L'ardeur by Roberto Calasso

By Roberto Calasso

Quelque selected d'immensément loin de notre présent est apparu il y a plus de trois mille ans dans l'Inde du Nord : le Veda, un "savoir" qui englobait tout en lui, depuis les grains de sable jusqu'aux confins de l'univers. Cette distance transparaît dans l. a. manière de vivre chaque geste, chaque parole, chaque entreprise. Les hommes védiques accordaient une consciousness adamantine à l'esprit qui les soutenait et qui ne pouvait être disjoint de l'"ardeur" à partir de laquelle, pensaient-ils, le monde s'était développé. L'instant prenait sens dans sa relation avec un invisible qui débordait de présences divines. Ce fut une expérimentation de los angeles pensée si extrême qu'elle aurait pu disparaître sans laisser aucune hint de son passage sur l. a. "terre où erre en liberté l'antilope noire" (c'est ainsi que l'on définissait le lieu de l. a. loi). Et pourtant cette pensée – un enchevêtrement d'hymnes énigmatiques, d'actes rituels, d'histoires de dieux et de fulgurations métaphysiques – a l'indubitable capacité d'éclairer d'une lumière rasante, distincte de toute autre, les événements élémentaires qui appartiennent à l'expérience de tout un chacun, aujourd'hui et partout, à commencer par le easy fait d'être conscient. Elle entre ainsi en collision avec nombre de ce que l'on considère désormais comme des certitudes acquises. Ce livre raconte remark, à travers les "cent chemins" auxquels fait allusion le titre d'une œuvre démesurée et capitale du Veda, le Satapatha Brahmana, on peut retrouver ce qui est sous nos yeux en passant par ce qui est le plus loin de nous.

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In late Vedic times they tended to live as hermits in the forest and chose not to participate in the Hindu social structure with its many castes. Ascetics emerged from all sections of society and rivaled the Brahmins in commanding the highest respect of the people. The passion that fueled the austere devotion of the ascetic in the forest was itself revered as sacrificial; this passionate dedication to 36 HINDUISM the austere life was compared to a fire on the altar. The repetition of Vedic chants that characterized the lives of the Vedic priests was thought to be equivalent to the austere devotion of these ascetics.

But, after all, who knows, and who can say Whence it all came, and how creation happened? The gods themselves are later than creation, So who knows truly whence it has arisen? Whence all creation had its origin? He, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not, He, who surveys it all from highest heaven, He knows, or perchance he knows not. 6, 7 The Late Vedic Period and the Upanishadic Period 35 within one’s own mind. The compilation of the Brahmanas and Aranyakas clearly shows how fascinated and absorbed the Vedic priests were with their rituals and the process of elaborating on them and interpreting them.

In the late Vedic period the worldview gradually changed. Major gods of the early Vedic period lost their importance. In later Vedic writings interest shifted away from celestial and atmospheric gods toward devas who were located on the land. Also, more attention was directed toward sacrificial rituals. It was during this period that the Brahmins, or priests, gained importance and power in early Hindu society. Eventually people came to question the Brahmins’ role. The period following the Vedic period, the era of the Upanishads, showed the results of this questioning.

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