Codified in classical Vedic times (8th-4th century BCE), the gavāmayana (‘the cow path’) was a year-long ritual session (sāmvatsarikasattra), which accompanied the succession of months of the Vedic religious calendar and ended with the celebration of mahāvrata (‘the great vow’) during the winter solstice. Marking the conclusion of the arduous ritual journey, it celebrated rebirth and consecrated the beginning of the new year. The book investigates gavāmayana based on a philological analysis of the texts and on a historical-religious and anthropological perspective, focusing on ancient India and some contemporary practices. The mahāvrata, in particular, seems to preserve the memory of very ancient ritual practices, whose representations reveal a complex play of symbolic exchanges linked to the alternation of the seasons and the growth of vegetation, to the myth of generation through emptying and relocating, within the perimeter of the civilised world and the law, what appears disruptive and anomic (such as sexuality). In the various chapters, not only the intertwining themes of a political nature with those related to sexuality and the promotion of fertility emerge, but also certain symbolic continuities, whereby changes in the use of cultic and ritual elements do not exhaust their values with the decline of Vedic rituality, but find new meanings in India, albeit in different historical contexts.

spano igor (2022). In the footsteps of the cows The ritual of gavāmayana between ancient and contemporary India. Palermo : Edizioni museo Pasqualino.

In the footsteps of the cows The ritual of gavāmayana between ancient and contemporary India

spano igor
2022-01-01

Abstract

Codified in classical Vedic times (8th-4th century BCE), the gavāmayana (‘the cow path’) was a year-long ritual session (sāmvatsarikasattra), which accompanied the succession of months of the Vedic religious calendar and ended with the celebration of mahāvrata (‘the great vow’) during the winter solstice. Marking the conclusion of the arduous ritual journey, it celebrated rebirth and consecrated the beginning of the new year. The book investigates gavāmayana based on a philological analysis of the texts and on a historical-religious and anthropological perspective, focusing on ancient India and some contemporary practices. The mahāvrata, in particular, seems to preserve the memory of very ancient ritual practices, whose representations reveal a complex play of symbolic exchanges linked to the alternation of the seasons and the growth of vegetation, to the myth of generation through emptying and relocating, within the perimeter of the civilised world and the law, what appears disruptive and anomic (such as sexuality). In the various chapters, not only the intertwining themes of a political nature with those related to sexuality and the promotion of fertility emerge, but also certain symbolic continuities, whereby changes in the use of cultic and ritual elements do not exhaust their values with the decline of Vedic rituality, but find new meanings in India, albeit in different historical contexts.
Settore L-OR/17 - Filosofie, Religioni E Storia Dell'India E Dell'Asia Centrale
Settore L-OR/18 - Indologia E Tibetologia
Settore M-STO/06 - Storia Delle Religioni
979-12-80664-26-6
spano igor (2022). In the footsteps of the cows The ritual of gavāmayana between ancient and contemporary India. Palermo : Edizioni museo Pasqualino.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/578055
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