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Among the oldest of India's spiritual texts, the Upanishads are records of intensive question-and-answer sessions given by illumined sages to their students - in ashrams, at family gatherings, in a royal court, and in the kingdom of Death. The sages share flashes of insight, extraordinary visions, the results of their investigation into consciousness itself. The Upanishads have puzzled and inspired wisdom seekers from Yeats to Schopenhauer. In this best-selling translation, Eknath Easwaran makes these challenging texts more accessible by selecting the passages most relevant to readers seeking timeless truths today. This book includes an overview of the cultural and historical setting, with chapter introductions, notes, and a Sanskrit glossary. But it is Easwaran's understanding of the wisdom of the Upanishads that makes this edition truly outstanding. Each sage, each Upanishad, appeals in a different way to the reader's head and heart. For Easwaran, the Upanishads are part of India's precious legacy, not just to Hinduism but to humanity, and in that spirit they are offered here.
Relax your spirit and reconnect to your authentic voice. Discover the simple magic and mystery that awaits you when you express yourself within the safe space of a circle. In Creating Personal Mandalas, you'll see how this most basic of shapes can open your heart and always leads you back to your center. In each of the 10 chapters, you'll explore two soul-expressing mandala exercises, facts and history on featured symbols, insights for using the confines of the circle for personal and visual storytelling, as well as inspiring art and reflections from contributing guest artists. 20 exploratory step-by-step mandala exercises--each an opportunity for new self-exploration, beginning with tips on establishing the right mindset Interesting facts about symbols and sacred geometry, including suggestions for using them in your mandala projects Practical art-making direction on the elements of design, watercolor tips, composition prompts, seeing color as a storytelling element and more Use Creating Personal Mandalas to start expressing your life stories with the infinite possibilities of the circle.
The Yoga of the Gita, along with its companion volume The Yoga of Jesus, provides a groundbreaking treatise on the deeper meaning of Yoga the science of God-realization that is the birthright of all individuals. In this compact book, a compilation of excerpts from his monumental translation of and commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, God Talks with Arjuna (Self-Realization Fellowship, 1995), Paramahansa Yogananda presents an illuminating explanation of Lord Krishna's sublime Yoga message that he preached to the world the way of right activity and meditation for divine communion. With penetrating insight and clarity, Yogananda delves into the deeper meaning of the Gita's symbology, and explains how Yoga works and its goal of God-realization.
Whether defined by family, lineage, caste, professional or religious association, village, or region, India's diverse groups did settle on a concept of law in classical times. How did they reach this consensus? Was it based on religious grounds or a transcendent source of knowledge? Did it depend on time and place? And what apparatus did communities develop to ensure justice was done, verdicts were fair, and the guilty were punished? Addressing these questions and more, A Dharma Reader traces the definition, epistemology, procedure, and process of Indian law from the third century B.C.E. to the middle ages. Its breadth captures the centuries-long struggle by Indian thinkers to theorize law in a multiethnic and pluralist society. The volume includes new and accessible translations of key texts, notes that explain the significance and chronology of selections, and a comprehensive introduction that summarizes the development of various disciplines in intellectual-historical terms. It reconstructs the principal disputes of a given discipline, which not only clarifies the arguments but also relays the dynamism of the fight. For those seeking a richer understanding of the political and intellectual origins of a major twenty-first-century power, along with unique insight into the legal interactions among its many groups, this book offers exceptional detail, historical precision, and expository illumination.
The Mahabharata, originally composed some two thousand years ago is an epic masterpiece, "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, it is one of the most important and influential works in the history of world civilisation. This new English retelling, innovatively composed in blank verse, covers all the 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.
Picking up where the best-selling and controversial 'The Christ Conspiracy' leaves off, 'Suns of God' leads the reader through an electrifying exploration of the origin and meaning of the world's religions and popular gods. Over the past several centuries, the Big Three spiritual leaders have been the Lords Christ, Krishna and Buddha, whose stories and teachings are curiously and confoundingly similar to each other. The tale of a miraculously born redeemer who overcomes heroic challenges, teaches ethics and morality, performs marvels and wonders, acquires disciples and is famed far and wide, to be persecuted, killed and reborn, is not unique but a global phenomenon recurring in a wide variety of cultures long before the Christian era. These numerous Godmen were not similar 'historical' personages who 'walked the earth' but anthropomorphisations of the central focus of the famous 'mysteries'. A major element of the cryptic, international brotherhood, these mysteries extend back thousands of years and are found world-wide, reflecting an ancient tradition steeped in awe and intrigue. The reasons for this religious development, which has inspired the creation of entire cultures, are unveiled in this in-depth analysis containing fascinating and original research based on evidence both modern and ancient, captivating information kept secret and hidden for ages. 'Suns of God' is possibly the most complete review of the history of religion from its inception ever composed in a single volume.
