Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ritual Gone WrongWhat We Learn from Ritual Disruption$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kathryn T. McClymond

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199790913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790913.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 November 2020

Negotiating Ritual Repair

Negotiating Ritual Repair

The prāyaścitta Material in the Baudhāyana śrauta Sūtra

Chapter:
(p.16) 1 Negotiating Ritual Repair
Source:
Ritual Gone Wrong
Author(s):

Kathryn T. McClymond

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199790913.003.0002

The Vedic śrauta sacrificial tradition includes extensive discussion of the ways that Vedic rituals can go wrong and the procedures established to correct those wrongs. This chapter reviews Vedic priestly texts discussing ritual errors and reparations/expiations. It concludes that ritual theorists can learn several general lessons about the nature of ritual from the Vedic ritual correction (prāyaścitta) tradition. First, it challenges widespread notions that ritual exists in sharp contrast to mundane activity; instead, ritual and ordinary activity are closely intertwined. Second, Vedic assumptions that rituals can go wrong imply that external standards exist beyond the ritual sphere, standards that establish ritual “right” and “wrong.” Third, discussions of ritual repair and expiation point to the elasticity and adaptability of ritual systems. Fourth, discussions of ritual correction act to safeguard against the routinization of ritual mistakes. Finally, robust discussions of ritual mistakes reflect a fundamentally optimistic attitude toward the vitality of ritual.

Keywords:   sacrifice, Vedic, prāyaścitta, śrauta sūtra, Frits Staal, brahmans/brahmanical, soma, substitution, purity, sabotage

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .