Saturday, August 04, 2018

Vedic Ritual along the Saraswati

Via Dr. Shiv:
Geography of Aryavarta (Indus-Saraswati Civilization) - Part-1: Talk by Sh. Mrugendra Vinod ...

Geography of River Saraswati (Indus-Saraswati Civilization) - Part-2 : Talk by Sh. Mrugendra Vinod

Identification of Unicorn (Indus-Saraswati Civilization) - Part-3 : Talk by Sh. Mrugendra Vinod

For those who can't/don't want to watch, but want a quick summary:

1.  A reiteration of the astronomical information in the Vedic literature that is date-able because of the precession of the equinoxes.

2. The geography of the Saraswati.

3. An explanation of the peculiar symbol appearing in Harappan seals as the yupa or tie-post of the sacrificial animals in the Asvamedha yagna.

On the geography of the Saraswati: in the Vedic rituals, there is one that is to be performed on the banks of the Saraswati.  It involves an altar on wheels, the yajamana throws a stick; the altar is moved to that point, the rituals are conducted; then the yajamana throws the stick again.  This is done going upstream from where the Saraswati disappears (Vinashana) through the junction with the river Drishadvati, which is a seasonal river, and then to the head of the Saraswati.   Then the final ritual bath in the Yamuna that is a day away. The ritual takes about 22 years.   The arithmetic (I haven't checked for myself) fits with the geography of the hypothetical Saraswati.

A key point that the speaker makes is that Western scholarship and those under its spell (that would include persons like me) have focused on the Rg Vedic poetry and rather neglected the ritual manuals.  Poetry is full of metaphor and can be interpreted in myriad ways;  but the ritual manuals are rather specific.

Another point is to understand how the tradition is taught and preserved.