Adhvaryu becomes more important and the priest of the RV, the Hotar, decreases in significance. A resulting spirit of competition between the Hotar and Adhvaryu's is suggested as the reason for the "modern" philosophical ideas included in the later RV MaNDalas--especially RV 10 and later the AV. This was the effort of the Hotars insure their relevance in the changing political structure as the various kings moved eastward. Witzel has noted that after the RV became fixed and the population moved further and further east, it became more and more important to the validity of the eastern kings' authority that they have authentic North-western ritualists in their households (1998: 267, 278f., 294f., 311-312). Accordingly, the ability to generate effiicacious prayers was pivotal in the new competitive environment. It stands to reason, then, that the poets would "fatten their resumé's" by directly attributing the efficacious power of the prayer, the bráhman, with their own abilities.


    It is apparent that the terminology for the priests shows a concurrent development with these sociological and geographical changes. The occasions of reference to all kinds of poet but the brahmán truncate signifi-

cantly in the later periods of Vedic literature. This coincides with the time of "closure" on the composition of the RV. The traditional poets were no longer relevant. In particular, the use of vípra, kaví, and R'Si steadily declines parallel to the increase of brahmán. In the later portions of the RV, R'Si increases somewhat in frequency in the later books of the RV (though bráhman and R'Si are rarely found together75). It is also interesting that forms in the plural, designating them as a class of liturgist, are found only 11 times in the Family Books and 39 times in the later books. The trend toward greater frequency of occurrence for R'Si continues through the next strata of the literature, those of the Mantra Language and SaMhitaa Prose.76 However, by the time of the BraahmaNa Prose, the surge in usage of R'Si found in the Atharva Veda recensions tapers off dramatically in correspondence to the increase of brahmán (cf. below) with 19 total occasions of singular and plural in the Aitareya BraahmaNa and a mere 16 in the whole of the Shatapatha BraahmaNa.

    For vípra and kaví the decrease in use is considerably more pronounced. Vípra virtually disappears with only a handful of occasions throughout the later periods of the literature.77 Kaví decreases gradually through the Mantra Language and SaMhitaa Prose, but is also virtually absent by the time of the BraahmaNas.78 By contrast, the increase in frequency for brahmán becomes pronounced in the Shatapatha BraahmaNa where there are 51 nominative singulars as opposed to the scattered few occasions of vípra, kaví, and R'Si.79

    Thus we have two basic groups of liturgists: those who are consistently mentioned throughout the RV and the subsequent literature--R'Si and brahmán--and those who are prominent in the RV and decrease significantly in the later literature--kaví and vípra. This is not surprising as each liturgist term--with the slight exception of kaví and vípra--is almost completely nonexistent in the semantic fields that surround bráhman.80 During this period of composition of the Family Books it was not necessary for the poet--prior to the Adhvaryu rivalry--to self-consciously validate his efficacy in generating bráhman. Not only do kaví and vípra present several exceptions to the overall absence of liturgist words in the semantic fields surrounding bráhman, both terms for liturgist are treated differently in RV 7 and 3.81 The feuding Vishvaamitras (RV 3) and VasiSThas (RV 7) differ with respect to how the mental processes function for the different liturgists. The role of -man is central to the act of the kaví's and vípra's in RV 3 but entirely peripheral for RV 7 suggesting the possible

earlier period for most of the hymns of RV 7 as opposed to RV 3.82 In the following analysis, I will be paying close attention to those differences between the Vishvaamitras and VasiSThas which bear upon the chronological precedence of one book over the other so that it will be possible to ascertain such a diachronic change within the otherwise fairly contemporaneous--insofar as current research suggests--Family Books.

    Neither RV 3 nor RV 7 include kaví in the semantic field with bráhman in spite of the fact that kaví is the predominant word for liturgist in the RV. By far the predominant word for religious functionary throughout the RV is kaví which we find 297 times, of which 113 are in the Family Books and, of the remaining 184 in the later books, 71 are found in RV 9. When kaví is present within the same verse as bráhman, it is clear that other words--e.g. in 5.39.5b ukthám, 4.36.7b stómo, 2.5.3b vócad--suggest the speaking or praising while bráhman designates the energy or power these praises invoke. Generally, bráhman has an indirect relation--not in the immediate semantic field, nor connected grammatically--when it occurs in the same verse with words for the actions of prayer, or the words for the poets themselves, as in the later hymn 2.23.1 (cf. note 3 above, Witzel, 1995b):

gaNaánaaM tvaa gaNápatiM havaamahe kavíM kaviinaám upamá shravastamam | jyeSTharaájam bráhmaNaam brahmaNaspata aá naH shRNvánn uutíbhiH siida saádanam ||

"Leader of the troops we worship you, Kaví of the Kaví's highest reknown; BrahmaNaspati (cf. note 3 above), king of pure energy pay attention to us with protection and sit at this recitation (of praise)."83 Here, in the language of the gods with the refernce to BrahmaNaspati, the sense of bráhman as pure energy applies.


    The one occasion in which kaví is in the immediate semantic field of bráhman is 6.16.30, part of a lengthy praise to Agni as all manner of protector, hero, provider, invoker, and so forth.

tváM naH paahy áMhaso jaátavedo aghaayatáH | rákSaa No brahmaNas kave ||

"Protect us from trouble; from injury Jaátavedas, guard us, Kaví of pure energy."84 The hymn also contains R'Si as a proper name (6.16.14a, tám u tvaa dadhyaá R'SiH) and a verse on the offering of praises/suSTutím by a vípra (6.16.6c, shRNán víprasya suSTutím). Bráhman

does not necessitate either a prayer or a priest in order to perform its invigorating, strengthening role. There seems to be a pattern with bráhman when used in language referring to the divine realm--as here of Jaatavedas, or in 2.23.1 with BrahmaNaspati, or below in 6.35.1 with Indra--suggesting that it is better translated as pure energy. This is attested also in 5.31.4 and 11, discussed below, where Indra is expressly strengthened by bráhman.

    Turning now to the occasions of vípra, the independence of bráhman is additionally clear in the Family Books wherein the semantic fields of bráhman rarely contain any word for a liturgist or hymn. Instead, bráhman is clearly self-efficacious. For instance, RV 6.35.5d, in praise of Indra, suggests that by bráhman something is bestowed or impelled/jinva upon the intended object:

aa^Ngirasaán bráhmaNaa vipra jinva

"Vípra: impel the A^Ngirases with pure energy." Indra is the Vípra, and "pure energy" works perfectly in this instance of the language of the gods. The hymn begins with a query as to when this bráhman will come to Indra's side 6.35.1 (see discussion below also re. dhíyaH which is still uncommon in semantic fields with bráhman in the Family Books):

kadaá bhuvan ráthakSayaaNi bráhma kadaá stotré sahasrapoSyàM daaH | kadaá stómaM vaasayo 'sya raayaá kadaá dhíyaH karasi vaájaratnaaH ||

"When will that pure energy come to be beside you in your chariot? When is the thousandfold abundance given in the praise/stotrá? When will you sweeten this praise with wealth? When will you complete this devotion with richness in treasure?"85

    Next we must consider the unique treatement of vípra by the VasiSTha's. RV 7 contains almost every occasion where bráhman is found in the semantic field with vípra in the Family Books. The five occasions of vípra in the semantic field with bráhman in RV 7 include three within the same paada and two within the same verse.86

While the basic sense of bráhman as pure or poetic energy is not replaced in these cases, it is also clear that the VasiSThas view the ability to bestow or invoke that energy quite differently than the other families of MaNDalas 2-6 (who do not use vípra with bráhman except in 6.35.5, above). When vípra is used with bráhman the emphasis is upon the verbal aspect of bráhman. Typical of the relation between bráhman and the bidding of the vípra is 7.31.11b (cf. semantic field of 7.22.9b immediately below):

uruvyácase mahíne suvRktím índraaya bráhma janayanta vípraaH |

"In great widening spaces, the Vípras are generating excellent praise and formulations for Indra."87 Translating bráhman only as prayer--or even solely as power of prayer or sacred word--does not take into account the frequent usage of other words--arká, ukthá, gír, -stu derivatives--in its semantic field which more directly designate the hymn, prayer, or praise (cf. 6.35.1a-b above with stotré). Bráhman is more a force, an extensive reservoir to which the vípra has special access for the VasiSTha poets. The situation is similar in 7.43.1c-d:

yéSaam bráhmaaNy ásamaani vípraa víSvag viyánti vaníno ná shaákhaaH |

"Among the unequaled Vípra formulas, like a tree's branches, which part in all directions."88 Bráhman is unquestionably a product of a hymn, and many words for hymn are found in its semantic field. But the power signified in the word bráhman is independent of a priest or his utterance and is thus invoked separately.

    An additional perspective upon vípra is afforded by one of only two occasions in the whole of the Family Books (both in RV 7) wherein we find R'Si in the semantic field surrounding bráhman, RV 7.22.9a-b

yé ca puúrva R'Sayo yé ca nuútnaa indra bráhmaaNi janáyanta vípraaH |

"Among those R'Si's from before and among those newly arising, Indra, the Vípras are generating formulas."89 Earlier in the hymn the VasiSTha specifically draws Indra's attention to the praise from his clan in a hymn less focused upon praise of Indra than upon imploring Indra's attention to the praiser. The vípras are singled out in this passage among the R'Sis--both old and new--according to their special distinction as those who generate bráhman as underscored by an association of nominative plurals afforded by the relative clauses in . This is appropriate for a hymn in which the concern is the viability of the offerer of prayers as providing várdhanaa/strengthening bráhmaaNi/powers (7.22.7b). This also marks an indication of the growing significance of the R'Si which, by the time of BraahmaNa Prose is dramatically replaced by the brahmán. However, in this portion of the Family Books, the ability to generate bráhman is clearly a trait of the vípra for the VasiSTha's who, along with the Vishvaamatra's of RV 3, are the two families most frequently using this liturgist term. The Vishvaamitra's never attribute production of bráhman to any of the four

kinds of liturgists--R'Si, kaví, vípra, or brahmán--an issue to which I will return in the section below addressing mental powers. It will become apparent that the abstract meaning of bráhman as a potency or power in prayer existed independent of its invoking by any of the various priests and was, instead, always inherently connoted in its meaning.

    We can clearly see how this has facilitated the more commonly--and too broadly assigned--meaning for bráhman as prayer or sacred speech in those contexts where the masculine brahmán is also found. RV 5.31.4c-d and 10c-d provide a clear comparison, sharing similar semantic fields in a discussion of increasing Indra's strength. In 4c-d it is the songs/arkaír of the priests/brahmaáNa coming to Indra's aid:

    brahmaáNa índram maháyanto arkaír

    ávardhayann áhaye hántavaá u ||

"Brahmáns by their praise glorifying Indra increased him for killing Ahi." It is via the arkaír, not the priest himself, that the Brahmáns are empowering Indra. The use of kaví in the semantic field of the following verse from later in the same hymn provides additional verification of bráhman and not the religious functionary as a power which can be present when there is neither arká or liturgist (the kaví exits!). Note that it is the existence of bráhman within or by means of the arká which manifests the táviSiim/power, as indicated in 10c-d:

vaátasya yuktaán suyújash cid áshvaan kavísh cid eSó ajagann avasyúH |

    víshve te átra marútaH sákhaaya índra

    bráhmaaNi táviSiim avardhan ||

"Vaáta's yoked horses--all well-joined--even this Kaví has left to find help; here are all your friends the Maruts, Indra, these formulations have you increased your strength."90 BráhmaaNi--the nominative plural form--makes clear from where the increase (avardhan from -vrdh) has come. Even in 5.31.4c-d it is apparent that more than the brahmán himself, it is the potency/bráhman of their praise/arkáir that bestows the power upon Indra.

    In 5.31.10 this is adumbrated. The kaví is likely Ushánas, labelled "already a half-mythic figure" by the time of the RV according to Macdonell and Keith (1912, I: 103). Even the great Ushánas who called Indra and Kutsa in the past does not bestow bráhman upon Indra: he leaves while the arrival of the Maruts affirms Indra's increased power. Ushánas is frequently related to Indra and Kutsa--both of whom are discussed in

5.31.891-9 --and it is Ushánas who calls upon Indra to carry Kutsa (a hero, with a checkered past92 and "mythical" status by the time of the RV [MacDonnell and Keith, 1912, I: 161]; see also note 165) to his home. Ushánas also has something of a checkered existence, at times on Indra's side--as in this hymn (5.31.8)--or Purohita to the Asuras according to the Taittiriiya SaMhitaa ( in contradistinction to Agni, the messenger of the gods. It is also in the later literature that the recruiting of Ushánas from the Asuras was an important act by Indra (Jaiminiiya BraahmaNa 1.126) for the gaining of bráhman.93

    In 5.31.10b the kaví "exits" the field of action. Either Kutsa or Ushánas is signified in the word, and both individuals rise to unambiguous import through the actions of Indra in later Saama Veda BraahmaNa narratives (e.g. JB 1.125, PB 7.5.20, etc.; cf. note 30) with specific relation to the words aatmán and bráhman. Significantly, the term kaví also exits by the time of these same narratives.

    Aside from these issues regarding the kaví of 5.31.10, it becomes clear in the development of brahmán that it does not become a common term until the later portions of the RV as noted statistically above--and as will be discussed in more detail in the next chapter--it played no part in the Kutsa/Ushánas mythology, which is more ancient.

As in 5.31.4, the brahmán is usually a functionary of ritual, offering prayers, or participating in yajña as in 2.1.2, where Agni is praised metaphorically as priest with a variety of sacrificial roles:

távaagne hotráM táva potrám RtvíyaM táva neSTráM tvám agníd RtaayatáH | táva prashaastráM tvám adhvariiyasi brahmaá caási gRhápatish ca no dáme ||

"Agni you are the HotR, you are the PotR, rightly sacrificing; you are the NeSTR, the pyrotechnicist, maintainer of the sacrificial prescriptions; you are praised, you the Advaryu; you are Brahmán and master of our home." While this semantic field is predominantly sacrificial (i.e. extensive enumeration of priests)--the only semantic field with such a detailed catalogue of liturgists in which we find brahmán in the Family Books--it is consistent for brahmán to be used to indicate a ritual functionary who offers prayers.94

    Similar to the example in 5.31, the power or significance of the brahmán is dependent upon his ability to effectively use bráhman. The

relative infrequency of brahmán (17 occasions) as opposed to bráhman (165 occasions) in the Family Books confirms that the importance of the power of the prayer was always greater than that of the pray-er. This is apparent where both words are found in each other's semantic field. The Family Books contain one occasion where both bráhman and brahmán are in the same verse. In the case of RV 6.45.7a-b, they share the same paada in praise of Indra (also, in the same verse, 7.33.11):

     brahmaáNam bráhmavaahasaM

    giirbhíH sákhaayam Rgmíyam |

     gaáM ná doháse huve ||

"Like a cow to be milked I worship the Priest (Indra) who has powerful offerings, the friend to be celebrated with praises."95 Using metonymy,96 Indra is implied by brahmÿaáNam/priest, and his boons of gifts (milk) are enabled by the empowered offerings to him (bráhmavaahasaM).97 The act of vocalizing, of addressing Indra is denoted with giirbhíh and huve.

    This utilitarian conception of the relation of the prayer to the offerer of prayer provides the only occasion of brahmán in the whole of RV 6.98 ShaMyu Baarhaspatya (Van Nooten and Holland, 1994: 266), is credited as the seer who perceived in its most straightforward nature the completion of the sacrifice (shaMyurha99 vai baarhaspatyo '^Njasaa yajñasya saMsthaaM vidaa^Ncakaara, ShB and ff.) Accordingly, in 6.45, the hymn is littered with admonitions about making a hymn efficaciousas in verse 7 for employing the powerful offerings carried/bráhmavaahasaM by Indraas well as references to competition among praisers (6.45.29):

puruutámam puruuNaáM stotrr'NaáM vívaaci | vaájebhir vaajayataám ||

"O early/first-invoked among the many contending praisers, bellowing for wealth."100 And the hymn continues its self-advocacy in 6.45.29:

asmaákam indra bhuutu te stómo vaáhiSTho ántamaH | asmaán raayé mahé hinu ||

"Among ours, Indra, may the praises of you be carried most near; for you to send forth great wealth to us."101 Further underscoring the independence of bráhman, each of the three occasions of bráhmavaahasaM in the RV include a separate word denoting the praise (6.45.4: árcata, gaayata; 45.7: giirbhíH, huve; and 45.19: huve). It is clear that speech in various forms--invocation, praise, song--is not the only thing signified by the use

of bráhman in the Family Books. Instead, bráhman is present when this speech is rightly formed by a virtuous priest. There can be praise or song, but only if righteousness/R'ta is there will bráhman be able to effect an intent. In fact, the song or hymn must be put together with the praise, as seen below in RV 6.38.

    RV 6.38.3-4 offers nearly every term for prayer, affording the opportunity to both summarize our discussion of bráhman with -dhii as well as move on to the occasions where -man is found in the semantic field with bráhman. The proliferation of words for prayer within both the immediate and wider semantic fields surrounding bráhman make clear the independent nature of power it bestows. The hymn is directed to Indra, with particular attention to the results of a well-articulated prayer for pleasing the deity, underscored in verses 3-4:

táM vo dhiyaá paramáyaa puraajaám ajáram índram abhy ànuuSy arkaíH | bráhmaa ca gíro dadhiré sám asmin mahaáMsh ca stómo ádhi vardhad índre || 3 || várdhaad yáM yajñá utá sóma índraM várdhaad bráhma gíra ukthaá ca mánma | várdhaáhainam uSáso yaámann aktór várdhaan maásaaH sharádo dyaáva índram || 4 ||

"To him, primeval and undecaying Indra, I effuse these excellent devotions and praises; pure energy and song are put together in this laud, let greatness and eulogy praise Indra. Indra, whom the sacrifice and the Soma strengthen; pure energy, song, praise, and petitions strengthen; strengthen indeed this dawn/USa fleeing from darkness; Indra strengthened from months, autumns, and days."102 In this case, even without the passage being purely the language of the gods, it is very clear that bráhman is an addition to the other purely speech-related acts.

     In 6.38.3c the upasarga sám with dadhiré with the locative pronoun asmin, indicating a point of deixis with immediate proximity, reiterate the separate character of bráhma and gíro such that they must be "put together." In 4b the close relation of bráhman to prayer is indicated by the list with gíra, again, and also ukthaá, and mánma. But these are not synonyms-- each is a particular component of the worship experience: gíra, the speaking of the invocation (from -grr/to call out); ukthaá, the verse or sentence uttered; mánma, the mental intent in the utterance, and bráhman, the empowering element. The passage is an anatomy of the

appropriate elements of efficacious worship--in this case to strengthen Indra/várdhaan.

    The mental component of the prayer, mánma, is often associated with bráhman and the acts of vocal worship throughout the later tradition. The other primary term for mental processes which we see with bráhman is -dhii. Much less frequent are -cit and -budh. Words for mental processes are extremely rare with R'Si--4 each of -man and -dhii and never in RV 3 or 7. With vípra and kaví, only RV 3, 6, and 7 show any frequency of -man and -dhii. As we will see below, the overall prevalence of mental faculties in the composition of hymns by kaví's and vípra's in RV 3 is an innovation which is more common in the later portions of the RV. For the balance of the Family Books, however, bráhman is neither dependent upon the priests, nor upon mental effort for the power it bestows. The priests, in turn, must display appropriate devotion and piety or bráhman will not be attendant upon their prayers (cf. 7.61.2 below).

bráhman in Relation to the Mental Faculties


    Throughout the passages that include bráhman, we see the characteristic meaning of an empowering force which is concurrent with prayer and distinctly not autochthonous in its relation to it. This is borne out in the handful of occasions wherein words signifying mental processes and words frequently associated with prayer or even denotative of its formulation (e.g. mánmaani, dhiití), are found in the immediate semantic field of bráhman.

    As bráhman is commonly associated with prayer--but not, as shown above, as a necessary trait or possession of the various priests--it is important to examine the occasions of words for mental processes frequently associated with worship to gain a clearer picture of the relationship of bráhman and prayer. In short, the roots -budh/to become alert or aware and -cit/to think or notice are used infrequently with bráhman and, where they do occur, denote the attention of the deity in response to the worshipper. The two most frequent terms which connote mental processes with the word bráhman throughout the Family Books and the later portions of the RV, are -dhii/to wish or reflect, and -man/to think or posit.

    That bráhman is not a mental process of perception or awareness--as might be expected were it connotative of prayer--is indicated when -cit and -budh are used with it. The examples are limited for drawing broad inferences (2.2.10, 2.34.7, and, in a pair of verses, 6.17.2d-3b for -cit;

2.16.7, 3.51.6, and 7.22.3 for -budh). In addition, if bráhman were primarily a "prayer word", it would frequently be the result of the intent of mental effort or will/krátu. In point of fact, there are only two occasions of bráhman with krátu, both in 7.61.2, to be discussed below. As a mental force or intent, krátu is revisited below in the discussion of tanuú where it is found much more frequently.
With bráhman, however, the only mental actions with which it is somewhat frequently associated in the Family Books--though much more in the later RV--are those with -man and, to a lesser extent, -dhii.

    When bráhman includes -dhii in its semantic field, we find two predominant forms in the Family Books: dhiíra/intelligent or wise, and dhií/ religious thought, devotion. Accordingly, the distinction between bráhman as the power of prayer and the prayer itself is underscored, as seen above with 6.35.1:

kadaá bhuvan ráthakSayaaNi bráhma kadaá stotré sahasrapoSyàM daaH | kadaá stómaM vaasayo 'sya raayaá kadaá dhíyaH karasi vaájaratnaaH ||

"When will that pure energy come to be beside you in your chariot? When is the thousandfold abundance given in the praise/stotrá? When will you sweeten this praise with wealth? When will you complete this devotion with richness of treasure?"

We do not find derivatives of -dhii in the immediate semantic field of bráhman in the Family books, but many of the occasions of larger shared semantic fields do bear upon occasions of prayer, as in 6.35. This serves the current argument as here with RV 7.97.9:

iyáM vaam brahmaNaspate suvRktír bráhméndraaya vajríNe akaari | aviSTáM dhíyo jigRtám púraMdhiir jajastám aryó vanúSaam áraatiiH ||

"For both of you, BrahmaNaspati, and for the thunderbolt-wielding Indra, this excellent hymn/suvRktír, formulation, has been fashioned; impel these prayers, now you've awakened bounty, exhaust the wants/envies of the jealous ones toward the favorable one/aryó."103 The final verse calls upon the empowered devotions to exhaust the desires or envies of the Arya's foe.104 It is bráhman which invigorates the devotions/dhíyo with their potency to accomplish these ends. This is also indicative of bráhman in the language of humans as the formula is spoken of as fashioned by the priest. If the foe is no longer envious, or wanting, it is accordingly no

longer a threat.


Many elements of the semantic field in 7.97.9 are found in the formula which closes hymns 4.16-17 and 4.19-24. Again, there are many words for prayer and it is the existence or absence of bráhman that serves to designate their potency (4.16.21, 4.17.21, 4.19.11, 4.20.11, etc.):

nuú STutá indra nuú gRNaaná íSaM jaritré nadyò ná piipeH | ákaari te harivo bráhma návyaM dhiyaá syaama rathyàH sadaasaáH ||

"Now celebrated Indra, just now invoked, let nourishment flow for the singer like a river, this new formula has been fashioned for you, driver of golden horses (Soma?- cf. Graßmann, 1996: 1651), by devotion may we be always the dominant charioteers."105 In this case it is very hard to separate bráhman from speech. As I am suggesting below, RV 7.97 shows signs of being a later hymn which would, in turn, support the unmistakable sense of formulated speech in this passage.

    The cycle in which we find this formula is one of warrior hymns, repeatedly invoking the vigorous powers of Indra setting forth the waters, conquering VRtra, and enabling a bounty of spoils. These spoils, not surprisingly, are requested to flow forth for the warriors like the waters. The "new power," or bráhman, that has been fashioned refreshes this inherent potency in Indra, and the act of verbal devotion which conveys it serves to direct the potency manifested in the reference to the legendary Indra to effect similar battlefield ends in the present.106

     In the other Family Books, where an absence of vípra in the semantic field surrounding bráhman has already been noted, it is the mental faculties of the mind in forms of -man (8 times in RV 3-- 3.5.3; 3.8.5; 3.11.8; 3.14.5; 3.31.5; and 3.50.4--and 2 times out of the total 8 occasions of vípra in RV 4-- 4.3.16; 4.26.1) and of perception in the forms of -dhii (8 occasions scattered through RV 2-6: 2.11.12; 3.27.8; 4.50.1; 5.41.6; 5.81.1; and 6.50.10) which are also more frequent than bráhman in the semantic fields of vípra. As noted above (cf. note 82), the use of -man in RV 3 with both vípra and kaví is quite pronounced, in greatest contrast to RV 7, but also in marked contrast to each of the other Family Books. It is primarily in the later portions of the RV that we see the forms of -man and -dhii regularly associated with bráhman (Chapter 5). Both -budh and -cit are present in only a handful of occasions in all of the Family Books and the later RV combined. In the later RV, then, -man and -dhii become

prominent in the semantic fields surrounding bráhman in the later RV which coincides, in turn, with an increasingly inextricable association between bráhman and speech, in which the meaning suggested by Thieme (1952: 103), "formulated speech" becomes quite prominent.

    The prevalence of -man and -dhii with bráhman over -cit and -budh makes sense considering that, as noted in Chapter 1, -cit and -budh are mental processes that are more connotative of a spontaneous reflex than are -man and -dhii which represent the more deliberate thought processes which would logically associate themselves with the formulation of sacred speech. The VasiSTha's of the 7th MaNDala attribute bráhman to the actions of the vípra more than to the mental intent represented in -man107 and -dhii as we see in RV 3.


    Another word related to mental processes which must be considered is krátu. What is immediately worth noting is the extreme paucity of occasions where krátu--a word for mental effort or will--is found in the semantic fields around bráhman (twice, in RV 7.28 and 7.61, discussed immediately below).

This is consistent with the argument here that the empowerment afforded by bráhman is independent of--though at times associated with--the individual's effort or that of a deity. In 7.28.2, bráhma and krátvaa are not in the immediate semantic field of each other (7.28.2b and d, respectively) and the praise of Indra in which they are found is simply enumerating attributes of the deity. RV 7.61.2 has two instances of krátu:

prá vaaM sá mitraavaruNaav Rtaávaa vípro mánmaani diirghashrúd iyarti | yásya bráhmaaNi sukratuu ávaatha aá yát krátvaa ná sharádaH pRNaíthe ||

"Before you two, Mitra-VaruNa, this holy vípra heard far and wide raises petitions; whose skillful formulations please you, which you fulfill like the autumn harvest (krátu: purpose)." Cf. Elizarenkova "To the both of you, O Mitra-VaruNa, this pious / Poet addresses (his) compositions, (he) the far-heard (one)" (1995: 55).108 The empowering effect of a pious vípra would naturally reap rewards: a harvest of boons. Similarly, later in the same hymn (7.61.6c-d), a slew of first-person singular imperatives in -aani express the poet's effort to direct new praises to Mitra-VaruNa with the intent to please with the exaltation in them (prá vaam mánmaany Rcáse návaani kRtaáni bráhma jujuSann imaáni ). Thieme discusses the association between Rtá and bráhman as a later development where bráhman comes to mean "Formung (Wahrheits-) Formulierung" more

than, as in the RV, "Formung (dichterische) Formulierung" (1952: 117). Of course, in this hymn the association is not direct, rather it is the Rtá of the vípra that is mentioned. As Arnold, Oldenberg, et. al., do not suggest this hymn as later, it seems that this is not the case as of this point in the Family Books.

    The semantic field confirms the sense of bráhman as a bestower or enabler of pure or poetic energy and power, but it is somewhat ambiguous as to the autochthony of this empowering capacity. As observed above, the vípra accesses the power by prayers/mánmaani, but does not generate it. The vípra is not uttering bráhmaaNi, he is raising/iyarti petitions--positing intentions--mánmaani, the skillful empowerments/exaltations (bráhmaaNi sukrátu) of which/yásya will bring forth the fulfillment or satisfaction/pRNaíthe which is like a harvest--krátvaa ná sharádaH. When Elizarenkova discusses this verse, it is in connection with a semantic exposition of Rtaávaa--one who supports or conforms to the law, i.e. is pious. Thus it is not simply the mánmaani--basically a repeatable formula--which is important. It is the special factor that, coming from a vípra who is Rtaávaa, the mánmaani are specially endowed with power/bráhmaaNi sukrátu.

    The mechanism--or medium--of this exchange and interraction is completely lost in the case of any subsequent scholarship or bhaashya which does not understand that the gods and humans were part of an interconnected continuum. This continuum--or "spread/expanse"--of divine and human realms is facillitated by the hitherto unnoticed notion of the self in the early Rig Veda: that designated by tanuú (cf. overview of terminology with tanuú in Chapter 2, and the findings beginning with Chapter 4). First, however, there is more to be learned about bráhman in the Family Books.

King of Prayer, Father of Prayer: BrahmaNaspati and BRhaspati


    I am attending to both deities at length in this section for several reasons. First, because the name of one of them--BrahmaNaspati--contains one of the more frequent occurrences of the key word, bráhman (33 of 37 genitives for neuter bráhman in the RV are part of the designation BrahmaNaspatiH, [MacDonell, 1898: 24]). Second, the function of bráhman when used with either deity provides useful information which underscores the independent nature of the power which bráhman represents. In addition to the role of BRhaspati and BrahmaNaspati (later, in 7.97, Indra as well), as the king or father of prayer, BRhaspati also gives bráhman easy passage to the gods (7.97.8). Third, the examination of the hymns below reveals additional information about earlier and later additions to the RV.

    Macdonell sees no distinction between the two deities in the RV, but notes occasions where both terms are found in the same hymn, as in RV 2.23--click here to open an image of RV 2.23 in separate window for reference in the following discussion--(1898: 36; 101). Keith suggests that BrahmaNaspati is identical with BRhaspati, "lord of prayer," and spouse--a duty shared with Soma--to AAditi (1925: 65; 82; 162). Hillebrandt, following Bergaigne (1878, I: 299-

300) also believes they have an identical nature, with BrahmaNaspati being something of a secondary side-kick to the more primary term BRhaspati (1891: 100; 107). Hillebrandt109 considers BrahmaNaspati to be simply a gloss--both terms designate the sacrificial fire in their semantic origins. Oldenberg follows suit, suggesting they are "obviously synonymous" (1888: 45).

    I disagree with this simplification. There is reason not only to grant a distinction between them, but also to identify a process of development where BRhaspati replaces BrahmaNaspati by taking on his characteristics. The distinction between both deities seems to involve BRhaspati as the more active deity who is closer in his actions to the human realm whether in battle or as a friend (7.97--click here to open an image of RV 7.97 in separate window for reference in the following discussion--) or as the noise of thunder giving gifts (4.50--click here to open an image of RV 4.50 in separate window for reference in the following discussion--). Throughout RV 2.23, BRhaspati is the more active, striking, quelling, punishing, destroying foes (2.23.3, 4, 6, 8, 13, 14, and 18), on the one hand; and giving access to the gods, protecting, or bestowing wealth on the other (2.23.7, 12, 15). BrahmaNaspati, following 2.23.1, is both protector, giver of wealth, and controller of the hymn (2.23.5, 9, 19). He also shares some of Brhaspati's designations as driver away of evil, avenger of sin, and of guilt (2.23.5, 9, 11). Still, even here, there are distinctions. With regard to driving away the wicked, BrahmaNaspati is the avenger/RNayaá in 2.23.11c of sin and he tames/damitaá the wild and intense/viiLuharSíNaH (ási satyá RNayaá brahmaNas pata ugrásya cid damitaá viiLuharSíNaH).

    Yaaska also appears to support a clearer distinction. In N 10.11, BRhaspati is so named as the preserver or protector (from -paa/paataa) of what is great (bRhaspatir bRhataH paataa vaa). In contrast, BrahmaNaspati is so named as the protector of the bráhman (N 10.12: brahmaNaspatir brahmaNaH paataa vaa)--I am assuming, in the absence of accent in Yaaska's prose--that it is the neuter bráhman that he intends. Following this identification of BrahmaNaspati, Yaaska's justification in N 10.13 cites RV 2.24.4--click here to open an image of RV 2.24 in separate window for reference in the following discussion--which praises BrahmaNaspati as he is associated with the flowing forth of waters, of might, and of power, and light (cf. the dawn is his spouse).

    Yaaska's citation in support of BRhaspati as protector of what is great comes from the later portions of the RV, 10.68.8. It is interesting to note that in the hymn where several verses are considered to be later--2.23.6-8 (Oldenberg, 1888; Witzel, 1995b)--BRhaspati is associated with the sun (2.23.2) and with the flowing waters (2.23.18) though the actual vocabulary

in 2.23.2 and 18 is quite different from 2.24.4 (possibly attributable to the later date of 2.23, cf. below). Even though Witzel (1989) and Oldenberg (1888) suggest 2.23.6-8 as belonging to the later portions, I would suggest that the changes in content with 2.24 indicate that the entire hymn is of substantially later in origin (cf.Arnold, 1897: 212).

    Throughout the RV, BRhaspati outnumbers BrahmaNaspati 2:1 (cf. MacDonell, 1898: 101). It is quite reasonable that BRhaspati and BrahmaNaspati are considered synonymous by scholars due to the fact that in the later period BRhaspati supplants or adopts the functions and characteristics of BrahmaNaspati. The replacement is indicated as well by the continued decrease in frequency of BrahmaNaspati in comparison with BRhaspati throughout the later literature (Bandhu, 1959, IV: 2302ff). The evidence of the other occasions where we find both words in the same hymn does not argue against this hypothesis. In RV 7.97, a hymn to BRhaspati, notice that, of the two verses to BrahmaNaspati (7.97.3 and 9), the distinction of supreme king of prayers accorded to BrahmaNaspati in 2.23.1c (jyeSTaraájam bráhmaNaam brahmaNas pata) is accorded instead to Indra in 7.97.3--a verse which is nonetheless addressed to BrahmaNaspati (índraM shlóko máhi daívyaH siSadktu yó bráhmaNo devákRtasya raájaa). BrahmaNaspati and BRhaspati are both addressed for wealth, but they furnish it differently. BrahmaNaspati is the means through which it is received (2.23.9), while BRhaspati is named actively as the giver (2.23.7).

