Nambudiri Veda Recitation: after half a century

  • Frits Staal (Author)


"During the last few years of Frits Staal’s life (November 3, 1930 - February 19, 2012), we were in frequent email exchange and we also met, at several occasions, in the USA and last in Kerala in 2011. Several such exchanges were related to an article about his book Nambudiri Veda Recitation (NVR) that he proposed for EJVS, as well as about his planned book “May these Bricks be Cows for me. Infinity, the History of Science and Truth.“ He offered it to Harvard University Press as he thought that the Harvard Oriental Series has a somewhat different aim. As for the current paper he wrote to me on 6/18/10: “I would like to put my essay on NVR and the Gonda series on my website”.[, 2010] This has not occurred then as far as I know. In 2010 he was also seriously thinking of a reprint or new edition of this NVR book of which he had obtained a pristine copy. He sent me an early version of the current article on 6/28/2010, including the highly important section on the high udātta pitch, in “a new draft,” and on 7/25/2010 “the latest incarnation,” for EJVS. We delayed the publication then as he was occupied with his forthcoming book, and the upcoming Agnicayana at Paññal in 2011; he passed away less than a year later. However, as none of his posthumous works have been published so far I fulfill his wish here. These works, notably his “Cows” book and a short autobiography, are available in computer files with his son Nanoo Frederic. We hope that they will appear in due course." (M. Witzel, 2015)


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