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Smrti : a study in the sacralization of social processes Smith, Patricia Jean 1972

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1 C - ~ SMRTI A STUDY IN THE SACRALIZATION OF SOCIAL PROCESSES by PATRICIA JEAN SMITH B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of RELIGIOUS STUDIES We accept t h i s thesis as conforming ' to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1972 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f Religious Studies The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada i ABSTRACT The purpose of t h i s thesis i s to demonstrate the advantages of adopting a s o c i o l o g i c a l approach to the study of the smrti l i t e r a t u r e of India. For thi s purpose a func-t i o n a l - s o c i o l o g i c a l approach i s outlined by extrapolating and combining c l a s s i c a l , s o c i o l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e s taken from the writings of Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Peter Berger. The approach i s designed to i l l u s t r a t e the three p r i n c i p a l phases i n the s a c r a l i z a t i o n of s o c i a l processes—explanation, legitimation and perpetuation. In Chapter One these three phases are discussed and defined with the a i d of Emile Durk-heim' s and Mircea Eliade's concepts of the sacred, Max Weber's concepts of r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , legitimacy, t r a d i t i o n a l i s m and charisma, and Peter Berger 1s concepts of cosmization, 'world-construction' , 'world-maintenance' and p l a u s i b i l i t y structure. In Chapters Two and Three th i s approach i s applied to three of the major smrti t e x t s — T h e Visnu Purana, The Manu  Smrti and the Mahabharata. Each of these texts admirably i l l u s t r a t e s one phase of the s a c r a l i z a t i o n process. In addition, the three aspects of the Indian concept, dharma—cosmic, s o c i a l and i n d i v i d u a l — a r e discussed i n terms of the s a c r a l i z a t i o n process. The advantages of t h i s type of approach to smrti l i t e r a t u r e l i e i n i t s a b i l i t y to point to some of the reasons for Hinduism's h i s t o r i c a l emergence during the period of smrti l i t e r a t u r e , the f i f t h century B.C. to the f i f t h century A.D. Second, i t demonstrates the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the d i f f e r e n t genres of smrti to one another. Third, i t provides a frame-work for the understanding of smrti which i s f a m i l i a r to non-Indians, and which harmonizes well with smrti as defined by the Indians themselves. • • » 1 1 1 TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE / I. PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS 1 II. OUTLINE OF THE APPROACH 13 Durkheim's and Eliade's Concepts of the Sacred 15 The Explanation Phase of S a c r a l i z a t i o n . . . . 24 The Legitimation Phase of S a c r a l i z a t i o n . . . 35 The Perpetuation Phase of S a c r a l i z a t i o n . . . 41 The Relationship of the Three Phases 45 II I . THE VISNU PURANA 48 The D e f i n i t i o n of Smrti Li t e r a t u r e 48 The D e f i n i t i o n of Purama 57 Summary of the Contents of The Visnu Purana . 58 The D e f i n i t i o n of Dharma 72 Analysis of The Visnu Pura~na 75 I V « ™ MANU SMRTI AND THE MAHABHARATA The D e f i n i t i o n of Dharmasastra 86 Summary and Analysis of The Manu Smrti . . . . 89 The Importance of the Soc i a l Aspect of Dharma. 101 Summary and Analysis of the Mahabharata . . . 104 The Importance of the Individual Aspect of Dharma I l l V. CONCLUSIONS 117 LITERATURE CITED 123 APPENDICES 128 Better one's own duty, (though) imperfect, Than another's duty well performed. "Bhagavadgita"III, 34 1 CHAPTER I PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind i s man. "An Essay on Man" The purpose of the study of r e l i g i o n i s , presumably, the understanding of r e l i g i o u s phenomena, or, i n other words, the understanding of man's r e l i g i o u s behavior. In accord with Pope's dictum the emphasis i s on man. Yet the study of r e l i g i o n poses a unique problem: Is i t possible to understand man's r e l i g i o n s without becoming beli e v i n g members of h i s various r e l i g i o u s t r a d i t i o n s . The answer which has been put fo r t h by many writers on the subject of r e l i g i o n since the middle of the nineteenth century has been "Yes, i t i s " . To understand r e l i g i o u s phenomena by explanations other than those given by the r e l i g i o u s adherents themselves has been one goal of the study of r e l i g i o n . By approaching r e l i g i o n i n t h i s fashion i t has been possible to view the phenomenon from many d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s — p s y c h o l o g i c a l , s o c i o l o g i c a l , anthropological, etc. The major advantage of thi s type c f "objective" approach to the study of r e l i g i o n i s that i t provides the observer with a framework by which he may compare many r e l i -2 gious t r a d i t i o n s i n hi s attempt to understand the nature of r e l i g i o n i n general. The main disadvantage of the approach l i e s i n i t s i n a b i l i t y to discover the r e l i g i o u s aesthetic or the emotional attachment which the bel i e v i n g member of a r e l i g i o u s t r a d i t i o n experiences. However, for most research-ers t h i s "subjective" understanding of r e l i g i o n i s li m i t e d to the t r a d i t i o n into which they are born. Therefore, i n order to gain access to a m u l t i p l i c i t y of r e l i g i o u s phenomena, i t i s necessary to adopt a more "objective" approach. Despite i t s l i m i t a t i o n s t h i s method has provided many insights into man's r e l i g i o u s behavior. Therefore, i t i s the purpose of th i s study to use the discoveries of c e r t a i n scholars who have adopted a s o c i o l o g i c a l approach to the study of r e l i g i o n and to apply t h e i r findings to a s p e c i f i c body of r e l i g i o u s texts i n order to increase our understanding of them. I propose to outline a f u n c t i o n a l - s o c i o l o g i c a l approach by extrapolating and combining p r i n c i p l e s taken primarily from the writings of Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Peter Berger and Mircea Eliade. I s h a l l then employ the approach i n the analysis of some of the major texts of the smrti t r a d i t i o n of India--the Visnu Purana, the Manu Smrti and the Mahabharata--my thesis being that t h i s approach i s one of the most il l u m i n a t i n g to take with respect to the r e l i g i o u s texts to be examined. The reasons f o r adopting a f u n c t i o n a l - s o c i o l o g i c a l approach to these texts are many. The most compelling i s the 3 fact that a l l of these texts prescribe rules f o r s o c i a l action. The cen t r a l theme of the Mahabharata i s the catas-trophic c o n f l i c t between the Pandavas and the Kauravas caused by the decline of dharma. The Bhagavadglta, the most beloved portion of the epic, teaches that the best path to sa l v a t i o n i s the performance of s o c i a l duties without regard for the f r u i t s of action. The Manu Smirti outlines the s o c i a l duties for each of the four classes and for each of the four stages of l i f e . The Visnu Purana discusses the cosmic order and • • • explains i t s r e l a t i o n to the terrestrial and s o c i a l order. In a l l the texts the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p of the cosmos and society i s a ce n t r a l theme. Hinduism i t s e l f seems to encourage a s o c i o l o g i c a l study. One un i f y i n g feature of the diverse r e l i g i o u s prac-t i c e s which have been subsumed under the general r u b r i c , Hinduism, i s a consistent emphasis on the importance of dharma.^ In order to q u a l i f y as an orthodox Hindu a-man must conscientiously perform h i s dharma. W.T. de Bary, ed., Sources of Indian T r a d i t i o n , (New York: Columbia University Press, 1958), I, 206; L. Renou, . ed., Hinduism, (New York: Washington Square Press, Inc., 1963), p. 3; 5". Radhakrishnan, Religion and Society (London: George A l l e n & Unwin Ltd., 1947), chap.3. 4 In contrast to the orthodox sects, the heresy of the theophratries consists i n the f a c t that they tear the i n d i v i d u a l away from his r i t u a l -i s t i c duties, hence from the duties of the caste of his b i r t h , and thus ignore or destroy his dharma. When thi s occurs the Hindu loses caste. And since only through caste can one belong to the Hindu community, he i s l o s t to i t . Dharma, that i s , r i t u a l i s t i c duty, i s the central c r i t e r i o n of Hinduism.^ Hinduism o f f e r s us one of the most c o n s i s t e n t l y r a t i o n a l i z e d and u n i f i e d pictures of the place of the i n d i v i -dual i n r e l a t i o n to society ever devised by man. Its b e l i e f s c o n t i n u a l l y reinforce the t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l t i e s between in d i v i d u a l s , the t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l structures and the t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l values. Hindu piety i n p a r t i c u l a r , as we have already suggested, maintained the strongest possible power of t r a d i t i o n , since the presuppositions of Hinduism constituted the most consistent r e l i g i o u s expression of the organic view of society.3 A f u n c t i o n a l - s o c i o l o g i c a l approach of the type which i s proposed i n t h i s paper has been c r i t i c i z e d by C l i f f o r d Geertz for i t s i n a b i l i t y to deal with s o c i a l change. He maintains that the "tendency to emphasize the functional aspects of a people's s o c i a l usages and customs rather than t h e i r d i s f u n c t i o n a l implications . . . has led to a some-what Max Weber, The Religion of India, trans. H. Gerth and D. Martindale, (Glencoe, I l l i n o i s : The Free Press, 1958), p.24. "^ Max Weber, The Sociology of Religion, trans. E.; F i s c h o f f , (Boston: Beacon Press, 1963), p.268. 5 over-conservative view of the role of r i t u a l and b e l i e f i n s o c i a l l i f e . " ^ Undoubtedly, Geertz's c r i t i c i s m s of the approach i n general are well founded. However, I f e e l that h i s c r i t i c i s m s i r o n i c a l l y , only help to support the v a l i d i t y of taking a f u n c t i o n a l - s o c i o l o g i c a l approach i n the s p e c i f i c case of the smrti l i t e r a t u r e of India. This l i t e r a t u r e dates from approximately the f i f t h century B.C. to the fourth or f i f t h century A.D. The l i t e r a t u r e , therefore, developed during the formative period of Hinduism. And i t i s reasonable to assume that during the formative period of a r e l i g i o n the integrating or functional aspects of i t s b e l i e f s would thus be adopted by the society i n which i t i s emerging. The h i s t o r i c a l f a c t of Hinduism's-emergence at t h i s time i s a strong i n d i c a t i o n that i t s b e l i e f s were well suited to meet the p a r t i c u l a r needs of the society during that era. In addition, Hinduism, once established, con-tinued to exert a profoundly conservative influence on the subsequent changes which took place i n Indian society."* ^ C l i f f o r d Geertz, "Ritual and Social Change: A Javan-ese Example", Bobbs-Merrill Reprint #A-78; Reprinted from ' American Anthropologist, Feb., 1957. Vol. 59, p.32. am at t h i s point d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between Hinduism and Indian society. As i t w i l l l a t e r become evident i n the body of t h i s text, t h i s i s an extremely d i f f i c u l t p o s i t i o n to maintain. However, Hinduism i s not as old as Indian society. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Hinduism and Indian society i s , i n the main, the accomplishment of smrti l i t e r a t u r e . Therefore, I f e e l i t i s permissible to make'this d i s t i n c t i o n when discuss-ing the 'developing Hinduism'. 6 Indeed, the major impetus for change came not from within the society, but rather from without, through the vehicle of invading armies. Max Weber argues: For every r e l i g i o n we s h a l l f i n d that a change i n the s o c i a l l y decisive s t r a t a has u s u a l l y been of profound importance. On the other hand, the type of a r e l i g i o n , once stamped, has usually exerted a rather far-reaching influence upon the l i f e of very heterogeneous s t r a t a . ^ And elsewhere he says: Not ideas, but material and i d e a l i n t e r e s t s , d i r e c t l y govern men's conduct. Yet very frequently the 'world images' that have been created by 'ideas' have, l i k e switchmen, determined the tracks along which action has been pushed by the dynamic of i n t e r e s t . 'From what' and 'for what' one wished to be redeemed and, l e t us not forget, 'could be' redeemed, depended upon one's image of the world.? The preceding passages were taken from the writ-ings of Max Weber--a man whose primary i n t e r e s t i n r e l i g i o n lay i n demonstrating the casual s i g n i f i c a n c e of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and ideas i n the dynamics of s o c i a l change. In these passages he i s speaking of r e l i g i o n i n general but his s p e c i f i c conclusions with regard to Hinduism were that i t s r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s tended to conserve and perpetuate From Max Weber,trans, and ed., H. H. Gerth and C.W. M i l l s , (New York: Oxford University Press, 1958), p.270. 7 I b i d . , p.280. 7 t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l patterns rather than to serve as a dynamic factor i n the area of s o c i a l change. Thus h i s con-clusions o f f e r a d d i t i o n a l support for the adoption of a f u n c t i o n a l - s o c i o l o g i c a l approach to the s p e c i f i c case of Hindu r e l i g i o u s phenomena. F i n a l l y , a s o c i o l o g i c a l approach i s recommended by the c o l l e c t i v e or s o c i a l nature of r e l i g i o n i t s e l f . Religious phenomena are not i d e n t i f i a b l e u n t i l they become s o c i a l phenomena; every r e l i g i o n must secure for i t s e l f a s o c i a l base i n order to ensure that i t s b e l i e f s and r i t u a l s w i l l survive. To a f f i r m the s o c i a l nature of r e l i g i o n i s not to ignore the i n s p i r a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l men i n t h e i r solitude. Nevertheless i t i s a fact that the founders of r e l i g i o n and the great mystics i n each t r a d i t i o n have not kept t h e i r r e l i g i o u s experiences to themselves but have sought to share them with others. Indeed, they have often g f e l t compelled to do so. It must be emphasized, however, that to take a s o c i o l o g i c a l approach to a c e r t a i n body of r e l i g i o u s texts i s not to be g u i l t y of a 'nothing but' approach to the phenomena. As William James points out, the purpose i s To support t h i s statement one need only to point to the obvious examples: Buddha, Jesus, Muhammed, Shankara, Ramanuja, Saint Teresa, etc. 8 not to 'explain away' the material ; rather, the purpose i s to increase our understanding of i t . It must also be stressed that the adoption of a s o c i o l o g i c a l approach does not imply the endorsement of a Durkheimian theory of the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n . Durkheim believes that r e l i g i o n depends upon the l o g i c a l p r i o r i t y of society for i t s existence. Without society r e l i g i o n could not e x i s t . This i n i t s e l f i s not a surprising statement, for without society i t i s doubtful i f man could e x i s t . However, Durkheim goes on to assert that r e l i g i o u s symbols are, i n r e a l i t y , the disguised expression of the c o l l e c t i v e r e a l i t i e s of the society i n which these symbols originate; the gods are, therefore, only a symbolic representation of the s o c i e t i e s i n which they are found. " I f i t (the totem) i s at once the symbol of the god and of the society, i s that not because the god and the society are only one?"^ These statements are i n l i n e with one of Durkheim's fundamental rules of s o c i o l o g i c a l method which states that: "The f i r s t o r i g i n s of a l l s o c i a l processes  of any importance should be sought i n the i n t e r n a l c o n s t i -tution of the s o c i a l g r o u p . T h i s l a t t e r p o s i t i o n w i l l William James, The V a r i e t i e s of Religious Experience, (New York: The New American Library, Inc., 1958), pp.27-31. "^Emile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of the Religious L i f e , trans. J. W. Swain, (New York: The Free Press, 1965),p.236. ^ E m i l e Durkheim, The Rules of S o c i o l o g i c a l Method, trans. S. Solovay and J. Mueller, (Glencoe, I l l i n o i s : The Free Press, 1938), p.113. 9 not be endorsed i n t h i s paper. No theory of the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n , s o c i o l o g i c a l or otherwise, w i l l be put forward or implied i n the following chapters. The view of society and r e l i g i o n which s h a l l be proposed for the purposes of t h i s work i s s i m i l a r to the view of society and culture which C l i f f o r d Geertz proposes: One of the more useful ways--but f a r from the  only one ( i t a l i c s mine)--of di s t i n g u i s h i n g be-tween culture and s o c i a l system i s to see the former as an ordered system of meaning and of symbols, i n terms of which s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n takes place; and to see the l a t t e r as the pattern of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n i t s e l f . . . . On the one le v e l there i s the framework of b e l i e f s , express-ive symbols and values i n terms of which i n d i v i d u a l s define t h e i r world, express t h e i r f e e l i n g s , and make t h e i r judgements; on the other l e v e l there i s the ongoing process of i n t e r a c t i v e behavior, whose persistent form we c a l l s o c i a l structure. Culture i s the f a b r i c of meaning i n terms of which human beings int e r p r e t t h e i r experience and guide t h e i r action; s o c i a l structure i s the form that action takes, the a c t u a l l y e x i s t i n g network of s o c i a l relations.12 By s u b s t i t u t i n g the word ' r e l i g i o n 1 for the word 'culture' i n the preceding discussion i t i s possible to obtain a preview of the t h e o r e t i c a l considerations which w i l l be dealt with i n the f i r s t chapter. For the purpose of th i s paper r e l i g i o n w i l l be defined as 'the framework of b e l i e f s , expressive symbols and values i n terms of which ind i v i d u a l s define t h e i r world, express t h e i r f e e l i n g s , and "Ri t u a l and Soc i a l Change", p.33. 10 make t h e i r judgements' and which these same i n d i v i d u a l s hold to be sacred. Society w i l l be defined as 'the form that action takes, the a c t u a l l y e x i s t i n g network of s o c i a l r e l a t -ions'. R e l i g i o n and society w i l l thus be regarded as separ-ate r e a l i t i e s which, nonetheless, converge and complement each other i n a very s i g n i f i c a n t way. This type of approach i s not unique to Geertz; i t i s d e f i n i t e l y found i n the work of Max Weber and i t i s implied i n Branislaw Malinowski's statement that "the c o l l e c t i v e and the r e l i g i o u s , though impinging on each other, are by no means co-extensive. " ^ It i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p of society and r e l i g i o n , as defined by Hinduism, that w i l l be the c e n t r a l concern of t h i s paper. This r e l a t i o n s h i p i s epitomized by the concept of dharma. The major portion of t h i s work, then, w i l l be devoted to the demonstration of the manner i n which Indian s o c i a l processes are explained, legitimated and per-petuated by the means of s a c r a l i z a t i o n and to the demon-s t r a t i o n of how dharma epitomizes t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . Two f i n a l introductory comments on the approach that w i l l be taken i n t h i s paper remain to be made. F i r s t , since Durkheim divides r e l i g i o n into two main categories: b e l i e f s and r i t e s . However, the emphasis i n t h i s paper w i l l be r e s t r i c t e d to r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s . Nevertheless i t should be noted that dharma i s not only a concept but also a r i t u a l . "^Branislaw Malinowski, Magic, Science and Religion and  Other Essays„ (New York: Doubleday & Company, I n c ~ 1954}, p.58. 11 r e l i g i o n and society w i l l each be accorded an independent status, the approach i t s e l f does not preclude the possi-b i l i t y of s o c i a l change. Presumably a change i n society or a change i n r e l i g i o n would cause a corresponding change i n the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p of the two. Yet, the emphasis w i l l not be on change but rather upon the type of i n t e r - r e l a t i o n -ship between society and r e l i g i o n as defined by smrti during a s p e c i f i c period i n Indian his t o r y . Even Durkheim, who has been accused by h i s c r i t i c s of taking a s t a t i c , a h i s t o r i c a l approach to his subject matter, recognizes that a change i n society may be caused by r e l i g i o n . However, thi s recognition developed gradually. In Suicide he made the statement that " r e l i g i o u s conceptions are the products of the s o c i a l envir-onment, rather than i t s producers, and i f they react, once formed, upon t h e i r own o r i g i n a l causes, the reaction cannot be very profound."^ However, a few years l a t e r he greatly modified h i s p o s i t i o n i n Primitive C l a s s i f i c a t i o n - - a work which he wrote i n conjunction with Marcel Mauss and which contained the germinal ideas for The Elementary Forms of the Religious  L i f e . In Primitive C l a s s i f i c a t i o n the following statement appears: ^ E m i l e Durkheim, Suicide--A Study i n Sociology, trans. J. Spaulding and G. Simpson, (New York: The Free Press, 1951), p.227. 12 What characterizes the l a t t e r ( i . e . , primitive c l a s s i f i c a t i o n systems) i s that ideas are organized on a model which i s furnished by society. But once t h i s organization of the c o l l e c t i v e mind e x i s t s , i t i s capable of re-acting against i t s cause and of contributing to i t s change.1^ Second, although r e l i g i o n and society w i l l be accorded an equal and independent status i n the approach they w i l l not be given an equal treatment i n the following analysis. The central focus w i l l be on r e l i g i o n - - o n the r e l i g i o u s ideas, myths and b e l i e f s found i n the texts themselves. The purpose of the paper w i l l be to show how these b e l i e f s serve to explain, legitimate and perpetuate s o c i a l processes by the means of s a c r a l i z a t i o n ; to show how r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s influence the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p of re-l i g i o n and society. The emphasis w i l l not be on society or the demonstration of how a society u t i l i z e s r e l i g i o n to further i t s own ends. This d i s t i n c t i o n i s an important one f o r i t places the type of study which w i l l be undertaken i n the following chapter within the l i m i t s of the d i s c i p l i n e of Religious Studies and not ex c l u s i v e l y within the l i m i t s of the d i s c i p l i n e of Sociology. Emile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss, Primitive C l a s s i f i c a -t i o n , trans. R. Needham, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1963), p.32. 13 CHAPTER II OUTLINE OF THE APPROACH Possibly the best way to get a c l e a r perspective of the type of approach which i s proposed here i s to p i c -ture two overlapping circles.''" One c i r c l e represents society; the other, r e l i g i o n . The common sector which the two c i r c l e s share represents the realm of t h e i r i n t e r -action. Imagine a red l i n e tracing the circumference of the c i r c l e l a b e l l e d r e l i g i o n . The area marked i n red de-notes the focus of the study. In other words, what the approach i s designed to demonstrate i s the manner i n which r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s , myths and ideas influence the s o c i a l 2 processes which are indicated by the sector which i s common to both c i r c l e s . In consequence of the writings of Max Weber and Emile Durkheim a s o c i o l o g i c a l approach to r e l i g i o n has xSee Appendix A for diagram. 