    BRhaspati is also the giver in the two references to him in RV 2.24.1 and 10. However, this hymn gives credence to the theory that BRhaspati replaces BrahmaNaspati as we see a very active BrahmaNaspati shooting arrows (2.24.8), bringing food and wealth while he is extolled in battle (2.24.9), encompassing all 2.24.11d (víshvéd u taá paribhuúr bráhmaNas pátiH), is great as paired with Indra (2.24.12), strong in the brunt of fight 2.24.13c (vaajií samithé bráhmaNas pátiH), his will does great deeds (2.24.14), and he controls the hymn and benefactor to children in 2.24.16 (bráhmaNas pate tvám asyá yantÿaá suuktásya bodhi tánayaM ca jinva).

    Certainly both 2.23 and 24 are almost reverse images of one another with BRhaspati in 2.23 taking on all the dynamic active roles in battle which are attributed to BrahmaNaspati in 2.24. RV 2.24 has only two references to BRhaspati, 2.24.1 and 10, which attest to him as a gift giver. RV 2.25 and 2.26 also praise BrahmaNaspati alone. In these hymns BrahmaNaspati per

forms a similar function as he does in 2.24. RV 2.25 has BrahmaNaspati conquering foes and granting protection (2.25.1, 2, 3), bringing rain (2.25.4, 5), giving shelter and prosperity (2.25.2, 5) always reiterating that these boons come for whoever takes him as a friend at the close of each verse (yáM-yaM yújaM kRNuté bráhmaNas pátiH). RV 7.97, has the friend of BRhaspati receiving protection (7.97.2), a dwelling (7.97.6), and refreshment (7.97.7).

    It appears that BrahmaNaspati is supplanted over time by BRhaspati. BRhaspati also shows an active, war-related role most predominantly in 2.23 where we also find BrahmaNaspati, a later hymn which reverses the respective roles played by the gods in 2.24.

    Bráhman is more readily associated with BRhaspati--being given passage by him in 7.97.8. This is perhaps the most significant development with bráhman which is illuminated by the close examination of BRhaspati and BrahmaNaspati. With 7.97 as an arguably later hymn, this close association of bráhman and BRhaspati attests not only to the development of the more metaphysical significations of BRhaspati as he comes to be known in the BraahmaNa Prose. With bráhman we see a clear indication of the change from the relative independence of its empowering energy to a close association with a deity of speech and wisdom. This is the first occasion with bráhman in the Family Books where it is bráhman that receives assistance, rather than providing it. This is characteristic of the god whose role becomes one of a guardian of knowledge and a divinity with specific relation to the priests.

    Gatherings of R'Sis and vípra's attend upon BRhaspati with deep thought/diídhyaanaaH in 4.50, while such intellectual gatherings are not associated with BrahmaNaspati who is, after all, only the king of bráhman, rather than its progenitor. BRhaspati is more typically associated with wisdom (cf. 1.190 immediately below).

The sacrosanct, independent power designated by bráhman was associated more with its parent than with its king--a title which seems almost honorific--such that only its parent could give it passage. Even later, BrahmaNaspati is the preserver of the course of sacrifice in 1.18--click here to open an image of RV 1.18 in separate window for reference in the following discussion, but no mention is made of his protecting bráhman. Similarly, in 1.40.5 he speaks the mantra (mántraM vadatyukthyám), but bráhman is not mentioned.

    The development of the two deities is even more interesting when we consider RV 1.190--click here to open an image of RV 1.190 in separate window for reference in the following discussion. This hymn falls in the first addition to the RV after the Family Books, and so is itself quite old. RV 1.190 is an extensive testament

to BRhaspati as leader of the song (1.190.1), giving light (1.190.3), pervading the earth (1.190.4), he is an easy pathway/supraítuH (1.190.6, cf. especially 7.97.8: sutáraa sugaadhaá), and he is the wise/vidvaáM, great/mahás, strong/tuvijaatás, mighty/túviSmaan and powerful/vRSabhó (1.190.7-8). These are the characteristics seen in the hymns such as 7.97 and 4.50 where he is praised apart from BrahmaNaspati and more according to what--assuming 1.190 is earlier than 7.97 (we know that both RV 3 and 7 are somewhat later Family Books) and 4.50--becomes his later ritual significance.

    Armed with this information, let us revisit the hypothesis above, that RV 2.24 represents a "first incursion" of Brhaspati into the Family Books. This is plausible as the only two verses of the hymn which address BRhaspati--2.24.1 and 2.24.10--refer to him as one who is generally beneficent, grants boons, and simply should be loved. Now, what is most illuminating is how the first verse begins with the attestation that this is a new and mighty song while still attesting to the old ways (sémaám aviDDhi prábhRtiM yá ÿiíshiSe 'yaá vidhema návyaa mahaá giraá). Muir cites this as one of 23 occasions where a hymn is cited as new or old in the Family Books, out of 53 such occasions throughout the RV (1872, III: 226).

    When we look again at 2.24.10, the other verse to BRhaspati, the "new member" of the pair is again "introduced" as the worshippers are enjoined to love him/venyásya in a passage which even suggests that two distinct peoples--jánaa/races, classes; and víshaH/settler, enterer--are both/ubháye standing to benefit/bhuñjaté in doing so (imaá saataáni venyásya vaajíno yéna jánaa ubháye bhuñjaté víshaH). This comparatively tentative introduction is fully reversed in the later insertion of 2.23 which reverses both the ratio of verses directed to each deity and the attributes praised. Still, 2.23 represents a substantially more active and embattled BRhaspati than in the earlier 1.190, and also the intervening hymns before 2.23 (I am suggesting 4.50 and 7.97 come after 2.24, which is arguably older, and that they are also prior to 2.23: i.e. first or contemporaneous are 2.24 and 1.190, followed by 4.50 and 7.97, with 2.23 as the latest). BRhaspati was steadily incorporated into the dynamic roles originally attributed to BrahmaNaspati--as in 2.25--before finally replacing it and returning to its more heavenly, praise, and wisdom-related significations in the upper abodes of heaven (10.67.10--though other mythic feats are attributed to him in this hymn as well), finding the dawn and the cow (10.67.5), helping the sun and moon to rise (3.62.4-6, BRhaspati is the beneficent gift-giver, radiant/shúcim (cf. his association with Agni), and multi-formed/vishváruupami. This is consistent with his later significations in the ritual. BrahmaNaspati is not invoked in RV 3, again suggesting the lateness of this Family Book.

Summary: bráhman in the Family Books


    And so we return to the original purpose for which this inquiry into bráhman was undertaken: to examine the developing terminology for the self. My initial assertion remains true: there is little or nothing of a doctrine associated with the self that can be identified with bráhman in the Family Books. Additionally, the qualification I offered is also confirmed--that, of any term related to the self, bráhman shows the most consistent connection with its later significations such that an almost unbroken line of development is traceable without stretching or misapplying later doctrines to the early materials. I conclude this inquiry with deep empathy for the teaching in BAAU 2.3.6, that the formless/amuurtá bráhma, remainsmore than any other single conclusive remark I can make, it's not this, it's not that--"neti, neti"! In the Family Books, bráhman is neither prayer nor formulated speech only; neither pure energy nor empowerment only; and neither a component of the self nor disassociated with the later significations it has with the self.

    The suggestion above of "pure energy" may still strike the reader as surprising. However, my task in this dissertation--thankfully--is not to define or retranslate bráhman. I am looking at the earliest uses of bráhman just as I am the other words related to the self. In order to most accurately portray what is different about the early uses of bráhman from the later uses, I have to emphasize a composite sense of its early use which allows for the vicissitudes--to adopt Gonda's most apt terminology (1965)--of both change and continuity. Words like "sacred" or "formulation" speech do not always accurately convey the sense of dynamic enablement which bráhman signifies, especially on those occasions such as 7.61.2 and 6.38.3 where there are other words which clearly designate the vocal com

ponent of worship. A suggestion that bráhman is prayer or sacred speech may fit comfortably with our own Western notions110 and the informed reading we may have done of later Vedic and post-Vedic developments. It will not work in every case of the Family Books or the later RV and also does not easily facilitate analysis of development because, for instance, "sacred speech" already confirms those later developments.

    Thus I am presenting bráhman in the most objective possible terms, which allows both for its relative independence from priest and mental effort as well as its undeniable semantic proximity with speech which develops into ever closer associations as the literature develops. Similarly, the conclusions presented below must be considered strictly for the purposes guiding their assertion. In many ways this chapter is confined by the relatively limited data on relative chronology within the Family Books, so much of what can be said amounts to starting hypotheses to which the results in Chapters 5 and 6 can be compared. Certainly there are also suggestions of development within the Family Books--I have seen several occasions where RV 3 appears later than the other books. Similarly, a handful of hymns--e.g. 2.23.6-8, 3.52, 53, etc.--were previously identified (lanman 1880, Oldenberg 1888, Witzel 1995b) as later. I have added several suppositions to this based upon this research: 7.97, the whole of 2.23, and--possibly--4.50 are also later. So I ask the reader to look at the foregoing and all that follows as I do: a puúrvapakSin of my own making against which to pit the results of Chapters 5-6 and, where possible, any traceable sequential chronology within the Family Books.


    From this initial survey of bráhman in the Family Books I have identified several starting-points to which later developments can be compared. As regards the priests with whom the word is frequently associated, there is no predilection of one or the other (kaví, vípra, ÿR'Si, or brahmán) for use of the word. It is bráhman's existence or absence in the lauds of each which determines efficacy. That existence is dependent upon--as in 6.38.3-4 and 7.61.2--the worthiness and righteousness/R'ta of the priest. In addition, bráhman is therefore not prayer per se, but an essential outcome of it. It is the task of the worshippers to rightly attune themselves to the Vedic cosmos both before and during the laud in order to effect the desired ends. In the later books, the distinction between bráhman as an independent power and the prayer itself begins to be much less clear. This is seen already in RV 3 which, in addition to increased emphasis upon -man and -dhii, also mentions the bráhman as something "heard" (3.41.3), associ-

ated with song (3.53.12), and as a verbal praise which accompanies--rather than is--power/dyumná (3.29.15).

    In the other Family Books, bráhman is not a prerequisite or inherent part of prayer, yet without it the prayer is wasted air. Also, the King of bráhman, BrahmaNaspati, is replaced by the father of bráhman, BRhaspati. At the same time, the more battle-intensive, active role first associated with BrahmaNaspati in RV 2.24 is initially transferred to BRhaspati, then deemphasized altogether. Parallel to this development is that of bráhman which becomes more associated with speech or formulated praise while BRhaspati, in turn, becomes more the deity of sacrifice and wisdom. What it is that the worshipper seeks to attain from the gods, a particular presence/tanuú--e.g., one with strength, kindness, or blessing--is denoted by tanuú as we will see below. Still, it is bráhman within the prayer which, as a key in a lock, opens the door of the deity's graciousness. Though by the later parts of the Family Books--e.g. RV 3, 2.23, 7.97 and so forth--bráhman is decidedly more closely connected with acts of speech and more dependent on speech and its parent deity, BRhaspati, to perform its appointed duties.

    These conclusions also support the basic qualification I mentioned above: the earliest uses of the word bráhman show a direct connection to its later significations. Precisely because it was an independent source of empowerment or pure energy, it was able to develop both into the more empirical meanings it had in the associations with speech which begin to become clear in the period of BraahmaNa Prose as well as the incorporeal, abstract significations of ultimate monistic totality in the Vedaanta. Either development is equally plausible from this basic origin as pure or poetic energy. This original sense need not be lost in the course of that development, only one part or another--the sacred and pure speech or the independent empowering energy which made the Vedic cosmos function for the worshipper--was emphasized from one period to the next. It was the association with speech which began to predominate in the later RV and the sacrificial cult, moving from there to the later traditions as outlined by Padoux (1990) and others. In contrast, the independent empowering energy, while never absent in the sacrificial period, was emphasized more in the UpaniSads and schools of Vedaanta. So rests the puúrvapakSin for this section.


    There are three primary issues to consider with tanuú. First, it is important to consider the issue of whether tanuú indicates a corporeal body. This includes a brief discussion of the other words for body--which are scarce--in the Family Books. Second is the significant distinction between tanuú when it is used in reference to the gods and when it is used in reference to humans. As two-thirds of the occurrences of tanuú are references to deities, this is an important distinction to consider with respect to whether tanuú means corporeal body. Third are the uses of tanuú with the words indicating mental processes. As we will see, -man is the predominant root which we find with tanuú. In addition to these three considerations, there are also larger patterns of use--specifically between RV 3 and RV 7--which bear upon the hypothesis that there is a diachronic development, or chronological sequence, between the MaNDala's of the Vishvaamitras and the VasiSthas. In addition, tanuú is used consistently in semantic fields where reference to the individual existence of a human or deity might otherwise have a form of aatmán or púruSa as in later portions of the RV and Middle Vedic Literature.

    With tanuú the feature which first struck me in my research was its complete dominance over púruSa, aatmán, and tmán in semantic fields describing individual identity. As noted above, we find púruSa only in RV 3.33.8d, 4.12.4a, 5.48.5c and 7.57.4b; and aatmán only in 7.101.6b and 7.87.2a in the Family Books. This raises the two questions which will guide the following inquiry: what is the relationship between tanuú and the body with respect to the other words for body--e.g., deha, ruupá, sháriira; and what sort of self is implied by this term considering the paucity of the other common "self words" in the Family Books?


    Tanuú is used consistently throughout the Family Books and the Later RV, the Mantra Language and the SaMhitaa Prose, with little noticeable change in proportion.111 The exception, as noted in Chapter 3, is found in RV 3 and 7. In the former, tanuú is used only with Agni and Indra (the only such exclusivity of the Family Books), and in the latter, tanuú is more abstract with a wide distribution of uses among all the deities--except Agni and Indra (3 and 2 times each, respectively). For instance, RV 7.86.2, with the tanuú communion of thought with VaruNa is possible (utá sváyaa tanvaá sáM vade tát kadaá nvántár váruNe bhuvaani).

    In the later books of the RV the less abstract, more corporeal use of tanuú coincides with the appearance of more frequent occurrences of

aatmán and púruSa. In RV 3 púruSa is found once (3.33.8d), in a use which is somewhat different than the other early occurrences where púruSa is vulnerable, prone to sin, or unworthy of knowledge (4.12.4a, 5.48.5c, ). In 3.33, púruSa is a class of humans among which the praiser does not wish to be humbled (see discussion below). Thus the more corporeal sense we will see with tanuú in RV 3 is consistent with the later developments. RV 7 has a more neutral use of púruSa which simply designates humans, or those prone to sin. But tanuú in RV 7 is much more abstract, and less corporeal, than it is in RV 3.

    In the absence of words commonly considered as connotative of the self--aatmán and púruSa--the predominance of tanuú in various forms in those cases where aatmán and púruSa are later used suggests that the Family Books attribute that meaning to tanuú. As tanuú is often translated as body, it is necessary first to evaluate it with other words for body.

The Body: déha, ruupá, and sháriira as compared with tanuú


    The words less ambiguously associated with the body: déha, sháriira, and ruupá are significantly less frequent throughout the RV than tanuú.112 There are 14 occasions of ruupá in the Family books and 37 occasions in the later books. Déha, a derivative of -dih/increase or accumulate, is not present in the Family Books and the later portions of the RV.113 Sháriira is almost nonexistent with only one occasion in the Family Books (6.25.4a), and six occasions in the remaining books. In addition, five of the 14 Family Book occasions of ruupá are found in hymns identified as later insertions: 6.47.18a where there are three occasions, and 3.53.8a with two occasions.

    The evidence indicates that these are all later words for body or that these words for the body were not part of the religious or canonical vocabulary in the Family Books. Déha shows the most pointed evidence of being a term included later. There are no occasions in the RV--early or later--or in any other SaMhitaa. In addition, it is found only three times in the BraahmaNa's and AAraNyaka's (TAA 1.27.2, 10.11.2, and GB1.1.39). However, by the time of the UpaniSads it literally erupts into the Vedic literature with over 150 occurrences.


    The occasions of ruupá increase from 12 in the Family Books114 to 25 in the later MaNDala's. It's usage then increases dramatically to several hundred occasions in the subsequent SaMhitaa's. Taking, for example, the accusative singular--ruupám (also the predominant form in the RV with 5

in the Family Books and 15 in the later portions)--the usage increases with 44 in the MS, 41 in the KS, and 72 in the TS. It falls off in the Atharva Veda, with 23 in the Paipalaada and 16 in the Shaunaka recensions. Later in the BraahmaNas it is found over 175 times, 12 in the AB (plus 2 in the AAA), 16 in the TB (interestingly, 13 of these are in TB 1 and there are also 6 in the TAA), 11 in the JB and 27 in the ShB. By the time of the UpaniSads we find ruupá over 110 times.

    Finally, as already noted with sháriira, there are only 6 occasions in the later RV. There are quite a few more occasions in the remaining SaMhitaa's under study--MS, KS, TS, AVP and AVSh--total 94. With the accusative singular sháriiram there are 3 in the MS, 7 in the KS, 9 in TS, 25 in the AV Paippalaada and 20 in the AV Shaunaka. By the time of the BraahmaNa's, there are over 130 occasions, the predominant form among them, again, the accusative singular with 4 in the AB (plus 5 in the AAA), 7 in the TB (plus 8 in the TAA), 8 in the JB, and over 50 in the ShB. By the period of the UpaniSads there are over 120 occasions.


    Thus it is apparent that the ways of referring to the body in the early portions of the RV, and also in the later portions, was carried on with increased complexity in later periods as the religion changed in accordance to the rise in speculative discourse about the sacrifice (cf. Chapter 6, pp. 311f.). This is not to say that there are not descriptions of Indra's physical strength, etc. Instead, physical existence was described as it appeared with different characteristics such as strength and the effects of Soma. That there was a specific "body" as part of the identity of the deity, however, is not supported. The only other likely candidate for a term denoting the body in the vocabulary of the Family Books (and, as will be seen in Chapter 5, there are few words for a corporeal body also in the later portions, with 4 of sháriira and 1 of deha in the RV Khilaani), then, is tanuú. As will be shown below, however, tanuú is less a corporeal body than a specific presence which, when referring to a god is capable of multiple manifestations, and when referring to a human--a far less common occurrence (in the Family Books the ratio of uses of tanuú for a god and that for a man is 3:1)--it is always frail, vulnerable, or in need of protection.

    The semantic field of tanuú is shared with ruupá once (3.53.8a-b) and sháriira once (6.25.4a-b). While it is hard to make a generalization from such isolated occasions, these afford a useful point at which both to bring the investigation of other words for the body to a close and begin the detailed study of tanuú. In 3.53.8a-b, the use of both tanuú and ruupá

comes as part of a later hymn (Arnold, 1897: 212; Lanman, 1880: 581; Witzel, 1995b: 311) where the achievements of Indra under the promptings of Vishvaamitra hymns are both attested and called upon to be repeated (cf. Elizarenkova on the past/present temporal role of the injunctive, 1995: 190f.):

ruupáM-ruupam maghávaa bobhaviiti maayaáH kRNvaanás tanvàm pári svaám |

"With Maghávan (Indra) becoming/changing form by form, making his own presence/tanuú/himself abundantly supernatural."115 The juxtaposition of ruupáM-ruupam in 8a with pári and maayaáH in 8b for the divine Indra requires that tanvàm be more attenuated and amorphous than a strictly physical sense of "body." Compare the locative plural of tanuú later in the same hymn, 3.53.18:

bálaM dhehi tanuúSu no

"Give us might/vigor in our bodies/ourselves/tanuús." Geldner again chooses Leib: "Stärke verleih unseren Leibern" (1951, I: 393). This is consistent with the frailty of the human tanuú, in need of protection or, as here, being bolstered for battle.116 Bálam is a more abstract, less corporeal attribution of power deriving from 2 -bal/to breath, live, nourish, explain. Graßmann suggests it is cognate with Latin valor, and the meaning Kraft, Leibeskraft, or--with Geldner here--Stärke (1996: 901). Mayrhofr agrees, though he questions the root form noting conflicting theories as to Iranian and Dravidian origin (1963, II: 417), and Böhtlingk also has the more abstract notion of force, "Wucht" and "Gewalt," (1879, IV: 211). The word choice in each of these passages indicates that a conception of something more refined than a mere corporeal reference was in the mind of the poets. The use of ruupá which is common in the later literature is, of course, not surprising in the hymn which is, itself, a later addition (Witzel, 1989: 159-160; 1995b: 311).

    If it is to a "tanuú/body" that the bálam is to be given, it seems more in the sense of "body" as in "somebody, anybody, etc." than "that body lying over there." Further, as noted in the preliminary discussion of terminology above in Chapter 2, the word tanuú derives from -tan/to spread as suggested also by Böthlingk with "dehnen, erstrecken" (1879, III: 7), Graßmann with "fortlaufend, Dauer" (1996: 517), and Elizarenkova suggests "to draw or pull" (with "stretch" being the meaning when the upasarga aa- is attached)117 and the sense is one of a duality and connection between gods and men (1995: 43).118 In this context, the generic

sense of "life" or "body" (i.e. everybody, somebody) as a participation, or presence, in the ongoing animate cosmos--cf. "Leib"--will also work for tanuú.119

    This is similar to the meaning suggested by N. Ross Reat in The Origins of Indian Psychology, discussed in Chapter 1, where the word specifically indicates the inherent connection between and even shared identity of gods and humans through its meaning of "form" in the sense of a subtle body, or a "template for the physical body" (1990: 63ff.). Mayrhofr does not address the root -tan, but is unambiguous as to a more abstract meaning for the word: selbst, eigen (1963, I: 473). Other occasions of the accusative singular tanvàm are frequently used to indicate how a divinity transforms to manifest a given trait of power.120 For instance, in RV 7.101.3b Parjanya changes his tanuú as he wishes (stariír u tvad bhávati suúta u tvad yathaavasháM tanváM cakra eSáH).

    It is along these same lines that the form of self indicated by Mayrhofr is not unlike that suggested above viz. body: self in the sense of "itself" or "oneself," not "the" self. Böthlingk's meaning is quite abstract for tanuú, "dünn machen, behauen" (1879, III: 8). Graßmann holds with a more tangible meaning, "Leib, Körper" (1996: 519). This translation leaves room for agreement for the sense of body as "everybody," i.e. personal or individual presence, posited here. In the passage under examination, the meaning of ruupá serves to underscore the sense of tanuú as something more subtle than a purely physical existence. This hymn (3.53) being a later insertion, the passage in question appears as a retrospective suggesting the many manifestations under which Indra's beneficence occurs.


    If the larger meaning of presence/tanuú is attested in the occasion of the less tangible word, ruupá, in tanuú's semantic field as above in 3.53.8, then the occasion in RV 6.25.4a-b, where sháriira is in the semantic field with tanuú, is equally informative:

shuúro vaa shuúraM vanate sháriirais tanuurúcaa táruSi yát kRNvaíte |

"With their bodies the mighty masters the mighty, both are made with shining presence/tanuurúcaa when in combat."121 My translation could also work with the sense of öberlegenheit: both are made for shining presence/tanuú when in superiority/triumph.

    In the previous verse (6.25.3) the tumult of battlev--ersus foe or kinsman--is the occasion for a call to Indra for assistance. In the battle both sides would wax to their glory/tanuurúcaa fighting with all their might. It

is ultimately at the level of body-to-body (cf. sháriirais) that the victory comes. But it is also a glorified, amplified presence/tanuú which those bodies have in that combat. It is only the body that is taking the blows, but it is a battle-inspired or enriched presence/tanuurúcaa that delivers them. Graßmann shows only two other occasions of tanuurúcaa, in 2.1.9b with the blazing Agni implored for boons, and 7.93.5b much like the occasion here with two foes bristling against each other (1996: 520).

    Though there are very few occasions for direct comparison between tanuú and the words which unquestionably refer to a corporeal body, the following discussion supports the observations above. With tanuú there is definitely a sense of empirical, observable presence. There are changes in the tanuú, and the tanuú is something which can receive vigor. There are not occasions where the tanuú "dies"--though its use in the human realm clearly indicates something which is vulnerable, and urgently in need of the deity's assistance. For the deities, the tanuú is always the word applied to that aspect of a divinity which the worshipper most specifically seeks to achieve a desired end. The tanuú of a deity is not vulnerable, nor is it in need of strengthening from bráhman (we do not find bráhman used with tanuú in the Family Books). It appears that tanuú is the word for what "appears" or is identifiable--as frail, beneficent, in need of vigor--but is not necessarily corporeal. This becomes clearer when we examine the distinction between tanuú as it is used in the language referring to gods and the language referring to men. Two-thirds of the occasions of tanuú in the Family Books are used in reference to deities and it does not refer to a vulnerability in these occasions.

Tanuú in the Language of Gods and the Language of Men


    That tanuú is not corporeal is supported more substantially than these isolated occasions with ruupá and sháriira. Consistently it infers a countenance, something active and animate. Another instance of tanuú includes an instance of -cit in 4.16.14a-b:

suúra upaaké tanvàM dádhaano ví yát te céty amR'tasya várpaH |

"Approximate to the sun you place your (Indra) presence/tanuú (yourself), when it has appeared with your immortal aspect."122 In other words, the presence/tanuú or Leib (i.e. as one might say "to save lives") of Indra's immortal aspect is associated with the sun. This returns us to the discussion begun in Chapter 2 with regard to tanuú in the language of the gods

as opposed to that of humans.

    There are several passages suggesting that tanuú refers to a countenance, or presence, of a deity which manifests in multiple ways according to the dispensation of the deity of its own accord, or in response to a specific prayer. RV 3.34.1 affords a perfect example of such an occasion. It also adumbrates what we have already argued above, along with Elizarenkova's suggestion (1995: 97) that bráhman is an independent empowering force:

índraH puurbhíd aátirad daásam arkaír vidádvasur dáyamaano ví shátruun | bráhmajuutas tanvaà vaavRdhaanó bhuúridaatra aápR^Nad ródasii ubhé ||

"Indra, with abundant prayers overcame the Daása, finding wealth, dividing enemies; with a presence/tanuú enriched with pure energy, rich in gifts, filled both heaven and earth."123 Indra's tanuú is enriched with bráhman which, if translated "formulas" sounds a little mechanistic.

    As for tanuú, the presence of Indra fills both worlds when it is enhanced or engorged with the empowerment of bráhman. Similarly, with the addition/drinking of Soma, Indra's tanuú manifests a special strength in 2.16.2c-d, especially when additionally enhanced by krátu or mental effort (see below). There is some sense of tanuú connoting an abstract, reflexive self when the rare form tanuúpaa/"self"-protecting is found (4.16.20, 6.46.10, and 7.66.3). This is a more abstract application of tanuú than the specific meanings or applications of "presence" discussed thus far. Böthlink suggests "Leib und Leben schirmend" (1879, III: 8). It is a phrase limited to the realm of the gods and serves to connote the preservation powers they have for their efficacy.

    Frequently, then, the tanuú of a deity is lauded in a particular manifestation or besought in a specific manifestation for a given purpose. In RV 2.17.7d, the tanuú of Indra is sought as that aspect which makes people glad (kRdhí praketám úpa maasy aá bhara daddhí bhaagáM tanvií yéna maamáhaH), or a question as to which tanuú of the pair Mitra-VaruNa is to be praised in RV 5.67.5a-b (kó nú vaam mitraástuto váruNo vaa nam), and Agni's tanuú which is untouchable when it blazes/járbhuuraNaH discussed below in

The tanuú in the realm of the gods is a point of presence where a variety of valuable countenances manifest or can be called forth.

    Thus, in the realm of humans, there is nothing other than adversity

discussed or implied in the semantic fields surrounding tanuú.
The deities are repeatedly implored to protect, prevent injury to, heal, cleanse, or otherwise save the vulnerable human tanuú. The genitive plural tanuúnaam shows up twice with the aorist imperative--bodhi--of -budh or -bhuu125as here in RV 5.4.9c-d (cf. 2.9.2c-d, 4.16.17d):

ágne atriván námasaa gRNaanò 'smaákam bodhy avitaá tanuúnaam ||

"Agni, bowed to with praise like Atri, awaken (or be) as protector of our lives." And Geldner, translating bodhi as the imperative aorist of -bhu: "Agni, wie von Atri unter Verbeugung gepriesen, sei der Beschützer underer Leiber!" (1951, II: 7) offers this same sense of tanuú. Passages such as these contrive to awaken-or bring to existence--Agni in his microcosmic tanuú as gárbha and in the macrocosm as divine intercessionary force. As tanuú implies an attenuated presence or, with Reat and Elizarenkova, et al, what is drawn out (cf. dehnen, Dauer) the micro-macrocosmic awakening--or being--is interwoven (cf. -tan as including weaving, shining, and spreading).126 Invariably, however, the human tanuú remains frail, and in need of protection as seen here and repeatedly elsewhere (cf. 6.25.4 above).127

Mental Processes and tanuú

    Each of the words relating to mental processes occurs somewhat infrequently, most prominently included is -man.128 Forms of -man are found in hymns, verses, and the same paada several times with tanuú in the Family Books (7 times). Of these there is one occasion of -man in the immediate or related semantic fields of tanuú. The other instances of shared fields do not entail a direct modification of meaning one way or the other between the words studied.

An exception is RV 2.10.5:

aá vishvátaH pratyáñcaM jigharmy arakSásaa mánasaa táj juSeta | máryashrii spRhayádvarNo agnír naábhimR'she tanvaá járbhuraaNaH ||

"I sprinkle (oblations) all around to (Agni), may he enjoy it with pure mind; Agni, the glorious young man, a figure to be desired, a presence/tanuú untouchable as it flickers."129 It hardly requires much imagination or rhetoric to conclude that the flaming presence/tanuú of Agni is both like a vibrant young man, desirable for its many benefits, and also quite untouchable when blazing. As above, we see again that tanuú is something which manifests in a variety of ways, a changing presence/tanuú according to the

aspect sought or addressed by the worshipper. This is a quality not so easily attributable to a substantive or corporeal body.

    We do not find krátu in the semantic fields with tanuú in those occasions where tanuú is used to refer to the frailty of the human existence. As with the other terms for mental processes, there is not a direct relation between tanuú and krátu. Such for instance is the case in RV 2.16.2c-d to Indra (cf. also 2.39.2, 6.41.5--with shátakratu--and 7.3.9):

jaTháre sómaM tanvií sáho máho háste vájram bhárati shiirSáNi krátum ||

"Soma he carries in his stomach, in his presence/tanuú, powerful and great, he carries the bolt in his hand, and determination with his head." In this verse Geldner is persuaded by the anatomical vocabularyjaTháre, háste, shiirSáNito render tanuú as Körper: "Im Bauch trägt er den Soma, im Körper die überlegene Stärke, die Macht, in der hand die Keule, im Haupte die Überlegung" (1951, I: 296).


    The weight of the foregoing discussion of tanuú allows that it is the enriched overall presence/tanuú of Indra, additionally embellished with strength of purpose/krátu, that is lauded. Of course, Indra's Körper is part of that presence/tanuú so--as above with bodhi viz. -budh and -bhuu (see note 128)--either reading does not do injustice to the passage. But "presence" or "life" (in a generic sense of 'our lives" as a complete reference to the course of existence from birth to death--i.e., a "presence" in the world--rather than life as an animate force like aayú or praaNá) allows for consistency through the range of passages with tanuú. It is also more representative of the interconnected cosmos of the RV Family hymns wherein lines of demarcation for individuality or abstracted "selves" were not drawn by the poets.

    If tanuú is an attenuated presence, capable of various manifestations among the gods, and frail among humans, what--if any--existential notion of self is present in the Family Books as an independent entity? We see bráhman as an empowering force which is independent and operating in many realms, including the semantic fields of tanuú where it serves to augment the potency of a desired countenance of the gods. There is a fluid continuum between the realm of the gods and that of men which is traversed by ppure energy, or bráhman. This energy affects changes in the tanuú of gods, and invokes protection of the frail tanuú of humans. Within that continuum, are there nodes of existence which are independent? This question leads us to the next word in our study, tmán.


    In Vedic, tmán is like a mysterious person who appears at a party, interacts with a select few guests, and then leaves quietly without ever being heard from again. It is scattered infrequently through both the early and later portions of the RV. Its most predominant--almost only--use is in the instrumental tmánaa which is striking with its semantic and sonorous closeness to aatmán. Mayrhofr (1963, I: 473) discusses the possible etymology of both aatmán and tmán from -tan and is quite unconvinced, suggesting that this is highly unlikely--"Hochst fraglich!"--but this does not preclude a possible relation between aatmán and tmán nonetheless. There are 27 occasions of the instrumental singular in the Family Books and 35 in the later portions. There are 11 occasions in the MS, 10 in the KS, and 9 in the TS. There is one occasion in the RVKh, 3.1.4, in a Khila to Indra inspired by Soma. By the time of the Atharva Veda, the SV Paippalaada uses it 3 times and it is found 4 times in the AV Shaunaka. Other forms, locative tmáni, are 1 each in the Early and late portions of the RV; dative tmáne is found 3 and 4 times respectively, and tmányaa is used 3 times in the later RV, 3 times in the MS, 3 in the KS, once in the TS, and once in the AV Shaunaka. After that, it drops off the Vedic map with only two occurrences in the TB, one in the JB, and one in a later addition to the ShBM in The question which follows (with deference to the TV series), "Who was that masked tmán?" remains a difficult puzzle.

