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The "Upanishads" are the sacred writings of Hinduism. They are perhaps the greatest of all the books in the history of world religions. Their origins predate recorded history, being revealed to the Rishis of the Vedic civilization some 5000 to 10,000 years ago. Many see them as the kernel of the mystical, philosophical truths that are the basis of the Higher World religion of Hinduism, their cradle, of which Buddhism is a successor and Judaism is an offshoot. With Islam and Christianity being offshoots of Judaism, this makes them the foundational documents for understanding and practising religion today. Much of the original text of the "Upanishads" is archaic and occasionally corrupted, but it does convey a moral and ethical thrust that is abundantly clear. Alan Jacobs uses modern free verse to convey the essential meaning and part of the original text. He omits Sanskrit words as far as possible and the commentary provided is contemporary rather than ancient.
This popular book is now available in its first paperback edition. A Heart Poured Out is the fascinating biography of Swami Ashokananda (1893-1969), an illustrious teacher of the Ramakrishna Order who spent most of his life expanding the Vedanta movement in northern California while training his American students to lead authentic spiritual lives. Award-winning author Marie Louise Burke (Sister Gargi), his famed disciple, recounts the Swami's life and conversations in a personal style that is eloquent, witty, and wise. His powerful guidance-here brought to light for the first time-will help readers of all faiths deepen their spiritual practice.Soul-stirring account ... reveals the Swami's extraordinary spiritual stature with candor, integrity, and wit. -HUSTON SMITH, author of The World's Religions Rapturously written biography of an intrinsically fascinating man ... highly recommended.-MIDWEST BOOK REVIEWCompelling remembrance of a saintly life.-LIBRARY JOURNALExhaustive et engaging ... this rare account is well worth the wait.-YOGA JOURNAL
A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press's Open Access publishing program. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more. In Mountain, Water, Rock, God, Luke Whitmore situates the disastrous flooding that fell on the Hindu Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath in 2013 within a broader religious and ecological context. Whitmore explores the longer story of this powerful realm of the Hindu god Shiva through a holistic theoretical perspective that integrates phenomenological and systems-based approaches to the study of religion, pilgrimage, place, and ecology. He argues that close attention to places of religious significance offers a model for thinking through connections between ritual, narrative, climate destabilization, tourism, development, and disaster, and he shows how these critical components of human life in the twenty-first century intersect in the human experience of place.
"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 Pandavas believe they have completed the terms of their exile, though Duryodhana claims that they did not live unknown for the full thirteenth year, since Arjuna was recognised in the battle at the end of the preceding book, aVirata.a While the Pandavas and Kurus make their preparations for war they organise a series of embassies to negotiate peace. This volume constantly highlights the inevitability of conflict and the futility of negotiation. Most characters are concerned that war between family cannot fail to be sinful. Contained herein is the aSanat-sujatiya, a a philosophical passage to rival the aBhagavad-gita.a Like the aBhagavad-gita, a the aSanat-sujatiyaa tells that karma will not chain one in the cycle of rebirth, if one refrains from desire. Through understanding the truth of non-duality, that the world is mere illusion, one is subsumed into eternal existence with Brahman.
Co-published by New York University Press andthe JJC Foundation
For more on this title and other titles in the Clay Sanskrit series, please visit http: //www.claysanskritlibrary.org
Beautifully rendered, this guide presents Yogananda's insights on how people can experience God's presence directly in their lives, and clearly sets forth principles of effective prayer for receiving God's response. A remarkable blending of East and West, the teachings offered here embrace universal spiritual laws that will inspire people of all faiths to deepen their spiritual practice. The brief reflections and accessible formats make this an ideal devotional guide.
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 Mahabharata has been explored extensively as a work of mythology, epic poetry, and religious literature, but the text's philosophical dimensions have largely been under-appreciated by Western scholars. This book explores the philosophical implications of the Mahabharata by paying attention to the centrality of dialogue, both as the text's prevailing literary expression and its organising structure. Focusing on five sets of dialogues about controversial moral problems in the central story, this book shows that philosophical deliberation is an integral part of the narrative. Black argues that by paying attention to how characters make arguments and how dialogues unfold, we can better appreciate the Mahabharata's philosophical significance and its potential contribution to debates in comparative philosophy today. This is a fresh perspective on the Mahabharata that will be of great interest to any scholar working in religious studies, Indian/South Asian religions, comparative philosophy, and world literature.
