In the present volume, the author draws on her study of religious cults and folklore to provide an introduction to the ancient magic and folklore of India. But the main source is the Atharvaveda, compiled about 1400 BC and containing much earlier lore, some of it originating in Sumeria, Babylonia, Iran and ancient Egypt. Margaret Stutley points out that magical elements exist in every religion since it is their presence that makes a system of beliefs into a religion. Thus magic and cult are essentially the same, all rites being basically magical. She also shows that in all societies different stages of belief exist side by side, and range from naive magico-religious beliefs to the most advanced spiritual and philosophical views.|
About the Author:
MARGARET STUTLEY is a private scholar who retired over twenty years ago to North Wales. A Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, she became interested in Buddhism and Hinduism and formed a library of Indological works.