The religion of the Family Books of the Rg Veda is characterized by a potent, interconnected cosmos of interacting deities, priests, poets, and worshippers. The content of these books is concerned with how to make these different elements interact for the benefit of the worshipper. Accordingly, this chapter demonstrates that terminology for individuality, primarily represented in the words tanuú and -dhii, is restricted in its application to the realm of the gods. More than three-fourths of the uses of tanuú are in reference to deities. When humans are the referent, the tanuú is decidedly frail and in need of assistance. Mánas is the source of the thought posited and directed to prompt the desired response from the gods.

    The means of acquiring this assistance forms the central theme the Family Books. Efficacious prayers, prayers that achieve the desired attention of the deities, are those which are endowed with a special power, bráhman. It is the task of a variety of priests to utter these prayers. Moral and ethical considerations are referred to only generally--and infrequently with the terms under study--as with R'ta. The components of individuality are not discussed objectively. Words for mental processes-derivatives of -cit, -man, -budh, and -dhii--are applied to the actions of the poets. References to corporeal presence--i.e. the body--are all but non-existent. In the oldest segment of the RV, MaNDalas 2-7, the so-called "Family Books," the predominant word for existential presence is tanuú. The other primary terms--especially aatmán and púruSa--are quite scarce, though ahám and tmán are not entirely uncommon.

    AAtmán, púruSa, and bráhman are usually the predominant terms with respect to discussions of individuality and its relation to the cosmos in Vedic literature, yet of the three terms, only bráhman is found with any frequency in this earliest portion of the RV. AAtmán and púruSa are all but absent in the Family Books (RV 2-7). In addition, púruSa is largely absent from later RV MaNDala's as well, as we will see in Chapter 5, while aatmán makes a more marked increase in its appearance in these same later portions. There are only two occasions of aatmÿán, in 7.87.2a and 7.101.6b, and four of púruSa in 3.33.8d, 4.12.4a, 5.48.5c and 7.57.4b.

    Other lexemes from the core group--e.g. ahám, tanuú, and tmán--are found in place of aatmán and púruSa in the semantic fields which, in later literature, are dominated by them. Accordingly, I will turn to the isolated occasions of aatmán and púruSa after first addressing the other core terms in detail, beginning first with bráhman, followed by tanuú, tmán, and ahám.

    The words will be studied within two general fields of comparison: the immediate semantic field (the words within the same line or paada), and the larger semantic field (within the same or, on occasion, adjacent verses). Each word is first studied in relation to words which frequently occur in its semantic field--immediate or larger--and then with regard to words for mental processes (derivatives of -cit, -dhii, -budh, -man, as well as krátu) when they occur in the semantic field of the term under examination. For instance, with bráhman the other words for prayer--arká, ukthá, -stu derivatives, and -gaa are considered. Following this there is an examination of words like -cit and -budh with bráhman as well as forms of -man and -dhii. In addition, where translation of an entire verse is warranted I have included comparison translations--usually Geldner--to enable analysis of syntax and the overall sense of the passage as rendered here.

    In this first portion of the RV survey, the primary objective is to determine, as closely as possible, the way the words under scrutiny were used in this early portion of the literature. This leaves the whole of this chapter as predominantly synchronic in its analysis, as distinctions between earlier and later portions of the Family Books is largely impossible. However, there are times when the difference in meaning from one hymn to another happen to coincide with particular findings by Arnold, Lanman, and Oldenberg as to the lateness of a given hymn. When this occurs, I have made note of the internal chronology and the development of the term which is implied. In addition, it becomes apparent that of the Family Books, MaNDalas 3 and 7 are slightly later and, of the two, the evidence I have gathered--regarding tanuú in particular--indicates that MaNDala 3 is later than 7 (suggested by Witzel, 1989; reiterated, 1997). Diachronic findings of a mostly statistical nature (e.g. observation of numerical changes in the relative frequency of use with tmán in later literature) are included where appropriate but, for the most part, extensive diachronic analysis is not practical here.

    The main project here, then, is to outline starting points for comparison in the next two chapters. The basic collection of common semantic fields and meanings for each word will be brought under the focus of diachronic analysis in Chapter 5 (covering the later RV) and Chapter 6 (Middle

Vedic & conclusions). By far the most complex and frequently ambiguous term is bráhman. There is no paucity of scholarship on the word, and the effort here is to comprehensively consider it, most specifically as it relates to prayer, priests, and deities.


    If there is any term among those chosen for this study which shows a consistent development from its Early Vedic uses to the role it assumes in Middle and Late Vedic, it is bráhman. In other words, bráhman is first seen in the Family Books with a meaning of pure, independent power (cf. Elizarenkova, "independent force" in some early passages, 1996: 97). This meaning is complemented by occasions where its association with an act of speech, or word of prayer, is equally apparent, as Thieme suggests "Formulierung" (1952: 103). It never loses these basic connotations but, instead, develops both independent force, which I have sometimes translated as "pure energy," and Formulierungthe latter by way of the association with Vaac which develops in Middle Vedic, especially in the BraahmaNa Prose--into the all-encompassing totality of the universe, or macrocosm, in the aatmán-bráhman teachings of the UpaniSads.

     As I have indicated below and in Chapter 5, several changes in the use of aatmán and púruSa were yet to occur in the Family Books and the later RV before the early stages of their association with bráhman could begin. I suggest this--even acknowledging my own reservations against seeking

later meanings in early uses (cf. Bodewitz vs. "development" theories, 1991: 40)--in careful consideration of the data assembled below.

    Inasmuch as Indra and the other deities require the potency of bráhman in order to most effectively perform their characteristic feats, bráhman appears already to have a significance which is, at the very least, on a par with--if not ascendant over--the Early Vedic pantheon. I am suggesting that bráhman represents the pure energy which is invoked by a rightly delivered praise. As a pure energy, it is both independent and ritually sacred. By rendering it in this way, I can more easily draw the reader's attention to the development in the use of bráhman to represent an energy or power which is almost inseparable from speech in the later portions of the RV. In these later occasions it is more appropriate to suggest "empowered speech" or, with Thieme (1952) "formulated speech" or "formulation." My only problem or reluctance with "formula" is that it implies the priest as sole creator of this kind of potent speech which is not supported in every case below. If the priest is righteous, bráhman is a power which attends upon his speech as an additional element of potency in what he utters or sings. When bráhman is present, it is in response to a righteous priest's praise (see 6.38.3-4 below). The word "formulated" implies that the priest "creates" bráhman with his invocation which is not consistently the case in the Family Books.

     Bráhman is frequently associated with prayer but bráhman does not consistently indicate a dependence upon the prayer or the priest for its existence. In fact it is often the other way around, bráhman exists of its own accord as a power which can bring about desired traitsfor example, strengthening/várdhan Indraand it is the task of the priests to rightly articulate prayer such that it resonates with, or "accesses" bráhman for the desired ends. As Thieme notes (1952: 98), the function of bráhman to produce strength is in large part reason for the suggestion of Gonda (1950: 40-41) that the word means power. Etymology is another reason for this association, of course, but Thieme disagrees with the use of etymology or religious interpretation "die Feststellung der Grundbedeuteng is nicht Angelegenheit riligionsgeschichtlicher Interpretation" (1952: 93).

    Bráhman is primarily used to signify an empowerment which attends upon priestly utterances--whether of or from prayer, worship, and devotion; it is also a resource of human and divine potency, not unlike the "inherent firmness, supporting or fundamental principle" noted in detail by Gonda (1962: 70). The research here reveals that there are definite

indications of a broader signification similar to Gonda's suggestion of power, growth, and preservation (1950: 32, 39, 43). However, as noted in Chapter 1, Gonda's findings need to be reconsidered in an historical, developmental context as his conclusion arises from a compilation of many textual sources--BraahmaNa's (1962: 10), UpaniSads (1962: 11-12), or even the Mahaabhaarata and the Shatapatha BraahmaNa at the same time (1962: 29)--without attention to temporal sequence or development of meaning from one text to the next. Thieme has noted that Gonda does not attend accurately to the formation of the tradition as well (1952: 95). However, the current study is especially attentive to the developments of the tradition--diachronic change--within the RV which is not, apparently, part of Thieme's argument (e.g., he cites the later period with 1.47, a later hymn 3.53, and several hymns of the Family Books--4.16, 7.37--together [1952: 103]). Thus the attention to Thieme's finding will be useful to inform those occasions where "Formulierung" is supported.

    The first point which must be established, if the sense of pure, independent energy is to be accepted for bráhman in the Family Books, is the role of the priests in the crafting of praises, both vocally in the act of uttering them, and mentally in the act of conceiving them. First I will attend to the various priests who performed these functions: the R'Si's, kaví's, brahmán's, and vípra's. This will lead us to a discussion of the role of mental processes in the formulation of prayer and the invoking of bráhman. I will close the section on priests with a discussion of the two deities of prayer, BrahmaNaspati and BRhaspati. Both deities are differently related to bráhman by the tradition--king and father, respectively--and, aside from the fact that a majority of the neuter genitive forms of bráhman are part of the name BrahmaNaspati, there is a distinct development and change in the role of each god and the place of bráhman with respect to each.

Makers of Mantras: poets, priests and seers


    Throughout the Family Books, it is the neuter form, bráhman, which predominates over masculine brahmán. H. G. Narahari notes that there are over 200 occurrences of "brahman" in the RV (1944: 3). In fact, most of these appear in the Family Books alone. RV 2-7 contains 165 cases of bráhman/power and 17 of brahmán/priest. The neuter form bráhman is hardly ever found with either vípra, R'Sii, or kaví.67 Brahmán/priest is found in the semantic field of bráhman only once, in RV 6.45.7,

to be discussed below. Bráhman/pure or poetic energy rarely shares its semantic field with the other terms for priests or liturgists.

    In the Family Books, bráhman frequently appears as an active emboldening power independent of any kind of priest or poet--brahmán, vípra, R'Sii, kaví--and it is sometimes a separate category of potency distinct from words for hymns or sacred utterance, e.g., arká, ukthá, gír, -stu derivatives (stutá, stóma, etc.), and -gaa--which are rarely68 found in its semantic field (in the same paada or line, or sharing a given declension, occurs in 18 hymns).69 For instance, in RV 6.45.4c-d, praise is offered/árcata and songs are sung/prá - gaayata to Indra, the one to whom pure energy is brought (sákhaayo bráhmavaahase 'rcata prá ca gaayata). Later in the same hymn, bráhman is brought to the priest--instead of being generated by or through him--in 6.45.7a (brahmaáNam bráhmavaahasaM).

In the same MaNDala, however, we see a case where it is unmistakable that bráhman is best rendered as formulated speech in the following list of spoken acts which strengthen Indra along with sacrifice in RV 6.38.4a-b (várdhaad yáM yajñá utá sóma índraM várdhaad bráhma gíra ukthaá ca mánma).

    This observation may come as quite a surprise considering the frequent association of bráhman with Vaac in the later literature. But that is precisely the point: what is commonly seen with a given term in the later literature, particularly in those texts most intricately concerned with notions of self and the micro-macrocosmic equivalences, is exactly that--a feature of the later literature. There are ample points of origin in the RV Family Books from which these later ideas develop, and even more such origins in the later portions of the RV.


Such is the case with Vaac and bráhman. To be sure, they are occasionally associated quite directly in the later RV as in 10.114.8d where Vaac extends only so far as does bráhman (yaávad bráhma viSThaM taávatii vaák). This is a significant occasion for the suggestion that the association between the two is a development predominantly associated with the ritual literature. RV 10.114 has been noted by Staal as containing the only occasion in the RV (10.114.3) with a description of the shape of a sacrificial altar (1983, I: 129). In addition, 10.114 meets three of Arnold's five criteria for determining a later hymn--one which post-dates both the composition and arrangement of the RV--including the most reliable category of later vocabulary and grammar (1897: 213).70 In addition, the godhood of Vaac is infrequently attested, as in 8.100.11a-b where her crea

tion by the gods and her form as the speaking of all animals is described (deviíM vaácam ajanayanta devaás taáM vishváruupaaH pashávo vadanti).71 The various forms of association between Vaac and bráhman in the later literature is repeatedly evident from the Mantra Language, SaMhitaa Prose and BraahmaNa Prose.72 Subsequent to this, of course, are the intricacies of Vaac's role in the Tantric traditions as discussed by Padoux (1990).

    Vaac is not specifically identified with bráhman in the Family Books--and hardly at all apart from a handful of verbal forms (for example, RV 2.16.7, 5.73.10, 6.29.4, 7.22.3, 7.23.1, 7.72.3)--except in RV 7.103.8 in the famous Frog Hymn where it appears not to designate a divinity so much as the generic voices of the priests raised yearly for rains73 (braahmaNaásaH somíno vaácam akrata bráhma kRNvántaH parivatsariíNam) in what is a later hymn (Oldenberg 1888; Arnold, 1897: 212; Vajracharya, 1990; Witzel, 1995b; cf. note 6 above). I do not agree with Padoux, however, that while Vaac appears in "a number of isolated stanzas in various books of the Rg Veda, including those held as the oldest ones: the creative role of the Word [Vaac] seems therefore a notion present from the greatest antiquity" (1990: 7). The evidence in the Family Books does not support this (cf. note 71). Bráhman is not "spoken"--with forms of -vaac, -gaa, -stu, etc.--in the Family Books. Bráhman's association with spoken praise does become quite strong in the later portions of the RV and, of course, significantly greater in the later Vedic literature.

