By Surendranath Dasgupta
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Extra resources for A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume I
Even when a god is spoken of as unique or chief (_eka_), as is natural enough in laudations, such statements lose their temporarily monotheistic force, through the modifications or corrections supplied by the context or even by the same verse [Footnote Ref 3]. "Henotheism is therefore an appearance," says Macdonell, "rather than a reality, an appearance produced by the indefiniteness due to undeveloped anthropomorphism, by the lack of any Vedic god occupying the position of a Zeus as the constant head of the pantheon, by the natural tendency of the priest or singer in extolling a particular god to exaggerate his greatness and to ignore other gods, and by the 52 ____________________________________________________________________ [Footnote 1: _The Rigveda_, by Kaegi, p.
He generated the primitive waters. 3. Brahma. The conception of Brahman which has been the highest glory for the Vedânta philosophy of later days had hardly emerged in the @Rg-Veda from the associations of the sacrificial mind. The meanings that Sâya@na the celebrated commentator of the Vedas gives of the word as collected by Haug are: (_a_) food, food offering, (_b_) the chant of the sâma-singer, (_c_) magical formula or text, (_d_) duly completed ceremonies, (_e_) the chant and sacrificial gift together, (_f_) the recitation of the hot@r priest, (_g_) great.
But as they are not available we have to be satisfied with what remains. The original sources from which I have drawn my materials have all been indicated in the brief accounts of the literature of each system which I have put in before beginning the study of any particular system of thought. In my interpretations I have always tried to follow the original sources as accurately as I could. This has sometimes led to old and unfamiliar modes of expression, but this course seemed to me to be preferable to the adoption of European modes of thought for the expression of Indian ideas.
A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume I by Surendranath Dasgupta