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The "Mahabharata" tells the narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pandava princes who are part of it. Along with the "Ramayana" it is one of two Sanskrit epics of ancient India. The authorship of the work is generally attributed to Vyasa, who is also a major character in the epic. Intermixed within the descriptions of conflict between the warring factions of this epic are numerous philosophical digressions and discussions of Hinduism. One of the more famous of these digressions is the "Bhagavad-Gita," a battlefield conversation between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide Lord Krishna on a variety of theological and philosophical issues. Also included within the "Mahabharata" are the story of "Damayanti" and "Rishyasringa," often considered as works in their own right. This sweeping epic, the longest every written in Sanskrit, is widely considered as one of the most important works to ever be authored in any language. This four volume edition collects together the complete epic in a translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli. Here we have the first volume which includes books one through three.
"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.
This new verse translation of the classic Sanskrit text combines the skills of leading Hinduist Gavin Flood with the stylistic verve of award-winning poet and translator Charles Martin. The result is a living, vivid work that avoids dull pedantry and remains true to the extraordinarily influential original. A devotional, literary, and philosophical masterpiece of unsurpassed beauty and imaginative relevance, The Bhagavad Gita has inspired, among others, Mahatma Gandhi, J. Robert Oppenheimer, T. S. Eliot, Christopher Isherwood, and Aldous Huxley. Its universal themes life and death, war and peace, sacrifice resonate in a West increasingly interested in Eastern religious experiences and the Hindu diaspora."
A two-volume translation of and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, offering a comprehensive examination of the science and philosophy of yoga. It seeks to break new ground as a revelation of the Gita's most profound spiritual, psychological and metaphysical truths, long obscured by metaphor and allegory. The author outlines the Gita's balanced path of meditation and right activity, and shows how we can create for ourselves a life of spiritual integrity, serenity, simplicity and joy. Included are Sanskrit transliterations of each verse, along with subject guides and a 37-page index.
Through shrewd marketing and publicity, Hindu spiritual leaders can play powerful roles in contemporary India as businessmen and government officials. Focusing on the organizations and activities of Hindu ascetics and gurus, the author explores the complex interrelations among religion, the political economy of India and global capitalism. McKean traces the ideological and organizational antecedents to the Hindu nationalist movement. The Indian state's increasing patronage of Hindu institutions makes competition increases its support. Using materials from guru's publications, the press and extensive field research, McKean examines how participation by upper-caste ruling class groups in the Divine Life Society and other Hindu organizations further legitimates their own authority. With a selection of photographs and advertisements showing icons of spirituality used to sell commodities from textiles to cement to comic books, the work illustrates the pervasive presence of Hindu imagery in India's burgeoning market economy. It shows how gurus popularize Hindu nationalism through imagery such as the goddess, Mother India, and her martyred sons and daughters.
In this magisterial volume of essays, Wendy Doniger enhances our understanding of the ancient and complex religion to which she has devoted herself for half a century. This series of interconnected essays and lectures surveys the most critically important and hotly contested issues in Hinduism over 3,500 years, from the ancient time of the Vedas to the present day. The essays contemplate the nature of Hinduism; Hindu concepts of divinity; attitudes concerning gender, control, and desire; the question of reality and illusion; and the impermanent and the eternal in the two great Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Among the questions Doniger considers are: Are Hindus monotheists or polytheists? How can atheists be Hindu, and how can unrepentant Hindu sinners find salvation? Why have Hindus devoted so much attention to the psychology of addiction? What does the significance of dogs and cows tell us about Hinduism? How have Hindu concepts of death, rebirth, and karma changed over the course of history? How and why does a pluralistic faith, remarkable for its intellectual tolerance, foster religious intolerance? Doniger concludes with four concise autobiographical essays in which she reflects on her lifetime of scholarship, Hindu criticism of her work, and the influence of Hinduism on her own philosophy of life. On Hinduism is the culmination of over forty years of scholarship from a renowned expert on one of the world's great faiths.
