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There are two opposing views about language, both advanced by distinguished thinkers. One view holds that a language is external to objects and thoughts; the other view regards it as fundamental to them. In what sense or senses are these views true? Can they be reconciled?

Language has not merely expressed man’s fears; it has also expressed his sense of mystery. Again and again, man has sung of Gods and Divine Life and his idea of the Good and the Beautiful in sublime speech. This sublime speech, these inspired words, he has treasured as his veritable heritage, his Vedas. But in the passage of time, man’s thought-habits and speech-mores change and the inspired words become difficult to understand. Can a study of language help us to recapture the meanings of older scriptures? Can this study help us to understand the deeper life of man, his vision of Gods and the Good? Can this study throw some light on religious consciousness in general and the cherished old scriptures in particular? For example, can we understand the mentality of the seers of the Vedas— humanity’s oldest extant scripture—by studying their language? Or can we understand the import of their language by entering into the state of their mind?

The book studies human speech in its relation to man’s deeper psyche and religious consciousness. It adds a new dimension to the science of Semantics by showing how physical meanings of a word become sensuous meanings, become concepts and ideas, become names of the powers of the psyche, become Names of Gods, depending upon the organ of mind— indriya, manas, buddhi, —which is using that word as also on the level of$

Next, by applying this method of unlocking the highest and the most secre$

Thirdly, refuting that Vedic Gods represent the attempt of the primitive $

Fourthly, it invites us to extend this new approach to promote an underst$

Finally, though briefly, the book offers a practical advice. A meditation$

ISBN 81-85990-68-9



The Word as Revelation Names of Gods



David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri)



First Published: 1980 First Reprint: 2001

ISBN 81-85990-68-9

Published by Voice of India, 2/18, Ansari Road, New Delhi — 110 002 and printed at Rajkamal Electric Press, Delhi — 110 033.

English does not have the equivalents of Sanskrit aspirate mutes. So the sounds given for kh, gh, ch, jh, th, dh, ph, bh are approximations.

The difference between nasal sounds like f, fi, n, n is non-significant in English. Even in Hindi, they have a tendency to run into one single sound of n. Similarly, the distinction between the two sibilants § and s is on the wane. aa of thou the Immortal, we meditate upon your many names.’ Vatsa Kanva, Rigveda VIII.11.5.