By Franciscus Bernardus Jacobus Kuiper
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Additional info for Ancient Indian Cosmogony: Essays Selected and Introduced by John Irwin
65, where there i\ ieference to "Agni generated by the creative breath" (who is said to impregnate the female element of the waters). This is, I am afraid, a 111isrel)resentation of the ancient co~xxptionof the world. T h e reader is here facecl with the difficulty that the of the myth evoked by the author is oniy partly supported by at is incidentally said on p. 86 about the sketch of the classification system, to the effect that this is partly l~ypothetical,is also true oi the reconstruction of the myth.
Especial1 Wikander, "Sus le fonds indoiranien des &pop&es de la Perse et de 1 I'Inde", La Nouvelle Clio no. 7 (ju~llet1950),pp. 310-329. Y . and as such it is of minor interest for our understanding of the epic than the primary contrast between PanGavas and Kauravas, which corresponds to the : ($guedzc G y a viir-nu: dGa rtcitxa). social dichoton~yi i ~ y a Szidra A justification for the prececling digression may be found, first, in the unclainental importance of the problems coilcerning the Mahiibhlarata and, ,econcl, in the need to place the various views (like those of Wikander and Held) in their relative positions.
The impossibility of understanding a single rnythological figure isolated from the context of the mythological system. Monographs on single deities are indispensable as a first step, because no interpretation can be attempted before all data have been gathered and arranged. The final interpretation, however, will have to account for a god's function within the total system. 2. In the oldest Vedic text Visnu's function seems to be restricted to his taking three strides through the Universe. Kothing suggests that this text is particularly reticent about the real nature of the god's divine act.
Ancient Indian Cosmogony: Essays Selected and Introduced by John Irwin by Franciscus Bernardus Jacobus Kuiper