How do we reconcile aniconic Vedic yajña with image-oriented Hindu puja? As any foray into a university library attests, the lines of historical development linking Vedic and Hindu ritual practice are frequently occluded by the shadow of a far younger avatar, namely, scholarly interpretation and its theoretical discontents. Despite catalyzing rich dialogue in the study of religions, the iconocentric focus of recent generations of scholars has framed the early history of Hindu ritual practice in terms of devotional theism (bhakti ) to gods and their images. While this tendency has implicitly reinforced a sense of contextual separation between existing practices of yajña and the emergence of distinctively Hindu modes of worship, the Vedic-to-Hindu model that underpins it is narrow and has until now precluded a consideration of historical actors and ritual shifts occurring in independent, non-Vedic ritual contexts.
|Journal||Journal of Religion|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|