Chapter

A Vedic History of <i>Dharma</i>

Alf Hiltebeitel

in Dharma

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195394238
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897452 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394238.003.0003

Series: South Asia Research

A Vedic History of Dharma

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Chapter 3 takes up the implications of dharma having never been a central concept in the pre‐Aśokan Vedic canon. It examines most of the Vedic canon's few prominent usages from the Ṛgveda through the mantra texts to the Upanisads in context. It first considers. the implications of dharma, in the form dhárman, having begun in the Ṛgveda as a new concept. It then pursues the use of this concept to generate novel enigmas there and elsewhere in the Vedic canon; its centrality to changing notions of kingship in these texts; and, no less important, to changing notions of the Brahmin in the consolidation of the varṇa or caste system.

Keywords: Vedic canon; Veda; Ṛgveda; dhárman; enigmas; Upaniṣads; mantra; kingship; Brahmin; caste; varṇa

Chapter.  25335 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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