    The predominant form of the instrumental suggests that, more than anything, tmán is something "by or with which" a human or deity achieves something. Effectively, "himself/itself" is the more reasonable translation in many cases (cf. svayám and reflexivity discussion above, and the philosophical implications of reflex reference in the Introduction). In Chapter 2, tmán was defined as a word which serves the specific function of characterizing a trait as inherently part of a deity's identity--Agni as the conveyor of the offerings to the gods is himself a priest (4.6.5a), Agni encompasses all by his own nature (3.9.5a), BrahmaNaspati, the king of prayer is himself wise (2.25.2b), etc. The instrumental tmánaa is most applicable to establish that the trait is by the very nature of the deity or person. The other forms of tmán are quite infrequent and it is difficult to establish a pattern from them. In 4.29.4c Indra sets the coursers to the pole itself with the locative tmáni (úpa tmáni dádhaano dhuryaáshuún), and Agni, like a melter of metal, knows himself to be able to consume all, and not to be detained in plants--cf. discussion of Agni in the plants and waters in 10.51 below in Chapter 5--as he is immortal in 6.12.3c-d (adroghó ná dravitaá cetati tmánn ámartyo 'vartrá óSadhiiSu).

    As far as its later disappearance, from the one and only appearance of the word in the ShBM it is clear that it is not the "right" word as the passage corrects the prescribed recitation directed in VS 6.11, asyá havíSas tmánaa yajéti/ "offer with the tmán this oblation" with vaácam évaitád aahaánaarttasyaasyá havíSa aatmánaa yajéti/ "To Speech, really, he means to say, 'offer with the aatmán this oblation." The mantra in question is found also in the much earlier KS 3.6 and somewhat earlier TS (cf. chronology of the Veda's in Chapter 3), but--significantly--without the "correction," and without the direction of the havíS to vaác/Speech.

    Glossing tmán with aatmán is certainly not uncommon. As noted in Chapter 2, Yaaska does so without hesitation or explanation.130 In addition, tmán is not part of the lexicon of the NighaNTu.131 In the absence of native etymologies, we have few alternatives other than the comparison of semantic fields. Repeating the summary presented earlier, the basic meanings share reasonable concurrence among the current lexicons, "Lebenshauch," "selbst," and "das eigene Person" (Böthlingk, 1879, III: 45; Mayrhofr, 1956, I: 528; and Mylius, 1975: 192). Rather than a later gloss, Graßmann suggests tmán is "aus aatman gekürzt" (1964: 552). Mayrhofer has summarized the scholarship of Kuiper, Hertel, and Wackernagel viz. the probability of a derivation from -tan (1956, 1: 529). There is fairly consistent agreement as to the link with aatmán: "Ist von aatmá nicht zu trennen, und tán- (s.d.!) ist zu beachten."; but continues, "Die nähere Erklärung bleibt schwierig" (1956, I: 529).


    What gives the strongest case for the link between tmán and aatmán--apart from phonetic or etymological arguments--is the usage in context. In so doing, reading how tmán is used in context also addresses the question of the relevance of tanuú, though, again, not in terms of a derivational paradigm. To illustrate, a recapitulation of the evidence adduced thus far presents the following notions about the early Vedic cosmos. Gods and humans lived in a continuum, and their mutual presences/tanuú therein have specific realms of activity with unique characteristics. The tanuú of the deity is potent, capable of various manifestations to provide assistance or characteristics worthy of worship. This aid is also prompted with prayers which, when rightly spoken, access that vital power/bráhman that makes it possible to overcome adversity and weakness.

    Somewhere in this continuum of presences/tanuú which can be affected by bráhman, there is still the need to account for those occasions of

self-generated action or traits. In other words, there are times when a trait or characteristic of a deity or person is attributable to that individual's own existence, rather than accessed from outside or produced with the assistance of bráhman. It is tmán which carries this weight. Numerically, it is obviously not a frequent requirement in Vedic speech--only 31 times in the Family Books do we find tmán and only 35 times in the later books--especially when compared with the hundreds of occasions of the other terms--tanuú and bráhman--and the words for mental processes which are integral to influencing the components of the continuum. The points of a particular existence, in that continuum which are peculiar to a deity or entity--such as prayer--are identified by use of the word tmán.

    It is likely then that such a potent word would have characteristics which fall clearly along the lines of language for gods or for hymns. Of the occasions with tmán, we observe a similar pattern to that with tanuú: the ration of occasions where it is the tmán of a deity over those occasions where the tmán of a human is concerned is 9:1. An excellent example is Agni, the priest to the gods, who is lauded as the priest to the gods of his own nature, through whose flames the offerings are literally carried upward, in RV 4.6.5a-b:

pári tmánaa mitádrur eti hótaa 'gnír mandró mádhuvacaa Rtaávaa |

"He goes about as if himself a priest, Agni, pleasant with sweet speech and righteousness."132 Similarly in RV 7.7.1d Agni himself measures up to knowing the gods (tmánaa devéSu vivide mitádruH). Also it is the sacrifice itself which goes to the varied forms of Indra in 7.84.1d (pári tmánaa víSuruupaa jigatii). The self-presented wisdom of the "father of prayer," BrahmaNaspati is a likely candidate for an occasion of tmán in RV 2.25.2a-b:

viirébhir viiraán vanavad vanuSyató góbhii rayím paprathad bódhati tmánaa |

"With heroic men he will attack his jealous foes, with cattle he spreads his wealth, wise of his own accord."133 This is not confined to any one deity. Using a tangible metaphor for Agni, the apparent independent willfulness within the shifting patterns of a fire, the poet uses tmán in RV 3.9.5:

sasRvaáMsam iva tmánaa

    'gním itthaá tiróhitam |

"Moving really as if of his own, Agni, hidden (therein)."134 Similar use is found throughout almost all occasions with tmán, and in all but six occasions, in the instrumental.135 It is "by means of" tmán that a node of self-evident quality or power is marked or specified in Vedic.

    It is not surprising that a point of such self-defined presence/tanuú (as we see below, a tanuú can have a particular tmán) is confined primarily to the gods. The Vedic cosmos was a realm of powers and divinities wherein the humans were always at the outskirts, or fringes, using prayer to invoke or participate. This is quite clear in the handful of occasions when something relating to the human realm is marked with the use of tmán. The independent self-evident power of the sacrifice (e.g., RV 7.84.1d) indicates that it is by pious action that the human realm reaches forth to the divine with the self-contained power of the rites. We see this in 5.10.4e where good praises of themselves waken Indra (sukiirtír bódhati tmánaa). The separation in realms is underscored by the deictic reference to humans being made godlike as charioteers of wealth-bringing vehicles by the beneficence of Indra and VaruNa as in RV 4.41.10 (áshvyasya tmánaa ráthyasya puSTér nítyasya raayáH pátayaH syaama |taá cakraaNaá uutíbhir návyasiibhir asmatraá raáyo niyútaH sacantaam || ).

aatmán and púruSa


    It is unlikely that observations of the few occurrences of aatmán and púruSa can provide conclusive evidence of how these words were used in the period of the Family Books. While they are obviously not unknown in this early period, they were also not important enough to appear frequently in the early collection of the RV. I will limit this preliminary inquiry to the synchronic data of the passagesfew though they arewhere we find each term. In later chapters, this initial survey will be re-evaluated from the perspective of subsequent usage for each term. It is clear, however, that púruSa in the Family Books conveys little of the exalted role of archetypical sacrifice as seen in RV 10.90, nor does it even have the significance as a portion of plants fit for offering to Agni as in 10.51. The one occasion in

In the Family Books, aatmán is used only twice, in RV 7.87.2a and

7.101.6b. On both occasions, it is firmly associated with the root etymologies suggested by Yaaska. As noted in Chapter 2, N 3.15 where verbs of motion-- -at/go, or -aap/reach, obtain--are suggested for its etymology, the early RV uses seem consistent with that. In RV 7.87.2a, the suggestion by scholars (cf. Chapter 2, pp. 79f.) that aatmán is derived from -an, to breath, appears justifiable as the wind is called the aatmán of VaruNa (aatmaá te vaáto rája aá naviinot). This is a common association of aatmán with wind or air (in the later RV we see this in 1.34.7d, 1.116.3c, 1.182.5b, 10.92.13c). It is also just as likely that the aatmán of VaruNa being likened to the wind is due to aatmán as a word of dynamic vitalityor motion. The other occasion of aatmán in the Family Books supports this. In RV 7.101.6b, Parjanya, lord of crop-enriching rains, is the holder of the aatmán of all things fixed and moving (tásminn aatmaá jágatas tasthúSash ca). Elsewhere aatmán is again associated with what moves and is fixed as later with the very same semantic field in 1.115.1d where Suurya is the aatmán of both (suúrya aatmaá jágatas tasthuSas ca).136 In other cases aatmán is animated or associated with vigor (1.73.2d, 1.116.3c, 1.182.5b, 9.74.4a, 9.113.1c).

    It is important to note an additional aspect of RV 7.101 for the ongoing discussion of the developing uses of aatmán and tanuú. This hymn affords the only occasion in the Family Books and one of only 5 occasions in the whole RV where aatmán and tanuú are found in the same or adjacent semantic fields (1.162.20b within the same verse; 10.16.3a with tanuú in 4; 10.97 with aatmán in 4d, 8d, 11c and tanuú in 10d; 10.107.7c with tanuú in 6c). In 7.10.3a-b, tanuú is used in its usual context to refer to the changeable presence of the deity which can be beneficial to the realm of humans:

stariír u tvad bhávati suúta u tvad yathaavasháM tanvàM cakra eSáH |

"Now from you it (field) is barren, now from you it is a cow fertile with offspring; according to your pleasure is the presence/tanuú of this cycle (of seasonal harvest and planting)."137 At least in the Family Books, the appearance of aatmán does not necessitate a corporeal meaning for tanuú. This will change in the later RV as will be seen in Chapter 5.

    These quite limited examples in the Family Books indicate that aatmán first appears in the RV as something vital or dynamic. This later becomes easier to associate with like phenomena and entities such as the wind. Correspondingly, its association with breath leads to its later meta

physical significations in the later Vedic literature. In between, the distinction between tanuú and aatmán further underscores the dynamic side of aatmán (cf. 1.162.20b, 8.3.24a, also discussed above, and in more detail below), and its sense of being an inner core (as of sacrifice in 9.2.10c, 9.6.8a, 10.168.4a). However, there is very little to suggest that aatmán was originally used as a word for an eternal, imperishable self or essence. It suggests an essence, perhaps, but more likely is the active characteristic of a deity or human.

    With púruSa, the uses are slightly more common, with seven occasions in the Family Books (3.33.8d, 4.12.4a, 5.48.5c, 7.4.3c, 7.29.4a, 7.57.4, and 7.102.2c). In point of fact púruSa is altogether rare in the RV. In the later RV, there are only fourteen attestations of which seven are in the PuruSa Suukta, RV 10.90, and all fourteen but one (8.71.2a), appear in RV 10. Apart from 8.71, there are no occasions of púruSa in the portions of the RV dated immediately after the Family Books (1.51-191, 8.1-66, 1.1-50, 8.67-103, 8.49-59, and RV 9). This lends itself to the easy suggestion that púruSa is simply a later term. Unfortunately, the available data does not enable the additional observation that the occasions of púruSa in the Family Books are hymns of later date.

    In the Family Books púruSa denotes a decidedly frail existence in the human realm--with the exception of 3.33.8d and, somewhat, 7.102.2c--not unlike the use of tanuú in the human realm. Unfortunately, tanuú does not share the same hymn with púruSa, so a direct comparison is not possible here. Nonetheless, the existence suggested by púruSa is quite different from the elevated significance the term has beginning with RV 10.90, and continuing through the later UpaniSads--especially the Shvetaashvatara and MuNDaka UpaniSads--and the traditions of Yoga. The púruSa of the Family Books is almost rhetorically opposed to these later developments. In RV 3.33.8d Indra is lauded and called to prevent the worshippers from being humbled among mortals (maá no ní kaH puruSatraá námas te), and in RV 4.12.4 a confession and plea for absolution from evil is made to Agni (yác cid dhí te puruSatraá yaviSThaácittibhish cakRmaá kác cid aágaH | kRdhií SvásmaáM áditer ánaagaan vyénaaMsi shishratho víSvag agne). Also 7.57.4b underscores the human condition of sinfulness conveyed in the use of púruSa with a plea to the Maruts to not punish harshly (R'dhak aá vo maruto didyúd astu yád va aágaH puruSátaa káraama).

    There is one likely exception to the vulnerability of humanity as usually implied by the use of púruSa in 7.102.2. This is another hymn to

Parjanya which, as above with 7.101 to Parjanya, also marks a general change in terminology from other hymns of the Family Books with a feminine genitive plural form:

yó gárbham óSadhiinaaM gávaaM kRNóty árvataam | parjányaH puruSiíNaam ||

"Parjanya who makes the germ/egg in women, plants, of cattle, and of horses."138 The exception to the other uses of púruSa in the Family Books, coupled with uncertainty as to authorship and metric aberration (Van Nooten and Holland, 1994: 330, 633) makes the conclusion that this is a later insertion the most tempting solution to the anomaly. Unfortunately, this is the only use of puruSiíNaam in the entire RV and comparison is not easy. It is clear, however, that púruSa in this case refers to the mortal realm which is enabled with offspring by Parjanya's beneficence. There is a good chance that this hymn might also be later (Arnold, 1897: 212). In the remaining passages using púruSa, the limits of humanity as conveyed by the semantic fields that surround púruSa are much clearer.

    The scattered few uses of púruSa and the mere pair of aatmán in the Family Books leaves a multitude of questions which will be better answered in Chapter 5 concerning the later RV. Further study of later insertions of hymns into the Family Books will answer some of these questions especially with regard to the Parjanya hymns in 7.101 and 102. However, as these are agrarian in nature, they are much more likely of indigenous origin and possibly quite early. As we noted above 7.102 is likely a later addition. This suggests the more interesting hypothesis that the changing terminology for the self in the RV represents not so much "new" ideas of individuality coming into existence, but a steady and subtle incorporation of existing notions from the Indus Civilization into the newly-arrived Aryan mythology. As indicated above in Chapter 2, the púruSa has been identified by Van Buitenen (1964: 104, note 2), as "already" great and Elizarenkova suggests it represents a borrowing from another language (1995: 67). These theories are attended to in detail in Chapter 6 where the Middle Vedic literature has a great deal more attestations of púruSa allowing a more careful assessment of its pedigree.

    The early uses of aatmán show that it began in the RV as a term for an inner vitality, a dynamic core marking the potency of VaruNa and Parjanya. These uses and their association with motion and air are easy seeds for the later metaphysical associations, through breath, of aatmán as

the eternal essence of living beings. For púruSa, the picture is still unclear. The púruSa is a generic term for beings whose mortal existence is fraught with frailty.


    The Vedic cosmos of the Family Books is marked by several concepts from which the later developments represent a marked departure. Foremost among these is the absence of reference to corporeal bodies as found later with déha and sháriira, while tanuú--later denoting the body (but still somewhat ambiguously), as will be seen as early as the next earliest portion of the RV in 1.162.20b--serves as a word for the existence or "self" of deities which can manifest desired characteristics in response to the prayers of the worshipper. Those prayers are efficacious when endowed with the special potency designated by bráhman. When there is occasion to refer to a self-generative quality of a given deity's presence/tanuú, it is tmán which performs this service. Noting the sudden drop in its use once aatmán appears regularly, it is apparent that the conception of individuality in the cosmos of Vedic religions changes as well.

    The interactive presences/tanuú which are variously invoked by efficacious utterances empowered by bráhman comes to be replaced by an absolute equivalency--aatmán-bráhman--where human individuality, defined and identified as its own entity, must reconcile the verbal separation implied with the aatmán-bráhman relationship. Still, in the Family Books, such an evolved conception of human individuality is nonexistent. It is the gods who have selectively changing presences/tanuú. It is also the gods who have self-generative or self-sustaining/tmán qualities. Only through careful uttering of prayers with bráhman can things be affected or put to right order. This action takes place largely in the realm of speech as far as the descriptions and texts of the RV are concerned.

    It is not until the later literature that detailed cosmologies arise and, with them, different terminology appears which first reshapes the meaning of the words as they are found in the Family Books (e.g. tanuú comes to have a decidedly corporeal meaning before it is virtually lost from use in the BraahmaNa's) and then replaces them altogether (as with aatmán replacing tmán). As this newly evolving self is found in philosophical discourses, the basic identification of a mental function, mánas will, in turn, develop abstract significations of identity all its own. Concurrent with these changes, and a move in literary focus to the sacrificial ritual, the traditional

terms for the great priests of liturgy--kaví, vípra, and later, R'Si--are replaced by brahmán. The word bráhman itself becomes more and more synonymous with Vaac--or becomes the primary aspect of Vaac--and in so doing begins to develop into its more commonly known role in the later literature as the designation for the ultimate cosmic principle.




    The order of presentation in this chapter will be the same as in the previous chapter, but the results will be assessed from the perspective of a wider field of diachronic development. There are five periods of composition in the later books of the RV, including the Vaalakhilya hymns in RV 8. For convenience, I will abbreviate these sections as follows. Under the general designation of Late RV, there will be sections "RV Late-a" (RV 1.51-191 and 8.1-66 [excepting 8.49-59]), "RV Late-b" (RV 1.1-50, RV 8.67-103), "RV Late-Vaal" (RV 8.49-59--the Vaalakhilya), RV 9, and RV 10, in order of their historical sequence. In addition, we will also be looking at the first phase of Middle Vedic, the so-called Mantra Language, in which we find the RV Khila's.

    The terminology changes in several distinct ways. With bráhman there is a consistent pattern of closer and closer association with acts of speech to the point that the distinction--if any--between "pure energy" and "formula" is frequently negligible. A significant change in the use of tanuú coincides to a large extent with increased use of aatmán. Under these circumstances, tanuú is clearly more corporeal. This change in the meaning of tanuú becomes clear where the essence of a person, deity, or even animal (cf. the horse in RV 1.162)--aatmán--is distinguished from the presence/tanuú in time and space. This reflects the development of a notion of self which consists of an internal, subtle essence which was not signified by tanuú in the Family Books. In those books, tanuú referred not so much to "self" as to a characteristic point of presence--or countenance--in space and time of a deity or human. The decrease in relative frequency of use for tmán also reflects this change. The inherent, identifying characteristics signified by the use of tmán are less frequent while references to subtle essence--aatmán--is more common. Finally, there is the interesting phenomenon of púruSa which appears, especially in 10.51 and 10.90, with a fully developed sacrificial and cosmic significance which is not, by contrast, associated with aatmán.



     As we return to the discussion with which we began the examination

of bráhman in Chapter 4, the occasions of brahmán/priest, are also quite scarce throughout the Late RV. There are five occasions in RV Late-a, one in RV Late-b, none in RV Late-Vaal, three in RV 9, and six in RV 10. There are also a few occasions of the genitive plural in RV 10 with four instances. Also an isolated pair of instrumental plural brahmábhiH are attested in RV Late-b (1.33.9) and RV 10.1.3. The occasions where other terms for poet or priest--vípra, R'Sii, and kaví--predominate as the plural referents for liturgists.

    The meaning of bráhman continues to develop into that of a specific formulation of sacred speech which is invoked by the priest. There are few occasions where Thieme's suggestion of "Formulierung" (1952: 103) are not supported. The occasions observed in the Family Books where bráhman is independent of priests are not matched in the later RV. Bráhman is used more often with -man and -dhii, much more than in the Family Books, almost to the complete exclusion of -cit and -budh. In addition, the role of Vaac with bráhman is introduced in such hymns as 10.114 where both speech and bráhman are coextensive, and 9.97 where bráhman is but one of three voices uttered by the horse team at the Soma sacrifice. However, the more independent sense of bráhman has not altogether disappeared as in 10.50 where Indra is made mighty by bráhman only.

    As in Chapter 4, there will be three main categories of inquiry for bráhman. First I will return to the roles played by different priests in the formulation and invocation of bráhman. Second there are the occasions where bráhman is associated with -man and -dhii as a product of this kind of intentional or purposeful mental process. It is -man, however, which proves most frequent in the immediate semantic fields around bráhman. I will also revisit the relationship of Vaac and bráhman in this section. There is no noticeable increase, however, in the use of krátu suggesting that force of will is either already implied in the word bráhman or is not part of the process for creating bráhman. Finally there are a few occasions where bráhman is associated with ahám and aayú, and these are discussed briefly. In this section I will also return to the discussion of bráhman and speech. A more detailed examination of ásu, aayú, jiivá, and praaNá follows in the subsequent section of this chapter which addresses tanuú.

Makers of Mantras: poets, priests and seers


    The overall increase in relative frequency among all three--R'Si ,

kaví, and vípra--in plural forms, as outlined in Chapter 4, is quite apparent as, for instance, with R'Sii which increases from 11 plural forms in the Family books, to 39 times in these later books. This increase continues in the later literature, leveling off significantly by the time of Middle Vedic when brahmán becomes the predominant term (outside of those occasions where a specific role is assigned to a class of priest for prescribed recitations, for instance, by the hotR). The issue of brahmán as a priest or class of priests has been raised by several scholars, with differing results.139

    With regard to bráhman, the role of who it was that is capable of invoking this power is still more frequently left with the vípra, R'Si, or kaví.140

Unlike what we found in Chapter 4, where bráhman and brahmán were in the same passage (6.45.7, 7.33.11), the late RV does not offer clear points of comparison which allow us to discern if bráhman varies in its significations of power from use with vípra, R'Si , kaví, or brahmán.141 We do have an occasion in adjacent verses in RV 9.113.5-6 which affords some indication:

satyámugrasya bRhatáH sáM sravanti saMsravaáH | sáM yanti rasíno rásaaH

    punaanó bráhmaNaa hara índraayendo pári srava || 5 || yátra brahmaá pavamaana chandasyaàM vaácaM vádan | graávNaa sóme mahiiyáte sómenaanandáM janáyann índraayendo pári srava || 6 ||

"There flows together the portions of the truthful and great; the juicy of the juicy mead, bearing pristine purity by the pure energy, flow abundantly for Indra, Indu (Soma). Pavamaana, where the priest as he chants the ritual speech, exalts the soma by the pressing stone, through the Soma creating bliss, flow abundantly for Indra, Indu (Soma)."142 Soma designates the realm of the gods, especially in its role of invigorating Indra, imparting purity by means of the pure energy of bráhman.

    The imagery of the empowered chándas and the energetic vocabulary in the semantic field with flowing/srava, sravanti, power/bRhátaH, ugrasya suggest the nature of bráhman as a source of the power brought forth through the chándas. The idea of bráhman as a direct result of speech is more prominent here than is independent power. However, if

bráhman were only prayer, the inclusion of chándas would be redundant. Geldner's translation as "feierlicher Rede," breaks with his usual reading of "Segenswortes" (with 6.16.30 above, 1951, II: 111), but is similar to "erbauliche Rede," as in 7.31.11b in Chapter 4 (1951, II: 208). Following Elizarenkova (1995: 97) and the evidence here, bráhman designates, in this case, empowerment from the Rtá in the formula for transformation and strength. Arnold notes this is a later hymn (1897: 212), as does Oldenberg (1888) and Hopkins (1894), suggesting that the use of bráhman as a formula--a word denoting power and speech--continued even after the composition and arrangement of the RV. Thieme notes that after the RV, bráhman changes from "Formung (dichterische) Formulierung" to "Formung (Wahrheits-) Formulierung" (1952: 117). As a later hymn, this development is suggested here in RV 9.113 and somewhat confirmed by the earlier hymn 9.97 below where a form of -dhii is associated with Rtá instead of bráhman.

    When we consider vípra and R'Si, they are much more prevalent with bráhman. However, kaví is never found adjacent to bráhman in any of the later RV portions. As noted in Chapter 4, kaví is present with bráhman immediately adjacent only once, in 6.16.30c, and in adjacent verses 5 other times. However, it is kaví that remains the predominant term of the three liturgist words. Typically the R'Si and the kaví see or compose the prayers while the vípra utters them.143 This is the case with the three occasions of vípra in the immediate semantic field with bráhman in the late RV. In RV Late-a 1.117.11:

suunór maánenaashvinaa gRNaanaá vaájaM vípraaya bhuraNaa rádantaa | agástye bráhmaNaa vaavRdhaanaá sáM vishpálaaM naasatyaariNiitam ||

"Son by Maana, by praise the Ashvin quickly dispenses vigor for the vipra, by pure energy strengthening Agastya, Vishpalaa with Naasatyaa is healed ("quickened"/given a spoke)."144 The passage presents a use of bráhman in the language of the gods where "pure energy" enables the Ashvins to invigorate Agastya and the other. This passage is not easy, but important for the current study. Vishpalaa is invoked as an example of how Agastya is to be empowered by the Ashvins.145 The vípra enacts the resource of power, or pure energy, in bráhman for the Ashvins to come to the aid of Agastya as they did to Vishpalaa. The vípras bring forth bráhman in their invocations as power which is almost inseparable from their speech.

However, the transition to bráhman as a word meaning a formula of sacred power is not complete. This passage could also be argued as a case for the independent bráhman, though the fact that it is a product of the vípra, who is more frequently a speaker than a seer of hymns suggests otherwise.

    The subsequent use of vípra with bráhman is similar in the late RV and bráhman continues to be considered a divinely-powered formula. Such is the case with the vípra as in RV Late-b, 1.3.5 where Indra is urged by the vípra to come to the prayers of those who prepare the Soma sacrifice which empowers him (see below in discussion of bráhman with -dhii). It is the potency of bráhman added to the dhiya/devotion which enacts the desired participation of Indra.

Much later in RV 10.50.7a, Agni is empowered with the flowing Soma as a vípra himself (yé te vípra brahmakR'taH suté sácaa), in a hymn where bráhman empowers Indra independent of a speech act (see 10.50.4 below). Kaví and vípra are also found in adjacent verses to those containing bráhman in RV 9.97.32-35 wherein Soma speaks through the mouth of the kaví and vípra is capable of calling cattle to the offerer (see note 14 below).

    As there are no cases with kaví, the occasions for examination of the role of various liturgists with respect to bráhman become quite limited. Such is the case with R'Si as it is only in the immediate semantic field with bráhman once in RV 10.146 In RV 10.89.16b the invoking/gRNataám R'Si's prayers/mándan are the means for gratifying Indra (bráhmaaNi mándan gRNataám R'SiiNaam). In this case bráhman is quite clearly associated with speech and is a direct product of it.

    The distribution of vípra, R'Sii, and kaví in the Khilas is consistent with this pattern. The predominant term is R'Si with 17 occasions, and there are fewer uses of the singular than the plural (6 : 11). There are relatively few uses of vípra, 4 singular and 4 plural, one of which is used with bráhman and is discussed below. There are no occasions of bráhman sharing its immediate semantic field--paada or verse--with kaví. It also decreases in overall frequency of use as noted in Chapter 4, with a marked drop from the multitude of occasions in RV 9 and 10 (184 total occasions in the late RV, 71 of which are RV 9), to an average of 25 in the Atharva Veda and Black Yajur Veda recensions. In the Khilas there are a comparatively scant 7 occasions of kaví, three of which are plural.147

    There is one occasion with bráhman and R'Si in the same semantic field, invoking the same sense of bráhman as the impelling power or spo

ken formula conveyed in the poetic visions of these seers. RVKh 5.3.5 gives an occasion similar to RV 7.61.2 where only a holy or pious vípra is able to invoke the power of bráhman with his prayers.
There is evidence that the doctrine of bráhman as an ineffable power was present at the time of the RV Khila's in 5.3.5. It is a testament to the nature of bráhman as movable and unmovable/caraacarám. Even more, however, it shows an early appearance of bráhman as it is found in the later discussions (such as BAAU 2.3.6) with an empirical and a non-empirical aspect. The great seer Kashyapa has perceived the great light of bráhman in the manner that ajá has (see note 185):

ajó yát téjo dádR'she shukráM jyótiH parogúhaa | tád R'SiH káshyapaH staúti satyáM bráhma caraacaráM dhruváM caraacarám ||

"Unborn/ajá who has seen the brilliance, that pure light beyond the hidden realm, this Seer Kashyapa praises the true movable and unmovable pure energy, (he) praises the eternal movable and unmovable power." Bhise takes ajó as a proper name designating a family defeated by the TRtsus with Sudaas as told by the VasiSTha's (7.18, 7.33, 7.83, referred to by name as the Aja's only in 7.16.19): "The seer kashyapa praises that lustre, the bright light beyond the cave which Aja has seen. (It is) the real bráhman (made up of) movable and immovable, the steady bráhman (made up of) movable and immovable" (1995: 182). I am reluctant to accept that Aja as a rarely-mentioned, defeated family (Macdonell and Keith, 1982, I: 12), is an appropriate model or analogue for the inspired vision of Kashyapa. It is unlikely that the vision of a defeated family would have such a lofty tribute. In addition, as RV 7.33 and 83 are later insertions themselves (MacDonell and Keith, 1982, I: 321; 7.33, Witzel 1995b: 311), the defeat of Aja's would likely have been known. More importantly, this passage suggests that "pure energy" or power as a translation for bráhman makes the connection with the later doctrine of bráhman in the UpaniSads possible to identify in the early period as "movable and unmovable formulas" are more convoluted.

    It is more plausible that what is hidden is a metaphor for that one secret, imperishable power, of speech or sound, considering the preceding lines of the Khila where we find repeated uses of bráhmaikam akSáram (5.3.2b, with Jamadagni as the caretaker of it in 5.3.30). Also in this connection there is a reference to síva, in 5.3.4, who is also referred to as hidden/budhná. The image of the four parts of speech (cf. RV 1.164.45),148

three of which are hidden, is also present in RVKh. 5.3.6 where the three existences of the seers Agastya, Kashyapa, and Jamadagni in the realm of the gods are sought (tryaayuSáM jamádagneH káshyapasya tryaayuSám | agástyasya tryaayuSáM yádevaánaaM tryaayuSáM tánno astu tryaayuSám).

    Turning to vípra, there is an occasion in RVKh 1.3.7 sharing the same verse with bráhman. The passage is interesting as it introduces the term upaniSát juxtaposed with niSát.

evaá niSác copaniSác ca vípraa yuvaáM rébhatyau sayújaa supáNyaur | bráhmaaNy akratur vidátheSu shákraa dhattáM táyos tánayaM tokám ágryam ||

"Thus both the seated and the secretly seated, O Vipras, the two yoked birds murmur to you, your formulated speech is given without intent (in spite of yourself) to the propagated family and first offspring of both." The two yoked birds, upaniSát and niSát, are the pair at the sacrifice bringing forth powers in spite of themselves at the sacrifice like offspring and the secret seated/upaniSát are the foremost offspring/tokámágryam. Bhise takes bráhmaaNy akratur differently and smooths the cumbersome nature of the "family matters" (táyos tánayaM tokám ágryam) which close the verse: "In this way, O wise ones, the niSat and the upaniSat praising you are female birds yoked together. O helpful ones, the magic formulae are prepared by you at the sacrifices. Bestow son and the foremost grandson on the two" (1995: 82).

    The use of the words for liturgists with bráhman is somewhat inconclusive, but the close association with prayer is more apparent. This is evident above in RV 10.89.16 and RVKh. 1.3.7 and 5.3.5. The transition to "sacred utterance" is not without exceptions as we see below. However, especially as demonstrated in RVKh 5.3.5, the later significance of bráhman as an ineffable cosmic force is already becoming apparent with attestations of is empirical and non-empirical duality. As the remaining portions of this discussion demonstrate, it was not a major shift in the understanding of bráhman which enabled this. Passages like RV 1.117.11, which are somewhat ambiguous as to the independence of bráhman, indicate that the change in meaning is not necessarily complete. Without the evidence of semantic fields which show the changing use of words for speech, such as RV 9.113.5-6 with chandás and vaác, it would be very difficult to suggest

there is a change based upon the passages discussed thus far. The evidence based upon the words for liturgists is not conclusive, but it is indicative that a change was in the works. This change becomes much clearer when we turn to the association with -man and -dhii below. Bráhman is frequently a product of the making or fashioning--e.g., ákaari and átakSad--as well as from intended thought--as with -man and -dhii.

bráhman: in Relation to the Mental Faculties and Speech

    Continuing with the question of bráhman's relation to prayer and utterance, the next set of questions about the development of its semantic field concerns the words for mental processes -cit, -man, -budh, and -dhii. At the end of the discussion of those four words, I will briefly touch upon krátu which appears only twice with bráhman in RV 10.

    The first point which becomes immediately clear is that -man and -dhii are the predominant terms and that there is a distinct development in the semantic fields surrounding bráhman from RV Late-a to RV 10. There are comparatively few--especially with -dhii--occurrences of either term in the semantic fields with bráhman between these two periods of the later RV. By far, -man is the predominant term in the semantic fields with bráhman as compared to -dhii in the RV Late-b by a ratio of 3:1. Finally, where -cit and -budh were scarce in the Family Books149 in the semantic fields around bráhman, they are completely nonexistent with it in each portion of the later RV. We will examine the occasions with -dhii followed by those of -man before moving the discussion to the occasions where the other words under study--those related to life, breath, and body--are used with bráhman.

    In RV Late-a the formulaic closing of the Gotama Nodhas hymns allow for a much more prayer-oriented sense of bráhman. This also introduces a range of attestations of bráhman wherein the context as language of humans renders its meaning as an act of speech. Six of the seven Gotama Nodhas hymns in 1.58-64 close with a call to Indra or the Maruts to come quickly now that they've been enriched by -dhii (praatár makSuú dhiyaávasur jagamyaat). We find bráhman in the wider field of the final verse in 1.61.16, 1.62.13, and 1.63.9, all to Indra. Both 1.62.13 and 1.63.9 present bráhman as a product of prayer and, more importantly, a creation of the work of Gotama Nodhas. In 1.62.13 the formulation/-takS of bráhman is directly attributed to him (sanaayaté gótama indra návyam átakSad bráhma hariyójanaaya). In 1.63.9, the creation of

bráhman is again the work of a single individual (ákaari ta indra gótamebhir bráhmaaNyóktaa námasaa háribhyaam).

    In Chapter 4, the use of words like átakSad and ákaari were not commonly found with bráhman. In general, bráhman was not made by the priests, rather it was impelled/jinva as in 6.35.5d (aa^Ngirasaán bráhmaNaa vipra jinva), or generated--as would be a power or source of energy--along with excellent praises/suvRktím as in 7.31.11a-b (uruvyácase mahíne suvRktím índraaya bráhma janayangta vípraaH--cf. also 7.22.9). In the Family Books, bráhman was still not so specifically a speech-only kind of power such that it could be fashioned/átakSad or made/ákaari. It is not only humans who fashion bráhman, however, as we see in RV 10.80.7a where Rbhus perform the same function constructing bráhman from Agni (agnáye bráhma Rbhávas tatakSur).


