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This book studies the phenomenon of altruistic suicide which was a form of political protest. The authors investigate the self-immolation of German pastor Oskar Brusewitz and compare it with other politically motivated suicides. They portray both life and pastoral activity of Brusewitz and analyse the motives of his suicide. Furthermore, they evaluate the judgement of this tragic event by confreres in faith and other witnesses. Besides the thorough analysis of Oskar Brusewitz's case, the book inspects the genesis of self-immolation and locates it in the tradition of Buddhism and Hinduism. It depicts cases of self-immolations in Vietnam, the USA, India, Tibet, China, Iran, and particularly in Middle-Eastern Europe (Czechoslovakia, Poland and Lithuania). The analysis also covers cases of self-immolations that occurred during the Arab Spring (2011-2012) and in Bulgaria in 2013.
More than ever before, we in the West are discovering the value and practicality of the teachings of the East. In this book Paul Hourihan, who was a long-time American student of Vedanta, presents the venerable Indian teachings of Vedanta with illustrations and examples that make sense of them to Westerners in particular. In his own inimitable way, he shows how the profound, yet practical, teachings of Vedanta, one of the main schools of thought in Hinduism, give meaning and understanding to our lives. This study includes an overview of the mysticism of India, and provides a summary of the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga system of thought. Using the teachings of the Upanishads, Dr Hourihan covers the main principles of this perennial philosophy and the core concepts that flow from them. The last section demonstrates the universality of these teachings through confirmations from the masters of other spiritual traditions -- Lao Tzu, Meister Eckhart, Plotinus, and the Sufis of Islam. Over a period of 15 years Dr Hourihan gave many courses and talks on the world's mystical traditions, including the Vedanta philosophy. This book is derived from transcripts of these lectures. With a strong experiential background and lifelong interest in the field of mysticism, along with a Ph.D. in Literature, Hourihan, an American, was well qualified to introduce these ancient teachings to Western readers looking for guidance and personal transformation. As Robert Ellwood, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Religion, University of Southern California, states "Children of Immortal Bliss is a splendid introduction to Vedanta for the average person, presenting this Indian tradition simply, and with the use of ideas and illustrations that will make sense of it to a wide audience". The practical application of this philosophy is the means for those of all faiths to realise their identity as Children of Immortal Bliss.
A vibrant example of living literature, the Bhagavata Purana is a versatile Hindu sacred text written in Sanskrit verse. Finding its present form by the tenth century C.E., the work inspired several major north Indian devotional (bhakti) traditions as well as schools of dance and drama, and continues to permeate popular Hindu art and ritual in both India and the diaspora.
Introducing the Bhagavata Purana's key themes while also examining its extensive influence on Hindu thought and practice, this collection conducts the first multidimensional reading of the entire text. Each essay focuses on a key theme of the Bhagavata Purana and its subsequent presence in Hindu theology, performing arts, ritual recitation, and commentary. The authors consider the relationship between the sacred text and the divine image, the text's metaphysical and cosmological underpinnings, its shaping of Indian culture, and its ongoing relevance to contemporary Indian concerns.
A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at www.luminosoa.org. The Emergence of Modern Hinduism argues for the importance of regional, vernacular innovation in processes of Hindu modernization. Scholars usually trace the emergence of modern Hinduism to cosmopolitan reform movements, producing accounts that overemphasize the centrality of elite religion and the influence of Western ideas and models. In this study, the author considers religious change on the margins of colonialism by looking at an important local figure, the Tamil Shaiva poet and mystic Ramalinga Swami (1823-1874). Weiss narrates a history of Hindu modernization that demonstrates the transformative role of Hindu ideas, models, and institutions, making this text essential for scholarly audiences of South Asian history, religious studies, Hindu studies, and South Asian studies.
The earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas, and the first extensive composition to survive in any Indo-European language, "The Rig Veda" (c. 1200?900 bc) is a collection of more than 1,000 individual Sanskrit hymns. A work of intricate beauty, it provides unique insight into early Indian mythology and culture. Fraught with paradox, the hymns are meant ?to puzzle, to surprise, to trouble the mind, ? writes translator Wendy Doniger, who has selected 108 hymns for this volume. Chosen for their eloquence and wisdom, they focus on the enduring themes of creation, sacrifice, death, women, and the gods. Doniger's "The Rig Veda" provides a fascinating introduction to a timeless masterpiece of Hindu ritual and spirituality.
