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Cultural Writing. Spiritual Essays. SONGS OF SUBMISSION is the first book in renowned mystical writer Ronimund von Bissing's spiritual quartet Songs of the Spirit. One of the most significant contributions to the mystical literature of the Twentieth century. This classic companion in the great spiritual tradition reaches the heights of inner experience where differences of doctrine dissolve and man faces his true self. See also SONGS OF THE HEART, SONGS OF THE JOURNEY and SONGS OF THE WAYFARER, all available from SPD.
Replete with inspired illustrations by award-winning artists B.G. Sharma and Mahaveer Swami, Beauty, Power & Gracefeatures Krishna Dharma's dramatic retellings of pivotal ancient Indian stories of the many Hindu Goddesses. Adapted from ancient Sanskrit texts, the stories in Beauty, Power & Grace represent one of the most fundamental aspects of Hinduism--the innumerable manifestations of divinity. Among these, the portrayal of the Goddess is perhaps the most alluring. She appears as a devoted wife, a master of the arts, a terrifying demon slayer, a scornful critic, and a doting mother, to name just a few of her forms. In Vedic tradition, these depictions of the Goddess reflect the belief that male and female are simply different expressions of one supreme, absolute truth. These profound stories are brought together here in an exquisitely illustrated collection that reveals the various manifestations of the Goddess, ranging from the iconic to the obscure: Mother Yashoda peers into her infant's mouth and is astonished to catch a glimpse of the entire universe; Ganga Devi, now synonymous with the sacred river, rides upon a great crocodile and purifies those whom she encounters; and Kali, adorned with a garland of skulls, drinks the blood of her victims on the battlefield. A definitive and timeless celebration of Goddess imagery, symbolism, and lore, Beauty, Power & Grace stunningly displays the fascinating intersection between color, form, and meaning at the heart of Hindu tradition.
The Bhagavad Gita is the best known of all the Indian scriptures, and Eknath Easwaran's best-selling translation is reliable, readable, and profound. Easwaran's 55-page introduction places the Bhagavad Gita in its historical setting, and brings out the universality and timelessness of its teachings. Chapter introductions clarify key concepts, and notes and a glossary explain Sanskrit terms. Easwaran grew up in the Hindu tradition in India, and learned Sanskrit from a young age. He was a professor of English literature before coming to the West on a Fulbright scholarship. A gifted teacher, he is recognized as an authority on the Indian classics and world mysticism. The Bhagavad Gita opens, dramatically, on a battlefield, as the warrior Arjuna turns in anguish to his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, for answers to the fundamental questions of life. Yet, as Easwaran points out, the Gita is not what it seems - it's not a dialogue between two mythical figures at the dawn of Indian history. "The battlefield is a perfect backdrop, but the Gita's subject is the war within, the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage if he or she is to emerge from life victorious." Arjuna's struggle in the Bhagavad Gita is acutely modern. He has lost his way on the battlefield of life and turns to find the path again by asking direct, uncompromising questions of his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, the Lord himself. Krishna replies in 700 verses of sublime instruction on living and dying, loving and working, and the nature of the soul. Easwaran shows the Gita's relevance to us today as we strive, like Arjuna, to do what is right. "No one in modern times is more qualified - no, make that 'as qualified' - to translate the epochal Classics of Indian Spirituality than Eknath Easwaran. And the reason is clear. It is impossible to get to the heart of those classics unless you live them, and he did live them. My admiration of the man and his works is boundless." - Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions.
The "Bhagavad Gita," perhaps the most famous of all Indian scriptures, is universally regarded as one of the world's spiritual and literary masterpieces. Richard Davis tells the story of this venerable and enduring book, from its origins in ancient India to its reception today as a spiritual classic that has been translated into more than seventy-five languages. The "Gita" opens on the eve of a mighty battle, when the warrior Arjuna is overwhelmed by despair and refuses to fight. He turns to his charioteer, Krishna, who counsels him on why he must. In the dialogue that follows, Arjuna comes to realize that the true battle is for his own soul.
Davis highlights the place of this legendary dialogue in classical Indian culture, and then examines how it has lived on in diverse settings and contexts. He looks at the medieval devotional traditions surrounding the divine character of Krishna and traces how the "Gita" traveled from India to the West, where it found admirers in such figures as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Aldous Huxley. Davis explores how Indian nationalists like Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda used the "Gita" in their fight against colonial rule, and how contemporary interpreters reanimate and perform this classical work for audiences today.
An essential biography of a timeless masterpiece, this book is an ideal introduction to the "Gita" and its insights into the struggle for self-mastery that we all must wage.
Whenever the subject of communities and communal living comes uo, a variety of doubts and suspicions is usually aroused. The possible brainwashing of impressionable young people is frequently mentioned. Although the idea itself is centuries old, it has yet to be accepted as an approved method of living, even in this so-called New Age. Of the many hundreds that have been started, very few have proven successful. The fact that Ananda has done so remarkably well against terrifying odds, and that at every time of crisis help always seems to come in some extraordinary way, invites attention. During his lifetime, which ended in 1952, Yogananda called for the founding of spiritual communities dedicated to world brotherhood and to "simple living and high thinking." Ananda is the first response to this directive. Its remarkable history, and its present expanding horizons, are the subject of this work.