2 Since the purpose of t h i s paper i s not to i d e n t i f y the type of s o c i a l processes upon which r e l i g i o n has had the most influence, the nature of these processes w i l l remain l a r g e l y undefined i n the paper. For p r a c t i c a l pur-poses they may be assumed to consist of the normal s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s i n which human beings engage marriage, the r a i s i n g of children, economic a c t i v i t y , p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y , etc. > 14 become popular during the l a s t seventy years. Much of the s o c i o l o g i c a l research on r e l i g i o n which we now possess may be placed within the context of a Weberian or a Durkhei-mian t r a d i t i o n , or within the context of a t r a d i t i o n which u t i l i z e s the insights of both men. This l a s t method has been adopted by Peter Berger and i t i s the type of approach which i s taken i n t h i s paper. The approach which i s outlined i n t h i s chapter pro-vides the general t h e o r e t i c a l background upon which the study of how smrti explains, legitimates and perpetuates s o c i a l processes by means of s a c r a l i z a t i o n i s based. Hence the f i r s t section of t h i s chapter i s devoted to the d e f i n i -t i o n of s a c r a l i z a t i o n . The source for t h i s d e f i n i t i o n i s the concept of the sacred as i t i s i d e n t i f i e d and defined i n the writings of Emile Durkheim and Mircea Eliade. The second section of the chapter discusses the explanation of s o c i a l processes i n terms of the cosmic order. Here i t i s shown how r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and myths play a ce n t r a l role i n the r e l a t i n g of the cosmic and s o c i a l worlds to one another and i n the creation of meaning and value. Peter Berger's concept of 'cosmization' i s u t i l i z e d to dem-onstrate the process whereby the r e l a t i o n of the cosmic and s o c i a l worlds i s established; Max Weber's concept of 'ration-a l i z a t i o n ' i s employed to demonstrate how meaningful patterns for human behavior are established and values created. 15 The t h i r d section on legitimation describes the manner i n which r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s a i d i n the establishment of normative patterns which harmonize the temporal sphere with the divine sphere and which are expressed i n r e l i g i o u s laws or rules f o r s o c i a l action. The problem of authority-i s dealt with here, p r i m a r i l y i n the context of Weber's con-cept of legitimacy. The fourth section shows how the b e l i e f s and the normative patterns perpetuate s o c i a l processes by supplying the motivation necessary to carry out the prescribed s o c i a l action. In t h i s context the idea of personal salvation or r e l i g i o u s l i b e r a t i o n and Berger's concept of 'world mainten-ance' are u t i l i z e d . The f i n a l step i n the construction of the theory i s to demonstrate how r e l i g i o n ' s influence on the explanation, l e g i t i m a t i o n and perpetuation of s o c i a l processes depends ultimately on s a c r a l i z a t i o n . I. DURKHEIM'S AND ELIADE'S CONCEPTS OF THE SACRED The Elementary Forms of the Religious L i f e has become one of the c l a s s i c works on the subject of r e l i g i o n . Durkheim's:. use of r e l i g i o n and the category of the sacred to ex-p l a i n not merely the binding character of the s o c i a l bond, not merely the origi n s of human thought and c u l -ture, but the very c o n s t i t u t i o n of the human mind, must surely rank as one of the boldest and most b r i l l i a n t 16 contributions of modern sociology. According to Durkheim a l l r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s that we know of presuppose a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of a l l things of existence into two realms or classes which may be designated by the terms 'sacred' and 'profane'. In a l l the h i s t o r y of human thought there exists no other example of two categories of things so profoundly d i f f e r e n t i a t e d or so r a d i c a l l y opposed to one another. The t r a d i t i o n a l opposition of good and bad i s nothing beside t h i s ; for the good and the bad are only two opposed species of the same cl a s s , namely morals, just as sickness and health are two d i f f e r e n t aspects of the same order of f a c t s , l i f e , while the sacred and the profane have always and everywhere been conceived by the human mind as two d i s t i n c t classes, as two worlds between which there i s nothing i n common.4-After analyzing the nature of the d i f f e r e n t things which the totemic peoples of A u s t r a l i a c l a s s i f i e d as sacred Durkheim came to the conclusion that these d i f f e r e n t sorts of things inspir e d s i m i l a r sentiments i n the minds of the belie v e r s . The cause of these things being regarded by the Australians as sacred was thus the r e s u l t of thi s s i m i l a r response. If t h i s were the case, then some common p r i n c i p l e must permeate the class of sacred things. Thus: i n r e a l i t y , i t i s to thi s common p r i n c i p l e that the c u l t i s addressed. In other words, Robert Nisbet, Emile Durkheim, (Englewood C l i f f s , New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1965J, pp.73-74. ^Elementary Forms, pp.53-54. 17 toteraism i s the r e l i g i o n , not of such and such animals or men or images, but of an anony-mous and impersonal force, found i n each of these beings but not to be confounded with any of them.^ Durkheim c a l l e d t h i s common p r i n c i p l e the 'totemic p r i n c i p l e ' . Having discovered the source of the r e l i g i o u s sentiment i n what, i n his view, was the most primitive so-c i e t y known to man he concluded that at the o r i g i n and basis of a l l r e l i g i o u s thought were these impersonal forces which were capable of imbuing men and objects with a sacred char-acter. According to Durkheim these forces were character-ized by a dual nature; they consisted of a physical or mater-i a l nature as well as a moral one.^ Man has always f e l t : that outside of him there are active causes from which he gets the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a t t r i -butes of his nature and which, as benevolent powers, a s s i s t him,protect him, and assure him of a p r i v i l e g e d fate. And of course, he must a t t r i b u t e to these powers a dig n i t y corres-ponding to the great value of good things he a t t r i b u t e s to them.' Durkheim believed that these experiences were not i l l u s i o n s ; they were i n fact f i r m l y grounded i n r e a l i t y . Ibid., p.217. See Chapter I I I , pp.79-80 for a more det a i l e d exposi-t i o n of the moral and physical aspects of sacred force. 7Ibid.,p.243. 18 However, t h i s anonymous force experienced by the Austra-l i a n s was not the experience of the power of the totemic gods, as the Australians believed, but i t was the experi-ence of the force of society, personified and o b j e c t i f i e d i n totemic emblems, and expressed through the group. Society gives men t h e i r language, t h e i r t r a d i t i o n s , t h e i r i n s t r u -ments, t h e i r r i g h t s , t h e i r knowledge; i t protects men but i t also forces them to act i n c e r t a i n ways which they would not n a t u r a l l y be i n c l i n e d to do. Thus society i s characterized by a l l the a t t r i b u t e s with which men have endowed t h e i r gods. Society i s the o r i g i n of the sacred. Durkheim's theory of the o r i g i n of the sacred i s not endorsed i n t h i s paper. Many other writers have posi-o ted equally plausible explanations to account for i t . What i s important here i s h i s des c r i p t i o n of the nature of the cate-gory of the sacred. The presence of the sacred i s established only i f a c e r t a i n type of human response i s evoked. The See Sigmund Freud: The Future of an I l l u s i o n , C o l l -ected Papers Vol.V, Moses and Monotheism, Totem and* Taboo; Aldous Huxley: The Doors o"f~Terception; E.O. James: The  Beginnings of Religion, P r e h i s t o r i c Religion; Andrew Lang: The Making oT Religion; Carl Jung: Psychology and Religion; William Lessa and Evon Vogt, ed.: Reader i n Comparative Religion, Chap.l; Robert Marett: The Threshold of Religion; Karl Marx and F r i e d r i c h Engels: On Religion; RucTolf Otto: The Idea of the Holy. One of the most unique theories which account for the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n and the o r i g i n of the concept of sacred power may be found i n Immanuel Valikovsky's Worlds i n C o l l i s i o n . 19 response i s t y p i f i e d by the f e e l i n g of the presence of an exalt i n g power. V i r t u a l l y anything may become a vehicle or a vessel of the sacred; a rock, a c i t y , a r i v e r , an event, a person, a sound--all may become sac r a l i z e d . Regligious force i s only the sentiment inspired by the group i n i t s members, but projected outside of the consciousnesses, that experience them, and o b j e c t i f i e d . To be o b j e c t i f i e d , they are fixed upon some object which thus becomes sacred; . . . Therefore, the sacred character assumed by an object i s not implied i n the i n -t r i n s i c properties of th i s l a t t e r : i_t i_s added to  them. The world of r e l i g i o u s things i s not one p a r t i c u l a r aspect of empirical nature; it: i s  superimposed upon i t . 9 Mircea E l i a d e ^ endorses Durkheim's de s c r i p t i o n of the nature of the sacred i n i t s ent i r e t y . He uses the term 'hierophany' to designate the act of the manifestation of the sacred; he maintains that sacred objects are not wor-shipped for t h e i r own i n t r i n s i c properties but are worshipped s o l e l y because they reveal the sacred; and he argues that "the sacred i s equivalent to a power, and, i n the l a s t analy-Elementary Forms, p.261. "^Eliade's concept of the sacred, i n p a r t i c u l a r , h i s idea of sacred space and time, form the framework for his analysis-of archaic myth, and hence his view of r e l i g i o n . In many of his works these categories are described, e.g. Patterns i n  Comparative Religion; Myths, Dreams and Mysteries; Cosmos  and History; Rites and Symb'ols • of T n i t i a t i o n ; and The Sacred  and the Profane. However, his most comprehensive discussion of "the sacred i s found i n The Sacred and the Profane. There-fore, t h i s work was used to summarize Eliade's d e s c r i p t i o n of the sacred. 20 s i s to r e a l i t y . H o w e v e r , at t h i s point Eliade and Durkheim part company. Whereas Durkheim attempts to demonstrate that the r e a l i t y of the sacred represents the force of society Eliade sees the r e a l i t y of the sacred i n ontological terms. For Eliade the power of the sacred comes from i t s saturation with being i n the mind of r e l i g i o u s man. After making a comparative study of the images and symbols found i n the myths of archaic peoples and discovering i n them repeating patterns Eliade concluded that the sacred 12 and the profane represent "two modes of being i n the world." According to Eliade a l l primitive people, whether they be nomadic hunters or sedentary c u l t i v a t o r s , " l i v e i n a sacra-l i z e d cosmos, both share i n a cosmic s a c r a l i t y manifested 13 equally i n the animal world and i n the vegetable world." For these archaic people sacred space and time are q u a l i t a -t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from profane space and time. Profane space and time e x i s t i n the temporal world of duration which i s found i n the world of men. Sacred space and time are sharply d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from profane space and time. They are infused with the sacred power of being which i s believed to come d i r e c t l y from the realm of the gods. The realm of the gods ^ M i r c e a Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, (trans. W. Trask, New York: Harcourt, Brace and World! Inc., 1959), p.12. 1 2 I b i d . , p.14. 1 3 I b i d . , p.17. 21 exhibits ultimate r e a l i t y , ultimate being; i t i s eternal. The profane world, on the other hand, had a d e f i n i t e beginn-ing; i t was created by the gods. Since the profane world was the work of the gods i t i s sacred but i t s s a c r a l i t y i s d e r i v a t i v e . Although the two realms are separate and d i s -t i n c t the sacred occasionally manifests i t s e l f i n the world of men. When the sacred manifests i t s e l f i n any hierophany, there i s not only a break i n the homogeneity of space; there i s also r e v e l a t i o n of an absolute r e a l i t y , opposed to the nonreality of the vast surrounding expanse (profane space). The mani-f e s t a t i o n of the sacred o n t o l o g i c a l l y founds the world. In the homogeneous and i n f i n i t e expanse, i n which no point of reference i s possible and hence no o r i e n t a t i o n can be established, the hierophany reveals an absolute f i x e d point, a center. This discovery of the center of the world i s equi-valent to creating the world. In the vast expanse of non-d i f f e r e n t i a t e d profane space a fixed point i s established. By reference to t h i s point o r i e n t a t i o n i s achieved. By constructing a sacred space archaic man reproduces the work of the gods; he produces an ordered world out of the chaos of profane space; he creates a cosmos; and by so doing he imitates and repeats the o r i g i n a l creative act. The creation of a center e f f e c t s a break between the sacred realm and the profane realm; i t permits communication between heaven and Ibid., p.21. 22 earth. For Eliade, every inhabited t e r r i t o r y i s a cosmos "pr e c i s e l y because i t was f i r s t consecrated, because, i n one way or another, i t i s the work of the gods or i s i n communication with the world of the gods."''""' In the same way that r e l i g i o u s man divides space into sacred and profane he also divides time into two. The sacred time of f e s t i v a l s i s sharply d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from the profane time of ordinary temporal duration. Whereas sacred time i s re v e r s i b l e , profane time i s not. Eliade says: Every r e l i g i o u s f e s t i v a l , any l i t u r g i c a l time represents the r e a c t u a l i z a t i o n of a sacred event that took place i n a mythical past, " i n the beginning." Religious p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a f e s t i v a l implies emerging from ordinary tem-poral duration and re i n t e g r a t i o n of the mythical time reactualized by the f e s t i v a l . Hence sacred time i s i n d e f i n i t e l y recoverable, i n d e f i n i t e l y repeatable.1° And again he states: The part i c i p a n t s i n the f e s t i v a l meet i n i t the  f i r s t appearance of sacred time, as i t appeared ab origine, i n i l T o tempore. . . . By creating tHe various r e a l i t i e s that today constitute the world, the gods also founded sacred time, for the time contemporary with a creation was ne c e s s a r i l y s a n c t i f i e d by the presence and a c t i v i t y of the gods.l? This desire to become contemporary with the time of 1 5 I b i d . , p.30. 1 6 I b i d . , pp.68-69. 1 7 I b i d . , p.70. 23 o r i g i n i s an e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of archaic man. However, Eliade maintains that i t i s not unique to him. The longing to return to a golden age i n the f a r distant past i s exemplified today; for example, i t i s d e f i n i t e l y found i n the writings of Rousseau, i n his g l o r i f i c a t i o n 18 of the state of nature and the noble savage. This wish "to reintegrate the time of o r i g i n , . . . to return to the presence of the gods, to recover the strong, fresh pure world that existed i n i l l o tempore" i s "at once t h i r s t for the "19 sacred and nostalgia for being. The events that took place i n sacred t i m e — i n the beginning when the gods created the world out of chaos--are recorded i n the myths of archaic people. For these people the r e c i t i n g of a myth reveals a mystery. The myth i s the h i s t o r y of what took place i n i l l o tempore. The myth reveals absolute s a c r a l i t y because i t re l a t e s the creative a c t i v i t y of the gods, unveils the sacredness of t h e i r works. In other words the myth describes the various and sometimes dynamic i r r u p t i o n s of the sacred into the world.20 Mircea Eliade, Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, trans. P. Mairet, (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1967J, p.42. 19 Sacred and Profane, p.94. 2 0 i b i d . 24 This quotation concludes the discussion of the nature of the sacred and introduces the second section of the chapter—the explanation of s o c i a l processes i n terms of the cosmic o r d e r — i n which r e l i g i o u s myth plays a c e n t r a l r o l e . For myth not only records the creative actions of the gods at the commencement of the world, i t i s also an import-ant instrument by the use of which men have related the cosmic and s o c i a l worlds to one another and created t h e i r meanings and values. II. THE EXPLANATION PHASE OF SACRALIZATION Peter Berger's conception of r e l i g i o n as 'world-constructor' i s extremely important for the demonstration of how r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s help to explain the o r i g i n and s i g n i -ficance of s o c i a l processes. However, since Berger, l i k e Durkheim locates the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n i n the c o l l e c t i v e or s o c i a l a c t i v i t y of human beings, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to separate h i s views on r e l i g i o n from h i s views on society. Although Berger adopts a Durkheimian view of the o r i g i n of 21 Berger's most comprehensive discussion of the re-lat i o n s h i p of r e l i g i o n and society i s found i n The Sacred Can-opy. Therefore, the following summary of h i s ideas on the subject was based on th i s work. For a more complete d i s -cussion of h i s views on the c o l l e c t i v e , world-constructing a c t i v i t y of man see The Soc i a l Construction of Reality, which he wrote i n conjunction with Thomas Luckmann. 25 22 r e l i g i o n he envisages the re l a t i o n s h i p i n a d i f f e r e n t way. For Durkheim society and r e l i g i o n , at the time of t h e i r o r i -gin, .form two concentric c i r c l e s of the same diameter. The re l a t i o n s h i p between society and r e l i g i o n does not, however, remain s t a t i c . During the evolutionary course of t h e i r development the circumference of the c i r c l e which represents society continually expands while the circumference of the c i r c l e which represents r e l i g i o n gradually recedes. For Berger society and r e l i g i o n , at the time of t h e i r o r i g i n , also form two concentric c i r c l e s but the diameter of the c i r c l e which represents society i s greater than the diameter 23 of the c i r c l e which represents r e l i g i o n . 22 Berger would, no doubt, be appalled at t h i s descrip-t i o n of his theory of the re l a t i o n s h i p between r e l i g i o n and society for he stresses that he i s not implying "a sociologi-c a l l y deterministic theory of r e l i g i o n . It i s not implied that any p a r t i c u l a r r e l i g i o u s system i s nothing but the e f f e c t or ' r e f l e c t i o n ' of s o c i a l processes. Rather the point i s that the same human a c t i v i t y that produces society also produces r e l i g i o n , with the r e l a t i o n between the two products always being a d i a l e c t i c a l one." (The Sacred Can-opy, p.45) I would argue that he does, i n fact, construct a s o c i o l o g i c a l l y deterministic theory of r e l i g i o n . I would also quarrel with his view of the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n f o r i t s f a i l u r e to account f o r the o r i g i n of the idea of s a c r a l i t y . For Durkheim, on the other hand, t h i s problem i s cen t r a l to his whole discussion. 23 For a p i c t o r i a l representation of Durkheim's theory of the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n and society see Appendix B; f o r a p i c t o r i a l representation of Berger's theory of the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n and society see Appendix C. 26 According to Berger, the es s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the human being i s h i s 'externalizing' a c t i v i t y . In the class of mammals man i s unique. For "unlike other mammals, th i s world i s not simply given, prefabricated f o r him. Man must make a world f o r himself." However, by producing a world man also produces himself. "More pre c i s e l y , he produces 25 himself i n a world." This world-building a c t i v i t y i s necess a r i l y a c o l l e c t i v e enterprise. Men, i n the production of t h e i r worlds, construct meanings; these meaningful patterns are then externalized and o b j e c t i f i e d , becoming part of the objective r e a l i t y into which subsequent generations of human beings are born. "The ' s t u f f out of which society and a l l i t s formations are made i s human meanings externalized i n 26 human a c t i v i t y . " Subsequent generations must adjust to the externalized meanings produced i n the world-building a c t i v i t y of preceding generations and i n t e r n a l i z e them so that these externalized meanings become t h e i r meanings as well. However, because of the fundamental problem of the inherent i n s t a b i l i t y of these 'reality-formations' and the 'cu l t u r a l imperative of s t a b i l i t y ' , and because of the Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy, (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, l3b"7), p.5. 2 5 I b i d . , p.6. 2 6 I b i d . , p.8. 27 e s s e n t i a l e x t e r n a l i z i n g a c t i v i t y of human beings, new mean-ings are continually being created. Hence the fundamental d i a l e c t i c process of society, which consists of three moments or steps--externalization, o b j e c t i v a t i o n and i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n - - i s c o ntinually repeated. The world-building a c t i v i t y of the human being i s a never-ending enterprise. The s o c i a l l y constructed world, i s , above a l l , an ordering of experience. A meaningful order, or nomos, i s imposed upon the discrete, experiences and meanings of i n d i v i d u a l s . To say that society i s a world-building enterprise i s to say that i t i s ordering, or nomizing a c t i v i t y . . . . to l i v e i n the s o c i a l world i s to l i v e an ordered and meaningful l i f e . Society i s the guardian of order and meaning. ... . The s o c i a l l y established nomos may thus be understood . . . as a s h i e l d against t e r r o r . , Put d i f f e r e n t l y , the most important function of society i s nominization.2/ Society, i n i t s quest for s t a b i l i t y , i s greatly aided i f the individ u a l s who comprise i t regard the s o c i a l l y con-structed world not only as "useful, desirable or r i g h t " but also "as ine v i t a b l e , as part and parcel of the uni v e r s a l 'nature of things'". If the s o c i a l world i s taken for granted by the in d i v i d u a l s i n the society then the s o c i a l -i z a t i o n process has been highly successful. Individuals who deviate from s o c i a l l y defined patterns w i l l be regarded not only as 'fools' or 'knaves' but also as 'madmen'. Ibid., pp.19-22. Ibid., p.24. 28 In other words, i n s t i t u t i o n a l programs are endowed with an ontological status to the point where to deny them i s to deny being i t s e l f - - t h e being of the universal order of things and, consequently, one's own being i n this order.29 According to Berger: Whatever the h i s t o r i c a l v a r i a t i o n s , the tendency i s f o r the meanings of the humanly constructed order to be projected into the universe as such. . . . The nomos i s endowed with a s t a b i l i t y deriving from more powerful sources than the h i s t o r i c a l e f f o r t s of human beings. It i s at t h i s point that r e l i g i o n enters s i g n i f i c a n t l y into our argument.30 Berger sees r e l i g i o n as 'cosmization'. For him "cosmization implies the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the humanly meaningful world with the world as such, the former now being grounded i n the l a t t e r , r e f l e c t i n g i t or being derived from 31 i t i n i t s fundamental structures." That i s , the s o c i a l l y constructed world i s seen to be i n harmony with the universe. However, r e l i g i o n i s not the only vehicle of cosmization which human beings possess; according to Berger, modern science f u l f i l l s the same function since i t also provides man with a cosmos which serves as an ultimate ground and 2 9 I b i d . , p.25 3 Q I b i d . , pp.25-26. 3 1 I b i d . , p.28. 