    The kind of power bestowed by invoking bráhman is not dependent for its existence upon human conjuring (through hymns, etc.) or on the beneficence of any deity. This is qualified somewhat by BrahmaNaspati as the king of bráhman and BRhaspati as its father in 2.23.1-2. However, it is BRhaspati who comes to be fully associated with, and is even the maker of passage for, bráhman (7.97.8). This is a product both of the later predominance of BRhaspati over BrahmaNaspati, as well as the inherent differences between each deity (see discussion below). Considering that bráhman denotes a power which is sought by humans and is necessary to the full well-being of the gods--e.g. Indra's or the Ashvins' strength--its association with BRhaspati, who is "protector of what is great" (N 10.11 bRhaspatir bRhataH paataa vaa), is a logical consequence.

    Only marginally more common in the semantic fields surrounding bráhman are the words relative to mental processes, primarily -man, and -dhii (see below). Bráhman is rarely posited or actively reflected upon in

thought. In addition, only five times in the immediate semantic fields (i.e. within the same paada) of all 165 occasions of bráhman in the Family Books is the verb -shru (to hear) to be found (cf. 5.85.1, 6.17.3, 6.40.4, 7.29.2, and 7.83.4). Bráhman is intimately related to prayer and to the priest, but that is not its primary or predominant meaning, nor is the priest its source.

    In contrast, however, words of "making" and "forming" do occur in bráhman's semantic fields as we see below with RV 7.97.9 (átakSad), and 4.16f. (ákaari). We also see bráhman made or performed in 4.6.11a (ákaari bráhma samidhaana túbhyaM). The priests also claim bráhman as their own in efforts to attract the gods to their worship rather than that of anyone else as in 2.18.7a asking Indra to come over to the priest's bráhman (máma bráhmendra yaahy áchaa). Thieme notes the occasions of 4.6.11 and 2.18.7 as well as 2.39.8, which offers a point where the distinction between bráhman and prayer or stóma is suggested (1952: 103-104). In 2.39.8 the GRtsamadas have made both bráhman and stóma to strengthen the Ashvins (etaáni vaam ashvinaa várdhanaani bráhma stómaM gRtsamadaáso akran). While bráhman is clearly made by the priest, it is clearly distinct from the connotations of speech attested with stóma. In this connection it is important that Thieme suggests "Formulierung" which lies somewhere between prayer and independent power, excluding neither meaning. My only problem with applying this term throughout the translations is that it does not illuminate a change in the way that bráhman is understood as it comes into closer association first with speech and then, later, with an abstract metaphysical monism in Middle Vedic. As we will see below in Chapter 5, with several exceptions bráhman is justifiably considered a formulation.


    The well-known term for the singer of the sacred hymn,RSi, the gifted or wise poet, the kaví, and from -vip (to quiver, be stirred) the vípra, the one who is stirred or excited, are the three terms which share similar meanings with regard to uttering or conceiving prayer. RSi is the most scarce, appearing only 29 times in the Family Books compared with 78 in the remainder of the RV74 (33 of which are in RV 8 and 9). Far and away the most dominant term is kaví with 113 occasions in the Family Books (32 in RV 3 and 27 in RV 5 comprise over half these occurrences) and 184 in the later RV portions. Thus kaví is relatively more frequent in the Family Books than in the later books in which 72 occurrences of kaví are found in RV 9 (almost half of which are the nominative singular

kavíH). We find vípra in the Family Books 99 times, two-thirds of which are in the Vishvaamatra (RV 3) and VasiSTha (RV 7) MaNDalas in near-equal distribution. This is in comparison with 159 occasions in the later books where it is relatively less common.

    After the RV became "fixed" or cemented in its form and content, the role of the "stirred" poet/vípra and the kaví is substantially diminished. New hymns were not added, the existing ones were recited. The mental effort of positing thought signified in -man and the reflections and intent of devotion in -dhii are no longer pivotal. The proper recitation and remembering of the hymns is more important over time, and with this change the brahmán priest becomes more prominent and the kaví and vípra as well as the R'Si become less prominent. The R'Si is already scarce in the RV which reflects that the period of its composition was coming to a close and its transition to a repository for recitation is marked with a steady decline in references to the poets.

    The relative frequency of reference to the poets--vípra, kaví and R'Si--decreases coincidentally with the increase in references to the brahmán priest. However, the brahmán--while still somewhat uncommon in the RV--was a poet in these RV references. He later became a priest such as, for the most part, in the AV (Witzel, 1998: 271). Eventually, as the RV becomes solidified as a canon, the role of the Adhvaryu becomes more important and the priest of the RV, the Hotar, decreases in significance. A resulting spirit of competition between the Hotar and Adhvaryu's is suggested as the reason for the "modern" philosophical ideas included in the later RV MaNDalas--especially RV 10 and later the AV. This was the effort of the Hotars insure their relevance in the changing political structure as the various kings moved eastward. Witzel has noted that after the RV became fixed and the population moved further and further east, it became more and more important to the validity of the eastern kings' authority that they have authentic North-western ritualists in their households (1998: 267, 278f., 294f., 311-312). Accordingly, the ability to generate effiicacious prayers was pivotal in the new competitive environment. It stands to reason, then, that the poets would "fatten their resumé's" by directly attributing the efficacious power of the prayer, the bráhman, with their own abilities.


    It is apparent that the terminology for the priests shows a concurrent development with these sociological and geographical changes. The occasions of reference to all kinds of poet but the brahmán truncate signifi-

cantly in the later periods of Vedic literature. This coincides with the time of "closure" on the composition of the RV. The traditional poets were no longer relevant. In particular, the use of vípra, kaví, and R'Si steadily declines parallel to the increase of brahmán. In the later portions of the RV, R'Si increases somewhat in frequency in the later books of the RV (though bráhman and R'Si are rarely found together75). It is also interesting that forms in the plural, designating them as a class of liturgist, are found only 11 times in the Family Books and 39 times in the later books. The trend toward greater frequency of occurrence for R'Si continues through the next strata of the literature, those of the Mantra Language and SaMhitaa Prose.76 However, by the time of the BraahmaNa Prose, the surge in usage of R'Si found in the Atharva Veda recensions tapers off dramatically in correspondence to the increase of brahmán (cf. below) with 19 total occasions of singular and plural in the Aitareya BraahmaNa and a mere 16 in the whole of the Shatapatha BraahmaNa.

    For vípra and kaví the decrease in use is considerably more pronounced. Vípra virtually disappears with only a handful of occasions throughout the later periods of the literature.77 Kaví decreases gradually through the Mantra Language and SaMhitaa Prose, but is also virtually absent by the time of the BraahmaNas.78 By contrast, the increase in frequency for brahmán becomes pronounced in the Shatapatha BraahmaNa where there are 51 nominative singulars as opposed to the scattered few occasions of vípra, kaví, and R'Si.79

    Thus we have two basic groups of liturgists: those who are consistently mentioned throughout the RV and the subsequent literature--R'Si and brahmán--and those who are prominent in the RV and decrease significantly in the later literature--kaví and vípra. This is not surprising as each liturgist term--with the slight exception of kaví and vípra--is almost completely nonexistent in the semantic fields that surround bráhman.80 During this period of composition of the Family Books it was not necessary for the poet--prior to the Adhvaryu rivalry--to self-consciously validate his efficacy in generating bráhman. Not only do kaví and vípra present several exceptions to the overall absence of liturgist words in the semantic fields surrounding bráhman, both terms for liturgist are treated differently in RV 7 and 3.81 The feuding Vishvaamitras (RV 3) and VasiSThas (RV 7) differ with respect to how the mental processes function for the different liturgists. The role of -man is central to the act of the kaví's and vípra's in RV 3 but entirely peripheral for RV 7 suggesting the possible

earlier period for most of the hymns of RV 7 as opposed to RV 3.82 In the following analysis, I will be paying close attention to those differences between the Vishvaamitras and VasiSThas which bear upon the chronological precedence of one book over the other so that it will be possible to ascertain such a diachronic change within the otherwise fairly contemporaneous--insofar as current research suggests--Family Books.

    Neither RV 3 nor RV 7 include kaví in the semantic field with bráhman in spite of the fact that kaví is the predominant word for liturgist in the RV. By far the predominant word for religious functionary throughout the RV is kaví which we find 297 times, of which 113 are in the Family Books and, of the remaining 184 in the later books, 71 are found in RV 9. When kaví is present within the same verse as bráhman, it is clear that other words--e.g. in 5.39.5b ukthám, 4.36.7b stómo, 2.5.3b vócad--suggest the speaking or praising while bráhman designates the energy or power these praises invoke. Generally, bráhman has an indirect relation--not in the immediate semantic field, nor connected grammatically--when it occurs in the same verse with words for the actions of prayer, or the words for the poets themselves, as in the later hymn 2.23.1 (cf. note 3 above, Witzel, 1995b):

gaNaánaaM tvaa gaNápatiM havaamahe kavíM kaviinaám upamá shravastamam | jyeSTharaájam bráhmaNaam brahmaNaspata aá naH shRNvánn uutíbhiH siida saádanam ||

"Leader of the troops we worship you, Kaví of the Kaví's highest reknown; BrahmaNaspati (cf. note 3 above), king of pure energy pay attention to us with protection and sit at this recitation (of praise)."83 Here, in the language of the gods with the refernce to BrahmaNaspati, the sense of bráhman as pure energy applies.


    The one occasion in which kaví is in the immediate semantic field of bráhman is 6.16.30, part of a lengthy praise to Agni as all manner of protector, hero, provider, invoker, and so forth.

tváM naH paahy áMhaso jaátavedo aghaayatáH | rákSaa No brahmaNas kave ||

"Protect us from trouble; from injury Jaátavedas, guard us, Kaví of pure energy."84 The hymn also contains R'Si as a proper name (6.16.14a, tám u tvaa dadhyaá R'SiH) and a verse on the offering of praises/suSTutím by a vípra (6.16.6c, shRNán víprasya suSTutím). Bráhman

does not necessitate either a prayer or a priest in order to perform its invigorating, strengthening role. There seems to be a pattern with bráhman when used in language referring to the divine realm--as here of Jaatavedas, or in 2.23.1 with BrahmaNaspati, or below in 6.35.1 with Indra--suggesting that it is better translated as pure energy. This is attested also in 5.31.4 and 11, discussed below, where Indra is expressly strengthened by bráhman.

    Turning now to the occasions of vípra, the independence of bráhman is additionally clear in the Family Books wherein the semantic fields of bráhman rarely contain any word for a liturgist or hymn. Instead, bráhman is clearly self-efficacious. For instance, RV 6.35.5d, in praise of Indra, suggests that by bráhman something is bestowed or impelled/jinva upon the intended object:

aa^Ngirasaán bráhmaNaa vipra jinva

"Vípra: impel the A^Ngirases with pure energy." Indra is the Vípra, and "pure energy" works perfectly in this instance of the language of the gods. The hymn begins with a query as to when this bráhman will come to Indra's side 6.35.1 (see discussion below also re. dhíyaH which is still uncommon in semantic fields with bráhman in the Family Books):

kadaá bhuvan ráthakSayaaNi bráhma kadaá stotré sahasrapoSyàM daaH | kadaá stómaM vaasayo 'sya raayaá kadaá dhíyaH karasi vaájaratnaaH ||

"When will that pure energy come to be beside you in your chariot? When is the thousandfold abundance given in the praise/stotrá? When will you sweeten this praise with wealth? When will you complete this devotion with richness in treasure?"85

    Next we must consider the unique treatement of vípra by the VasiSTha's. RV 7 contains almost every occasion where bráhman is found in the semantic field with vípra in the Family Books. The five occasions of vípra in the semantic field with bráhman in RV 7 include three within the same paada and two within the same verse.86

While the basic sense of bráhman as pure or poetic energy is not replaced in these cases, it is also clear that the VasiSThas view the ability to bestow or invoke that energy quite differently than the other families of MaNDalas 2-6 (who do not use vípra with bráhman except in 6.35.5, above). When vípra is used with bráhman the emphasis is upon the verbal aspect of bráhman. Typical of the relation between bráhman and the bidding of the vípra is 7.31.11b (cf. semantic field of 7.22.9b immediately below):

uruvyácase mahíne suvRktím índraaya bráhma janayanta vípraaH |

"In great widening spaces, the Vípras are generating excellent praise and formulations for Indra."87 Translating bráhman only as prayer--or even solely as power of prayer or sacred word--does not take into account the frequent usage of other words--arká, ukthá, gír, -stu derivatives--in its semantic field which more directly designate the hymn, prayer, or praise (cf. 6.35.1a-b above with stotré). Bráhman is more a force, an extensive reservoir to which the vípra has special access for the VasiSTha poets. The situation is similar in 7.43.1c-d:

yéSaam bráhmaaNy ásamaani vípraa víSvag viyánti vaníno ná shaákhaaH |

"Among the unequaled Vípra formulas, like a tree's branches, which part in all directions."88 Bráhman is unquestionably a product of a hymn, and many words for hymn are found in its semantic field. But the power signified in the word bráhman is independent of a priest or his utterance and is thus invoked separately.