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.
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."
In literature and popular imagination, the Bauls of India and
Bangladesh are characterized as musical mystics: orange-clad nomads
of both Hindu and Muslim backgrounds. They wander the countryside
and entertain with their passionate singing and unusual behavior,
and they are especially well-known for their evocative songs, which
challenge the caste system and sectarianism prevalent in South
This book examines the practice of poetry in the devotional Vaisnava tradition inspired by Sri Krsna Caitanya (1486-1533), through a detailed study of the Sanskrit poetic works of Kavikarnapura, one of the most significant sixteenth-century Caitanya Vaisnava poets and theologians. It places his ideas in the context both of Sanskrit literary theory (by exploring his use of earlier works of Sanskrit criticism) and of Vaisnava theology (by tracing the origins of his theological ideas to earlier Vaisnava teachers, especially his guru Srinatha). Both Kavikarnapura's poetics as well as the style of his poetry is in many ways at odds with those of his time, particularly with respect to the place of phonetic ornamentation and rasa. Like later early modern theorists, Kavikarnapura reaches back to the earliest Sanskrit poeticians whom he attempts to harmonise with the theories current in his time, to develop a new poetics that values both literary ornamentation and the suggestion of emotion through rasa. This book argues that the reasons of and purposes for Kavikarnapura's literary innovations are firmly rooted in his unique Vaisnava theology, and exemplifies this through a careful reading of select passages from the Ananda-vrndavana, his poetic retelling of Krsna's play in Vrndavana.
In a time of schism, violence and forced migration, how can God be understood? With his latest book, Catholic Benedictine hermit Mario Aguilar explores the religious identities of Hindus and Muslims in the aftermath of the 1947 partition of India. Looking at the experiences of the victims who were silenced, he reveals how out of this traumatic period has emerged a peaceful dialogue between faiths, held together by shared humanity and prayerfulness. Founded on a fascination with what unites rather than divides religions, Aguilar offers a theological reading of a major event in twentieth century history that is both creative and constructive.
'The most humane account of partition I've read ... We need a candid conversation about our past and this is an essential' Nikesh Shukla, Observer 'The book of 2019 that opened my eyes more than anything else. Seminal work, beautifully told' Emily Maitlis The division of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 into India and Pakistan saw millions uprooted and resulted in unspeakable violence. It happened far away, but it would shape modern Britain. Dotted across homes in Britain are people who were witnesses to one of the most tumultuous events of the twentieth century. But their memory of Partition has been shrouded in silence. In her eye-opening and timely work, Kavita Puri uncovers remarkable testimonies from former subjects of the Raj who are now British citizens - including her father. Weaving a tapestry of human experience over seven decades, Puri reveals a secret history of ruptured families and friendships, extraordinary journeys and daring rescue missions that reverberates with compassion and loss. It is a work that breaks the silence and confronts the difficult truths at the heart of Britain's shared past with South Asia.
Fills an important gap in serious books about relating to Hinduism Highly respected author Supported by Hindu organisations as well as Christian ones The author has extensive experience in India, as well as in the west, and is a world-renowned expert on mission. This book should become an essential text for many courses on Christian-Hindu dialogue.
The Ramayana is one of the great epics of the ancient world, with versions spanning the cultures, religions and languages of Asia. Its story of Rama's quest to recover his wife Sita from her abduction by Raavana, the Lord of the Underworld, has enchanted readers and audiences across the Eastern world for thousands of years. Daljit Nagra was captivated by his grandparents' Punjabi version as a child, and has chosen to rejuvenate the story for a new generation of multicultural, multi-faith readers. By drawing on scenes originating in versions such as those from Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, as well as the better-known Indian Ramayanas, and by incorporating elements of Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain and secular versions, Nagra creates a consciously multicultural Ramayana. This dazzling version is both accessible and engaging, written in Nagra's typically vibrant and eclectic language, and bursting with energy, pathos and humour.
