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This book explores what integral morality and maturity means in traditional yogic terms and in the context of contemporary culture. Feuerstein shows how the ancient teachings of Yoga are singularly relevant in our time of global crisis. At the same time, he offers a trenchant critique of the contemporary Yoga movement. This work, which is full of surprising insights, is required reading for anyone aspiring to understand or practice authentic Yoga.
The collection of Ananda Coomaraswamy essays taken from several volumes presents a full interlinking of not only Vedic texts and their exegetical texts in the Indian tradition itself but also of the related metaphysical texts in other traditons. The essays are similar in character and although written on random topics bear upon unity of thought and reflect single minded contemplation of him. the volume opens up a new vista of interpreting the Vedic lore
The Great Goddess, in her various puranic and tantric forms, is often figured as sitting on a corpse which is identified as Shiva-as-shava (God Shiva, the consort of the Devi and an iconic representation of the Absolute without attributes, the Nirguna Brahman). Hence, most of the existing critical works and ethnographic studies on Shaktism and the tantras have focused on the theological and symbolic paraphernalia of the corpses which operate as the asanas (seats) of the Devi in her various iconographies. This book explores the figurations of the Goddess as corpse in several Hindu puranic and Shakta-tantric texts, popular practices, folk belief systems, legends and various other cultural phenomena based on this motif. It deals with a more intricate and fundamental issue than existing works on the subject: how and why is the Devi - herself - figured as a corpse in the Shakta texts, belief systems and folk practices associated with the tantras? The issues which have been raised in this book include: how does death become a complement to life within this religious epistemology? How does one learn to live with death, thereby lending new definitions and new epistemic and existential dimensions to life and death? And what is the relation between death and gender within this kind of figuration of the Goddess as death and dead body? Analysing multiple mythic narratives, hymns and scriptural texts where the Devi herself is said to take the form of the Shava (the corpse) as well as the Shakti who animates dead matter, this book focuses not only on the concept of the theological equivalence of the Shava (Shiva as corpse) and the Shakti (Energy) in tantras but also on the status of the Divine Mother as the Great Bridge between the apparently irreconcilable opposites, the mediatrix between Spirit and Matter, death and life, existence-in-stasis and existence-in-kinesis. This book makes an important contribution to the fields of Hindu Studies, Goddess Spirituality, South Asian Religions, Women and Religion, India, Studies in Shaktism and Tantra, Cross-cultural Religious Studies, Gender Studies, Postcolonial Spirituality and Ecofeminism.
The '911' attacks on the United States and subsequent 'war on terrorism' have brought a discussion of transnational 'religious' networks onto centre stage. While the Sai Baba movement (the focus of this study) has no militaristic ideology, it may - like any other such movement - ultimately call into question the sovereignty of the nation state. Today, then, issues of faith and devotion are more urgent than ever in the interfaces between diverse world-views, not only at local and national levels but, increasingly, at the global level as well. Religion and religiosity are potent cultural resources that undergo continuous reinvention by particular actors within relationships of power. This book looks closely at the Malaysian following of the contemporary Indian godman Sathya Sai Baba, a neo-Hindu guru famed for his miracle working. This religious innovation has broad appeal among non-Malays, but attempts to formalize and control it have evolved within a middle-class subsection of the Malaysian Indian community. This community makes subtle and ambiguous appeals for both spiritual unity and religious pluralism in response to the totalitarianism and intolerance of Malaysian modernity as it is wielded by the Malay-dominated government.
In thirteenth-century Maharashtra, a new vernacular literature emerged to challenge the hegemony of Sanskrit, a language largely restricted to men of high caste. In a vivid and accessible idiom, this new Marathi literature inaugurated a public debate over the ethics of social difference grounded in the idiom of everyday life. The arguments of vernacular intellectuals pushed the question of social inclusion into ever-wider social realms, spearheading the development of a nascent premodern public sphere that valorized the quotidian world in sociopolitical terms. The Quotidian Revolution examines this pivotal moment of vernacularization in Indian literature, religion, and public life by investigating courtly donative Marathi inscriptions alongside the first extant texts of Marathi literature: the Lilacaritra (1278) and the Jnanesvari (1290). Novetzke revisits the influence of Chakradhar (c. 1194), the founder of the Mahanubhav religion, and Jnandev (c. 1271), who became a major figure of the Varkari religion, to observe how these avant-garde and worldly elites pursued a radical intervention into the social questions and ethics of the age. Drawing on political anthropology and contemporary theories of social justice, religion, and the public sphere, The Quotidian Revolution explores the specific circumstances of this new discourse oriented around everyday life and its lasting legacy: widening the space of public debate in a way that presages key aspects of Indian modernity and democracy.
