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Vedic Astrology, also called Jyotish, is the traditional astrology of India and its profound spiritual culture. It possesses a precise predictive value as well as a deep interpretation of the movement of life, unfolding the secrets of karma and destiny. Astrology of the Seers, first published in 1990, is regarded as one of the classic modern books on Vedic astrology, covering all the main aspects of its philosophy, background and practice. The present edition has been thoroughly revised and updated.
This is an intriguing biographical account of the 16th century avatar and propagator of the Bhakti Yoga devotional tradition and his principal associates. Chaitanya's doctrine of divine love created a renaissance of spiritual conception that continues to vibrate its timeless teachings to the present day. This biography brings the reader through the lives and deeds of his closest confidants -- each of whom are considered saints in their own right. It includes a fold-out biographical map detailing the personalities appearing in Gaura Lila and Krishna Lila, for the first time available for an English audience. Foreword by Swami B.P. Puri.
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.
Peter Adamson and Jonardon Ganeri present a lively introduction to one of the world's richest intellectual traditions: the philosophy of classical India. They begin with the earliest extant literature, the Vedas, and the explanatory works that these inspired, known as Upanisads. They also discuss other famous texts of classical Vedic culture, especially the Mahabharata and its most notable section, the Bhagavad-Gita, alongside the rise of Buddhism and Jainism. In this opening section, Adamson and Ganeri emphasize the way that philosophy was practiced as a form of life in search of liberation from suffering. Next, the pair move on to the explosion of philosophical speculation devoted to foundational texts called 'sutras,' discussing such traditions as the logical and epistemological Nyaya school, the monism of Advaita Vedanta, and the spiritual discipline of Yoga. In the final section of the book, they chart further developments within Buddhism, highlighting Nagarjuna's radical critique of 'non-dependent' concepts and the no-self philosophy of mind found in authors like Dignaga, and within Jainism, focusing especially on its 'standpoint' epistemology. Unlike other introductions that cover the main schools and positions in classical Indian philosophy, Adamson and Ganeri's lively guide also pays attention to philosophical themes such as non-violence, political authority, and the status of women, while considering textual traditions typically left out of overviews of Indian thought, like the Carvaka school, Tantra, and aesthetic theory as well. Adamson and Ganeri conclude by focusing on the much-debated question of whether Indian philosophy may have influenced ancient Greek philosophy and, from there, evaluate the impact that this area of philosophy had on later Western thought.
From one of the preeminent writers of Hinduism, comes the story of Devi, the Goddess and source of creation, in a beautifully illustrated new gift format. Held in this small tome is a vast spiritual understanding and detailing of The Goddess commonly known as Devi: the divine feminine, the mother of existence, the source of potentiality, creativity and ability in life. Devi, or Shakti, is the source of all creation in Hindu theology, the spirit of which permeates all divine feminine entities and manifestations. She is the manifold and inherent originator of all existence, the feelings of deities and men alike, and the source of all experience. From sensuality to chastity, wrath and destruction to love and inspiration, the tree of life and all that grows from it begins with Devi and cycles back to her.This tiny treasury of metaphysical and mythological knowledge serves as an enlightening rubric for understanding Indian tradition and theology. Exquisitely illustrated, this beautiful mini book serves as a contemporary matrix for illuminating our human experience, and offers insightful access into Eastern spirituality.
The proposed book presents an overview of select theories in the classical Vaisesika system of Indian philosophy, such as the concept of categories, creation and existence, atomic theory, consciousness and cognition. It also expounds in detail the concept of dharma, the idea of the highest good and expert testimony as a valid means of knowing in Vaisesika thought. Some of the major themes discussed are the religious inclination of Vaisesika thought towards Pasupata Saivism, the affiliation of the Vaisesika System to the basic foundations of Indian philosophical thought, namely Veda and Yoga, and their insights into science, hermeneutics and metaphysics. In addition, this book includes recent Sanskrit commentaries on key Vaisesika texts and provides a glimpse of Vaisesika studies across the world. Overall, this book enunciates the Vaisesika view from original sources and is an important work for Vaisesika studies in current times for serious students as well as researchers.
"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
The second volume of aPreparations for Wara seals the fate of the PAndavas and Kurus. This book is the turning point of the entire MahaA-bhArata. The failure of diplomacy ensures war is now inevitable, and with this realization come dramatic arguments, miracles and temptations. The MahaA-bhArata explores timeless problems of humanity, and in this volume of aPreparations for War, a it explores the realities of human nature in times of conflict. The lust for power and bloodshed overwhelms all attempts at negotiation.Interwoven with these serious issues come beautiful accountsof divinities, magical realms and legendary marvels.
"Dharma Singh Khalsa has written one of those knock-out spiritual books that takes the Truth and lands it right between your eyes." - Marianne Williamson, the best-selling author of The Gift of Change The End of Karma is written for anyone ready to take a quantum leap in their spiritual growth. Practical, uncomplicated, and masterful, this precious little gem of a book transports you effortlessly into the realm of spirit and soul. By reading only one chapter a day of its lovely poetic verse and then reflecting on it, you'll move from traveling on the all-too-often bumpy highway of fate to the smooth royal road of your ultimate destiny: always living in tune with your Higher Power, the God within you. Spirituality has become too complicated. It's been made far too philosophical and intellectual. In reality, God is within you; and you have the right to experience that peace, happiness, and joy while living on Earth in the here-and-now, regardless of your circumstances in life. The End of Karma will awaken that truth within you. Remove the mystery from your life. Discover and live your dharma, and start ending your karma today.
Today in the West, scientists and philosophers, mystics and seekers
of higher consciousness are intensively searching for means of
releasing the vital energy (kundalini) that lies latent in each of
us. Tantra, which does not deny the body, but harnesses its
energies and powers for spiritual growth, is the most detailed and
authoritative teaching of this kind in existence. In "Kundalini:
The Arousal of the Inner Energy," Ajit Mookerjee writes of the core
experience of Tantra, the process in which the energy is awakened
and rises throughout the energy centers (chakras) to unite with
Pure Consciousness at the crown of the head.
A stunning collection of maze art that takes the coloring phenomenon one step beyond. Elizabeth Carpenter offers a compelling twist on the genre that will inspire both creativity and curiosity. Contemplative and calming to color, Elizabeth Carpenter's 30 mandalas also offer delightfully challenging mazes running through her striking designs. Very different from the childhood mazes you're familiar with, each of these intricate puzzles exercises the critical part of the brain as you work your way through the winding paths. 2018 WINNER: National Indie Excellence Book Award; Independent Press Distinguished Favorite Book Award; Body, Mind, Spirit Book Award; Family Choice Book Award; Creative Child Magazine Book of the Year Award; Living Now Awards Gold Medal Winner
From the early years of the Common Era to 1700, Indian intellectuals explored with unparalleled subtlety the place of emotion in art. Their investigations led to the deconstruction of art's formal structures and broader inquiries into the pleasure of tragic tales. Rasa, or taste, was the word they chose to describe art's aesthetics, and their passionate effort to pin down these phenomena became its own remarkable act of creation. This book is the first in any language to follow the evolution of rasa from its origins in dramaturgical thought-a concept for the stage-to its flourishing in literary thought-a concept for the page. A Rasa Reader incorporates primary texts by every significant thinker on classical Indian aesthetics, many never translated before. The arrangement of the selections captures the intellectual dynamism that has powered this debate for centuries. Headnotes explain the meaning and significance of each text, a comprehensive introduction summarizes major threads in intellectual-historical terms, and critical endnotes and an extensive bibliography add further depth to the selections. The Sanskrit theory of emotion in art is one of the most sophisticated in the ancient world, a precursor of the work being done today by critics and philosophers of aesthetics. A Rasa Reader's conceptual detail, historical precision, and clarity will appeal to any scholar interested in a full portrait of global intellectual development. A Rasa Reader is the inaugural book in the Historical Sourcebooks in Classical Indian Thought series, edited by Sheldon Pollock. These text-based books guide readers through the most important forms of classical Indian thought, from epistemology, rhetoric, and hermeneutics to astral science, yoga, and medicine. Each volume provides fresh translations of key works, headnotes to contextualize selections, a comprehensive analysis of major lines of development within the discipline, and exegetical and text-critical endnotes, as well as a bibliography. Designed for comparativists and interested general readers, Historical Sourcebooks is also a great resource for advanced scholars seeking authoritative commentary on challenging works.
Historically, Kashmir was one of the most dynamic and influential centers of Sanskrit learning and literary production in South Asia. In Poetry as Prayer in the Sanskrit Hymns of Kashmir, Hamsa Stainton investigates the close connection between poetry and prayer in South Asia by studying the history of Sanskrit hymns of praise (stotras) in Kashmir. The book provides a broad introduction to the history and general features of the stotra genre, and it charts the course of these literary hymns in Kashmir from the eighth century to the present. In particular, it offers the first major study in any European language of the Stutikusumanjali, an important work of religious literature dedicated to the god Siva and one of the only extant witnesses to the trajectory of Sanskrit literary culture in fourteenth-century Kashmir. The book also contributes to the study of Saivism by examining the ways in which Saiva poets have integrated the traditions of Sanskrit literature and poetics, theology (especially non-dualism), and Saiva worship and devotion. It substantiates the diverse configurations of Saiva bhakti expressed and explored in these literary hymns and the challenges they present for standard interpretations of Hindu bhakti. More broadly, this study of stotras from Kashmir offers new perspectives on the history and vitality of prayer in South Asia and its complex relationships to poetry and poetics.
HEALTH / MEDITATIONKundalini is the primordial life force that enlivens, vivifies, and motivates our body and mind. In the entire realm of yoga nothing is more misunderstood and sought after. Coiled at the base of the spine like a slumbering serpent, kundalini when awakened can become a geyser of energy that leads to greater creativity, heightened awareness, and states of ecstasy. It can improve health, alertness, and mood. On this cassette, Chris Kilham explains kundalini and introduces time-honored meditation techniques for safely increasing its flow within the body. Kilham draws on twenty-five years of personal yoga experience to lead you through the basics necessary for establishing a personal meditation practice. Sections on the background of kundalini and the chakras, breathing exercises, and good meditation habits give you the foundation to begin awakening your own kundalini. Kilham describes some of the incredible inner realms that kundalini may transport you to, and tells you what to do when you get there. In addition, there are four meditations designed to help you gradually achieve higher states of mental clarity. The Chakra Meditation infuses your chakra system with energy and moves your consciousness to higher centers of thought. The Silver Cord Meditation helps you to connect to the universe's limitless stream of energy. The Nad Yoga Meditation teaches you to hear nada, the vibrational sound current that courses through the universe. A final meditation combines the previous techniques and allows you to experience the oneness of all things, an indescribable experience and the ultimate goal of all meditation. CHRIS KILHAM has taught classes on yoga and meditation throughoutthe United States. He is the author of many books, including Inner Power, The Whole Food Bible, and The Five Tibetans, an introduction to his yoga techniques.
Perhaps the best known of all Hindu deities is Shiva and known as a god of the people. He is also a god of paradox, appearing to live out two extremely contradictory lives. He is depicted in the Puranas as wild, recklessly austere and even ferociously destructive. At the same time we hear of his compassionate and merciful nature. The stories of this complex god, such as how he swallowed a pool of poison that threatened to destroy the world, make for an engaging and mystifying read! Shiva features generous illustration by both traditional and contemporary Indian artists.
The feminine dimension of the Divine is omnipresent, vivant and alive in Hinduism. Many scholars, particularly women, have undertaken research into the nature and worship of Hindu goddesses and thus have augmented our knowledge of previously little-known, yet complex scared figures. This work pays great attention to local details and differences between individual Indian goddesses, details relating to their diverse locations, their rich phenomenology, here documented by visual evidence, their presence and power in people's lives, and the joyous celebration of their existence and influence through numerous rituals and festivities. Many of the book's nuanced observations and conclusions raise questions about earlier goddess research and invite the reader to a new evaluation of the significance of dynamic goddess beliefs and practices in Indian culture.
For scholars of ancient Indian religions, the wandering mendicants who left home and family for a celibate life and the search for liberation represent an enigma. The Vedic religion, centered on the married household, had no place for such a figure. Much has been written about the Indian ascetic but hardly any scholarly attention has been paid to the married householder with wife and children, generally referred to in Sanskrit as grhastha: "the stay-at-home." The institution of the householder is viewed implicitly as posing little historical problems with regard to its origin or meaning. This volume problematizes the figure of the householder within ancient Indian culture and religion. It shows that the term grhastha is a neologism and is understandable only in its opposition to the ascetic who goes away from home (pravrajita). Through a thorough and comprehensive analysis of a wide range of inscriptions and texts, ranging from the Vedas, Dharmasastras, Epics, and belle lettres to Buddhist and Jain texts and texts on governance and erotics, this volume analyses the meanings, functions, and roles of the householder from the earliest times unti about the fifth century CE. The central finding of these studies is that the householder bearing the name grhastha is not simply a married man with a family but someone dedicated to the same or similar goals as an ascetic while remaining at home and performing the economic and ritual duties incumbent on him. The grhastha is thus not a generic householder, for whom there are many other Sanskrit terms, but a religiously charged concept that is intended as a full-fledged and even superior alternative to the concept of a religious renouncer.
Bhakti, a term ubiquitous in the religious life of South Asia, has meanings that shift dramatically according to context and sentiment. Sometimes translated as "personal devotion," bhakti nonetheless implies and fosters public interaction. It is often associated with the marginalized voices of women and lower castes, yet it has also played a role in perpetuating injustice. Barriers have been torn down in the name of bhakti, while others have been built simultaneously. Bhakti and Power provides an accessible entry into key debates around issues such as these, presenting voices and vignettes from the sixth century to the present and from many parts of India's cultural landscape. Written by a wide range of engaged scholars, this volume showcases one of the most influential concepts in Indian history-still a major force in the present day.
A bold retelling of the origins of contemporary Hinduism, and an argument against the long-established notion of religious reform. By the early eighteenth century, the Mughal Empire was in decline, and the East India Company was making inroads into the subcontinent. A century later Christian missionaries, Hindu teachers, Muslim saints, and Sikh rebels formed the colorful religious fabric of colonial India. Focusing on two early nineteenth-century Hindu communities, the Brahmo Samaj and the Swaminarayan Sampraday, and their charismatic figureheads-the "cosmopolitan" Rammohun Roy and the "parochial" Swami Narayan-Brian Hatcher explores how urban and rural people thought about faith, ritual, and gods. Along the way he sketches a radical new view of the origins of contemporary Hinduism and overturns the idea of religious reform. Hinduism Before Reform challenges the rigid structure of revelation-schism -reform-sect prevalent in much history of religion. Reform, in particular, plays an important role in how we think about influential Hindu movements and religious history at large. Through the lens of reform, one doctrine is inevitably backward-looking while another represents modernity. From this comparison flows a host of simplistic conclusions. Instead of presuming a clear dichotomy between backward and modern, Hatcher is interested in how religious authority is acquired and projected. Hinduism Before Reform asks how religious history would look if we eschewed the obfuscating binary of progress and tradition. There is another way to conceptualize the origins and significance of these two Hindu movements, one that does not trap them within the teleology of a predetermined modernity.
This book, based on the field survey, is about a village society in Bengal, and its relationship with Hindu kingship on the ritual organisation of an old temple. The village temple is well known for being one of 51 sakta-pithas scattered over the Indian subcontinent. Sakta-pithas mean centres of Sakti worship or seat of the Goddess Sati (another name of the Goddess Durga) in Bengali, where the body parts of the Goddess Sati fell to earth after she had been cut to pieces by the discus of Visnu. Every place believed to have a Satis limb became the centre for the worship of the Sakti-cult, or an abode of the goddess (pitha-sthan). The village temple prospered under the patronage of Maharaja Kirtichand (1702-40) of Bardhaman Raj, though the temple history is far older than this. At the beginning of British rule, the Royal family of Bardhaman became the largest zamindar in Bengal. They exercised great authority over the local society which is still observable in the various ritual processes. The temple organisation consists of the ritual posts and roles assigned to the various castes, lineages and household, which are fundamentally based on the kinship relations in the village. At the same time, the temple organisation is founded on the service tenures granted by the Bardhaman Raj since the early eighteenth century, and even the village untouchables are endowed with indispensable roles in the temple ritual as servants of the goddess. The analysis reveals the strong influences of the indigenous polity over ordinary life in the rural society.
Hinduism is currently followed by one-fifth of humankind. Far from a monolithic theistic tradition, the religion comprises thousands of gods, a complex caste system, and hundreds of languages and dialects. Such internal plurality inspires vastly ranging rites and practices amongst Hinduism's hundreds of millions of adherents. It is therefore not surprising that scholars have been hesitant to define universal Hindu beliefs and practices. In this book, Axel Michaels breaks this trend. He examines the traditions, beliefs, and rituals Hindus hold in common through the lens of what he deems its "identificatory habitus," a cohesive force that binds Hindu religions together and fortifies them against foreign influences. Thus, in his analysis, Michaels not only locates Hinduism's profoundly differentiating qualities, but also provides the framework for an analysis of its social and religious coherence.
Michaels blends his insightful arguments and probing questions with introductions to major historical epochs, ample textual sources as well as detailed analyses of major life-cycle rituals, the caste system, forms of spiritualism, devotionalism, ritualism, and heroism. Along the way he points out that Hinduism has endured and repeatedly resisted the missionary zeal and universalist claims of Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. He also contrasts traditional Hinduism with the religions of the West, "where the self is preferred to the not-self, and where freedom in the world is more important than liberation from the world."
Engaging and accessible, this book will appeal to laypersons and scholars alike as the most comprehensive introduction to Hinduism yet published. Not only is Hinduism refreshingly new in its methodological approach, but it also presents a broad range of meticulous scholarship in a clear, readable style, integrating Indology, religious studies, philosophy, anthropological theory and fieldwork, and sweeping analyses of Hindu texts.
Covering the earliest Sanskrit rulebooks through to the codification of 'Hindu law' in modern times, this interdisciplinary volume examines the interactions between Hinduism and the law. The authors present the major transformations to India's legal system in both the colonial and post colonial periods and their relation to recent changes in Hinduism. Thematic studies show how law and Hinduism relate and interact in areas such as ritual, logic, politics, and literature, offering a broad coverage of South Asia's contributions to religion and law at the intersection of society, politics and culture. In doing so, the authors build on previous treatments of Hindu law as a purely text-based tradition, and in the process, provide a fascinating account of an often neglected social and political history.
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