Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 33, No 1 (2014)

On “Parents” and “Children” in Vedic Tradition

Adéla Sandness
Issued Date: 17 Jun 2014


In the symbolic language of Vedic tradition, parental relationships are among the ways used by poets to articulate relationships between the one and the many, the parts and the whole. Mythological figures, and the principles they represent, are named as offspring to indicate that they are made manifest by an originator or “parent.” In some cases, what is named is the inter-relationship of principles through a cyclical process of “reverse” parenting. Prajā́pati, or Sacrifice, for example, is the father of his son, the fire god Agní and yet Agní, in turn, gives birth to him. There is also a well-known pattern of creation by an original “parent” or “one,” who gives birth to a “second,” and from these two “parents” arises the manifest world of the many. This paper will examine ideas of creation and re-creation through a study of parental relationships in Vedic tradition.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v33i1.93


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