Good and evil, loyalty and treachery, faith and doubt, honour and ignominy--the Mahabharata has served as a primer for codes of conduct of generations of Hindus. Over time, the epic has also fascinated those who love a tale well told. In its telling, however, the story has lost much of its richness and nuance, and the characters have become one-dimenssional cut-outs--either starkly good or irredeemably evil. In this reinterpretation, Meena Arora nayak analyses how the values espoused in the Mahabharata came to be distorted into meagre archetypes, creating customary laws that injure society even today.
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.
The ancient Indian Sanskrit tradition produced no text more
intriguing, or more persistently misunderstood or underappreciated,
than the Mahabharata. Its intricacies have waylaid generations of
scholars and ignited dozens of unresolved debates. "In Rethinking
the Mahabharata," Alf Hiltebeitel offers a unique model for
understanding the great epic. Employing a wide range of literary
and narrative theory, Hiltebeitel draws on historical and
comparative research in an attempt to discern the spirit and
techniques behind the epic's composition. He focuses on the
education of Yudhisthira, also known as the Dharma King, and shows
how the relationship of this figure to others-especially his
author-grandfather Vyasa and his wife Draupadi-provides a thread
through the bewildering array of frames and stories embedded within
stories. Hiltebeitel also offers a revisionist theory regarding the
dating and production of the original text and its relation to the
Veda. No ordinary reader's guide, this volume will illuminate many
mysteries of this enigmatic masterpiece.
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."
Swaminarayan Hinduism is rooted in its formation in India at the cusp of the early modern and colonial period. This book explores the new discoveries, recent research and interpretation of the history, doctrine, devotional arts, and transnational developments provide a foundation for a more comprehensive understanding of contemporary Swaminarayan growth, belief and practice. The themes that trace through the analyses are tradition and adaptation in the historical and social process of creating a complex new religious identity in response to social, economic and political changes. The book contains current academic research from several disciplinesincluding history, theology, the arts, architecture, sociology, and migration studiesto analyze how the stories, texts, and arts shape and reveal the thought, devotion, conduct, and socio-religious community that guide Swaminarayan Hindus through major transitions across time and space in several contexts. Swaminarayan is one of the rapidly expanding transnational Hindu movements with followers and institutions throughout India and abroad, especially in the United States, Britain, East Africa and Australasia.
In South India there is a society where priests and lay people claim supernatural powers. Where a sophisticated medical system underlies a quest for physical longevity and psychic immortality and where arcane and sexual rituals take place that are far removed from the Brahmanic tradition of the rest of India. That society is the Tamil Siddhas. Here expert Kamil Zvelebil offers a vivid picture of these people: religious beliefs, magical rites, alchemical practices, complex system of medicine, and inspired tradition of poetry. Topics covered include: On Siddhas medicine; The ideological basis of Siddhas quest of immortality; Basic tenets of Siddhas medicine; Diseases and their cure; Yoga in Siddhas tradition; Daily regime; Siddhas alchemy; Rejuvenation, longevity, and 'immortality'; Doctrines and traditions of the Siddhas; Tantrik Siddhas and Siddhas attitudes to sex; Siddhas poetry and other texts.
Many of us face the difficulty of trying to change something in our nature, only to find that it is either difficult or virtually impossible. We struggle, try to suppress various actions, only to have these actions rebound on us and cause feelings of failure, shame, guilt or frustration. The key to solving this problem actually lies in a deeper understanding of the true nature of our psychological being. We are actually composed of various different "parts" or "planes" of action that combine together, interact with one another and impinge upon one another. This understanding allows us to differentiate between a
The Life Divine explores for the Modern mind the great streams of Indian metaphysical thought, reconciling the truths behind each and from this synthesis extends in terms of consciousness the concept of evolution. The unfolding of Earth's and man's spiritual destiny is illuminated, pointing the way to a Divine Life on Earth. Index.
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