The present volume fills that gap admirably, giving a comprehensive view of the state of Vedic education, focusing on Maharasthtra, where revivalist efforts have been most vigorous. For an example of prose fragmentation, see below in this chapter. If there is thunder before midnight, the suspension lasts for the whole night; if it happens during the day, the suspension lasts throughout the daylight hours, as also when the king of that realm dies, and when one student goes on a journey and another stays behind with the teacher. Memory failures are also penalized by deducting five points per memory blank. However, in some of the schools, the pupils seem to be more careless while handling them. The story illustrates a point that seems to be paradigmatic and is often encountered in stories similar to this one: For more on this process see, e. An advanced student is called in by the guru and sits down with the students while the guru leaves for his business.

Other relevant studies on the subject are well summarized in Hiltebeitel This book is the revised version of that dissertation. Traditionally, the guru teaches new chapters for a period of ten consecutive days, as illustrated in the above example. They had spent time together on several occasions in the past. It depends entirely on the financial support of sponsors. The organizational and logistical structure of these schools is more complex, and many actors and interests are involved in the process of creating and maintaining such a school.

These breaks have been marked traditionally, and none of the vaidikas were able to give me the explanation for the irregularity in the counts. The spread of British education and the general dissemination of Western ideas about history, science, religion, and society all had a tremendous impact on Maharasthrian society.

Memory failures are also penalized by deducting five points per episoxe blank.

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The verbatim transmission of this knowledge from teacher to disciple — in its current cultural setting as observed in traditional Vedic schools in Maharashtra, India — is the topic of this book. While students may have their own personal mat and never share their seat with other fellow students, in many schools, the sitting mats particularly plastic ones are interchangeable.

In case of a Sanskrit or Marathi word being difficult to recognize in an English quotation, its standard transliterated version will be given in square brackets — for example: For more information on the language differences and regional distribution of these schools see: Kumar and Langohr Smith went so far as proclaiming the Vedas themselves as the iconic authority on which all of Hinduism is based — even if only symbolically —proposing the following definition: By this, he means that few scholars have looked at the broader question of what it meant for the cultures of the subcontinent when the Indian writing system began to be used more frequently, or how writing and the production and circulation of texts has shaped the relationship between orality and literacy — and, in turn, shaped the socio-political order of this region.


The student then tries to recite the portion correctly and, if he manages to do so, he continues; otherwise, the examiner corrects him by reciting the word correctly.

Joshi and Roodbergen, The senior student corrects them in the exact same way the guru would do it by saying the word in an emphatic tone, with the right way of recitation or by queing the student with the first two or three words if the student has failed to remember.

This takes them approximately seven or eight years.

This is even more evident if we look at recitations outside of Maharashtra. After a long trip by train, bus, and foot, they reached the home of the teacher, this being located on a hilltop in the dense forest of Karnataka, where the above-mentioned wpisode is located. This is nonetheless very rare, for most of the schools are located far away from a large body of water. The Jagadgurus of the Peetham began touring extensively establishing branches of Sri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri in holy towns and important locations, and setting up traditional learning schools or Pathashalas.

Traditional and new methods of fundraising such as through websites are used to finance the regular activities of this type of schools. Nonetheless, coming back to the discursive role of manuscripts, the agnihotrra of Griffiths used by Veidlinger, this role is threefold: We get only those students who cannot go to regular schools.

The curriculum is therefore not as uniform and clear-cut as it would seem to be at first sight. Square-braquets in the quote added by the author.

Clearly, the ideas of the Arya Samaj and other reform movements with respect to these and a variety of other social issues have been largely accepted by an influential segment of the Hindu population in India.

If there is thunder before midnight, the suspension lasts for the whole night; if it happens during the day, the suspension lasts episove the daylight hours, as also when the king of that realm dies, and when one student goes on a journey and another stays behind with the teacher.

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Of these, the fast speed is supposed to be used when a epsiode is reciting the mantras for his own study. The material collected focuses mainly upon: For example, one such strategy consists of ascribing the Vedic scriptures with the power to contain all knowledge, including modern physics, aeronautics, and other sciences. Our pedagogy is different and also emphasizes an oral teaching. The following work deals with the body of texts collectively known as the Vedas, which are considered by many people to be the philosophical cornerstone of the Brahmanical traditions and, thus, of Hinduism at large.


Another very common way of sitting for this type of class involves half of the students facing one another in parallel rows, and the teacher sitting in the middle and at the head of the row, facing them in a sideways fashion see plate 3. Writing, as has been noted by many scholars previously, is only able to reproduce the multifaceted Vedic sound in a very limited way. agnihhotra

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Furthermore, it is clear that my observations are coloured by my experiences as a Swiss-Mexican male scholar with an inclination toward Indian spirituality. Also, some students naturally learn faster than others. These organizations are the masterminds of the enterprise.

Knipein his recent monograph on the vaidikas of the Godavari Delta in Andhra Pradesh, also presents a Vedic tradition that is heavily oral, and in which the Veda is agnihogra an oral affair, where one still finds Veda reciters who are proudly illiterate In view of enabling the students to get acclimatized and conversant with modern technology education in computer science along with lessons in traditional knowledge is imparted in these schools.

Axel Michaels, who was my Doktorvater and whose guidance made this work possible, and also to Prof. In these examinations, the students are tested by experts brought from all over India, as based on their abilities to properly recite a particular portion of the Veda from memory and without the aid of a printed text. In this way, the Veda, as a hegemonic anihotra and hence as an empty signifier, offers a certain stability to an otherwise heterogeneous field.

This service to the master is also a crucial socialization strategy that serves to embody discipline, and automate control over the body and the senses. According to these sources, the course should last for four-and-a-half months or five-and-a-half agnihotga. In other schools, the shrines are dedicated to different deities and, naturally, the worship varies greatly in form and scope — depending not only on the form of worship to each deity, but also on epiosde personal inclinations of the teachers and students.

As a constitutive part of this unequal system, but also its very embodiment Bairy Furthermore, on the one hand it brings to the fore a fascination and appropriation of selected modern elements, and on the other, the revalorization of these elements within traditional frameworks that value community over individuality.

To bring out more and more traditional Vedic Pandits, particularly in those sakhas on the verge of extinction. Communities from other states have migrated to these places and brought with them their own customs and rituals.