The Vedic Origins of Karma: Cosmos As Man in Ancient Indian Myth and Ritual (S U N Y Series in Hindu Studies)
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In this book, the author seeks access to Karma's origins by following several clues suggested by the doctrine's earliest formulation in the Upanisad texts (circa 600-500 B.C.) These clues lead back to the mythical and ritual structures firmly established in the Brahmana texts, texts concerned with the rituals that chronologically and conceptually precede the Upanisades. The rise of the karma doctrine is tied to the increasing dominance in late Vedic thought of the cosmic man (Purusa/Prajapati) mythology and its ritual analogue the "building of the fire altar" (agnicayana). "To anyone interested in the Vedic literature or the idea of karma, this book is fascinating. The prose is crisp and clear, well-ordered and lively. The arguments are clearly presented. Tull shows convincingly that the beginnings of karma theory are to be found in the Brahmanas. And he helps us to see the logic of these texts more clearly than anyone else."--John M. Koller
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