Covering all the major Hindu practices, festivals, beliefs, gods, sacred sites, languages, and religious texts, this is the most comprehensive Hinduism dictionary of its kind. It contains 2,800 entries on everything from Tantra to temples, from bhakti to Divali, as well as biographical entries for key thinkers, teachers, and scholars. All entries are clear, concise, up to date, and fully cross-referenced. With its coverage spanning 3,500 years of Hinduism - from the religion's conception to Hinduism in the 21st century - this brand new A-Z also acknowledges the historical interplay between Hindu traditions and others, for example, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, and Islamic. Detailed appendices include maps, pronunciation guide, a chronology, principal sources and further reading, and useful websites. This dictionary is an invaluable first port of call for students and teachers of Hinduism, theology, Asian studies, or philosophy, as well as the related disciplines of history, sociology, and anthropology. It is also an ideal source of reference for all practicing Hindus and for anyone with an interest in Indian religions and culture.
"The books line up on my shelf like bright Bodhisattvas ready to
take tough questions or keep quiet company. They stake out a vast
territory, with works from two millennia in multiple genres:
aphorism, lyric, epic, theater, and romance."
"No effort has been spared to make these little volumes as
attractive as possible to readers: the paper is of high quality,
the typesetting immaculate. The founders of the series are John and
Jennifer Clay, and Sanskritists can only thank them for an
initiative intended to make the classics of an ancient Indian
language accessible to a modern international audience."
"The Clay Sanskrit Library represents one of the most admirable
publishing projects now afoot. . . . Anyone who loves the look and
feel and heft of books will delight in these elegant little
"Published in the geek-chic format."
"Very few collections of Sanskrit deep enough for research are
housed anywhere in North America. Now, twenty-five hundred years
after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha, the ambitious Clay Sanskrit
Library may remedy this state of affairs."
aNow an ambitious new publishing project, the Clay Sanskrit
Library brings together leading Sanskrit translators and scholars
of Indology from around the world to celebrate in translating the
beauty and range of classical Sanskrit literature. . . . Published
as smart green hardbacks that are small enough to fit into a jeans
pocket, the volumes are meant to satisfy both the scholar and the
lay reader. Each volume has a transliteration of the original
Sanskrit texton the left-hand page and an English translation on
the right, as also a helpful introduction and notes. Alongside
definitive translations of the great Indian epics -- 30 or so
volumes will be devoted to the Maha-bharat itself -- Clay Sanskrit
Library makes available to the English-speaking reader many other
delights: The earthy verse of Bhartri-hari, the pungent satire of
Jayanta Bhatta and the roving narratives of Dandin, among others.
All these writers belong properly not just to Indian literature,
but to world literature.a
aThe Clay Sanskrit Library has recently set out to change the
scene by making available well-translated dual-language (English
and Sanskrit) editions of popular Sanskritic texts for the
aBy any measure the Ramayana of Valmiki is one of the great epic
poems of world literature. . . . Now the New York University Press
is republishing the translations, without notes and with minimal
introductions, in more accessible and less expensive editions, as
part of the Clay Sanskrit Library. So far the translators have been
The king decides to abdicate in favor of Rama; but just as the celebrations reach their climax, a court intrigue forces Rama and Sita into fourteen years banishment; they dutifully accept their fate, and go off to the jungle. The other brothers refuse to benefit from his misfortune, which leaves nobody to run the city; eventually one of them is persuaded to act as regent, but only consents to do so on condition that he lives outside the city and acts in Ramaas name.
"Ayodhya" is Book Two of Valmiki's national Indianepic, The Ramayana. The young hero Rama sets out willingly from the capital with wife and brother for a fourteen-year banishment, which will entail great suffering and further difficult choices in the books ahead. Of the seven books of this great Sanskrit epic, "Ayodhya" is the most human, and it remains one of the best introductions to the social and political values of traditional India.
Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation
For more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http: //www.claysanskritlibrary.org
In this book, the author presents in historical outline, the genesis, development and structural analysis of the Tantric tradition in India and its place in the Indian religious and philosophical systems. It studies the different aspects of Tantrism, its vastness and intricacies, its heterogeneous and contradictory elements and gives a historical perspective to the conglomeration of ideas and practices through space and time. After an introduction to the meaning of Tantra, the work outlines the various texts which comprise Tantric literature. The development of Tantrism is traced from pre-Vedic times through the Vedic, post-Vedic, early Buddhist and Jain periods down to the evolution of the concept of Sakti in Indian religious thinking. The sequence is carried forward by a study of the development of Tantric Buddhism in India and Tantric Ideas and practices in medieval religious systems. The Lokayata tradition and its connection with Tantrism and finally the emergence of sophisticated Tantras with Sakta orientation completes this historical study of Tantrism through the ages. This important work also incorporates a review on Tantric art and a glossary of Tantric technical terms with reference to text, and intermeniaries.