29 v a l i d a t i o n of human meaning. What i s unique to r e l i g i o n i s 33 that i t i s "cosmization i n a sacred mode." In the c o l l -ective process of world-construction r e l i g i o n i s that enter-prise which establishes a sacred cosmos. Because t h i s cos-mos i s given sacred status i t i s seen by man to be an immense-l y powerful r e a l i t y over and above the s o c i a l world; i t i s seen to be the source or creator of the human realm. A l -though t h i s r e a l i t y i s believed not to be dependent on him, r e l i g i o u s man believes that i t speaks to him and locates him i n an ultimately meaningful order. "The cosmos posited by r e l i g i o n thus both transcends and includes man." Berger describes r e l i g i o n as: the farthest reach of man's s e l f - e x t e r n a l i z a t i o n , of his i n f u s i o n of r e a l i t y with h i s meanings. Religion implies that the human order i s projected into the t o t a l i t y of being. Put d i f f e r e n t l y , r e l i g i o n i s the audacious attempt to conceive of the entire universe as being humanly significant.35 Berger devotes most of his discussion of r e l i g i o n 32 Berger i s on tenuous ground here. Science can not be seen i n the context of Berger s d e f i n i t i o n of cosmization. Science does not imply nor indeed does i t seek to i d e n t i f y the humanly meaningful world created by society with the 'world as such'. Its prime goal i s to accurately describe the 'world as such'. It i s not concerned with s o c i a l mean-ing or value but rather i t expects society to make meaning and value decisions using the findings of science where they are deemed to be applicable. 3 3 I b i d . , p.26. 3 4 I b i d . 3 5 I b i d . , p.28. 30 to an analysis of r e l i g i o n as legitimator. He claims that i n the past r e l i g i o n has provided society with i t s most widespread and e f f e c t i v e instrument of legitimation. He defines legitimation as: s o c i a l l y objectivated knowledge that serves to explain and j u s t i f y the s o c i a l order. . . . A l l legitimation maintains s o c i a l l y defined r e a l i t y . R e ligion legitimates so e f f e c t i v e l y because i t relates the precarious r e a l i t y construction of empirical s o c i e t i e s with ultimate r e a l i t y . 3 6 Berger defines legitimation i n terms of explanation. Therefore, i t i s permissible to rephrase the above quotation so that i t reads: r e l i g i o n explains the s o c i a l world so e f f e c t i v e l y because i t relates the precarious r e a l i t y con-structions of empirical s o c i e t i e s with ultimate r e a l i t y . This rephrasing summarizes the insights of Berger which are important to our t h e o r e t i c a l demonstration of r e l i g i o n ' s r o l e i n the explanation of s o c i a l processes. Berger discusses the world constructing a c t i v i t y of human beings but he does so i n h i s discussion of society. The major portion of The Sacred Canopy i s devoted to the discuss-ion of r e l i g i o n ' s role i n the world-maintaining a c t i v i t y , of human beings. His emphasis i s on the cosmization function of r e l i g i o n . In order to get another perspective and a f u l l e r understanding of the way i n which r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s Ibid., pp.29-32. 31 and myths create ordered systems of meaning and value, i n terms of which indivi d u a l s define t h e i r world, express t h e i r feelings and make t h e i r judgments, we now turn to Max Weber. In the Protestant Ethic, Weber raised a set of th e o r e t i c a l problems i n the f i e l d of human s o c i a l a ction of the very f i r s t order of importance. The central problem was whether men's conceptions of the cosmic universe including those of D i v i n i t y and men's r e l i g i o u s i n t e r e s t s within such a conceptual framework could influence or shape t h e i r concrete actions and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , p a r t i -c u l a r l y i n the very mundane f i e l d of economic action.3' A l l of Weber's subsequent w r i t i n g on the subject of r e l i g i o n was devoted to the demonstration that men's r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s do indeed influence t h e i r concrete actions and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . That he should approach r e l i g i o u s phenomena i n t h i s way i s consistent with h i s d e f i n i t i o n of sociology. For Weber sociology " i s a science which attempts the i n t e r -pretive understanding of s o c i a l a ction i n order thereby to 38 a r r i v e at a causal understanding of i t s course and e f f e c t s . " In a l l his v?ork on r e l i g i o n he attempted to show how: externally s i m i l a r forms of economic organization may agree with very d i f f e r e n t economic ethics and, according to the unique character of 37 Max Weber, The Sociology of Religion, trans. E. F i s c h o f f , (Boston: Beacon Press, 1963), I. Par-sons' Introduction, p.xxi. 38 Max Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic. Organization, . trans. A. Henderson and T. Parsons^ (jMew~York: The Free Press, 1964), p.88. 32 t h e i r economic ethics how such forms of economic organization may produce very d i f f e r e n t h i s t o r i c a l results.39 Although Weber was aware of the importance of so-c i a l factors, i n p a r t i c u l a r the i n t e r e s t s of r u l i n g s o c i a l s t r a t a , for the formulation of r e l i g i o u s ethics h i s main concern was the demonstration of the continuing influence these r e l i g i o u s ideas could have over very heterogeneous st r a t a once they had become fi r m l y established. I t i s not our thesis that the s p e c i f i c nature of a r e l i g i o n i s a simple 'function' of the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n of the stratum which appears as i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c bearer, or that i t re-presents the stratum's 'ideology' or that i t i s a ' r e f l e c t i o n ' of a stratum s material or i d e a l i n t e r e s t - s i t u a t i o n . On the contrary, a more basic misunderstanding of. the standpoint of these discussions would hardly be p o s s i b l e . ^ Weber, l i k e a l l men, shared the common presupposi-tions of the age and culture into which he was born. Thus i t i s not surprising that i n The Sociology of R e l i g i o n he endorsed the theories of the o r i g i n of r e l i g i o n that were current at the time he wrote. He accepted, u n c r i t i c a l l y , the evolutionary theory of r e l i g i o n which asserted that r e l i g i o n had evolved, i n the same manner as b i o l o g i c a l organisms, from the simpler forms to the more complex; he believed that a l l r e l i g i o n s must pass through a pre-animistic J*,From Max Weber, pp.267-268. 4 0 I b i d . , p.269. 33 or n a t u r i s t phase, an animistic phase and a p o l y t h e i s t i c phase before they can culminate i n monotheism or monism. However, he saw t h i s development i n terms of a progressive ' r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n ' of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and ideas. The emergence of the primacy of universal gods was occasioned when the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n process had achieved a high degree of s o p h i s t i c a t i o n . This trend toward r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n was caused by the natural, r a t i o n a l need of men to conceive the world as a meaningful cosmos. Weber was acutely conscious of the complexity of s o c i a l relationships and much of his discussion of r e l i g i o n i s informed by his understanding of the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p of the prophet, the p r i e s t and the l a i t y . Weber distinguished two types of prophet--the exemplary type of Eastern r e l i -gions and the e t h i c a l type of Western r e l i g i o n s . Yet these two types of prophets were united by a common element: t h e i r revelations involved, for the prophet himself and f o r h i s followers: a u n i f i e d view of the world derived from a con-sciously integrated and meaningful at t i t u d e toward l i f e . To the prophet, both the l i f e of man and the world, both s o c i a l and cosmic events, have a c e r t a i n systematic and coherent meaning. To th i s meaning the conduct of mankind must be oriented i f i t i s to bring salvation, for only i n r e l a t i o n to t h i s mean-ing does l i f e obtain a u n i f i e d and s i g n i f i c a n t pattern. Now the structure of t h i s meaning may take varied form, and i t may weld together into a unity motives that are l o g i c a l l y quite heterogeneous. The whole conception i s dominated, not by l o g i c a l consistency, but by p r a c t i c a l valuations. Yet i t 34 always denotes, regardless of any v a r i a t i o n s i n scope and measure of success, an e f f o r t to systematize a l l the manifestations of l i f e ; that i s , to organize p r a c t i c a l behavior into a d i r e c t i o n of l i f e , regardless of the form i t may assume i n any i n d i v i d u a l case. More-over i t always contains the important r e l i g i o u s conception of the world as a cosmos which i s challenged to produce somehow a 'meaningful', ordered t o t a l i t y , the p a r t i c u l a r requirements of which are to be measured and evaluated according to t h i s requirement.41 For Weber a major source of r e l i g i o u s ideas and be-l i e f s were to be found i n prophetic r e v e l a t i o n that had been 'routinized'. Primarily a r e l i g i o u s community a r i s e s i n connection with a prophetic movement as a r e s u l t of r o u t i n i z a t i o n . . ., i . e . , as a r e s u l t of the process whereby either the prophet himself or his d i s c i p l e s secure the permanence of h i s preaching and the congre-gation's d i s t r i b u t i o n of grace, hence ensur-ing the economic existence of the enterprise and those who man i t , and thereby monopoliz-ing as well the p r i v i l e g e s reserved f o r those charged with r e l i g i o u s functions.42 Prophets reveal a pattern found i n the s o c i a l and universal events to which man must adjust h i s s e l f and h i s actions i n order to be i n harmony with the cosmic pattern. By doing t h i s he gives h i s l i f e meaning and purpose. People, actions and i n s t i t u t i o n s which f a c i l i t a t e the achievement of the goals given i n the revelations, that i s , i n the r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and ideas which the prophets express, w i l l be valued "^Sociology of Religion, pp.58-59. 4 2 I b i d . , pp.60-61. 35 by the community which adheres to these ideas as 'good'; while those people, actions or i n s t i t u t i o n s which hamper the achieve-ment of r e l i g i o u s goals w i l l be valued as ' e v i l ' . Thus a l l r e l i g i o n s attempt to organize p r a c t i c a l behavior into a s p e c i f i c d i r e c t i o n . The r a t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s pragmatism of salvation, flowing from the nature of the images of God and of the world, have under c e r t a i n conditions had far-reaching r e s u l t s for the fashioning of a p r a c t i c a l way of l i f e . These comments pre-suppose that the nature of the desired sacred values has been strongly influenced by the nature of the external i n t e r e s t - s i t u a t i o n and the corresponding way of l i f e of the r u l i n g s t r a t a and thus by the s o c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n i t s e l f . But the reverse also holds: wherever the d i r e c t i o n of the whole way of l i f e has been methodically r a t i o n a l i z e d , i t has been profoundly determined by the ultimate values toward -which th i s r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n has been directed. These values and positions were thus r e l i g i o u s l y determined.43 III . THE LEGITIMATION PHASE OF SACRALIZATION As evidenced by the discussion i n the preceding section, both Weber and Berger sec the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p of r e l i g i o n and society as one of mutual influence. Berger stresses the 'cosmization' function of r e l i g i o n whereby ex i s t i n g s o c i a l values and meanings are given a cosmic s i g n i -ficance while Weber stresses the importance of r e l i g i o n i n the 4 3From Max Weber, p.286. 36 creation of s o c i a l meanings and values. Both men are aware of the existence of the reverse influence. However, since our approach i s designed to demonstrate the influence of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and ideas on s o c i a l processes the pers-pective which i s taken here concurs more c l o s e l y with Weber's. Religious ideas and b e l i e f s provide men with goals which give meaning and value to t h e i r l i v e s . In order to f a c i l i t a t e the achievement of these goals i t i s desirable that the human realm be harmonized with the divine realm. Thus r e l i g i o n takes an active role i n the fashioning of a p r a c t i c a l way of l i f e . In order to achieve t h i s harmonization laws and rules governing s o c i a l a c t i o n must be established and given the status of legitimacy. The process of e s t a b l i s h i n g a normative order therefore p a r a l l e l s Berger's d e s c r i p t i o n of cosmization i f t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n i s reversed. Hence much of the following discussion of the role of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and ideas i n l e g i t i m i z i n g s o c i a l processes presupposes what has been discussed i n the preceding section. Once a pattern of r e l i g i o u s meaning and value has been constructed i t must then be externalized and o b j e c t i f i e d . A normative order consisting of laws or rules governing s o c i a l a c tion and the i n s t i t u t i o n s which permit or f a c i l i t a t e the prescribed action must be established. However, i n order to ensure that these prescriptions w i l l be translated into the 37 appropriate action, the i n d i v i d u a l s who are required to per-form such actions must believe i n the legitimacy of the nor-mative order. Legitimacy implies that the i n d i v i d u a l recog-nize that the actions that he i s c a l l e d upon to perform are binding upon him or that they constitute "a desirable model for him to i m i t a t e . " 4 4 The normative order "enjoys the pres-tige of being considered binding, or as i t may be expressed, of 'legitimacy'". 4^ Thus the legitimacy of an order i s dependent upon the authoritative status which i n d i v i d u a l s accord i t . For Weber there, are three pure types of legitimate authority. The v a l i d i t y of t h e i r claims to legitimacy may be based on: 1. Rational grounds—resting on a b e l i e f i n the ' l e g a l i t y ' of patterns of normative rules and the r i g h t of those elevated to authority under such rules to issue commands ( l e g a l a u t h o r i t y ) . 2. T r a d i t i o n a l grounds--resting on an established b e l i e f i n the s a n c t i t y of immemorial t r a d i t i o n s and the legitimacy of those exercising authority under them ( t r a d i t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y ) . 3. Charismatic grounds—resting on devotion to the s p e c i a l and exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an i n d i v i d u a l person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him (charismatic authority).4-6 4 4 S o c i a l and Economic Organization, p.124. 4 5 I b i d . 4 6 I b i d . , p.328. 38 Weber applies the term 'charisma' : to a c e r t a i n q u a l i t y of an i n d i v i d u a l personal-i t y by v i r t u e of which he i s set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with super-natural, super human, or at least s p e c i f i c a l l y exceptional powers or q u a l i t i e s . These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person, but are regarded as of divine o r i g i n or as exemplary, and on the basis of them the i n d i v i d u a l concerned i s treated as a leader.47 However, once a charismatic movement has become routin i z e d the normative patterns which i t endorses no longer derive t h e i r legitimacy from the personal q u a l i t i e s of the leader; when the leader dies they must derive t h e i r l e g i t i -macy from the authority of t r a d i t i o n . The charismatic move-ment become routinized or t r a d i t i o n a l i z e d . Weber uses the term 'traditionalism' to r e f e r to the: psychic attitude set for the habitual workaday and to the b e l i e f i n the every-day routine as an i n v i o l a b l e norm of conduct. . . . I t i s char-a c t e r i s t i c of p a t r i a r c h i c a l and of patrimonial authority, which represents a v a r i e t y of the former, that the system of i n v i o l a b l e norms i s considered sacred; an i n f r a c t i o n of them would r e s u l t i n magical or r e l i g i o u s evils.48 Weber used the type of r a t i o n a l - l e g a l authority to describe the authority that i s found i n the modern bureau-c r a t i c state, which i s designed for the e f f i c i e n t achievement of economic goals. According to Weber t h i s type of authority i s a recent phenomenon. In the past authority "depended on Ibid., pp.358-359. From Max Weber, p.296. 39 charisma, t r a d i t i o n a l i s m and the r o u t i n i z a t i o n of charisma." Yet t r a d i t i o n a l authority and charismatic authority, as Weber has defined them, were i n turn l a r g e l y dependent upon r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and ideas. A s o c i e t a l order which has achieved the status of legitimacy has also won for i t s e l f a high degree of s t a b i l i t y . The rules for s o c i a l a c t i o n which the i n d i v i d u a l s i n the society regard as binding may then be translated into laws. Thus s o c i e t i e s which are based on t r a d i t i o n a l or charismatic authority win the a d d i t i o n a l support of l e g a l authority. Weber distinguishes a law from a convention i n the following way: A system of order w i l l be c a l l e d convention so f a r as i t s v a l i d i t y i s externally guaranteed by the p r o b a b i l i t y that deviation from i t within a given s o c i a l group w i l l r e s u l t i n a r e l a t i v e l y general and p r a c t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t reaction of disapproval. Such an order w i l l be c a l l e d law when conformity with i t i s upheld by the p r o b a b i l i t y that deviant action w i l l be met by physical or psychic sanctions aimed to compel conformity or to punish disobedience, and applied by a group of men e s p e c i a l l y empowered to carry out t h i s function.50 Once the r e l i g i o u s l y dictated rules for s o c i a l a c t i o n have won the status of legitimacy the p r o b a b i l i t y that s o c i a l a c tion within the society w i l l follow the prescribed pattern i s high. This i s what Weber terms the ' v a l i d i t y ' of a s o c i e t a l order. Ibid., p.295. Social and Economic Organization, p.127. 40 Action, e s p e c i a l l y s o c i a l action which involves s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , may be oriented by "the actors to a b e l i e f (Vorstellung) i n the existence of a 'legitimate order.' The p r o b a b i l i t y that action w i l l a c t u a l l y empirically be so oriented w i l l be c a l l e d the ' v a l i d i t y ' (Geltung) of the order i n question.51 Weber's concept of the ' v a l i d i t y ' of a s o c i e t a l order corresponds to Berger's concept of the ' p l a u s i b i l i t y s t r u c t -ure' of the s o c i a l world. According to Berger worlds are s o c i a l l y constructed and s o c i a l l y maintained. The r e a l i t y of the s o c i a l world i s present o b j e c t i v e l y , i n a society's world view (that i s , i t s view of space, time, meaning, value, etc. as well as i t s i n s t i t u t i o n a l structures) and subjectively, i n the acceptance of the f a c t i c i t y of t h i s objective order by the in d i v i d u a l s who l i v e i n the society. The objective and subjective r e a l i t y of the s o c i a l world i s dependent upon the continuance of those s o c i a l processes which rein f o r c e the society's d e f i n i t i o n of r e a l i t y . Thus each world requires a s o c i a l 'base' for i t s continuing existence as a world that i s r e a l to actual human beings. This 'base' may be c a l l e d i t s p l a u s i b i l i t y structure. . . . When an entire society serves as the p l a u s i b i l i t y structure for a r e l i g i o u s l y legitimated world, a l l the important s o c i a l processes within i t serve to confirm and reconfirm the r e a l i t y of t h i s world.52 This completes the t h e o r e t i c a l discussion of r e l i -gion's role i n the fashioning of a p r a c t i c a l way of l i f e through Ibid., p.124. Sacred Canopy, p.45. 41 the discriminating use of i t s legitimating powers. The f i n a l phase i n the t h e o r e t i c a l discussion of the influence of r e l i g i o n upon society i s the demonstration of the ro l e r e l i g i o n plays i n perpetuating s o c i a l processes. It i s now necessary to show how r e l i g i o n supplies i n d i v i d u a l s with the necessary incentive to carry out the rules for s o c i a l action which i t prescribes and legitimates, to show how r e l i g i o n promotes the continuance of those s o c i a l processes which reinforce a society's d e f i n i t i o n of r e a l i t y i n so f a r as t h i s d e f i n i t i o n i s determined by r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and ideas. IV. THE PERPETUATION PHASE OF SACRALIZATION A l l of the commentators that have been discussed--Durkheim, Eliade, Berger and Weber--agree that one of the fundamental features of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f i s i t s proclamation that there i s an ultimately meaningful pattern for human l i f e . Yet t h i s very insistence "that the world order i n i t s t o t a l -53 i t y i s , could, and should somehow be a meaningful 'cosmos'" implies the prevalence of the opposite human experience, the experience of the meaninglessness of l i f e . As Weber points out, behind the d i f f e r e n t v a r i e t i e s of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f there "always l i e s a stand towards something i n the actual world From Max Weber, p.272. 42 which i s experienced as s p e c i f i c a l l y ' senseless'". ~*4 There i s the f e e l i n g that a l l i s not as i t should be and hence the desire a r i s e s to put t h i s s i t u a t i o n r i g h t . R e l i g i o n o f f e r s man a reason why things are not as they should be and teaches him how to r e c t i f y t h i s s i t u a t i o n . I t o f f e r s him the chance of salv a t i o n or l i b e r a t i o n . Man i s not born with the knowledge of h i s place i n a meaningful order. He subsequently learns of i t through the teaching of others or through his personal re v e l a t i o n . However, having once learned of his meaningful p o s i t i o n i n the universe man must a c t i v e l y seek to r e a l i z e t h i s p o s i t i o n . He must 'save' or ' l i b e r a t e ' himself. It i s not necessary here to outline a t h e o r e t i c a l typology of the d i f f e r e n t types of sal v a t i o n or l i b e r a t i o n which have been advanced by the d i f f e r e n t world r e l i g i o n s as Weber and Berger do. This i s best accomplished by reference to concrete e x a m p l e s . I t i s s u f f i c i e n t here to state what i s common to a l l the types of r e l i g i o u s l i b e r a t i o n . Each r e l i g i o u s ' r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n ' states that the unliberated condition of the human being i s undesirable. When i t i s compared with the l i b e r a t e d or 'saved' state which i t i s possible for man to win, h i s normal or profane condition i n the world i s seen as f u t i l e . The 5 4 I b i d . 5 5See Chapter Four, pp.104-116. 43 i n d i v i d u a l who f a i l s to heed the teachings of the r e l i g i o n which addresses him must be prepared to accept the in e v i t a b l e consequences of his choice. In a l l r e l i g i o u s ' r a t i o n a l i z a t -ions' there i s a des c r i p t i o n of an e v i l state and a good state. In addition a path i s outlined by following which a man can change his ontological status and achieve l i b e r a t i o n , passing out of the profane world into the sacred realm. Because of r e l i g i o n ' s urge to harmonize the temporal sphere with the divine sphere i n order to f a c i l i t a t e the achievement of l i b e r a t i o n , a r e l i g i o n ' s p rescriptions f o r s o c i a l action are generally i n accord with i t s pr e s c r i p t i o n s f o r the achievement of l i b e r a t i o n . In t h i s way r e l i g i o n pro-vides indiv i d u a l s with a motivation for performing those s o c i a l actions which i t has explained and legitimated. "When ro l e s , and the i n s t i t u t i o n s to which they belong, are endowed with cosmic s i g n i f i c a n c e , the in d i v i d u a l ' s s e l f -i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with them attains a further dimension.""^ "When the s o c i a l l y defined r e a l i t y has come to be i d e n t i f i e d with the ultimate r e a l i t y of the universe, then i t s denial takes on the qu a l i t y of e v i l as well as madness.""^ According to Berger, r e l i g i o n i s a p a r t i c u l a r l y e f f e c t i v e tool for world-maintenance i n the face of situ a t i o n s Sacred Canopy, p.37. Ibid., p.39. 