    An additional perspective upon vípra is afforded by one of only two occasions in the whole of the Family Books (both in RV 7) wherein we find R'Si in the semantic field surrounding bráhman, RV 7.22.9a-b

yé ca puúrva R'Sayo yé ca nuútnaa indra bráhmaaNi janáyanta vípraaH |

"Among those R'Si's from before and among those newly arising, Indra, the Vípras are generating formulas."89 Earlier in the hymn the VasiSTha specifically draws Indra's attention to the praise from his clan in a hymn less focused upon praise of Indra than upon imploring Indra's attention to the praiser. The vípras are singled out in this passage among the R'Sis--both old and new--according to their special distinction as those who generate bráhman as underscored by an association of nominative plurals afforded by the relative clauses in . This is appropriate for a hymn in which the concern is the viability of the offerer of prayers as providing várdhanaa/strengthening bráhmaaNi/powers (7.22.7b). This also marks an indication of the growing significance of the R'Si which, by the time of BraahmaNa Prose is dramatically replaced by the brahmán. However, in this portion of the Family Books, the ability to generate bráhman is clearly a trait of the vípra for the VasiSTha's who, along with the Vishvaamatra's of RV 3, are the two families most frequently using this liturgist term. The Vishvaamitra's never attribute production of bráhman to any of the four

kinds of liturgists--R'Si, kaví, vípra, or brahmán--an issue to which I will return in the section below addressing mental powers. It will become apparent that the abstract meaning of bráhman as a potency or power in prayer existed independent of its invoking by any of the various priests and was, instead, always inherently connoted in its meaning.

    We can clearly see how this has facilitated the more commonly--and too broadly assigned--meaning for bráhman as prayer or sacred speech in those contexts where the masculine brahmán is also found. RV 5.31.4c-d and 10c-d provide a clear comparison, sharing similar semantic fields in a discussion of increasing Indra's strength. In 4c-d it is the songs/arkaír of the priests/brahmaáNa coming to Indra's aid:

    brahmaáNa índram maháyanto arkaír

    ávardhayann áhaye hántavaá u ||

"Brahmáns by their praise glorifying Indra increased him for killing Ahi." It is via the arkaír, not the priest himself, that the Brahmáns are empowering Indra. The use of kaví in the semantic field of the following verse from later in the same hymn provides additional verification of bráhman and not the religious functionary as a power which can be present when there is neither arká or liturgist (the kaví exits!). Note that it is the existence of bráhman within or by means of the arká which manifests the táviSiim/power, as indicated in 10c-d:

vaátasya yuktaán suyújash cid áshvaan kavísh cid eSó ajagann avasyúH |

    víshve te átra marútaH sákhaaya índra

    bráhmaaNi táviSiim avardhan ||

"Vaáta's yoked horses--all well-joined--even this Kaví has left to find help; here are all your friends the Maruts, Indra, these formulations have you increased your strength."90 BráhmaaNi--the nominative plural form--makes clear from where the increase (avardhan from -vrdh) has come. Even in 5.31.4c-d it is apparent that more than the brahmán himself, it is the potency/bráhman of their praise/arkáir that bestows the power upon Indra.

    In 5.31.10 this is adumbrated. The kaví is likely Ushánas, labelled "already a half-mythic figure" by the time of the RV according to Macdonell and Keith (1912, I: 103). Even the great Ushánas who called Indra and Kutsa in the past does not bestow bráhman upon Indra: he leaves while the arrival of the Maruts affirms Indra's increased power. Ushánas is frequently related to Indra and Kutsa--both of whom are discussed in

5.31.891-9 --and it is Ushánas who calls upon Indra to carry Kutsa (a hero, with a checkered past92 and "mythical" status by the time of the RV [MacDonnell and Keith, 1912, I: 161]; see also note 165) to his home. Ushánas also has something of a checkered existence, at times on Indra's side--as in this hymn (5.31.8)--or Purohita to the Asuras according to the Taittiriiya SaMhitaa ( in contradistinction to Agni, the messenger of the gods. It is also in the later literature that the recruiting of Ushánas from the Asuras was an important act by Indra (Jaiminiiya BraahmaNa 1.126) for the gaining of bráhman.93

    In 5.31.10b the kaví "exits" the field of action. Either Kutsa or Ushánas is signified in the word, and both individuals rise to unambiguous import through the actions of Indra in later Saama Veda BraahmaNa narratives (e.g. JB 1.125, PB 7.5.20, etc.; cf. note 30) with specific relation to the words aatmán and bráhman. Significantly, the term kaví also exits by the time of these same narratives.

    Aside from these issues regarding the kaví of 5.31.10, it becomes clear in the development of brahmán that it does not become a common term until the later portions of the RV as noted statistically above--and as will be discussed in more detail in the next chapter--it played no part in the Kutsa/Ushánas mythology, which is more ancient.

As in 5.31.4, the brahmán is usually a functionary of ritual, offering prayers, or participating in yajña as in 2.1.2, where Agni is praised metaphorically as priest with a variety of sacrificial roles:

távaagne hotráM táva potrám RtvíyaM táva neSTráM tvám agníd RtaayatáH | táva prashaastráM tvám adhvariiyasi brahmaá caási gRhápatish ca no dáme ||

"Agni you are the HotR, you are the PotR, rightly sacrificing; you are the NeSTR, the pyrotechnicist, maintainer of the sacrificial prescriptions; you are praised, you the Advaryu; you are Brahmán and master of our home." While this semantic field is predominantly sacrificial (i.e. extensive enumeration of priests)--the only semantic field with such a detailed catalogue of liturgists in which we find brahmán in the Family Books--it is consistent for brahmán to be used to indicate a ritual functionary who offers prayers.94

    Similar to the example in 5.31, the power or significance of the brahmán is dependent upon his ability to effectively use bráhman. The

relative infrequency of brahmán (17 occasions) as opposed to bráhman (165 occasions) in the Family Books confirms that the importance of the power of the prayer was always greater than that of the pray-er. This is apparent where both words are found in each other's semantic field. The Family Books contain one occasion where both bráhman and brahmán are in the same verse. In the case of RV 6.45.7a-b, they share the same paada in praise of Indra (also, in the same verse, 7.33.11):

     brahmaáNam bráhmavaahasaM

    giirbhíH sákhaayam Rgmíyam |

     gaáM ná doháse huve ||

"Like a cow to be milked I worship the Priest (Indra) who has powerful offerings, the friend to be celebrated with praises."95 Using metonymy,96 Indra is implied by brahmÿaáNam/priest, and his boons of gifts (milk) are enabled by the empowered offerings to him (bráhmavaahasaM).97 The act of vocalizing, of addressing Indra is denoted with giirbhíh and huve.

    This utilitarian conception of the relation of the prayer to the offerer of prayer provides the only occasion of brahmán in the whole of RV 6.98 ShaMyu Baarhaspatya (Van Nooten and Holland, 1994: 266), is credited as the seer who perceived in its most straightforward nature the completion of the sacrifice (shaMyurha99 vai baarhaspatyo '^Njasaa yajñasya saMsthaaM vidaa^Ncakaara, ShB and ff.) Accordingly, in 6.45, the hymn is littered with admonitions about making a hymn efficaciousas in verse 7 for employing the powerful offerings carried/bráhmavaahasaM by Indraas well as references to competition among praisers (6.45.29):

puruutámam puruuNaáM stotrr'NaáM vívaaci | vaájebhir vaajayataám ||

"O early/first-invoked among the many contending praisers, bellowing for wealth."100 And the hymn continues its self-advocacy in 6.45.29:

asmaákam indra bhuutu te stómo vaáhiSTho ántamaH | asmaán raayé mahé hinu ||

"Among ours, Indra, may the praises of you be carried most near; for you to send forth great wealth to us."101 Further underscoring the independence of bráhman, each of the three occasions of bráhmavaahasaM in the RV include a separate word denoting the praise (6.45.4: árcata, gaayata; 45.7: giirbhíH, huve; and 45.19: huve). It is clear that speech in various forms--invocation, praise, song--is not the only thing signified by the use

of bráhman in the Family Books. Instead, bráhman is present when this speech is rightly formed by a virtuous priest. There can be praise or song, but only if righteousness/R'ta is there will bráhman be able to effect an intent. In fact, the song or hymn must be put together with the praise, as seen below in RV 6.38.

    RV 6.38.3-4 offers nearly every term for prayer, affording the opportunity to both summarize our discussion of bráhman with -dhii as well as move on to the occasions where -man is found in the semantic field with bráhman. The proliferation of words for prayer within both the immediate and wider semantic fields surrounding bráhman make clear the independent nature of power it bestows. The hymn is directed to Indra, with particular attention to the results of a well-articulated prayer for pleasing the deity, underscored in verses 3-4:

táM vo dhiyaá paramáyaa puraajaám ajáram índram abhy ànuuSy arkaíH | bráhmaa ca gíro dadhiré sám asmin mahaáMsh ca stómo ádhi vardhad índre || 3 || várdhaad yáM yajñá utá sóma índraM várdhaad bráhma gíra ukthaá ca mánma | várdhaáhainam uSáso yaámann aktór várdhaan maásaaH sharádo dyaáva índram || 4 ||

"To him, primeval and undecaying Indra, I effuse these excellent devotions and praises; pure energy and song are put together in this laud, let greatness and eulogy praise Indra. Indra, whom the sacrifice and the Soma strengthen; pure energy, song, praise, and petitions strengthen; strengthen indeed this dawn/USa fleeing from darkness; Indra strengthened from months, autumns, and days."102 In this case, even without the passage being purely the language of the gods, it is very clear that bráhman is an addition to the other purely speech-related acts.

     In 6.38.3c the upasarga sám with dadhiré with the locative pronoun asmin, indicating a point of deixis with immediate proximity, reiterate the separate character of bráhma and gíro such that they must be "put together." In 4b the close relation of bráhman to prayer is indicated by the list with gíra, again, and also ukthaá, and mánma. But these are not synonyms-- each is a particular component of the worship experience: gíra, the speaking of the invocation (from -grr/to call out); ukthaá, the verse or sentence uttered; mánma, the mental intent in the utterance, and bráhman, the empowering element. The passage is an anatomy of the

appropriate elements of efficacious worship--in this case to strengthen Indra/várdhaan.

    The mental component of the prayer, mánma, is often associated with bráhman and the acts of vocal worship throughout the later tradition. The other primary term for mental processes which we see with bráhman is -dhii. Much less frequent are -cit and -budh. Words for mental processes are extremely rare with R'Si--4 each of -man and -dhii and never in RV 3 or 7. With vípra and kaví, only RV 3, 6, and 7 show any frequency of -man and -dhii. As we will see below, the overall prevalence of mental faculties in the composition of hymns by kaví's and vípra's in RV 3 is an innovation which is more common in the later portions of the RV. For the balance of the Family Books, however, bráhman is neither dependent upon the priests, nor upon mental effort for the power it bestows. The priests, in turn, must display appropriate devotion and piety or bráhman will not be attendant upon their prayers (cf. 7.61.2 below).

bráhman in Relation to the Mental Faculties


    Throughout the passages that include bráhman, we see the characteristic meaning of an empowering force which is concurrent with prayer and distinctly not autochthonous in its relation to it. This is borne out in the handful of occasions wherein words signifying mental processes and words frequently associated with prayer or even denotative of its formulation (e.g. mánmaani, dhiití), are found in the immediate semantic field of bráhman.

    As bráhman is commonly associated with prayer--but not, as shown above, as a necessary trait or possession of the various priests--it is important to examine the occasions of words for mental processes frequently associated with worship to gain a clearer picture of the relationship of bráhman and prayer. In short, the roots -budh/to become alert or aware and -cit/to think or notice are used infrequently with bráhman and, where they do occur, denote the attention of the deity in response to the worshipper. The two most frequent terms which connote mental processes with the word bráhman throughout the Family Books and the later portions of the RV, are -dhii/to wish or reflect, and -man/to think or posit.

    That bráhman is not a mental process of perception or awareness--as might be expected were it connotative of prayer--is indicated when -cit and -budh are used with it. The examples are limited for drawing broad inferences (2.2.10, 2.34.7, and, in a pair of verses, 6.17.2d-3b for -cit;

2.16.7, 3.51.6, and 7.22.3 for -budh). In addition, if bráhman were primarily a "prayer word", it would frequently be the result of the intent of mental effort or will/krátu. In point of fact, there are only two occasions of bráhman with krátu, both in 7.61.2, to be discussed below. As a mental force or intent, krátu is revisited below in the discussion of tanuú where it is found much more frequently.
With bráhman, however, the only mental actions with which it is somewhat frequently associated in the Family Books--though much more in the later RV--are those with -man and, to a lesser extent, -dhii.