The "911" attacks on the United States and subsequent "war on terrorism" have brought a discussion of transnational "religious" networks onto center stage. While the Sai Baba movement (the focus of this study) has no militaristic ideology, it may--like any other such movement--ultimately call into question the sovereignty of the nation state. Today, then, issues of faith and devotion are more urgent than ever in the interfaces between diverse world views, not only at local and national levels but, increasingly, at the global level as well. Religion and religiosity are potent cultural resources that undergo continuous reinvention by particular actors within relationships of power. This book looks closely at the Malaysian following of the contemporary Indian godman Sathya Sai Baba, a neo-Hindu guru famed for his miracle-working. This religious innovation has broad appeal among non-Malays, but attempts to formalize and control it have evolved within a middle-class subsection of the Malaysian Indian community. This community makes subtle and ambiguous appeals for both spiritual unity and religious pluralism in response to the totalitarianism and intolerance of Malaysian modernity as it is wielded by the Malay-dominated government.
The idea that there is a truth within the person linked to the discovery of a deeper, more fundamental, more authentic self, has been a common theme in many religions throughout history and an idea that is still with us today. This inwardness or interiority unique to me as an essential feature of who I am has been an aspect of culture and even a defining characteristic of human being; an authentic, private sphere to which we can retreat that is beyond the conflicts of the outer world. This inner world becomes more real than the outer, which is seen as but a pale reflection. Remarkably, the image of the truth within is found across cultures and this book presents an account of this idea in the pre-modern history of Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. Furthermore, in theistic religions, Christianity and some forms of Hinduism, the truth within is conflated with the idea of God within and in all cases this inner truth is thought to be not only the heart of the person, but also the heart of the universe itself. Gavin Flood examines the metaphor of inwardness and the idea of truth within, along with the methods developed in religions to attain it such as prayer and meditation. These views of inwardness that link the self to cosmology can be contrasted with a modern understanding of the person. In examining the truth within in Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism, Flood offers a hermeneutical phenomenology of inwardness and a defence of comparative religion.
Dwijendra Narayan Jha, a leading Indian historian, argues that beef played an important part in the cuisine of ancient India, long before the birth of Islam. Beef was very much part of the Brahmanical and Buddhist diet, and the evidence Jha produces from a variety of religious and secular texts is compelling. fundamentalist groups backing them have demanded that the book should be ritually burnt in Public. The Hyderabad Civil Court has already banned the book and the author's life has been threatened.
The "Bhagavad Gita" is a sacred scripture of epic dimensions and is the key sacred text of Hinduism. It means the "song of God" and is often called the "Song Celestial". Alan Jacobs uses contemporary free verse based on innovative metaphors to provide a clear meaning for today's readers. It is mandala poetry - each verse being a mandala for meditation.
The "Upanishads" are the sacred writings of Hinduism. They are perhaps the greatest of all the books in the history of world religions. Their origins predate recorded history, being revealed to the Rishis of the Vedic civilization some 5000 to 10,000 years ago. Many see them as the kernel of the mystical, philosophical truths that are the basis of the Higher World religion of Hinduism, their cradle, of which Buddhism is a successor and Judaism is an offshoot. With Islam and Christianity being offshoots of Judaism, this makes them the foundational documents for understanding and practising religion today. Much of the original text of the "Upanishads" is archaic and occasionally corrupted, but it does convey a moral and ethical thrust that is abundantly clear. Alan Jacobs uses modern free verse to convey the essential meaning and part of the original text. He omits Sanskrit words as far as possible and the commentary provided is contemporary rather than ancient.
