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The Child in Ancient India


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ISBN : 9788130717562


Author : K. Deshpande


Pages : 182 pp


Year of Publishing : 2016


Binding : Hardbound



SKU: COSC026 Category:

It is with great pleasure indeed that I introduce the thesis of Mrs. Kamalabai Deshpande on “The Child in Ancient India” to the learned public. She attended my lectures and seminaries with the greatest zeal and diligence, and within the short space of two years she managed, by earnest study and constant effort, not only to accomplish her knowledge of Sanskrit, but also to acquire a mastery of Western methods of research, which she ably applied to the work presented to our faculty as a thesis for the philosophical doctorate. The degree of Ph.D. was conferred upon her after a successful viva voce examination in Indology pedagogics, and philosophy. The thesis, which now happily lies before us in print, is a valuable contribution to the history of Indian religion and social life. It is well-known that religion accompanies the Brahmanical Hindu from the moment of his conception until after his death, when he still requires the S’raddha offering. These religious needs find their expression in the so-called Samskaras, a number of rites and ceremonies to be performed on all important occasions in the life of the individual, such as conception, birth, marriage, etc. Mrs. Desh-pande has treated in her thesis the nine Samskaras referring to the child. The work is based, in the first place, on a careful investigation of all the fourteen printed Grhyasutras in which these rites are described. But the Dharms’astras, and the ancient Vedic texts, as far as they refer to the Samskaras, have also been made use of. The authoress has not been satisfied with merely giving a description of the rites in question, but has endeavored to comprehend these ancient Vedic rites and customs with regard to their origin and sociological and ethnological significance. Though the Samskaras have been treated before, Mrs. Deshpande’s work contains much that is new. For she has been able to make use, for the first time, of many Grhyasutras which have only been published during the last few years. The value of the work is enhanced by many interesting references to rites and customs which are still in vogue in India to-day.

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