Dominik A. Haas obtained his PhD in South Asian Studies from the University of Vienna in 2022 with a dissertation on the Gāyatrī-Mantra. He has published and given lectures on the topics of Hinduism, Vedic religion, mantras, deification, and yoga. Following an interdisciplinary approach, he combines philological and historical research with methods and insights from various fields, ranging from text linguistics to religious studies. As a co-founder of the Initiative for Fair Open Access Publishing in South Asian Studies (FOASAS), Haas is also involved in promoting innovative forms of scholarly communication and fair working conditions in the academic and publishing sector.
Haas has been a research fellow at the Institute since 2020, first as a recipient of the ÖAW DOC Fellowship and now as a Post-DocTrack Fellow. He is currently finalizing a monograph based on his dissertation, which will be published by the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press in the Beiträge zur Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte Asiens. In this publication, titled Gāyatrī: Mantra and Mother of the Vedas, Haas reconstructs, for the first time, the history of the Gāyatrī mantra, which, as the most important initiation mantra of Brahmanical Hinduism, has played a central role in the formation of social and religious identity for over 2000 years. Over the course of time it has not only been personified as the mother of the Vedas – the oldest religious literature of South Asia – but has even come to be venerated as a goddess.
In addition to working on his book, Haas is also preparing a new research project that will look at the cultural history of mantras and their recitation. Moreover, he teaches courses on mantras and the history of religion at the University of Vienna.
Gāyatrī: Mantra and Mother of the Vedas. [Beiträge zur Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte Asiens ed. by Birgit Kellner]. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, accepted for publication (2023).
together with Vitus Angermeier, Christian Ferstl and Channa Li (eds.), Puṣpikā: Proceedings of the 12th International Indology Graduate Research Symposium (Vienna, 2021). [Puṣpikā – Tracing Ancient India through Texts and Traditions: Contributions to Current Research in Indology 6]. Heidelberg: Heidelberg Asian Studies Publishing, https://doi.org/10.11588/hasp.1133
“Translating the Gāyatrī-Mantra.” Asian Literature and Translation 10.1 (2023): 47–91, https://doi.org/10.18573/alt.57
“A Nature Deity? The Ṛgvedic Savitṛ Revisited.” Studia Orientalia Electronica 8.1 (2020): 153–174, https://doi.org/10.23993/store.89288
“Ritual, Self and Yoga: On the Ways and Goals of Salvation in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad.” Journal of Indian Philosophy 47.5 (2019): 1019–1052, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10781-019-09408-y