    The exception here is found in RV 9.97 which uses the passive aorist ákaari to describe the making of a hymn for BrahmaNaspati and Indra (iyáM vaam brahmaNaspate suvRktír bráhméndraaya vajríNe akaari). We do see ákaari in the several formulas closing RV 4.16-17, and 4.19-24: (ákaari te harivo bráhma návyaM dhiyaá syaama rathyàH sadaasaáH). However, there is no agent doing the fashioning. A fine distinction, perhaps, but in the other cases with words like átakSad and aakaari in the later literature--as here with Gotama Nodhas in 1.61-63--there is a human agent responsible for making bráhman. This is not the case in the earlier books. There is an exception, of sorts, also with Gotama Nodhas as the use of bráhman as strictly formulaic speech is still not its only sense. In 1.61.16 there are two forms of -dhii and the use of bráhman is more consistent with the observations of Chapter 4:

evaá te haariyojanaa suvRktií 'ndra bráhmaaNi gótamaaso akran | aíSu vishvápeshasaM dhíyaM dhaaH praatár makSuú dhiyaávasur jagamyaat ||

"To you Indra, the tetherer of stallions, the Gotamas have made these excellent prayers. Give them thought lavished with all ornamentation, may he come quickly enriched with (such) devotions."ÿ150 It is important to note here, however, that it is not the use of words for mental processes with bráhman which are modifying it to a more speech-oriented term, but words for making and fashioning. The connection between bráhman and the right thought and knowledge which is prominent in the later literature of the UpaniSads has yet to take shape.

    RV 1.58-60 and 1.64 do not use bráhman in the closing formula. In RV 1.62-63 the formula is similar, but only dhiyaávasur is included--as part of the standard closing for this series--without the additional occasion of dhíyaM as in 1.61.16d. The omission lends itself to a closer relation to prayer in the meaning for bráhman which could, in turn, set the stage for the later replacement of Vaac by bráhman in the BraahmaNa texts. The fashioning/átakSad of a new bráhman in 1.62.13b is the making of a formula for Indra consistent with the foregoing analyses here (sanaayaté gótama indra návyam átakSad bráhma hariyójanaaya).

    This sense of bráhman is consistent with the other occasion in RV Late-a where -dhii forms are in its semantic field. In RV 1.88.4, the Maruts, eager ones/aáguri, go about and come back daily to the call of the priest whose prayers/dhíyaM and rain charm/vaarkaaryaáM draw them here through the praises of the Gotama RaahuugaNa (áhaani gR'dhraaH páry aá va aágur imaáM dhíyaM vaarkaaryaáM ca deviím | bráhma kRNvánto gótamaaso arkaír uurdhváM nunudra utsadhím píbadhyai). There are no shared semantic fields with bráhman and -dhii in RV Late-a other than these 4 instances.

    Turning to the RV Late-b, we have but one instance of -dhii with bráhman--as mentioned above--which includes an occasion of vípra in 1.3.5, a hymn by Machuchandas Vaishvaamitra to several deities, with the verse in question addressed to Indra. Sped onward/iSitó by devotion/dhiyá and earnest invocations of the stirred one/vípra, Indra is called to the formulas offered to him therein (índraá yaahi dhiyéSitó víprajuutaH sutaávataH úpa bráhmaaNi vaaghátaH). In the remaining sections of the later RV, -dhii is equally scarce in the semantic fields surrounding bráhman, with one occasion in 9.97.34b and 10.65.14. Both passages include forms of -man, the remaining word for mental processes yet to be examined, and so will be dealt with below according to the historical sequence after the RV Late-a, b, and c have been addressed. Additionally, the only words related to mental processes used with bráhman in the Khila suuktas are also forms of -man.

    Occasions with -man, -dhii, -vac and bráhman together in the same verse--let alone the same paada--are quite infrequent. It is a specifically late RV phenomenon151 though also a rare one with only one occasion, 9.97.34b. RV 9.97.34 is to purified/Pavamaana Soma, described as a horse team or courser/váhnir with three voices:152 tisró vaáca iirayati prá váhnir

Rtásya dhiitím bráhmaNo maniiSaám | gaávo yanti gópatim pRchámaanaaH sómaM yanti matáyo vaavashaanaáH ||

"Three voices the courser/horse team (Soma) proclaims: the rightness of prayer, the power of wisdom, and the inquiries of the cow as they come to the herdsman--the hymns eagerly sharpened on the Soma."153 Still, the transition noted by Thieme from "dichterische" to "Wahrheit" with Formulierung has apparently not gotten under way--in contradistinction to the later hymn 9.113--as the dhiitím has Rtá rather than only bráhman.

    In the later parts of the RV, -man is the word of choice with bráhman RV ( a ratio of 16:8 occasions of -man as opposed to -dhii and all but three of the uses of -dhii are in RV Late-a) with the exception of RV Late-a where it is found only twice in the aatmastuti of RV 1.165.2 and 4. In 1.165.4a bráhman and -man share the same immediate semantic field in a reply by Indra to the Maruts--they are surprised to be meeting Indra rather than being already attendant upon him--who have just inquired as to his purpose in verse 3. Indra replies, claiming ownership of the devotions and formulas in the libation (bráhmaaNi me matáyaH sháM sutaásaH).

    To continue the examination of -man with bráhman, in the next period of the late RV we have one occasion in RV Late-c, in the Vaalakhilya hymns of RV 8. In RV 8.52.9a-b, Indra is the recipient of a praise "from ancient times"/puurvyám in a hymn where the meaning for bráhman, by this late period, is very much inextricable from connotations of prayer (cf. RV Khila 3.4.9):

ástaavi mánma puurvyám bráhméndraaya vocata |

"The devotion of olden times is sung-- for Indra the prayer is spoken." 154 Many of the occasions where we find forms of -vac with bráhman are in the later portions of the RV. As is the case here, those forms are verbal rather than nominal. Clearly in hymns such as this later Vaalakhilya, bráhman is a direct product of speech-- the passage above allows little other translation for bráhman than a prayer which is spoken.

    The association between Vaac and bráhman is under development in the later RV. As we saw above in RV 9.97.34b, bráhman is but one of three voices of the courses. At the very least it is clear that the independent nature of bráhman is changing (much as we saw above with bráhman being fashioned by the priests). As mentioned in Chapter 4, Vaac and bráhman

are coextensive and clearly associated as mutual components of praise in 10.114.8:

sahasradhaá pañcadashaány ukthaá yaávad dyaávaapRthivií taávad ít tát | sahasradhaá mahimaánaH sahásraM yaávad bráhma víSThitaM taávatii vaák ||

"The fifteen praises are scattered a thousandfold, which is as vast as the measure of heaven and earth; in a thousandfold scattering is the mighty thousand, which is as far as Vaac spreads and so much, in turn, does the prayer." As bráhman becomes more specifically an act of speech, the uses with verbal forms of -vac are more common. As noted in Chapter 4, Staal has identified RV 10.114.3 as the first--and only--appearance in the RV of a description of the sacrificial altar (1983, I: 129). In addition, Arnold describes it as one of the latest additions to the RV--after the composition and arrangement of the hymns--according to its meter, vocabulary, grammar, and subject matter (1897: 212), assented to also by Graßmann (1876) and Hopkins (1894). It is not surprising that the subtler doctrine of coextensivity with Vaac would have been under development by this time.

    Speaking and directing bráhman are considered the same act as in 1.117.25 (bráhma kRNvánto vRSaNaa yuvábhyaaM suviíraaso vidátham aá vadema cf. also 8.52.9, 10.54.6, 10.80.7). In other cases Vaac and bráhman form an integral pair working together for the worshippers' aims as in RV 10.120.5c-d where the voice impels the weapons and bráhman sharpens them (codáyaami ta aáyudhaa vácobhiH sáM te shíshaami bráhmaNaa váyaaMsi). The best summary for the relationship between the two appears to be a "growing partnership" as in 10.120.5, also as above in 9.97.34, bráhman is one of three distinct voices in the Soma sacrifice.


     The association between Vaac and bráhman is not at all fully developed or universal however. Vaac, bráhman, sacrifice and mántras are made effective by Indra who is their supporter in 10.50.6 (etaá víshvaa sávanaa tuutumaá kRSe . . . yajñó mántro bráhmódyataM vácaH). In this case, however, while bráhman and speech are clearly associated, it is also important to note that mántra is a separate designation as well. In other words, bráhman is still something separate from mántra. It is not surprising, then, that earlier in the same hymn we find a use of bráhman which sounds exactly like the independent pure energy attested throughout the Family Books. In 10.50.4a Indra is made great through bráhman

(bhúvas tvám indra bráhmaNaa mahaán), with no mention throughout the hymn of bráhman connected with or produced by speech apart from the list in 10.50.6.

    Thus there is evidence of the later association between bráhman and Vaac and the dependence of bráhman upon priests in order to be created. Even in a series of formulas attributed to the same poets as with 1.61- 63 by Gotama Nodhas, bráhman is not used consistently. RV 1.62 and 63 clearly relate bráhman to an act of speech, while in 1.61.16 bráhman is a distinct element added to the praise. The framework for the association between bráhman and speech is clearly present, and there are verses which support it, but there are many which do not as well. Bráhman, like almost every word under examination in this study, is under transition in the periods of the later RV from the specific uses in the Family Books to its later associations. The seeds of these later uses are scattered throughout the text, but they have yet to germinate.

    The growing association between bráhman with acts of speech is more and more apparent as the later literature develops. As we will see, the performance of the praaNaagnihotra, the aatmán-bráhman metaphysical tautology, and the proximity in meaning with bráhman and speech become quite closely woven as the speculations on the sacrifice evolve in Middle Vedic. As we return to the mental processes with bráhman, the occasional oscillation between an independent bráhman and one which relies upon priests and speech is evident here as the passage is more disassociated from formula than pure energy in its meaning. In addition, it is worth noting that neither Arnold, Graßmann, Oldenberg, Lanman, or Hopkins identify this hymn as later. There are four uses of -man with bráhman in RV 10, such as RV 10.30.1a-b155 in praise of the waters:

prá devatraá bráhmaNe gaatúr etv apó áchaa mánaso ná práyukti |

"Let the motion of the god advance for the prayer, toward the waters the impulse of the mind is directed/práyukti."156 The mind is directed toward the waters, it is not creating bráhman. As the hymn involves the fetching of sacred waters for preparation of Soma, the mind is utilizing the efficacy of bráhman to call forth the sacred waters. As above, we see the shift where bráhman is no longer abstracted from the human realm and called to the assistance of mortals. It is generated by mortals and "directed" by them. The place or occasion of its invocation is identified in 10.30.1c-d as the excellent praise/suvRktím being spread widely/

pRthujráyase. The waters are the food for Mitra and VaruNa, and it is for them that the offering is made. The offering rushes to them--as in 1a-b--by the mind's impulse (mahím mitrásya váruNasya dhaasím prthujráyase riiradhaa suvRktím).

    As noted in Chapter 4, bráhman rarely shares its semantic field with krátu. If bráhman is truly an independent power--grounded neither in prayer nor in the priests' activities--then it would not frequently be a product of will or effort as signified by krátu. It is interesting, however, that as bráhman becomes more a weapon in the liturgical arsenal of the priest--rather than an independent augmentation of it--that the use with krátu does not change even as the association between bráhman and mental processes increases. The only occasion for comparison of bráhman and krátu is 10.61.1 where they are in the immediate semantic field with each other in a most difficult--if not impenetrable--hymn:

idám itthaá raúdraM guurtávacaa bráhma krátvaa shácyaam antár aajaú |

"To this raging battle (Rudra-like intensity) by devoutly charmed utterances, with willful prayer in assistance to both immortals" (Ashvins? cf. their relation with Paktha per 10.61.1dpárSat pakthé áhan aá saptá hótrrn[MacDonell and Keith, 1982, I: 463-464]).157

    There are two occasions with bráhman and krátu in the same verse, but krátu does not directly qualify it. Further, as in 10.122.2, bráhman is sped to the gods by Agni enriched with ghee--this could imply "empowering" for bráhman--but the context is one wherein bráhman does not act independently but simply augments the prayer spoken (juSaaNó agne práti harya me váco víshvaani vidvaán vayúynaani sukrato | ghR'tanirNig bráhmaNe gaatúm éraya). The relation of sákratur to bráhman in 10.148.4 is even less apparent (the former is in 4c, the latter in 4a), but the passage is another point wherein the relationship of bráhman to the prayers of the worshipper is quite close (imaá bráhmendra túbhyaM shaMsi).

    The discussion above has revealed three significant developments with bráhman in the later RV, all of which fit under the larger heading of a change in bráhman's independence from priests, prayer and the gods to a distinct association with--and even origin in--the mortal realm. First, in the examination of the various terms for liturgists, we saw the innovation of words like ákaari and átakSad in their semantic field identifying the poet as the craftsman of bráhman. Secondly, we saw increased use of -man

with bráhman suggesting, again, that the actions of the mind were associated with its creation. Finally, the relationship between bráhman and Vaac, as well as the act of speech, was increasingly prevalent. None of these changes are complete as each also had exceptions. The contrast between the later books and the Family Books, however, is substantial.

bráhman -not(!)- associated with the words related to the self

    There is very limited material for the examination of bráhman in the late RV with the other words with which this study is concerned. Whatever changes may be occurring with bráhman as a product of human action and the corresponding increase in its association with speech do not include the development of an association between bráhman and the words more directly associated with the notion of the self such as aatmán, tanuú, etc. The only terms which appear even remotely adjacent to bráhman are ahám and aayú. We have already seen ahám with bráhman in RV Late-c, a Vaalakhilya, RV 8.53.8a-b

ahám hí te harivo bráhma vaajayúr aajíM yaámi sádotíbhiH |

"I, indeed, am yours O driver of the golden stallions, prayer lends (itself) to speed to this fight."158 This is a clear indication of the realm of human language as a point of origin from which bráhman can be directed up to the divine realm. The other case with ahám in 10.52.2 is quite indirect, ahám is in 2a and bráhman is in 2d. Speaking in the first person, the Hotar is attesting to his skills as something impelled by the Maruts. He notes that the Ashvins perform the Adhvaryu's duty and proclaims that the wood/samíd and bráhman are there and ready (aháM hótaa ny àsiidaMyájiiyaan víshve devaá marúto maa jananti | áhar-ahar ashvinaádhvaryavaM vaam brahmaá samíd bhavati saáhutir vaam). The Hotar gathers wood and bráhman, as it were, in the same act of assembling the ingredients for a recipe. In other words, the bráhman is a formula which can be made and gathered, and held in attendance upon the eventual commencement of the ritual.

    The only other word we find with bráhman that falls under the purview of this study is aayú. In RV Late-a there is a case in which the semantic fields are shared in the verse. Neither word directly modifies the other, however, and the relation of bráhman to prayer as the potency within it is still clear. The sacrificer empowers/bráhman VaruNa with fond prayers/vándamaanas to not steal the lives/aayú of the worshippers (tát tvaa

yaami bráhmaNaa vándamaanas tád aá shaaste yájamaano havírbhiH | áheLamaano varuNehá bodhyúrushaMsa maá na aáuH prá moSiiH). Again, as in Chapter 4 with RV 2.9.1, 3.15.2, 4.16.17, and 5.4.9, the imperative aorist bodhi occurs but is likely to be from -bhuu rather than -budh, though it is not improbable to suggest that the worshippers would be as happy to have VaruNa not awaken angry as to not be angry. RV 9.86.41 offers a similar occasion with both in the same verse, where Soma as dear to life sends forth praise--cf. the "speaking" of Soma in 9.97.32-34 above--which sates Indra and empowers him to issue forth the blessings of offspring/prajaávad, wealth/rayím and horses (sá bhandánaa úd iyarti prajaávatiir vishvaáyur víshvaaH subháraa áhardivi | bráhma prajaávad rayím áshvapastyam piitá indav índram asmábhyaM yaacataat). The words related to "life"--ásu, aayú, jiivá, and praaNá--are discussed in detail below with tanuú as part of the examination of RV 10.59.5-7 in which all four are found.

Summary: bráhman in the later RV

    The development of bráhman into a word which designates formulated speech more than it does an independent power is the most significant change from the Family Books to the later RV. Returning to the position of the puúrvapakSin outlined in Chapter 4 for the examination of bráhman, we can see how a change in the semantic field marks a distinct change in the role of bráhman in the language of humans as opposed to that of the gods. The appearance of ákaari and átakSad with the priests formulating bráhman as a component of their speech sets the stage for the association of Vaac and bráhman in the Middle Vedic texts. The independence of bráhman is not abandoned, however. Apart from apparent exceptions such as RV 10.50, it is clear that bráhman continues to evoke a specific kind of empowered speech which is able to act in the divine realm, but which originates now in the human realm. Without the careful attention to its independence in Chapter 4, these changes would not have been apparent.

    As bráhman becomes integrated with ritual speech it is both consistent with a special kind of power to effect the intentions of the worshipper that, in turn, can gradually develop into an association with Vaac in the ritual literature. As this development takes place (outlined below in Chapter 6), the abstract power attributed to speech enables a smooth transition to the bráhman spoken of in the UpaniSads as néti néti. However, where

the summary of bráhman in Chapter 4 was best characterized by néti néti--neither fully independent nor specifically associated with speech--it is better characterized by caapi caapi. Bráhman is a distinct power, and also one which is closely tied with speech. Bráhman has a special potency in the divine realm and also is generated from the human realm. Bráhman displays many characteristics of its later metaphysical significance which contains an empirical/non-empirical duality and also is still only beginning to show these developments.

    There is no evidence as yet of the association between aatmán and bráhman which dominates the latest periods of the Vedic literature. The occasions of bráhman with the other words under study are scarce. There were only a handful of occasions of ahám and aayú, and none with tanuú, tmán, or words for the body. However, bráhman is developing close associations in the later RV with the words for mental processes--especially forms of -man--which are central in these later texts. The mental processes associated with prayer, especially -man and -dhii, are frequently used with bráhman further cementing its growing association with divinely-inspired speech acts. This sets the stage for the development of the metaphysical speculations which arise with the praaNaagnihotra and develop into the aatmán-bráhman philosophy. Thus from the conclusions here we can trace how the different groups of texts in Middle Vedic develop these seeds of change into the uses of bráhman which dominate during subsequent centuries.



    The study of tanuú in the later books of the RV can be roughly characterized under three broad headings. The first continues the discussion begun in Chapter 4 with regard to the body. In the later RV tanuú develops an increasingly corporeal meaning which coincides, in turn, with the appearance of aatmán in its semantic field. An extensive examination of RV 1.162.20 in praise of the horse at the horse-sacrifice illustrates this clearly. As tanuú becomes more corporeal, we also notice the appearance of words in its semantic field--ásu, aayú, jiivá, and praaNá--which variously designate life. These words will form the second category of analysis as each term is quite scarce in the Family Books and so could only be considered in the later RV. The hymn which provides the best opportunity for this, with all five terms together, is RV 10.59 which is examined in great detail. Finally, the later developments of tanuú, both with aatmán and

other forms which occur rarelysuch as tanuunapaátcloses out this section and forms a point of departure for the examination of aatmán and púruSa. Just before we turn to these words, tmán is revisited with specific attention to how it contrasts with tanuú marking the last stages of a period in the RV where the language does not reveal an abstract notion of self such as with aatmán and púruSa, but which also refers to the deities in terms of their own unique individuality.

    The use of tanuú in the later portion of the RV is consistent in many ways with that in the Family Books. The percentage of uses as referring to particular manifestations of divine presence/tanuú as opposed to the frailties of human presence/tanuú does not change. However, the frequency of use begins to decline significantly even by the time of RV Late-b, the first portion of RV 1 and the latter part of RV 8. In RV Late-a the ratio of tanuú in the divine realm as beautiful, auspicious, strong or capable of blessing as opposed to the human tanuú as frail, vulnerable to evil, and in need of protection is 21 occasions to 6. However, by the period of the next strata of the late RV, 1.1-50 and 8.67-103 (excepting the Vaalakhilya's), the uses of tanuú have dropped off markedly--only 4 with the divinities and 7 with humans--though the latter are still labeled as vulnerable. There is only one occasion in RV Late-c, Vaalakhilya 8.56.6d where Indra's and Varuuna's tanuú's are said to glow. In RV 9 tanuú is also rather scarce, 8 occasions with divinities--mostly the glow of Soma Pavamaana--compared to 2 with humans. Finally, by the time of RV 10 there are 25 uses of tanuú for the deities and 9 with humans.

The Body: déha, ruupá, and sháriira as compared with tanuú


    In RV 10, tanuú clearly begins to take on the connotations of a corporeal body with the appearance of aatmán in increasing frequency. However, as we noted, there are still no regularly used words for the body even in the late RV. We have all of six occasions of shariira in the later books. 159 RV 10.157.2a-b speaks of sacrifice, offspring and tanuú being made suitable/ciikLaati to the AAdityas by Indra (yajñáM ca nas tanváM ca prajaáM caadityaír índraH sahá ciikLaati), but in 10.157.3 Indra is called to protect the vulnerable tanuú. Cows are obviously fit for sacrifice, and in 10.169.3a-b we have the only reference to their tanuú as well as the inclusion of a word--otherwise scarce in the RV--in a reflexive usage, which can refer to corporeal existence, ruupá:

yaá devéSu tanvàm aírayanta yaásaaM sómo víshvaa ruupaáNi véda |

"They who have risen among gods thenselves/tanuú, all the forms of whom are known to Soma."160 The passage could read "presences" but this would, on the one hand, be almost vacuous as to any clear meaning and, on the other, be too strained an application of the same word on every occasion for tanuú.161 The use of ruupá while not signifying a body per se, indicates that corporeal existence still requires an additional reference apart from what is signified by tanuú. Occasions of ruupá far outnumber those of the other words for body as has been noted in Chapter 4. Of the 37 occasions of ruupá in the later RV, 10.169.3 is the only one in tanuú's immediate semantic field. In RV 10.85.35 and .27 they share the same hymn. The use of ruupá is ostensibly similar to that of tanuú in the realm of the gods--their ruupá is capable of variance. However, the tanuú of the gods changes in its way of directing a ritual benefit to the worshipper, where the ruupá changes in and of itself as a quality of the gods which does necessarily respond to the requests of humans. In RV 10.85.27c-d, Indra is called to unite his tanuú with the yajamaana (enaá pátyaa tanváM sáM Rdhyataam asmín gRhé gR'hapatyaaya jaagRhi) while in 10.85.35c, the worshipper calls the listeners to behold the forms of Suryaá (suuryaáyaaH pashya ruupaáNi). This use of ruupá is consistent throughout the other phases of the later RV.162 For ruupá, then, the meaning is attached to a variable appearance which, while often corporeal, is not necessarily so. More important for the distinction with tanuú, ruupá does not designate a quality which interacts with or responds to human prayers.

    There is still no widely-used term in the later RV--or the Family

Books--which signifies a corporeal body (déha was only used twice, in RV 6.47.2 and 7.6.5, see note 174 below). As will be seen shortly, however, this function does come to be taken on by tanuú--but not frequently in the RV. This is not to say that there was no discussion of the physical realm of life. As below in 1.162, the corporeal body is cut up, burned, smeared, and eaten. In addition, there are words for the limbs, such as below where Agni is described as having them to lift himself aloft, in RV 1.141.8b. However there are other words--kraví, gaátra and, later, sáriira--which are used when these actions are discussed.

    It is more likely the case that a conceptual abstraction of the body was not part of the early or later RV world view. The tanuú is still a point of existence in the continuum between the divine and human realms--to be sure, it is a powerful and variously manifesting existence for the former, and continues to be frail in the latter. The need to discuss the corporeal body within such a cosmos was not a significant concern of the Vedic poets. It is not until the overt sacrificial dialogues--as of the horse sacrifice in 1.162-163--or of death with the Funeral Hymn in 10.16, that a composite, physical component of individual existence even begins to become visible. Even then, this is a small, limited phenomenon confined to a fewalmost invariably latehymns. For instance, sháriira is found only 6 times in the later books, once in RV Late-a (1.163.11), once in RV Late-b (1.32.10), and four times in RV 10 (10.16.1, 10.16.3, 10.99.8, and 10.136.3).


Two occasions of sháriira are found in RV 10.16.1b and 3d, the Funeral Hymn, with tanuú occurring in 10.16.4. The hymn is rich with the terminology currently under study. In 10.16.1, a clearly corporeal reference includes sháriira and the skin/tvácaM in a plea that both not be burned by Agni (maásya tvácaM cikSipo maá sháriiram). Similarly, in 10.16.3d along with all his corporeal body the deceased is to make a home in the plants (óshadhiiSu práti tiSThaa sháriiraiH). By contrast, in the first half of the same line the transcorporeal life, the breath, soul or aatmán goes to the winds, and the eye to the sun (suúryaM cákSur gachatu vaátam aatmaá). Then in 10.16.4c the auspicious presence/tanuú of Jaatavedaswhich can as easily be taken as the flames which are his bodyis to bear the deceased onward (yaás te shivaás tanvó jaatavedas taábhir vahainaM sukR'taam ulokám). This is consistent with the use of tanuú in the realm of the gods, as a particular manifestation of presence for a given purpose. However, in terms of practical application, the is a distinct physicality to this aspect of Jaatavedas, the lively

flames, which are best translated for communicative effect as body, but which--if it is so understood--as presence/tanuú. Again, this recalls Witzel's notation in "Vedic Mind" where he suggests idiomatic translation with the actual word supplied along with it (1996:173).

    Thus we find both aayú and tanuú in the same line referring to the human realm in 10.16.5c-d:

aáyur vásaana úpa vetu shéSaH sáM gachataaM tanvaà jaatavedaH ||

"May he enjoy the remainder, clothed with life, Jaatavedas let him go together with a body (tanuú)."163 The idea of a joining with a tanuú is expressed variously throughout the later RV as a prerogative of deities who can even do this themselves as in 10.14.8d where Yama has the option to join with another body (sáM gachasva tanv'aa suvárchaaH), or as noted earlier in 10.85.27c, (enaá pátyaa tanváM sáM Rdhyataam . . . ), or 10.56.1c with the Vishve Devaas (saMvéshane tanvás caárur edhi). The use of aayú in the passage is typical of its meaning of the full complement of a human existence, as seen, for instance, in 1.89.8d with the period of life appointed by the gods (vyáshema deváhitaM yád aáyuH). In addition, the use of "clothing" in reference to tanuú is seen in a slightly different use where tanuú and aatmán are found together in 8.3.24a (cf. Chapter 2with tanuú denoting the outward appearance or "clothing" and aatmán is the food or vital essence (aatmaá pitús tanuúr vaása).


    The increasing amount of cosmogonic and, as here, existential speculation regarding the afterlife in the later RV provides ample setting for the changing uses of tanuú. These varied uses of tanuú in the late portions of the RV are accompanied by the addition of terminology not present throughout most of the Family Books. Thus the transition to a more corporeal signification, especially in this latest addition to the RV (Lanman, 1880: 581; Arnold, 1897: 212; Witzel, 1995a:311), necessitates the rendering of tanuú as body. The primary change in terminology centers around the addition of aatmán that appears in the immediate semantic field with tanuú in 1.162.20a-b, the hymn from the Diirghatamas family to the horse:

maá tvaa tapat priyá aatmaápiyántam maá svádhitis tanvà aá tiSThipat te |

"Let your beloved essence/life breath not torment you while dissipating, let the axe not remain so for your body."164 The passage wishes an untraumatic death upon the sacrificial horse which is marked, among other things, by a smooth dissipation of its life breath or transcorporeal essence/


    With the introduction of aatmán in juxtaposition with tanuú in this discussion related to the ashvamedha, the most complex symbolism of the macro-microcosmic sacrificial metaphysics are at issue.165 This is also the most advanced use of aatmán in sacrificial symbolism in a hymn which is considered to be a later addition (Lanman, 1880: 581; Oldenberg, 1888; Witzel, 1995b: 311). Elsewhere the aatmán does not have this subtler association which, in contrast to that of the púruSa which is quite developed in RV 10.90, is otherwise not seen in the RV with the attestations of aatmán. While aatmán is discussed in detail below, the inclusion of it in the semantic field with tanuú is important for marking the changing significations of the latter, as well as the growing complexity of the notion of individual existence in this portion of the RV. This is a pivotal verse for the understanding of both words in the RV, as well asconsequentlyfor this study. Accordingly, this passage warrants close scrutiny for this reason as well as for its inherent complexity as a composition of the great riddler Diirghatamas.

    To begin comparing the semantic fields of aatmán and tanuú in this passage, it is necessary to determine just what is "happening" with regard to each. The three verbs in this passage are pivotal: tapat, ápiyántam, and tiSThitpat.166 Unfortunately, all three are the sole occasions of their respective forms in the RV (Graßmann, 1996: 198, 522, and 1602). Comparative analysis, whether of form or semantic field, is not possible.167

    The use of ápiyántam in this verse is still informative for what it tells us about aatmán (Grashmann 1996: 522, 198). The various meanings for ápiyántam range through entering, spreading, joining, flowing, and dying, almost all of which are implied with Geldner's "eingehst." Graßmann has "betreten, eintreten" (1996: 192) while Böthlingk has those meanings along with "eingehen, sich ergießen, and sich auflösen" (1879, I: 198), taking their translations into consideration as well as the setting--the death of the horse--it appears that "dissipates" was the best translation. This also fits with the way Diirghatamas uses aatmán in a href="../1sb/1.162.html" target="new">1.162, 163, and 164. Elsewhere in the Diirghatamas hymns, aatmán is hundredfold in Agni who is bright as the sun (1.149.3c), can be known from afar (1.163.6a), and it is the breath or essence of the whole earth (1.164.4c). Like RV 10.16.3c mentioned above where the aatmán goes to the winds in the Funeral Hymn, here the aatmán "dissipates" at death as the axe does its work. The sense of "disappear" is not inapplicable as well, but the difficulty of translating

ápiyantam lead me to consult the German lexicons which do not support disappear (e.g., it is incompatible with "enter"). The aatmán remains, while enigmatic, still fairly consistent as a pervasive, enlivening force, frequently likened to pervasive activity such as the wind or air moving through the atmosphere or over the earth (cf. above in Chapter 4, where RV 7.87.2a had the wind as the aatmán of VaruNa, also 1.34.7d, 1.116.3c, 1.182.5b, 10.92.13c; discussed below).

    Taking this use of aatmán and the other uses in Diirghatamas' hymns into consideration we can generalize that, for Diirghatamas, aatmán is--for lack of a better word--"large" or in some way subtly distended (whether signifying breath, essence of life or otherwise--see discussion of aatmán below). It reaches beyond the human realm and is applied to attributes of the divine realm. Unlike tanuú which has a clearly repeated semantic field (the gods are to be its protector/gopaá, etc.) when used for the human realm, aatmán is something which extends both through and beyond the realm of mortal life, such as here with the horse.

    For the present discussion of 1.162.20, in addition to priyá aatmaá, it is important to consider that there are two other "dear" or beloved/priyá things in this hymn--both of them are part of the point of intersection between the human and the divine realm. The sacrificial stake/yuupa in 162.2d, and the trappings of the sacrificial horse in 162.16d are both dear. This use of priyá by Diirghatamas as an endearing reference to a place of interface between gods and humans is seen also at 1.142.2 1.143.1, 1.152.4, and 1.154.5. However, the more common use of priyá, to simply attach fondness to someone or something,168 is also employed in Diirghatamas hymns (1.151.1, 1.152.4).

    If the aatmán for Diirghatamas is not so much a self or soul as it is an essential component in the existence of exalted (rather than human) entities which is subtly pervasive through them as a mark of their nature (multiple brightnesses of Agni, knowable from afar, essence of earth, the dissipating essence of the sacrificial horse), what is to be done with the meaning of tanuú in this passage? We are in a similar situation as above with the exclusivity of the mood for each of the three verbs--tanuú is not a common terminological choice for Diirghatamas, who uses it only three times including this one (in a use common as above in Chapter 4, to refer to Agni's radiant presence/tanuú 1.140.11c, and as the laudable presence/tanuú of Agni 1.147.2d).169

     The only other occasion of tanuú with aatmán comes not from

Diirghatamas, but from a much earlier strata, RV Late-a. As noted above, tanuú and aatmán are found together in 8.3.24a <<a href="#290">see elsewhere)where tanuú denotes the outward appearance or "clothing" and aatmán is the food or vital essence (aatmaá pitús tanuúr vaása). The similar semantic fields with clothing/vaása makes the distinction easier to determine. The occasion in 1.162, then, is an exception. The semantic field is quite different.

    The action surrounding tanvà in this passage concerns that of the axe/svádhitis with regard to the tanuú. In such a pivotal verse for discerning the significations of both aatmán and tanuú, the isolated occasion of tiSThipat is less than ideal. As a causative injunctive with , in tandem with the negative maá, Geldner follows Graßmann's suggestion of "Schaden anthun" (1996: 1597), the axe is not to remain injurious to the horse's tanuú. This suggests that tanuú signifies a physical body with little ambiguity (Geldner uses Körper). However, the axe is not admonished to avoid lingering "in" the tanuú, but is called instead to not remain painful for the tanuú. Further, in the remainder of the verse, it is very clear that Diirghatamas employs different terminology for the corporeal body as we see in the passage from 1.162.20c-d:

maá te gRdhnúr avishastaátihaáya chidraá gaátraaNy asínaa míthuu kaH ||

"Let the hasty unskilled hatchetman not flinch with the knife, tearing your members, wrongly destroying (them)."170 Of seven occasions of gaátra/member or limb in the entire RV, four are found in this hymn to the horse. It is clear when the corporeal aspect of the horse is discussed, there is no ambiguity in the poet's language (in 1.162.11a gaátra is what is roasted on the fire, 18c calls for perfect skill in the cutting of each part/ÿgaátra, and 19c speaks of the limbs/gaátra). Thus tanuú is in transition at this stage of the later RV from an identifiable presence which includes, but is not limited to, physical appearance, to a meaning which is distinctly more corporeal.