    When bráhman includes -dhii in its semantic field, we find two predominant forms in the Family Books: dhiíra/intelligent or wise, and dhií/ religious thought, devotion. Accordingly, the distinction between bráhman as the power of prayer and the prayer itself is underscored, as seen above with 6.35.1:

kadaá bhuvan ráthakSayaaNi bráhma kadaá stotré sahasrapoSyàM daaH | kadaá stómaM vaasayo 'sya raayaá kadaá dhíyaH karasi vaájaratnaaH ||

"When will that pure energy come to be beside you in your chariot? When is the thousandfold abundance given in the praise/stotrá? When will you sweeten this praise with wealth? When will you complete this devotion with richness of treasure?"

We do not find derivatives of -dhii in the immediate semantic field of bráhman in the Family books, but many of the occasions of larger shared semantic fields do bear upon occasions of prayer, as in 6.35. This serves the current argument as here with RV 7.97.9:

iyáM vaam brahmaNaspate suvRktír bráhméndraaya vajríNe akaari | aviSTáM dhíyo jigRtám púraMdhiir jajastám aryó vanúSaam áraatiiH ||

"For both of you, BrahmaNaspati, and for the thunderbolt-wielding Indra, this excellent hymn/suvRktír, formulation, has been fashioned; impel these prayers, now you've awakened bounty, exhaust the wants/envies of the jealous ones toward the favorable one/aryó."103 The final verse calls upon the empowered devotions to exhaust the desires or envies of the Arya's foe.104 It is bráhman which invigorates the devotions/dhíyo with their potency to accomplish these ends. This is also indicative of bráhman in the language of humans as the formula is spoken of as fashioned by the priest. If the foe is no longer envious, or wanting, it is accordingly no

longer a threat.


Many elements of the semantic field in 7.97.9 are found in the formula which closes hymns 4.16-17 and 4.19-24. Again, there are many words for prayer and it is the existence or absence of bráhman that serves to designate their potency (4.16.21, 4.17.21, 4.19.11, 4.20.11, etc.):

nuú STutá indra nuú gRNaaná íSaM jaritré nadyò ná piipeH | ákaari te harivo bráhma návyaM dhiyaá syaama rathyàH sadaasaáH ||

"Now celebrated Indra, just now invoked, let nourishment flow for the singer like a river, this new formula has been fashioned for you, driver of golden horses (Soma?- cf. Graßmann, 1996: 1651), by devotion may we be always the dominant charioteers."105 In this case it is very hard to separate bráhman from speech. As I am suggesting below, RV 7.97 shows signs of being a later hymn which would, in turn, support the unmistakable sense of formulated speech in this passage.

    The cycle in which we find this formula is one of warrior hymns, repeatedly invoking the vigorous powers of Indra setting forth the waters, conquering VRtra, and enabling a bounty of spoils. These spoils, not surprisingly, are requested to flow forth for the warriors like the waters. The "new power," or bráhman, that has been fashioned refreshes this inherent potency in Indra, and the act of verbal devotion which conveys it serves to direct the potency manifested in the reference to the legendary Indra to effect similar battlefield ends in the present.106

     In the other Family Books, where an absence of vípra in the semantic field surrounding bráhman has already been noted, it is the mental faculties of the mind in forms of -man (8 times in RV 3-- 3.5.3; 3.8.5; 3.11.8; 3.14.5; 3.31.5; and 3.50.4--and 2 times out of the total 8 occasions of vípra in RV 4-- 4.3.16; 4.26.1) and of perception in the forms of -dhii (8 occasions scattered through RV 2-6: 2.11.12; 3.27.8; 4.50.1; 5.41.6; 5.81.1; and 6.50.10) which are also more frequent than bráhman in the semantic fields of vípra. As noted above (cf. note 82), the use of -man in RV 3 with both vípra and kaví is quite pronounced, in greatest contrast to RV 7, but also in marked contrast to each of the other Family Books. It is primarily in the later portions of the RV that we see the forms of -man and -dhii regularly associated with bráhman (Chapter 5). Both -budh and -cit are present in only a handful of occasions in all of the Family Books and the later RV combined. In the later RV, then, -man and -dhii become

prominent in the semantic fields surrounding bráhman in the later RV which coincides, in turn, with an increasingly inextricable association between bráhman and speech, in which the meaning suggested by Thieme (1952: 103), "formulated speech" becomes quite prominent.

    The prevalence of -man and -dhii with bráhman over -cit and -budh makes sense considering that, as noted in Chapter 1, -cit and -budh are mental processes that are more connotative of a spontaneous reflex than are -man and -dhii which represent the more deliberate thought processes which would logically associate themselves with the formulation of sacred speech. The VasiSTha's of the 7th MaNDala attribute bráhman to the actions of the vípra more than to the mental intent represented in -man107 and -dhii as we see in RV 3.


    Another word related to mental processes which must be considered is krátu. What is immediately worth noting is the extreme paucity of occasions where krátu--a word for mental effort or will--is found in the semantic fields around bráhman (twice, in RV 7.28 and 7.61, discussed immediately below).

This is consistent with the argument here that the empowerment afforded by bráhman is independent of--though at times associated with--the individual's effort or that of a deity. In 7.28.2, bráhma and krátvaa are not in the immediate semantic field of each other (7.28.2b and d, respectively) and the praise of Indra in which they are found is simply enumerating attributes of the deity. RV 7.61.2 has two instances of krátu:

prá vaaM sá mitraavaruNaav Rtaávaa vípro mánmaani diirghashrúd iyarti | yásya bráhmaaNi sukratuu ávaatha aá yát krátvaa ná sharádaH pRNaíthe ||

"Before you two, Mitra-VaruNa, this holy vípra heard far and wide raises petitions; whose skillful formulations please you, which you fulfill like the autumn harvest (krátu: purpose)." Cf. Elizarenkova "To the both of you, O Mitra-VaruNa, this pious / Poet addresses (his) compositions, (he) the far-heard (one)" (1995: 55).108 The empowering effect of a pious vípra would naturally reap rewards: a harvest of boons. Similarly, later in the same hymn (7.61.6c-d), a slew of first-person singular imperatives in -aani express the poet's effort to direct new praises to Mitra-VaruNa with the intent to please with the exaltation in them (prá vaam mánmaany Rcáse návaani kRtaáni bráhma jujuSann imaáni ). Thieme discusses the association between Rtá and bráhman as a later development where bráhman comes to mean "Formung (Wahrheits-) Formulierung" more

than, as in the RV, "Formung (dichterische) Formulierung" (1952: 117). Of course, in this hymn the association is not direct, rather it is the Rtá of the vípra that is mentioned. As Arnold, Oldenberg, et. al., do not suggest this hymn as later, it seems that this is not the case as of this point in the Family Books.

    The semantic field confirms the sense of bráhman as a bestower or enabler of pure or poetic energy and power, but it is somewhat ambiguous as to the autochthony of this empowering capacity. As observed above, the vípra accesses the power by prayers/mánmaani, but does not generate it. The vípra is not uttering bráhmaaNi, he is raising/iyarti petitions--positing intentions--mánmaani, the skillful empowerments/exaltations (bráhmaaNi sukrátu) of which/yásya will bring forth the fulfillment or satisfaction/pRNaíthe which is like a harvest--krátvaa ná sharádaH. When Elizarenkova discusses this verse, it is in connection with a semantic exposition of Rtaávaa--one who supports or conforms to the law, i.e. is pious. Thus it is not simply the mánmaani--basically a repeatable formula--which is important. It is the special factor that, coming from a vípra who is Rtaávaa, the mánmaani are specially endowed with power/bráhmaaNi sukrátu.

    The mechanism--or medium--of this exchange and interraction is completely lost in the case of any subsequent scholarship or bhaashya which does not understand that the gods and humans were part of an interconnected continuum. This continuum--or "spread/expanse"--of divine and human realms is facillitated by the hitherto unnoticed notion of the self in the early Rig Veda: that designated by tanuú (cf. overview of terminology with tanuú in Chapter 2, and the findings beginning with Chapter 4). First, however, there is more to be learned about bráhman in the Family Books.

King of Prayer, Father of Prayer: BrahmaNaspati and BRhaspati


    I am attending to both deities at length in this section for several reasons. First, because the name of one of them--BrahmaNaspati--contains one of the more frequent occurrences of the key word, bráhman (33 of 37 genitives for neuter bráhman in the RV are part of the designation BrahmaNaspatiH, [MacDonell, 1898: 24]). Second, the function of bráhman when used with either deity provides useful information which underscores the independent nature of the power which bráhman represents. In addition to the role of BRhaspati and BrahmaNaspati (later, in 7.97, Indra as well), as the king or father of prayer, BRhaspati also gives bráhman easy passage to the gods (7.97.8). Third, the examination of the hymns below reveals additional information about earlier and later additions to the RV.

    Macdonell sees no distinction between the two deities in the RV, but notes occasions where both terms are found in the same hymn, as in RV 2.23--click here to open an image of RV 2.23 in separate window for reference in the following discussion--(1898: 36; 101). Keith suggests that BrahmaNaspati is identical with BRhaspati, "lord of prayer," and spouse--a duty shared with Soma--to AAditi (1925: 65; 82; 162). Hillebrandt, following Bergaigne (1878, I: 299-

300) also believes they have an identical nature, with BrahmaNaspati being something of a secondary side-kick to the more primary term BRhaspati (1891: 100; 107). Hillebrandt109 considers BrahmaNaspati to be simply a gloss--both terms designate the sacrificial fire in their semantic origins. Oldenberg follows suit, suggesting they are "obviously synonymous" (1888: 45).

    I disagree with this simplification. There is reason not only to grant a distinction between them, but also to identify a process of development where BRhaspati replaces BrahmaNaspati by taking on his characteristics. The distinction between both deities seems to involve BRhaspati as the more active deity who is closer in his actions to the human realm whether in battle or as a friend (7.97--click here to open an image of RV 7.97 in separate window for reference in the following discussion--) or as the noise of thunder giving gifts (4.50--click here to open an image of RV 4.50 in separate window for reference in the following discussion--). Throughout RV 2.23, BRhaspati is the more active, striking, quelling, punishing, destroying foes (2.23.3, 4, 6, 8, 13, 14, and 18), on the one hand; and giving access to the gods, protecting, or bestowing wealth on the other (2.23.7, 12, 15). BrahmaNaspati, following 2.23.1, is both protector, giver of wealth, and controller of the hymn (2.23.5, 9, 19). He also shares some of Brhaspati's designations as driver away of evil, avenger of sin, and of guilt (2.23.5, 9, 11). Still, even here, there are distinctions. With regard to driving away the wicked, BrahmaNaspati is the avenger/RNayaá in 2.23.11c of sin and he tames/damitaá the wild and intense/viiLuharSíNaH (ási satyá RNayaá brahmaNas pata ugrásya cid damitaá viiLuharSíNaH).

    Yaaska also appears to support a clearer distinction. In N 10.11, BRhaspati is so named as the preserver or protector (from -paa/paataa) of what is great (bRhaspatir bRhataH paataa vaa). In contrast, BrahmaNaspati is so named as the protector of the bráhman (N 10.12: brahmaNaspatir brahmaNaH paataa vaa)--I am assuming, in the absence of accent in Yaaska's prose--that it is the neuter bráhman that he intends. Following this identification of BrahmaNaspati, Yaaska's justification in N 10.13 cites RV 2.24.4--click here to open an image of RV 2.24 in separate window for reference in the following discussion--which praises BrahmaNaspati as he is associated with the flowing forth of waters, of might, and of power, and light (cf. the dawn is his spouse).

    Yaaska's citation in support of BRhaspati as protector of what is great comes from the later portions of the RV, 10.68.8. It is interesting to note that in the hymn where several verses are considered to be later--2.23.6-8 (Oldenberg, 1888; Witzel, 1995b)--BRhaspati is associated with the sun (2.23.2) and with the flowing waters (2.23.18) though the actual vocabulary

in 2.23.2 and 18 is quite different from 2.24.4 (possibly attributable to the later date of 2.23, cf. below). Even though Witzel (1989) and Oldenberg (1888) suggest 2.23.6-8 as belonging to the later portions, I would suggest that the changes in content with 2.24 indicate that the entire hymn is of substantially later in origin (cf.Arnold, 1897: 212).

