In Pursuit of the Triguṇa: The Construction of Identity and the Concept of 'Self' Through an Interpretive Analysis of the Symbolism Stemming from the Vedic Yajña.

Beilby, Mark (2007). In Pursuit of the Triguṇa: The Construction of Identity and the Concept of 'Self' Through an Interpretive Analysis of the Symbolism Stemming from the Vedic Yajña. , School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Beilby, Mark
Thesis Title In Pursuit of the Triguṇa: The Construction of Identity and the Concept of 'Self' Through an Interpretive Analysis of the Symbolism Stemming from the Vedic Yajña.
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2007
Subjects 440000 Philosophy and Religion
Abstract/Summary The thesis presents a view of Hindu philosophy in the historical context. It is argued that; through the employment of the symbols associated with the Vedic sacrifice (yajña), the diverse socio-political, cosmological, metaphysical and theological concepts that constitute Hinduism may be united to present a single cohesive system of knowledge. In examining the symbolism of the Vedic yajña, the socio-political concept of Brahmanism is explored. The Brahmanical influences on the formation of the cosmogony of Sāṁkhya, the metaphysics of Vedānta, and the various theological interpretations of Śaivism and Vaiṣṇavism are highlighted. Intricate linkages between the concepts of karma, saṃsāra, mokṣa and dharma, as well as the principles of purity and pollution and the socio-political system of varṇa are established through an examination of Hindu philosophy when viewed from the perspective of the Vedic yajña. India, in both the historical and modern context consists of diverse kinship attributes such as language and kinship nomenclature. It is argued that Brahmanism presented a system of knowledge that united different models of kinship in India under the system of varṇa. In undertaking this examination, two key aspects of Hindu thought are engaged. Firstly, the symbolic links associated with the Vedic yajña, and its influence on the Sāṁkhyan principle of the triguṇa, are examined. It is argued that the triguṇa presents the key principle that unites early Hindu cosmogony with metaphysical and theological speculation. Secondly, it is contended that the symbolic elements that form the basis of the triguṇa are representative of the subjective properties associated with procreation. In undertaking an investigation from the perspective of the Vedic yajña, four hypotheses are presented. Firstly, it is argued that the unhindered cosmological, metaphysical, theological speculations were possible as they reinforced the socio-political system of Brahmanism. Secondly, by employing symbols associated with the Vedic yajña, the defining attribute of Brahmanism, a text may claim its authority in the Vedas. Thirdly, a new interpretation of the term varṇa is postulated, linking the term to the elements of the Vedic yajña: water, fire and earth (food). Fourthly and finally, it is argued, that the dichotomy that surrounds Śaivism, ‗the ascetic‘ and ‗the erotic‘, can be resolved through an examination of the symbols of the Vedic yajña, thus lending support to the Brahmanical order.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses Collection (non-RHD) - Open Access
 
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