    Still, tanuú is not completely or solely physical. Diirghatamas has used other words to describe the corporeal frame upon which the tanuú is stretched. With gaátra in the second half of this verse we find the reference to the purely corporeal entity of a creature or thing.171 RV Late-a contains another occasion where tanuú and gaátra are found in the same verse. RV 8.48.9a-b calls upon Soma to be the guardian or herdsman of the tanuú having settled into its members or limbs/gaátra (tváM hí nas tanvàH soma gopaá gaátre-gaatre niSasátthaa nRcákSaaH). The

tanuú is "herded" elsewhere, as above where Indra is called to be the gopaá of the human tanuú in Chapter 4, with 4.16.17d, a hymn with 3 occasions of tanuú (two concerning the frail human presence/tanuú as in 17d and 20c, and also the expanding presence/tanuú of Indra as he nears the sun in 14a). Further, Diirghatamas uses other words to more specifically denote the "fleshiness" of creatures as in 162.9a where he chooses kravíSo to speak of what is eaten by flies, or the raw flesh of the belly in 162.10b again with kravíSo.172 Diirghatamas is also not lacking in vocabulary to refer qualitatively or abstractly to the physical shape of creatures and deities. Agni's ruupá is discussed in 163.7a, his beauteous form/vápuH is mentioned in 144.3a and 160.2c. 173 He also has other words for limbs, as in 1.141.8b where Agni has limbs/á^Nga to lift himself aloft (dyaám á^Ngebhir aruSébhir iiyate).

    This survey of the elements in Diirghatamas' semantic fields suggests that tanuú, while perhaps less expansive and subtle than aatmán, is still not fully corporeal in the time of Diirghatamas. It is in transition as the signification of aatmán continues to develop. For instance, the body is unambiguously referenced in the next hymn, 1.163.11a where the horse's body is described as formed for flight (táva sháriiram patayiSNv árvan).174 Sháriira is otherwise quite uncommon in the RV and is almost solely limited to the later books--except as above in Chapter 4 with 6.25.4. 175 It is safe to say that RV 1.162 is indeed a later insertion when considered with regard to its vocabulary for individual essence (aatmán) and physical (tanuú) existence. Gaátra, a word quite common in the later books, is used 4 times in 1.162; kraví a common term in the AVP and AVSh (20 and 19 times, respectively), is used twice.

    Tanuú designates an empirical, identifiable appearance or presence more than does aatmán for Diirghatamas, but it is still not used as a term which is strictly corporeal. It refers instead to the presence of a being in relation to the gods and the world of humansan existential placemarker of sorts. Its ambiguity is compounded as well by the occurrence of other clearly corporeal terms--as above with kraví--within the work of the same poet or family. The tanuú does not pervade the earth, nor characterize the wind with regard to VaruNa. It is used in the mortal realm to refer to something frail and in need of protection. The aatmán is pervasive and never in need of protection. It is most always used for the divine realm or exalted entities--the earth, the sacrificial horse--in the macrocosm.


    The transition in meaning for tanuú is apparent again in the praise of herbs where it is the tanuú from which illness must be driven in 10.97.10c-d (óSadhiiH praácucyavur yát kíM ca tanvó rápaH).

Yet the predominant use seen in the Family Books--to refer to the manifold aspects of a given deity--persists as in 10.51 to Agni, a dialogue between the gods and Agni as to whether he will come forth and participate in the oblations and convey the offerings. Three times in this hymn the tanuú is used to refer to a variety/bahudhaá of countenances of Agni perceived in many places as in 10.51.1c-d (víshvaa apashyad bhaudhaá te agne jaátavedas tanvó devá ékaH), with Agni's answer in 2b (yó me tanvó bahudhaá paryápashyat), and again in 4c to affirm the scattering of his tanuú's as Agni accounts for his absence (tásya me tanvií bahudhaá níviSTaa).

    The tanuú of humans and deities might even be thought of as countenance, the presence that appears. As above in Chapter 4 with RV 6.25.4, with the embattled heros, they are said to have a shining countenance/tanuurúca as the body/sháriira strives to conquer the foe.

Following the summaries above, the deities consistently have multi-faceted tanuú's (with the forms of Agni's beauty in 1.140.11c, Ashvin's free from stain in 1.181.4b, the ornamented forms of the Maruts in 8.20.6c, Agni in 10.51.2b, Indra's increase in 10.116.6d, etc.) which they can direct at will to the benefit of the mortal realm when they are rightly praised--i.e. invoked with bráhman. The human or mortal tanuú constantly needs protection or special dispensations--from the gods whose tanuú's are multiply endowed-to overcome an inherent inadequacy (1.189.6b, 1.23.21b, 8.71.13d, 9.66.18b, 10.88.8c, etc.). This "vulnerability" acts like a catalyst for the steady localization of tanuú as the corporeal body as the abstraction of life--into aayú, ásu, jiivá, and praaNá--and individuality with essence/aatmán and mental function/mánas develops (see below).

     One further point, afforded by this database, is apparent when coding this electronic dissertation. The "demotion" (from its early significance in the Family Books of the Rig Veda) of tanuú in the later literature is quite apparent. If one peruses the hymns linked above, it will become readily clear that the hymns in which the tanuú of the gods is in one way or another exalted, these hymns are allmost all not used in the much later--and much more UpaniSadic--ShB. By contrast, those hymns where the tanuú is humble, flawed, or bound to mortal physicality are almost all used in the ShB. In fact, of only two RV 9 hymns used in the ShB, 9.66 is one. We find this demotion is further indicated with the Dice hymn below.

    It is not a complete change at this stage. The semantic field of tanuú does not contain words pertaining to physical activities such as smearing and stinking--as with kraví (sama^Nkté in 10.87.16a and gandhó in 1.162.10b)--or scattering with the skin/tvácaM and sháriira (cikSipo in 10.16.1b), and burning as with gaátra--(pacyámaanaad in 1.162.11a). In addition, that there are so few occasions of these corporeal elements whether with kraví, gaátra, deha, ruupá, vápu, or sháriira, it raises the surprising possibility that the corporeal body as a composite element of individual existence is not a topic of conceptual thought. The idea of a

composite body has only very limited beginnings--by necessity of reflections upon the sacrifice and more detailed discussions--as in 10.16--of death and afterlife that begin to appear in the later books. However, if we return to the basic word for the individual--for the self--in Early Vedic, we find that the root of tanuú, -tan, is consistent with the continuum between the divine and human realms in which tanuú marks a point of presence. That presence can have abstract, physical, or reflexive connotations. But it is not necessary that a corporeal body is always implied with every reference to the self where tanuú is used. Accordingly, there seems to be no necessity for the body--corporeally speaking--to require objective reflection in the minds of the poets when tanuú conveys all connotations of individual existence in space and time. Dissecting its significations into corporeal and non-corporeal components is later development in Middle Vedic which begins with the composite self denoted with aatmán, tanuú and púruSa in the Black Yajur Veda (see Chapter 6).

    If tanuú is best understood as shown here--as presence--it is easy to see how "body," which can be corporeal ("the body was buried") and abstract ("everybody was sad") can be made to fit most every occasion cited so far. However, as seen thus far and especially with RV 10.16 and 1.162, this would promote a certain slippage or imprecision when translating the other words for body. More importantly for this study, translating tanuú as fundamentally meaning body makes understanding the development of the self in Vedic India completely haphazard. It does make the most sense as body in some contexts so that, from the perspective of English, it is polysemic. However, it is apparent that the intricate substitution/adesha and identification which makes up the Vedic ritual cosmos--"mesocosmos" operating in connection between the microcosmos of humans and the macrocosmos of gods (Witzel, 1996: 169; B. Smith, 1989)--conceived of corporeality and selfhood far more intricately than English terminology supports.

    To illustrate differently, I will argue the converse. If tanuú is to mean simply "body"--why is its use so scarce in the Shatapatha BraahmaNa while sháriira is so common? If both mean only corporeal body, what is to be done with déha, gaátra, and kraví? The prescriptions for sacrificial acts are quite precise and each substitution must be meticulously observed in order to properly reconstruct the cosmos. From these micro- and macrocosmic equivalences the philosophical and metaphysical deliberations on the self draw their vocabulary. While déha and sháriira are parts of these

discussions, tanuú is not. The body cannot be understood as illusory and impermanent if the terminology for it is not clear. It is likely, as will be seen in more detail at the conclusion of Chapter 6, that tanuú's ambiguity in meaning presence, vulnerability, divine presence, and also body was simply too imprecise to function effectively in the subtle distinctions of Yaajñavalkya, Janaka Vaideha, and other sages.

     This is less the case in the RV Khila's. A physical tendency in the characteristics ascribed to the tanuú is quite prominent as in RVKh 3.11.2a to the goddess ILaa, in whom the tanuús with "straight backs"/viitápRSThaaH are found (vaishvadevií punatií devyaagaadyasyaamímaa bahvyástanvo viítápRSThaaH).176 The locus in the tanuú for maladiesat the divine or human levelsuch as staining/répas or being harmed occurs for both gods (though the gods are noted as having tanuú free from stain/arepásaa as in RV 1.181.4b, 1.24.6c) and humans (RV 1.114.7d, 10.97.10d, 1.108.6b). In reverse, it is also the tanuú which shows/dédishate ornamentation (RV 8.20.6c, 8.96.10d, 10.71.4c), has the physical presence of strength/vardhasva or can be made strong (RV 1.55.8b, 1.165.5b, 8.1.18c, 10.54.2a). For the balance of the RV the awareness must be maintained, however, that over time, tanuú comes to mean the bodyor something close to itas aatmán takes on the meaning of the bearer of life and vitality for humans. It is particularly the task of Chapter 6 to follow these uses through that later development.

Life, Presence, or Body: tanuú, ásu, aayú, jiivá and praaNá


    Another possible meaning for tanuú is "life." This is not life as vitality, for instance, as discussed below with jiivá and praaNá. It is more the case of life as a general reference to one being identified as being among the living. But the occasions where tanuú unequivocally means life rather than simply a presence among the living are not frequent. In RV 10.4.6, the passage about thieves in the forest which was discussed above in Chapter 2 with respect to N 3.14, tanuú appears to mean life as the thieves/táskara are said to risk their tanuús as they haunt the forest (tanuu tyájeva táskaraa vanarguú). Of course, this is a particular case where tanuútyáj means to risk the tanuú. The other case, 10.154.3a-b refers to heros who risk their lives in war (yé yúdhyante pradháneSu shuúraaso yé tanuutyájaR'H). We find a similar case in RVKh. 3.12.1 where the worshipper seeks immortality (yatra lókyaas tanutyájaaR'H shraddháyaa tápasaa jitaáH). The Khila is appended to RV 9.113.11

(Sontakke and Kashikar, 1946: 948) which is also a plea for immortality (kaámasya yátraaptaáH kaámaas tátra maám amÿrtaM kRdhy).

    These passages would not make the same sense if it were the body--ambiguously corporeal or otherwise--which was said to be at risk. Immortality of the body is not a theme which is consistent with the Vedic literature. The problem, of course, is that now we have a multitude of meanings for tanuú--body, self, and life--all of which can be effectively conveyed by presence/tanuú without need of multiple terms in different translations. These three isolated compounds draw attention to the fact that, even as late as the Khila's, the use of tanuú has not completely changed to mean body. This draws the discussion to yet another aspect of tanuú which requires investigation of the other words which designate life. An excellent opportunity to examine the meaning of tanuú in a semantic field replete with words related to life and vitality is found in RV 10.59.5-7:

ásuniite máno asmaásu dhaaraya jiivaátave sú prá tiraa na aáyuH | raarandhí naH suúryasya saMdR'shi ghRténa tváM tanvàM vardhayasva || 5 || ásuniite púnar asmaásu cákSuH púnaH praaNám ihá no dhehi bhógam | jyók pashyema suúryam uccárantam ánumate mRLáyaa naH svastí || 6 || púnar no ásum pRthivií dadaatu púnar dyaúr devií púnar antárikSam | púnar naH sómas tanvàM dadaatu púnaH puuSaá pathyaàM yaá svastíH || 7 ||

"O Asuniiti, bear the mind among us, lengthen our lives to be a full lifetime; allow that we can behold the sun, by ghee you strengthen the countenance/body (5). O Asuniiti give back the sight within us, give back the breath and sensation here to us; for a long time may we look at the Sun rising; O Anumati, favor us with good fortune (6). Let the earth grant us back our life, grant back to us goddess heaven, back to us mid region; let Soma grant us back our countenance/body, PuuSan should give back the path that is enjoyment (7)."177 In short, the evidence suggests that tanuú can best be considered as the presence or existence of an individual in which the empirical marks--breath, waking, sight--of life are apparent.

    The passage above includes all the primary terminology related to life and vitality. This set of terms--ásu, aayú, praaNá, and jiivá--is primarily

a phenomenon of the later portions of the RV and, as with ásu, the next strata of Vedic literature, Middle Vedic. With only a provisional exception in the case of aayú and praaNá, all four words are later terms and so they have not been discussed until now.178 These words are also found in the semantic field with tanuú--rarely the immediate semantic field, more frequently within the same hymn--more than any other key word under examination.179

    The ambiguity in meaning for both aayú and jiivá is substantially less than that of ásu and is not an issue with praaNá.180 With aayú, it is quite unambiguously the word for the full term, or the composite whole of existence bracketed by birth at one end and, more importantly with regard to aayú, death at the other. Here, as in RV 10.59.5b, aayú is most commonly applied to requests to the deities for a full or, preferably, longer span of existence.181 The use in the RV Khilas is consistent with the connotation of duration of life as in RVKh 5.22.13b where Dadhikraavan is besought to increase lifetimes through the ashvamedha (surabhí no múkhaa karat prá Na aáyuMSi taariSat).182

    Less abstract is jiivá which is the animate component absolutely essential to the existence of life. Jiivá even marks life in opposition to death as in 1.113.8c-d with the Dawn/USa waking the living/jiivám rather than the dead/mRtáM (vyuchántii jiivám udiiráyanty uSaá mRtáM káM caná bodháyantii).183 Jiivá also marks the coming to animate life of something as in 1.68.3 to describe Agni's birth to life from wood (aád ít te víshve devatvám shúSkaad yád deva jiivó jániSThaaH).184 Somewhat different is the use of aayú with Agni in 1.67.6b where he is the life of all (vishvaáyur agne guhaá gúhaM gaaH) in a hymn which also includes a reference to ajá.185 In addition, the jiivá is clearly vulnerable to disease as in 10.97.11c-d (aatmaá yákSmasya nashyati puaá jiivagR'bho yathaa). The use of aatmán in this passage is discussed below. For the RV Khilas, jiivá continues to identify the liveliness of a being as in 4.9.5e where Agni's protection is sought for its preservation (dádhadrátnaani sumR'Liiko ágne gopaaya no jiiváse jaatavedaH).186

    In the case of ásu, we have only 10 occasions with which to work and, with one exception (2.22.4), all are in the later RV with 4 in RV Late-a and 5 in RV 10. It is often applied to the enlivening which occurs as someone or something is brought to experiential life (as opposed to life/vitality or life/duration of days). As above in 10.59.7a where the ásu is brought back to

the earth in the hymn (púnar no ásum pRthivií dadátu), so also is the usage in 1.140.8d where Agni comes to life with a roar filling the flames (ásum páraM janáyañ jiivám ástRtam). Bodewitz also notes that ásu shows "strong attachment to earthly life" (1991: 40). The use of forms of -jan/to be born are quite consistent with ásu occuring also in RV 1.182.3c, 10.14.12d, and 10.121.7c. There is also the particle úd/up or upwards as in the call to USas/Dawn to mark the passing of darkness and the return of waking life in 1.113.16a(úd iirdhvaM jiivóásur na aágaad).

    This raises another interesting point wherein we often find words for sight or vision as well as forms of jyótis/light. Similar to 10.59 above with seeing the sun (-pash), we also find suúrya/the sun in these hymns as in 10.14.12c-d where the restored life/ásu is marked with seeing/-dRsh the sun (taáv asmábhyaM dRsháye suúryaaya púnar daataam ásum adyéhá bhadrám). The sun marks a path to travel for the arisen/wakened life in 1.113.16c (aáraik pánthaaM yaátave suúryaaya).

    The life signified by ásu seems to be the waking existence which would be generally referenced in the English exclamation "ah, life!" which encompasses those waking experiences marked by light and sight. This would differ from, for instance, "all my life . . ." which would be more akin to the span of existence described by aayú. Also, then, in the exultation of Agni's invigoration in 1.140.8d, he is alive/jiivám, filling the flames with life/ásu (ásum páraM janáyañ jiivám ástRtam). This appears to be the case in RV 1.113 where in 16d we find aayú to describe the existence to be prolonged (áganma yátra pratiránta aáyuH), after the exultation of waking in 16a (úd iirdhvaM jiivó ásur na aágaad). With jiivá the sense would be "yes, s/he's awake, there's signs of life in there . . ."; or "Not every one died on the battlefield, we could see signs of life stirring . . ."

    The connotation of "experiential life" is supported in each case with ásu, it is also opposed to death. Being alive--indicated by the fact that jiivá characterizes the individual--is marked by experience/ásu. Accordingly, jiivá is found in the immediate semantic field with ásu twice. In 1.140.8c-d, the flames are enlivened or endowed with jiivá by Agni as they are released/pramuñcán from age in order to have life/ásu (taásaaM jaraám pramuñcán eti naánadad ásum páraM janáyañ jiivám ástRtam). The hymn to Dawn/USas in 1.113.16 has waking life/ásu enlivened/jiivá upon waking, light/jyótir is there from the sun to guide along the path for a prolonged lifetime/aayú. Thus in 10.59.5, the full span of life/aayú in which to have life/jiivaátave (the "alive-ness") is requested,

such that--in 7a--the life experience/ásu will be granted again from the earth. Similarly in the riddle of RV 1.164.4c, the question of where/kvá svit was the blood/ásRg, breath or essence/aatmán and life/ásu of the earth/bhuúmya (bhuúmyaa ásur ásRg aatmaá kvá svit) associates ásu with experiential, physical aspects of life.

    When the faculties frequently associated with ásu--sight, sensation, good fortune, and breath--are rightly "re"-assembled/púnar by Asuniiti in 10.59.6, the tanuú is likewise strengthened/vardhayasva. Asuniiti is elsewhere the guide of the "burned or unburned"/agnidagdhaá-ánagnidagdhaa " taking it to the fathers where a body--which is also a presence--can be taken on according to suitability/kalpayasva (10.15.14c-d: tébhiH svaraáL ásuniitim etaáM yathaavasháM tanváM kalpayasva), Asuniiti performs a similar function in the Funeral Hymn 10.16.2c-d (yadaá gáchaatyásuniitim etaám áthaa devaánaaM vashaniír bhavaati). In 10.12.4c-d Asuniiti is again the guide--of days and nights--to the realm of the fathers (áhaa yád dyaávo 'suniitim áyan mádhvÿa no átra pitáraa shishiitaam). Not surprisingly, then, when the faculties of experience are called to return in 10.59, it is Asuniiti who is ready-to-hand to recontruct them Accordingly the passage calls twice upon Asuniiti (ásu/life, existence + -nii/lead, guide = Life-guide), the goddess who conducts the ásu upon death, to return it and its mental component/mánas,187 with sight/cákSuH, breath/praaNá, for participation in the experience or sensation/bhógam of a full lifetime/aayú.

    Fittingly, the tanuú is granted the occasion to return in 10.59.7 by the earth--the primary arena of empirical experience. It is in the tanuú that the presence or participation in life experience/ásu, the enlivening/jiivá, breathing/praaNá,188 and the mental/mánas and physical sensation/bhógam of a full lifetime/aayú are realized. As most of this vocabulary lends itself to the physical and tangible realm--breath, sight, sensation, light, success, etc.--it is easy to see how tanuú might mean body. But "presence" can work, it just requires occasional clarifications when it is applied elsewhere than in the realm of the gods. Still, however, there is a clear pattern of association developing in these later portions of the RV between tanuú and physically identifiable existence which corresponds with the developing metaphysics (as in the funeral hymn above, or in the many uses of aatmán to be discussed below in the following section) of a more subtle essence of life.

New Developments with tanuú in the Later RV

    New themes begin to emerge with tanuú which reflect changing patterns in the way the word is construed in the widening pool of terms--i.e. as púruSa and aatmán--come into increased use. The uses of tanuú begin to diversify from the basic parallel paths of multiply beneficent divine presences/tanuús as opposed to the frailty of humans in the Family Books. The image of spinning and weaving, usually of the cosmos, becomes a thematic use of -tan in the later RV as cosmogonic speculation begins to develop.189 There are eight such occasions in the late RV, such as 8.13.14 where Indra is called to spin out the ancient thread of time, which is "well known"/yátha vidé (tántuM tanuSva puurvyáM yátha vidé). RV 9.22.6a speaks of the highest thread that is spun being attained by the Soma juices (tántuM tanvánám uttamám).190 As the speculations on the cosmos develop, so too does the importance of right knowledge for the brahmán's recreating it in their sacrifices as in 10.71.9c-d, where the wrongfully attained priests spin their sacrifice in ignorance (tá eté vaácam abhipádya paapáyaa siriís tántraM tanvate áprajajñayaH).

    Consistent with the theme of the frailty of human bodies, another application of tanuú, seen three times in the Family Books (4.16.20, 6.46.10, 7.66.3) primarily with Indra, is the tanuúpaa or "guardian of presence." In 10.88.8c (cf. 10.69.4c) this role is extended to Agni as a particular benefit of the sacrifice which, in turn, rises to greater significance in the later RV as the speculations concerning it develop (sá eSaaM yajñó abhavat tanuupás). The human presence/tanuú has gained little stature, then, by the time of the later RV as it is still primarily referred to as frail or in need of help.191

    Another intriguing development which, unfortunately, does not persist--much as the use of tanuú drops off in the later Vedic literature--is the interesting term tanuukR't. It is found only twice in the RV, in 1.31.9c and 8.79.3a. In 1.31.9c, Agni is described as tanuukR'ÿt among a host of other priases as he is the source of all good things (tanuukR'd bodhi prámatish ca kaaráve tváM kalyaaNa vásu víshvam ópiSe). I am inclined to take this relatively uncommon term192 as an instance of the reflexive meaning of tanuú, thus "selfmade." This fits with the passage above, and also with RV 8.79.3a where Soma triumphs over those hateful enemies who are selfmade--they can make themselves as they will (cf. Keith on TS, 1914: 39, n. 12). It is worth noting in this connection, however, that the idea of being "self-made" is not common in general. Attestations

of svayamkR't are also scarce (KS 15.5, AVP 16.37.7, 20.15.9, 16.27.9). It is found no where in the UpaniSads. Its most common contextconsidering the multiple uses of RV 8.79.3--is to refer to the selfmade nature of adversarial forces.193 What is "selfmade"194 is both attributable to what is evil and, as later in the JB and ShB, affords protection from the same.

    We also have the development of tánuunápaat, the self-generated one, or son of fire.195 The self regenerative power of Agni is thus used to refer to his role as priest to the gods as in RV 1.13.2a-b (me adhumantaM tanuunapaad yajñáM devéSu naH kave),196 or similarly for the AApriis in 1.188.2 (tánuunapaad RtáM yaté mádhvaa yajñáH sám ajyate).197

    Still, the predominant theme with tanuú remains the manifold presences of deities. These many presences can be named as a quality, often with Agni as in 1.140.11c (yát te shukráM tanvó rócate shúci)198 or from which one in particular is called such as the strength of Indra in 10.54.2a (yád ácaras tanvaá vaavRdhaanó).199 In RV 9 tanuú is addressed as shining or making individuals to shine as with Soma in 9.70.8a (shúciH punaanás tanvaá arepásam).

The other occasion with human tanuú, similar to what we found in Chapter 4 with tanuurúca (cf. RV 6.25.4a-b, also 2.1.9b, 7.93.5b), is the special inflated or emboldened/shuúshujaanaan tanuú in which it is more a facade. This pair of verses affords an interesting perspective on the famed "gambler's" or Dice hymn. First, in RV 10.27.2b the familiar attestation to the shining tanuú of embattled heroes is replaced with Indra speaking in an aatmastuti hymn of leading his friends into battle on the occasion of the arrival of an unrighteous man at a Soma sacrifice:

yádiíd aháM yudháye saMnáyaany ádevayuun tanvaà shuúshujaanaan |

"Then if I lead the godless, puffed up with themselves (with their presences/tanuús) In that case I (in c-d: prepare a bullock and pour strong juices)"200 The tanvaá shuúshujaanaan of the irreverent are sneered upon much as the foolish addict to gambling/kitaváH who helplessly goes gambling time and again with misplaced confidence--or inflated tanuú--in RV 10.34.6b:

sabhaám eti kitaváH pRchámaano jeSyaámiíti tanvaà shuúshujaanaH |

"The gambler goes to the gather asking "Victory?" with his presence/tanuú all puffed up." 201 The tanuú is still quite frail in this passage, and the glory previously attributed even to an adversary in battle--as in 6.25.4--is not proffered in 10.27.2. As mentioned in Chapter 2, the dice hymn is likely the later version, not only because of the way in which it co-opts the language of 10.27.2, but also owing to the use of khálu in 10.34.14c (Witzel, 1989: 193).

    This change to a less lofty tone--cf. the point above re. the database and the ShB--for the use of tanuú (at least, that is, for a word which is predominantly used with the realm of deities) is reflected in the rather inauspicious occasion mentioned earlier in Chapter 2 with N 3.13-14 where Yaaska suggests -tan as an etymology of táskara/thieves in RV 10.4.6a which are offered as a metaphor for the two arms which churn forth the fire. The thieves risk their lives wandering through the forest (tanuutyájeva táskaraa vanargú), as discussed above.


    As the terminology for a subtle and diffused essence in living beings--aatmán and púruSa--begins to appear, the empirical and physical associations of tanuú become more and more contrasted to them. Along with the appearance of aatmán and púruSa, we also have a developing terminology for the animate aspect of life--jiivá and praaNá--coupled with various ways to refer to it as experienced/ásu and as a full lifetime/aayú. As these new terms--i.e. those appearing with frequency for the first time in the later portions of the RV--begin to be used as descriptors for an internal quality of vitality upon which the tanuú depends or which it clothes (cf. 8.3.24 above, and in more detail below), its significations of "presence" and "countenance" become more and more physical. This is clearly the case in the Funeral Hymn where the individual can be "clothed"/úpa vetu with aayú, and must be "joined with"/sáM gachataaM a tanuú. The most influential semantic development which facilitates the changing signification of the tanuú is the advent of aatmán and new ideas about individual existence associated with it. It was primarily a point of presence within a connected (cf. -tan/to extend) cosmos between frail humans and multiply-powerful deities throughout the Family Books. Before turning to the discussion of aatmán, however, tmán will be revisited especially with respect to how it compares with tanuú to refer to particular aspects of a deity's identity.



    There is not a significant change in the uses of tmán to be noted in the later portions of the RV. As in the Family Books, it could almost be

called a reflexive pronoun for the individual. It is found 38 times, evenly distributed throughout the various sections of the later RV.

    Without exception, tmán serves to designate an autochthonous trait of a deity. Its use serves to underscore something which is inherent to the god's nature in its un-beseeched, or un-solicited state. In other words, where tanuú applies to a particular aspect specifically requested of the deity (e.g. the Vishvedevaas' tanuú is requested for the healing of the human tanuú in 10.100.10c: tanuúr evá tanvó astu bheSajám), tmán refers to something which is lauded as an inherent characteristic of the deity, such as Agni's brightness (1.79.6a kSapó raajann utá tmánaa).

    In effect, tanuú--used in more than 3/4 of its occasions in both the Family Books and the later RV with respect to deities rather than mortals--indicates a special request, or emphasis upon a trait of the deity which is not always self-evident. In contrast, tmán is a flag which identifies a natural, inherent trait of the deity which requires no special request but which elicits praise by virtue of its existence as part of the deity's identity. An additional difference between tanuú and tmán arises with the use of tanuú to describe the frailty of humans. This is not so much the case with tmán as it is rarely applied to the human realm in the Family Books and not at all in the later portions. There is also no association with corporeal existence in the uses of tmán. It is more abstract as a deictic marker which underscores or points out a trait with particular emphasis upon that trait as a characteristic of the god's own nature.

    As a flag for inherent qualities of a deity, tmán identifies Agni's association with the offerings of praise conveyed to the gods in 8.49.4d (prá kSudréva tmánaa dhRSát). Agni accordingly knows the way to the deities of his own accord--i.e., himself, of his same/ipse self's nature/idem--in 10.176.3c-d (rátho ná yór abhiívRto ghR'Niivaañ cetati tmánaa). By contrast, a less commonly noted trait for Agni, strength, is hoped for by the poet through his song in 8.1.18c, which employs tanuú (ayaá vardhasva tanvaá giraá máma). Similarly, it is Indra's own strong nature which strikes Shambara in 1.54.4b (áva tmánaa dhRSatÿó dhRSán mánaH). Sometimes an abstract trait, typical of a deity's nature, is underscored in its self-evident or self-generated quality with a use of tmán, as is the strength given by Indra in 1.63.8d (tmánam uúrjaM ná piipayaH párijman). In fact, tmán is used with the clearly-defined Indra, more than any other deity (on 10 occasions).202 In the less common pairing of both Agni and Indra against VRtra, tanuú is used in 10.65.2a-b to describe the

additional strength afforded by Soma (indraagnií vRtrahátyeSu sátpatii mithó hinvaanaá tanvaá sámokasaa).

    Elsewhere tmán identifies the support of the universe by heaven and earth in 1.185.1c (víshvaM tmánaa bibhRto yád dha naáma). Similarly the Maruts are splendid of their own accord in 8.94.8c (tmánaa ca dasmávarcasaam). Not surprisingly Soma Pavamaana flows of its own self in 9.86.1b (mádaa arSanti raghujaá iva tmánaa). The horses which bring the Vishvedevaas to the sacrifice assemble of themselves with the deities for that purpose in 10. 64.6c-d (sahasrasaá medhásaataav iva tmánaa mahó yé dhánaM samithéSu jabhriré). Another common feature with tmán is the use of iva/as if or like, to underscore the trait attributed to the deity. Thus in 1.144.6b, with power of his own accord like a herdsman Agni rules (tvám paárthivasya pashupaá iva tmánaa).203 In the RV Khilas tmán is found only once. In RVKh 3.1.4b Indra, usually besought for his strength or assistance in battle, is here particularly besought for his gifts as from a showering of multiple particles or dust/kSudraá underscored additionally with iva (aá yáthaa mandasaanáH kiraási naH prá kSudréva tmánaa ghRSát).

    The semantic field of tmán does not intersect with the other words under study in the later portions. The use of tmán to underscore a unique characteristic of a deity as part of its identity becomes unnecessary in the later literature as the complex matrix of individuality develops expression in words for body, for life, for vital existence, for vital essence, etc. Accordingly, this brief and limited use of tmán in the Vedic literature comes to a close with but a handful of exceptions after the RV.

    Noting Mayrhofer's view of the connection between tmán and aatmán discussed in Chapter 2, the brevity of tmán's use can be accurately correlated with the appearance of the clearly existential púruSa. That tmán was necessary to denote a particular attribute of identity, and that it developed no further once the vocabulary changed, further confirms that expression of individuality was not a concern among the Vedic poets. Divine potencies--inherent as identified by tmán or specially requested as identified by tanuú--were the focus. Tmán is never associated with thought or mental action, is granted no breath/praaNá, has no internal essence/aatmán or púruSa, and has no qualities identified by the vocabulary for experienced life/ásu, duration of days/aayú, or vitality/jiivá.

In fact, tmán is not an independent entity. It is better understood as an accented particle which serves as a syntactic pointer to the orientation of a

given characteristic for a particular deity.


    In Diirghatamas' usage, aatmán appeared as something which, in terms of its locus, was "large" or "diffused" (e.g. it can refer to the essence/breath of the whole earth in the riddle of 1.164.4c/bhuúmyaa ásur ásRg aatmaá kvá svit). While its "space" or locus may be large, the actual meaning of aatmán here is difficult to reconcile with an easily applicable translation. It seems easiest to translate as "breath" given the physicality of ásRg/blood. But if we were to look at the etymological argument forwarded by Yaaska (N 3.15 aatmaatater vaa | aapter vaa), that it derived from -at/to go, or -aap/to reach, obtain, then aatmán can also be understood as the dynamic aspect of vitality which marks life in general. This was the theory advanced in Chapter 4 for the two occasions of aatmán in the Family Books (7.87.2a and 7.101.6b, pp. 225f.).

    In 7.87.2a, aatmán is the word chosen to explain the relationship of the wind/vaáta to VaruNa (aatmaá te vaáto rája aá naviinot). The ever-watchful judge of Rtá who is thousand-eyed (7.34.10: váruNa ugráH sahásracakSaaH), who with Mitra is described elsewhere by the VasiStha's as having a pervasive eye like the sun/suúracakSaso and in the later portions continues to watch over the deeds of humans ( 1.24, 1.25, 8.90) has a pervasive existence throughout the earth--even as its ruler and creator of its order ( 7.61.4, 7.86.1, etc.). It follows that the motion of wind through, between, over, and around all things would be his movement or activity/aatmán more than his breath. This is not universally applicable. As we find in 10.92.13c, it is hard to consider aatmán as anything other than breath, though, at least, it is certainly animate breath as the wind is called the aatmán of all (aatmÿanaM vásyo abhí vaátam arcata). Fortunately, this anomaly is partly explicable, as 10.92 is the only hymn attributed to Shaaryaata Maanava,204 and so can stand safely as an exception without disproving a rule.


To advocate that aatmán is breath, as will be shown below will not work as easily as does vitality or active essence. In 7.101.6b, Parjanya, who enriches the crops with rain, would thus be the bearer of activity or motion for all things (tásminn aatmaá jágatas tasthúSash ca). The same semantic field is found again in 1.115.1d, this time applied to Suurya, whose

rays are equally essential to Parjanya's moisture and that ensure vitality and activity of life (suúrya aatmaá jágatas tasthuSash ca).205 Again in 10.121.3a-c, praaNá is found in a similar semantic field, but it is not the core of what moves. It is placed on par with 'what moves' as an additional qualification to indicate 'what is ruled'--presumably, by Ka/Prajaapati--throughout the animate world (yáH praaNató nimiSató mahitvaíka íd raájaa jágato bhavhuúva). By contrast, in 10.121.2a, however, aatmán is the vital essence given along with strength provided by Ka (yá aatmadaá baladaá yásya víshva). This vital, or active essence will be the working translation according to which I will examine aatmán for its 23 occurrences in the later portions of the RV.