    Throughout the RV, BRhaspati outnumbers BrahmaNaspati 2:1 (cf. MacDonell, 1898: 101). It is quite reasonable that BRhaspati and BrahmaNaspati are considered synonymous by scholars due to the fact that in the later period BRhaspati supplants or adopts the functions and characteristics of BrahmaNaspati. The replacement is indicated as well by the continued decrease in frequency of BrahmaNaspati in comparison with BRhaspati throughout the later literature (Bandhu, 1959, IV: 2302ff). The evidence of the other occasions where we find both words in the same hymn does not argue against this hypothesis. In RV 7.97, a hymn to BRhaspati, notice that, of the two verses to BrahmaNaspati (7.97.3 and 9), the distinction of supreme king of prayers accorded to BrahmaNaspati in 2.23.1c (jyeSTaraájam bráhmaNaam brahmaNas pata) is accorded instead to Indra in 7.97.3--a verse which is nonetheless addressed to BrahmaNaspati (índraM shlóko máhi daívyaH siSadktu yó bráhmaNo devákRtasya raájaa). BrahmaNaspati and BRhaspati are both addressed for wealth, but they furnish it differently. BrahmaNaspati is the means through which it is received (2.23.9), while BRhaspati is named actively as the giver (2.23.7).

    BRhaspati is also the giver in the two references to him in RV 2.24.1 and 10. However, this hymn gives credence to the theory that BRhaspati replaces BrahmaNaspati as we see a very active BrahmaNaspati shooting arrows (2.24.8), bringing food and wealth while he is extolled in battle (2.24.9), encompassing all 2.24.11d (víshvéd u taá paribhuúr bráhmaNas pátiH), is great as paired with Indra (2.24.12), strong in the brunt of fight 2.24.13c (vaajií samithé bráhmaNas pátiH), his will does great deeds (2.24.14), and he controls the hymn and benefactor to children in 2.24.16 (bráhmaNas pate tvám asyá yantÿaá suuktásya bodhi tánayaM ca jinva).

    Certainly both 2.23 and 24 are almost reverse images of one another with BRhaspati in 2.23 taking on all the dynamic active roles in battle which are attributed to BrahmaNaspati in 2.24. RV 2.24 has only two references to BRhaspati, 2.24.1 and 10, which attest to him as a gift giver. RV 2.25 and 2.26 also praise BrahmaNaspati alone. In these hymns BrahmaNaspati per

forms a similar function as he does in 2.24. RV 2.25 has BrahmaNaspati conquering foes and granting protection (2.25.1, 2, 3), bringing rain (2.25.4, 5), giving shelter and prosperity (2.25.2, 5) always reiterating that these boons come for whoever takes him as a friend at the close of each verse (yáM-yaM yújaM kRNuté bráhmaNas pátiH). RV 7.97, has the friend of BRhaspati receiving protection (7.97.2), a dwelling (7.97.6), and refreshment (7.97.7).

    It appears that BrahmaNaspati is supplanted over time by BRhaspati. BRhaspati also shows an active, war-related role most predominantly in 2.23 where we also find BrahmaNaspati, a later hymn which reverses the respective roles played by the gods in 2.24.

    Bráhman is more readily associated with BRhaspati--being given passage by him in 7.97.8. This is perhaps the most significant development with bráhman which is illuminated by the close examination of BRhaspati and BrahmaNaspati. With 7.97 as an arguably later hymn, this close association of bráhman and BRhaspati attests not only to the development of the more metaphysical significations of BRhaspati as he comes to be known in the BraahmaNa Prose. With bráhman we see a clear indication of the change from the relative independence of its empowering energy to a close association with a deity of speech and wisdom. This is the first occasion with bráhman in the Family Books where it is bráhman that receives assistance, rather than providing it. This is characteristic of the god whose role becomes one of a guardian of knowledge and a divinity with specific relation to the priests.

    Gatherings of R'Sis and vípra's attend upon BRhaspati with deep thought/diídhyaanaaH in 4.50, while such intellectual gatherings are not associated with BrahmaNaspati who is, after all, only the king of bráhman, rather than its progenitor. BRhaspati is more typically associated with wisdom (cf. 1.190 immediately below).

The sacrosanct, independent power designated by bráhman was associated more with its parent than with its king--a title which seems almost honorific--such that only its parent could give it passage. Even later, BrahmaNaspati is the preserver of the course of sacrifice in 1.18--click here to open an image of RV 1.18 in separate window for reference in the following discussion, but no mention is made of his protecting bráhman. Similarly, in 1.40.5 he speaks the mantra (mántraM vadatyukthyám), but bráhman is not mentioned.

    The development of the two deities is even more interesting when we consider RV 1.190--click here to open an image of RV 1.190 in separate window for reference in the following discussion. This hymn falls in the first addition to the RV after the Family Books, and so is itself quite old. RV 1.190 is an extensive testament

to BRhaspati as leader of the song (1.190.1), giving light (1.190.3), pervading the earth (1.190.4), he is an easy pathway/supraítuH (1.190.6, cf. especially 7.97.8: sutáraa sugaadhaá), and he is the wise/vidvaáM, great/mahás, strong/tuvijaatás, mighty/túviSmaan and powerful/vRSabhó (1.190.7-8). These are the characteristics seen in the hymns such as 7.97 and 4.50 where he is praised apart from BrahmaNaspati and more according to what--assuming 1.190 is earlier than 7.97 (we know that both RV 3 and 7 are somewhat later Family Books) and 4.50--becomes his later ritual significance.

    Armed with this information, let us revisit the hypothesis above, that RV 2.24 represents a "first incursion" of Brhaspati into the Family Books. This is plausible as the only two verses of the hymn which address BRhaspati--2.24.1 and 2.24.10--refer to him as one who is generally beneficent, grants boons, and simply should be loved. Now, what is most illuminating is how the first verse begins with the attestation that this is a new and mighty song while still attesting to the old ways (sémaám aviDDhi prábhRtiM yá ÿiíshiSe 'yaá vidhema návyaa mahaá giraá). Muir cites this as one of 23 occasions where a hymn is cited as new or old in the Family Books, out of 53 such occasions throughout the RV (1872, III: 226).

    When we look again at 2.24.10, the other verse to BRhaspati, the "new member" of the pair is again "introduced" as the worshippers are enjoined to love him/venyásya in a passage which even suggests that two distinct peoples--jánaa/races, classes; and víshaH/settler, enterer--are both/ubháye standing to benefit/bhuñjaté in doing so (imaá saataáni venyásya vaajíno yéna jánaa ubháye bhuñjaté víshaH). This comparatively tentative introduction is fully reversed in the later insertion of 2.23 which reverses both the ratio of verses directed to each deity and the attributes praised. Still, 2.23 represents a substantially more active and embattled BRhaspati than in the earlier 1.190, and also the intervening hymns before 2.23 (I am suggesting 4.50 and 7.97 come after 2.24, which is arguably older, and that they are also prior to 2.23: i.e. first or contemporaneous are 2.24 and 1.190, followed by 4.50 and 7.97, with 2.23 as the latest). BRhaspati was steadily incorporated into the dynamic roles originally attributed to BrahmaNaspati--as in 2.25--before finally replacing it and returning to its more heavenly, praise, and wisdom-related significations in the upper abodes of heaven (10.67.10--though other mythic feats are attributed to him in this hymn as well), finding the dawn and the cow (10.67.5), helping the sun and moon to rise (10.68.10), and so forth.

    As bráhman comes to be associated with BRhaspati in the later

books, it is accordingly more associated with mental and devotional acts and is, in turn, less independent. During the period when bráhman was more closely associated with BrahmaNaspati it was the power by which Indra was strengthened for battle and so on. BRhaspati reflects a refinement and increased attention upon the role of wisdom and devotion for bráhman which characterizes the later development of the word. In RV 3.62.4-6, BRhaspati is the beneficent gift-giver, radiant/shúcim (cf. his association with Agni), and multi-formed/vishváruupami. This is consistent with his later significations in the ritual. BrahmaNaspati is not invoked in RV 3, again suggesting the lateness of this Family Book.

Summary: bráhman in the Family Books

    And so we return to the original purpose for which this inquiry into bráhman was undertaken: to examine the developing terminology for the self. My initial assertion remains true: there is little or nothing of a doctrine associated with the self that can be identified with bráhman in the Family Books. Additionally, the qualification I offered is also confirmed--that, of any term related to the self, bráhman shows the most consistent connection with its later significations such that an almost unbroken line of development is traceable without stretching or misapplying later doctrines to the early materials. I conclude this inquiry with deep empathy for the teaching in BAAU 2.3.6, that the formless/amuurtá bráhma, remainsmore than any other single conclusive remark I can make, it's not this, it's not that--"neti, neti"! In the Family Books, bráhman is neither prayer nor formulated speech only; neither pure energy nor empowerment only; and neither a component of the self nor disassociated with the later significations it has with the self.

    The suggestion above of "pure energy" may still strike the reader as surprising. However, my task in this dissertation--thankfully--is not to define or retranslate bráhman. I am looking at the earliest uses of bráhman just as I am the other words related to the self. In order to most accurately portray what is different about the early uses of bráhman from the later uses, I have to emphasize a composite sense of its early use which allows for the vicissitudes--to adopt Gonda's most apt terminology (1965)--of both change and continuity. Words like "sacred" or "formulation" speech do not always accurately convey the sense of dynamic enablement which bráhman signifies, especially on those occasions such as 7.61.2 and 6.38.3 where there are other words which clearly designate the vocal com

ponent of worship. A suggestion that bráhman is prayer or sacred speech may fit comfortably with our own Western notions110 and the informed reading we may have done of later Vedic and post-Vedic developments. It will not work in every case of the Family Books or the later RV and also does not easily facilitate analysis of development because, for instance, "sacred speech" already confirms those later developments.

    Thus I am presenting bráhman in the most objective possible terms, which allows both for its relative independence from priest and mental effort as well as its undeniable semantic proximity with speech which develops into ever closer associations as the literature develops. Similarly, the conclusions presented below must be considered strictly for the purposes guiding their assertion. In many ways this chapter is confined by the relatively limited data on relative chronology within the Family Books, so much of what can be said amounts to starting hypotheses to which the results in Chapters 5 and 6 can be compared. Certainly there are also suggestions of development within the Family Books--I have seen several occasions where RV 3 appears later than the other books. Similarly, a handful of hymns--e.g. 2.23.6-8, 3.52, 53, etc.--were previously identified (lanman 1880, Oldenberg 1888, Witzel 1995b) as later. I have added several suppositions to this based upon this research: 7.97, the whole of 2.23, and--possibly--4.50 are also later. So I ask the reader to look at the foregoing and all that follows as I do: a puúrvapakSin of my own making against which to pit the results of Chapters 5-6 and, where possible, any traceable sequential chronology within the Family Books.


    From this initial survey of bráhman in the Family Books I have identified several starting-points to which later developments can be compared. As regards the priests with whom the word is frequently associated, there is no predilection of one or the other (kaví, vípra, ÿR'Si, or brahmán) for use of the word. It is bráhman's existence or absence in the lauds of each which determines efficacy. That existence is dependent upon--as in 6.38.3-4 and 7.61.2--the worthiness and righteousness/R'ta of the priest. In addition, bráhman is therefore not prayer per se, but an essential outcome of it. It is the task of the worshippers to rightly attune themselves to the Vedic cosmos both before and during the laud in order to effect the desired ends. In the later books, the distinction between bráhman as an independent power and the prayer itself begins to be much less clear. This is seen already in RV 3 which, in addition to increased emphasis upon -man and -dhii, also mentions the bráhman as something "heard" (3.41.3), associ-

ated with song (3.53.12), and as a verbal praise which accompanies--rather than is--power/dyumná (3.29.15).

    In the other Family Books, bráhman is not a prerequisite or inherent part of prayer, yet without it the prayer is wasted air. Also, the King of bráhman, BrahmaNaspati, is replaced by the father of bráhman, BRhaspati. At the same time, the more battle-intensive, active role first associated with BrahmaNaspati in RV 2.24 is initially transferred to BRhaspati, then deemphasized altogether. Parallel to this development is that of bráhman which becomes more associated with speech or formulated praise while BRhaspati, in turn, becomes more the deity of sacrifice and wisdom. What it is that the worshipper seeks to attain from the gods, a particular presence/tanuú--e.g., one with strength, kindness, or blessing--is denoted by tanuú as we will see below. Still, it is bráhman within the prayer which, as a key in a lock, opens the door of the deity's graciousness. Though by the later parts of the Family Books--e.g. RV 3, 2.23, 7.97 and so forth--bráhman is decidedly more closely connected with acts of speech and more dependent on speech and its parent deity, BRhaspati, to perform its appointed duties.

    These conclusions also support the basic qualification I mentioned above: the earliest uses of the word bráhman show a direct connection to its later significations. Precisely because it was an independent source of empowerment or pure energy, it was able to develop both into the more empirical meanings it had in the associations with speech which begin to become clear in the period of BraahmaNa Prose as well as the incorporeal, abstract significations of ultimate monistic totality in the Vedaanta. Either development is equally plausible from this basic origin as pure or poetic energy. This original sense need not be lost in the course of that development, only one part or another--the sacred and pure speech or the independent empowering energy which made the Vedic cosmos function for the worshipper--was emphasized from one period to the next. It was the association with speech which began to predominate in the later RV and the sacrificial cult, moving from there to the later traditions as outlined by Padoux (1990) and others. In contrast, the independent empowering energy, while never absent in the sacrificial period, was emphasized more in the UpaniSads and schools of Vedaanta. So rests the puúrvapakSin for this section.