Jeaneane Fowler provides a text and detailed commentary on this important Hindu scripture, which is a dialogue between Arjuna the man and Krishna the God. Major Hindu concepts are examined in depth, and the background to the Gita is presented in a comprehensive introduction. Yoga is the key feature of the Gita but it has its own interpretation of what that yoga should be: thus, yoga features not only in each of the pathways of knowledge, desireless action and devotion, but in the way in which the divine is understood. The chapters of the Bhagavad Gita therefore describe Arjunas despondency followed by The Yoga of Sankhya, Action, Knowledge, Renunciation, Meditation, Knowledge and Realization, the Imperishable Brahman, Royal Knowledge and Royal Mystery, Manifestation, the Vision of the Universal Form, Devotion, the Differentiation of the Kshetra and Kshetrajna, the Differentiation of the Three Gunas, the Supreme Purusha, the Differentiation of the Divine and the Demonic, the Differentiation of the Threefold Shraddha and, finally, The Yoga of Liberation and Renunciation. The book also contains detailed notes to the Gita chapters, a Further Reading section, a combined Glossary and Index of Sanskrit Terms, and an Index of English words. The cover of the book is replete with symbolism. Krishna is always represented as blue in colour, hence the colour of the hands in the cover design. The chariot of Krishna and Arjuna is to be seen in the motif at the base, while the triple motif symbolizes the triple paths of the Gita action without desire for results, knowledge and devotion. There are also three strands that make up all phenomena light and radiance, energy, and inertia, as well as three aspects of the divine in the Gita the totally transcendent Absolute, the manifest deity that is also the essence of all things, and the personal God to whom devotion can be given. The main image of Krishna is superimposed on the roots of the ashvattha tree that features in chapter 15: its branches reach down into the earth and its roots ascend upwards and it represents phenomenal existence.
RELIGION / HINDUISM Shakti is synonymous with the Devi, the Divine Mother or divine power that manifests, sustains, and transforms the universe. She is the womb of all creatures, and it is through her that the One becomes the many. Our first and primary relationship to the world is through the mother, the source of love, security, and nourishment. Extending this relationship to worship of a cosmic being as mother was a natural step found not only in the Shakti cult of Hinduism but also in ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Babylonian cultures. Shakti presents more than 30 goddess incarnations of the Divine Mother that represent both the beneficial and malefic aspects of the Shakti force. From Lakshmi, Parvati, and Saraswati to Durga, Chandika, and Kali--each of the different functions of the female goddesses in the Hindu pantheon is revealed, accompanied by traditional Sanskrit hymns, classic verses by Sri Auribindo, and discussions of tantric philosophy. The author draws from the Devi Bhagavatham, which describes all the stories of Shakti, and the Devi Mahatmyam, the most powerful scriptural text that glorifies Shakti in her form as Durga. Using these texts she shows that through the power and grace of the Divine Mother we may be released from the darkness of ignorance and taken to the abode of knowledge, immortality, and bliss--the source from which we have come. MATAJI DEVI VANAMALI has written six books on the gods of the Hindu pantheon, including The Play of God and The Song of Rama, as well as translating the Bhagavad Gita. She is the founder and president of Vanamali Gita Yogashram, dedicated to sharing the wisdom of Sanatana Dharma and charitable service to children. She lives at theVanamali ashram at Rishikesh in northern India.
A Divine Soul who came to the earth as a Human Being, lived as a Karmyogi, spoke as a Prophet, taught like Jesus, served as Buddha, and left this world as Sai Baba - The God of Millions! He had said, "When I will no more be in the body, my bones will speak to you from the Mahasamadhi, whenever you call me with love and faith". Sai Baba still keeps His promise. You will hear Him speak to you within; you will find Him always beside you, extending His hand to you for your help; and believe me, you will never find yourself alone at times of crises. Sai Baba is a God who is practically yours - always - if you have faith in Him.
Yoga, karma, meditation, guru--these terms, once obscure, are now a part of the American lexicon. Combining Hinduism with Western concepts and values, a new hybrid form of religion has developed in the United States over the past century. In Transcendent in America, Lola Williamson traces the history of various Hindu-inspired movements in America, and argues that together they constitute a discrete category of religious practice, a distinct and identifiable form of new religion.
Williamson provides an overview of the emergence of these movements through examining exchanges between Indian Hindus and American intellectuals such as Thomas Jefferson and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and illuminates how Protestant traditions of inner experience paved the way for Hindu-style movements' acceptance in the West.
Williamson focuses on three movements--Self-Realization Fellowship, Transcendental Meditation, and Siddha Yoga--as representative of the larger of phenomenon of Hindu-inspired meditation movements. She provides a window into the beliefs and practices of followers of these movements by offering concrete examples from their words and experiences that shed light on their world view, lifestyle, and relationship with their gurus. Drawing on scholarly research, numerous interviews, and decades of personal experience with Hindu-style practices, Williamson makes a convincing case that Hindu-inspired meditation movements are distinct from both immigrant Hinduism and other forms of Asian-influenced or "New Age" groups.
The esoteric Hindu traditions of Tantrism have profoundly
influenced the development of Indian thought and civilization.
