This book in the series of Life and Vision of Vedic Seers is an attempt at reconstruct the life and ideology of a Rgvedic seer Kavasa Ailusa noted for contributing four hymns to the Samhita particularly the famous Gambler’s Hymn which is unique in its content inasmuch as instead of devoting itself to anyone of the deities it has been addressed to Die as its deity and devoted to Aksa an insignificant wild seed used in playing an ancient game which happened to be decisive even to kingships. Ironically, the seer happens to play the role of a dramatic persona in this hymn involving himself practically as a gambler, playing the game, suffering the consequences up to the extreme consisting in even losing his wife to the fellow gamblers, getting indebted to eighbours, hiding himself from them, being disowned by his father, mother, and brothers and relatives and then tending to impart the lesson of abstaining from this game to people at large. The irony of his lesson, however, lies in the fact that sage Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa who is responsible for turning the stray Vedic Mantras into Samhitas as well as creation of the Mahabharata, the greatest epic poem of the world, happens to have adopted the same model in the creation of its hero after the same seer in Yudhisthira, the king of kings of his time and suffering almost the same consequences inspite of all his honesty and piousness of character and has become archetypal throughout the millennia. This book has, thus, become important on account of showing for the first time the archetypal character of the theme of the Mahabharata tracing itself back to this hymn of the Rgveda which otherwise has been treated as a matter of ridicule on Vedic seers and what they have contributed to the literary world.
The book is valuable asset for scholars, students, researchers of Philosophy, Yoga, Vedic studies and Indology.
I. Life, Askesis and Attainment of Seerhood 17
II. King Kurusravana and Mitratithi as Patrons of Kavasa Ailusa 29
Kavasa’s Mode of Sadhana 41
Kavasa Ailusa’s Contribution to the Central Theme of the Mahabharata 61
Status of Space – Time in Kavasa’s Complexion of the Reality 97
Gambler’s Hymn as a Symbolic Form of Greed of Man 131
Index of Words 145