    There are three primary issues to consider with tanuú. First, it is important to consider the issue of whether tanuú indicates a corporeal body. This includes a brief discussion of the other words for body--which are scarce--in the Family Books. Second is the significant distinction between tanuú when it is used in reference to the gods and when it is used in reference to humans. As two-thirds of the occurrences of tanuú are references to deities, this is an important distinction to consider with respect to whether tanuú means corporeal body. Third are the uses of tanuú with the words indicating mental processes. As we will see, -man is the predominant root which we find with tanuú. In addition to these three considerations, there are also larger patterns of use--specifically between RV 3 and RV 7--which bear upon the hypothesis that there is a diachronic development, or chronological sequence, between the MaNDala's of the Vishvaamitras and the VasiSthas. In addition, tanuú is used consistently in semantic fields where reference to the individual existence of a human or deity might otherwise have a form of aatmán or púruSa as in later portions of the RV and Middle Vedic Literature.

    With tanuú the feature which first struck me in my research was its complete dominance over púruSa, aatmán, and tmán in semantic fields describing individual identity. As noted above, we find púruSa only in RV 3.33.8d, 4.12.4a, 5.48.5c and 7.57.4b; and aatmán only in 7.101.6b and 7.87.2a in the Family Books. This raises the two questions which will guide the following inquiry: what is the relationship between tanuú and the body with respect to the other words for body--e.g., deha, ruupá, sháriira; and what sort of self is implied by this term considering the paucity of the other common "self words" in the Family Books?


    Tanuú is used consistently throughout the Family Books and the Later RV, the Mantra Language and the SaMhitaa Prose, with little noticeable change in proportion.111 The exception, as noted in Chapter 3, is found in RV 3 and 7. In the former, tanuú is used only with Agni and Indra (the only such exclusivity of the Family Books), and in the latter, tanuú is more abstract with a wide distribution of uses among all the deities--except Agni and Indra (3 and 2 times each, respectively). For instance, RV 7.86.2, with the tanuú communion of thought with VaruNa is possible (utá sváyaa tanvaá sáM vade tát kadaá nvántár váruNe bhuvaani).

    In the later books of the RV the less abstract, more corporeal use of tanuú coincides with the appearance of more frequent occurrences of

aatmán and púruSa. In RV 3 púruSa is found once (3.33.8d), in a use which is somewhat different than the other early occurrences where púruSa is vulnerable, prone to sin, or unworthy of knowledge (4.12.4a, 5.48.5c, 7.57.4b). In 3.33, púruSa is a class of humans among which the praiser does not wish to be humbled (see discussion below). Thus the more corporeal sense we will see with tanuú in RV 3 is consistent with the later developments. RV 7 has a more neutral use of púruSa which simply designates humans, or those prone to sin. But tanuú in RV 7 is much more abstract, and less corporeal, than it is in RV 3.

    In the absence of words commonly considered as connotative of the self--aatmán and púruSa--the predominance of tanuú in various forms in those cases where aatmán and púruSa are later used suggests that the Family Books attribute that meaning to tanuú. As tanuú is often translated as body, it is necessary first to evaluate it with other words for body.

The Body: déha, ruupá, and sháriira as compared with tanuú


    The words less ambiguously associated with the body: déha, sháriira, and ruupá are significantly less frequent throughout the RV than tanuú.112 There are 14 occasions of ruupá in the Family books and 37 occasions in the later books. Déha, a derivative of -dih/increase or accumulate, is not present in the Family Books and the later portions of the RV.113 Sháriira is almost nonexistent with only one occasion in the Family Books (6.25.4a), and six occasions in the remaining books. In addition, five of the 14 Family Book occasions of ruupá are found in hymns identified as later insertions: 6.47.18a where there are three occasions, and 3.53.8a with two occasions.

    The evidence indicates that these are all later words for body or that these words for the body were not part of the religious or canonical vocabulary in the Family Books. Déha shows the most pointed evidence of being a term included later. There are no occasions in the RV--early or later--or in any other SaMhitaa. In addition, it is found only three times in the BraahmaNa's and AAraNyaka's (TAA 1.27.2, 10.11.2, and GB1.1.39). However, by the time of the UpaniSads it literally erupts into the Vedic literature with over 150 occurrences.


    The occasions of ruupá increase from 12 in the Family Books114 to 25 in the later MaNDala's. It's usage then increases dramatically to several hundred occasions in the subsequent SaMhitaa's. Taking, for example, the accusative singular--ruupám (also the predominant form in the RV with 5

in the Family Books and 15 in the later portions)--the usage increases with 44 in the MS, 41 in the KS, and 72 in the TS. It falls off in the Atharva Veda, with 23 in the Paipalaada and 16 in the Shaunaka recensions. Later in the BraahmaNas it is found over 175 times, 12 in the AB (plus 2 in the AAA), 16 in the TB (interestingly, 13 of these are in TB 1 and there are also 6 in the TAA), 11 in the JB and 27 in the ShB. By the time of the UpaniSads we find ruupá over 110 times.

    Finally, as already noted with sháriira, there are only 6 occasions in the later RV. There are quite a few more occasions in the remaining SaMhitaa's under study--MS, KS, TS, AVP and AVSh--total 94. With the accusative singular sháriiram there are 3 in the MS, 7 in the KS, 9 in TS, 25 in the AV Paippalaada and 20 in the AV Shaunaka. By the time of the BraahmaNa's, there are over 130 occasions, the predominant form among them, again, the accusative singular with 4 in the AB (plus 5 in the AAA), 7 in the TB (plus 8 in the TAA), 8 in the JB, and over 50 in the ShB. By the period of the UpaniSads there are over 120 occasions.


    Thus it is apparent that the ways of referring to the body in the early portions of the RV, and also in the later portions, was carried on with increased complexity in later periods as the religion changed in accordance to the rise in speculative discourse about the sacrifice (cf. Chapter 6, pp. 311f.). This is not to say that there are not descriptions of Indra's physical strength, etc. Instead, physical existence was described as it appeared with different characteristics such as strength and the effects of Soma. That there was a specific "body" as part of the identity of the deity, however, is not supported. The only other likely candidate for a term denoting the body in the vocabulary of the Family Books (and, as will be seen in Chapter 5, there are few words for a corporeal body also in the later portions, with 4 of sháriira and 1 of deha in the RV Khilaani), then, is tanuú. As will be shown below, however, tanuú is less a corporeal body than a specific presence which, when referring to a god is capable of multiple manifestations, and when referring to a human--a far less common occurrence (in the Family Books the ratio of uses of tanuú for a god and that for a man is 3:1)--it is always frail, vulnerable, or in need of protection.

    The semantic field of tanuú is shared with ruupá once (3.53.8a-b) and sháriira once (6.25.4a-b). While it is hard to make a generalization from such isolated occasions, these afford a useful point at which both to bring the investigation of other words for the body to a close and begin the detailed study of tanuú. In 3.53.8a-b, the use of both tanuú and ruupá

comes as part of a later hymn (Arnold, 1897: 212; Lanman, 1880: 581; Witzel, 1995b: 311) where the achievements of Indra under the promptings of Vishvaamitra hymns are both attested and called upon to be repeated (cf. Elizarenkova on the past/present temporal role of the injunctive, 1995: 190f.):

ruupáM-ruupam maghávaa bobhaviiti maayaáH kRNvaanás tanvàm pári svaám |

"With Maghávan (Indra) becoming/changing form by form, making his own presence/tanuú/himself abundantly supernatural."115 The juxtaposition of ruupáM-ruupam in 8a with pári and maayaáH in 8b for the divine Indra requires that tanvàm be more attenuated and amorphous than a strictly physical sense of "body." Compare the locative plural of tanuú later in the same hymn, 3.53.18:

bálaM dhehi tanuúSu no

"Give us might/vigor in our bodies/ourselves/tanuús." Geldner again chooses Leib: "Stärke verleih unseren Leibern" (1951, I: 393). This is consistent with the frailty of the human tanuú, in need of protection or, as here, being bolstered for battle.116 Bálam is a more abstract, less corporeal attribution of power deriving from 2 -bal/to breath, live, nourish, explain. Graßmann suggests it is cognate with Latin valor, and the meaning Kraft, Leibeskraft, or--with Geldner here--Stärke (1996: 901). Mayrhofr agrees, though he questions the root form noting conflicting theories as to Iranian and Dravidian origin (1963, II: 417), and Böhtlingk also has the more abstract notion of force, "Wucht" and "Gewalt," (1879, IV: 211). The word choice in each of these passages indicates that a conception of something more refined than a mere corporeal reference was in the mind of the poets. The use of ruupá which is common in the later literature is, of course, not surprising in the hymn which is, itself, a later addition (Witzel, 1989: 159-160; 1995b: 311).

    If it is to a "tanuú/body" that the bálam is to be given, it seems more in the sense of "body" as in "somebody, anybody, etc." than "that body lying over there." Further, as noted in the preliminary discussion of terminology above in Chapter 2, the word tanuú derives from -tan/to spread as suggested also by Böthlingk with "dehnen, erstrecken" (1879, III: 7), Graßmann with "fortlaufend, Dauer" (1996: 517), and Elizarenkova suggests "to draw or pull" (with "stretch" being the meaning when the upasarga aa- is attached)117 and the sense is one of a duality and connection between gods and men (1995: 43).118 In this context, the generic

sense of "life" or "body" (i.e. everybody, somebody) as a participation, or presence, in the ongoing animate cosmos--cf. "Leib"--will also work for tanuú.119

    This is similar to the meaning suggested by N. Ross Reat in The Origins of Indian Psychology, discussed in Chapter 1, where the word specifically indicates the inherent connection between and even shared identity of gods and humans through its meaning of "form" in the sense of a subtle body, or a "template for the physical body" (1990: 63ff.). Mayrhofr does not address the root -tan, but is unambiguous as to a more abstract meaning for the word: selbst, eigen (1963, I: 473). Other occasions of the accusative singular tanvàm are frequently used to indicate how a divinity transforms to manifest a given trait of power.120 For instance, in RV 7.101.3b Parjanya changes his tanuú as he wishes (stariír u tvad bhávati suúta u tvad yathaavasháM tanváM cakra eSáH).

    It is along these same lines that the form of self indicated by Mayrhofr is not unlike that suggested above viz. body: self in the sense of "itself" or "oneself," not "the" self. Böthlingk's meaning is quite abstract for tanuú, "dünn machen, behauen" (1879, III: 8). Graßmann holds with a more tangible meaning, "Leib, Körper" (1996: 519). This translation leaves room for agreement for the sense of body as "everybody," i.e. personal or individual presence, posited here. In the passage under examination, the meaning of ruupá serves to underscore the sense of tanuú as something more subtle than a purely physical existence. This hymn (3.53) being a later insertion, the passage in question appears as a retrospective suggesting the many manifestations under which Indra's beneficence occurs.


    If the larger meaning of presence/tanuú is attested in the occasion of the less tangible word, ruupá, in tanuú's semantic field as above in 3.53.8, then the occasion in RV 6.25.4a-b, where sháriira is in the semantic field with tanuú, is equally informative:

shuúro vaa shuúraM vanate sháriirais tanuurúcaa táruSi yát kRNvaíte |

"With their bodies the mighty masters the mighty, both are made with shining presence/tanuurúcaa when in combat."121 My translation could also work with the sense of öberlegenheit: both are made for shining presence/tanuú when in superiority/triumph.

    In the previous verse (6.25.3) the tumult of battlev--ersus foe or kinsman--is the occasion for a call to Indra for assistance. In the battle both sides would wax to their glory/tanuurúcaa fighting with all their might. It

is ultimately at the level of body-to-body (cf. sháriirais) that the victory comes. But it is also a glorified, amplified presence/tanuú which those bodies have in that combat. It is only the body that is taking the blows, but it is a battle-inspired or enriched presence/tanuurúcaa that delivers them. Graßmann shows only two other occasions of tanuurúcaa, in 2.1.9b with the blazing Agni implored for boons, and 7.93.5b much like the occasion here with two foes bristling against each other (1996: 520).

    Though there are very few occasions for direct comparison between tanuú and the words which unquestionably refer to a corporeal body, the following discussion supports the observations above. With tanuú there is definitely a sense of empirical, observable presence. There are changes in the tanuú, and the tanuú is something which can receive vigor. There are not occasions where the tanuú "dies"--though its use in the human realm clearly indicates something which is vulnerable, and urgently in need of the deity's assistance. For the deities, the tanuú is always the word applied to that aspect of a divinity which the worshipper most specifically seeks to achieve a desired end. The tanuú of a deity is not vulnerable, nor is it in need of strengthening from bráhman (we do not find bráhman used with tanuú in the Family Books). It appears that tanuú is the word for what "appears" or is identifiable--as frail, beneficent, in need of vigor--but is not necessarily corporeal. This becomes clearer when we examine the distinction between tanuú as it is used in the language referring to gods and the language referring to men. Two-thirds of the occasions of tanuú in the Family Books are used in reference to deities and it does not refer to a vulnerability in these occasions.