This popular book is now available in its first paperback edition. A Heart Poured Out is the fascinating biography of Swami Ashokananda (1893-1969), an illustrious teacher of the Ramakrishna Order who spent most of his life expanding the Vedanta movement in northern California while training his American students to lead authentic spiritual lives. Award-winning author Marie Louise Burke (Sister Gargi), his famed disciple, recounts the Swami's life and conversations in a personal style that is eloquent, witty, and wise. His powerful guidance-here brought to light for the first time-will help readers of all faiths deepen their spiritual practice.Soul-stirring account ... reveals the Swami's extraordinary spiritual stature with candor, integrity, and wit. -HUSTON SMITH, author of The World's Religions Rapturously written biography of an intrinsically fascinating man ... highly recommended.-MIDWEST BOOK REVIEWCompelling remembrance of a saintly life.-LIBRARY JOURNALExhaustive et engaging ... this rare account is well worth the wait.-YOGA JOURNAL
Book & CD. Mahima Dharma (the Dharma of Glory) is one of the most fascinating living religious traditions of Orissa. It originated during the nineteenth century as an autochthonous reform movement, emerging out of the nirguna bhakti tradition of India. The earliest authentic testimonies of this movement are the impressive compositions of Bhima Bhoi, a lay guru, who fought against social evils such as caste and ritualised piety and initiated women into his community. The present volume is the first representative and comprehensive anthology of Bhima Bhois religious poetry. It offers a detailed introduction, which discusses the poet and his work in its social, religious, and philosophical contexts. All Poems, originally in Oriya, are transliterated into Roman script first and then translated into English on the facing page for easy comprehension. Since Bhima Bhois poetry is above all oral poetry, and his songs are still recited by Mahima Dharmis, the editors decided to complement the written text by authentic audio samples from Orissa. An audio CD, recorded in the areas of Sonepur and Sambalpur offers a selection of popular bhajans of Bhima Bhoi sung by practising Mahima Dharmis. In the end, the volume brings to a worldwide audience, for the first time, an outstanding poet, widely unknown, outside Orissa.
This new, opulent presentation of the Bhagavad-gita, India's great spiritual masterpiece, is unique. Profusely illustrated with 40 colour plates and more than 50 black-and-white drawings, this edition provides a fresh look at this immensely popular classic. A selection of essential verses is lavishly illustrated, incorporating both Eastern and Western classical illumination styles. The authors worked on the illustrations for over five years.
Popular Hinduism is shaped, above all, by worship of a multitude of powerful divine beings--a superabundance indicated by the proverbial total of 330 million gods and goddesses. The fluid relationship between these beings and humans is a central theme of this rich and accessible study of popular Hinduism in the context of the society of contemporary India. Lucidly organized and skillfully written, "The Camphor Flame" brings clarity to an immensely complicated subject. C. J. Fuller combines ethnographic case studies with comparative anthropological analysis and draws on textual and historical scholarship as well. The book's new afterword brings the study up-to-date by examining the relationship between popular Hinduism and contemporary Hindu nationalism.
This book provides the first full-scale English-language study of Pradyumna, the son of the Hindu god Krsna. Often represented as a young man in mid-adolescence, Pradyumna is both a handsome double of his demon-slaying father and the rebirth of Kamadeva, the God of Love. Sanskrit epic, puranic, and kavya narratives of the 300-1300 CE period celebrate Pradyumna's sexual potency, mastery of illusory subterfuges, and military prowess in supporting the work of his avatara father. These materials reflect the values of an evolving Brahminical and Vaisnava tradition that was deeply invested in the imperatives of family, patrilines, the violent but necessary defense of the social and cosmic order, and the celebration of beauty and desire as a means to the divine. Pradyumna's evolving narratives, almost completely absent from existing studies of Hindu mythology, provide a point of access to the development of Krsna bhakti and Vaisnava theism more broadly. Conversely, Jain sources cast Pradyumna as an exemplary figure through whom a pointed rejection of these values can be articulated, even while sharing certain of their elementary premises. Pradyumna: Lover, Magician, and Scion of the Avatara assembles these narratives, presents key Sanskrit materials in translation and summary form, and articulates the social, gender, and religious values encoded in them. Most importantly, the study argues that Pradyumna's signature two-handed maneuver-the audacious appropriation of a feminine partner, enabled by the emasculating destruction of her demonic male protector-communicates a persistent fantasy of male power expressed in the language of a mutually implicating sex and violence.
With the Hindu nationalist BJP now replacing the Congress as the only national political force, the communalization of the Indian polity has qualitatively advanced since the earlier edition of this book in 1997. This edition has been substantially reworked and updated with several new chapters added. Hindutva's rise necessitates a more critical take on mainstream secular claims, ironically reinforced by liberal-left sections discovering special virtues in India's 'distinctive' secularism. The careful evaluation of the ongoing debate on 'Indian fascism' has resonances for the broader debate about how best to assess the dangers of the far right's rise in other liberal democracies. A study follows of how Hindutva forces are pursuing their project of establishing a Hindu Rashtra and how to thwart them through a wider transformative struggle targeting capitalism itself.
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