44 which threaten to destroy the s t a b i l i t y of the c o l l e c t i v e l y constructed world. These 'marginal s i t u a t i o n s ' are e s p e c i a l l y evident when individ u a l s come face to face with death. The placing of these 'marginal s i t u a t i o n s ' within the context of an a l l encompassing sacred r e a l i t y : permits the i n d i v i d u a l who goes through these situations to continue to e x i s t i n the world of h i s society--not 'as i f nothing had happened', which i s psychologically d i f f i c u l t i n the more extreme marginal si t u a t i o n s , but i n the 'know-ledge' that even these events or experiences have a place within a universe that makes sense. It i s thus even possible to have a 'good death', that i s , to die while r e t a i n i n g to the end a meaningful r e l a t i o n s h i p with the nomos of one's s o c i e t y — s u b j e c t i v e l y meaningful to oneself and obje c t i v e l y meaningful i n the minds of others.58 Once a r e l i g i o u s l y created world has won for i t s e l f legitimate status i t has achieved a high degree of s t a b i l i t y . Once i t i s based upon charismatic, t r a d i t i o n a l and l e g a l authority the members of the society are l i k e l y to conform to the s o c i a l laws knowing that these laws are i n accord with the universal pattern of things, that t h e i r ancestors have acted i n a si m i l a r fashion .and that deviant behavior w i l l be punished. Once established, a r e l i g i o u s l y defined and legitimated world tends to perpetuate i t s e l f . However, r e l i g i o n contributes a po s i t i v e incentive to the process of world-maintenance through i t s assurance that those who conform w i l l be rewarded and that those who deviate w i l l be punished. Ibid. , p.44. 45 By p r a c t i c i n g the sacred i t promises that men w i l l win the sacred. V. THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE THREE PHASES As stated at the beginning of t h i s chapter the f i n a l step i n the outline of the approach i s to demonstrate how the explanation, legitimation and perpetuation of s o c i a l processes by r e l i g i o n depends ul t i m a t e l y upon s a c r a l i z a t i o n . Myth i s one major source of the explanation of the meaningful r e l a t i o n s h i p between the universe, the s o c i a l world and human beings, which r e l i g i o n o f f e r s . The myth i s the record of the sacred events that took place i n sacred time--in i l l o tempore --when the gods created the world and everything that i t contains. These mythical explanations thus include the d e s c r i p t i o n of the o r i g i n of human i n s t i t u t i o n s and s o c i a l processes. Through the process of cosmization these i n -s t i t u t i o n s and processes become sac r a l i z e d , thereby winning for themselves an authority which they could not otherwise possess. The record of these events i s c a r e f u l l y preserved by the various r e l i g i o u s t r a d i t i o n s . Religious r e v e l a t i o n i s the second type of r e l i g i o u s explanation which e f f e c t s the s a c r a l i z a t i o n of human i n s t i t u t -ions and s o c i a l processes. These revelations contain the des-46 c r i p t i o n of a u n i f i e d view of the world which i s u l t i m a t e l y meaningful. In addition they contain pr e s c r i p t i o n s for the achievement of t h i s meaningful r e l a t i o n s h i p . Those actions or processes which accord with the pr e s c r i p t i o n s and those i n s t i t u t i o n s which f a c i l i t a t e the achievement of the revealed goals also become sacra l i z e d . Anything which reveals the sacred or anything which r e f l e c t s the work of the gods may become sa c r a l i z e d . R e l i -gious myths and b e l i e f s preserve the memory of the various irru p t i o n s of the sacred into the world. They serve to ex-p l a i n the world and i t s components by revealing t h e i r sacred purpose and o r i g i n — e i t h e r i n i l l o tempore, that i s , chrono-l o g i c a l l y , through the preservation of t r a d i t i o n or through the d i r e c t intervention of the sacred into the already e x i s t -ing world, that i s , through revelation. By conferring sacred status upon selected s o c i a l processes and i n s t i t u t i o n s r e l i g i o n has been able to influence the p r a c t i c a l way of l i f e and accomplish i t s purpose of harmonizing the temporal realm with the divine realm. By demonstrating on t r a d i t i o n a l or charismatic grounds the divine o r i g i n of those s o c i a l processes which i t deems de s i r -able r e l i g i o n plays a prominent role i n world-construction and world maintenance. 47 Religion also ensures that the s o c i a l processes which i t has explained and legitimated w i l l be perpetuated. It does th i s by o f f e r i n g salvation or l i b e r a t i o n to those individuals whose behavior i s consistent with the dictates found i n r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s . A l l those who conscientiously do t h i s w i l l win l i b e r a t i o n ; they w i l l change the l e v e l of th e i r being; they w i l l pass from the profane realm to the sacred realm; they w i l l themselves become sac r a l i z e d . 48 CHAPTER III • THE VISNU PURANA • • • I. THE DEFINITION OF SMRTI LITERATURE It i s now time to apply the approach outlined i n Chapter One to the Visnu Purana, the Manavadharmasastra and the Mahabharata, to determine whether or not t h i s socio-^ l o g i c a l approach i s a v a l i d one to adopt i n the attempt to understand the smrti l i t e r a t u r e of India. Smrti l i t e r a t u r e i s given a p o s i t i o n of authority second only to the Vedas by orthodox Hindus. According to the t r a d i t i o n the Vedas are eternal. They are created anew by Brahma' at the beginning of each universal emanation. The universe i s then brought into being according to the eternal dictates found i n the Vedas i n exactly the same order as i n the previous emanation of the universe. The Vedas are termed s r u t i which means 'that which i s heard . S r u t i i s the c o l l e c t i v e term which r e f e r s to the entire corpus of Vedic l i t e r a t u r e . There are four Vedas—the Rig-Veda, the Veda of hymns; the Sama-Veda, the Veda of chants; the Yajur-Veda, the Veda of s a c r i f i c e ; and the Atharva-Veda, the Veda of Atharvan, which i s p r i m a r i l y comprised of magical charms and formulas. 49 Each Veda again i s divided into three s t r a t a - -samhita, ' c o l l e c t i o n s ' of hymns, chants and s a c r i f i c i a l formulas as the case may be; brahmana, expository texts dealing with the minutiae of the s a c r i f i c e ; and upanishad, speculative t r e a t i s e s which began to turn t h e i r back on r i t u a l and to speculate on the nature of the universe, on the nature of the inner ' s e l f of man, and the r e l a t i o n -ship between the two.l o According to the Indian t r a d i t i o n the Vedas were revealed to the ancient r s i s through t h e i r own i n t u i t i v e powers at the beginning of time. Having 'heard' or under-stood the sacred scriptures these r s i s c a r e f u l l y preserved the Vedas i n t h e i r e n t i r e t y by an o r a l t r a d i t i o n . Smrti l i t e r a t u r e was taught to the fathers of mankind by the gods. Hence they did not i n t u i t or understand the teaching but rather depended upon t h e i r normal senses. This teaching was remembered and c a r e f u l l y passed on to successive gener-ations. The currency of t h i s myth i s attested to by the use of the term smrti which means 'that which i s remembered'. Since the Vedas were believed to have been d i r e c t l y revealed to t h e i r authors they were accorded greater sanct i t y than smrti l i t e r a t u r e . However, i n practice smrti i s f a r more i n f l u e n t i a l than the Vedas, which are only taught to se l e c t members of the 'twice-born' classes, while the knowledge of R.C. Zaehner, ed. and trans., Hindu Scriptures, (Lon-don: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1966), p.vTT 2 J. Gonda, Change and Continuity i n Indian Religion, (The Hague: Mouton & Co.T~T9bb)t pp./-8. 5 0 smrti i s avai l a b l e to a l l the members of Indian society. By the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries most apologetic l i t e r a t u r e c i t e s smrti as t h e i r main authority since i t i s assumed that s r u t i i s contained i n smrti. The h i s t o r i c a l l i m i t s of the composition of s r u t i l i t e r a t u r e have not been determined with any p r e c i s i o n . Farquhar dates the composition of the Rig-Veda samhita from the middle of the second millenium B.C. to approximately 900 B.C. and he dates the composition of the remaining samhitas, brahmanas and upanisads from approximately 1,000 B.C. to the middle of the f i f t h century B.C. when the composition of most 3 of the l a t e s t upanisads was completed. With the passage of time the s a c r i f i c i a l i n s t r u c t i o n of the Brahmanas became obscure,, and a new group of texts was composed to elucidate them." These were Srauta Sutras: the term sutra l i t e r a l l y means 'thread', but was used with the secondary meaning of a manual of i n s t r u c t i o n i n the form of b r i e f aphorisms; the whole t i t l e may be translated 'Manuals Explaining the Scriptures'. A l i t t l e l a t e r Grhya Sutras were composed on domestic r e l i g i o u s ceremonies and f i n -a l l y manuals of human conduct, the Dharma Sutras. A set of three sutras, one on each of these topics, and a t t r i b u t e d to the same legendary sage, was c a l l e d a Kalpa Sutra.4 These sutras were written i n prose form. However, J.N. Farquhar, An Outline of the Religious L i t e r a t u r e  of India, (Delhi: MotiTal BanarsiHass, IW20), PP«1-32. 4A.L. Basham, The Wonder That was India, (New York: Grove Press, Inc. 1957TJ7 pTTT2T 51 they were subsequently rewritten and expanded i n verse form. The v e r s i f i e d sutras are c a l l e d Dharma Sastras, which Basham translates as 'instructions i n the Sacred Law'.^ The srauta, grhya, dharma and kalpa sutras and the dharma sastras form the main corpus of smrti l i t e r a t u r e . The word smrti i s used i n two senses: i n i t s widest connotation i t i s used to r e f e r to the whole corpus of smrti l i t e r a t u r e and i n i t s narrowest connotation i t i s used to r e f e r only to the dharma sastras. Hence the lawbook of Manu i s refer r e d to both as the Manava-dharmasastra and the Manu Smrti. Since the epics and the puranas also discuss many of the same topics and since they contain large sections devoted to the e l u c i d a t i o n of the sacred laws, they were also regarded as belonging properly to smrti. According to Dandekar "the major period of Smrti (the Lawbooks and the epics) covers roughly a thousand years (c.500 B.C. to c.500 A.D.)." 6 The entire corpus of smrti l i t e r a t u r e encompasses thousands of volumes and i t would be impossible for a single researcher to f a m i l i a r i z e himself with i t i n the short space of one l i f e time. Judicious s e l e c t i o n i s , therefore, e s s e n t i a l . 5 I b i d . 6R.N. Dandekar, "Dharma, The F i r s t End of Man", i n de Bary, ed., Sources of Indian T r a d i t i o n , (New York: Columbia University Press, 1158). Vol.I, p.212. 52 Hence for the purposes of t h i s paper a s e l e c t i o n of one major text from each of the three major branches of smrti l i t e r a t u r e has been made. The Manavadharmasastra has been selected as being representative of the dharma sastra l i t e r -ature; the Mahabharata, as representative of the epics; and the Visnu Purana, as representative of the puranic l i t e r a t u r e . (The term 'purana'is defined i n section two of t h i s chapter.) The period of the composition of the smrti texts and th e i r acceptance by the Indian t r a d i t i o n as aut h o r i t a t i v e (from approximately 500 B.C. to the end of the c l a s s i c a l Gupta Age, 500 A.D.) coincides with the h i s t o r i c a l emergence of Hinduism. These texts were written during the formative period of the Hindu r e l i g i o n and were designed to meet the demand of Indian society during that period. Once they had been recognized as authoritative for the t r a d i t i o n they continued to exert a profoundly conservative influence upon subsequent changes i n Indian society. The smrti l i t e r a t u r e of India i s united by a common concem--the explanation, l e g i t i m a t i o n and perpetuation of the s o c i a l order. Although t h i s l i t e r a t u r e abounds with tales of r s i s achieving world-conquering powers and the highest states of being through the fervour of t h e i r tapasya, th i s type of l i b e r a t i o n , while greatly respected by mortals 53 and gods a l i k e , i s not generally condoned. The d e s c r i p t i o n of these feats i s c o n s i s t e n t l y couched i n images of f i r e , burning, heat, chaos and destruction; the gods are c o n t i n u a l l y pleading with Brahma or Visnu to intercede on behalf of the worlds to dissuade the r s i s from t h e i r disrupting asceticism. When the r s i s d e s i s t from t h e i r penances gods and mortals a l i k e breathe a sigh of r e l i e f , for the proper order of things can then return to normal. Everyone can get back to the business at hand--dharma, artha, kama, b i r t h , marriage, etc. This type of t a l e a p t l y i l l u s t r a t e s the smrti l i t e r a t u r e ' s concern with the ongoing s o c i a l processes. A t y p i c a l example of these s t o r i e s i s the g r i s l y t a l e of Jaratkaru, which i s 8 repeated twice at the beginning of the Mahabharata. Jaratkaru, a yatrasayamgrha r s i , roamed a l l over the • • • • world, l i v i n g on a i r and freeing himself from worldly long-ings. In his t h i n and emaciated condition he saw the s p i r i t s of his ancestors. They were suspended head downwards i n a hole by a rope of virana roots. A l l the roots except one were frayed and a large r a t l i v i n g i n the hole was n i b b l i n g at the l a s t unfrayed root. Moved to compassion for t h e i r p l i g h t , Jaratkaru offered h a l f of his a s c e t i c powers to help Mahabharata, trans. P. L a i , (Calcutta: Writers Work-shop, 1969), Vol. XI, pp.28-29. 8 _ _ Mahabharata, trans. L a i , Vol.V, pp.2-5, and Vol.X, PP.12 -3T 54 them. They r e p l i e d that nothing could help them, for they had also been as c e t i c s . Yet because they had no o f f s p r i n g they must hang i n t h i s h e l l . Their only hope was Jarat-karu; he was the l a s t root by which they were hanging. However, he too was a r s i devoted to asceticism and i t seemed that they were i n e v i t a b l y to be devoured by the r a t , Time. They pleaded with Jaratkaru to give t h e i r s i n f u l r e l a t i v e a message i f he should chance upon him i n his t r a v e l s : "'To have a son', said Brahma, ' i s great dharma.' Asceticism, s a c r i f i c e s , and other holy acts are i n f e r i o r , 0 c h i l d , to having a son. You have seen a l l t h i s . Explain i t to the r s i . Be our saviour, 0 Brahmin, be kind to us, t e l l 9 him a l l . -Persuade him to marry, to have a son. Upon hear-ing t h i s Jaratkaru revealed h i s i d e n t i t y and pledged himself to do as they asked to ensure that h i s ancestors would a t t a i n heaven. The etymology of the name, Jaratkaru, which means 'huge wasting', subtly reinforces the point of the story. On one l e v e l i t has a favourable connotation, i n d i c a t i n g the fervour of Jaratkaru's asceticism, and on another l e v e l , i t expresses the unfavourable r e s u l t s of such penances. Ibid., Vol.X, p.11. 55 These s t o r i e s suggest why smrti places a high value on the duties entailed i n the asrama of the householder, since i t i s i n t h i s stage of l i f e that i n d i v i d u a l s are p r i m a r i l y concerned with the problems of day to day existence i n the s o c i a l order. This point i s emphasized a number of times at the beginning of the Mahabharata. " I t s h a l l be a poem no poet i n t h i s world w i l l equal, j u s t as the householder's dharma i s not equalled by the three other asramas." "Even as the householder's duties are not surpassed by others, no poet surpasses the B h a r a t a . T h e f i r s t duty incumbent on the householder a f t e r he has l e f t the student stage of l i f e i s to secure a wife and marry. And the purpose of marriage as the symbolism of the marriage ceremony i l l u s t r a t e s , i s to obtain progeny, preferably sons. Thus i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that marriage, sexual union and o f f s p r i n g f u r n i s h a main in t e r e s t i n the Mahabharata. Without c h i l d r e n the s o c i a l order would soon collapse. It might seem strange that the Indians have gone to such extensive lengths i n t h i s l i t e r a t u r e to place a high value on the natural process of procreation and the f u l f i l l m e n t of one's duties i n the s o c i a l world. However, i t i s important to r e a l i z e that t h i s l i t e r a t u r e supplied a necessary re a c t i o n 1 0 I b i d . , Vol.11, p.33. 56 to the high value placed on the renunciation of t h i s world by students of the Upanisads, adherents of the Samkhya-Yoga philosophy and the r e l i g i o n s of Buddhism and Jainism, which were popular at that time. When thi s l i t e r a t u r e was written there was a very r e a l danger that the majority of the e l i t e would f e e l that t h e i r highest good lay i n the renunciation of the world, and a l l the s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s that t h i s entailed, i n t h e i r quest for moksa by the means of a s c e t i c practices. The smrti l i t e r a t u r e counterbalances the trend to asceticism. Smrti gave India an integrated philosophy of l i f e and s o c i a l organization which stood the test, on the one hand, of foreign invasions and rule over several centuries (second century B.C. to A.D. c.300) and on the other of the heterodox r e l i g i o n s , f urnish-ing a pattern for the i n t e g r a t i o n and absorption of both. The same period of foreign invasions and rule saw the rapid spread of t h e i s t i c devotional c u l t s , which a f t e r early opposition came to accept the authority of the Sacred Law and the Vedic s c r i p t u r e s , and i n return gained the support of orthodox Brahman-ism. The a l l i a n c e soon grew into the single, dynamic movement--though divided into several schools and sects—known as Hinduism. In contrast to Brahman-ism, Hinduism was a mass movement, which brought together into a single culture and p o l i t y , presided over by the Sacred Law of the brahmans, various peoples, classes and r e l i g i o u s t r a d i t i o n s . H R.N. Dandekar, op . c i t . , pp.212-213. 57 II. THE DEFINITION OF PURANA * The puranas provide the best example of the ex-planation of the s o c i a l world i n terms of the cosmic pattern. The word purana means 'old' or 'ancient'. I t i s des c r i p t i v e of the contents of these texts, which are l a r g e l y concerned with accounts of the creation of the world and the preserv-a t i o n of ancient t r a d i t i o n s , rather than d e s c r i p t i v e of the age of the texts themselves. The redaction of the puranic texts continued u n t i l approximately the eighth century A.D. However, much of the material contained within the texts suggests that many of the myths and teachings they contain originated near the middle of the f i r s t millenium B C, and 12 possibly e a r l i e r . There i s an early puranic t r a d i t i o n which claims that "there was an o r i g i n a l Purana which came into 13 existence e a r l i e r than even the Vedas". This legend i s l i k e l y an exaggeration on the part of some who wished to impress the sanctity of puranic teaching upon t h e i r l i s t e n e r s . In the middle of the f i r s t century B.C. Amara Simha, a Sanskrit writer who composed a lexicon, c i t e d the term paficha-lakshana as a synonym of the word, purana. Pancha-12 The Vishnu Purana, trans. H.H. Wilson, (Calcutta: Punthi Pustak, 1961), p p . i - v i i . ^ 3 I b i d . , p.a. 58 lakshana may be translated as 'that which has f i v e charac-t e r i s t i c topics'. These f i v e topics are: 1. Primary creation, or cosmogony; 2. Secondary creation; 3. Genealogy of gods and patriarchs; 4. Reigns of the Manus; or periods c a l l e d Manvantaras; and 5. History, or such p a r t i c u l a r s as have been preserved of the princes of the solar and lunar races, and of t h e i r descendants to modern times.14 However, due to the subsequent changes which these works were subject to, t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the puranas i s only p a r t i a l l y accurate. Indeed, as a d e s c r i p t i o n of some of the eighteen puranas i t i s wholly inapplicable. Yet, as Wilson points out, "there i s not one to which i t (the term'pancha-lakshana) belongs so e n t i r e l y as to the Vishnu Purana, and i t i s one of the circumstances which gives to lih i s work a more authentic character than most of i t s fellows can pretend to . II I . SUMMARY OF THE CONTENTS OF THE VISNU PURANA The purana opens with the foliowing prayer to Visnu: OM! GLORY TO VASUDEVA--Victory be to thee. Pundarikaksha; adoration be to thee, VisVahhavana; glory be to thee, Hrshikesa, Mahapurusha, and Purvaja. May that Vishnuj who i s the existent, imperishable, Brahma, who i s Iswara, who i s s p i r i t ; who with the Ibid., p.iv-v. Ibid., p.v. 59 three q u a l i t i e s i s the cause of creation, preservation, and destruction; who i s the parent of nature, i n t e l -l e c t , and the other ingredients of the universe; be to us the bestower of understanding, wealth and f i n a l emancipation.16 This type of introductory invocation and the use of the sacred s y l l a b l e 'Om' indicates that the text which i s to follow i s considered sacred. Having adored Visnu and having saluted his s p i r i t u a l preceptor, Parasara announces that he " w i l l narrate a Purana equal i n s a n c t i t y to the Vedas"."''7 The l i t e r a r y form which a purana i n e v i t a b l y takes i s that of a dialogue i n which the f i v e topics are elucidated by a know-ledgeable teacher i n response to the questions of a worthy' pu p i l . In the Visnu Purana the teacher i s Parasara and the a » * p u p i l , Maitreya. Maitreya immediately poses the f i v e topics i n the form of questions: I am now desirous . . . to hear from thee how t h i s world was, and how i n future i t w i l l be? what i s i t s substance, 0 Brahman; and whence proceeded animate and inanimate things? into what has i t been resolved; and into what w i l l i t s d i s s o l u t i o n again occur? how were the elements manifested? whence proceeded the gods and other beings? what are the s i t u a t i o n and extent of the oceans and the mountains, the earth, the sun, and the planets? what are the families of the gods and others, the Manus, the periods c a l l e d Manvantaras, those termed Kalpas, and t h e i r subdivisions, and the four ages: the events that happen at the close of a Kalpa, and Ibid., pp.1-2. Ibid., p. 3. 60 the terminations of the several ages; the h i s t o r i e s , 0 great Muni of the gods, the sages, and kings.18 Maitreya asks, i n addition, about "the duties of the Brahmans, and the other t r i b e s , as well as of those who pass through the d i f f e r e n t orders of l i f e " . ' ' ' 9 Book One of the Visnu Purana • • • gives an account of the primary and secondary creations, the genealogy of the gods and patriarchs and begins an account of the kings who rule during the f i r s t Manvantara. The cosmological scheme of the Visnu Purana roughly a i * p a r a l l e l s the cosmological and evolutionary theory of the 20 Samkhya-Yoga philosophy. Although the Samkhya l a t e r became a t h e i s t i c and d u a l i s t i c , i n i t s e a r l i e r forms, when i t was i n e x t r i c a b l y bound to Yoga, i t was t h e i s t i c and monistic, l i k e the Visnu Purana. Visnu i s the supreme god who creates, preserves and destroys the world. He i s the e f f i c i e n t and material cause of the universe. In h i s highest form, 'his pure and supreme condition', he exists as purusa or s p i r i t ; pradhana or p r a k r t i , i n d i s c r e t e substance or matter; vyakta or discrete substance or matter; and as Kala or time. 1 8 I b i d . 1 9 I b i d . 20 For a d e t a i l e d discussion of the Samkhya system see G. J. Larson, C l a s s i c a l Samkhya and A.B. Keith, The Samkhya  System. 61 These four forms, i n t h e i r due proportions, are the causes of the production of the phenomena of creation, preservation, and destruction. Vishnu being thus discrete and i n d i s c r e t e , s p i r i t and time, sports l i k e a p l a y f u l boy, as you s h a l l learn by l i s t e n i n g to his f r o l i c s . 2 1 In his role as creator of the universe Visnu i s • * known by the name, Brahma; i n his role as preserver of the universe he i s known as Visnu; and i n his role as the destroy-er of the universe he i s known as Siva or Rudra. During the period of universal d i s s o l u t i o n s p i r i t i s not associated with matter, the three components of matter--the three gunas or q u a l i t i e s ; sattva, goodness; rajas, passion; and tamas, dark-ness—remain i n t h e i r i n d i s c r e t e state, i n equilibrium, and time abides. Then the supreme Brahma, the supreme soul, the substance of the world, the lord of a l l creatures, the universal soul, the supreme r u l e r , Hari, of h i s own w i l l having entered into matter and s p i r i t , agitated the mutable and immutable p r i n c i p l e s , the season of creation being arrived, i n the same manner as fragrance a f f e c t s the mind from i t s proximity merely, and not from any immediate operation upon the mind i t s e l f : so the Supreme influenced the elements of creation.22 The gunas, being agitated by the presence of purusa, no longer remain i n equipoise. Through the evolution of the three gunas i n unequal proportions, a l l the phenomena of the 21 Vishnu Purana, p.9. 