Terms and Questions

Creation, Ecstatic Visions, and the Fire Sacrifice


1.    Deva

2.    Agni

3.    Indra

4.    Soma

5.    Cosmogony

6.    Samudra Manthan

7.    Hymn of Origins

8.    The slaying of Vrtra

9.    Nataraja

10. Rta




1.    Describe three cosmogonic myths in the Early Vedic tradition?

2.    How does each of the three cosmogonies relate to the Indian question of the One and the Many?

3.    How do the three cosmogonies relate to more recent (i.e., 9th Century CE) images and myths?

4.    Describe three ways in which sacrifice was significant.

5.    Describe two ways in which the early Vedic notions of ultimate being and power are understood

6.    Describe the two main dimensions of early Vedic religion as presented in class

7.    What was the purpose of the yajna in the early and late Vedas and how did this change?

8.    What is the significance of ecstatic visions in early Vedic religion?  Who had them?

9.    How do the Samhitas relate to ritual? 

10.How did notions of the effectiveness of the yajna change during the time of early Vedic religion?