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The Rigveda$
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Stephanie Jamison and Joel Brereton

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190633363

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190633363.001.0001

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Canonical Status and the Reception of the R̥gveda

Canonical Status and the Reception of the R̥gveda

(p.191) 10 Canonical Status and the Reception of the R̥gveda
The Rigveda

Joel P. Brereton

Stephanie W. Jamison

Oxford University Press

This chapter treats use and reception of the Ṛgveda from its collection through the Indian tradition to modern times. It starts with the formation of the canonical Ṛgveda, then the repurposing of the hymns in the middle Vedic śrauta ritual, and the formation of the priestly schools (śākhās), charged with preserving and transmitting the Vedic texts as well as interpreting them. It also discusses the recensions of the Ṛgveda, which differ minimally from each other, and the development of recitation traditions devoted to preserving every syllable of the text faithfully, as well as the development of interpretive tools. The Western reception of the text is also treated.

Keywords:   Śākhā, saṃhitā, Padapāṭha, Mīmāṃsā, Gāyatrī mantra, śastra, Śākala, Bāṣkala, Vālakhilya, khila

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