Every day millions of Tamil women in southeast India wake up before dawn to create a kolam, an ephemeral ritual design made with rice flour, on the thresholds of homes, businesses and temples. This thousand-year-old ritual welcomes and honors Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and alertness, and Bhudevi, the goddess of the earth. Created by hand with great skill, artistry, and mathematical precision, the kolam disappears in a few hours, borne away by passing footsteps and hungry insects. This is the first comprehensive study of the kolam in the English language. It examines its significance in historical, mathematical, ecological, anthropological, and literary contexts. The culmination of Vijaya Nagarajan's many years of research and writing on this exacting ritual practice, Feeding a Thousand Souls celebrates the experiences, thoughts, and voices of the Tamil women who keep this tradition alive.
This book presents collated and selected subject-wise teachings of Shri Sai Baba. In this collection of 21 articles published in "Shri Sai Leela" - the official periodical of Shri Sai Baba Sansthan, the author presents the teachings of Baba on subjects like Wealth, food, theory of Karma, Maya, Good conduct, Non-violence, Pleasures of senses, Astrology etc.,
Hindu and Greek mythologies teem with stories of women and men who
are doubled, who double themselves, who are seduced by gods
doubling as mortals, whose bodies are split or divided. In
"Splitting the Difference, " the renowned scholar of mythology
Wendy Doniger recounts and compares a vast range of these tales
from ancient Greece and India, with occasional recourse to more
recent "double features" from "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" to
"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
"Slender lady, I came out with you to gather fruit. I got a pain in my head and fell asleep in your lap. Then I saw a terrible darkness and a mighty person. If you know, then tell me - was it my dream? Or was what I saw real?"
So speaks Satyavat, newly rescued from the god of death by Savitri, his faithful wife, at the heart of one of the best loved stories in Indian literature. This, and other well known narratives, including a version of Rama's story, bring the Forest Book of the great Sanskrit epic, the Maha-bharata, to its compelling conclusion. Woven into the main narrative of the Pandavas' exile, these disparate episodes indicate the range and poetic power of the Maha-bharata as a whole--a power that has the potential to speak to common human concerns across cultures and centuries.
"The Forest" is Book Three of the Maha-bharata, "The Great Book of India." This final quarter of the account of the Pandavas' twelve-year exile inthe forest contains four stirring stories that are among the best known in Indian literature. From a hero overcoming great odds, to a virtuous wife who rescues her family, and Indra tricking Karna, and Yudhi-shthira's victory in the verbal contest with the tree spirit, these stories speak to common human concerns across cultures and centuries.
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
"One Religion Too Many" is a Hindu pilgrim s progress through the world s religious traditions. An eminent scholar of comparative religion, Arvind Sharma provides a first-hand account of how he came to be a party to the dialogue of religions first with his own religion, then with the comparative study of religion, and finally with the religious universalism he has come to espouse because of this heritage. Starting with an account of the Hinduism of his family in Varanasi, India, Sharma then heads west, finding himself dumbfounded by the Christian Eucharist, wondering if there is a Hinjew Connection, grappling with Zen in Massachusetts, and pressed into service to teach about Islam. Sharma writes with a light touch, but even when his encounters and perceptions are amusing, they are always insightful and thought-provoking. Western readers, in particular, will enjoy seeing their own traditions through the eyes of an Easterner who has come to know them well. Sharma s ultimate perspective on religious universalism is a welcoming vision for the globalizing world of the twenty-first century.
The monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have severely limited the portrayal of the divine as feminine. But in Hinduism "God" very often means "Goddess". This extraordinary collection explores twelve different Hindu goddesses, all of whom are in some way related to Devi, the Great Goddess. They range from the liquid goddess - energy of the River Ganges to the possessing, entrancing heat of Bhagavati and Seranvali. They are local, like Vindhyavasini, and global, like Kali; ancient, like Saranyu, and modern, like "Mother India". The collection combines analysis of texts with intensive fieldwork, allowing the reader to see how goddesses are worshiped in everyday life. In these compelling essays, the divine feminine in Hinduism is revealed as never before - fascinating, contradictory, powerful.
In late 20th-century India, Christian-Hindu dialogue was forever transformed following the opening of Shantivanam, the first Christian ashram in the country. Mario I. Aguilar brings together the histories of the five pioneers of Christian-Hindu dialogue and their involvement with the ashram, to explore what they learnt and taught about communion between the two religions, and the wide ranging consequences of their work. The author expertly threads together the lives and friendships between these men, while uncovering the Hindu texts they used and were influenced by, and considers how far some of them became, in their personal practice, Hindu. Ultimately, this book demonstrates the impact of this history on contemporary dialogue between Christians and Hindus, and how both faiths can continue to learn and grow together.