    In RV Late-a, the uses of aatmán are similar to 1.115.1d, underscoring the dynamic, motile sense of the word. Even when the context is sufficiently cryptic, as here in 1.116.3c-d with the legend of the Ashvins' rescue of Bhujyu, the use of aatmán as active essence is unambiguous:

tám uuhathur naubhír aatmanvátiibhir antarikSaprúdbhir ápodakaabhiH ||

"You (Ashvins) carried him (Tugra) with watertight ships animated with vitality lofting through the middle space."206 One can easily empathize with Muir's comment that the oft-mentioned rescue of Bhujyu by the Ashvins is "obscurely described" (1967, V: 244) in this passage. In point of fact, outside of the reference here and in 1.182, there is very little to be known about this celebrated feat of the Ashvins.207 What is clear, however, is that the function of aatmán in each instance is a fundamental, essential (for the rescue to occur), and therefore vital, animator. Later in 1.116.5d the boat is "hundred-oared" (shataáritraaM naávam aatasthivaáMsam); elsewhere the semantic field names swift-winged horses as the redemptors as in 1.117.14d (víbhir uuhathur Rjrébhir áshvaiH). Thus in 1.182.5b--albeit with the addition of wings/pakSíNaM, a feature common in the myth's other references--it is still the aatmán which is the active core of the Ashvin rescue ship coming to the aid of Tugrya's son (aatmanvántam pakSíNaM taugryaáya kám).


    Following this myth through RV Late-a leads to another occasion of aatmán which also includes tanuú in its semantic field. Taken with the observations above, it indicates how the meaning of tanuú becomes unavoidably corporeal with the occurrence--and, indeed, the adjacency--of aatmán as in RV 8.3.24a--introduced above in Chapter 2--where tanuú is the garment and aatmán is the food (aatmaá pitús tanuúr vaása). In this instance, the poet

Paakasthaaman KaurayaaNa's daanastuti/praise of the yajamaana's generosity in giving a horse as great as that which saved Tugra's son provides the occasion to invoke the myth. As the verse continues, sacred or consecrated oil/abhyáñjanam gives the physical strength (ojadaá abhyáñjanam), while the fourth element208 is the giver of the fine steed, Paakasthaaman (turiíyam íd róhitasya paákasthaamaanam bhojáM daataáram abravam). The abstraction of aatmán as a subtler, finer essence of life becomes more pronounced in the later RV. Significantly, tanuú forms the outward appearance or presence, while the physical strength is indicated by ojadaá, and aatmán supplies the essence of vitality, the fuel or food. In a similar use, Soma is described in 9.85.3b as the essence of Indra's noblest refreshment (aatméndrasya bhavasi dhaasír uttamáH). The giving of strength/baladaá is also mentioned with aatmán in 10.121.2a (yá aatmadaá baladaá yásya víshva).

    Correspondingly, the sense of active or vital essence becomes more and more abstract as well as less specific with regard to an animate or active vitality. As seen above with the uses in the Diirghatamas hymns, it is clear that the priyá aatmá of 1.164.20a refers to a subtler essence of life than the tanuú which remains subject to the axe. In addition, there is nothing to indicate a meaning so specific as "vital" or "active" essence in this use of aatmán. Similarly, in 1.164.4c (bhuúmyaa ásur ásRg aatmaá kvá svit), indicates a subtle essence of life, more than the physical blood/ásRg, and different from the "lifetime"/aayú. An additional step in the abstraction of aatmán as a subtle or core essence appears in 10.97.11c-d, mentioned above, when disease is driven away in its very essence/aatmán. This passage uses aatmán to refer to an essence which is by no means always beneficent, one that is capable of jeopardizing life/jiivá (aatmaá yákSmasya nashyati puraá jiivagÿrbho yathaa), suggesting that aatmán is more abstract than a vital essence. In the same hymn aatmán also identifies the inner essence of a man/púruSa which is to be saved by the herbs, winning boons for the sage who knows how to use them (sanéyam áshvaM gaáM vaása aatmaánaM táva puuruSa- cf. 10.97.8c-d).

    If lifetime/aayú, life experienced/ásu, life itself/jiivá, presence/tanuú, and the dynamic essence or hub/aatmán around which all four are integrated for any individual are separately designated, it stands to reason that the mental activity--consistently identified in the formation of prayer throughout the Vedic period as -man--would also be identified. It is not

necessary to suggest an extrapolation of spirit or soul for mánas. As in 1.163.6a, by Diirghatamas, it is quite simply the mental faculty by which the poet, with broad perspective of distance/aaraát recognizes the essence of the sacrificial horse signifying the full course of a year as marked by the sun through heaven (aatmaánaM te mánasaarÿad ajaanaam avó divaá patáyantam pataMgám). We also find mánas in 1.182.5, a reference to the Bhujyu myth, where, after making the ship/aatmanvántam they bring Bhujyu forth with the power of their mind in 5c-d (yéna devatraá mánasaa niruuháthuH supaptanií petathuH kSodaso maháH). There is no direct association between aatmán and mánas enabling a clear comparison of them.

    The uses of mánas consistently suggest the mental aspect of an individual with no need, as Bodewitz notes, for multiple layers or components of soul or spirit to be inferred from the word. These inferences are products of the scholars, not the texts (1991:46). Of the words which were in contention to designate the soul or spirit, he notes the general disappearance of ásu--while praaNá and aatmán persist--as mánas no longer was sufficiently abstract to develop further macrocosmic significance. This signification ultimately passed to aatmán. In the later texts, he notes that "the position of mánas turned out to be weaker than that of praaNá, since this mánas was only equated with the moon, whereas praaNá represented the microcosmic equivalent of the macrocosmic life force" (1991: 47). A survey of the remaining occurrences of aatmán show no further attestations of mánas or other terms for mental processes.


    Continuing to the later portions of RV Late-b, the 9th and 10th MaNDala's, the uses of aatmán become consistently more abstracted connoting a meaning more of essence than of vitality. In RV Late-b, 1.34.7d presents the Ashvins arrival at the daily sacrifices as the arrival of vitality (aatméva vaátaH svásaraaNi gachatam). Elsewhere aatmán is equally indispensable to sacrifice (cf. 9.74.4a below). Twice in the Soma MaNDala aatmán is used to describe Soma Pavamaana's essentiality to the sacrifice with almost identical semantic fields in 9.2.10c (aatmaá yajñásya puurvyáH) and 9.6.8a (aatmaá yajñásya ráMhyaa).

In 10.163 the hymn or charm for healing a fever includes a long list of each body part from which the malady/yákSmaM is to be banished. In 10.163.5-6 the refrain reads:

yákSmaM sárvasmaad aatmánas

    tám idáM ví vRhaami te ||

"From your entire essence (or "self"--reflexively and existentially), I tear this malady away from you."209 The sense of essence for aatmán is also clear in 10.107.7c in the hymn praising the sacrificial fee or dakSiNaa which is food and vitality for the priests and the sacrifice they perform (dákSiNaánnaM vanute yó na aatmaá).

    There are other abstractions such as those which are facilitated by analogy. The aatmán is likened to something dear--or, as such, virile and vital--in RV 10. Agni is a protector by the power of his will/krátvaa, and is likened to Savitar with truthful wisdom in 1.73.2a-b (devó ná yáH savitaá satyámanmaa krátvaa nipaáti vRjánaani víshvaa). Accordingly he is indispensable/shéva in the same way as is essential vitality/aatmán in 1.73.2d (aatméva shévo didhiSaáyyo bhuut). In 9.74.4a-b the use of aatmán to signify the essence of sacrifice is presented by way of analogy with ghee and milk (aatmanván nábho duhyate ghRtám páya Rtásya naábhir amR'taM ví jaayate).

    The RV Khilas show that the transition of aatmán from a word for vital or active essence--as well as close associations with breath--is not complete. Twice aatmán has a conventional designation of the active aspect of the Vishvedevaas who have vaata as their aatmán, impelled by Agni in the prose Khila 5.5.7 (vaata aatmano agnir juutaaH). In 4.7.7b, a Khila attached to RV 10.138 which retells the Indra-Vrtra myth, the praise of plants leaves aatmán meaning breath by the simple association in parallel with the waters (apaámasi svásaa laákSe vaáto haatmaá babhuuvá te). Yet the Khilas also show the aatmán with a growing significance as "great" among gods like Indra in 3.12.2a (yátra dévaa mahaatmánaH séndraaH samrúdgaNaaH). In 2b the Maruts and ViSNu are included in the company as the poet seeks immortality (brahmuuiiaa ca yátra víSNushca tátra maámamÿR'taM kRdhiíndraayendo pári srava). Also with a sense of abstraction and elevation of the aatmán to its more complex signfications in the later literature is 3.22.5b where the chant/saaman is the aatmán of the sun and moon (saámaatmaánaa cárataH saamacaaríNaa yáyorvratáM na vasé jaátu deváyoH).

    Thus we can see that aatmán, beginning from its earliest appearances, denotes the active, animate essence--first of deities, VaruNa and Parjanya in RV 7, and then of more abstract concepts in RV Late-a as with the Diirghtamas hymns. As this essence is more and more contrasted to tanuú, it becomes susceptible to abstraction as seen in RV Late-b, RV 9--as the central dynamic of the Soma sacrifice--and RV 10. The beginnings of a

connotation of composite individuality, which contains all signfications of lifetime/aayú, experiential life/ásu, liveliness/jiivá, presence in the physical world/tanuú and mental potential/mánas can be identified in one of the few hymns, mentioned earlier, containing púruSa, jiivá, aatmán and tanuú- RV 10.97 in praise of herbs.

    In an additional attestation to the demoting of tanuú, it is the tanuú of the man/púruSa which is infected, and from which the plants are to drive the illness in 10.97.10c-d (óSadhiiH praácucyavur yát kíM ca tanvó rápaH). This illness' essence is identified by aatmán, while its target is the vulnerable púruSa. Before the later philosophical subtleties of both terms can be addressed, the occasions where they share in the semantic fields of each other and the additional terms under examination will provide a foundation for a more precise understanding of the multiple origins of philosophical speculation in the Vedas. Thus I will conclude this chapter with a discussion of púruSa, which differs substantially from aatmán which has a relatively consistent meaning by comparison. AAtmán remains a vital--though sometimes abstract--essence throughout its various occasions in the later RV. As we will see below with púruSa, however, its uses range from frail, to a simple designation for human, to the remarkably developed micro-macrocosmic significations which are matched by no term under examination and no term in the RV in general.



    In the Family Books, púruSa was little more than a connotation of the vulnerable, inferior, even sin-prone mortal person.210 With the exception of verses like 7.102.2 where Parjanya is the germ or embryo/gárbham of plants, cattle, and horses (yó gárbham óSadhiinaaM gávaaM kRNóty árvataam parjányaH puruSiíNaam), the púruSa shows nothing of the lofty significance with which it is associated in the later literature. This is possibly a later hymn (Arnold, 1897: 212). The situation is markedly different in the later portions of the RV. The frailty of humans is seen only in RV 10.15.6b which is, in turn, a direct quote of 7.57.4b which says the same thing (yád va aágaH puruSátaa káraama). In addition, RV Late-a contains no occasions of púruSa. There is only one instance in RV Late-b 8.71.2a, in praise of Agni, attesting to his power over the wrath of humans (nahí manyúH paúruSeya iíshe hí vaH priyajaata tvám íd asi kSápaavaan). The entire balance of the fifteen occasions of púruSa in the later RV are found in RV 10, and seven of these are in the PuruSa Suukta.

Coupled with the fact that this term is very plentiful in Middle Vedic--56 occasions in the MS, 73 in the KS, 47 in the TS, 47 in the AVSh and 85 in the AVP--it is safe to assume it is a later inclusion in the Vedic literature. This does not mean, however, that it is a later development or idea. Accounting for the relatively sudden and isolated appearance of púruSa in the literature is not an easy matter, and one which scholars--with the possible exception of Sahota (1956)--have not examined in any detail.

    There are several occasions apart from 10.15.6 where púruSa is neither auspicious archetypal sacrifice nor a flawed human being. However, these uses still do not say a great deal about the púruSa as an auspicious or particularly honorific reference for humans. If, as Elizarenkova suggests, the púruSa represents a borrowing from another language (1995: 67), there could be reasons of hegemony of the Vedic priesthood in this development. The ascendant power of Agni over the wrathful paúruSeya in 8.71.2a suggests this as well, considering that this could well be a later hymn. It the use of púruSa reflected a borrowing from another language, it would serve to promote the supremacy of the Vedic gods over the people of that language to underscore Agni's power over their wrath. RV 10.15 is possibly later according to subject matter and its form of meter (Arnold, 1897: 213).


    As mentioned above in the discussion of words for the body, RV 10.87.16a paúruSeyeNa is a designate of one of three kinds of flesh/kravíSaa with which the evil person smears themselves (yáH paúruSeyeNa kravíSaa sama^Nkté yó áshvyena pashúnaa yaatudhaánaH).

The use of púruSa in the hymn praising the healing power of herbs, 10.97, has been discussed above. The púruSa is again identified as vulnerable to disease. The use of aatmán to designate the subtle essence of both the púruSa (in 10.97.4d and 8d, aatmaánaM táva puuruSa) and the disease indicates that the púruSa is still simply a term for a mortal individual rather than an essence or subtle beingat least in these hymns. In 10.97.17c-d, the púruSa is subject to evil while alive/jiivá unless the ministrations of the priest and his or her herbs are present (yáM jiivám ashnávaamahai ná sá riSyaati puúruSaH). Finally in 10.165.3c-d, while the púruSa is not particularly frail, it still stands in basic mortal need of boons and is in jeopardy of being harmed (sháM no góbhyash ca púruSebhyash caastu maá no hiMsiid ihá devaaH kapótaH).

    The only exceptions to the designation "frail/vulnerable human" for

púruSa are found in 10.51 to Agni and, of course, the PuruSa Suukta, 10.90. I will attend to this at some length as, apart from RV 10.90, this is the only other occasion where the púruSa is used in an "auspicious" way. This hymn provides an additional perspective on the development of púruSa in the discussion of the self which is less obvious than 10.90. In 10.51.8c-d the discussion between Agni and the gods--as to whether he will assent to conveying offerings and being part of the ritual--is coming to a close as Agni lays down his terms or list of demands in return for his participation. He has been promised long life/aayú in the preceding verse, so he lays down the following terms for what he is to receive during that life:

prayaajaán me anuyaajaáMsh ca kévalaan uúrjasvantaM havíSo datta bhaagám | ghRtáM caapaám púruSaM caúSadhiinaam agnésh ca diirghám aáyur astu devaaH ||

"The fore- and after-offerings are given as mine alone: the juicy portion of the offerings--the butter of the water and the person of the plants--are to be Agni's, O gods, for longness of life."211 I have placed "person" here even though essence would make more sense. However, the frustrating thing is, this would be the only occasion in the whole RV where púruSa means essence and as there is very little cause to consider it later, there is no easy way to account for the esoteric relationship of butter-to-water and Agni-to-plants which is placed in juxtaposition here.

    The phrase púruSaM . . . óSadhiinaam is difficult to render conceptually (grammatically it is, of course, quite clear). As a metaphor, it might make more sense. Each thing demanded by Agni is combustible as a "juicy portion of the offering" or uúrjasvantaM havíSo . . . bhaagám. They are both flammable presumably--at least, the ghRtám/butter or oil certainly is.212 Common 'favorite foods' of Agni are both ghRtá and óSadhi (RV 5.8.7, 6.1.10, 7.14.1, etc.). However, it is only the former which is in the accusative in this passage, so it is the ghRtá (of water) and the púruSa (of plants) which are to be consumed. In 10.51.3c, VaruNa attests to the extent of the deities' search for Agni, that it included his entry into the plants and the waters (práviSTam agne apsv óSadhiiSu). Thus it is fitting that both are mentioned as locations from which are taken the portions (ghRtá and púruSa) which are worthy of Agni's demand.

    In the clarification of butter, the water and milk solids are separated out. But if the clarified butter were to be poured back into water, it would not mix and would remain within, yet separable from, the water. Once

extracted, the ghRtá would be just as flammable. The other "flammable" element in 10.51.8c is the púruSa of the plants. Geldner suggests this could refer to trees and hence to wood (1951, III: 213). However, aapás is not foreign to association with Agni. Water is elsewhere a point of origin for Agni as in 10.45.1 which describes three sources from which Agni is born--heaven, the waters, and among the people (divás pári prathamám jagñe agnír asmád dvitiíyam pári jaatávedaaH tRtuyiiyam apsú nRmánaa ájasram). If the púruSaM . . . óSadhiinaam is considered analogously, then the wood of the plants would be the burnable portion. In essence, for Agni púruSa is to óSadhiinaam as ghRtá is to aapás. However, this would suggest some correlation between wood from plants and the nature of the púruSa as something flammable like ghRtá.

    This does not work easily with the other uses of púruSa. W. Norman Brown has suggested that this passage is "paradoxical" in that Agni demands these things as his portion--ghRtá and púruSa--from the two placeswater and plantsin which he himself had chosen in verse 3 to hide (1931: 109). Brown observes this as part of his longer argument which suggests that púruSa in 10.90 is a conglomerate representation of Agni, Suurya, and ViSNu. Elsewhere the sun is described with a similar semantic field in 1.164.52b (apaáM gárbhaM darshatám óSadhiinaam). The same paada is repeated of Agni in 3.1.13a (apaáM gárbhaM darshatám óSadhiinaam). For that matter, however, 227">a similar statement is made of Parjanya, as seen above in 7.102.2--with a form of púruSa but not at all the same meaning (yó gárbham óSadhiinaaM gávaaM kRNóty árvataam parjányaH puruSiíNaam). There is no other occasion of púruSaM . . . óSadhiinaam with which to compare in the RV. This mantra is used only in KB 1.2, while there are occasions (ShB, where plants and water are linked--the essence/rása of plants is water, and ghRtá is the rása of both plants and water.

    This lengthy examination arrives at an impasse. If púruSa in 10.51.8 is referring to wood or something burnable, it is hard to understand how it can mean a human person or mortalunless there is a subtle implication of PuruSamedha (but there are no occasions of óSadhi in the discussion of the PuruSamedha found in ShB Why would such a peculiar term as one for humans be chosen for that part of plants which Agni demands as a 'juicy portion'/uúrjasvantaM . . . bhaagám? Conversely, if--following the tradition of translators and scholars--that púruSa is somehow a soul or essence (Brown, 1931: 109; Geldner, 1951, III: 213; Macdonell,

1898: 92; Keith, 1916:43, etc.), it is unclear why it would be paralleled in construction with such a readily-offered combustible as ghRtá.

    Considering polysemy in the absence of a better explanation (i.e., applying Occam's razor), I simply must recant from "person" above and throw in my lot with Brown, accepting accordingly that tripartite godhood of púruSa. Thus, on this one occasion in the RV, with nothing other than a widely extrapolated justification for it (Brown's) and very little against it (my discussion of butter above), púruSa means essence. I carp about this even more because púruSa does not have this same "essence" meaning in Middle Vedic (púruSa is expressly external as a container or receptacle of the composite self). Even Arnold, whose accounting of "later" hymns includes more than any other scholar, only marginally considers this to be a later insertion. As such, however, this does no real good in understanding why it means essence because essence is not a common meaning for púruSa in the next immediate period during which such an insertion would happen.

    Inasmuch as what burns of plants is like the frailty attested elsewhere of the mortal púruSa, that could account for the allusion to wood. Unfortunately, both the language and the poet are different from the only other sacrificial participation of púruSa in 10.90. Therefore it is possible to conclude that this is an instance of transition wherein púruSa means more than something merely mortal, but instead abstract, with a sense of essence not unlike the developing significations of aatmán.213 The irony of Agni requesting that from which he came in the form of the púruSa of plants, might very well refer to the role of púruSa in 10.90 where púruSa both begets and is the sacrifice.

    The imagery of Agni in plants is widespread. In 6.12.3c-d Agni knows it is his nature--a case with tmán--to not be stayed among plants (addroghó ná dravitaá cetati tmánn ámartyo 'vartrá óSadhiiSu).214 Significantly, RV 7.4.5215 says that as an unborn child Agni is sustained by plants and trees, born in the earth (tám óSadhiish ca vanínash ca gárbham bhuúmish ca vishvádhaayasam bibharti). RV 7.4.6b contains one of the few attestations of the later form of the infinitive in -toH, daátoH suggesting this as later hymn as well. If Agni was thus contained within the plants, then he requests that he be sacrificed to himself like púruSa (cf. below in 10.90.5 where púruSa is born of Viraaj and in turn gives birth to Viraaj and it is this púruSa which is sacrificed). Agni's requests are reciprocal sacrifices both to and of himself, similar to the macro-microcosmic significations of púruSa. The other half of 10.51.8 is also correlated by 2.35.14c where ghRtám/oil is the food of the waters

(aápo náptre ghRtám ánnaM váhantiiH).

    This use of púruSa confirms the developing inclusion of púruSa in the Vedic sacrificial imagery--whether signifying a conglomeration of Agni, Suurya and ViSNu following Brown or not--as in 10.90. RV 10.90 does not suffer from a paucity of scholarship upon its contents.216 It would be redundant to reiterate the influence of the hymn upon the later BraahmaNa's and UpaniSads, and subsequent sociological and philosophical developments (caste system, Vaishnavism, etc.). It is unlikely that this hymn refers to a literal human sacrifice. If RV 1.162 and 163 were compared, there is nothing in the semantic fields with púruSa parallel to the graphic cutting and apportioning (cf. 1.162.20 above) of the sacrificial horse. The sacrificial acts are referred to in the abstract and are free of blood and flesh. Terms such as kraví and gaátra are not found to refer to a fleshy body, nor the explicit cutting denoted by vi shasta. Certainly there are specific references to body parts being parcelled out after they are cut and divided/vy ádadhuH. This is the only "graphic" language and it sets the stage for the various castes: braahmaNó which "were"/aasiid his mouth, while from the arms and thighs were "made"/kRtáh the raajanyáH and vaísya, while the shuudró, moon/candrámaa, sun/suúryo, etc. arise or are born/ajaayata from various parts.

    The púruSa that is sacrificed is identified at the outset of the hymn as a great deal more significant than a simple paradigmatic mortal. He is thousand-headed, eyed, and footed (sahásrashiirSaa púruSaH sahasraakSáH sahásrapaat).

This is the only occasion of a thousand-headed being in the RV, while the other terms are used elsewhere for Agni ( 1.79.12a, not in compound form in 10.79.5c), and for Indra-Vaayu ( 1.23.3c) suggesting that at least part of Brown's theory of the cosmic púruSa signifying a conglomeration of prominent sacrificial deities might have weight. Certainly the association with Agni in 10.51.8 gives weight to the argument, though Brown is ambiguous about this. Moreover, the púruSa is elevated beyond human status--the only such declaration of universal totality in 10.90.2a (púruSa evédáM sárvaM) associated with the púruSa in the RV--and one which is not made of aatmán either. This suggests the púruSa of the sacrifice which is a container or receptacle for the composite self (see overview and related links in Chapter 6 re. púruSa and the composite self)

    Consider the semantic fields used with púruSa in this hymn--utaámRtatvásyéshaano/ lord of immortality, ánna/food, etc. Brown (1931: 110f.) reviewed this terminology and continued to affirm that Agni, Suurya, and, to a lesser extent, ViSNu, share the semantic field found with púruSa in this hymn. More than this it is a solid fusing of púruSa into the

vocabulary of sacrificial practice which occurs--with the slight exception of 10.51--nowhere else in the RV. The inclusion of púruSa represents a marked departure from other terminology for the sacrifice. Occasions such as this with aatmán are not found. There is no paradigmatic aatmán offered. In addition, in 10.90.13d, where Vaayu is said to come forth from the púruSa's breath, praaNá--not aatmán--is the chosen term (praaNaád vaayúr ajaayata). While aatmán is the core or essence of sacrifice as in 9.2.10c, 9.6.8a, and the fee/dákSiiNa is the vital essence of the priest, there is no elevation of the aatmán as paradigmatic (cf. however, RV Kh. 3.12.2a with the great essence/mahaatmánaH as a way to let the devotee participate in the auspicious gatherings with Indra).

    The "newness" of this archetypical sacrificial aspect of púruSa persists through the RV Khilas as well. As in the RV, the majority of occasions refer to the púruSa as frail, in need of progeny, or just as men in general.217 In Rv Kh. 4.11.9a there is a somewhat loftier use of púruSa to refer to a great man with a lustre like that of AAditya (vedaaham etaM puruSaM mahaantam aadityavarNa tamasaH parastaat). In 5.12.1a however, a suggestion which makes pointed note of a new development with the púruSa as fashioned to be worthy of the sacrificial gathering:

yáH sábheyo vidathyaH sútvaa yájvaa ca púruSaH suúrya caámuu rishaádasaM tád devaáH praág akalpayan

"The gods have previously brought you both forward, the púruSa, fit for the assembly, sacrificial presser, and the Sun, destroyer of foes." This does not speak so much of the púruSa as sacrificed, but more that it the one that performs the sacrifice.

Similarly, in 10.90.4-5, the primordial púruSa goes upward with 3/4 of his being, and one forth remains here (cf. notations of quarters in 8.3.24, 1.164.45, etc.) to be spread forth (-tan) as performer. From this is born Viraaj and from Viraaj,218 again, púruSa. It is this second begotten púruSa which is sacrificed, in turn, to itself (10.90.16a- yajñéna yajñám ayajanta devaáH).

    With the púruSa, then, there are two primary senses. The most predominant of these, accounting for all but 2 of the hymns where it is discussed, concerns a mortal and sometimes frail existence as a human. Suddenly, however, in RV 10 the púruSa aquires an abstract signification. In 10.51.8 it denotes an essence of sorts within plants demanded as his share in the offerings by Agni and then, of course, in the famed PuruSasuukta it is the paradigmatic offering for creation of the universe. It is worth noting

that the universe created is the social sacrificial order of varNas which is crucial in the later BraahmaNa's. In addition, it is the ritual recitations, sun, moon, the marks of wealth and sacrificial fees/dákSiNaa, deities of the sacrifice Indra, Agni, and Vaayu, as well as the enclosing sticks (saamidheni) and the earth and regions. This choice of such a sacrifice-oriented creation cannot be by mistake. it serves to intimately fuse the primary vocabulary of sacrificial liturgy, metaphysics, and praxis with the púruSa. As such it legitimates the púruSa at a higher level of significance which is markedly contrasted to any of its uses elsewhere, even 10.51.

    The rather remarkable visability of 10.90 throughout the later literature (10.51.8 is only used in N 8.22 and KB 1.2) attests to the efficaciousness of the integration or sacrifice with púruSa. It is, at the very least, a term which lay outside the primary vocabulary of the Vedic mythology. As a word for the self, the model of the micro-macrocosmic equivalencies begins with this hymn. Such significations for any other element of the vocabularynotably aatmánis a marked contrast. The púruSa literally begins as an abstract signifier of the metaphysical integration of the universe. At best the aatmán is the essence or animator of the sacrifice or its fee. Consequently, as the significations of the tanuú for individuality are also becoming more and more corporeal at this time, it is safe to say that, with RV 10.90--and, by comparison, nowhere else--the philosophical underpinnings of the notion of self begin in Early Vedic.

    My task with púruSa is not unlike that which I outlined in Chapter 4 for bráhman. I am seeking a position from which to trace its later development. As we see in 10.51 and 10.90, púruSa arrives already--cf. Van Buitenen--developed with a quite complex notion of self. Yet, again, púruSa also had "arrived" in the Family Books with no such significations--even contrary ones. I cannot otherwise account for these "two púruSas" unless I consider the possibility which stretches my interpretations the least. The contradictory meanings, the fully developed sacrificial doctrine, and the rareness of a word which appears primarily in later hymns--post RV composition and arrangement--all fit with púruSa as a borrowing or inclusion of a separate tradition. It is not the task of this dissertation to delve deeply into debates on the linguistic prehistory of the Veda which are either raging intensely or being intensely ignored in various corners of Indology. I am looking at development within the RV. Unless a passage is found says "we are the people that were always here in the Indus Valley and "____" is our word that has always meant self . . ."; I am not

getting into the who's who of what was pre-Hindu.


    In Chapter 6 I will narrow the focus to those words which emerge from this larger pool in predominant use: aatmán, tanuú, púruSa, and bráhman. While I have noted above that tanuú decreases in frequency after the Black Yajur Veda, I am hoping nonetheless to find within those texts some explanation for how the word developed after the period of the Rg Veda, which might explain its almost complete disappearance in the White Yajur Veda and later texts of the Rg Veda shaakhaas. We began with the observation that tanuú meant a presence of a deity that was beneficient and often varied, while for humans it designated their existence in the mortal realm as frail and prone to sin. In the later RV this began to change as aatmán appeared with great frequency as tanuú/"presence" became--as in 8.3.24--a clothing around the aatmán, and something subject to an axe in 1.162.20. Other late uses where aatmán was not in the immediate semantic field were similar. Does this increasing "physicality" persist in the Middle Vedic period, consistently, in all texts? This is the direction for that portion of the inquiry.

    Conversely, aatmán show a fairly consistent use. AAtman always indicates some form of an essence, though this essence begins with the associations as the vital activity of the wind. This certainly assists to express the doctrine of its later association with the breath as in the praaNaagnihotra, but it is not necessarily the original meaning for the term as aatmán elsewhere in the later RV begins to designate an essence which is less empirically obvious than wind. I am curious as to why aatmán does not appear until later. While tanuú does not designate an essence, or anything internal--it is always, by contrast, something which appears--it seems that the notion of internal essences begins with aatmán. This position is untenable, however, as tmán clearly designates something autochthonous--if not internal--and connotes an inherent or intrinsic component of a deity or person's nature. I am actively looking for evidence that tmán--which is almost always in the instrumental tmánaa in the RV--was phonetically conscripted into service as a designator of the internal essence signified by aatmán. If there were multiple cultures represented in the developing Vedic literature, they could likely have multiple terms for individual existence. Remember above that I have observed that the recurrence of exceptional forms, anomalies, and metric variants frequently coin

cides with hymns in which we find two of these terms, or first occurences of later ones. It stands to reason that the notion of self would form a fault-line marking the intersection of different dialects, especially if those dialects represented competing peoples. There is no shortage of scholarship on the competitive symbolism of Vedic ritual.

    It is not untenable that aatmán, if developed from tmán, could have appeared in response to the comparatively sophisticated doctrine of the púruSa. Outside of an inconclusive use of aatmán in RV 10.97 to describe the essence of disease to be driven from a púruSa that is infected, there is no sense of aatmán as vulnerable or even faulted as there is with most of the occasions of púruSa. Significantly, in this instance, the aatmán is a power which is capable of threatening the púruSa as the essence of a malady. In the same hymn, it is the aatmán of the púruSa which the herbs are called to heal. If the compilers of the RV represented the culture where aatmán came to be prevalent, these uses of púruSa could be explained, especially when we consider the radical dichotomy between the púruSa of 10.90 and 10.51 compared with elsewhere in the RV. It is not likely that these subtle significations of a fairly sophisticated sacrificial doctrine "suddenly" were created. It is worth noting that aatmán does not appear in either of these two hymns in which púruSa has a more auspicious signification.

    These are the issues I will pursue in the Middle Vedic Literature. It is informative as well to consider that in this later literature, tmán is rarely found in the instrumental, but instead in the nominative--a form of it very uncommon in the RV. Perhaps there is a clue as to the development of aatmán and tmán in these instances. Certainly there is opportunity to test the aatman-vs-púruSa hypothesis bsed on the frequency and use of both in the BYV--texts not commonly consulted by scholars and completely ignored in the studies of the self cited in Chapter 1. In this same connection it is important to note whether tmán is used in the same sorts of semantic fields as is púruSa and if that might account for why it--instead of tanuú--was developed into the word for self. Thus I will be looking at what happens to the "presence/tanuú" which, even after it becomes more physical, still drops out of use in some of the later texts while other words for physical body take its place.

    Lastly, through all these developments, there is the steady path of bráhman which proceeds, ostensibly unnaffected by the changing uses of the other terminology for the self, as a power and/or formula, associated

with righteousness and speech. In addition, the association between bráhman and speech, and púruSa with Prajaapati in the sacrificial literature is a significant development whose origins lie within the BYV texts. This development, in turn, is followed by the significant development of the association between aatmán and bráhman. What happens to púruSa when this occurs? The composite self, composed of tanuú, aatmán and púruSa which characterizes the BYV ritual and which disappears by the time of the ShB and, even earlier, the AB, is the next significant use of púruSa. This is unique in that there is very little like it before or after the BYV texts of Middle Vedic. The final chapter of this study will provide the proving ground the results of the RV examination. Do the meanings for each term correlate with how they are used in Middle Vedic? Certainly there is change to be expected from Early to Middle Vedic. But can a logical or reasonable line of development from the RV as I have presented it here be traced through the BYV SaMhitaas? I am suggesting that it can. The three primary terms--aatmán, tanuú, and púruSa--are integrated as parts of a component notion of the self. Where one word would convey the self int he RV, primarily tanuú, a matrix does this in the early texts of Middle Vedic. This is afforded by additional terminology, including the most important development, the complex of breaths represented by praaNá.





    The results of the research in the previous two chapters illuminate the potential for a more precise understanding of the development of the notion of the self in the later Vedic literature. The task of the present chapter is the exploration of how aatmán, tanuú, tmán, púruSa and bráhman proceed in their later development from the patterns of use identified throughout the various periods of the RV. In effect, I am connecting the discoveries in the RV to the next most immediate period of Vedic literature. The hypothesis guiding the examination of the terminology in the RV--that there is identifiable development of the notion of self as represented in the changing terminology through the chronological periods represented in the texth--as been verified. The evaluation of that result requires the application of the relevant findings to the next strata of Vedic literature.

