Laurie L. Patton

in Bringing the Gods to Mind

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780520240872
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930889 | DOI:

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This chapter considers the metonymic thinking present in the viniyoga. Viniyoga is a kind of application of Vedic mantra through the creations of new sets of associations in new ritual situations and is a special form of a hermeneutic principle that involves metonymy. It also involves two assumptions that mantras have some semantic content, even if it is only in terms of a single word association; and that some imaginative world is built in juxtaposing, or metonymically linking, ritual poetic word and ritual action. The Jaimini Sutras give several ways in which a mantra can be applied in ritual or the ways viniyoga can occur. The text articulates six principles called linguistic praman—or principles of application, including the application, or appropriate usage, of ritual instruments and actions as well as mantras. These exegetical principles include śruti or direct expression; linga or indirect expression; vakya or syntactic unity; prakarana or contextual unity; krama or order; samakhya or name.

Keywords: viniyoga; metonymy; Vedic mantras; Vedic rituals; hermeneutics; Jaimini Sutras

Chapter.  13054 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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