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In the Vedie hymns the ideas and myths appear in their simplest and freshest forms, directly connected with the sources from which they sprang by clear ties of lan- guage.
Comparative philology and mythology go hand in hand; and as the language of the Vedas has proved the great critical instrument in the construction of the science of philology, so the .,..., ^oogle X INTRODUCTION.
I have worked diligently and carefully, I hope also intelligently, but mistakes have no doubt been made, and it may be that matters have been passed over which ought to have been recorded, and others have been printed which might well have been left unnoticed.
But while I have no expectation of any near approach to perfection, I do hope that a good beginning has been made, and that a basis has been laid on which a greater and more worthy structure may hereafter be raised. ^ PREFACE, Tii received with anything like favour, I shall be constantly on the watch to improve it, and honest criticism will be welcomed and carefully considered.
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Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the publisher to a library and finally to you. \wmuicvm AJtx\ AROK, UKOX In UOM /p UMBA' -* THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 489325A ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATION.
These ancient hymns cover a long period, the length and the era of which can only be conjectured, but fifteen hundred years before Christ is about the mean of the various ages assigned to them. tg-veda Sanhita, a collection which embraces all the extant compositions of the early Aryans, .^t is the ^^g-veda which is of primary importance in Hindu religion and mytho- logy; the other Vedas are later in date, and the second and third Vedas consist almost exclusively of hymns derived from the Big, but specially arranged for religious purposes.
But if the work is approved, and illus- trations are desired, an attempt will be made to supply the want by a series of plates containing a selection of subjects from the stores of our museums and from other sources.
It is unnecessary to specify all the works that have been used in the compilation of this book. Wilson, includ- ing his translation of the ^tg-veda, and more especially that of the Vishnu Puraria, republished with additional notes by Dr. I have also levied numerous contributions from the writings of Williams, Max Mtiller, Eoth, Bohthlingk, Lassen, Weber, Whitney, Wollheim da Fonseca, and many others too numerous to mention.
Google Book Search helps readers discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. V \ ■ Digitized by Google Digitized by Googk Digitized by Googk r Digitized by Vj OOQ IC TRUBNER'S ORIENTAL SERIES. There is nothing in this book for which authority is not to be found in some one or more of the many works upon Hindu literature and religion, but the aim has been to condense and bring together in a compact form that information which lies scattered in many volumes.
You can search through the full text of this book on the web at |http : //books . Hindu mythology is so extensive, and the authorities are often so at variance with each other, that I cannot but feel diffident of the success of my labours.