The development of the Vedic canon and its schools: the social and political milieu

Witzel, Michael

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Abstract

A detailed list of the texts which make out the Vedic canon does not exist in Vedic or early post-Vedic literature. There are, of course, medieval lists of Vedic texts and schools, such as those contained in the Prapancahrdaya. In the Vedic period itself, we find incipient lists which stress the particular division of the Vedic texts into three (trayī) or four branches (RV, SV, YV; AV). As will be shown, this division became typical as a result of the Kuru reformation of the Vedic ritual. Yet a Vedic corpus, as more or less fixed canon, was recognized and quoted by the early grammarians (Panini c. 400 B.C., Patanjali c. 150 B.C.), and it was detailed in the Pali canon (c. 250 B.C.) which already knew of the complete Vedic corpus.

Document type: Preprint
Date: 1997
Version: Primary publication
Date Deposited: 5 March 2008
DDC-classification: Other and comparative religions
Controlled Subjects: Veda, Wissenschaftliche Schule, Online-Publikation
Uncontrolled Keywords: Veda , Vedismus , Wissenschaftliche Schule, Veda , Canon , Sakhas , Vedic schools
Series: People > Kleine Schriften von Michael Witzel
Volume: 8
Additional Information: Überarbeitete Version in \"Inside the Texts, Beyond the Texts\" hrsg. von Michael Witzel. Columbia: South Asia Books, 1997