Vedic Mythology (Set of 2 Volumes)


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 About the Book:

Alfred Hillerbrandt's Vedische Mythologie, together with his Ritual-Literature: Vedische Opfer und Zauber, forms a pioneering contribution to Vedic studies. Vedische Mythologie originally appeared in three volumes in 1891, 1899 and 1902. In 1910 Hillebrandt had also brought out a shorter version entitled Vedische Mythologie, Kleine Ausgabe. Subsequently he thorough revised the original edition, rewriting some parts quite afresh, and arranged the material in two volumes, the first of which was published in 1927 and the second posthumously in 1929. The present English translation is of this second revised edition. Following the method of philological exegesis and shunning unsubstantiated theories, Hillebrandt analyses and interprets here the concepts of Vedic gods.

Volume I contains a long introduction where he lays down his methodology and principles of interpretation. Then follow four chapters dealing respectively with Usas, Asvins, Agni and Soma. The chapter on Soma occupies more than half of the volume, expounding his major thesis that Soma denoted the moon throughout the Rgveda. There is an extensive appendix on the preparation and offering of the Soma drink according to the Srauta Sutras and another appendix on the tribe of the Panis.

Volume II discusses the various classes of gods. It has six chapters dealing respectively with the Adityas; Savitr and the Rbhus; Indra and the Maruts, Visnu, Pusan and lesser deities; Manes, Demons and Asuras; and Rudra. The second volume also contains a concordance of all the translated passages, a general bibliography, a bibliography of Hillebrandt's writing on the Veda and a detailed index.

About the Author:

ALFRED HILLEBRANDT was born on 15th March 1853, in Grossnaedlitz near Breslau. He began his Sanskrit studies under A.F. Stenzler at the University of Breslau. He continued his education at the University of Munich, where he became the chief pupil of Martin Haug, the great Avestan scholar, from whom he inherited his deep interest in Vedic ritual and mythology. In 1875 he earned the degree of Dr. Phil. From the University of Munich for his thesis on the Goddess Aditi, and two years later the University of Breslau awarded him the degree of Dr. Habil. For his dissertation on Varuna and Mitra. Hillebrandt joined the University of Breslau in 1883 as Associate Professor of Sanskrit and in 1887 he succeeded his teacher Stenzler as full Professor. He was also Vice-Chancellor of his University twice. His more than two hundred articles, reviews and books deal with a vast range of subjects like Veda, Avesta, Srauta Sutras, Sanskrit Drama, Poetry, Grammar, Arthasastra, Indian History, University Administration and Curriculum. The last major work he completed just before his death in 1927 was the revision of the Vedische Mythologie.

SREERAMULA RAJESWARA SARMA studied at Visva Bharati, Santiniketan, and Philipps University, Marburg. He taught at Kashi Vidyapith and Benares Hindu University, before joining Aligarh Muslim University, where he teaches in the Department of Sanskrit. His main interests are Sanskrit/Prakrit texts on exact sciences. Recent publications include Thakkura Pheru's Rayanaparikkha: A Medieval Prakrit Text on Gemmology, and Yantraprakara of Sawai Jai Singh, a manual on astronomical instrument.




  1. Usas and the Beginning of the Year
  2. Usas and the Manes
  3. The Three Usas
  4. Usas and the Cattle
  5. Usas and the Sun
  6. Surya
  7. The Sun destroys Usas
  8. Usas and the Night
    1. Sarama
    2. Viraj
    3. Usas and Prajapati


  1. The Production of the Fire
    1. The two Aranis
    1. In the Ritual
    2. In the Rgveda
    2. Other Methods of Producing the Fire
  2. The Time of Installing the Fire
  3. The Mainenance of the Fire
  4. The Three Fires in the Ritual
    The three Gharmas or Mahimans
  5. The Three Fires in the Rgveda
    1. The Daksina Fire in the Rgveda
    1. Narasansa
    2. Kavyavahana
    3. Tanunapat
    2. The Ahavaniya Fire in the Rgveda
  6. The Subhya Fire and the Avasathya Fire
    Sacra Publica
  7. Agni and the Lightning
  8. The Gods and Agni
    1. The Gods install Agni
    2. The Gods and the Sun
    3. Agni's Flight
    4. Agni's Hiding Place
      1. In the Waters
      2. In the Vegetation
  9. Matarisvan
  10. Brhaspati
  11. Some Clans belonging to the Fire Cult
    1. The Angiras
    2. Bhrgu
    3. Atharvan


