Chapter

A History of the Quest for Mental Power

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520240872.003.0007
A History of the Quest for Mental Power

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This chapter examines the history of images used for the attainment of mental power and verbal ability by describing metonymical interpretations of the Rig Veda mantras 1.18.6, 8.100.10–11, 8.101.11–16, 10.21.1, 10.71, and 10.125. In the Śrauta literature, these mantras tend to be used in the invitational verses just before an offering during sacrifice, usually an animal offering. In the Grhya literature, they are used before the arrival of a guest, before a meal, or when a Vedic student is returning home and encounters strange sounds. In the Vidhana literature, however, they are recited to secure a more general form of verbal eloquence, mental agility, peace, as well as averting any and all consequences in case one has uttered a falsehood.

Keywords: metonymy; Vedic mantras; Vidhana; mental power; verbal ability; Rig Veda; Śrauta Sutras

Chapter.  4310 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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