Tanuú in the Language of Gods and the Language of Men


    That tanuú is not corporeal is supported more substantially than these isolated occasions with ruupá and sháriira. Consistently it infers a countenance, something active and animate. Another instance of tanuú includes an instance of -cit in 4.16.14a-b:

suúra upaaké tanvàM dádhaano ví yát te céty amR'tasya várpaH |

"Approximate to the sun you place your (Indra) presence/tanuú (yourself), when it has appeared with your immortal aspect."122 In other words, the presence/tanuú or Leib (i.e. as one might say "to save lives") of Indra's immortal aspect is associated with the sun. This returns us to the discussion begun in Chapter 2 with regard to tanuú in the language of the gods

as opposed to that of humans.

    There are several passages suggesting that tanuú refers to a countenance, or presence, of a deity which manifests in multiple ways according to the dispensation of the deity of its own accord, or in response to a specific prayer. RV 3.34.1 affords a perfect example of such an occasion. It also adumbrates what we have already argued above, along with Elizarenkova's suggestion (1995: 97) that bráhman is an independent empowering force:

índraH puurbhíd aátirad daásam arkaír vidádvasur dáyamaano ví shátruun | bráhmajuutas tanvaà vaavRdhaanó bhuúridaatra aápR^Nad ródasii ubhé ||

"Indra, with abundant prayers overcame the Daása, finding wealth, dividing enemies; with a presence/tanuú enriched with pure energy, rich in gifts, filled both heaven and earth."123 Indra's tanuú is enriched with bráhman which, if translated "formulas" sounds a little mechanistic.

    As for tanuú, the presence of Indra fills both worlds when it is enhanced or engorged with the empowerment of bráhman. Similarly, with the addition/drinking of Soma, Indra's tanuú manifests a special strength in 2.16.2c-d, especially when additionally enhanced by krátu or mental effort (see below). There is some sense of tanuú connoting an abstract, reflexive self when the rare form tanuúpaa/"self"-protecting is found (4.16.20, 6.46.10, and 7.66.3). This is a more abstract application of tanuú than the specific meanings or applications of "presence" discussed thus far. Böthlink suggests "Leib und Leben schirmend" (1879, III: 8). It is a phrase limited to the realm of the gods and serves to connote the preservation powers they have for their efficacy.

    Frequently, then, the tanuú of a deity is lauded in a particular manifestation or besought in a specific manifestation for a given purpose. In RV 2.17.7d, the tanuú of Indra is sought as that aspect which makes people glad (kRdhí praketám úpa maasy aá bhara daddhí bhaagáM tanvií yéna maamáhaH), or a question as to which tanuú of the pair Mitra-VaruNa is to be praised in RV 5.67.5a-b (kó nú vaam mitraástuto váruNo vaa nam), and Agni's tanuú which is untouchable when it blazes/járbhuuraNaH discussed below in

The tanuú in the realm of the gods is a point of presence where a variety of valuable countenances manifest or can be called forth.

    Thus, in the realm of humans, there is nothing other than adversity

discussed or implied in the semantic fields surrounding tanuú.
The deities are repeatedly implored to protect, prevent injury to, heal, cleanse, or otherwise save the vulnerable human tanuú. The genitive plural tanuúnaam shows up twice with the aorist imperative--bodhi--of -budh or -bhuu125as here in RV 5.4.9c-d (cf. 2.9.2c-d, 4.16.17d):

ágne atriván námasaa gRNaanò 'smaákam bodhy avitaá tanuúnaam ||

"Agni, bowed to with praise like Atri, awaken (or be) as protector of our lives." And Geldner, translating bodhi as the imperative aorist of -bhu: "Agni, wie von Atri unter Verbeugung gepriesen, sei der Beschützer underer Leiber!" (1951, II: 7) offers this same sense of tanuú. Passages such as these contrive to awaken-or bring to existence--Agni in his microcosmic tanuú as gárbha and in the macrocosm as divine intercessionary force. As tanuú implies an attenuated presence or, with Reat and Elizarenkova, et al, what is drawn out (cf. dehnen, Dauer) the micro-macrocosmic awakening--or being--is interwoven (cf. -tan as including weaving, shining, and spreading).126 Invariably, however, the human tanuú remains frail, and in need of protection as seen here and repeatedly elsewhere (cf. 6.25.4 above).127

Mental Processes and tanuú

    Each of the words relating to mental processes occurs somewhat infrequently, most prominently included is -man.128 Forms of -man are found in hymns, verses, and the same paada several times with tanuú in the Family Books (7 times). Of these there is one occasion of -man in the immediate or related semantic fields of tanuú. The other instances of shared fields do not entail a direct modification of meaning one way or the other between the words studied.

An exception is RV 2.10.5:

aá vishvátaH pratyáñcaM jigharmy arakSásaa mánasaa táj juSeta | máryashrii spRhayádvarNo agnír naábhimR'she tanvaá járbhuraaNaH ||

"I sprinkle (oblations) all around to (Agni), may he enjoy it with pure mind; Agni, the glorious young man, a figure to be desired, a presence/tanuú untouchable as it flickers."129 It hardly requires much imagination or rhetoric to conclude that the flaming presence/tanuú of Agni is both like a vibrant young man, desirable for its many benefits, and also quite untouchable when blazing. As above, we see again that tanuú is something which manifests in a variety of ways, a changing presence/tanuú according to the

aspect sought or addressed by the worshipper. This is a quality not so easily attributable to a substantive or corporeal body.

    We do not find krátu in the semantic fields with tanuú in those occasions where tanuú is used to refer to the frailty of the human existence. As with the other terms for mental processes, there is not a direct relation between tanuú and krátu. Such for instance is the case in RV 2.16.2c-d to Indra (cf. also 2.39.2, 6.41.5--with shátakratu--and 7.3.9):

jaTháre sómaM tanvií sáho máho háste vájram bhárati shiirSáNi krátum ||

"Soma he carries in his stomach, in his presence/tanuú, powerful and great, he carries the bolt in his hand, and determination with his head." In this verse Geldner is persuaded by the anatomical vocabularyjaTháre, háste, shiirSáNito render tanuú as Körper: "Im Bauch trägt er den Soma, im Körper die überlegene Stärke, die Macht, in der hand die Keule, im Haupte die Überlegung" (1951, I: 296).


    The weight of the foregoing discussion of tanuú allows that it is the enriched overall presence/tanuú of Indra, additionally embellished with strength of purpose/krátu, that is lauded. Of course, Indra's Körper is part of that presence/tanuú so--as above with bodhi viz. -budh and -bhuu (see note 128)--either reading does not do injustice to the passage. But "presence" or "life" (in a generic sense of 'our lives" as a complete reference to the course of existence from birth to death--i.e., a "presence" in the world--rather than life as an animate force like aayú or praaNá) allows for consistency through the range of passages with tanuú. It is also more representative of the interconnected cosmos of the RV Family hymns wherein lines of demarcation for individuality or abstracted "selves" were not drawn by the poets.

    If tanuú is an attenuated presence, capable of various manifestations among the gods, and frail among humans, what--if any--existential notion of self is present in the Family Books as an independent entity? We see bráhman as an empowering force which is independent and operating in many realms, including the semantic fields of tanuú where it serves to augment the potency of a desired countenance of the gods. There is a fluid continuum between the realm of the gods and that of men which is traversed by ppure energy, or bráhman. This energy affects changes in the tanuú of gods, and invokes protection of the frail tanuú of humans. Within that continuum, are there nodes of existence which are independent? This question leads us to the next word in our study, tmán.


    In Vedic, tmán is like a mysterious person who appears at a party, interacts with a select few guests, and then leaves quietly without ever being heard from again. It is scattered infrequently through both the early and later portions of the RV. Its most predominant--almost only--use is in the instrumental tmánaa which is striking with its semantic and sonorous closeness to aatmán. Mayrhofr (1963, I: 473) discusses the possible etymology of both aatmán and tmán from -tan and is quite unconvinced, suggesting that this is highly unlikely--"Hochst fraglich!"--but this does not preclude a possible relation between aatmán and tmán nonetheless. There are 27 occasions of the instrumental singular in the Family Books and 35 in the later portions. There are 11 occasions in the MS, 10 in the KS, and 9 in the TS. There is one occasion in the RVKh, 3.1.4, in a Khila to Indra inspired by Soma. By the time of the Atharva Veda, the SV Paippalaada uses it 3 times and it is found 4 times in the AV Shaunaka. Other forms, locative tmáni, are 1 each in the Early and late portions of the RV; dative tmáne is found 3 and 4 times respectively, and tmányaa is used 3 times in the later RV, 3 times in the MS, 3 in the KS, once in the TS, and once in the AV Shaunaka. After that, it drops off the Vedic map with only two occurrences in the TB, one in the JB, and one in a later addition to the ShBM in The question which follows (with deference to the TV series), "Who was that masked tmán?" remains a difficult puzzle.

    The predominant form of the instrumental suggests that, more than anything, tmán is something "by or with which" a human or deity achieves something. Effectively, "himself/itself" is the more reasonable translation in many cases (cf. svayám and reflexivity discussion above, and the philosophical implications of reflex reference in the Introduction). In Chapter 2, tmán was defined as a word which serves the specific function of characterizing a trait as inherently part of a deity's identity--Agni as the conveyor of the offerings to the gods is himself a priest (4.6.5a), Agni encompasses all by his own nature (3.9.5a), BrahmaNaspati, the king of prayer is himself wise (2.25.2b), etc. The instrumental tmánaa is most applicable to establish that the trait is by the very nature of the deity or person. The other forms of tmán are quite infrequent and it is difficult to establish a pattern from them. In 4.29.4c Indra sets the coursers to the pole itself with the locative tmáni (úpa tmáni dádhaano dhuryaáshuún), and Agni, like a melter of metal, knows himself to be able to consume all, and not to be detained in plants--cf. discussion of Agni in the plants and waters in 10.51 below in Chapter 5--as he is immortal in 6.12.3c-d (adroghó ná dravitaá cetati tmánn ámartyo 'vartrá óSadhiiSu).

    As far as its later disappearance, from the one and only appearance of the word in the ShBM it is clear that it is not the "right" word as the passage corrects the prescribed recitation directed in VS 6.11, asyá havíSas tmánaa yajéti/ "offer with the tmán this oblation" with vaácam évaitád aahaánaarttasyaasyá havíSa aatmánaa yajéti/ "To Speech, really, he means to say, 'offer with the aatmán this oblation." The mantra in question is found also in the much earlier KS 3.6 and somewhat earlier TS (cf. chronology of the Veda's in Chapter 3), but--significantly--without the "correction," and without the direction of the havíS to vaác/Speech.

    Glossing tmán with aatmán is certainly not uncommon. As noted in Chapter 2, Yaaska does so without hesitation or explanation.130 In addition, tmán is not part of the lexicon of the NighaNTu.131 In the absence of native etymologies, we have few alternatives other than the comparison of semantic fields. Repeating the summary presented earlier, the basic meanings share reasonable concurrence among the current lexicons, "Lebenshauch," "selbst," and "das eigene Person" (Böthlingk, 1879, III: 45; Mayrhofr, 1956, I: 528; and Mylius, 1975: 192). Rather than a later gloss, Graßmann suggests tmán is "aus aatman gekürzt" (1964: 552). Mayrhofer has summarized the scholarship of Kuiper, Hertel, and Wackernagel viz. the probability of a derivation from -tan (1956, 1: 529). There is fairly consistent agreement as to the link with aatmán: "Ist von aatmá nicht zu trennen, und tán- (s.d.!) ist zu beachten."; but continues, "Die nähere Erklärung bleibt schwierig" (1956, I: 529).


    What gives the strongest case for the link between tmán and aatmán--apart from phonetic or etymological arguments--is the usage in context. In so doing, reading how tmán is used in context also addresses the question of the relevance of tanuú, though, again, not in terms of a derivational paradigm. To illustrate, a recapitulation of the evidence adduced thus far presents the following notions about the early Vedic cosmos. Gods and humans lived in a continuum, and their mutual presences/tanuú therein have specific realms of activity with unique characteristics. The tanuú of the deity is potent, capable of various manifestations to provide assistance or characteristics worthy of worship. This aid is also prompted with prayers which, when rightly spoken, access that vital power/bráhman that makes it possible to overcome adversity and weakness.

    Somewhere in this continuum of presences/tanuú which can be affected by bráhman, there is still the need to account for those occasions of

self-generated action or traits. In other words, there are times when a trait or characteristic of a deity or person is attributable to that individual's own existence, rather than accessed from outside or produced with the assistance of bráhman. It is tmán which carries this weight. Numerically, it is obviously not a frequent requirement in Vedic speech--only 31 times in the Family Books do we find tmán and only 35 times in the later books--especially when compared with the hundreds of occasions of the other terms--tanuú and bráhman--and the words for mental processes which are integral to influencing the components of the continuum. The points of a particular existence, in that continuum which are peculiar to a deity or entity--such as prayer--are identified by use of the word tmán.