Part I: The Soma Plant

  1. Characteristics of the Soma Plant
    1. Soma has hanging Branches
    2. Soma has bright-coloured Branches
    1. aruna, bright-red, bright-coloured
    2. babhru, red-brown, brown
    3. hari, golden
    4. The Colour of the Soma Cow
    3. Other Statements about the Soma Plant
    1. parvan, parus, joint, stalk
    2. ansu, shoot, stalk
    3. ksip, finger
    4. vaksana, tube
    5. vana, reed, cane
    6. uparuh, young shoot
    7. andhas, plant, drink
    8. The Bark of the Soma Plant
    9. Does the Soma Stalk have Edges?
    10. Some Statements of the Brahmanas
    4. The Plant grows on Mountains
    5. Soma's supposed Relationship with other Plants
  2. The Buying of Soma
  3. The Soma Drink
    1. The Antithesis between the Soma Pressers and the Asunvats
    2. Samsava, the Competition among the Sacrificers
    3. Was Soma still a popular Drink at the Time of the Rgveda?
    4. Prototypes of the Sacrificer and the Evolution of a Soma-Aristocracy
    5. Ancient Settlements of the Soma Pressers
    6. The Effect of the Drink
Part II: King Soma
  1. Celestial Origin of the Soma Plant
  2. The Moon and the Drink of the Gods in the Later Literature
  3. The Moon and the Drink of the Gods in the Rgveda
    1. Soma and Light
    2. Soma and Dawn
    3. Soma causes the Sun to shine
    4. Constellations and Luminous Spaces
    5. Soma as Bird
    6. Soma as Child
    7. Soma as the Support of the Sky
    8. Soma as King
  4. Indu and other related Designations for the moon in the Rgveda
    1. drapsa
    2. urmi
    3. utsa
    4. samudra
    5. mada
    6. urjam pati, svadhavat etc.
    7. kosa
  5. Agni Somagopa
  6. More on Soma
    1. Soma Tigmasrnga
    2. The Weapons of Soma
    3. Soma Stanayad and related expressions
    4. Vacaspati
    5. Soma Marutvat
  7. Soma and the Waters
    1. Apam napat
    2. Sarasvat
  8. Why is the moon called Pavamana?
  9. Soma Giristha
  10. Soma Osadhipati
  11. Soma Triprstha
  12. Soma and the Manes
  13. Kavi Soma
  14. Soma and Gandharva
  15. Haoma in the Avesta
Part III: Soma and the Sun
  1. Comparisons
  2. Astronomical Relationship
    1. New Moon
    2. Full Moon
  3. Acarya and Brahmacarin
  4. Soma and the Daughter of Surya
  5. Agni-Soma
  1. Apparatus for Pressing
    1. In the Ritual
    2. In the Rgveda
      1. The Stones
      2. The Mortar
      3. The Cowhide
  2. On Some Soma Vessels in the Rgveda
    1. Kosa and Kalasa
    2. Dru
    3. Drona
    4. Vana
    5. Sruva, ladle
  3. The Swelling of Soma
  4. Extraction and Purification
    1. In the Ritual
    2. In the Rgveda
  5. Pure Unmixed Soma Juice
  6. Admixtures to the Soma Juice
    1. Mixing with Water
    2. Mixing with Milk
    3. Yavasir
    4. Admixture of Butter
    5. Food offered with the Soma Drink
    6. Soma Tivra
    7. Rjisa, Rjisin
    8. Soma Tiroahnya
  7. Soma, Madhu and Sura
    1. The Asvins and Honey
    2. Honey in the Srauta Ritual
    3. Sura
  8. The three Savanas

  1. Varuna
    1. Varuna and the Sky
    2. Ahura and Mithra
    3. Varuna and the Waters
      1. Samudra in the RV
      2. Samudra in the Ritual
    4. Varuna in the Ritual
      The Sacrificial Bath
    5. Tr

Item Code: NAB483
Cover: Hardcover
Edition: 2016
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN: 9788120808010
Language: English
Size: 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch
Pages: 983
Other Details: Weight of the Books: 1.4 kg