Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies


Kuru kings, Tura Kavaseya, and the -tvaya gerund

a1 School of Oriental and African Studies


The present paper provides new evidence to support recent suggestions that a significant transformation of early Vedic culture was promoted by the kings of the Kuru dynasty, and argues that this transformation was fundamental to the establishment of the srauta system of rituals. The evidence in question concerns a number of verse mantras in srauta liturgies which, contrary to the rule, have no parallels in the Rgveda. It is suggested that the reason why new verse mantras were composed in these limited cases is that the rites for which they were intended were all rites of sovereignty through which the Kuru kings proclaimed, legitimized, and consolidated their hegemony.