The present lexicon explains the meaning and significance of ritualistic terms frequently occurring in the Srautasutras, together with a short description of the sacrificial rites connected or meant therewith. It is an outcome of the engagement of the author with the Srauta ritual for a very long time. He has not only a first hand knowledge of the texts but also a practical acquaintance with the subject acquired through participating in such sacrifices.
Every term has been traced back to its original source for which exact references have been provided. A proper understanding of the technical terminology of the Vedic ritual is a pre-condition for understanding ritualistic texts connected with the Vedas and also the sacrificial performance mentioned therein. No proper understanding of a Srautasutra is possible without knowing the basic concepts and the details of the ritualistic terms.
Sketches and photographs of Vedic implements and performances are an added advantage of this lexicon, which will help the reader immensely in understanding the related terms. The dictionary is the first of its kind in view of its vast coverage, authenticity and reliability. We are sure that it will prove to be an indispensable asset for every scholar who wants to familiarize himself with the Vedic ritual and the philosophy behind it.
About the Author:
Prof. H.G. Ranade, Ex-Editor and Coordinator of the "Sanskrit-English Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Historical Principles" at the Deccan College, Pune, had the honour of completing his education with first class throughout at the Benaras Hindu University (1955-61) and did his Ph.D. on A Study of the Satapatha Brahmana as a Commentary on the Vajasaneya Samhita from the University of Bombay in 1970. Being in the profession of teaching and research, he has developed a special liking for Vedic ritual, the tradition of which is dwindling day by day. After completing his first English translations of the Katyayana- and Asvalayana- srautasutras (published in 1978, 1983-86), he prepared a critical edition of the Latyayana-srautasutra with its first English translation under the auspices of the IGNCA (published in 1998). He also regularly attended the performances of important Soma-sacrifices in India and later delivered lectures on Vedic rituals abroad discussing problems therein with noted scholars.
Enriching thus his knowledge of the Vedic ritualistic terminology through participating in the Vedic sacrifices, he purposefully devoted himself to the compilation of this Illustrated Dictionary of Vedic Rituals, his magnum opus, which is going to be a landmark in the history of the Vedic scholarship. For his outstanding contributions towards facilitating the understanding of the Srautasutras, he was honoured as a "Vedanga-Vidvan" by the Rashtriya Vedavidya Pratishthan. At present, he is engaged in preparing a critical edition of the Jaiminiya-brahmana with its English translation as a project of the IGNCA.