2 2 I b i d . , p.12. 62 world are created. The f i r s t evolute caused by the conjunct-ion of s p i r i t and matter, i s the Great P r i n c i p l e , Mahat or i n t e l l e c t . From Mahat, Ahamkara, the p r i n c i p l e of i n d i v i -d u a l i z a t i o n , a r i s e s i n three forms--that characterized by sattva, that characterized by rajas and that characterized by tamas. From the three-fold Ahamkara a r i s e the f i v e senses: eye, ear, nose, tongue, skin; the f i v e organs of action: voice, hands, feet, organs of excretion, organs of generation; the f i v e subtle elements: smell, taste,.form, touch, sound; and the f i v e gross elements: earth, water, l i g h t , a i r , ether. I n t e l l e c t and the res t , to the gross elements i n c l u s i v e , formed an egg, which gradually ex-panded l i k e a bubble of water. This vast egg, 0 sage, compounded of the elements and re s t i n g on the waters, was the excellent natural abode of Vishnu i n the form of Brahma; and there Vishnu, the l o r d of the universe, whose essence i s inscr u t -able, assumed a perceptible form, and even he him-s e l f abided i n i t i n the character of Brahma. Its womb, vast as the mountain, Meru was composed of the mountains; and the mighty oceans were the waters that f i l l e d i t s cavity. In that egg, 0 Brahman, were the continents and the seas and mountains, the planets and d i v i s i o n s of the universe, the gods, the demons, and mankind.23 With the production of the f i v e gross elements prim-ary creation i s completed and Visnu abides i n the form of Brahma i n order to bring about the secondary creation. The account of the secondary creation by Parasara Ibid., pp.17-18. 63 commences with a de s c r i p t i o n of the pralaya theory. Accord-ing to the pralaya theory t h i s world i s just one emanation of Brahma i n the eternal cycle of universal creation and destruction. When Brahma wakes a universe comes into being and when he sleeps at night on his serpent bed the universe dissolves. During a day of Brahma the cycle of the four yugas or ages, which l a s t s f o r 12,000 divine years, i s repeated 1,000 times. One day and night of the gods i s equal to one human year. Three hundred s i x t y human years i s equal to one divine year. The Krta Yuga l a s t s for 4,000 divine years; the Treta Yuga, for 3,000 divine years; the Dvapura Yuga for 2,000 divine years; and the K a l i Yuga, f o r 1,000 divine years. The remaining 2,000 divine years are taken up by the Sandhyas (the periods that precede a yuga and which contain as many hundred divine years as there are thousand divine years i n the yuga) and the Sandhyansas (the periods which follow a yuga and which are of the same dur-a t i o n as the Sandhyas). One day of Brahma comprises a kalpa or great age. During a kalpa fourteen Manus reign. At the end of a day of Brahma the d i s s o l u t i o n of the universe occurs and the worlds of men and the gods are consumed by f i r e . During the night of Brahma the universe remains i n a state of d i s s o l u t i o n but with the next day the whole process i s repeated. 6 4 Brahma, however, 'only' l i v e s f o r one hundred Brahma years. With his death the mahapralaya occurs. Purusa separates from i t s a s s o c i a t i o n with P r a k r t i and Visnu resumes h i s :—: • • supreme form. At the end of one hundred Brahma years Visnu resumes hi s f r o l i c s and the entire cycle i s repeated; primary creation begins again; a new Brahma i s born and the secondary creation commences to follow i t s pre-ordained course. This pattern of creation and destruction e t e r n a l l y repeats i t s e l f . This puranic d e s c r i p t i o n of primary creation represents a blending of many of the ancient cosraogonic myths found i n the Vedas and some myths which are unique to the puranas. In t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n mythic material from diverse sources has been systematically u n i f i e d . However, the whole assumes the a t t r i b u t e s of i t s parts: t h i s account of primary creation i s recognized as containing the sacred truths which recount the a c t i v i t i e s of the gods i n sacred time and sacred space. After Paras'ara has discussed the pralaya theory and explained that Brahma i s only the instrumental cause of second-ary creation, P r a k r t i being the material cause, Maitreya poses another question: Now unfold to me, Brahman, how t h i s d e i t y created the gods, sages, progenitors, demons, men, animals trees, and the r e s t , that abide on earth, i n heaven, or i n the waters: how Brahma at creation made the world with the q u a l i t i e s , the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and the forms of things (svarupas or the d i s t i n c t i o n s of biped, quadraped, brute, b i r d , f i s h , etc.)24 Paralara r e p l i e s that the immovable things, char-acterized by tamas, are created f i r s t ; then the animals, characterized by rajas; next the gods, characterized by satt va; and fourthly, men. They abound with the l i g h t of knowledge, but the q u a l i t i e s of darkness and of foulness predominate. Hence they are a f f l i c t e d by e v i l , and are repeatedly impelled to action. They have knowledge both exter-n a l l y and i n t e r n a l l y , and are the instruments (of accomplishing the object of creation, the l i b e r a t i o n of the soul).25 Although created beings are destroyed i n t h e i r i n -d i v i d u a l forms during the periods of d i s s o l u t i o n they con-tinue to be af f e c t e d by the good or e v i l acts which they performed i n t h e i r former existences. According to the consequences of t h e i r actions they w i l l be reborn to an appropriate existence which i s assigned to them by Brahma. A l l the created beings proceeded from the limbs of Brahma. The gods were produced from his mouth, the P i t r s or fathers from h i s side, the demons from h i s thigh, the birds, from h i s v i t a l vigour, the sheep from h i s breasts; herbs, roots and f r u i t s from the hairs of h i s body and so on. In l i k e manner the four main s o c i a l classes were Ibid., p.30. Ibid., p.32. 66 produced; the brahmans, i n which the q u a l i t y of goodness predominates, were born from the mouth of Brahma; the ksatriyas , characterized by passion, were born from the breast of Brahma; the vaisyas, pervaded by passion and darkness, from h i s thighs; and the sudras, pervaded by darkness, from his feet. Brahma created the four classes for the performance of s a c r i f i c e s — t h e four classes "being the f i t instruments of t h e i r celebration". The s a c r i f i c e s are mutually b e n e f i c i a l to the gods and to men. The s a c r i -f i c e s provide nourishment for the gods and i n return the gods bestow mankind with r a i n . By performing the s a c r i f i c e s and piously performing t h e i r duty men a t t a i n to the heavenly sphere which i s appropriate to t h e i r s t a t i o n . The means of subsistence having been provided for the beings he had created, Brahma prescribed laws suited to t h e i r s t a t i o n and f a c u l t i e s , the duties of the several castes and orders, and the regions of those of the d i f f e r e n t castes who were observant of t h e i r duties. The heaven of the P i t r s i s the region of devout Brahmans. The sphere of Indra, of Kshatriyas who f l y not from the f i e l d . The region of the winds i s assigned to the Vaisyas who are d i l i g e n t i n t h e i r occupations and submissive. Sudras are elevated to the sphere of the Gandharbas. Those Brahmans who lead r e l i g i o u s l i v e s go to the world of the eighty-eight thousand saints rand that of the seven Rshis i s the seat of pious anchorets and hermits. "The world of ancestors i s that of respectable householders: and the region of Brahma i s the asylum of r e l i g i o u s mendicants. The im-26 Ibid., p.39. 67 perishable region of the Yogis i s the highest seat of Vishnu where they perpetually meditate upon the supreme"being, with minds intent on him alone; the sphere where they reside, the gods themselves cannot behold. The sun, the moon, the planets, s h a l l repeatedly be, and cease to be; but those who i n -t e r n a l l y repeat the mystic adoration of the d i v i n i t y s h a l l never know decay. For those who neglect duties, who r e v i l e the Vedas, and obstruct r e l i g i o u s r i t e s , the places assigned a f t e r death are the t e r r i f i c regions of darkness, of deep gloom, of fear, and of great terror; the f e a r f u l h e l l of sharp swords, the h e l l of scourges and of a waveless sea.27 In t h i s account of secondary creation the s o c i a l world of man i s rela t e d to the divine sphere of the gods. Not only did Brahma create the physical realm and a l l that i t contains but he also created the s o c i a l realm, i t s classes and i n s t i t u t i o n s . He then composed the sacred i n s t i t u t e s by which man must govern his world i n order to keep the two realms i n harmony. After giving the account of the primary and secondary creations Parasara recounts the genealogy and exploits of the gods and the patriarchs and the kings who ruled during the f i r s t Manvantara. This section takes up the body of Book One and continues into Book Two. In addition Book Two outlines the geographical system of the Visnu Purana. In i t s main features--"the seven Dvipas (continents), seven seas, the d i v i s i o n s of Jambu-dvipa, the s i t u a t i o n and the extent of Ibid., pp.41-42. 68 Meru, and the sub-divisions of Bharata (India)" - - i t corres-give a geographical d e s c r i p t i o n of the earth. The seven great i n s u l a r continents ,are Jambu, Plaksha, Salmali, Kusa, Krauncha, Saka and Pushkara: and they are surrounded s e v e r a l l y by seven great iuice (Ikshu), of wine (Sura), of c l a r i f i e d butter (Sarpi), of curds (Dadhi), of_milk (Dugdha), and of fresh water ( J a l a ) . Jambu-dvipa i s i n the center of a l l these: and i n the centre of t h i s continent i s the golden mountain Meru. The height of Meru i s eighty-four thousand Yojanas; and i t s depth below the surface of the earth i s sixteen thousand. Its diameter at the summit i s thirty-two thousand: so that t h i s mountain i s l i k e the seed-cup of the lotus of the e a r t h . 2 9 On the summit of Meru the most renowned c i t y i n heaven, the c i t y of Brahma i s located. Around i t are the s t a t e l y c i t i e s of Indra and the other regents of the heavenly sphere. The r i v e r Ganges issues from the foot of Brahma, washes the heavenly orb and f a l l s from the skies e n c i r c l i n g the cap-i t a l c i t y of Brahma. After c i r c l i n g the c i t y i t divides i n -to four d i r e c t i o n s and flows into the ocean of s a l t water. At the base of Mount Meru the four countries of Jambu-dvTpa —U t t a r a k u r u to the north, Ketumala to the west, Bharata to the south and Bhadrasva to the e a s t - - l i e " l i k e leaves of 30 the lotus of the world". The country which l i e s north of ponds exactly to those outlined i n the other puranas which of sugar-cane 28 Ibid., p.135. 29 Ibid., p.135. 30 Ibid., p.139. 69 the ocean and south of Mount Meru i s Bharata, so named because the descendents of Bharata reside there. I t i s the country of works " i n consequence of which men go to 31 heaven, or obtain emancipation." Bharata i s therefore the best of the d i v i s i o n s of Jambu-dvTpa, because i t i s the lands of works: the others are places of enjoyment alone. It i s only a f t e r many thousand b i r t h s , and the aggregation of much merit, that l i v i n g beings are sometimes born i n Bharata as men. The gods themselves exclaim, "Happy are those who are born, even from the condition of gods, as men i n Bharata-varsha, as that i s the way to the pleasure of Paradise, or the greater blessing of f i n a l l i b e r a -t i o n . 32 ParSsara goes on to discuss the mountains, r i v e r s , the people and the realms of Bharata. It i s a system based on the number seven, i n which the o r i g i n a l monarch, Bharata, had seven sons, each of whom presided over a realm. The seven realms were divided by seven mountain ranges and each had a r i v e r running through i t . The seven i s l a n d continents are successively encompassed by seven seas. Each continent and each ocean i s twice the extent of the continent and ocean which immediately precedes i t i n the c i r c l e . The topography and realms of Plaksha, Salmali, Kus'a, Krauncha and Saka corresponds to that of Bharata. In each of these f i v e contin-ents there was a monarch who had seven sons who ruled seven kingdoms which were bounded by seven mountain ranges and through Ibid., p.141. Ibid., p.145. 70 which ran seven r i v e r s . In each continent there are four classes corresponding to the Brahmans, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras i n Bharata. Pushkara, the seventh continent i s the exception to t h i s scheme. Here the monarch had only two sons and t h e i r kingdom was divided by one great range of mountains. Here there are no other mountain ranges nor are there any r i v e r s . In each continent men are successively more virtuous and i n Pushkara there i s neither v i r t u e nor v i c e , k i l l e r nor s l a i n : there i s no jealousy, envy, fear, hatred, covetousness, nor any moral defect: neither i s t h e i r truth or falsehood. Food i s spontaneously produced there,, and a l l the inhabitants feed upon viands of every flavour. Men there are indeed of the same nature with gods, and of the same form and habits. There i s no d i s t i n c t i o n of caste or order; there are no f i x e d i n s t i t u t e s ; nor are r i t e s performed for the sake of advantage.33 After giving a d e s c r i p t i o n of the surface of the earth Parasara proceeds to describe the seven h e l l s which l i e beneath the earth, the seven heavenly spheres which r i s e above i t and the dimensions and s i t u a t i o n of the sun and other luminaries. The world i s encompassed on every side and above and below by the s h e l l of the egg of Brahma, i n the same manner as the seed of the wood-apple i s invested by i t s r i n d . Around the outer surface of the s h e l l flows water, f o r a space equal to ten times the diameter of the world. The waters, again, are en-compassed e x t e r i o r l y by f i r e ; f i r e by a i r ; and a i r by Ibid., p.166. 71 Mind; Mind by the o r i g i n of the elements (Ahamkara); and that by I n t e l l e c t : each of these extends ten times the breadth of that which i t encloses; and the l a s t i s e n c i r c l e d by the chief P r i n c i p l e , PradhSna, which i s i n f i n i t e , and i t s extent cannot be enumerat-ed: i t i s therefore c a l l e d the boundless and i l l i m i t -able cause of a l l e x i s t i n g things, supreme nature, or P r a k r i t i ; the cause of a l l mundane eggs, of which there are thousands and tens of thousands, and m i l l i o n s and thousands of m i l l i o n s , such as has been described.34 With the completion of t h i s geographical discussion Book Two of the Visnu Purana ends. According to t h i s geo-graphical d e s c r i p t i o n Bharata i s the physical center of the universe. It i s the c e n t r a l continent on the earth and i t l i e s between the upper regions of heaven and the lower reg-ions of h e l l . However, Bharata i s also the moral center of the universe. It i s the land of works; the land where the force which sustains the universe i s preserved i f men are good; the land where the force which sustains the universe i s destroyed i f men are e v i l . Book Three contains an enumeration of the series of the Manvantaras, a d e s c r i p t i o n of the d i v i s i o n of the Vedas into t h e i r present form and an outline of the duties of man according to his varna or class and h i s asrama or stage of l i f e . Since t h i s discussion corresponds c l o s e l y to the rules found i n the Laws of Manu, which i s discussed i n Ibid., pp.176-177. 72 Chapter Three, i t i s not necessary to recount the d e t a i l s here. Book Four contains an account of the ancient h i s t o r y of India, given i n a p a r t l y h i s t o r i c a l , p a r t l y mythical, d i s -cussion of the kings of the solar and lunar races that have ruled over Bharata. Book Five i s s o l e l y occupied with a de s c r i p t i o n of the l i f e of Krsna, one of the avataras or incarnations of Visnu, and his escapades with the gopis, the 'cow g i r l s ' or 'milk maids'. Book Six concludes the work appropriately with a de s c r i p t i o n of the d i s s o l u t i o n of the world the d i s s o l u t i o n which occurs at the end of a kalpa and the d i s s o l u t i o n which occurs at the end of the l i f e of' Brahma, the great or elemental d i s s o l u t i o n , the Mahapralaya or P r a k r t i pralaya. IV. THE DEFINITION OF DHARMA Impl i c i t i n a l l the accounts of secondary creation given i n the Visnu Purana i s the importance of dharma i n i t s cosmic aspect. Dharma i s v i r t u a l l y impossible to translate p r e c i s e l y . "The word i s c l e a r l y derived from root dhr (to up-hold, to support, to nourish)." "The basic meaning of dharma, . . . i s the moral law, which sustains the world, human society, History of Dharmasastra, Vol. I, p . l . 73 and the i n d i v i d u a l . " However, dharma i s most commonly used to mean "the p r i v i l e g e s , duties and obligations of a man, h i s standard of conduct as a member of the Aryan community, as a member of one of the castes, as a person i n a p a r t i c u l a r 37 stage of l i f e . " I t also refers to the s p i r i t u a l d i s c i p l i n e which a man must exercise i n order to gain personal s a l v a t i o n or r e l i g i o u s l i b e r a t i o n . Dharma has, therefore, three aspects: cosmic, s o c i a l and i n d i v i d u a l or r e l i g i o u s . I t i s the cosmic aspect of dharma which i s of prime importance i n secondary creation. During the Krta Yuga the world emerges fresh from i t s creation by Brahma and the sacred cow of dharma stands on four legs. As the ine v i t a b l e process of destruction sets i n , dharma gradually declines, standing on three legs i n the Treta Yuga, two i n the Dvapara, and only one i n the K a l i Yuga. During t h i s yuga 'four-footed v i r t u e ' suffers t o t a l e xtinct-ion. The observances of caste, order, and i n s t i t u t e s w i l l not p r e v a i l i n the K a l i age, nor w i l l that of the ceremonial enjoined by the Sama, Rik, and Yajur Vedas. . . . Women w i l l follow t h e i r i n c l i n a t i o n s , and be ever fond of pleasure. Men w i l l f i x t h e i r desires upon riches, even though dishonestly acquired. Oppressed by famine and taxation, men w i l l desert t h e i r lands, and go to those countries which are f i t for coarser grains. The path of or V. Raghavan, "The Four Ends of Man", i n de Bary, o p . c i t . , p.206. 37 s History of Dharmasastra, Vol. I, p.2. 74 the Vedas being o b l i t e r a t e d , and men having deviated into heresy, i n i q u i t y w i l l f l o u r i s h , and the duration of l i f e w i l l therefore decrease; . . . A man w i l l be grey when he i s twelve; and no one w i l l exceed twenty years of l i f e . 3 8 Dharma supports and sustains creation and as i t declines so does creation. In i t s cosmic aspect dharma assumes a l l the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Vedic concept r t a . In the Vedas r t a also has a threefold character: " I t means 'the course of nature' or 'the regular and general order i n the cosmos'; with reference to s a c r i f i c e i t means 'the correct and ordered way of the c u l t of the gods'; and t h i r d l y , i t 39 also means the 'moral conduct of man'." Rta ensures that 4 the sun w i l l r i s e and set at the appointed times; that the stars w i l l remain i n t h e i r fixed stations; that the seasons w i l l succeed each other i n the proper order; that the r i v e r s w i l l flow downstream; that cows w i l l continue to provide milk; and so on. In the Vedic pantheon Varuna and Mitra are the lords of r t a . 4 ^ They preserve r t a and govern the universe through i t s powers and according to i t s d i c t a t e s . The e t h i c a l q u a l i t i e s of r t a are indicated by the close a s s o c i a t i o n which r t a had with satya or truth. 4''" Orig-i n a l l y r t a had a wider connotation than satya, which was 3 8 V i s h n u Purana, pp.487-490. 39 / ""P. V. Kane, History of Dharmasastra, (Poona: Bhand-arkar Oriental Research InstTtute, 1953), Vol.IV, p.2. 4^See, for example, Rig Veda, Book IX, Hymn 118. 4^See, for example, Rig Veda, Book V, Hymn 63. 75 reserved to mean only " t r u t h or s t a t i c order". However, satya gradually took over the cosmic associations of r t a and by the end of the Vedic period satya, f o r the most part, / ^ replaced r t a . The close a s s o c i a t i o n of the two words i s also demonstrated l i n g u i s t i c a l l y . The antonym of these two words i s given by one word, a n r t a . 4 4 That which supports and sustains the cosmic order i s r t a or satya; that which upsets the cosmic order or that which i s untrue i s anrta. In the smrti l i t e r a t u r e these same ideas are expressed by the terms dharma and adharma. V. ANALYSIS OF THE VISNU PURANA The accounts of secondary creation i n the Visnu • # Purana presuppose, i n addition to the functioning of dharma i n i t s cosmic aspect, the operation of the karma-samsara cycle, Karma l i t e r a l l y means action, either good or bad. According to the Karma theory every action that i s performed w i l l re-s u l t i n the 're-action' which i s appropriate to the o r i g i n a l action. Karma operates as a moral law of cause and e f f e c t . / o History of Dharmasastra, Vol. IV, p.4. 4 3 I b i d . 4 4See, for example, Rig Veda, Book X, Hymn 10; X, 124; VII, 49. 76 The e f f e c t s of action may r e s u l t immediately, that i s , i n the present existence of the person who performed the action, or they may accrue to him i n a future l i f e . His actions determine the l e v e l of existence i n which he w i l l be reborn according to the w i l l of Brahma, from an inanimate object to a god, or to which heaven or h e l l he w i l l go. If he i s reborn as a man hi s actions determine h i s class and h i s nature, that i s , his p r e d i l e c t i o n for good or e v i l action. Samsara i s the name given to t h i s eternal cycle of r e b i r t h . Rebirth or samsara, then, i s caused by karma. However, t h i s karma-samsara complex has cosmic ramifications. In order' for i n d i v i d u a l s to work out th e i r karma properly every l e v e l of creation i s required. Thus the entire universe becomes the stage on which the eternal drama of karma-samsara i s enacted. This dilemma i s summarized i n a Vedic hymn which i s quoted i n the Mahabharata. Time i s a wheel spinning f r u i t s of Karma. Time i s a wheel obeyed by the gods. Because I am trapped, 0 Asvins, Because I am t i e d to the wheel, 0 Asvins, Because I suffer, 0 Asvins free me from the wheel! Mahabharata, trans. L a i , Vol. I l l , p.8. 77 The human being i s therefore p e r e n i a l l y presented with a fundamental problem: his r e b i r t h indicates that he i s compelled to work out the consequences of h i s past karma but i n doing so he i n e v i t a b l y produces more karma which i n turn necessitates r e b i r t h . The fundamental proposition i s that cause and e f f e c t are as inseparably linked i n the moral sphere as assumed i n the physical sphere by science. A good action has i t s reward and a bad act leads to r e t r i b u t i o n . If the bad actions do not y i e l d t h e i r consequences at once or i n t h i s l i f e , the soul begins another existence and i n the new environment undergoes suff e r i n g for i t s past bad deeds. The theory of karma and the theory of transmigration of souls (or pre-existence and post-existence) are i n e x t r i c a b l y mixed up i n Indian thought from at least the ancient times of the Upanisads. The general rule i s that Karma, whether good or e v i l , cannot be got r i d of except by enjoying or undergoing i t s consequences.4° The early Vedic concept of reward for actions was that they would be reaped i n heaven which was conceived to be a place where men would e t e r n a l l y enjoy sensual g r a t i f i c a t i o n . The concept of punishment i n h e l l i s present i n the Rig-Veda but i t i s not as c l e a r l y defined as the rewards to be enjoyed i n heaven. 4 7 This early theory was l a t e r incorporated into the karma-samsara theory. We have here a complicated blending of two theories. The o r i g i n a l theory of early 46 y History of Dharmasastra, Vol. IV, pp.38-39. 4 7 I b i d . , pp.154-155. 78 Vedic times was that of Heaven and H e l l which i s also that of most r e l i g i o n s . Later on when the doctrine of karma and punarjanma (re b i r t h ) came to be universalTy believed i h India the theory of Heaven and Hel l came to be modified by holding that the pleasures of heaven and the torments of Hel l both came to an end some time or other and the author of sins was born again as an animal or a tree or a human being s u f f e r i n g from diseases and defects.