    This chapter is the "proof in the pudding," as it were, according to the later materials. I have emphasized those texts which are most immediate in chronology following the later RV: the AV and those texts which have not been attended to in any real detail by Indologists: the Black Yajur Veda SaMhitaas. I should note at the outset, however, what might well seem obvious to anyone familiar with this period of the literature: the material addressed in this chapter warrants a separate study. In lieu of this, I have had to restrict my choice of texts. The guiding principle has been the consideration of how the development of the terminology in the RV connects with and can be correlated to the next period of literature.

    As I mentioned in Chapter 1, studies of these words throughout one text--let alone several--is logistically cumbersome to say the least. With the added complication of the difference between the actual chronology of composition and the sequence of the text as compiled, the task is quite formidable. This chapter focuses on aatmán, púruSa and bráhman in detail. The other terms--tanuú and tmán219--are presented in relation to the three primary terms. The primary sources for this chapter are the Black Yajur Veda recensions of the MaitraayaNii, KaaThaka, and Taittiriiya SaMhitaas; the Shaunaka Atharva Veda; and periodic correlations or contrasts from the more commonly studied White Yajur Veda SaMhitaas and

BraahmaNas, as well as the Aitareya BraahmaNa of the RV and the Jaiminiiya BraahmaNa of the Saama Veda.

    The reader may be reminded that electronic texts--such as the edition of Lehman and Ananthanarayan of RV which I have edited--enabled my examination of a multitude of terms repeatedly, efficiently, and systematically as often as a new pattern or word appeared in a given semantic field surrounding any key term. As much as this technique facilitates and promotes inquiry, the absence of electronic resources has necessarily narrowed what might reasonably be examined in this chapter. The passages examined below have been chosen based upon the following procedure. Working with the VaidikapadaanukramakoSaH, I listed each occasion of aatmán, tanuú, tmán, and púruSa in the MS, KS, TS, and AVSh and then cross-referenced these occasions with each other. I have also tried to choose hymns of the AVSh which are also in the Atharva Veda Paippalaada according to Whitney (1905) to assure that the earliest Middle Vedic material is consulted. This enabled me to identify occasions where the words were used together or in parallel formulations with similar semantic fields (e.g., the piling up of boons in the Agnicaayana as listed in MS 2.11, KS 18.6f. and TS 4.7.1).220

Overview of Developments


    The semantic fields surrounding each word undergo significant changes, most of which are a direct reflection of the nature of the texts themselvesparticularly the BYVas resources of ritual liturgy and explication. Accordingly, forms of -puu/to make clean or purify; -grah/to seize or obtain; and -labh/obtain, receive, become quite frequent in the semantic fields under examination.


    In terms of the development of the references to the self, the primary change is the appearance of a "composite self." Remember that in the RV, the primary reference to individual existence was carried by tanuú. Even when aatmán and púruSa appear, rarely do they share the same semantic field with each other except a handful of times in the later MaNDala's (e.g., RV 10.97 to herbs with aatmán, tanuú, and púruSa, or 10.16, the funeral hymn, with aatmán and tanuú). As we see repeatedly below, however, in the earliest texts of Middle Vedic, aatmán, tanuú and púruSa are used together in the same immediate semantic fields over and over. They form what I am referring to as the "composite self." It is made up of a complex series of connections which are deliberately constructed in the ritual as part

of the representation of the micro-macrocosmic equivalences and the representation of individual, social, seasonal, and cosmological functions. As the self takes on these significations through the equivalencies and associations of the Middle Vedic ritual, the word which--almost to the exclusion of any other--signifies this composite or whole is púruSa. This is, in turn, consistent with the púruSa of RV 10.90.2a which is proclaimed. No other word comes to have this signification of inclusive wholeness until the UpaniSads and other Late Vedic philosophical reflections most prominently portrayed later in Vedaanta.

    Another term which bursts into abundant use is praaNá. This is partly facilitated by the development of a major component of the composite self, the concept of the three breaths--praaNá/in-breath, apaáná/out-breath, and vyaaná/diffused or circulating breath--as key components of the ritual construction and explication of the self. These three--in-breathing, out-breathing and dispersed breathing (i.e., that which is diffused throughout the body)--form the vital mechanism or working components of a living being. The threefold breaths are not attested in the RV. In fact, praaNá appears barely ten times in the RV (cf. discussion of praaNá above in Chapter 5, viz. terminology for life) with only one occasion in the Family Books in a later hymn RV 3.53.21. It is safe to suggest that, while the notion of praaNá itself may not be later, its inclusion and centrality in the later ritual texts is not at all reflected in the RV. The doctrine of the three breaths as well undergoes a certain amount of development toward an increasing importance from the MS to the late TS (see below re. MS 2.11.1ff., KS 18.6ff., and TS This development emerges consistently throughout the texts I have consulted from the Middle Vedic period which concern ritual.

    In other words, when referring to an individual, the texts assign integrated functions to aatmán, tanuú and púruSa which reflect the more commonly accepted meanings of each in the later literature. These meanings can be generally summarized under the headings of essence, presence, and person, respectively.

    Among all the words examined, aatmán is the most consistent in its use throughout the various periods and texts covered by this study. As we will see below, aatmán continues from its first attestations in the RV to represent an active or vital essence of an individual which is an internal quality. The external, social, and sacrificial representation of the individual is consistently púruSa. PúruSa continues to be associated more with the micro-macrocosmic equivalencies first evidenced in RV 10.90. When aatmán is found in the semantic field with púruSa, it is a component of the púruSa or even specifically contained within it (cf. MS 3.6.2 below).

    Bráhman shows two primary developments: an explicit identity or equivalence with BRhaspati, and a similar equivalence with the ritual hymn. Bráhman is also quite indistinguishable from a formulaic speech which is but one component of several--e.g., tápas, shráma--in the arsenal of the

ritual liturgist for effecting his ends (cf. AVSh 6.133.3). An additional consistency with the RV research is found with the other words related to life, body, and mental processes, which are used consistent with the uses outlined in Chapter 5. An exception to this is found with jiivá and the forms of -cit which are quite infrequent in the semantic fields with the words for the self.

    The arrangement of this chapter is largely consistent with the foregoing studies. Each primary term, beginning with bráhman, will be examined in each of Middle Vedic texts mentioned above. These form the categories for testing the RV findings with the added benefit that are conveniently separated in their chronological order allowing for the determination of specific sequences of development.

    I have made two departures from the normal arrangement of the materials by adding a section just after tanuú and just prior to aatmán and púruSa. This additional section provides an examination of the parallel lists in MS 2.11.2, KS 18.7 and TS 4.7.1ff. of the boons to be conferred on the sacrificer. The components of this list vary from text-to-text in the BYV and those variations reflect upon the ritual construction of the self. As this list is not limited to any one particular term, I've provided a separate section. Finally, the reader will also notice that I have included aatmán and púruSa together in the last section as the two words are so often associated together that setting separate sections would become quite redundant. In addition, as one of the questions in this study has been to determine distinction between these words, it is most expeditious to address them together.



    It is important to underscore that prior to the Middle Vedic period bráhman has little or nothing to do with the terminology or dialogues related to the self. This is further emphasized by its absence from the parallel lists of boons piled up in the Agnicaayana to be discussed below. It is sufficient at this stage to note that, of more than 300 words in those various groups--some 60 of which are grouped with reference to individual existence--bráhman is not included. The task in this study has been to trace the use of bráhman such that the basis upon which it later has such prominence in dialogues about the self might become clear. Middle Vedic literature affords a clear picture of the transition by which this takes place. Effectively, it is by means of the association between bráhman and Vaac, first attested in RV 10.114, that this occurs. In effect, as we find in passages

like MS 3.6.8 where Vaac spreads/saMtanoti the sacrifice and the sacrifice is equated with the active essence/aatmán, or AVSh 13.1.48f./AVP 18 where bráhman alone increases and kindles the sacrifice, the next step toward equivalence between aatmán and bráhman is imminent (cf. TB and AB 2.15, see below), but not fully realized.

    The salient development with bráhman in Middle Vedic is its increasingly close association with Vaac. More frequently than direct equations (e.g., vaág vaí bráhma), bráhman is directly equated with chándas, the sacred hymn. We see this in MS 3.6.3, also TS, where the two are equated and bráhman is attested as the power of purification (atho bráhma vaí chándaaMsi bráhmaNaivaínaM paavayate). The association of Vaac and bráhman is still "under construction"221 through various equivalencies in the liturgy.

    What is clear, however, is that the distinction between the bráhman of the gods--the more lofty, abstract sense of empowerment and pure energy in the Family Books--and the language of mortals is no longer applicable. Or, at least, it is now fully one-sided as bráhman is squarely rooted in the arsenal of sacred powers of the liturgists. As we will see below, it is a tool along with several--e.g., tápas, shráma--which can be variously applied to achieve desired ends. By the time of the Aitareya AAraNyaka, bráhman is attested as entering the primordial person/púruSa through the tips of his feet (2.1.4).

    Bráhman also serves to elevate the significance of various implements in the ritual. For instance, following the passage (TS above, the Mantra Language of the TS continues with an equation of the black antelope skin with the power of the bráhman (etad ruupaM yát kRSNaajínaM). And the ground is laid for the equation in the later literature of aatmán and bráhman as the chándas is next linked to the aatmán after the sacrificer puts on black colored shoes, approaching the fire with his essence/aatmán being safely protected by this construction of bráhman and the black wardrobe (kaárSnii upaánahaa úpa muñcate chándobhir evaátmaánaM chaandayítvaa 'gnimúpa caraty aatmáno híMsaayai). Thus as bráhman is chándas, and chándas protects the aatmán, it is a small step toward the close relationship between the two (cf. TB below, also VS 11.3, ShB In MS 3.6.3, the phrase bráhma vaí chándaaMsi is preceded by an explication of the three breaths--praaNá, apaána, and vyaána--which are themselves the means for purification of the aatmán (see discussion of aatmán and

púruSa below).


The cosmos with which aatmán and púruSa, and later bráhman, are identified is increasingly constructed with the terminology of ritual actions. There is an increasing association of bráhman not only with speech but especially with the sacrifice--and eventually with aatmán. An example of this progression is the following passage from AVSh 13.1.48/AVP 18, a hymn to Rohita, the red-colored sun. The passage discusses how once the sun had fixed the mountains in place (all this is discussed with sacrificial terminology--e.g., the earth as a vedi in verse 46, in 47 the mountains are yuúpa's, etc.) and then the rest of creation kindles forth sacrifice as the next creation:

bráhmaNaagnií vaavRdhaanaú bráhmavR'ddvau bráhmaahutau bráhmeddhvaav agnií iijaate róhitasya svarvídaH

"By bráhman the two fires are increasing, bráhman-increased, offered to with bráhman; kindled with bráhman, both fires of the red-colored one go to heavenly light." The hymn continues to emphasize this formative role of bráhman through to verse 52:

védiM bhuúmiM kalpayitvaá dívaM kRtvaá dákSiNaam ghraMsáM tád ágniM kRtvaá cakaára víshvam aatmanvád varSéNaájyena róhitaH

"Having made the earth a sacrificial altar, the sky made a sacrificial fee; having made the sun's heat to fire, having made all that has an essence, the red-colored one with clarified butter as rain (has made this)."

    Of course these kinds of passages do not directly link aatmán and bráhman. Instead, the Mantra Language of the Middle Vedic period treats aatmán and bráhman as if they were two star-crossed mates, sharing the same circle of acquaintances but only indirectly in contact with one another. Eventually the two meet by means of those acquaintances and the match is perfect. AAtmán is closely interwoven with the mechanisms and symbology of the sacrificial praxis, and bráhman is equally intertwined with the recitations of that sacrifice. As soon as the voice of those recitations comes to be associated with the extent or spread/saMtanoti of the sacrifice--e.g., as in MS 3.6.8 (vaácaíva yájñaM sáMtanoti)--it is a small matter for the complex equivalences to simplify into the close relationship of aatmán and bráhman which characterizes texts such as BAAU, TU, ChU, whose contents are organized around meditations upon that sacrifice. This abstract sense of bráhman evolves only

after it is fully identified with speech.

    However, the associations of bráhman with Vaac--let alone aatmán--are still in the earliest stages of development in this period of the literature however.

Of course, the changes in the use of bráhman reflect significant progress in that direction. Bráhman is no longer limited to the role of empowering the gods, as seen in the early RV. It is one among many possible tools for affecting an end. The ascendancy of the priest to--at the very least--equivalency with the word spoken is apparent in this shift. Bráhman is a part of the mechanism for consecrating a person in AVSh 6.133.3c-d/AVP 5222 to the sacred girdle/mékha:

tam aháM bráhmaNaa tápasaa shrámeNaanáyainaM mékhalyaa sinaami

"With a formula and with austerity, with toil I bind him with this girdle."223

    In the developing equivalencies with bráhman which open the door for its later association with aatmán, a significant source for the innovations in passages such as AVSh 13.1.33/AVP 18:

vatsó viraájo vRSabhó matiinaámaa ruroha shukrá pRSTho'ntarikSam | ghRténa aarkámabhyá 'rcánti vatsáM bráhma sántaM bráhmaNa vardhayanti

"The offspring of Viraáj, the bull of imprecations and worship, ascended with clear back to the middle-space; with ghee they sing a song to the offspring, being the formula, with the formula they increase it."

This passage is quite interesting as it appears to equate the offspring of Viraáj with bráhman. Elsewhere, in RV 10.90.5, the púruSa is the offspring of Viraáj. But, if we take the use of this verse--not quite word-for-word--in TB which continues after a passage similar to AVSh 13.1.33, it seems that aatmán is more important to the use of the passage in the later literature:

bráhma devaán ajanayat | bráhma víshvam idáM jágat | bráhmaNaH kSatráM nírmatam | bráhma braahmaNá aatmánaa224

"Bráhman (the ultimate one) created the deities; Bráhman is all this moving world. From bráhman was formed the KSatriya class; the brahmán/priest is bráhman by means of the self/vital essence." Thus the transition not only to the unabashed supremacy of the priesthood, but also to the equation of aatmán and bráhman is all but complete by the time of the earliest of the BraahmaNas, the TB. As this is among the oldest of the

BraahmaNas (Witzel, 1989: 250), this is a significant stage in the development of the aatmán-bráhman relationship. In addition, we see the equation of speech and bráhman attested in the earliest portion of the AB, in 2.15, which is slightly prior to the TB in chronology:

vaag dhi brahma tatra sa kaama upaapto yo vaaci ca brahmaNi ca

"Bráhman is the receptacle/dhi of speech, thus a desire which is obtained in speech is also obtained in bráhman."
The origins of the association between bráhman and Vaac lie in the identity of the sacrifice which is spread forth as the year and the púruSa of the yájamaana. As far as Vaac extends, so far does bráhman as well (cf. RV 10.114.8 yaávad bráhma viSThitaM taávatii vaák) in MS 3.6.8:

ágnir vaí sarvaa devataá, viSNur yájño, dévataash caíva yájñaM caalabdhá saarasvatiim ánuucya vaagyantàvyaá, vaag vaí sarasvatii vaácaa yájñaH saMtato, vaácaiva yájñaM saMtanoti, baarhaspátyaam ánuucyaá vaagyantàvyaá brahmá vai bRhaspatír brahmaNaa yájñaH saMhitó brahmaNaíva yájñaM saMdadhaati

"Agni is all the gods, ViSNu is sacrifice, and the gods alone have obtained the sacrifice, Sarasvatii is repeated with restrained voice, Vaac indeed is Sarasvatii, the sacrifice is spread forth by Vaac, by Vaac alone this sacrifice spreads forth, BRhaspati is repeated with restrained voice, the Brahmán indeed is BRhaspati, by the Brahmán the sacrifice is put together, by the Brahmán alone the sacrifice connected." The role of aatmán in the sacrifice then affords the association with bráhman.

    This association between aatmán and bráhman and Vaac with bráhman continues to be under development in the early texts of Middle Vedic. It is still not complete, or is indirect as it seems to be established analogously through Soma,225 as of the second period of Middle Vedic literature, that which contains the SaMhitaa Prose as we see in KS 14.6, a section of SaMhitaa Prose, with both words closely sharing the same semantic fields.

We also have a case where aatmán clearly makes the most sense as reflexive in one instance and then it is equally clear as self of vital essence in the second intance. The discussion is part of the Vaajapeya ritual with regard to an adenda to the performance wherein a offering of sura, fermented wine, is made:

brahmaNo vaa etat tejo yat somo'nnasya shamalaM suraa yat somagrahaash ca suraagrahaash ca saha gRhyante brahmaNa eva tejasaa teja aatman dhatte 'nnasya shamalena shamalam apahate devalokam eva somagrahair abhijayati manuSyalokaM suraagrahair aatmaanam eva somagrahais spRNoti

"That brightness of bráhman indeed is that which is the Soma. The sura is the impurity of food. When a cupful of soma and a cupful of suraa are seized together, then he (priest/yájamaana) puts by the brightness of bráhman, (that same) brightness into himself (aatman). By the impurity of food he wards off impurity. The world of the gods alone does he overcome (abhijayati) with the cup of soma, the world of men he overcomes with the cup of suraa. Himself/his vital essence alone, by the cup of soma, he saves."

    The locative absolute aatman in the passage is a case where the reflexive meaning of aatmán is quite clear. Of course, saying he places brightness into his essence necessarily implies that it goes into himself--aatmán shows both ipse-identity and idem-identity here. It is not likely that one's essence and one's self where in two different places in the Vedic mind. The dualism of heaven/Soma/brightness as opposed to earth/suraa/impurity is the basic dynamic in the passage. The relationship between aatmán and bráhman is not direct. By means of Soma--which is the brightness of bráhman--the sacrificer saves himself/saves his aatmán. Thus the relationship of aatmán to bráhman is clearly quite close, even dependent, but not yet overtly equivalent.

    To return briefly to the survey of the various liturgists mentioned in the preceding chapters, it is particularly obvious that substantial power is invested in the brahmán in the sacrificial texts. As noted above (Chapter 4), the kaví and vípra are mentioned much less frequently. This is most pronounced with the vípra who appears only 19 times in total throughout the three BYV texts examined here. Much as in the case with tanuú where the appearance of other terminology marks a corresponding change in its use, the decrease with vípra and kaví--though not so much at this stage with R'Si, which is still a frequent term of attribution for the seer of the ritual formulas--the use of brahmán predominates. His role is preeminent as the fundamental component required for the enactment of the cosmic cycles represented in the ritual.

    This development appears to be sudden, as the MS already attributes the responsibility for reordering the cosmos through sacrifice squarely with

the brahmán. It is difficult to hypothesize how much time is "required" to effect such a sociological change. Witzel allows nearly 600 years between the RV and the Mantra Language of the MS and KS (1989: 249-250). As we have seen here, the teachings change more than do the terms of reference for the teachers. All this goes to say that ritual literature of BYV, and its emphasis upon the brahmán, which is not considered a key player in the RV, suggests an ongoing established tradition rather than a new development. The bold affirmation of the preeminence of the brahmán priest in TS correlates with this observation.226 The complexity of social structure is 'suddenly' presented as early as RV 10.90--even considering that it is, itself, a later hymn--supports this conclusion. The brahmán priesthood is only peripherally present in the RV otherwise. The brahmán is affirmed as the pinnacle of the socio-religious structure throughout the ritual texts. The vípra, kaví and even the more commonly-mentioned R'Si do not share the attributions of power afforded by these equivalencies.

    Thus with bráhman we see the original role as an independent power and formulaic type of speech became transformed into a meaning in the AV and the BYV SaMhitaas which represents a tool or implement at the disposal of the liturgist for achieving desired ends. Especially in the BYV, bráhman is closely equated with speech--viz. chándas--which indirectly connects it with the spreading of sacrifice seen in the AV. This development comes to fruition in the BraahmaNa Prose of the AB, as bráhman is associated with speech. Next in the TB a full association of bráhman with aatmán, as well as the ascendancy of the brahmán priest is attested. By the time of the AAA, bráhman is an abstract power which enters into the púruSa transforming it. These developments follow a consistent course which is most frequently marked by an evolving inseparability between bráhman and speech.



    The change to a more corporeal sense in the use of tanuú in the later portions of the RV continues in the Middle Vedic literature. The change is tempered by the continued use of sháriira to designate the body and the frequent use of tanuú as part of the composite self of the BYV and later Middle Vedic texts. The distinction between tanuú as referred to among the gods and among men is rarely applicable, as the word is used almost exclusively to refer to humans in the ritual. In its appearances in the hymns of the AVSh and AVP, tanuú carries the sense of frailty, which char

acterized all references to the human tanuú in the RV (save, of course, for those describing the glorification of the human tanuú when it is embattled, cf. RV 6.25.4a, the shining tanuú: tanuurúcaa in battle, also 7.93.5b).

    An additional feature which changes with tanuú is the sudden increase in nominative singular tanuúH and accusative singular tanvám in the AVSh and AVP as well as the BYV texts (cf. discussion of relative frequency of use in Chapter 4). This grammatical change corresponds with the transition of tanuú from a more abstract meaning of presence, its primary function as the main word for "self" in the RV--especially the Family Books--prior to the appearance of aatmán and púruSa, to one which is predominantly corporeal. In other words, as tanuú becomes more corporeal, it becomes a concrete article doing things in the ritual or having things done to it (cf. with BVY below). In the RV, the more primary form was the genetive/abletive tanvaá, it was the means by which a deity displayed a particular trait for the worshipper's intended purpose (e.g., RV 3.34.1c where Indra performs a given task with a tanuú enriched with power:tanvaà vaavRdhaanó ).

    The AVSh and AVP continue to follow the distinction between the language of the gods and the language of men for tanuú which was observed in Early Vedic. For example, AVSh 3.21.1/AVP 3 Aditi's tanuú has an elegance and splendor (hastivarcasáM prathataaM bRhád yasho aadityaa yát tanvaH sáMbabhuúva). Correspondingly, the human tanuú is typically frail in AVSh 3.28.5a-b:

yátraa suhaárdaH sukR'to mádanti vihaáya rógaM tanvaH svaáyaaH

"Where the ones with goodness inside rejoice, disease renounced from their own body." More pointedly corporeal is the use of tanuú in AVSh 6.53.3c-d/AVP 19:

tváSTaa no átra váriiyaH kRNotv ánu no maarSTu tanvó yád viriSTam

"May TváSTar to us here make most excellent elbow-room, smooth the body of what is disorderly." The physical nature of the tanuú as something which can be smoothed is undeniable here (cf. also VS 2.24 where the tanuú is blemished and faulted/yadvilíSTam). The more indirect sense of the vulnerable tanuú which stands in need of strength occurs in the verse just before, Vaishvaánara is the body guardian (vaishvaánaró no ádabdhas tanuupaá antás tiSThaati durítaani víshvaa). A hymn for the lengthening of life, AVSh 5.30/AVP 9, contains references to the categories of experiential life (the hymn begins with a reference to its purpose to

bind ásu fast, to be "here" in existence/bhava and not going to the forefathers: ihaivá bhava maánu gaa maá puurvaan ánu gaaH pitR'n ásuM badhnaami te dRDhám). The components of experiential life, sight, breath, and body (presence might work better here as well), are called together in 5.30.14:

praaNénaagne cákSuSaa sáM sRjemáM samiiraya tanvaá sáM balena

"With breath, O Agni, with sight, join/unite to him here, provide (sam--iir) his body/presence/tanuú with strength." This hymn presents us an apparent instance of synonymy, because in the verse directly prior to this one, 5.30.13, says:

aítu praaNá aítu mána aítu cákSur rátho bálam sháriiram asya sáM vidaaM tát padbhyaáM práti tiSThatu

"Let breath and mind, let sight, vigor, and strength and body concur (sam--vid), let that stand fast with its feet." If we translate both tanuú and sháriira as body, we are left with the same predicament of imprecision mentioned repeatedly throughout this study, particularly in the discussion of tanuú.

    I argue for "presence" precisely on occasions such as this because, as we will see below, tanuú is also used repeatedly in the ritual texts as part of the composite notion of self along with aatmán and púruSa. We cannot hope to clearly understand the many purposes of ritual construction of the Vedic cosmos as long as we acquiesce to synonymy. Synonymy in this case is our assumption of an essential meaning of body applying to both tanuú and sháriira which is not supported in either the progressive changes in use of both words or the application of them in the passages examined. Tanuú consistently signifies something more than body-- especially in the language of the gods, as we saw in Chapters 4 with the RV--and something not quite meaning self in the later literature where its meaning--even as above with AV 6.53.3 where it is smoothedis more corporeal. "Presence" allows for both senses as well as the ability to distinguish between what is the reference when sháriira and tanuú are found with similar semantic fields as here.

    These passages also support the suggestion in Chapter 5 with regard to ásu, that it identifies the experience of life in its interaction with body,

breath, sight, presence, etc. (cf. Chapter 5). It is consistent that tanuú, marking the participation in, or presence in, that experiential life is often found with ásu as in AVSh 5.1.7/AVP 6:

    utaámRtaasur vráta emi kRNvánn asur aatmaá tanvás tát sumádguH

"Accordingly, with immortal existence, obediently I proceed performing; existence, active essence, and presence/tanuú/body--this is the team/assemblage." Whitney has "Also, of immortal spirit, vowed (? vráta), I go performing; spirit, soul, of the body then (? tát) with kine (? sumádgu)" (1905: 222). Regrettably we do not have words from SaayaNa as to the meaning of sumádguH, but the way I have taken it as from sumát (cf. smát) does, at least, fit the sense here without undue imposition upon the text. If the poet had smát in mind, he could also have made the extension to su-mát to emphasize that this was the ideal togetherness, hence my suggestion as well of team. I cannot be certain, however, of precisely how -guH is arrived upon.

    As I mentioned above, a major development in the Middle Vedic literature is the occurrence of what I am calling the "composite self." In other words, there are multiple components of the individual. By contrast, in the Family Books, almost all reference to individual existence was conveyed with tanuú. In effect, tanuú is the word for self in the Family Books. It was a fairly one-dimensional self with a specific potency for desirable qualities in the language of the gods and a propensity for frailty in the language of humans. If a characteristic were in need of explicit identification as an inherent quality of a deity's existence, this was an occasion for the word tmán (e.g., as with BrahmaNaspati being wise of his own accord in RV 2.25.2b, cf. Chapter 4).

    Immediately with the appearance of aatmán and púruSa the changes in tanuú became apparent with a decisively more corporeal meaning. In addition, however, the possibility for a composite self arose as well. As in RV 1.162.20, aatmán referred to one aspect of the horse to not be tormented as it dissipates, while the tanuú was vulnerable to torment from the axe. As I noted in Chapter 4, other words for body were not common in the Family Books, only once sharing a semantic field with tanuú in 6.25.4 referring to battle with sháriira and tanuupaá. The self was not composite or aggregated in the period of the Family Books. However, as with RV 10.97.4d, 8d (aatmaánaM táva puuruSa), in the hymn to healing herbs where aatmán is an active essence both of the disease driven forth and the

púruSa infected with it. This use of aatmán and púruSa in close proximity is indicative of the later composite self which dominates the ritual literature as we will see throughout this chapter. With respect to tanuú, it was included in this composite notion of self consistently throughout the Middle Vedic literature. By the time of the ShB, body is referred to as sháriira rather than tanuú (e.g.,

    Continuing with the theme of a composite self suggested with tanuú in the passages above, we notice not only the frequent inclusion of ásu, but of praaNá and mánas as well. In the Mantra Language of KS 7.12 we have another reference to a composite self (cf. TS below):

sáM vas sRjaami hR'dayaM sáMsRSTaM máno astu vaH| sáM sRSTaas tanvàH santu vas sáMsRSTaH praaNó astu vaH || sáM yaá vaH priyaás tanvàH sáMpriyaa hR'dayaani vaH | aatmaá vo astu sáMpriyas sáMpriyas tanvií máma ||

"I unite your heart, let your mind be united, let your presences (tanuú) be united, and let your praaNá be united. Let what are your dear tanuú/self (reflexive, ipse) and your dear heart be mutually dear (to each other), let your dear essence (aatmán) be mutually dear, let it be mutually dear to my self/presence (tanuú)."227 This is an extremely difficult passage. It seems to suggest that the presence/tanuú in space and time--marked by those physiological and mental processes of breath, heart, and mind--mingle with, or become the essence and same self of the speaker. It also iterates that these components be dear together, mutually dear, such that the aatmán is to be considered together with the tanuú as dear.


    This passage expressly constructs the key components which figure for the notion of the self in later literature: mánas/mind, praaNá/breath, hR'da/heart, and aatmán, together with tanuú which, however, does not remain a central term later. It is as though a special effort is being made to incorporate the notion of self conveyed by tanuú with the terminology which was predominant for the traditions represented in the Middle Vedic literature. This terminology which was not originally part of the discussions of individual existence ultimately replaces tanuú in the later literature. By the time of the ShB, however, tanuú is glossed with aatmán ( The component self is expressed with either aatmán or púruSa in conjunction usually with praaNá (cf. below).

    Of course, mánas, is frequently attested in the RV, but not as an element

of a composite self represented by tanuú. In fact, we rarely found mánas with tanuú in the RV (only 7 hymns contain both). Only RV 2.10.5 had both words in the same verse, and neither directly relates to the other (see Chapter 4).

    The component self with tanuú is variously attested. Returning to the AV, aatmán and tanuú are again two parts of a composite self. While the sense of a body seems to be suggested, the reader will notice that "presence" works just as well for the passage--if not more clearly--without loss of precision in AVSh 7.57.1c-d/AVP 20:

yad aatmáni tanvó me víriSTaM sárasvatii tádaa pRNad ghRténa

"Whatever in the active essence of my body/presence/tanuú is disorderly, Sarasvatii fulfill this with ghee." Similarly, the tanuú is variegated in color as it proceeds to heaven in AVSh 12.3.54a-b/AVP 17 (tanváM svargó bahudhaá vi cakre yáthaa vidá aatmánn anyávarNaam). Also in a hymn for purification of water we have mánas, aatmán and tanuú having destructive force of evil driven forth from them in AVSh 16.1.3 (mrokó manóhaa khanó nirdaahá aatmaduúSistanuu duúSiH). Tanuú is also a component with púruSa as in MS 3.6.3:

téna diikSitá aa^Nkte'bhya^Nkte vaásaH páridhatta, etaá vaí púruSasya tanvàH

"By this consecration (man) annoints himself, and annoints his eyes, and puts around/on clothing, these are the bodies/presences of the púruSa."

The equivalence with aatmán and púruSa will be discussed in more detail below, but aatmán, tanuú and púruSa are commonly interrelated. From the SaMhitaa Prose of KS 7.8 there is a corporeal use of tanuú:

eSaa vaa agneH priyaa tanuur yaa varuuthyaa priyayaivainaM tanvopaasthita dvipadaabhir dvipaat puruSo gRhaa gaarhapatyo gRheSv eva pratitiSThati

"That one (earlier mentioned) is the dear presence/tanuú of Agni, which is established/offers protection. With his dear presence/tanuú alone (he establishes him), o two-legged one who has approached?? with those (verses, mentioned earlier), and from what is two-footed we get the person/púruSa. The gaarhapatya is 'the houses' (house fire), in his houses alone he establishes (him)." The exploration of numerical equivalences gives this association of the presence--and body could work here for tanuú--of Agni which is dear (fire is both protection and sacred), just as is the home which affords protection and is dear for the two-footed ones. In effect, Agni is the

Gaarhapatya (fire, belonging to Garhapati 'householder') which is, in turn, houses, and man/púruSa which is two-legged. As we will see below, the use of púruSa occurs more with constructions of the cosmos which reflect social order--as here with the householder--and are not occasions of direct relation between púruSa and tanuú.
Tanuú is more frequently used with aatmán in the construction of a composite notion of self. KS 7.8 uses tanuú and púruSa in parallel. Tanuú is more closely related to aatmán, though again in parallel, in the SaMhitaa Prose of KS 7.15:

pradesha maatris etaavaan hy aatmaa prajaapatinaa saMmito 'gner vai yaa yajñiyaa tanuur ashvatthe tayaa samagacchataiSaasya ghRtyaa tanuur yad ghRtaM yad ghRtena samidho 'nakti

"The samidh (wood for sacrifice) which is an arm's length, for so much as that, that is the self/essence, being of the same measure with/as Prajaapati. The tanuú/presence of Agni which is to be sacrificed, with that one (tayaa) he comes together in theashvattha (kindling wood). That one's (Agni's) ghee-liketanuú is (that one) which is ghee. When he anoints the kindling sticks with ghee . . . then he unites them with Agni (?)." We might imply: "By means of that (annointing), this presence/tanuú of Agni (in the kindling) arose by means of this container (full) of ghee, and thus one annoints the samidhs with ghee." It is a subtle set of progressions-- the self/essence/aatmán comes first, it is that piece of wood/samidh which is specified as an arm's length (an arm of the yájamaana). Within the kindling/ashvattha, the presence/tanuú of Agni awaits as it has been measured out by Prajaapati/the year (recall that as a tree grows, it takes on water, in which Agni hides--cf. Rv 10.51--to be brought forth as flame). This tanuú/presence arises, or literally comes together with (samagacchata) the ghee which ignites it. The anointing of the ghee, as it were, alights the presence--cf. -tan to spread--of the fire. This sequential use of terminology for the self--first aatmán then tanuú--indicates the developing heirarchy wherein tanuú ultimately is dropped from use in the later BraahmaNas and aatmán becomes the prominent tool of identification for the mesocosm of ritual linking micro- and macrocosmic worlds.