Emerging from elements of yoga and wisdom traditions, shamanism,
alchemy, eroticism, and folklore, Tantrism began to affect
brahmanical Hinduism in the ninth century. Nevertheless, Tantrism
and its key historical figures have been ignored by scholars. This
accessible work introduces the concepts and practices of Hindu
Sakta Tantrism to all those interested in Hinduism and the
comparative study of religion.
The Mahabharata, originally composed some two thousand years ago, tells the story of a royal dynasty, descended from gods, whose feud over their kingdom results in a devastating war. An epic masterpiece of huge sweep and magisterial power, a hundred times more interesting than the Iliad and the Odyssey (Wendy Doniger), it is a timeless work that evokes a world of myth, passion, and warfare while exploring eternal questions of duty, love, and spiritual freedom. A seminal Hindu text that includes the Bhagavad Gita, it is also one of the most important and influential works in the history of world civilization.
This new English retelling, innovatively composed in blank verse rather than prose, covers all eighteen books of the Mahabharata. It masterfully captures the beauty, excitement, and profundity of the original Sanskrit poem as well as its magnificent architecture and extraordinary scope."
This title deals with the Four Paths, Deities, Sacred Places, and Hinduism Today. It is a guide to the philosophy and beliefs of Hinduism, illustrated with over 320 photographs. It explores how Hindu thought and spirituality are expressed though worship, dress, cuisine, philosophy, architecture, story, myth and the performing arts. "This illustrated encyclopedia of Hinduism provides a highly readable and comprehensive introduction to Hinduism. Rasamandala Das presents a lively account." (Professor Gavin Flood, Academic Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies). A magnificent introduction to the world of Hinduism and its vibrant culture, this inspirational book focuses on spiritual practices and those activities that nurture faith, wisdom and communion with the Supreme. It reveals the four main paths of action, knowledge, meditation and devotion, the fascinating array of Hindu deities, and practices that celebrate sacred time and place. The book analyses ways in which Hindus engage with this world through to the present day, and how their spirituality has been expressed and organized. It provides the perfect opportunity for anyone wishing to further explore the compelling faith and culture that is Hinduism.
Hinduism is perhaps the oldest major religion. The comprehensive book explores its rich historical and cultural development, from its Indian roots to its vibrant application in the present, global context. Over 500 photographs, plus a useful introduction, a clear timeline and a full glossary of Indian terms. This accessible book provides the perfect reference for anyone wishing to explore the compelling faith and culture that is Hinduism. Updated 2019.
This is a compact yet authoritative history of Hinduism, from its origins over 4000 years ago to the impact of the belief system across the world today. It highlights key figures in Hinduism, including Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva and, in recent times, Vivekanada, Sahajananda Swami and Bhaktivedanta Swami. It focuses on the major historical events that have shaped Hinduism - the Vedic Period and the North Classical Age, the Mughal Empire and the impact of British Rule. Hindiuism is often called the world's oldest living major religion, and this beautifully illustrated history is an excellent introduction to the subject. It opens with a timeline and an account of how Hinduism has spread over time from India, its country of origin, to become a truly global religion. The central section describes the major holy texts, including the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad-gita or Song of God. It ends with an exploration of Hinduism's profound teachings about the self, the law of karma, and the cycle of birth and death. This is the perfect book for anyone wanting to discover the history at the heart of Hinduism.
In this multifaceted work, John Carman and Vasudha Narayanan clarify historical developments in South Asian religion and make important contributions to the methodology of textual interpretation and the comparative study of world religions.
With a New Preface Kali and Krsna are two of Hinduism's most popular deities, representing dramatically different truths about the nature of the sacred. The cruel and terrible Kali is thought to be born of wild, aboriginal roots. She is the goddess of thieves and often associated with human blood sacrifice. Krsna, in contrast, is the divine lover and inimitable prankster who plays a bewitching flute to draw all to him. But Kali and Krsna have much more in common than their contrasting personalities suggest. Kinsley shows that Krsna's flute can be interchangeable with Kali's sword, revealing important perceptions of the divine in the Hindu tradition.