This book provides the first full-scale English-language study of Pradyumna, the son of the Hindu god Krsna. Often represented as a young man in mid-adolescence, Pradyumna is both a handsome double of his demon-slaying father and the rebirth of Kamadeva, the God of Love. Sanskrit epic, puranic, and kavya narratives of the 300-1300 CE period celebrate Pradyumna's sexual potency, mastery of illusory subterfuges, and military prowess in supporting the work of his avatara father. These materials reflect the values of an evolving Brahminical and Vaisnava tradition that was deeply invested in the imperatives of family, patrilines, the violent but necessary defense of the social and cosmic order, and the celebration of beauty and desire as a means to the divine. Pradyumna's evolving narratives, almost completely absent from existing studies of Hindu mythology, provide a point of access to the development of Krsna bhakti and Vaisnava theism more broadly. Conversely, Jain sources cast Pradyumna as an exemplary figure through whom a pointed rejection of these values can be articulated, even while sharing certain of their elementary premises. Pradyumna: Lover, Magician, and Scion of the Avatara assembles these narratives, presents key Sanskrit materials in translation and summary form, and articulates the social, gender, and religious values encoded in them. Most importantly, the study argues that Pradyumna's signature two-handed maneuver-the audacious appropriation of a feminine partner, enabled by the emasculating destruction of her demonic male protector-communicates a persistent fantasy of male power expressed in the language of a mutually implicating sex and violence.
Popular Hinduism is shaped, above all, by worship of a multitude of powerful divine beings--a superabundance indicated by the proverbial total of 330 million gods and goddesses. The fluid relationship between these beings and humans is a central theme of this rich and accessible study of popular Hinduism in the context of the society of contemporary India. Lucidly organized and skillfully written, "The Camphor Flame" brings clarity to an immensely complicated subject. C. J. Fuller combines ethnographic case studies with comparative anthropological analysis and draws on textual and historical scholarship as well. The book's new afterword brings the study up-to-date by examining the relationship between popular Hinduism and contemporary Hindu nationalism.
With the Hindu nationalist BJP now replacing the Congress as the only national political force, the communalization of the Indian polity has qualitatively advanced since the earlier edition of this book in 1997. This edition has been substantially reworked and updated with several new chapters added. Hindutva's rise necessitates a more critical take on mainstream secular claims, ironically reinforced by liberal-left sections discovering special virtues in India's 'distinctive' secularism. The careful evaluation of the ongoing debate on 'Indian fascism' has resonances for the broader debate about how best to assess the dangers of the far right's rise in other liberal democracies. A study follows of how Hindutva forces are pursuing their project of establishing a Hindu Rashtra and how to thwart them through a wider transformative struggle targeting capitalism itself.
Three chief categories of seekers have been kept in view in selecting passages for this compilation: those who wish to obtain a greater life-mastery; those who, while pursuing the common goals of life, also aim at something beyond the ordinary life and seek to grow towards a higher or spiritual state of being; and those for whom spiritual growth is the primary purpose and occupation of life......
For more than 1500 years, from the Indian subcontinent to the
islands of the Indonesian archipelago, the temple has embodied and
symbolized the Hindu worldview at its deepest level and inspired
the greatest architectural and artistic achievements in Hindu Asia.
In "The Hindu Temple," considered the standard introduction to the
subject, George Michell explains the cultural, religious, and
architectural significance of the temple. He illustrates his points
with a profusion of photographs, building plans, and drawings of
architectural details, making the book a useful guide for travelers
to Asia as well as an illuminating text for students of
architecture, religion, and Asian civilizations.
The Kanwar is India's largest annual religious pilgrimage. Millions of participants gather sacred water from the Ganga and carry it across hundreds of miles to dispense as offerings in Siva shrines. These devotees-called bhola, gullible or fools, and seen as miscreants by many Indians-are mostly young, destitute men, who have been left behind in the globalizing economy. But for these young men, the ordeal of the pilgrimage is no foolish pursuit, but a means to master their anxieties and attest their good faith in unfavorable social conditions. Vikash Singh walked with the pilgrims of the Kanwar procession, and with this book, he highlights how the procession offers a social space where participants can prove their talents, resolve, and moral worth. Working across social theory, phenomenology, Indian metaphysics, and psychoanalysis, Singh shows that the pilgrimage provides a place in which participants can simultaneously recreate and prepare for the poor, informal economy and inevitable social uncertainties. In identifying with Siva, who is both Master of the World and yet a pathetic drunkard, participants demonstrate their own sovereignty and desirability despite their stigmatized status. Uprising of the Fools shows how religion today is not a retreat into tradition, but an alternative forum for recognition and resistance within a rampant global neoliberalism.
All who seek understanding of the basic philosophies of the East will find in this book an illuminating presentation of the great Vedic system of thought, India's oldest and most profound religious/philosophical tradition. "I can heartily recommend this book to anyone thirsting for perennial wisdom".--Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., author of Sacred Paths.
