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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The paradigmatic nature of ritual action

As already hinted at, karman means ``action'' and also ``ritual action''. However, the first meaning is not secondary, as one would at first sight think. On the contrary, the ritual action is the paradigm of every kind of action and one uses it in order to understand other activities. In this way, other actions are assimilated to the ritual one. For instance, wedding is described along the lines of ritual: the bride's father is the sacrificer (yajamāna), the bride is the victim, the groom is the Deity (to whom the sacrifice is offered) and at the same time one of the officiants (yājaka). In a similar way, work is interpreted as sacrifice, the client is the yajamāna and the worker is the yājaka.

Short, the sacrifice is a complete action, including all its aspects, from remuneration to fatigue, from organization to future plans.


Sankranth said...

Very interesting write up. Since I am an Indian and am deeply interested in philosophy, I request you to join "Indian Philosophy" forum I created on FAceBook. I think you would make a great contribution there...

Thanks a lot...

elisa freschi said...

Dear Sankranth,
thanks for your message, but I do not use Facebook. Good luck for your forum!

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