Dating to the first half of the first millennium BCE, the Katha Aranyaka is a ritualistic and speculative text that deals with a dangerous Vedic ritual that provides its sponsor with a new body after death. In a new, never-before-published critical edition, Michael Witzel, using available manuscripts and, primarily, a color facsimile of a restored five-hundred-year-old Kashmiri birch bark manuscript preserved at Tübingen since 1895, presents this work which transitions the Vedic ritual into the philosophy of the Upanishads. The text is preceded by an extensive introduction in English dealing with Vedic ritualism and followed by a German translation as well as detailed variant readings and a verse index.
Michael Witzel is Wales Professor of Sanskrit in the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University.
Harvard University Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies