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This is the fourth volume of a translation of India's most beloved and influential epic tale--the Ramayana of Valmiki. As befits its position at the center of the work, Volume IV presents the hero Rama at the turning point of his fortunes. Having previously lost first his kingship and then his wife, he now forms an alliance with the monkey prince, Sugriva. Rama needs the monkeys to help him find his abducted wife, Sita, and they do finally discover where her abductor has taken her. But first Rama must agree to secure for his new ally the throne of the monkey kingdom by eliminating the reigning king, Sugriva's detested elder brother, Valin. The tragic rivalry between the two monkey brothers is in sharp contrast to Rama's affectionate relationship with his own brothers and forms a self-contained episode within the larger story of Rama's adventures. This volume continues the translation of the critical edition of the Valmiki Ramayana, a version considerably reduced from the vulgate on which all previous translations were based. It is accompanied by extensive notes on the original Sanskrit text and on several untranslated early Sanskrit commentaries.
Within its 200,000 verse lines in Sanskrit the "Mahabharata "takes on many roles: epic poem, foundational text of Hinduism, and, more broadly, the engaging story of a dynastic struggle and the passing of an age when man and gods intermingled. David R. Slavitt's sparkling new edition condenses the epic for the general reader.
At its core, the "Mahabharata "is the story of the rivalry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, two related noble families who are struggling for control of a kingdom in ancient northern India. Slavitt's readable, plot-driven, single-volume account describes an arc from the conception and birth of Bhishma to that hero's death, while also introducing the four goals of life at the center of Hinduism: "dharma "(righteousness, morality, duty), "artha "(purpose), "kāma "(pleasure), and "moksa "(spiritual liberation). The "Mahabharata "is engaging, thrilling, funny, charming, and finally awesome, with a range in timbre from the impish naivete of fairy tales to the solemnity of our greatest epics, and this single-volume edition is the best introduction available.
Celebrated as an aquatic form of divinity for thousands of years, the Yamuna is one of India's most sacred rivers. A prominent feature of north Indian culture, the Yamuna is conceptualized as a goddess flowing with liquid love - yet today it is severely polluted, the victim of fast-paced industrial development. This fascinating and beautifully written book investigates the stories, theology, and religious practices connected with this river goddess collected from texts written over several millennia, as well as from talks with pilgrims, priests, and worshippers who frequent the pilgrimage sites and temples located on her banks. David L. Haberman offers a detailed analysis of the environmental condition of the river and examines how religious practices are affected by its current pollution. He introduces Indian river environmentalism, a form of activism that is different in many ways from its western counterpart. "River of Love in an Age of Pollution" concludes with a consideration of the broader implications of the Yamuna's plight and its effect on worldwide efforts to preserve our environment.
This is a book about a deeply beloved place-many call it the spiritual capital of India. Located at a dramatic bend in the River Yamuna, a hundred miles from the center of Delhi, Vrindavan is the spot where the god Krishna is believed to have spent his childhood and youth. For Hindus it has always stood for youth writ large-a realm of love and beauty that enables one to retreat from the weight and harshness of world. Now, though, the world is gobbling up Vrindavan. Delhi's megalopolitan sprawl inches closer day by day-half the town is a vast real-estate development-and the waters of the Yamuna are too polluted to drink or even bathe in. Temples now style themselves as theme parks, and the world's tallest religious building is under construction in Krishna's pastoral paradise. What happens when the Anthropocene Age makes everything virtual? What happens when heaven gets plowed under? Like our age as a whole, Vrindavan throbs with feisty energy, but is it the religious canary in our collective coal mine?
"The Hare Krishna Movement" is popularly associated with groups of chanting, saffron-robed followers, whose colourful appearance on the streets of western cities became increasingly commonplace after the Movement's emergence in 1965. But there is much more to the Krishna phenomenon than simply its bands of singing and dancing adherents. This groundbreaking book focuses for the first time on what is currently taking place inside the Hare Krishna Movement, and examines the changes and developments that have shaped it over the past forty years. The essays offer an unparalleled overview of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), and explore a wide range of topical issues and themes. These include: the politics and history of the Movement; membership patterns; recruitment strategies; pedagogical and social factors; the importance of dreams and ritual; and ISKCON's articulation of traditional theology in the context of the Movement's evolution. The result is a book that will be essential reading for scholars and students of religion in the modern world, and which explains in full how this fascinating Hindu devotional tradition continues to flourish in the land of its origin - India - as well as in the West.
Eastern Thought and the Gita consists of five parts. Part One is the same as Part One in The Original Gita, discussing Eastern thought in concise form. In Part Two, the 209 stanzas of the Original Gita are the same as in The Original Gita, but in the Introduction to Part Two, the date and the origin are compared with the content and the date of the Bhagavad Gita. In Part Three, comments on the 209 stanzas of the Original Gita are given with a new translation of the core 319 verses of the 700 verses of the Bhagavad Gita that correspond to these 209 verses. In Part Four, the core 319 Sanskrit verses are given in transliterated form with a word-for-word translation. The new English translation of each Sanskrit verse has been guided by the stanza in the Original Gita. Each chapter starts with a comparison of the content of the whole chapter in the Bhagavad Gita with the content of the corresponding chapter in the Original Gita. In this comparison and in comparing each corresponding verse(s) in the Bhagavad Gita with the stanza in the Original Gita, it is found that the differences are minor, mostly found in changing abstract forms, such as THAT into Me, Krishna, and by adding devotion to Krishna. This study shows that the connection to the Original Gita can still be found, to a very high degree, in the 319 verses of the Bhagavad Gita. Part Five is an extensive Sanskrit-English dictionary containing all the Sanskrit words found in the 319 core verses in English alphabetical order. The multiple meanings of the Sanskrit words are given, and also their roots and parts of compounded words. Every reader, without knowledge of the Sanskrit language, can check every choice of any translator of the 319 core verses of the Bhagavad Gita by using this 240-page dictionary, constructed by consulting the various dictionaries of Sanskrit in English, German and French. The book ends with a bibliography and an index.
Epics of ancient India rank with the timeless myths of classical Greece and Rome in the power of their language and the underlying moral lessons. The "Ramayana" and "Mahabharata, " both written in Sanskrit, contain vibrant stories of kings and princes, sages and tricksters, demons and gods, damsels in distress and mighty heroes. "Ganesha Goes to Lunch" collects some of the most vivid stories from these and other early Indian folklore and spiritual texts including the Vedas and the Puranas. These stories feature the gods of India in their celestial and earthly abodes, hapless humans struggling with life's many problems, and gods and humans interacting. Assembled by Kamla Kapur, these stories illustrate the great spiritual and practical themes of the human condition. Kamla Kapur brings her poet's eye and ear to the retelling of these stories, recreating and dramatizing them to illuminate their relevance to modern times.
The "Samaveda" contains the earliest tradition of music from India. It presents largely Rigvedic textual material in a form arranged for singing in the solemn Srauta ritual. Since the first editions by Theodor Benfey (1848) and Satyavrata Samasrami (1874-1899), there has been no complete, accented edition that also included all its important commentaries. The present edition is based on manuscripts collected from all over India and Europe. B. R. Sharma, Dean of Samaveda Studies, presents the accented text, its Padapatha, and the commentaries of Madhava, Bharata-Svamin, and Sayana in three volumes totaling 2,500 pages. These contain the Purvarcika and Uttaracika portions of the text, and a third volume the indexes and a detailed introduction to the whole work. Vols. 2 and 3 to appear soon.
For many centuries, Hindus have taken it for granted that the religious images they place in temples and home shrines for purposes of worship are alive. Hindu priests bring them to life through a complex ritual "establishment" that invokes the god or goddess into material support. Priests and devotees then maintain the enlivened image as a divine person through ongoing liturgical activity: they must awaken it in the morning, bathe it, dress it, feed it, entertain it, praise it, and eventually put it to bed at night. In this linked series of case studies of Hindu religious objects, Richard Davis argues that in some sense these believers are correct: through ongoing interactions with humans, religious objects are brought to life.
Davis draws largely on reader-response literary theory and anthropological approaches to the study of objects in society in order to trace the biographies of Indian religious images over many centuries. He shows that Hindu priests and worshipers are not the only ones to enliven images. Bringing with them differing religious assumptions, political agendas, and economic motivations, others may animate the very same objects as icons of sovereignty, as polytheistic "idols," as "devils," as potentially lucrative commodities, as objects of sculptural art, or as symbols for a whole range of new meanings never foreseen by the images' makers or original worshipers.
This fourth volume in the series exploring religions and the environment investigates the role of the multifaceted Hindu tradition in the development of greater ecological awareness in India.
The twenty-two contributors ask how traditional concepts of nature in the classical texts might inspire or impede an eco-friendly attitude among modern Hindus, and they describe some grassroots approaches to environmental protection. They look to Gandhian principles of minimal consumption, self-reliance, simplicity, and sustainability. And they explore forests and sacred groves in text and tradition and review the political and religious controversies surrounding India's sacred river systems.
This volume is the first attempt to offer a panoramic historical overview of South Asian classical poetry, especially in Sanskrit. Many of the essays in this volume are the first serious studies of the great masterpieces of South Asian literature. Moreover, the book as a whole captures the millennium-long developmental logic of kavya literature by identifying a series of critical moments of breakthrough and innovation-that is, moments when the basic rules of composition and the aesthetic and poetic goals underwent dramatic change, allowing the tradition to reinvent itself. Individual sections thus focus on the beginnings of kavya literature and Kalidasa's creation of what came to be its classical form; the new poetic model that emerged from the intense competition and conversation of Bharavi and Magha in the middle of the first millennium; the extended revolutionary period in Kanauj, where Bana and his successors reconceived the meaning and practice of Sanskrit poetry; and the no less transformative period at the beginning of the second millennium, when poets of genius such as Sriharsa were active in the context of India's nascent vernacularization. The scope of the volume extends beyond Sanskrit to early modern Hindi, and beyond the subcontinent and the Himalayas to Java and Tibet, where kavya found a new home and continued to evolve. A general introduction proposes a theoretical framework for the study of this immense literary tradition in terms of its continuous self-reinvention.
Drawing from original texts on self-mastery, Evola discusses two Hindu movements--Tantrism and Shaktism--which emphasize a path of action to gain power over energies latent within the body.
Stephen Mitchell is widely known for his ability to make ancient masterpieces thrillingly new, to step in where many have tried before and create versions that are definitive for our time. His celebrated version of the Tao Te Ching is the most popular edition in print, and his translations of Jesus, Rilke, Genesis, and Job have won the hearts of readers and critics alike. Stephen Mitchell now brings to the Bhagavad Gita his gift for breathing new life into sacred texts.
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