^8 That this theory of the eventual end to existence i n heaven (svarga) and h e l l (naraka) i s endorsed i n the Visnu Purana i s obvious from the passage previously c i t e d on page 69. The gods themselves exclaim, 'Happy are those who are bom, even from the condition of gods as men i n Bharata-varsha, as that i s the way to the pleasure of Paradise, or the greater blessing of f i n a l l i b e r a t i o n ' " . Bharata i s the land of works—the land where dharma 49 i n i t s s o c i a l aspect i s practiced. By f u l f i l l i n g the s o c i a l duties that are prescribed for him a man may greatly reduce his accumulation of karma. By performing h i s duties without regard to the f r u i t s that such action w i l l bring ( n i s -kama-karma) a man w i l l accumulate no new karma and his old karma w i l l eventually run down. When the consequences of past a c t i o n have a l l been suffered a man achieves l i b e r a t i o n . Ibid., p.158. 4 ^ F o r a detailed discussion of the s o c i a l aspect of dharma see Chapter Four. ~^For a detailed discussion of the r e l i g i o u s aspect of dharma see Chapter Four. 79 Thus there i s a path whereby indivi d u a l s may release them-selves from the dilemma of the karma-samsara complex. A l -though men are presently l i v i n g i n the K a l i Yuga the sacred i n s t i t u t e s of dharma were revealed by Brahma at the beginning of the kalpa and they have been c a r e f u l l y preserved i n t h e i r o r i g i n a l form through the centuries by t h e i r o r a l transmission from knowledgeable teacher to worthy p u p i l . In time each p u p i l , having mastered the contents of the teaching, becomes a teacher himself and i n his turn he passes the teaching on to other pupils. This manner of preserving sacred texts and doctrines i s c a l l e d guruparampara. Although the practice of dharma i s l i t e r a l l y t o t t e r -ing on i t s l a s t leg, the i n s t i t u t e s of dharma have been pre-served i n t h e i r pure form. By following these i n s t i t u t e s - - b y f u l f i l l i n g the prescribed s o c i a l duties--the cycle of the yugas may be reversed i n i n d i v i d u a l cases, and a man can win the indescribable state of union found i n the Mahapralaya—the state which occurs at the end of the l i f e of Brahma. Just as Jaratkaru's ancestors were saved by his decision to marry, to have sons, and to carry out the duties of the householder f a i t h f u l l y p so may a l l men who make a s i m i l a r decision be saved from the miserable prospect of endless r e b i r t h i n t h i s world or from s u f f e r i n g the torments of naraka. From the preceding discussion of the nature of dharma i t i s obvious that i t has a l l the a t t r i b u t e s by which Durkheim 80 and Eliade characterize the sacred. In i t s cosmic aspect dharma i s a force, an exalting power, which i s outside man, and with whose dictates man feels compelled to comply. It i s , therefore, a physical and moral force. When we say that these p r i n c i p l e s are forces, we do not take the word i n a metaphorical sense; they act just l i k e v e r i t a b l e forces. In one sense, they are even material forces which mech-a n i c a l l y engender physical e f f e c t s . . . . But i n addition to t h i s physical aspect, they also have a moral character. When someone asks a native why he observes his r i t e s , he r e p l i e s that h i s ancestors have observed them, and he ought to follow t h e i r example. So i f he acts i n a c e r t a i n way towards the totemic beings, i t i s not only because the forces resident i n them are p h y s i c a l l y redoubtable, but because he feels him-s e l f morally obliged to act thus; he has the f e e l i n g that he i s obeying an imperative, that he i s f u l -f i l l i n g a duty.51 Religious forces are therefore, human forces, moral forces. It i s true that since c o l l e c t i v e sentiments can become conscious of themselves only by f i x i n g themselves upon external objects, they have thus acquired a sort of physical nature; i n t h i s way they have come to mix them-selves with the l i f e of the material world, and then have considered themselves capable of ex-p l a i n i n g what passes there.52 The concept of dharma conforms to Berger's d e f i n i t i o n of cosmization; i t r e l a t e s the order of the s o c i a l world to the universal pattern of things. Just as a l l the phenomena of creation emerged from Brahma's limbs so was the s o c i a l order produced: the class of brahmans emerging from the mouth of •^Elementary Forms, pp.218-219. 5 2 I b i d . , p.466. 81 Brahma, the ksatriyas from his breast, the vaisyas from h i s thighs, the sudras from his feet. The supremacy of the brahmans i s thus explained by the o r i g i n of the classes, the mouth being at a higher and purer l e v e l of being than feet. Furthermore, a h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i a l order i s i n accord with the cosmic pattern since the pantheon of the gods and the spheres over which they rule are also h i e r a r c h i c a l . The existence of d i f f e r e n t classes i s necessitated for the preservation and perpetuation of creation. The four classes are required for the performance of the s a c r i f i c e s which pro-vide nourishment for the gods who i n return send the r a i n which provides sustenance for men and other l i v i n g creatures. The cosmization function of dharma i s most prominent i n the explanation of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between cosmic dharma and s o c i a l dharma. The sacred i n s t i t u t e s of Brahma, revealed at the beginning of the world, are i n accord with cosmic dharma, the force which supports and sustains creation. As long as the s o c i a l actions of men accord with the sacred i n -s t i t u t e s men are acting i n harmony with the universal order, thereby serving to preserve and perpetuate t h i s order them-selves. This harmonious r e l a t i o n s h i p of mutual support i s exhibited p e r f e c t l y i n the Krta Yuga when the sacred cow of • dharma i s standing on four legs. It i s for t h i s reason that the Krta Yuga l a s t s longer than the yugas which follow. How-82 ever, the exigencies of karma eventually bring about the decline of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . Because of karma men f a i l to perform t h e i r s o c i a l duties properly and because they f a i l i n t h i s the order and harmony of the universe i s i t -s e l f disturbed and eventually destroyed. The state of the s o c i a l order corresponds exactly to the state of the uni-v e r s a l order. The condition of s o c i a l dharma p a r a l l e l s the condition of cosmic dharma. This microcosm-macrocosm r e l a t i o n s h i p i s not li m i t e d to the s o c i a l and cosmic order. The ass o c i a t i o n of s p i r i t and matter which brings about the creation of the universe' and which furnishes the fundamental dynamic of the cycle of universal creation, preservation and destruction i s also the association which produces the human being and which animates h i s l i f e , death and r e b i r t h . The ass o c i a t i o n of s p i r i t and matter produces the embodied universe and the embodied i n d i v i d u a l . The i n d i v i d u a l i s comprised of the same elements as the universe. Each man has h i s own personal dharma to perform. If he performs h i s duty according to the sacred i n s t i t u t e s his karma w i l l run down and he w i l l no longer be subject to r e b i r t h . His personal l i b e r a t i o n brings about the destruction of the association of purusa and p r a k r t i . * * The destruction of the association of elements i n the case of the i n d i v i d u a l corresponds exactly to the elemental d i s s o l u -83 t i o n which occurs i n the universe at the end of a l i f e of Brahma and the i n d i v i d u a l achieves the indescribable state of union which occurs during the Mahapralaya. The concept of dharma, therefore, provides i n d i v i -duals with a u n i f i e d view of the world i n which cosmic, s o c i a l and i n d i v i d u a l events have a systematic and coherent meaning. According to the extent to which they conform to t h i s pattern, actions, i n s t i t u t i o n s , p o l i c i e s , etc. may be evaluated. In addition, the integrated world view provides the goal towards which a l l l i f e must be oriented i f i t i s to bring about salvation. Thus the concept of dharma pro-vides man with an ordered expression of meaning and value i n accord with which he must organize h i s p r a c t i c a l way of l i f e . Therefore, dharma admirably i l l u s t r a t e s Weber's con-cept of r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n . In addition dharma i l l u s t r a t e s Eliade's thesis that the discovery of the center of the world i s the equivalent of the founding of the world. Bharata i s located at the geo-graphic center of the surface of the earth. It l i e s at the southern base of Mount Meru i n the c e n t r a l continent of Jambu-dvipa. Not only i s i t located at the center of the sur-face of the earth but i t also inhabits the sphere which sep-arates the lower realms of naraka and the upper realms of svarga. Bharata i s the land of works—the land where s o c i a l 8 4 dharma applies--the land where karma i s b u i l t up. It i s the place where the force that sustains the universe i s destroyed and the place where the force that destroys the universe comes into being. Therefore Bharata i s the physi-c a l or material center of things. It i s also the s p i r i t u a l center of the universe since i t i s the place where l i b e r a -t i o n i s won. And, as the Visnu Purana informs us, the uni-verse was founded i n order that men may win t h e i r s a l v a t i o n . The Visnu Purana i s an excellent i l l u s t r a t i o n of • • • how r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s provide men with an explanation of s o c i a l processes. Whether or not these explanations w i l l be accepted as aut h o r i t a t i v e by the men to whom they are addressed depends primarily upon t h e i r continuing recognition that the knowledge which the b e l i e f s impart i s sacred. The sanct i t y of the Visnu Purana i s indicated by the use of the • • • convention of the opening and cl o s i n g prayer, the use of the sacred s y l l a b l e , Om, and Parasara's r e - a f f i r m a t i o n at the * end of the purana that he has indeed r e c i t e d a purana "which 53 i s equal to the Vedas i n sanctity".. The largest portion of the purana i s devoted to the account of events and actions of the gods which took place i n the beginning, i n sacred time. This fact i s t e s t i f i e d to by the term purana i t s e l f . In addition the p u r i t y and hence the sanctity of the text has Vishnu Purana, p.517. 85 been c a r e f u l l y preserved by the t r a d i t i o n , from the time of i t s o r i g i n a l r e v e l a t i o n to the present, primarily through the i n s t i t u t i o n of guruparampara• By f u l f i l l i n g the require-ments of a sacred text and by discussing the f i v e topics the Visnu Purana offered the individ u a l s to whom i t was addressed an aut h o r i t a t i v e explanation of the s o c i a l processes which they were required to perform by giving them a meaningful and u n i f i e d picture of t h e i r world and t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n that world. It i s , therefore, with good reason that Maitreya makes the following announcement at the conclusion of the Visnu  Purana; Holy teacher, you have indeed re l a t e d to me a l l that I wished to know, and I have l i s t e n e d to i t with pious attention. I have nothing further to inquire. The doubts inseparable from the mind of man have a l l been resolved by you, and through your in s t r u c t i o n s I am acquaint-ed with the o r i g i n , duration, and end of a l l things; with Vishnu i n his c o l l e c t i v e f o u r f o l d form; h i s three energies; and with the three modes of appre-hending the object of contemplation. Of a l l t h i s have I acquired a knowledge through your favour, and nothing else i s worthy to be known, when i t i s once understood that Vishnu and thi s world are not mutually d i s t i n c t . Great'Mumi. I have obtained through your kindness a l l I desired, the d i s s i p a t i o n of my doubts, since you have instructed me i n the duties of the several t r i b e s , and i n other obliga-tions; the nature of active l i f e , and discontinuance, of action; and the der i v a t i o n of a l l that e x i s t s from works. There i s nothing else, venerable Brahman, that I have to inquire of you.54 Ibid., pp.516-517. 86 CHAPTER IV THE MANU SMRTI AND THE MAHABHARATA I. THE DEFINITION OF DHARMASASTRA The e a r l i e s t t r e a t i s e s on s o c i a l dharma are the dharmasutras. " I t seems that o r i g i n a l l y many, though not a l l , of the dharmasutras formed part of the Kalpasutras and were studied i n d i s t i n c t sutracaranas (Vedic schools of sutra literature)."''" However, " i t i s only i n the case of the Apastamba, Hiranyakesin and Baudhayana Sutracaranas that we have a complete kalpa t r a d i t i o n with i t s three components of Srauta, Grihya and Dharma sutras." The Srauta sutras were composed to c l a r i f y the s a c r i -f i c i a l i n s t ructions of the Brahmanas, whose meaning had become obscure during the course of the centuries. As the name of the sutras indicates they were based on s r u t i or rev e l a t i o n . The srauta s a c r i f i c e s were elaborate a f f a i r s and were usually performed on the three sacred f i r e s and required the presence of from one to sixteen p r i e s t s and other minor o f f i c i a r i e s . •^History of Dharmasastra, Vol. I, p.10. 2 I b i d . , p.11. 87 The Grhya sutras, i n c o n t r a d i s t i n c t i o n , were believed to be based on smrti or t r a d i t i o n . They outlined the d a i l y s a c r i -f i c e s which the householder was required to perform on the domestic f i r e . These s a c r i f i c e s were c a l l e d pakayajnas (offerings of cooked food on the domestic f i r e ) , and they were distinguished from the Soma s a c r i f i c e s and the haviryajnas (burnt offerings of grain, soma, milk or butter) of the srauta r i t u a l . The domestic f i r e was established at the time of the householder's wedding and then c a r r i e d from the cere-mony to the young couple's home where i t was to form the center of t h e i r household worship. Each Grhya sutra gener-a l l y "presupposes a Vedic Samhita whose Mantras i t quotes only i n t h e i r pratikas ( i n i t i a l words)" and "a previous knowledge of the r i t u a l which i s acquired through the study /• ' 3 of the proper Srauta sutra. The Grhya sutras begin to treat of the events of the d a i l y l i f e of the household but they do not yet undertake to exhaust the great mass of t h i s subject matter; on the contrary they confine themselves p r i n c i p a l l y to the r i t u a l or s a c r i f i c i a l side of household l i f e , as i s natural owing to t h e i r connection with the older r i t u a l i s t i c l i t -erature. Then the Dharma sutras take an important step further; t h e i r purpose i s to describe the whole r i t e s and customs which p r e v a i l i n private, c i v i c , and public l i f e . They n a t u r a l l y among other things touch upon the ceremonies treated i n the Grhya sutras, but they generally merely men-ti o n them and discuss the question of law and The Grhya Sutras, trans. H. Oldenberg, (Delhi: M o t i l a l Banarsidass, * 1964"}^ Part II, pp.xxx-xxxi. 88 custom which are connected with them, without under-taking to go into the technical ordinances as to the way i n which these ceremonies are to be performed.4 According to Kane the p r i n c i p a l extant dharmasQtras, those of Apastamba, Baudhayana and Gautama, were composed between 600 and 300 B.C."' The dharmasutras were generally written i n archaic prose; they usually presuppose a knowledge of the Grhya sutra with which they were most intimately connected; as a rule they were associated with a p a r t i c u l a r Vedic school and, therefore, the authoritativeness of t h e i r teaching was primarily sectarian; they do not claim to be the work of inspired seers or gods; and the topics which they " discuss are not arranged i n an orderly manner. The dharma-sSstras, on the other hand, are g e n e r a l l y l a t e r than the sutras. Most of the dharmasastras other than the Manu, Yajnavalkya, Parasara and Narada were composed between 400 A.D. and 1,000 A.D.7 These older smrtis claim to be the work of superhuman beings or inspired seers; they claim to be a u t h o r i t a t i v e for a l l members of the Aryan community; and they treat t h e i r topics i n an orderly and systematic fashion. 4 I b i d . , p.xxxiv. ^History of Dharmasastra, Vol. I, p.8. 6 I b i d . , p.12. 7 I b i d . , p.134. 89 II. SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS OF THE MANU SMRTI Buhler and Kane agree that the Manu Smrti i s the * oldest dharma sastra and that i t was regarded very early by the t r a d i t i o n as the most authoritative text on dharma sastra. The exalted p o s i t i o n which the text won for i t s e l f was l i k e l y due to i t s a s c r i p t i o n to Manu, who, according to the many myths which surround his name, was the father of mankind. He was regarded as a being both divine and human, as the o r i g i n a l i n s t i t u t o r of the s a c r i f i c e s , as the founder of the s o c i a l and moral order, and as the author and teacher of Kane notes that the word dharmasastra occurs i n the dharma sutras of Gautama and Baudhayana. (Vo1.I, p.8). On the basis of thi s evidence he concludes "that works on dharma-sastra existed p r i o r to Yaksa or at least p r i o r to the period 600-300 B.C. and i n the 2nd'century B.C. they had attained a pos i t i o n of supreme authority regulating the conduct of men." (Vol.1, p.9) Buhler and Kane agree that the Manu Smrti i s the most ancient dharmasastra. They both place the composition of the extant work between the 2nd century B.C. and the 2nd cen-tury A.D.--from which time the Manu Smrti was regarded as the most authoritative dharma sastra by the t r a d i t i o n . (See foot-note 9.) However, i n order to account for the e a r l i e r mater-i a l i n the work Buhler construes that there must have been a Manavadharmasutra upon which the author of the Manu Smrti drew. Kane rejects t h i s theory claiming that the o r i g i n a l kernel of the Manu Smrti was composed even e a r l i e r than the oldest portion of the'Mahabharata. (Vol.I, pp.153-156). This o r i g i n a l kernel was l a t e r recast between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D., probably by Bhrgu. 9 History of Dharmasastra, Vol. I, p.151; The Laws of Manu trans. George BuHler, (New York: Dover Publications, Ind., 1969 p. c x v i i . 90 the sacred law. A l l of these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Manu are present i n the creation myth which comprises chapter one of the Mahavadharmasas tr a . 1. The great sages approached Manu, who was seated with a c o l l e c t e d mind, and, having duly worshipped him, spoke as follows: 2. 'Deign, divine one, to declare to us pre-c i s e l y and i n due order the sacred laws of each of the (four chief) castes ( v a r n a ) l l and of the i n t e r -mediate ones. 3. 'For thou, 0 Lord, alone knowest the purport, i.e.) the r i t e s , and the knowledge of the soul, taught) i n t h i s whole ordinance of the S e l f - e x i s t -ent (Svayambhu), which i s unknowable and unfathom-able. 12 Manu, thus addressed, responded to the questions of the sages by recounting a de s c r i p t i o n of the primary and secondary creations, s i m i l a r to that found i n a f u l l e r form i n the Visnu  Purana.^ 3 The world view of the Manavadharmasastra i s v i r t u a l l y i d e n t i c a l to that found i n the Visnu Purana. The Manu Smrti • • * * assumes the same evolutionary theory. I t endorses the karma For a l i s t of Vedic references to the Manu myth see History of Dharmasastra, Vol. I, pp.136-137; and The Laws of  Manu, trans. Buhler, p p . l v i i - l v i i i . "^Buhler i n c o r r e c t l y translates the word varna as caste. It should be translated as 'class'. The Sanskrit word for caste i s j a t i . 12 Laws of Manu, trans, Buhler, p . l . 13 See Appendix D for an abbreviated account of t h i s crea-t i o n myth. 91 theory. It affirms the divine o r i g i n and cosmic importance of the four classes and the supremacy of the Brahmans. And l i k e the Visnu Purana the Manu Smrti maintains the l i b e r a t -ing value of the performance of s o c i a l dharma. Having completed the creation of the world Svayambhu composed the Institutes of the sacred law and taught them to Manu, who i n turn taught them to other sages. Bhrgu, upon assuming the r o l e of i n s t r u c t o r from Manu, gives a b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n of the pralaya theory and the decline of the dharma i n the four yugas. According to Bhrgu's account there i s a d i f f e r e n t set of duties enjoined i n each yuga: i n the-Krta Yuga the chief v i r t u e i s the performance of a u s t e r i t i e s ; i n the Treta Yuga the chief v i r t u e i s the a c q u i s i t i o n of divine knowledge; i n the Dvapara, the performance of s a c r i f i c e s ; and i n the K a l i Yuga, generosity. 87. But i n order to protect t h i s universe He, the most resplendent one, assigned separate (duties and) occupations to those who sprang from h i s mouth, arms, thighs, and feet. 88. To Brahmanas he assigned teaching and studying (the Veda), s a c r i f i c i n g for t h e i r own benefit and f o r others, giving and accepting (of alms). 89. The Kshatriya he commanded to protect the people, to bestow g i f t s , to o f f e r s a c r i f i c e s , to study (the Veda), and to abstain from attaching himself to sensual pleasures; 90. The Vaisya to tend c a t t l e , to bestow g i f t s , to o f f e r s a c r i f i c e s , to study (the Veda), to trade, to lend money, and to c u l t i v a t e land. 91. One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Sudra, to serve meekly even these (other) three c a s t e s . ^ Ibid., p.24. 92 These l a t t e r four verses contain the essence of the trans-cendent law which Manu revealed concerning the rules of conduct for the four classes. As long as these laws are obeyed the preservation of the universe i s ensured. A l l of the dharmasastras discuss t h e i r subject matter under three p r i n c i p a l headings or sections: acara (rules of conduct), vyavahara (administration of j u s t i c e ) and pra y a s c i t t a (expiation or penance). In accord with t h i s scheme the Manu  Smrti begins with the d i c t a t i o n of the rules of conduct which guide the actions of individ u a l s depending upon t h e i r class (varna) and stage of l i f e (asrama). The Manu Smrti asserts that there are f i v e sources of dharma by reference to which individ u a l s may learn t h e i r duties: the Veda, the t r a d i t i o n (smrti), the virtuous conduct of those who are well-versed i n the Veda, the customs of holy men and, f i n a l l y , s e l f - s a t i s -~ „. 15 fac t i o n . The discussion of acara i n the text proceeds i n a chronological order. The duties and r i t e s incumbent upon parents at the b i r t h of a c h i l d are discussed f i r s t ; then, the duties of those i n the brahmacaryasrama (the stage of studentship); next, the duties of those i n the grhasthasrama (the stage of the householder); then, the duties of those i n Ibid., p.30. 9 3 the vanaprasthasrama (the forest dweller stage); and, f i n a l l y , the duties of those i n the samnyasasrama (the wandering mendi-cant stage). Only male brahmans, ksa t r i y a s , and vaisyas are e l i g i b l e to enter the f i r s t stage of l i f e and commence the study of the Veda. After undergoing the student i n i t i a t i o n ceremony the c h i l d i s symbolically 'reborn' as a member.of these twice-born classes and he then assumes the r e s p o n s i b i l i -t i e s of the student l i f e . 146. Of him who gives natural b i r t h and him who gives (the knowledge of) the Veda, the giver of the Veda i s the more venerable father; for the b i r t h for the sake of the Veda (ensures) eternal (rewards) both i n t h i s ( l i f e ) and a f t e r death.16 During t h i s f i r s t stage of l i f e the.student l i v e s at the home of h i s teacher. Here he must tend the domestic f i r e , f e t c h water and f u e l , garden, and obey every command which his preceptor gives him. He i s expected to r i s e before h i s teacher and go to bed only a f t e r his preceptor has r e t i r e d . Each day he must bathe and p u r i f y himself, o f f e r l i b a t i o n s of water to the gods, sages and fathers and beg for food. He must always treat his teacher with the utmost respect, neither mimicking his ga i t , speech or deportment nor censuring him even when there i s just cause to do so. Ibid. , p. 57. 