A comprehensive manual for living a spiritual life, based on a verse-by-verse commentary on India's timeless scripture - from the author of its best-selling translation. (The ebook The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living 9781586381455 includes all three volumes in this series.) The Bhagavad Gita is set on the battlefield of an apocalyptic war between good and evil. Faced with a dire moral dilemma, the warrior prince Arjuna turns in anguish to his spiritual guide, Sri Krishna, for answers to the fundamental questions of life. Easwaran points out that Arjuna's crisis is acutely modern. The Gita's battlefield is the struggle for self-mastery that every human being must wage. Arjuna represents each of us, and Sri Krishna is the Lord, instructing us in eighteen chapters of lofty wisdom as we face the social, environmental, and global challenges that threaten our world today. Easwaran is a spiritual teacher and author of deep insight and warmth. His verse-by-verse commentary interprets the Gita's teachings for modern readers, explaining the Sanskrit concepts and philosophy and applying them with practicality, wisdom, and humor to every aspect of our work, our relationships, and our lives. With everyday anecdotes, stories, and examples, he shows that the changes we long to see in the world start with the transformation of our own consciousness. The practical exercises recommended by Easwaran to achieve transformation are part of a spiritual program he developed for his own life. They are accessible to people from all backgrounds and cultures. Urging us to adopt a higher image of the human being, he assures us that peace and unity are within reach. Each volume of this series covers six chapters of the Gita. Each may be read on its own, but all three volumes together form an in-depth, verse-by-verse explanation of this ancient scripture and its relevance today. Each volume includes instructions in Easwaran's eight-point program of passage meditation. Volume 1: The first six chapters of the Gita explore the concept of the innermost Self and source of wisdom in each of us. Easwaran explains how we can begin to transform ourselves, even as householders engaged in busy lives. Volume 2: The chapters in this volume go beyond the individual Self and investigate the Supreme Reality that underlies all creation. Here, Easwaran delves into the unity of life, and builds a bridge across the seeming divide between scientific knowledge and spiritual wisdom. Volume 3: The final six chapters put forth an urgent appeal for us to begin to see that all of us are one - to make the connection between the Self within and the Reality underlying all creation. Global in scope, the emphasis is on what we can do to make a difference to heal our environment and establish peace in the world. Easwaran's commentary is for all students of the Gita, whatever their background, and for anyone who is trying to find a path to wisdom, love, and kindness in themselves and our troubled world. Written as an authoritative, accessible guide to a much-loved scripture, it is a handbook for finding peace and clarity within. This second edition incorporates revisions made across all three volumes following the author's final instructions.
This new edition of the Rgveda, the oldest Indian text in archaic Sanskrit, is the first to present the text (in Roman characters) in its original metrical arrangement and in a form that most closely approximates the pronunciation of the time of its composition. Nevertheless, as all the restorations deviating from the received traditional Samhita text are printed in italics, the traditional text can easily be reconstituted without reference to other editions. This had been sought for over a hundred years, yet a systematic restoration of the whole text has never before been attempted. Added is a study of the meters found in the text, their patterns and anomalies, and an appendix with a detailed discussion of each metrically problematic line.
"My wife, Jan Durga Ahlund and I have recognised for many years the need for a book that would explain to both those interested in learning Kriya Yoga and those already embarked on its path, why they should practice it, what are the difficulties, and how to overcome them. We believe that this book will help prepare everyone for the challenges and opportunities that Kriya Yoga provides. Every one of us faces the resistance of our human nature, ignorance as to our true identity, and karma, the consequences of years of conditioning by our thoughts, words and actions. By cultivating aspiration for the Divine, rejecting egoism and its manifestations, and surrendering to our higher Self, pure Witness consciousness, we can overcome this resistance, our karma and the many obstacles on the path. But, to do so, we need much support and insight along the way." (Marshall Govindan and Jan Ahlund).
Once known as "Pariahs," Dalits are primarily descendants of unfree agrarian laborers. They belong to India's most subordinated castes, face overwhelming poverty and discrimination, and provoke public anxiety. Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped sources, this book follows the conception and evolution of the "Pariah Problem" in public consciousness in the 1890s. It shows how high-caste landlords, state officials, and well-intentioned missionaries conceived of Dalit oppression, and effectively foreclosed the emergence of substantive solutions to the "Problem"-with consequences that continue to be felt today. Rupa Viswanath begins with a description of the everyday lives of Dalit laborers in the 1890s and highlights the systematic efforts made by the state and Indian elites to protect Indian slavery from public scrutiny. Protestant missionaries were the first non-Dalits to draw attention to their plight. The missionaries' vision of the Pariahs' suffering as being a result of Hindu religious prejudice, however, obscured the fact that the entire agrarian political-economic system depended on unfree Pariah labor. Both the Indian public and colonial officials came to share a view compatible with missionary explanations, which meant all subsequent welfare efforts directed at Dalits focused on religious and social transformation rather than on structural reform. Methodologically, theoretically, and empirically, this book breaks new ground to demonstrate how events in the early decades of state-sponsored welfare directed at Dalits laid the groundwork for the present day, where the postcolonial state and well-meaning social and religious reformers continue to downplay Dalits' landlessness, violent suppression, and political subordination.
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