By Maurice Bloomfield
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Additional resources for The Religion of the Veda the Ancient Religion of India
Even if they were written down during the The Veda Vedic period 21 as I think altogether likely, the itself, early manuscripts were certain to perish Indian climate. They must, in the furious in that case, have been The saved by diligent copying and recopying. majority of the manuscripts upon which are based our editions of Vedic texts date from recent cen Manuscripts that date back to the fourteenth (I century of our era are rare only a very few go back turies. ; ij to the twelfth. Here, however, enters one of the curiosities of Hindu religious The adherents life.
The Persia that falls down before Greece. of her greatest glory Darius day into the Behistan rock, 300 feet In the Hystaspes carved, above the ground, I. the hugh trilingual cuneiform inscription, in which he claims suzerainty over twenty-three countries. To all his own. intents and purposes he claims the earth for Among the countries mentioned are parts adjacent to the extreme north-west of India: Dran- Between 500-330 the Achemenidan Persian dynasty giana, Arachosia, Gandhara, etc. , the rule of had without doubt sent out loosely attached its satrapies to the land of the Indus River.
And Until institutions, reported only must remain an uncertain quan of the Veda are to a considerable degree cloudy, turgid, and mystic taken by them selves they will never yield a clear picture of human life that fits any time or place. We have from the ; Vedic period no annals except priestly annals, It or such at least as have been edited by priests. entire is as though we relied upon cloister chronicles alone our knowledge of the politics and institutions of a certain time. Or, to use an even homelier compari for son, as though we had to reconstruct the more modern time from an conditions of a cepted boarding-school correspondence.