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Download Explaining Mantras: Ritual, Rhetoric, and the Dream of a by Robert A. Yelle PDF

By Robert A. Yelle

Explaining Mantras explores the intersection of poetry and magic within the mantras or verbal formulation of Hindu Tantra. the writer finds how mantras paintings in mild of either the esoteric culture of Tantra and a normal semiotic idea of formality. Mantras mimic the act of sexual copy and the cosmic cycle of production and destruction. A mantra that imitates production is assumed to be extra inventive and potent in generating a real-world outcome. Drawing from linguistics, semiotics, anthropology and philosophy, in addition to the background of religions, the writer argues that mantras and different ritual discourses use rhetorical units, together with imitation, to build the persuasive phantasm of a "natural language", one with a right away and speedy connection to truth. This important relation among poetry and formality has been ignored in lots of present theories of faith. Explaining Mantras combines the learn of historic Tantric rituals with the most recent theories within the human sciences, and may be of curiosity to a extensive diversity of readers.

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Additional info for Explaining Mantras: Ritual, Rhetoric, and the Dream of a Natural Language in Hindu Tantra

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This is what we have seen referred to elsewhere as the sādhya, the semantic portion of the mantra declaring its objective goal, which, as this definition relates, uses both nouns and verbs. LT clarifies that the earlier portions of the mantra, including the bīja and pi a, stand in relation to the later, including the pada or sādhya, as the transcendent form of speech stands to its earthly manifestation,99 and as the soul stands to the body. Therefore, the mantra represents a “putting on of flesh” leading to the attainment of bodily substance just at the point where the concrete purpose of the mantra is articulated.

Last come the semivowels and sibilants. This arrangement of the phonemes is one of the most scientific in any language. It also converts the alphabet into a diagram of speech itself, for the alphabet, like speech, moves from “inside” the throat to “outside” the mouth, and finally manifests in the form of sound: Now I declare the manifestation of the letters in the speech of men. Impelled by wind eternally out of the su umna (the central channel) by the organs (of articulation), beginning with the throat, the letters appear in sequence…,45 The path of production of speech is diagrammed in simplified and condensed form in the pra ava, which consists of the three sounds “a,” “u,” and “m,” and therefore moves from the back of the throat to the front of the mouth, from inside to outside.

4 explains such practices: O : one should venerate the High Chant as this syllable, for one begins the High Chant with o . Here is a further explanation of that syllable. When the gods feared death, what they did was to enter the triple Veda. They covered it with meters… But death saw the gods there in the verses, in the Saman chants, and in the Yajus formulas, just as one sees a fish in water. When the gods discovered this, they emerged from the , Saman, and Yajus, and entered into that very sound.

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