The Rig Veda Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Susna is the demon of _____.

2. In later Sanskrit, a wish is a chariot made of _____.

3. What does the word 'tapas' mean?

4. Indra wages battle with _____ as well as weapons.

5. What word denotes mankind, the eponymous ancestor of mankind, or the brother of Yama?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the back story about the priest of the oblation's getting angry in "The Birth of Agni", and what does the priest do that is mentioned in this hymn?

2. Who eats from the tree of knowledge in "The Riddle of the Sacrifice", and what does this mean?

3. What are the first ritual laws called, and what is their purpose?

4. Who are the Angirases and with whom are they often linked?

5. How are Agni and Soma linked?

6. What is the function of the enclosing-sticks in "The Hymn of Man" as opposed to the fuel-sticks?

7. What is the role of the goat in "The Sacrifice of the Horse" and for whom does it do this?

8. What are the meanings of the recurrent epithet, "Knower of creatures"?

9. What is the actual content of the secret in "The Mystery of Agni"?

10. What is the distinction between food that is for the gods and food that is for the dead fathers?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author describes paradox as a main component of the Rig Veda. Analyze "The Funeral Fire" and describe its paradoxes and ways in which these paradoxes are interpreted.

Essay Topic 2

How does the author characterize the nature of the Rig Veda in the section entitled "Realia"? Why are the gods usually invoked? What is her opinion on the relationship between the ideas in the Rig Veda and the material world?

Essay Topic 3

What are the two incarnations of Parjanya? What is the significance of Parjanya as a god figure? What is paradoxical about Parjanya's gender in "Parjanya, the Cow"?

(see the answer keys)

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