Author: Jayant Burde
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8120820533
In this book the author discusses the place of science in rituals and mantras. Using structural analysis he shows that rituals in general, whether religious, political, social or otherwise have common structural patterns. These patterns are shared by poetry, music, dance and gymanastics, but not by language. Consideration of animal rituals and pathological (compulsive) rituals leads him to propose a general theory which unifies all ritual-like activities.
He also introduces the concept of ritual instinct which can be make the theory simpler and more elegant. He shows how knowledge can divided into science, non-science and pseudo-science to understand he true status of such strange phenomena as miracles, supernatural powers, siddhis, Samadhi, rebirth and ESP.
Indians are proud of their ancestors who have made valuable contributions to the various fields of learning; arts, literature, grammar, mathematics, astronomy, medicine and many others. Their most outstanding contribution is undoubtedly the decimal system of numbers and the concept of zero. Of course, a similar vigesimal numerical system (with twenty as the base) was used in the Maya in Central America much before, but the world at large did not benefit from it.
However, when the ancestral pride is excessive and rooted in superstition, it becomes ancestor worship. Many of us are guilty of regarding our forebears as gods. There are many Indians, some of them highly educated, who believe that rainfall will occur if you recite (in Sanskrit) a mantra such as the following a certain number of times, and perform some ancillary rituals.
THE PRONUNCIATION OF SANSKRIT/INDIC LETTERS AND WORDS
PART I: RELIGIOUS RITUALS
Vedic and Ancient India
Rituals and Mantras
Tantra and Yoga
PART II: ANALYTICAL TOOLS
Meaning and Interpretation
Rituals in General
PART III: RITUALS AND SCIENCE
The Structure of Religious Ritual
Major Religious Rituals
Mantras and Language
The Interpretation of Rituals
Science, Non-Science and Pseudo-science
The Science of Ritual