The medieval vernacular (non-Sanskrit) traditions of yoga represent an aspect of Hinduism that to date has received much less scholarly attention than classical and contemporary Hinduism. Gordan Djurdjevic here brings together a representative selection of medieval Hindi poetry attributed to the legendary guru Gorakhnath. Gorakhnath is famed as the founder of the influential order of the Nath yogis, who are credited with the development of hatha yoga. The poetry gathered in the collection, known as The Sayings of Gorakh Bani, reflects this worldview. Its major thematic concerns relate to the practice of yoga, engagement with the various chakras within the body, and the attempts to reverse the flow of seminal fluid, by which process yogis believe the state of immortality may be reached. These often-enigmatic texts on the one hand provide a criticism of religious authority based on bookish knowledge, while on the other hand they celebrate yogic engagement with the subtle body and its centers of occult energy and miraculous powers. Sayings of Gorakhnath offers translations or the complete sabad and pad sections from the Gorakh Bani, the two largest sections in the collection. Some additional texts from the collection are also provided. Translations are preceded by an introduction and accompanied by notes, which contextualize and elucidate the subject matter.
God of Desire presents Sanskrit tales of the Indian deity Kā madeva as he battles the ascetic god Ś iva, assists the powerful goddess Devi, and incarnates as the charming son of Krsna. Exploring the imagery and symbolism of the god of desire in art and ritual, Catherine Benton reflects on the connection of Kā madeva to parrots, makaras (gharials), and apsarases (celestial nymphs), and to playful devotional rituals designed to win his favor. In addition to examining the Hindu literature, Benton also highlights two Buddhist forms of Kā madeva, the demonic Mā ra, who tries to persuade the Buddha to trade enlightenment for the delights of a woman, and the ever-youthful Manjuś ri, who cuts through ignorance with the bodhisattva sword of wisdom. Tales of Kā madeva from the Hindu and Buddhist traditions present desire as a powerful force continually redefining the boundaries of chaos and order and gently pulling beyond the ephemeral lure of passionate longings.
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.
A sweeping, interdisciplinary history of the world's third-largest river, a potent symbol across South Asia and the Hindu diaspora Originating in the Himalayas and flowing into the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges is India's most important and sacred river. In this unprecedented work, historian Sudipta Sen tells the story of the Ganges, from the communities that arose on its banks to the merchants that navigated its waters, and the way it came to occupy center stage in the history and culture of the subcontinent. Sen begins his chronicle in prehistoric India, tracing the river's first settlers, its myths of origin in the Hindu tradition, and its significance during the ascendancy of popular Buddhism. In the following centuries, Indian empires, Central Asian regimes, European merchants, the British Empire, and the Indian nation-state all shaped the identity and ecology of the river. Weaving together geography, environmental politics, and religious history, Sen offers in this lavishly illustrated volume a remarkable portrait of one of the world's largest and most densely populated river basins.
Steiner sees Krishna as a great spiritual teacher and the Bhagavad Gita as a preparation, though still abstract, for the coming of Christ and the Christ impulse as the living embodiment of the world, law, and devotion, represented by the three Hindu streams of Veda, Sankhya, and Yoga. For him, the epic poem of the Bhagavad Gita represents the fully ripened fruit of Hinduism, whereas Paul is related but represents the seed of something entirely new. In the last lecture, Steiner reveals Krishna as the sister soul of Adam, incarnated as Jesus, and claims Krishas Yoga teachings streamed from Christ into Paul.
Who we are is not who we think we are. Truth is simpler than mind and deeper than thought. It cannot be learned but only experienced. When at once we awaken, our doubts are alleviated. All is one, beyond time, space, and causation. Such is the direct realization expressed through Advaita Vedanta. Sankaracharya is often called the father of Advaita Vedanta. His hymn Atma Bodha is a classic introduction that brings the pure seeker to liberation. This volume includes Atma Bodha with text and translation, as well as Bhaja Govindam, Hanuman Chalisa, Mahisasura Mardini Stotram, and other devotional favorites. There is no greater joy, and there is nothing more to know. Such is realization of truth. --Atma Bodha, Verse 54
This book is an interpretative study of indian customs that attempts to show how the concept of a supernatural cosmic power dominates popualr practice. A comprehensive work which covers both hindu and muslim customs.
To many outside India, Hinduism is envisioned as the foundation of an ideal, all-embracing society. Yet this is far from the truth. Though historically the practice of Hinduism does promote the idea of an inclusive and tolerant way of life, in the past decade Hindu extremists have captured the religion and perverted it to their own ideological ends. In "The Hindu Case, "Indian journalist""Salil Tripathi meticulously documents how Hindu fundamentalists have succeeded in censoring and banning many cultural works, tampered with university teaching, and prevented academics from continuing in their jobs. In addition, Tripathi shows that these extremists are in the process of rewriting the ancient Hindu scriptures. This title in the Manifestos for the 21st Century Series, published in collaboration with the "Index on Censorship," the only international magazine dedicated to promoting and protecting free expression, focuses on the rights, tolerance, censorship, and dissent within India's complex society, and it is an essential read for those interested in the struggle between religious fundamentalism and free expression.""
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