94 1. The vow (of studying) the three Vedas under a teacher must be kept for t h i r t y - s i x years, or f o r h a l f that time, or for a quarter, or u n t i l the (student) has p e r f e c t l y learnt them.17 4. Having bathed, with the permission of h i s teacher, and performed according to the rule the Samavartana (the r i t e on returning home), a twice-born man s h a l l marry a wife of equal caste who i s endowed with auspicious (bodily) marks.18 With the marriage and the establishment of the dom-e s t i c f i r e a man enters the second stage of l i f e , the house-holder phase. The discussion of the duties incumbent upon the householder comprises the longest and most det a i l e d account of acara i n the Manu Smrti. This emphasis i l l u s t r a t e s the. high value which i s co n s i s t e n t l y placed on the householder i n a l l the smrti texts. 77. As a l l l i v i n g creatures subsist by receiving support from a i r , even so (the members of) a l l orders subsist by receiving support from the householder. 78. Because men of the three (other) orders are d a i l y supported by the householder with ( g i f t s of) sacred knowledge and food, therefore (the order of) householders i s the most excellent order.19 In addition to the s o c i a l importance of the householder, h i s a c t i v i t i e s are believed to have cosmic s i g n i f i c a n c e as w e l l . 75. Let (every man) i n t h i s (second order, at least) d a i l y apply himself to the private r e c i t a t i o n 1 7 I b i d . , pp.74-75. 1 8 I b i d . , p.75. 1 9 I b i d . , p. 89. 95 of the Veda, and also to the performance of the o f f e r -ing to the gods; for he who i s d i l i g e n t i n the perform-ance of s a c r i f i c e s , supports both the movable and the immovable creation.20 By teaching and studying the Veda the householder ensures that the order and harmony of the universe w i l l be preserved. His d a i l y offerings to the manes, the fathers or the ancestors, sustain the realm of the fathers and guarantee that the souls of the departed members of the householder's family w i l l reach heaven. The householder's d a i l y s a c r i f i c e to the gods provides mutual nourishment for the gods and men a l i k e . The offerings to the Bhutas (the elements which com-prise creation, that i s , the physical world) support the physical realm. The ordinances which are outlined i n the Manu Smrti for the grhasthas'rama cover every aspect of the householder's l i f e . They state who a man should marry, which types of wed-ding ceremony are lawful, which occupations a man may engage i n , what, food i s permitted to him; they advise a man on the sort of company which he may keep, the appropriate subjects upon which he may converse; they outline the times when a man may make love to his wife, when he should bathe, what dress he should wear, and they even t e l l him when, where and i n what p o s i t i o n he should void his faeces and urine. Ibid., pp.88-89. 96 During the householder stage a man i s expected to pursue three of the four ends of man (purusartha): dharma • (the performance of duty and virtuous and moral conduct), artha (the pursuit of material wealth) and kama (the pursuit of pleasure i n a l l i t s forms, from the aesthetic to the sen-21 sual). Of these three dharma i s the most important as i t encompasses the ends of artha and kama, A man i s expected to perform his s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s conscientiously through-out the householder stage. One of the most important duties incumbent upon him i s to bear children, preferably sons. At the appropriate time sons are expected to assume a l l responsi-b i l i t i e s previously borne by the father. When a man r e t i r e s to the forest he commences the t h i r d stage of h i s l i f e . The vanaprasthasrama i s supposed to prepare a man for the achievement of moksa ( l i b e r a t i o n ) , the fourth purusartha. During th i s stage of l i f e the greater part of a man's a c t i v i t y i s to be spent i n the submission to ex-treme hardships, the practice of a u s t e r i t i e s and the study of the Vedas. By concentrating on these three a c t i v i t i e s the forest dweller learns to renounce the world and a l l i t s cares and pleasures. For a comprehensive discussion of artha and kama see Kautilya's Arthasastra and Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra. 97 Having passed the t h i r d stage of h i s l i f e i n the above fashion a man may then proceed to the fourth and f i n a l stage of l i f e , the samnyasasrama. During t h i s stage a man i s to wander alone i n silence, i n d i f f e r e n t to the pleasures of the world, meditating only on the Self, d e s i r i n g neither to l i v e nor to die, waiting p a t i e n t l y for h i s appointed end. In th i s way the righteous man f i n a l l y achieves l i b e r a t i o n . The Manavadharmasastra provides us with an excellent i l l u s t r a t i o n of Weber's conclusion that r e l i g i o n has attempted to organize p r a c t i c a l behavior into a d i r e c t i o n of l i f e i n accord with i t s view of the world. The Manu Smrti establishes normative patterns i n accord with the transcendent laws which operate i n the divine or cosmic sphere as described i n the creation myths and b e l i e f s found i n the puranas. This assert-ion i s supported by the remaining section of the acara portion of Manu i n which the s p e c i f i c duties of the king and of husbands and wives i s discussed. The section on the duties of the husband and wife again reemphasizes the importance of the householder stage of l i f e . It i s during t h i s stage of l i f e that human beings are the most d i r e c t l y involved with the processes of s o c i a l action. By scrupulously f u l f i l l i n g t h e i r duties the householders ensure that the s o c i a l order w i l l be supported and that the mixture and p o l l u t i o n of the classes w i l l not occur. 98 89. . . . i n accordance with the precepts of the Veda and of the Smrti, the housekeeper i s declared to be superior to a l l of them (the other three orders); for he supports the other three. 90. As a l l r i v e r s , both great and small, f i n d a resting-place i n the ocean, even so men of a l l orders f i n d protection with householders.22 And as we have seen, the actions of the householders have a cosmic importance as well since by t h e i r d a i l y performance of s a c r i f i c e s they support the physical realm. The ordinances concerning the duties of the king 23 are outlined with great care and d e t a i l . They state how the king should conduct h i s business, how he should organ-ize h i s day, what type of ambassadors he should employ, what s a c r i f i c e s he must perform, what taxes he may levy and so on. However, the king's overriding duty, i n accord with h i s po s i t i o n as the foremost k s a t r i y a , i s the protection of h i s " I b i d . , pp. 214-215 23 "The ancient Indian concept of dharma as r e l i g i o u s l y ordained duty touched a l l aspects of man's r e l a t i o n with the society. One such aspect was p o l i t i c a l i n character and often manifested i t s e l f i n the form of r e l a t i o n between the subject and the state. In view of the fact that the state i n ancient India was mostly monarchical, t h i s aspect of dharma was known as the Raja-dharma, the dharma (duty) of kings . . . which . . . formed but one of the many topics dealt with i n the larger scheme of Dharma shastra. . . . In the course of time, however, p o l i t y came to be considered important enough to be recognized as_an independent branch of knowledge, under the name of Artha  Shastra, the science of p r o f i t or material gain." R. N. Dande-kar, "Artha, the Second End of Man" i n de Bary, o p . c i t . , p.231. 99 kingdom. His exalted status r e s u l t s from h i s exalted duty. Manu states that the king was created for the protection of th i s entire creation by the Lord: 4. Taking (for that purpose) eternal p a r t i c l e s of Indra, of the Wind, of Yama, of the Sun, of F i r e , of Varuna, of the Moon, and of the Lord of wealth (KuberaJ. 5. Because a king has been formed of p a r t i c l e s of those lords of the gods, he therefore surpasses a l l created beings i n lust r e ; 6. And, l i k e the sun, he burns eyes and hearts; nor can anybody on earth even gaze on him.24 The king i s the earthly counterpart of the great d e i t i e s Yama, the lord of j u s t i c e ; Varuna, the guardian of r t a ; and Indra, the supreme warrior and the bestower of benefits. Composed of the p a r t i c l e s of these great d e i t i e s , the king must never be regarded as a mere mortal but as a great deity i n human form. To a i d the king Manu declares that the Lord created h i s son, Danda or Punishment, as protector of a l l creatures and as an incarnation of the law. Through fear of Punishment a l l created beings, movable and immovable, adhere s t r i c t l y to th e i r duties. Indeed, Manu affirms, Punishment i s the king and through fear of him the four orders obey the law. 18. Punishment alone governs a l l created beings, punishment alone protects them, punishment watches Laws of Manu, trans. G. Buhler, pp.216-217. 100 over them while they sleep: the wise declare punish-ment (to be i d e n t i c a l with) the law. 19. If (punishment) i s properly i n f l i c t e d a f t e r (due) consideration, i t makes a l l people happy; but i n f l i c t e d without consideration, i t destroys every-thing. 25 As long as the king j u d i c i o u s l y punishes a l l offenders who f a i l i n t h e i r duty or who attempt to corrupt the p u r i t y of the classes he and his kingdom w i l l prosper. And as long as the s o c i a l order i s preserved i n Bharata, the land of works, the whole creation w i l l prosper. If the king administers punish-ment unjustly he w i l l i n e v i t a b l y bring about the destruction of himself and h i s kingdom by the very instrument of the unjust punishment which he has unleased.. Unjust punishment, corruption of the classes, f a i l u r e i n the performance of duty r e s u l t i n the creation of adharma, the force which brings about the destruction of the universe. Therefore, Manu warns: 335. Neither a father, nor a teacher, nor a f r i e n d , nor a mother, nor a wife, nor a son, nor a domestic p r i e s t must be l e f t unpunished by a king, i f they do not keep within t h e i r duty.26 The rule of thumb which guides the king i n h i s admini-station of j u s t i c e i s , therefore, that a l l those who f a i l to do t h e i r duty must be punished. However, the vyavahara section of the Manu Smrti deals, i n addition, with c i v i l and c r i m i n a l t law, the payment of debts, the laws of partnership, the rules of buying and s e l l i n g , inheritance, theft, murder, defamation, Ibid., p.219 . Ibid., p.313. 101 adultery, etc. The proper procedure for a l l these matters i s outlined and the penalties which the king must administer for breaking these laws are stated. The penances for major and minor offences are then described i n the f i n a l pryas'citta section of the lawbook. The Manavadharmasastra contains the prescriptions for the establishment of a s o c i a l order which i s i n tune with the cosmic order as explained by the Visnu Purana and the creation myth found at the beginning of the law book. .The emphasis on the punishment function of the king underlines the f a c t that these rules for s o c i a l a c t i o n were meant to be binding upon the indiv i d u a l s i n the s o c i a l order and that they constituted a desirable model for the c i t i z e n s to imitate. Thus, i n Weber's terms, the Manu Smrti enjoyed the prestige of l e g i t i -macy, since deviant behaviour would be met with the employment of physical and psychic sanctions administered by the king and his o f f i c i a l s . The recognition of the l e g a l authority of the law book i n turn was based on t r a d i t i o n a l grounds, through i t s a s c r i p t i o n to Manu and through the b e l i e f that the norms i t stated represented an i n v i o l a b l e sacred mode of con-duct. III . THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SOCIAL ASPECT OF DHARMA The Manavadharmas*astra i s p r i m a r i l y concerned with 102 the s o c i a l aspect of dharma, that i s , with the d e s c r i p t i o n of "the p r i v i l e g e s , duties and obligations of a man, h i s standard of conduct as a member of the aryan community, as a member of one of the castes, as a person i n a p a r t i c u l a r 97 stage of l i f e . " S o cial dharma i s described under two main categories--varna dharma, the duties which a man must perform according to h i s s o c i a l c l a s s , and asrama dharma, the duties which a man must perform according to his stage of l i f e . As Dandekar points out, the word dharma commonly came to be regarded as synonomous with the s o c i a l aspect of dharma. In spite of the comprehensive character of dharma, i n i t s most common connotation i t was limited to two p r i n c i p a l i d e a l s , namely the organization of s o c i a l l i f e through well-defined and well-regulated classes (varrias) and the organization of an ind i v i d u a l ' s l i f e within those classes into d e f i n i t e stages (ashramas). Thus, i n popular parlance, dharma almost came to mean lust varna-a shrarna-dharma, that i s the dharmas (ordained duties) of the four classes and the four stages of l i f e . 2 8 S o c i a l dharma i s a moral force, the s o c i a l counter-part of dharma i n i t s cosmic aspect which governs the physical realm. Dharma i n i t s two aspects forms one i n v i o l a b l e law governing a l l action and supporting and sustaining a sacred cosmos. Failur e to perform s o c i a l dharma upsets the s o c i a l order and the cosmic order through the production of adharma, History of Dharmasastra, Vol.1, p.2. R. N. Dandekar, "Dharma",op.cit•, p.213. 103 the force which brings about the physical and moral d e t e r i o r -a t i o n of the universe. Therefore, Manu advises that " I t i s better (to discharge) one's own (appointed) duty incompletely 29 than to perform completely that of another." As long as c i t i z e n s recognize the authority of dharma the legitimacy of the s o c i e t a l order remains i n t a c t . In Berger's terms, the entire society w i l l continue to serve as a p l a u s i b i l i t y s t r u c t -ure for the r e l i g i o u s l y legitimated world since " a l l the im-portant s o c i a l processes within i t serve to confirm and recon-30 firm the r e a l i t y of t h i s world." It i s at thi s point i n our discussion that we can most c l e a r l y see the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p of r e l i g i o n and so-c i e t y . Religious b e l i e f s provide an ordered system of mean-ing and value by which in d i v i d u a l s explain t h e i r world, and make the value judgments which d i r e c t t h e i r actions. Re l i g i o n tends, therefore, to organize the d i r e c t i o n of p r a c t i c a l l i f e and i n so doing i t exercises a profound influence upon s o c i a l processes. By legitimating those s o c i a l processes which fur-ther the achievement of the goals of l i f e , a s defined by i t s b e l i e f s , r e l i g i o n attempts to bring the entire s o c i a l world within i t s sphere, within the divine sphere. In the case of 29 - La wg °f Manu, trans. G. Buhler, p.423. See also Bhaga- vadgita, III,~~3~4. 30 Sacred Canopy, p.45. 104 ancient Indian society t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p was formulated through the concept of dharma with the intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p of i t s cosmic and s o c i a l aspects. IV. SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS OF THE MAHABHARATA The epics were early recognized by the t r a d i t i o n as 31 forming an i n t e g r a l part of smrti l i t e r a t u r e . In the case • of the Mahabharata there are many sections which deal s p e c i f i -c a l l y with the el u c i d a t i o n of s o c i a l dharma; for example, the epic contains much material which i s i d e n t i c a l to that found 32 — -i n the Manu Smrti p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the Anu-gita, and the * Raja-dharma section of the Santiparvan (The Book of peace) "constitutes a v e r i t a b l e compendium of p o l i t i c a l theories, 33 rules of diplomacy, and d e t a i l s of administration." However, i n both epics, the emphasis on dharma i s c e n t r a l , not p e r i -pheral. The great epic, the Mahabharata, c a r r i e s dharma as i t s burden, for i t states at the end as the essence of i t s teachings: "With u p l i f t e d arms 31 "The authors of the Maha-Bharata cannot be i n d i v i d u a l -ized. Its redaction may be placed sometime between the second or t h i r d century B.C. and the f i r s t century A.D." Hinduism, p.119. 32 Wonder That was India, p.113. 3 3R. N. Dandekar, "Artha", o p . c i t . , p.233. 105 I cry, none heeds; from dharma ( r e l i g i o u s duty), material gain and pleasure flow; then, why i s not dharma pursued? Neither for the sake of pleasure, nor out of fear or avarice, no, not even for the sake of one's l i f e should one give up dharma; dharma stands alone for a l l time; pleasure and pain are t r a n s i t o r y . " While t h i s great epic makes i t s hero, Yudishthira. the very son of the God of Dharma (Dharma-putra) and one who had no enemy (Ajatasatru), the other epic, the Ramayana, makes i t s hero, Rama, dharma i t s e l f i n f l e s h and b l o o d . 3 4 On a symbolic l e v e l Rama's v i c t o r y over Ravana, monarch of the Raksasas or demons, i s the triumph of dharma over adharma. Rama i s the i d e a l man, the i d e a l king and his wife, S i t a , the ide a l woman. The conduct of both forms a model a f t e r which men and women ought to fashion t h e i r own conduct. The main story which the Mahabharata has to t e l l i s one of the great destruction caused by the war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The one hundred and one sons of Dhrtarastra, led by the jealous and wicked Duryodhana, attempt to deprive t h e i r cousins, the f i v e sons of Pandu, of the king-dom which i s t h e i r r i g h t f u l inheritance. At the end of the war the Pandavas are v i c t o r i o u s but the destruction r e s u l t i n g from th i s ' s i b l i n g r i v a l r y ' i s so great that the f i v e sons of Pandu and Krsna are the only r u l e r s of any stature l e f t a l i v e i n the whole of India. V. Raghavan, "The Four Ends of Man", oj>.cit. p. 207. 106 On the s o c i a l or human l e v e l the protagonists of the epic are a l l , i n some way or another, g u i l t y of neglecting to perform t h e i r dharma. There are many passages i n the epic where the characters attempt to determine what the dharma they are expected to perform i n a given s i t u a t i o n i s . In many instances they misinterpret t h e i r duty or w i l f u l l y neglect to perform i t . This misinterpretation and neglect produces the adharma which i n e v i t a b l y brings about t h e i r destruction. A poignant example of t h i s s e l f - i n f l i c t e d destruction i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the dilemma of the b l i n d king, Dhrtarastra. When thi s king's brother, Pandu, died at an ear l y age, Dhrta-r a s t r a assumed the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the care of h i s f i v e nephews and brought them up with his own sons. Throughout the work there i s much evidence of the true a f f e c t i o n which the king has for his nephews. However, his fondest f e e l i n g s are lavished on his ambitious son, Duryodhana, and i n spite of his better judgment he allows Duryodhana co n t i n u a l l y to usurp the Pandavas of t h e i r r i g h t f u l inheritance, assuaging h i s own conscience with weak r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s . By the end of the epic Dhrtarastra has l o s t h i s kingdom, has witnessed the death of • • • h i s sons, and i s l e f t to die an anguish-laden, lonely death. The r e a l i z a t i o n that there w i l l be no one to carry on the Rum l i n e upon his death i s the b i t t e r e s t punishment which the old man has to face. It means that his entire existence has been 107 i n vain, that he must su f f e r eternal punishment i n h e l l , for he has no o f f s p r i n g l e f t to o f f e r s a c r i f i c e s to the fathers to ensure that the Kurus w i l l a t t a i n heaven. 'To have a son', said Brahma, ' i s great dharma.' This d i d a c t i c maxim i s continually re-emphasized i n the epic. Thus, marriage, sexual union and progeny f u r n i s h a main i n -terest throughout the Mahabharata. Without o f f s p r i n g the family l i n e and the s o c i a l order i n e v i t a b l y collapse. Yet o f f s p r i n g are the reward of those who conscientiously perform t h e i r dharma. The epic i s primarily concerned with the e l u -c i d a t i o n of the dharma of the k s a t r i y a c l a s s , the duties of kings and warriors during the householder stage of t h e i r l i v e s . However, the authors do not l i m i t themselves to t h i s but pro-ceed to expound on the dharma of wives, fathers, sons, daughters, brahmins, merchants, servants, etc. In short the epic teaches that there i s a proper duty to be performed by each person according to sex, class and asrama. The performance of one's own duty, dharmakriya, r e s u l t s i n the accumulation of r e l i g i o u s merit, punya, while the f a i l u r e to do so r e s u l t s i n destruction. An understanding of the s o c i a l aspect of dharma i s e s s e n t i a l i n order to understand the a c t i o n which takes place i n the epic. However, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the action, the role of dharma i n i t s cosmic aspect must also be appreciated. The heroes of the Mahabharata are l i v i n g i n the Dvapara Yuga where the sacred cow of dharma i s balancing 108 on two legs only. Therefore, they are not wholly to blame for the adharma which i s produced by t h e i r acts. Adharma i s a necessary part of the i n e v i t a b l e destruction of a l l things during the eternal cycle of the pralayas. Indeed, the massive b a t t l e which f i n a l l y takes place at Kuruksetra ends the Dvapara Yuga and ushers i n the f i n a l , K a l i Yuga. Yet there i s another, more s p e c i f i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n whereby the events of the epic may be seen as an earthly r e f l e c t i o n of cosmic a c t i v i t y . Like the Ramayana, the Mahab-harata recounts the triumph of dharma over adharma, of the gods over the anti-gods. Vyasa, to whom the t r a d i t i o n a t t r i -butes the composition of the epic, endorses t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the events at the beginning of his r e c i t a l of the story to Janamejaya, the great-grandson of Arjuna. The Krta Yuga, your majesty, came to the earth. Earth produced her best creation. Best of the Bharatas, i t was i n t h i s happiest of times that anti-gods took b i r t h i n royal f a m i l i e s . The anti-gods, sons of D i t i , defeated by the gods, deprived of heaven and power, started taking b i r t h on earth. Some sons of D i t i and Danu, cast o f f from heaven, took b i r t h as men, as haughty and cruel kings. 109 Protector of the earth, Earth, frightened and oppressed, approached Brahma Pitamaha for protection. Many-named Lord, Isa, Sambhu, Prajapati, said to the earth: "Vasundhara, queen of wealth, I w i l l i n s t r u c t the gods to come to your rescue." And he bid her farewell. Turning to the gods, he instructed them, saying, "Go, a l l of you, Be born on earth, save her from sorrow, each according to rank f i g h t the anti-gods." Thus i t happened that the f i v e sons of Pandu were s i r e d by the gods. Yudhisthira was the son of Dharma; Bhima, the son 36 of Vayu, the Wind ; Arjuna, the son of Indra; and the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva, were the sons of the twin gods, the Asvins. The one hundred and one sons of Dhrtarastra were fathered by the anti-gods. Mahabharata, trans. L a i , Vol.XI, pp.44-47. According,to Lai's t r a n s l a t i o n Bhima was the son of Marut. See Vol.XII, p.33. 37 - _ R.C. Dutt, The Ramayana & the Mahabharata, (London: J.M. Dent & Sons LtdT7 1966) , rp.T6$7~ 110 Ill-minded and implacable Duryodhana, destroyer of the good name of the Kuru dynasty, was born as an incarnation of K a l i Yuga. He was the cause of the massacre of innumerable creatures and the r u i n of the world. He fanned the f i r e of hate. The sons of raksasa Pulastya became on earth the brothers of Duryodana. They were a hundred i n all--Duhsasana, Durmukha, Duhsaha, and others, impossibly wicked.38 Thus, as Lai notes, "The Kaurava-Pandava war was a c t u a l l y a t e r r e s t i a l display of divine c o n f l i c t s , f o r the gods and a n t i -gods b u s i l y go about donning earth-forms i n preparation for 3 9 -the ensuing carnage." Although the Pandavas win the major bat t l e s and the war, the forces of adharma unleashed i n the context are so formidable that the K a l i age commences. In the Mahabharata the Hindu world achieves i t s most powerful, a r t i s t i c expression. The epic presupposes the f a c t i c i t y of t h i s world as explained by the Visnu Purana and as legitimated by the Manu Smrti. Yet the epic also serves i t s e l f to enhance the r e a l i t y of t h i s world for the story which i t recounts, although mythologized to immense propor-tions, i s based on h i s t o r i c a l f a c t . To the audiences to whom the epic was (and i s ) r e c i t e d the events which i t described were believed, therefore, to have had a d i r e c t influence on Mahabharata, trans. L a i , Vol.XII, p.31. Ibid., Introduction. I l l t h e i r own l i v e s . By teaching that society i s i n t e g r a l l y related to a transcendent r e a l i t y and that to contravene the s o c i a l laws which harmonize the s o c i a l world with t h i s r e a l i t y can only lead to the destruction of the universe, society, the family and the i n d i v i d u a l , the epic promotes the perpetuation of those s o c i a l processes which reinforce the Hindu world. V. