Embodying the Vedas
Traditional Vedic Schools of Contemporary Maharashtra
De Gruyter 2017
New Books in AnthropologyNew Books in Hindu StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books in South Asian StudiesNew Books Network March 22, 2019 Raj Balkaran
Embodying the Vedas: Traditional Vedic Schools of Contemporary Maharashtra (De Gruyter, 2017; open access) probes the backbone of what makes Hinduism the world’s oldest living tradition: the unbroken chain of transmission of Vedic texts composed over 3,000 years ago, originating circa 1750-1200 BCE. What does the process of that transmission look like? What does it take to apprentice to learn the Vedic corpus? Why is there an emphasis on precise ritual enunciation of these utterances even above and beyond their semantic meaning? Join me as I talk with Dr. Borayin Larios, Assistant Professor at the Institute for South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (Vienna) about his work on the traditional “gurukula” education and training of Brahmins. Based on his study of 25 contemporary Vedic schools across the state of Maharashtra, we discover how contemporary Brahmin males learn with scrupulous care how to recite, memorize and ultimately embody the Vedas.
For information on your host Raj Balkaran’s background, see rajbalkaran.com.