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.