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL ASPECT OF DHARMA The Mahabharata accomplishes i t s d i d a c t i c purpose not only by emphasizing the destructive consequences of adharma but also by sta t i n g the rewards which accrue to those who per-form t h e i r duty f a i t h f u l l y . It i s i n t h i s context that the i n d i v i d u a l or r e l i g i o u s aspect of dharma becomes apparent. By b u i l d i n g up r e l i g i o u s merit the i n d i v i d u a l ensures that he w i l l obtain successively favourable re b i r t h s and u l t i m a t e l y achieve moksa. The most famous expression of t h i s aspect of dharma i s found i n the Bhagavadgita. portion of the epic. In form, i t (the Bhagavadgita) consists mainly of a long dialog, which i s almost a monolog. The p r i n c i p a l speaker i s Krsna, who i n h i s human aspect i s merely one of the secondary heroes of the Mahabharata, . . . But, according to the Gita i t s e l f , he i s i n truth a mani-f e s t a t i o n of the Supreme Deity i n human form. Hence the name--the Song (gita) of the Blessed One of the Lord (Bhagavad). The other speaker 112 i n the dialog i s Arjuna. 40 This dialogue i s inserted 4"'" into the epic immediately before the commencement of the b a t t l e . Arjuna, seeing h i s kinsmen arrayed on the f i e l d ready to do b a t t l e against the forces of his brothers, i s suddenly overcome with despair and lays down his arms, refusing to engage i n the b a t t l e . He confides the reasons for his s u r p r i s i n g action to his chariot d r i v e r , Krsna. • • • I wish no v i c t o r y , Krsna, Nor kingdom nor joys; Of what use to us were kingdom, Govinda, Of what use enjoyments or l i f e ? For whose sake we desire Kingdom, enjoyments, and happiness, They are drawn up here i n b a t t l e , Giving up l i f e and wealth: Teachers, fathers, sons, Grandsires as well, Uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, Brothers-in-law, and (other) k i n s f o l k . To engage i n b a t t l e against k i n s f o l k , Arjuna argues, can only lead to e v i l consequences. With the destruction of the family the holy laws of the family perish; with the destruction The Bhagavadgita, trans. F. Edgerton, (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1964), "Interpretation of the Bhagavad Git a " , c h . l , p.105. 4 ^ F o r a discussion of the problems connected with the dat-ing and authorship of the Bhagavadgita see R.N. Dandekar, "The  Bhagavad Gita", i n de Bary, op.ci t . , pp.277-278; and Hinduism, p T i o f : Bhagavad Gita, trans. Edgerton, p.6. 113 of these laws the women of the family become corrupted and mixture of classes r e s u l t s . This i n turn leads to h e l l f o r there i s no one to o f f e r the s a c r i f i c e s to the gods which sustain family, society and universe. Krsna upbraids Arjuna for h i s unmanliness and for his ignorance, st a t i n g that the Lord, the source of a l l l i f e , i s i n d e s t r u c t i b l e ; the body alone i s perishable. Therefore, i n r e a l i t y there can be neither slayer nor s l a i n . The only true s i n i s the neglect of one's own duty, svadharma. To refuse to perform your duty as Arjuna has done i s to admit a concern for the consequences of action. I t i s not a c t i o n i t s e l f which i s the root of e v i l but rather the desire f o r or the avoidance of the f r u i t s of action which i s e v i l . Through the desire to obtain or to avoid the consequences of a c t i o n karma i s b u i l t up and the cycle of r e b i r t h i s perpetuated end-l e s s l y . Only by acting without desire, i n accord with one's dharma, i s i t possible for a man to free himself from t h i s wheel. Therefore unattached ever Perform action that must be done; For performing action without attachment Man a t t a i n s the highest.43 The Hindu world, once established and recognized as legitimate won for i t s e l f a high degree of s t a b i l i t y . Ibid., p.20. 114 With the conferring of legitimate status upon t h i s religiously-created world the perpetuation of t h i s world became a r e l a t i v e l y simple task. The c i t i z e n s conformed to the s o c i a l laws i n the knowledge that these laws were i n accord with the univer-s a l pattern of things, i n the knowledge that t h e i r forefathers had always acted i n a l i k e manner and i n the knowledge that deviant behavior would be punished. However, to the process of world-maintenance, the Mahabharata adds another important dimension. By teaching that the performance of svadharma leads men to heaven and that the avoidance of svadharma leads to destruction the epic helps to provide i n d i v i d u a l s with a p o s i t i v e motivation for perpetuating the Hindu world. The esteem i n which the teachings of the Bhagavadgita were held i s indicated by the i n s e r t i o n of the G i t a into the epic at the most dramatic point i n the story. The uniqueness of the Gita, i n comparison with the teachings of Brahmanism, the upanisads, Buddhism and Jainism, l i e s i n i t s proclamation of s a l v a t i o n by the path of karma yoga--the path of a c t i v i t y . 4 4 Since each person has h i s own dharma to perform t h i s path i s open to a l l . The upanisads, Buddhism and Jainism announce the promise of salv a t i o n only for those who are prepared to re-nounce the world and a l l i t s a c t i v i t i e s . Hence the l i b e r a t i n g 4 4 F o r an excellent discussion of karma yoga and the two other major paths to l i b e r a t i o n , jnana yoga and bhakti yoga, see K.H. Potter's The Pre-suppositions of India's Philosophies. 115 rewards of these doctrines tend to be r e s t r i c t e d to those few who are able to do t h i s . The rewards i n heaven which Brahman-ism promised were r e s t r i c t e d to a minority of people who could a f f o r d the elaborate s a c r i f i c e s outlined by the brahmanas and to the highly s p e c i a l i z e d priesthood who were the only ones q u a l i f i e d to perform them. However, the path of karma  yoga i s open to a l l since i t does not require anyone to neglect his s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s but rather places a r e l i g i o u s value on the performance of these very duties. Unlike Buddhism and Jainism, the developing Hinduism did not deny the authority of the Vedas. It was, therefore, able to win the support of the Brahmin e l i t e . However, i t devised i t s own theory of s a l v a t i o n and enshrined t h i s teach-ing i n an a d d i t i o n a l body of sacred texts, the smrti l i t e r a t u r e , which was believed to contain the undefiled statement of dharma. Although the c i t i z e n s of ancient India believed themselves to be l i v i n g i n the K a l i Yuga they affirmed that i t was s t i l l possible for them to a t t a i n moksa by following the dictates outlined i n smrti. The l i t e r a r y form of a l l the smrti texts examined was dialogue. Throughout the smrti texts i t i s c o n t i n u a l l y empha-sized that the r e c i t a l of smrti w i l l r e s u l t i n the accumulat-ion of much r e l i g i o u s merit for the r e c i t e r and h i s audience. 126. A twice-born man who r e c i t e s these i n s t i -tutes, revealed by Manu, w i l l be always virtuous 116 i n conduct, and w i l l reach whatever condition he desires.45 Only the poem of Vyasa brings v i r t u e : i t i s v i r t u e and holiness i t s e l f . I t destroys s i n . What need for the man who hears the Bharata ^ to bathe i n the sacred waters of the Puskara? It i s sacred, i t i s splendid, as holy as the Vedas, worthy-of-being heard, pleasing to hear, sin-cleansing, virtue-increasing.47 A reader of the Bharata ,r> i s l i k e a student of the Vedas. Since smrti may be r e c i t e d to a l l members of the Indian society, while the study of the Vedas i s reserved only for the twice-born classes, i t becomes possible for everyone to be ' l i k e students of the Vedas'. Laws of Manu, p.513. 'Mahabharata, trans. L a i , Vol. II, p.33. Ibid., Vol. XI, p.28. Ibid., Vol.XI, p.26. 117 CHAPTER V CONCLUSIONS In each of the representative types of smrti l i t e r -ature which have been examined i n the body of t h i s paper one cannot f a i l to notice the prominence of myth. This feature i s most c l e a r l y distinguishable i n the Visnu Purana but i t i s also immediately apparent i n the Manavadharmasastra and the Mahabharata. The law book opens with a creation myth which c l o s e l y corresponds to the world view established by the myths i n the purana, and the s o c i e t a l laws which are expounded i n Manu make comprehensive sense only i n t h i s mythic setting. Throughout the epic the gods con t i n u a l l y p a r t i c i p a t e i n the events of the story. However, i n a larger context the events portrayed i n the epic are only the earthly counterpart of cataclysmic events i n the cosmos, occurring at the end of the Dvapara Yuga and announcing the commencement of the K a l i  Yuga. Hence the action of the epic becomes f u l l y i n t e l l i g i b l e only i f i t i s interpreted within the larger mythic framework. In Eliade's terms these myths may be seen as the record of hierophanies, as the accounts of the i r r u p t i o n s of the sacred into the profane world of men, as the r e v e l a t i o n of the sacred a c t i v i t i e s of the gods at the beginning of time. 118 With the r e v e l a t i o n that the same laws which govern the cos-mic sphere also control the human sphere meaningful patterns of value can be established and rules for the achievement of these values created. In the s p e c i f i c case of Hinduism the rev e l a t i o n of the i n v i o l a b l e laws of dharma i d e n t i f i e s the central cosmic p r i n c i p l e and makes possible the founding of the Hindu world. Dharma exhibits the physical and moral a t t r i b u t e s of sacred forces which Durkheim described. In one sense dharma means the physical law which creates and sustains the universe. In another connotation i t means the moral law which governs and sustains society. Yet these two properties of dharma are not separate and d i s t i n c t ; they complement each other. The -condition of dharma i n the s o c i a l sphere i s naught but the moral r e f l e c t i o n of the physical state of dharma i n the universe. Thus cosmic dharma and s o c i a l dharma are two as-pects of one sacred force. According to the r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s of ancient India the center of the cosmic drama i s Bharata, the land of works. It i s only i n Bharata that dharma may be preserved through the conscientious actions of men performed according to the sacred i n s t i t u t e s of smrti. Thus the s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s of men are given a cosmic dimension and importance. Once the r e l i g i o u s l y - c r e a t e d world has won the status of legitimacy the maintenance of t h i s world i s v i r t u a l l y en-119 sured. As long as men recognize the authority of t h i s world i t w i l l tend to perpetuate i t s e l f . However, Hinduism helps to ensure the perpetuation of the s o c i a l processes which i t has explained and legitimated by providing i n d i v i d u a l s with an a d d i t i o n a l incentive for performing the prescribed action. Throughout smrti l i t e r a t u r e there i s a continuing emphasis upon the l i b e r a t i n g rewards accruing from the performance of dharma. The man who governs h i s l i f e by the dictates of dharma w i l l i n e v i t a b l y achieve moksa. He w i l l win the sacred by the practice of the sacred. The cycles of the pralayas can be reversed i n the i n d i v i d u a l case and he w i l l win the indescribable state of union found i n the mahapralaya at the beginning and end of time. Hinduism o f f e r s us one of the most co n s i s t e n t l y r a t i o n a l i z e d views of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the cosmos, society and the i n d i v i d u a l human being ever devised by man. I t accom-plishes t h i s u n i f i c a t i o n p r i m a r i l y through the concept of dharma with i t s three-fold aspect. With i t s proclamation of r e l i g i o u s l i b e r a t i o n through the performance of s o c i a l duties Hinduism presents an organic picture of r e l i g i o n and society. In Berger's terms the entire society serves as a p l a u s i b i l i t y structure f o r the r e l i g i o u s l y defined and legitimated world since a l l the major processes within the society serve to reinforce c o n t i n u a l l y the r e a l i t y of t h i s world. For the purpose of analysis the three phases of t h i s 120 study of the s a c r a l i z a t i o n of s o c i a l processes have been treated as though they were d i s t i n c t and as though they had developed i n a l o g i c a l , chronological order from explanation to perpetuation. In each section the branch of smrti l i t e r -ature which most consistently i l l u s t r a t e d the phase under examination was discussed i n i s o l a t i o n . Although the d i f f e r -ent branches of smrti do exh i b i t d i f f e r i n g emphases, each of the texts analysed i s , nevertheless, concerned with a l l three phases i n the creation and maintenance of the Hindu world. The three phases are inseparable aspects of the single process of the s a c r a l i z a t i o n of s o c i a l processes. One of the advantages of the adoption of the type of f u n c t i o n a l - s o c i o l o g i c a l approach outlined i n the paper i s that i t allows us to gain an i n s i g h t into some of the reasons f o r Hinduism's emergence and r i s e to prominence during the period we have studied. The composition and f i n a l redaction of the major smrti texts coincides with t h i s phenomenon. The centur-ies between the f i f t h century B.C. and the f i f t h century A.D. were an era of immense turbulence and c r e a t i v i t y i n ancient Indian society. The decline of the r i t u a l i s t i c Brahmanical r e l i g i o n of the Vedas created a vacuum which the newer r e l i -gions of Buddhism, Jainism and the developing Hinduism competed to f i l l . " ' " In the long run Hinduism won out and i t s success For an excellent discussion of t h i s phenomenon see A. Yarrow's "Hinduism" i n de Bary, o p . c i t . , pp.200-205. 121 may, to a great extent, be due to i t s creation of a world i n which the s o c i a l duties of the i n d i v i d u a l were o r g a n i c a l l y bound to h i s r e l i g i o u s salvation. In order to survive re-l i g i o n must win the approbation of the society i n which i t i s born. It must secure for i t s e l f a s o c i a l base. In the case of Hinduism, through i t s development of the concept of dharma elucidated i n the smrti l i t e r a t u r e , t h i s base was extended to encompass the entire society. Another advantage of t h i s type of approach to smrti-l i t e r a t u r e l i e s i n i t s a b i l i t y to point out the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the puranas, the lawbooks, and the epics. This r e l a t i o n -* ship i s recognized by the t r a d i t i o n i t s e l f . It i s not, there-fore an a r b i t r a r y framework imposed upon the material from the outside. The Indians have c l a s s i f i e d t h i s l i t e r a t u r e together under the r u b r i c of smrti because of i t s primary concern with the e l u c i d a t i o n of dharma. Smrti contains the sacred i n s t i t u t e s for the governing of the world which were f i r s t revealed to men by Manu, the founder of the s o c i a l order. Therefore, a s o c i o l o g i c a l approach to t h i s material seems to be one of the best ways to gain a better understanding of these r e l i g i o u s texts. Nevertheless our understanding of smrti must always remain a p a r t i a l one. As observers, viewing the t r a d i t i o n from without, we s h a l l never f u l l y appreciate the emotive associations which these r e l i g i o u s myths and symbols hold f o r 122 the b e l i e v i n g members of the t r a d i t i o n . In other words, our study of dharma w i l l never take us by the path of the gods to: That world of Brahma which i s the t h i r d i n the order of heavens from here, and i n which there are two seas (of nectar) . . . a lake which con-s i s t s of food which i s i n t o x i c a t i n g , an ashbattha tree oozing Soma, (and) a c i t y of the Gods . i n which there i s a golden palace b u i l t by the Lord.2 2 — Brahma-Sutra Shankara-Bhashya, trans., V.M. Apte, (Bombay: Popular Book Depot, 1960), p.874. 123 LITERATURE CITED WORKS ON HINDUISM A. Primary Sources The Bhagavad Gita. Trans. F. Edgerton. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1964. The Grihya Sutras. 2 v o l s . Trans. II. Oldenberg. Delhi: M o t i l a l Banarsidass, 1964. Hymns of the Rigyeda. 2 v o l s . Trans. R. T. G r i f f i t h . Varanasi! Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series O f f i c e , 1963. The K5ma SGtra of Vatsyayana. Trans. S i r R. Burton and F.F\ ArbutTmot~. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1963. Kautilya's Arthasastra. Trans. R. Shamasastry. Mysore: Mysore Prin t i n g and Publishing House, 1915. The Laws of Manu. Trans. G. Buhler. New York: Dover Publi-cations, Inc., 1969. The Mahabharata. 28 v o l s . Trans. P. L a i . Lake Gardens, Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 1969-71. The Mahabharata & The Ramayana. Condensed into English Verse by R. C. Dutt. London:' J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd. 1966. The Vishnu Purana. Trans. H. H. Wilson. Calcutta: Punthi Pustak, 196'1. B. Secondary Sources Basham, A.L. The Wonder That was India. New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1954. de Bary, W.I., ed. Sources of Indian T r a d i t i o n . New York: Columbia University Press, 1958. Vol. T7~ Farquhar, J.N. An Out1ine of the Religious Literature of  India. DelRT: Mo t ilaT~Banars idas s, 1920. 124 Gonda, J. Change and Continuity i n Indian Religion. The Hague: Mouton & Co. 1963. Kane, P.V. The History of Dharma Sastra. 6 v o l s . Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental I n s t i t u t e , 1934-1953. Keith, A.B. The Samkhya System. Calcutta, Association Press, T 9 T 8 . ' Larson, G.J. C l a s s i c a l Samkhya. Delhi: M o t i l a l Banarsidass, 1969. Macdonell, A.A. P r a c t i c a l Sanskrit Dictionary. London: Oxford University Press! 1954. Potter, K.H. The Presuppositions of India's Philosophies. Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1963. Radhakrishnan, S. Religion and Society. London: George A l l e n & Unwin Ltd., 1947T" Renou, L., ed. Hinduism. New York: Washington Square Press, Inc."j I~9l*T" Zaehner, R.C, ed. Hindu Scriptures. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1966. WORKS ON RELIGION AND SOCIOLOGY Berger, P. The Sacred Canopy. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1967. Berger, P. and T. Luckmann. The So c i a l Construction of Real-i t y . Durkheim, E. The Elementary Forms of the Religious L i f e . Trans. J . 1 7 7 Swain" Hew York: Tne Free Press , ~T^6 "5 . . D i v i s i o n of Labour i n Society. Trans. G. Simpson. Glencoe! I l l i n o i s : The Free Press, 1947. Durkheim, E. and M. Mauss. Primitive C l a s s i f i c a t i o n . Trans. R. Needham. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1963. 125 Durkheim, E. The Rules of S o c i o l o g i c a l Method. Trans. S. A. Solovay and J. H. Mueller. Glencoe, I l l i n o i s : The Free Press, 1938. Suicide: A Study i n Sociology. Trans. J. A. Spaulding and G. Simpson. New York: The Free Press, 1951. Eliade, M. Cosmos and History. Trans. W. R. Trask. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1959. . Myths, Dreams and Mysteries. Trans. P. Mairet. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1960. . Patterns i n Comparative Reli g i o n . Trans. R. SHeed. New YorkT Sheed & Ward, 1958. The Sacred and the Profane. Trans. W. R. Trask. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1959. Rites and Symbols of I n i t i a t i o n . Trans. W. R. Trask. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1965. Freud, S. The Future of an I l l u s i o n . Trans. W. D. Robson-Scott. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964. . Collected Papers. London: The Hogarth Press and the I n s t i t u t e of Psycho-Analysis, 1956. Vol.V. Moses and Monotheism. Trans. K. Jones. New York: Random House"j Inc., 1967. • . Totem and Taboo. Trans. J. Strachey. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1950. Geertz, C. "Ri t u a l and S o c i a l Change: A Javanese Example". Bobbs-Merrill Reprint #A-78. Reprinted from American  Anthropologist, Vol. 59, Feb., 1957. Gerth, H.H., and C.W. M i l l s , trans, and ed. From Max Weber: Essays i n Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, T951T. Huxley, A.L. The Doors of Perception. London: Chatto & Windus, 1337. James, E.O. The Beginnings of Religion. London: Hutchinsons' University Library. 126 P r e h i s t o r i c Religion. London: Thames and Hudson, 1^57. James, W. The V a r i e t i e s of Religious Experience. New York: The New American Library of World Li t e r a t u r e , Inc., 1958. Jung, C. Psychology and Religion. New Haven: Yale Univer-s i t y Press, i960. Lang, A. The Making of Religion. London: Longman's, Green & Co.7"T8W" Lessa, W. and E. Vogt, ed. Reader i n Comparative Religion, New York: Harper & Row! Publishers, Inc. T9~6~5~! Malinowski, B. Magic, Science and Religion and Other Essays. Garden City, New York: Houbleday & Company! Inc.! 1954. Marett, R. The Threshold of Religion. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1909. . Marx, K. and F. Engels. On Religion. New York: Schocken Books, Inc., 1964. Nisbet, R. A. Emile Durkheim. Englewood C l i f f s , New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1965. Otto, R. The Idea of the Holy. Trans. J. W. Harvey. London: Oxford University Press, 1969. Valikowsky, I. Worlds i n C o l l i s i o n . New York: D e l l Publish-ing Co. , Inc. , 19717 Weber, M. Ancient Judaism. Trans. H. H. Gerth and D. Martin-dale. Glencoe! I l l i n o i s : The Free Press, 1952. . General Economic History. Trans. F. H. Knight New York! C o l l i e r Books, 1961. . The Hindu Soc i a l System. Trans. H. H. Gerth and D. Martindale. University of Minnesota: The University of Minnesota Sociology Club, 1950. The Protestant Ethic and the S p i r i t of Capitalism. Trans. T. Parsons. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1958. 127 . The Religion of China. Trans. H. H. Gerth, Glencoe, I l l i n o i s : "The Free Press, 1951. . The Religion of India. Trans. H. H. Gerth and D. Martindale. Glencoe*^ T T l i n o i s : The Free Press, 1958. The Sociology of Religion. Trans. E. Fischoff. Boston: Beacon Press, 1963. . The Theory of S o c i a l and Economic Organization Trans. A. M. Henderson and T. Parsons. New York: The Free Press, 1964. 128 APPENDIX A 2. L a t e r D e v e l o p m e n t 130 APPENDIX C Berger's Theory of Rel i g i o n and Society 1. At 'time' of o r i g i n 2. Later Development 131 APPENDIX D 8. He (Svayambhu), d e s i r i n g to produce beings of many kinds from his own body, f i r s t with a thought created the waters and placed h i s seed i n them. 9. That (seed) became a golden egg, i n b r i l l i a n c y equal to the sun; i n that (egg) he himself was born as Brahman, the progenitor of', the whole world. . . . 14. From himself (atmanah) he also drew f o r t h the mind, which i s both r e a l and unreal, likewise from the mind egoism, which possesses the function of self-consciousness (and i s ) l o r d l y ; 15. Moreover, the great one, the soul, and a l l (products) affected by the three q u a l i t i e s , and i n t h e i r order, the f i v e organs which perceive the objects of sensation. . . . 26. Moreover, i n order to d i s t i n g u i s h actions, he separa-ted merit from demerit, and he caused the creatures to be affected by the pairs (of opposites), such as pain and pleasure. . . . 28. But to whatever course of action the Lord at f i r s t appointed each (kind of beings), that alone i t has spon-taneously adopted i n each succeeding creation. . . . 30. As at the change of the seasons each season of i t s own accord assumes i t s d i s t i n c t i v e marks, even so corporeal beings (resume i n new b i r t h s ) t h e i r appointed course of action. 31. But f o r the sake of prosperity of the worlds, he caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra to proceed from his mouth, h i s arms, his thighs, and his feet. . . . 93. As the Brahmana sprang from (Brahman's) mouth, as he was the f i r s t - b o r n , and as he possesses the Veda, he i s by r i g h t the lord of his whole creation. 94. For the Self - e x i s t e n t (Svayambhu), having performed a u s t e r i t i e s , produced him f i r s t from h i s own mouth, i n order that the offerings might be conveyed to the gods and manes and that t h i s universe might be preserved. 

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