"The Life of Hinduism" brings together a series of essays - many recognized as classics in the field - that present Hinduism as a vibrant, truly 'lived' religion. Celebrating the diversity for which Hinduism is known, this volume begins its journey in the 'new India' of Bangalore, India's Silicon Valley, where global connections and local traditions rub shoulders daily. Readers are then offered a glimpse into the multifaceted world of Hindu worship, life-cycle rites, festivals, performances, gurus, and castes. The book's final sections deal with the Hinduism that is emerging in diasporic North America and with issues of identity that face Hindus in India and around the world: militancy versus tolerance and the struggle between owning one's own religion and sharing it with others. Contributors of this title include: Andrew Abbott, Michael Burawoy, Patricia Hill Collins, Barbara Ehrenreich, Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Sharon Hays, Douglas Massey, Joya Misra, Orlando Patterson, Frances Fox Piven, Lynn Smith-Lovin, Judith Stacey, Arthur Stinchcombe, Alain Touraine, Immanuel Wallerstein, William Julius Wilson, and Robert Zussman.
Hindu Christian Faqir compares two colonial Indian saints from Punjab, the neo-Vedantin Hindu Rama Tirtha (1873-1906) and the Christian convert Sundar Singh (1889-1929). Timothy S. Dobe shows that varied asceticisms, personal exemplary models, and material religion exuded their ambivalent and powerful public presence in Protestant metropolitan centers as much as in colonial peripheries. Challenging ideas of the invention of modern Hinduism, the transparent translation of Christianity, and the construction of saints by devotees, this book focuses on the long-standing, shared religious idioms on which these two men creatively drew to appeal to transnational audiences and to pursue religious perfection. Following both men's usage of Urdu, the book adopts the word "faqir" to examine the vernacular and performative dimensions of Indian holy man traditions, thereby calling special attention to missionary and Orientalist anti-ascetic accounts of the "fukeer" indigenous Islamic traditions and this-worldly religion. Exploring Rama Tirtha and Sundar Singh's global tours in Europe and America, self-conscious sartorial styles, and intimate autobiographical writings, Dobe demonstrates that the vernacular holy man traditions of Punjab provided resources that both men drew on to construct their forms of modern monkhood. The rise of heroic, anti-colonial sannyasis or sadhus of modern Hinduism like Swami Vivekananda is thus repositioned in relation to global Christianity, Sufi, bhakti, and Sikh regional practices, religious boundary-crossing, contestation and conversion. A comparative and contextualized story of two Punjabi holy men's particular performance of sainthood, Hindu Christian Faqir reveals much about the broad, interactional history of religious modernities.
Practical guidance from Sir Daya Mata on living the spiritual life in today's challenging world. All spiritual seekers will find her words, illuminated by direct personal realization, to be a source of helpful and compassionate guidance.
This book offers a fascinating journey of a deeply charged and vibrant life, which is profound, mystical and divine. It is the life of Sadhu Vaswani (1879-1966). This book provides rare glimpses of his inner journey, his soulful experiences, his spiritual intoxication and his ultimate self-realisation. Great was his spiritual power; profound was his intellectual prowess; rich, his knowledge, wisdom and insight into life and the deeper values of life. When he entered a room, all hearts were hushed. When he opened his mouth to speak in his melodious, flute-like voice, his listeners were enthralled. And no wonder! For his words were not the words of an ordinary mortal. They were charged with the power of Gods message -- the message of Life, Light and Love! An intellectual stalwart, he founded a path breaking movement in education, gave a clarion call for youth renaissance and silently worked for woman empowerment. His life also brings alive the intellectual and spiritual ethos of Bengal, the turmoil of the freedom movement and his association with Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore and other leaders of his time. It also highlights the secular Sufism of Sind and its gift of peaceful coexistence. But his true sphere was the realm of the atman, the spirit. Living in the midst of humanity, he lived as one apart, for he lived in the world of the atman. An ineffable, intangible spiritual luminosity with an inextinguishable radiance shone around him. Embellished by lyrics and real life incidents, the book makes an engrossing reading for laymen as well as spiritual aspirants.
Tantra occupies an odd position in Western understandings of Hindu spirituality. Its relationship to sex has made its name instantly recognizable, but this emphasis on sex has obscured its philosophical concerns and ritual practices, to say nothing of its overall importance to Hindu religious life. This book offers a clear, well-grounded overview of Tantra that offers substantial new insights for scholars and practitioners. Andre Padoux opens by detailing the history of Tantra, including its origins, founding texts, and major beliefs. The second part of the book delves more deeply into key concepts like the tantric body, mysticism, sex, mantras, sacred geography, and iconography, while the final part considers the practice of Tantra today, both in India and in the West. The result is an authoritative account of Tantra's history and present place in the world, suitable for beginners and longtime practitioners alike.
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