    It is likely then that such a potent word would have characteristics which fall clearly along the lines of language for gods or for hymns. Of the occasions with tmán, we observe a similar pattern to that with tanuú: the ration of occasions where it is the tmán of a deity over those occasions where the tmán of a human is concerned is 9:1. An excellent example is Agni, the priest to the gods, who is lauded as the priest to the gods of his own nature, through whose flames the offerings are literally carried upward, in RV 4.6.5a-b:

pári tmánaa mitádrur eti hótaa 'gnír mandró mádhuvacaa Rtaávaa |

"He goes about as if himself a priest, Agni, pleasant with sweet speech and righteousness."132 Similarly in RV 7.7.1d Agni himself measures up to knowing the gods (tmánaa devéSu vivide mitádruH). Also it is the sacrifice itself which goes to the varied forms of Indra in 7.84.1d (pári tmánaa víSuruupaa jigatii). The self-presented wisdom of the "father of prayer," BrahmaNaspati is a likely candidate for an occasion of tmán in RV 2.25.2a-b:

viirébhir viiraán vanavad vanuSyató góbhii rayím paprathad bódhati tmánaa |

"With heroic men he will attack his jealous foes, with cattle he spreads his wealth, wise of his own accord."133 This is not confined to any one deity. Using a tangible metaphor for Agni, the apparent independent willfulness within the shifting patterns of a fire, the poet uses tmán in RV 3.9.5:

sasRvaáMsam iva tmánaa

    'gním itthaá tiróhitam |

"Moving really as if of his own, Agni, hidden (therein)."134 Similar use is found throughout almost all occasions with tmán, and in all but six occasions, in the instrumental.135 It is "by means of" tmán that a node of self-evident quality or power is marked or specified in Vedic.

    It is not surprising that a point of such self-defined presence/tanuú (as we see below, a tanuú can have a particular tmán) is confined primarily to the gods. The Vedic cosmos was a realm of powers and divinities wherein the humans were always at the outskirts, or fringes, using prayer to invoke or participate. This is quite clear in the handful of occasions when something relating to the human realm is marked with the use of tmán. The independent self-evident power of the sacrifice (e.g., RV 7.84.1d) indicates that it is by pious action that the human realm reaches forth to the divine with the self-contained power of the rites. We see this in 5.10.4e where good praises of themselves waken Indra (sukiirtír bódhati tmánaa). The separation in realms is underscored by the deictic reference to humans being made godlike as charioteers of wealth-bringing vehicles by the beneficence of Indra and VaruNa as in RV 4.41.10 (áshvyasya tmánaa ráthyasya puSTér nítyasya raayáH pátayaH syaama |taá cakraaNaá uutíbhir návyasiibhir asmatraá raáyo niyútaH sacantaam || ).

aatmán and púruSa


    It is unlikely that observations of the few occurrences of aatmán and púruSa can provide conclusive evidence of how these words were used in the period of the Family Books. While they are obviously not unknown in this early period, they were also not important enough to appear frequently in the early collection of the RV. I will limit this preliminary inquiry to the synchronic data of the passagesfew though they arewhere we find each term. In later chapters, this initial survey will be re-evaluated from the perspective of subsequent usage for each term. It is clear, however, that púruSa in the Family Books conveys little of the exalted role of archetypical sacrifice as seen in RV 10.90, nor does it even have the significance as a portion of plants fit for offering to Agni as in 10.51. The one occasion in

In the Family Books, aatmán is used only twice, in RV 7.87.2a and

7.101.6b. On both occasions, it is firmly associated with the root etymologies suggested by Yaaska. As noted in Chapter 2, N 3.15 where verbs of motion-- -at/go, or -aap/reach, obtain--are suggested for its etymology, the early RV uses seem consistent with that. In RV 7.87.2a, the suggestion by scholars (cf. Chapter 2, pp. 79f.) that aatmán is derived from -an, to breath, appears justifiable as the wind is called the aatmán of VaruNa (aatmaá te vaáto rája aá naviinot). This is a common association of aatmán with wind or air (in the later RV we see this in 1.34.7d, 1.116.3c, 1.182.5b, 10.92.13c). It is also just as likely that the aatmán of VaruNa being likened to the wind is due to aatmán as a word of dynamic vitalityor motion. The other occasion of aatmán in the Family Books supports this. In RV 7.101.6b, Parjanya, lord of crop-enriching rains, is the holder of the aatmán of all things fixed and moving (tásminn aatmaá jágatas tasthúSash ca). Elsewhere aatmán is again associated with what moves and is fixed as later with the very same semantic field in 1.115.1d where Suurya is the aatmán of both (suúrya aatmaá jágatas tasthuSas ca).136 In other cases aatmán is animated or associated with vigor (1.73.2d, 1.116.3c, 1.182.5b, 9.74.4a, 9.113.1c).

    It is important to note an additional aspect of RV 7.101 for the ongoing discussion of the developing uses of aatmán and tanuú. This hymn affords the only occasion in the Family Books and one of only 5 occasions in the whole RV where aatmán and tanuú are found in the same or adjacent semantic fields (1.162.20b within the same verse; 10.16.3a with tanuú in 4; 10.97 with aatmán in 4d, 8d, 11c and tanuú in 10d; 10.107.7c with tanuú in 6c). In 7.10.3a-b, tanuú is used in its usual context to refer to the changeable presence of the deity which can be beneficial to the realm of humans:

stariír u tvad bhávati suúta u tvad yathaavasháM tanvàM cakra eSáH |

"Now from you it (field) is barren, now from you it is a cow fertile with offspring; according to your pleasure is the presence/tanuú of this cycle (of seasonal harvest and planting)."137 At least in the Family Books, the appearance of aatmán does not necessitate a corporeal meaning for tanuú. This will change in the later RV as will be seen in Chapter 5.

    These quite limited examples in the Family Books indicate that aatmán first appears in the RV as something vital or dynamic. This later becomes easier to associate with like phenomena and entities such as the wind. Correspondingly, its association with breath leads to its later meta

physical significations in the later Vedic literature. In between, the distinction between tanuú and aatmán further underscores the dynamic side of aatmán (cf. 1.162.20b, 8.3.24a, also discussed above, and in more detail below), and its sense of being an inner core (as of sacrifice in 9.2.10c, 9.6.8a, 10.168.4a). However, there is very little to suggest that aatmán was originally used as a word for an eternal, imperishable self or essence. It suggests an essence, perhaps, but more likely is the active characteristic of a deity or human.

    With púruSa, the uses are slightly more common, with seven occasions in the Family Books (3.33.8d, 4.12.4a, 5.48.5c, 7.4.3c, 7.29.4a, 7.57.4, and 7.102.2c). In point of fact púruSa is altogether rare in the RV. In the later RV, there are only fourteen attestations of which seven are in the PuruSa Suukta, RV 10.90, and all fourteen but one (8.71.2a), appear in RV 10. Apart from 8.71, there are no occasions of púruSa in the portions of the RV dated immediately after the Family Books (1.51-191, 8.1-66, 1.1-50, 8.67-103, 8.49-59, and RV 9). This lends itself to the easy suggestion that púruSa is simply a later term. Unfortunately, the available data does not enable the additional observation that the occasions of púruSa in the Family Books are hymns of later date.

    In the Family Books púruSa denotes a decidedly frail existence in the human realm--with the exception of 3.33.8d and, somewhat, 7.102.2c--not unlike the use of tanuú in the human realm. Unfortunately, tanuú does not share the same hymn with púruSa, so a direct comparison is not possible here. Nonetheless, the existence suggested by púruSa is quite different from the elevated significance the term has beginning with RV 10.90, and continuing through the later UpaniSads--especially the Shvetaashvatara and MuNDaka UpaniSads--and the traditions of Yoga. The púruSa of the Family Books is almost rhetorically opposed to these later developments. In RV 3.33.8d Indra is lauded and called to prevent the worshippers from being humbled among mortals (maá no ní kaH puruSatraá námas te), and in RV 4.12.4 a confession and plea for absolution from evil is made to Agni (yác cid dhí te puruSatraá yaviSThaácittibhish cakRmaá kác cid aágaH | kRdhií SvásmaáM áditer ánaagaan vyénaaMsi shishratho víSvag agne). Also 7.57.4b underscores the human condition of sinfulness conveyed in the use of púruSa with a plea to the Maruts to not punish harshly (R'dhak aá vo maruto didyúd astu yád va aágaH puruSátaa káraama).

    There is one likely exception to the vulnerability of humanity as usually implied by the use of púruSa in 7.102.2. This is another hymn to

Parjanya which, as above with 7.101 to Parjanya, also marks a general change in terminology from other hymns of the Family Books with a feminine genitive plural form:

yó gárbham óSadhiinaaM gávaaM kRNóty árvataam | parjányaH puruSiíNaam ||

"Parjanya who makes the germ/egg in women, plants, of cattle, and of horses."138 The exception to the other uses of púruSa in the Family Books, coupled with uncertainty as to authorship and metric aberration (Van Nooten and Holland, 1994: 330, 633) makes the conclusion that this is a later insertion the most tempting solution to the anomaly. Unfortunately, this is the only use of puruSiíNaam in the entire RV and comparison is not easy. It is clear, however, that púruSa in this case refers to the mortal realm which is enabled with offspring by Parjanya's beneficence. There is a good chance that this hymn might also be later (Arnold, 1897: 212). In the remaining passages using púruSa, the limits of humanity as conveyed by the semantic fields that surround púruSa are much clearer.

    The scattered few uses of púruSa and the mere pair of aatmán in the Family Books leaves a multitude of questions which will be better answered in Chapter 5 concerning the later RV. Further study of later insertions of hymns into the Family Books will answer some of these questions especially with regard to the Parjanya hymns in 7.101 and 102. However, as these are agrarian in nature, they are much more likely of indigenous origin and possibly quite early. As we noted above 7.102 is likely a later addition. This suggests the more interesting hypothesis that the changing terminology for the self in the RV represents not so much "new" ideas of individuality coming into existence, but a steady and subtle incorporation of existing notions from the Indus Civilization into the newly-arrived Aryan mythology. As indicated above in Chapter 2, the púruSa has been identified by Van Buitenen (1964: 104, note 2), as "already" great and Elizarenkova suggests it represents a borrowing from another language (1995: 67). These theories are attended to in detail in Chapter 6 where the Middle Vedic literature has a great deal more attestations of púruSa allowing a more careful assessment of its pedigree.

    The early uses of aatmán show that it began in the RV as a term for an inner vitality, a dynamic core marking the potency of VaruNa and Parjanya. These uses and their association with motion and air are easy seeds for the later metaphysical associations, through breath, of aatmán as

the eternal essence of living beings. For púruSa, the picture is still unclear. The púruSa is a generic term for beings whose mortal existence is fraught with frailty.


    The Vedic cosmos of the Family Books is marked by several concepts from which the later developments represent a marked departure. Foremost among these is the absence of reference to corporeal bodies as found later with déha and sháriira, while tanuú--later denoting the body (but still somewhat ambiguously), as will be seen as early as the next earliest portion of the RV in 1.162.20b--serves as a word for the existence or "self" of deities which can manifest desired characteristics in response to the prayers of the worshipper. Those prayers are efficacious when endowed with the special potency designated by bráhman. When there is occasion to refer to a self-generative quality of a given deity's presence/tanuú, it is tmán which performs this service. Noting the sudden drop in its use once aatmán appears regularly, it is apparent that the conception of individuality in the cosmos of Vedic religions changes as well.

    The interactive presences/tanuú which are variously invoked by efficacious utterances empowered by bráhman comes to be replaced by an absolute equivalency--aatmán-bráhman--where human individuality, defined and identified as its own entity, must reconcile the verbal separation implied with the aatmán-bráhman relationship. Still, in the Family Books, such an evolved conception of human individuality is nonexistent. It is the gods who have selectively changing presences/tanuú. It is also the gods who have self-generative or self-sustaining/tmán qualities. Only through careful uttering of prayers with bráhman can things be affected or put to right order. This action takes place largely in the realm of speech as far as the descriptions and texts of the RV are concerned.

    It is not until the later literature that detailed cosmologies arise and, with them, different terminology appears which first reshapes the meaning of the words as they are found in the Family Books (e.g. tanuú comes to have a decidedly corporeal meaning before it is virtually lost from use in the BraahmaNa's) and then replaces them altogether (as with aatmán replacing tmán). As this newly evolving self is found in philosophical discourses, the basic identification of a mental function, mánas will, in turn, develop abstract significations of identity all its own. Concurrent with these changes, and a move in literary focus to the sacrificial ritual, the traditional

terms for the great priests of liturgy--kaví, vípra, and later, R'Si--are replaced by brahmán. The word bráhman itself becomes more and more synonymous with Vaac--or becomes the primary aspect of Vaac--and in so doing begins to develop into its more commonly known role in the later literature as the designation for the ultimate cosmic principle.