    A sharing of semantic fields between aatmán and tanuú is the occasion for a still closer linkage between the two words in the Mantra Language which precedes SaMhitaa Prose. As it is found in the Mantra Language of the KS, this indicates the possibility that the interaction between tanuú and aatmán was first a more close equivalence, followed by the more subordinate

ordinate use of--and eventual disappearance of--tanuú as a component of a larger conception of self designated by púruSa and aatmán. The passage addresses subtleties of the ritual which can be more properly examined in a detailed study of Middle Vedic at a level of detail equivalent to that applied to the RV in this study. For the purposes of determining broad patterns of development, especially of the sequential heirarchy of the terminology for the self, KS 21.5 is informative on its own:

asaú bRhádaabhyaám evaínaM párigRhNaati yajñaayajñiíyaM púcche gaáyati shroNyaaM vaamadevyám aatmaá vaí yajñaayajñiíyám tanuúr vaamadevyáM saatmaanam evaínaM sá tanuuM cinute

"The BRhat is that one (heaven, the sun). With these two (Samans) alone he embraces him (sacrificer embraces the sun). He sings the yajñaayajñiiyam (the very last recitation) at the tail-end, at the hip (he sings) the Vaamadevya. The yajñaayajñiiyam is 'verily' the aatmán, the Vaamadeva (is) the tanuú. He piles up (while building the brick altar) him (enam), his tanuú , together with his aatmán (eva)." Thus the aatmán and tanuú go together if proper procedure--ritual construction of the altar/composite self--is followed. This is a process of the symbolic, or ritual representation of the emanation of the self as signified in a sequence of chants.

    In other cases, especially with púruSa, tanuú is most easily understood as body, however. In the following passage, tanuú is part of a composite notion of the self, this time construed with púruSa. To read tanuú as presence does not unduly misrepresent the following passage of Mantra Language from KS 22.13, though the reference to consumption (-ash) suggests a more corporeal sense:

vaásaH páridhatta etaá vaí púruSasya tanvas sárva tanuur evá bhuutvaá diikSaám úpaiti cchidró vai puruSo antaraádamedhyó

"He puts around his clothes.

Those are the presences/tanuús/bodies of the man/púruSa. Having become all (these) tanuús, he undergoes the consecration. The púruSa is cut-up/pierced from the inner part/inside; (and it is) not fit for sacrifice, if he eats . . . " A similar occasion is attested in MS 3.6.2 (etaá vai púruSasya tanvàH sá tanuur evá médhyamúpaiti návaniitenaabhya^Nkte ghRtáM devaánaa maáyutaM).

    By the time of the TS, however, the situation changes markedly wherein tanuú is actively replaced by aatmán, as in the Mantra Language

of TS, with the familiar mythology of the gods' struggle with the Asuras:

devaásúraaH saMyattaa aasan té na vyajayanta sá etaá indras tanuúr apashyat taa upaadhatta taábhir vaí sa tanúvam indrayáM viiryaam aatmaannadhatta táto devaá abhavan páraasuraa yád indratanuúr upadaati tanúvam evá taabhir indrayáM viiryáM yajamaana aatmán dhatté 'tho séndram evaágniM sa tanuuM cinute bhávaty aatmánaa páraa'sya bhraatRvyo

"The gods and Asuras were struggling, they were unresolved, Indra saw this presence/tanuú, he put them down, with them (the bodies) he put on his presence/tanuú power, strength, and vital essence; from this the gods became (more) and the Asuras (were) overcome. What he puts down as Indra's presence/tanuú, with that presence/tanuú alone he puts power, strength, and vital essence. Thus he gathers the fire and Indra with his presence/tanuú, he becomes possessed of a vital essence and his enemy is overcome."228

    In TS there is a lengthy section of prose which connects the aatmán with the breaths, the head of the púruSa, Indra, Dahyañc AAtharvaNa, sháriira and tanuú. For instance, the one who knows/yá evaM véda the relation of Indra, the bricks, Prajaapati and Dadhyañc has his vital essence in the next world/saatmaá'múSmiMl loké. In this section it is clear that tanuú is not purely a body, as sháriira is used several times to specify the physical piling up of Agni, and the omnipresent or universal fire, Vaishvaanara is the active essence or self (sháriiram vaa etad ágner yac cítya aatmaá vaishvaanaró). The passage continues, such that after the piling up is properly done and prepared, the sacrificer mounts/rohati that body/sháriira with his essence/aatmán (sháriiram evá saMskRtyaatmánaa'bhyaárohati). At the conclusion of this dialogue, however, we find tanuú as well. Vaishvaanara is named the presence/tanuúr dear to Agni and thus this is the presence/tanúvam dear to the sacrificer (ágneH príyaa tanuur yád vaishvaanáraH príyaam evaásya tanuvam áva rundhe). If we were to read both words simply as body, we would miss the careful integration of the several words related to the self which is being expressly constructed via the symbolism of the bricks.

    In the section below relating to the list of boons piled up, it is again clear that the liturgists saw the self represented in a pool of terms, not one

in particular. Within that pool, to be sure, aatmán and púruSa predominate. However, the early literature of the Middle Vedic period takes great pains to weave each of the primary referents to the self together in the construction of the ritual cosmos. This was afforded by the social construction of the person/púruSa in whom the aatmán is contained, around which the tanuú clothes or shields from adversity, and for whom the breaths form the working mechanisms of vitality. This is addressed in more detail below, but it is important for the current discussion to understand the state of development represented for tanuú in this period. Where once--in the Family Books--it was the word for self (assisted at times by specifications of identity with tmán), now it is a component along with aatmán, the breaths, and púruSa.

    There are a variety of repeated attestations of the composite self in the later BYV SaMhitaa of the Taittiriiyas. The aatmán is, along with strength and power, placed upon Indra and the sacrificer's presence/tanuú in TS Similar cases of an aggregate self are seen in the New and Full Moon Sacrifice mantras wherein devotion to Agni prepares the self--tanuú and aatmán--for prosperity and long life, as in TS (samaáyuSaa sáM prajáyaa sám agne varcasá punaH | sáM patnii pátyaa' háM gacche sám aatmaa tanúvaa máma). Elsewhere Agni's tanuú, worthy of sacrifice/yajñíyaa, is called to his vital essence, the birthplace of the fire which is the sacrificer in TS (yaá te agne yajñíyaa tanuus ta'yehy aa róhety aatma 'nt samaárohayate yájamaano vaá agnir yoníH svaáyaamevaínaM yónyaaM samaárohayate).

In the preparation of the ground of the Gaarhapatya fire the composite self is "called together" in TS in KS 7.12 above, but not found in MS--with:

saM yaá vaH príyaas tanúvaH sáM príyaa hR'dayaani vaH | aatmaá vo astu sáM priyáH sáM priyaas tanúvo mama ||

"Let your dear presences/tanuús be united, let your dear hearts be united; your dear vital essence united, may my dear presence/tanuú/self be united."229 In this case as above in KS 7.12, tanuú works best if translated in the sense of ipse-identity, or same, and idem-identity, or selfhood. As the earlier MS does not have this kind of deliberate association of the aatmán and tanuú, it appears that the complexity of the composite self developed over time and was somewhat later. This corresponds to the earlier and later portions of the RV where we did not have tanuú and aatmán together apart from the much later hymn 1.162. In TS Agni, lord of

vows, is to recover the former active essence and its presence/tanuú as well according to the mantra spoken ('gne vratapata aatmánaH puúrvaa tanuur aadeyéty aahuH).

    As we have seen, when tanuú falls out of common use, the notion of self centralizes around the aatmán and púruSa. The components of mind and breath, especially the 3 or 5 breaths, make up the next generation of composite self. The self is a multi-part mechanism wherein, however much the number of components changes, the predominant elements are almost always púruSa and aatmán (see below). For example TS mentions six parts, head, active essence, and four limbs, but does not include tanuú (púruSa aatmaá ca shírash ca catvaary á^Ngaany aatmánn evaínaM bibharti). In TS, the number is five as it relates to the sacrificial fee and the layers of the altar.

    In the later composite self, all the existential presence denoted by tanuú--which frequently had ásu in its semantic field--is carried, instead, by the breaths. However, at the early stage of Middle Vedic with the Mantra Language and SaMhitaa Prose the composite of tanuú, aatmán, and púruSa is still central and, as we will see below, still being worked out. Ultimately the púruSa proves to be a container--once clothed by tanuú as above in MS 3.6.2 and KS 22.13--in which the aatmán is placed. That container, the social person, is comprised of breaths, mind, heart, etc. (e.g., VS 4.15, 6.14, 6.31, ShB,,,, JB 1.16, etc.). As the use of tanuú decreases, sháriira takes its place (e.g, ShB

    The full range of components for the self in the BYV SaMhitaas is clear in the following section. The passage below ultimately applies to each of the three main words for the self--aatmán, tanuú and púruSa--and so does not fit easily in any one section. I include it next by way of connection to the discussion of aatmán and púruSa which--due to their frequent appearance in each other's semantic fields, I am addressing as a pair rather than in distinct sections.

The Piling-up of Boons in the Agnicayana


    As the altar of the Agnicayana is piled up brick by representative brick, so also are the boons to be received by the sacrificer. Each brick has its own specific signification of one part or another of the social, cosmic, seasonal, and individual processes which make up the cycle of a year. Not unlike the PuruSa Suukta, so too has this ritual occupied numerous volumes

and portions thereof (e.g., Thite, 1975; Smith, 1989; Tull, 1989; Staal, 1978; 1979; 1983 [!]; Gonda, 1977; 1985; 1986; Heesterman, 1964; 1959; 1967; etc.). The limits of the present study neither permit nor require a recapitulation of the basic dynamics of this ritual which are echoed and duplicated in most Vedic rituals. The construction of the Vedic cosmos, the linkage of individual, social, political, and divine order into a connected whole, symbolized in the identity of Prajaapati and púruSa with the interworkings of voice, breath, death and body are part and parcel of the Vedic ritual.

    As I was cross-referencing passages from the hundreds of attestations for aatmán, tanuú, and púruSa, I experienced a growing excitement as I saw recurrent passages where these and other key terms--mánas, praaNá, sháriira, aayú, ásu, etc.--appeared to aggregate. There was no small dismay when I first looked at KS 18.7 and saw that this was simply a catalogue of boons with no real syntax for comparison or examination--or was it? It was hardly an appealing idea to try to compare these lists without the aid of electronic resources for systematic categorizing and marking. Still, even "manual" (literally--with manuals/texts, and figuratively, without the aid of building automated comparison links as with the RV) comparison yielded several points worthy of mention with regard to the development of the key words under examination.

    The first and most obvious point was the function of MS 2.11.2, KS 18.7, and TS for identifying groups of similar words which are associated with identifiable categories of boon which are desirable to the worshipper. There are roughly 11 categories which I have enumerated below.230 The only significance as to their order--and the only real agreement--is that the self words come first and are repeated somewhat in the last section. The same group is found in VS 18.1ff., with few deviations from the TS except that the repetition of the three breaths--found only at the end of the TS--does not occur. Each text includes the three breaths in its first group.


    First--and foremost for this study--are the self-words: aatmán, aayú, tanuú, krátu, sháriira, etc.; which form the first group in each BYV text (TS, MS 2.11.2, and KS 18.7--quoted in full below). The similarity in each group of words affirms that there was a perceived categorical order into which each boon could be placed. I have listed each group in order to assist in general reference to the principle of their arrangement. For the purposes of the present study, note the collection of self words (this is the arrangement in TS

vaájash ca me prasavásh ca me prásRtish (TS práyatish) ca me dhiitísh ca me krátush ca me svárash ca me shlókash ca me shraavásh ca me shrútish ca me jyótish ca me svash (TS súvash) ca me praaNásh ca me vyaanásh ca me 'paanásh ca mé 'sush ca me cittáM ca ma aádhiitaM ca ma vaák ca ma mánash ca me cákSush ca me shrótraM ca me dákSash ca me bálaM ca ma ójash ca me sáhash ca ma aatmaá ca me tanuúsh ca me shárma ca me várma ca mé^Ngaani ca me'sthaáni ca me páruuMSi ca me sháriiraaNi ca ma aáyush ca me jaraá ca me jyaíSThyaM . . ..

"May (this sacrifice be) for me vigor, impulse, . . . . intention, . . . breath, dispersing breath, out-breathing, experiential life, attention, . . . voice, mind, eye, ear, . . . active essence . . . presence/tanuú . . . . body . . . . (the KS adds aayú/lifetime here, which the other texts place in the second-to-last section, MS 2.11.6, TS . . ."

    This collection of terms is informative in several ways. In the first case, it affirms the composite vocabulary which was related to the self in this period of Mantra Language. Significantly, bráhman is not included in this group nor, for that matter, in either of the two sections concerned with sacrificial references. This is consistent with the observations above that bráhman's association with speech and with sacrifice was still in development. Thus its significance for dialogues on the construction of the self had yet to be affirmed. In addition, we do not find púruSa in any of the 11 groups from any of the three texts. This further underscores the idea of the component self as, by this point in the ritual, everything is already part of bráhman and púruSa. This list outlines the components of the púruSa constructed by means of the identification with the altar. As we will see below--and as indicated already above with the discussion of tanuú--the abstract associations with the notion of the self generally center around aatmán, praaNá and tanuú. All three are variously placed in or around the púruSa which rarely seems to signify anything more subtle than an aggregate term for a human or an archetypical human constructed in the sacrifice (cf. KS 10.4, 14.6, MS 3.6.2-3, TS 5.6.10,, etc., below).

    Here again we also see that tanuú alone is not the designation for a body inasmuch as sháriira is also included. This portion of the ritual, this list of components, is to insure completeness.231 The inclusion of both underscores their distinctness from each other. Remember that sháriira

was virtually non-existent in the RV. Instead of the notion of the self simplifying with the inclusion of aatmán and púruSa, it has clearly become more complex with two levels of solid or corporeal presence represented by tanuú and sháriira, and two levels of aggregate or subtle self represented predominantly by aatmán and púruSa. In turn, aatmán and púruSa serve as the ground--often we see -sthaain the semantic field--or container into which is placed various combinations of breaths, body, senses, etc.

    Thus the terms related to the self which comprise the first category in each text are those already mentioned above in the discussion of tanuú--the breaths, the body, the words for life, voice, mind, eye, etc. These are the "bricks" or components of the composite self which are repeatedly and variously integrated through subtle explications of the perceived or created equivalencies between them (cf. KS 7.12 where the aatmán and tanuú are fused together with the imperative astu: aatmaá vo astu sáMpriyas sáMpriyas tanvò máma). By far the most salient development in this period is the evolving complexity of the vital breaths. It becomes arguably more central by the time of the latest of these three BYV SaMhitaas, the TS, as it is repeated again in the last section 4.7.10-11:

RSabhásh ca me vehác ca me 'naDvaáñ ca me dhenúsh ca ma aáyur yajñéna kalpataaM praaNó yajñéna kalpataam apaanó yajñéna kalpataaM vyaanó yajñéna kalpataaM cákSur yajñéna kalpataaM shrótraM yajñéna kalpataaM máno yajñéna kalpataaM vaág yajñéna kalpataam aatmaá yajñéna kalpataaM yajñó yajñéna kalpataaM || 10 || ékaa ca me tisrásh ca me páñca ca me sápta ca me náva ca me ékaadasha ca me tráyodasha ca . . .

"May the bull, the pregnant cow, the bullock, the cow, the giving of milk, life, be benefitted by sacrifice, may breath, dispersed breath, and out-breath be benefitted by sacrifice, may the eye be benefitted by sacrifice, may the ear be benefitted by sacrifice, may the mind be benefitted by sacrifice, may the voice be benefitted by sacrifice, may the active essence be benefitted by sacrifice, may sacrifice be benefitted by sacrifice. May one, three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen, etc. be benefitted by sacrifice. . . . etc."

    Comparing KS 18.12, the repetition of the three breaths as found in the TS is entirely absent. Instead, emphasis is placed upon Prajaapati (not

mentioned in the TS except with the major gods in 4.7.6), and immortality in the closing lines.232 The KS does maintain the emphasis upon the eye, praaNá (but not the 3), the ear and the aatmán as does the TS. The importance placed upon the more subtle doctrine of the three breaths is not as apparent in the KS as it is in the TS. It is even less significant in the MS. This pile of boons/bricks evolves considerably from text to text. In the earliest of the three texts, the MS has a significantly truncated closing section. There is no repeat of any of the words for the self, words for breath, or the senses in MS 2.11.6:

RSabhásh ca vehác ca dhénush caaNáDvaaMsh ca stómash ca yájush caa R'k ca saáma ca diikSaá tápash ca bR'hac ca rathantaráM cauSadhayo vánaspatayo díshash ca me yájñena kalpantaa mánnaaya tvaa vaájaaya tvaa vaajajityaáyai tveSé tvorjé tvaa rathyaí tvaa póSaaya tvaa

"(May this sacrifice be for me) a bull, a pregnant cow, giving of milk, an ox, stóma, yájus, R'k, saáma, consecration, BRhat (saaman), Rathantara (saaman), healing herbs, timber, regions, by sacrifice benefit the mind, attainment, to you attainment of speed, to you victoriousness, to you possession of strength, to you power, chariot prowess, and abundance."

    Finally, it is worth noting a codicil of sorts which precedes the list of boons in both the MS and KS but which is absent from the TS. Both of the earlier SaMhitaas preface the catalogue with an invocation to the light/jyotís of truth, righteousness, etc., which are called to attend upon/ánuvartmano the sacrificer as here in MS 2.11.1:

shukrájyotish ca citrájyotish ca satyájyotish ca jyótiSmaaMsh ca satyásh ca Rtapaásh caátyaMhaa Rtájic ca satyajíc ca . . . . daivish cá dishó maanúSiish caánuvartmaano bhavantu

"May bright light, and distinguished light, and truth light, and light flesh, and truth, and guarding divine truth, and beyond the reach of evil, gaining the right, and gaining truth . . . . of the gods and of the quarters and of men, attend upon the scarficer."

KS 18.6 is much the same:

shukrájyotish ca citrájyotish ca satyájyotish ca jyótiSmaaMsh ca satyásh ca Rtapaásh caátyaMhaa iirdR'N caanyaadR'N ca

"May bright light, and distinguished light, and truth light, and light flesh, and truth, and guarding divine truth, and beyond the reach of evil, thusly

endowed, and unendingly fixed . . . etc." The TS begins immediately with the group of words related to the self without this protective invocation. This contrast between the MS/KS and the TS is worth noting on two counts. Where all three texts have the same groups of words, the TS adds emphasis to the doctrine of the breaths which, in turn, becomes the key feature in the explication of the self in later literature. The TS drops the invocation to righteousness while the MS and KS leave it in. The MS and KS do not have the additional emphasis upon the three breaths and the MS does not even show a repetition of the various components of the self at the end of the catalogue of the boons which is included with the TS.

    The development of the notion of self between the three texts as evident in these parallel passages confirms both the earlier and later developments. Where the subtlety of the breaths becomes central in the understanding and meditative practice in the later literature (cf. Bodewitz on the PraaNaagnihotra, 1973, 1976), the emphasis upon right action and proper ritual purity dominates in the earlier literature. Once the offering was transferred to an act centering upon one individual and their praaNá, the notion of purity focused upon the state of mind and concentration of the practitioner (cf. JB 1.20 wherein each breath is an offering of the Agnihotra). Impurity was to be policed in the mental processes. In the sacrificial practice, the breaths were important and symbolic, but purity was a real, externally identifiable quantity which required replete assurances (cf. the extensive expiatory rites associated with each ritual).

    The earlier text of the MS is still squarely rooted in the performance of proper ritual action as evidenced by its emphasis upon righteousness and significant truncation of the closing lines of the catalogue of boons relating to the composition of the self. The KS accurately reflects the transition by including both the opening invocation of righteousness as well as a substantial portion of reiterated calls for benefits from the sacrifices to the components of the self. The TS marks the change as more fully defined as the invocation to righteousness is dropped, and the closing catalogue is shortened to emphasize the breaths, mind, voice, eye and ear.

    Thus, as we turn to the discussion of the terms which emerge as the dominant references to individual existence--aatmán and púruSa--the nature of references within the ritual become pivotal to understanding how the composite self was constructed and, in so doing, developed. Keeping in mind that the purpose of the ritual was a reconstruction and, at times, reenactment of the cosmos and its origins, each part of the Vedic world was

integrated. Thus the several terms for the self are included with specific interrelations. Remembering that tanuú was the word for self in the RV almost to the exclusion of any other termsave, of course, the reflexive svayám233 (cf. discussion of reflexive identity Chapter 2) and, at other times, the characteristic identifier found in tmán--the appearance of aatmán and púruSa in the later portions of the RV and extensively throughout Middle Vedic required considerable reconciliation of otherwise competing terms. This reconciliation is of no consequence if tanuú only were to mean body. As I have shown, however, this is not the case even as late as Middle Vedic. It is true that tanuú becomes more corporeal in terms of the semantic fields where it is found (e.g., it is to be smoothed in AVSh 6.53.3: ánu no maarSTu tanvó yád viriSTam). However, this does not rule out that tanuú was something more than a body as attested throughout the Middle Vedic literature where both tanuú and sháriira are found.

    The issue is made more clear when we apply this understanding to the role of tanuú with aatmán and púruSa. As we have seen already in the RV and even above in passages with tanuú, aatmán is consistently used to refer to an essence or core of vitality in a god, human, or ritually constructed being. The word for the human and often for the ritual being is púruSa. The relationships between all three words in the earlier literature represent the integration of what might otherwise be competing terms.

aatmán and púruSa


    The development of aatmán and púruSa in the Middle Vedic literature marks a significant departure from the isolated use of both terms in the RV. Neither word was particularly related to the other. In fact, they only shared each other's semantic field in one hymn. As we saw with the hymn to herbs in 10.97, the two terms were, at best, uneasy companions with no clear relationship other than that the disease was to be driven from the aatmán of the afflicted púruSa. In addition, púruSa was often found to designate a vulnerable or sin-prone human (RV 4.12.4, 7.57.4, 7.75.8, 8.71.2, or the flesh of a púruSa smeared by an evil person in 10.87.16). Apart from that, the púruSa was either a generic term for a human (e.g., RV 3.33.8, 5.48.5, 10.165.3), or the archetypal sacrifice of RV 10.90 and the portion from plants which Agni claims for himself in sacrifice ( 10.51.8).

    By contrast, aatmán is quite consistent in its use to refer to the vital or active essence of gods and humans (RV 7.87.2 and 10.92.13 with vaáta/wind; essence of the whole earth in 1.164.4, as Parjanya who is the enlivening

essence of all moving and standing beings 7.101.6, the animator of rescue vehicles in the Bhujyu in 1.115.1, etc.). This use remains consistent in Middle Vedic as well. Two things change, however. First, aatmán is used repeatedly with púruSa and often with tanuú as part of a composite notion of the self. Second, the association of aatmán with the sacrifice and the three breaths--praaNá, apaána, and vyaána--is predominant.

    The notion of a composite self is a marked departure in several ways. In the Family Books there was one simple word to refer to the presence/tanuú of a deity--and the corresponding frailty of a human--which was denoted in both cases by tanuú. As particular characteristics of a deity emerged as predominant--Agni as priest, BrahmaNaspati as wise--tmán was used to clarify this as an identifying characteristic. When aatmán and púruSa began to be used, tanuú did not disappear, but became subordinate or a component, along with aatmán, of an individuality which was not as much named as described. In other words, as in RV 8.3.24 where tanuú was clothing/vaása and aatmán was food, there was not a term for what the two together comprised, they were simply associated. In Middle Vedic, púruSa becomes the "handle" by which both--and the other associations--are grasped (while I use handle and grasp metaphorically here, it is consistent with the frequent appearance in the semantic fields surrounding púruSa of -grah/to grasp).

    As we saw above with tanuú, the assemblage of components which make up this composite self is invariably attested with a use of aatmán with either or both tanuú and púruSa. There are other terms which make up the aggregate which is the self of the ritual cosmology as with AVSh 5.1.7/AVP 6 above:

    utaámRtaasur vráta emi kRNvánn asur aatmaá tanvás tát sumádguH

"Accordingly, with immortal existence, obediently I proceed performing; existence, vital essence, and presence/tanuú/body-- this is the team/assemblage." Sometimes the association of aatmán with other terms occurs under the collective reference of the first person, as here in AVSh 3.29.8 in affirmation that the composite self not lose any component--including praaNá--once the offering (of a white sheep) has been made:

bhuúmiS Tvaa práti gRhNaatv antárikSam idáM mahát maáhaM praaNéna maátmanaa maá prajáyaa pratigR'hya ví raadhiSi

"Let the earth grasp/accept you, this great atmosphere (as one that is) acceptable,

I am lost neither in breath, in aatmán, nor in progeny." Another composite itemization of the self is found in AVSh 6.53.2a-b/AVP 19:

púnaH praaNáH punar aatmaá na aítu púnashcakSuH púnar ásur na aítu

"Let breath return to us, let vital essence return to us; let sight return to us, let existence return to us."

    The aatmán is not stainless or flawlessly pure. It does not have a distinctive difference in its use when in the language of gods or of humans (though it can refer to the essence of a disease afflicting humans as in RV 10.97.11). However, when aatmán does refer to the realm of humans it can be "flawed" or--as here in AVSh 7.57.1c-d/AVP 20--disorderly/víriSTaM:

yad aatmáni tanvó me víriSTaM sárasvatii tádaa pRNad ghRténa

"Whatever in the vital essence of my body/presence/tanuú is disorderly, Sarasvatii fulfill this with ghee." Of course, here again we also have the individual referred to with two distinct componentsaatmán and tanuúboth of which are susceptible to disorder. However, the composite self is not only made up of tanuú and aatmán, in addition to breath there is the mind as well in this passage, mentioned above, from the Mantra Language of KS 7.12:

sáM vas sRjaami hR'dayaM sáMsRSTaM máno astu vaH | sáM sRSTaas tanvàH santu vas sáMsRSTaH praaNó astu vaH || sáM yaá vaH priyaás tanvàs sáMpriyaa hR'dayaani vaH | aatmaá vo astu sáMpriyas sáMpriyas tanvò máma ||

"The mind of you all must be gathered together with your heart, I join them together; the body/presence/tanuú being together with these of you all, the breath of you all must be joined; what is mutually dear to your body/presence/tanuú is dear also to your heart; the vital essence of you all must be mutually dear with my presence/tanuú." Thus it appears that the integration of the terms was made with the specific intention that they be considered together as dear.

    The relationship between aatmán and púruSa is sometimes as that of relative equals as in the later (than the Mantra Language of 7.12 above) SaMhitaa Prose of KS 10.4:

etaavaan vai puruSo yaavad asya praaNaa abhi yaavaan evaasyaatmaa taM varuNaa muñcati samvatsaro dhaa agnir vaishvaanara aayus saMvatsarasaMvatsara evainam aayuSi pratitiSThaapayati

"That verily is the share of VaruNa, which is 'the barley corns.' With his own share he satisfies (propitiates) VaruNa. He becomes one of the size of one "span" (distance between outstretched index and thumb). "That" big is the indeed thepúruSa, as great as his praaNás, . . . . . As much/big as is (his) aatmán, that one he releases from VaruNa. Agni is the year. Long life/aayus (and) the year is Vaishvaanara. He (the priest) establishes him (the yajamaana) in the year, in long life." As the passage continues the pair is further related with the introduction of the sacrificial fee as essential for the gain of any boons.234

    Elsewhere, aatmán and púruSa are directly equated as in SaMhitaa Prose with KS 20.5 (aatmaa vai puruSo). In the Mantra Language of MS 3.6.1, the aatmán of the gods is central to the effective intellect of the púruSa (púruSo vaá eSá médhaayaálabhyate devátaabhir evaátmaánaM). The púruSa is brought near--sacrificed--for the juice/broth/médha of the sacrifice. With the deities, he offers the aatmán. The importance of ritual purity for the púruSa is also attested, as mentioned above with tanuú, there is the consecration rite which is a clothing placed around the púruSa later in MS 3.6.2:

téna diikSitá aa^Nkte'bhya^Nkte vaásaH páridhatta, etaá vaí púruSasya tanvàH

"By this consecration moving around (aa +-a^Nk) anointing, clothing is put around him, these indeed are the presence/tanuú of the púruSa."

    The composite self is variously constructed throughout these BYV texts. In MS 3.6.3 we have aatmán and praaNá--comprised of three breaths--forming a pair to be purified:

athó trayo vaá imé praaNaáH praaNó'paánó vyaánó yaavaanévaatmaá taM paavayati

"Now these praaNás are verily three-- praaNá:/breath, apaána/ out-breath, and dispersed breath/vyaána--as much as the aatmán is, he purifies him (the yajamaana?)."

    The relationship between aatmán and púruSa is attested in many places throughout the material. The association with praaNá and Vaac is frequently included with these groupings. The construction of the composite self is closely tied to the construction of the archetypical púruSa which is, in turn, linked with the year, and this in turn is linked with Prajaapati (e.g., KS 14.6, 23.1, 27.9, 29.9). These associations, as noted above, include

tanuú as part of the set of links (e.g., KS 7.8, 7.12, 7.15).

    This is a particular development of the ritual literature which is not as evident in the AV mantras. Where previous scholars--Max Müller, Eggeling--may have seen fit to dub these equivalences "twaddle" and "ravings" it is also apparent that they, and many of their successors have consistently failed to recognize the development and distinctions of terms which they render as synonyms (e.g. tanuú, sháriira). In fact, each term which may at first have appeared redundant is instead indicative of a particular consception of and way to refer to the self within a careful and deliberate network of significations. This network only becomes apparent when the origins of the terminology are considered.

The Threshhold of Inquiry


    I have focused upon a multitude of tasks in this study which have succeeded moreso in preparing the way for a proper study of the notion of the self in Vedic India than having fully completed such a study. In the preceding chapters I have reconstructed a more precise chronology of development within the Rg Veda which enables analysis of the variations from MaNDala to MaNDala and even from hymn to hymn of various terminology to be assessed in terms of its historical progression. This has moved the field of inquiry from the question of how different terms can mean the same thing--synonymy--to a question of how different terms came to interract and even replace each other. This also systematizes the apparent multitude of meanings which one word might have--polysemy--to a tracaeble chronology of distinct developments. Apart from the technological method of inquiry which made the RV inquiry both comprehensive and manageable, the identification and collation of the various discoveries (still ignored, to a large extent, by even some current Vedicists whose scholarship suffers from interpretive imprecision as a result) of the internal chronology of the RV throughout the last 150 years enabled the sense of tanuú, for instance, to be reassessed in terms of its later meaning as a corporeal body viz. its more abstract to more corporeal use in the early literature. This resolves many of the issues facing scholars who cannot reconcile tanuú, as body in some cases, self in others, or ultimate soul or life in others still.

    In addition, this inquiry has made it possible to understand the path by which bráhman came to be associated with aatmán by means of its evolving relationship with speech. Ultimately, by the time of the earliest ritual literature, bráhman had become a tool for the extension of the sacrifice which functioned in the same manner as did Vaac. With the liturgy linked to Vaac, and thus to bráhman, the sacrifice itself which was a composite representation of identity including praaNá, tanuú, aatmán,

puruSa, sháriira, etc., was said to be spread forth by this speech. Insofar as it spread, so far was its essence, and the composite self so painstakingly articulated in the ritual literature. Chapters 4 and 5 (follow links in previous paragraph) demonstrated the central role of tanuú for references to the self and the subsequent changes in its semantic field as other, more abstract, terminology appeared. With the arrival of aatmán into the Vedic conception of individuality that is attested in the later portions of the RV, its sense of subtle, active essence highlighted the corporeal nature of tanuú which was always present in its meaning. However, this corporeal aspect of existence in space and time was never clearly or consistently distinguishable until it was juxtaposed with aatmán.

    PúruSa's appearance in the RV marked an even more dramatic development. It was never associated with tanuú in this early literature while aatmán was. Unlike aatmán, the púruSa showed a vulnerability, a tendency toward disease and sin which does not characterize aatmán, but was sometimes the case with tanuú in the language referring to humans. AAtmán could be the essence of both the disease and of the afflicted púruSa in the later RV. It was consistently used as an essence more subtle than either tanuú or púruSa. However, aatmán and tanuú never displayed the same cosmic equivalence and association with the year as seen with púruSa. Of course, aatmán is the essence of what moves and breathes on the earth, but it is not constructed as an archetypical sacrifice. AAtmán is, instead, a component of that sacrifice as is tanuú.

    The ritual literature reconciled these parallel and contrasting uses of each major term for the self through detailed and often obscure associations which drew upon a mythology that was often quite different from that of the RV (e.g. Prajaapati's primordial sacrifice, like the primordial púruSa sacrifice in RV 10.90, the battle of the gods and demons). Accordingly, the relationships this afforded between the terminology was substantially different. During the period of the composite self, aatmán's consistent association with breath and ongoing meaning of essence evolved into one of the central themes of the later literature. The púruSa, as the container for these various associations evolved along micro-macrocosmic lines of symbolism long before the relation between aatmán and bráhman was concretized.

    These are but a handful of the developments traced from the Early Vedic literature to the beginning of Middle Vedic. Along the way--especially

in the RV--the electronic resource of retraceable links continually afforded opportunity to engage in additional levels of inquiry. Several informative discoveries arose from this. We now have a more precise sense of the various meanings attributed to the words for life (e.g., ásu, aayú, jiivá, etc.). I have also discovered a hithertoo unobserved distinction and progression of development with BrahmaNaspati and BRhaspati. An assumption by past scholars of synonymy is replaced by one of development. There is a more detailed picture of the rise and fall of the roles played by the various priests and poets--e.g., vípra and kaví--some of whom fall from their centrality in the Family Books to almost complete disappearance by the Middle Vedic Period. In contrast, brahmán and R'Si outlast them both. Yet R'Si also decreases in use while brahmán becomes the predominant priest of poetry (as compared to those of specific recitations such as the Hotar, etc.). This again was only possible with the careful attention to the internal chronology of the RV. In some cases it was also possible to make new assessements of the specific chronology of hymns within one or several RV books.

    In the final chapter it has been possible to only briefly readdress these findings according to the changes in Middle Vedic. Instead, this chapter has served to apply the many discoveries made in the RV to the later literature. It serves as a catalyst and a point of departure for a new level of precise analysis of change and development in ancient Indian religion which combines history, linguistics, technological resources, and traditional methods of analysis and comparison of primary source materials. It is not accurate to end this dissertation with conclusions. I have, instead, sought to identify and justify a new set of questions and tools for answering them. The terminology for the self develops, coalesces, and changes in meaning over time. There are many reasons to believe that this is a reflection not of an idiosyncratic vocabulary bound by mere sophistry. It is, instead, a reflection of a carefully conceived, multiply-interracting cosmos that is meticulously correlated to the experience, world, and society of the individual.