Hindu mythology reflects this mixture of otherworldly spiritualism and worldly violence. Like most mythologies, it is full of images of cosmic wars, apocalyptic destruction, and tragic heroes. But it is also the repository of as many stories about courtly love, self-sacrifice, ethical quandaries, and sophisticated philosophical edifices to rival (or even surpass) Augustine and Aquinas. And unlike Greek or Scandinavian mythology, Hindu mythology is also connected to a living religious tradition and helps to define the religious identity of hundreds of millions of Hindus. As scholars of Hinduism have learned, one is far more likely to draw protests when writing about Ganesa or Siva than when writing about Loki or Aphrodite. Indeed, as we shall see, scholars of Hindu mythology have recently found themselves enmeshed or implicated in India’s religious conflicts. Many books have been written about the violence of religion, the religions of India, and the violence of the religions of India. But René Girard, who has spent the last four decades thinking and writing about religion and violence, has had virtually nothing to say about is until his lectures on the Sanskrit Brahmanas at the Bibliotheque nationale de France in October of 2002. This book presents a study of those lectures, published in English in 2011 as Sacrifice, in light of the rest of Girard’s work, current Indological scholarship, and primary texts from the Hindu tradition. Along the way, it also visits the work of Girard’s predecessors, heirs, rivals, and critics, examine some well-known and some frequently overlooked Hindu myths and rituals, and take some sidelong glances into Christian theology, contemporary philosophy, and Greek, Iranian, and Scandinavian literature.