By Romila Thapar
This essay examines the hyperlink among time and heritage by utilizing cyclic and linear recommendations of time. whereas the previous happens in a cosmological context, the latter is located in prevalent ancient types. the writer argues for the life of historic awareness in early India at the proof of early texts.
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Extra info for Time As a Metaphor of History: Early India
17. 2 The Rigveda, by Kaegi, pp. 88, 89. 20 The Vedas, Brahma1faS and their Philosophy [ CH. Similar attributes are also ascribed to the deity Visvakarma (All-creator )I. He is said to be father and procreator of all beings, though himself uncreated. He generated the primitive waters. It is to him that the sage says, Who is our father, our creator, maker, Who every place doth know and every creature, By whom alone to gods their names were given, To him all other creatures go to ask him 2• R. V.
Even if a word was mispronounced the most dreadful results might follow. tr performed a sacrifice for the production of a demon who would be able to kill his enemy Indra, owing to the mistaken accent of a single word the object was reversed and the demon produced was killed by Indra. But if the sacrifice could be duly performed down to the minutest detail, there was no power which could arrest or delay the fruition - of the object. Thus the objects of a sacrifice were fulfilled not by the grace of the gods, but as a natural result of the sacrifice.
X. ads however, the position is entirely changed, and the centre of interest there is not in a creator from outside but in the self: the natural development of the monotheistic position of the Vedas could have grown into some form of developed theism, but not into the doctrine that the self was the only reality and that everything else was far below it. There is no relation here of the worshipper and the worshipped and no prayers are offered to it, but the whole quest is of the highest truth, and the true self of man is discovered as the greatest reality.