Inside the Yoga Sutras presents a clear, up-to-date perspective on the classic text of Yoga theory and practice: the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This comprehensive sourcebook includes: commentary for each sutra, extensive cross referencing, a study gu
This book studies the phenomenon of altruistic suicide which was a form of political protest. The authors investigate the self-immolation of German pastor Oskar Brusewitz and compare it with other politically motivated suicides. They portray both life and pastoral activity of Brusewitz and analyse the motives of his suicide. Furthermore, they evaluate the judgement of this tragic event by confreres in faith and other witnesses. Besides the thorough analysis of Oskar Brusewitz's case, the book inspects the genesis of self-immolation and locates it in the tradition of Buddhism and Hinduism. It depicts cases of self-immolations in Vietnam, the USA, India, Tibet, China, Iran, and particularly in Middle-Eastern Europe (Czechoslovakia, Poland and Lithuania). The analysis also covers cases of self-immolations that occurred during the Arab Spring (2011-2012) and in Bulgaria in 2013.
The Bhagavata Purana is one of the most important, central and popular scriptures of Hinduism. A medieval Sanskrit text, its influence as a religious book has been comparable only to that of the great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Ithamar Theodor here offers the first analysis for twenty years of the Bhagavata Purana (often called the Fifth Veda ) and its different layers of meaning. He addresses its lyrical meditations on the activities of Krishna (avatar of Lord Vishnu), the central place it affords to the doctrine of bhakti (religious devotion) and its treatment of older Vedic traditions of knowledge. At the same time he places this subtle, poetical book within the context of the wider Hindu scriptures and the other Puranas, including the similar but less grand and significant Vishnu Purana. The author argues that the Bhagavata Purana is a unique work which represents the meeting place of two great orthodox Hindu traditions, the Vedic-Upanishadic and the Aesthetic. As such, it is one of India s greatest theological treatises. This book illuminates its character and continuing significance."
"Encountering Kali "explores one of the most remarkable divinities the world has seen--the Hindu goddess Kali. She is simultaneously understood as a blood-thirsty warrior, a goddess of ritual possession, a Tantric sexual partner, and an all-loving, compassionate Mother. Popular and scholarly interest in her has been on the rise in the West in recent years. Responding to this phenomenon, this volume focuses on the complexities involved in interpreting Kali in both her indigenous South Asian settings and her more recent Western incarnations. Using scriptural history, temple architecture, political violence, feminist and psychoanalytic criticism, autobiographical reflection, and the goddess's recent guises on the Internet, the contributors pose questions relevant to our understanding of Kali, as they illuminate the problems and promises inherent in every act of cross-cultural interpretation.
The present book is a collection of essays written at different points of time and published in reputed journals and books. What blends them together is the use of the primary source material in the form of a vast compendium of Puranic literature (backed by epigraphic, archaeological and anthropological data), which has been utilized to arrive at conclusions pertaining to changes in Indian society and religion during the later half of first millennium AD when the major Puranas were being compiled. The period represents a watershed in Indian history, for it marked a transition from a commercially viable economic order to a closed feudal economy. The social and religious dimensions of the brahmanical system were particularly impacted by such a transition resulting in some innovative forms of restructuring. It has been the purpose behind most of the present articles to reassess and utilize the available Puranic evidence for getting fresh insights into the rationale and precise nature of these changes. The key areas of thrust in these articles are changes in material culture, awareness and mode of dealing with environmental issues, gender based differentiation, recent ritual formations such as Mahadana and Tirthas as well as the utilization of myth as a mode of expressing historical reality.
This volume offers unexpected insights into the history of the Veda, the earliest texts of South Asia, and their underlying oral transmission. In side-by-side facsimiles, Michael Witzel and Qinyuan Wu present the two oldest known Veda manuscripts, the Vajasaneyi Samhita of the White Yajurveda and its contemporaneous sister text, a Vajasaneyi Padapatha, recently found in western Tibet. These two manuscripts have retained an unusual style of representing the pitched accents, and their juxtaposition in this edition invites comparison between the oral Veda transmission of a thousand years ago and the recitation still maintained today. Both manuscripts are important testimonies for the history of the Vedas, their medieval transmission, and their first codification in writing. As such, they are of great interest to historians, Indologists, and scholars studying the interface of oral and written traditions.
A historical and comparative study grounded in close readings of important works, this book explores the dynamics of the theory and practice of yoga in Hindu and Buddhist contexts. Author Stuart Ray Sarbacker explores the fascinating, contrasting perceptions that meditation leads to the attainment of divine, or numinous, power, and to complete escape from worldly existence, or cessation. Sarbacker demonstrates that these two dimensions of spiritual experience have affected the doctrine and cultural significance of yoga from its origins to its contemporary practice. He also integrates sociological and psychological perspectives on religious experience into a larger phenomenological model to address the multifaceted nature of religious experience. Speaking to a broad range of methodological and contextual issues, Samā dhi provides numerous insights into the theory and practice of yoga that are relevant to both scholars of religious studies and practitioners of contemporary yoga and meditation traditions.
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