The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition


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In so doing, it demonstrates that multiculturalism has implications that stretch far beyond current formulations in public and academic discourse. I expect this book to quickly become a principal text. Impersonation is not simply a gender performance limited to the Kuchipudi stage, but a practice of power that enables the construction of hegemonic brahmin masculinity in everyday village life. This book analyzes the practice of impersonation across a series of boundaries—village to urban to transnational, brahmin to non-brahmin, hegemonic to nonnormative—to explore the artifice of brahmin masculinity in contemporary South Indian dance.

In this beautifully written and deeply researched study, Hannah Frank provides an original way to understand American animated cartoons from the Golden Age of animation — In order to see the art, labor, and technology of cel animation, Frank slows cartoons down to look frame by frame, finding hitherto unseen aspects of the animated image. What emerges is both a methodology and a highly original account of an art formed on the assembly line.

I have lived with many of the cartoons Hannah Frank analyzes for pretty much my entire life and never suspected the hidden life or lives within their images, the inscription of histories social, personal, technological, aesthetic in which, it turns out, they abound. These are big conversations, and Frank is impressive in her ability to think lucidly across them in such fluent and productive ways.

The Saburo Hasegawa Reader is an open access companion to the bilingual catalogue copublished with The Noguchi Museum to accompany an international touring exhibition, Changing and Unchanging Things: Noguchi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan. The exhibition features the work of two artists who were friends and contemporaries: Isamu Noguchi and Saburo Hasegawa. This volume is intended to give scholars and general readers access to a wealth of archival material and writings by and about Saburo Hasegawa. Hasegawa is credited with introducing elements of European abstraction in Japan in the mid s.

He also worked in diverse media including oil and ink painting, photography, and printmaking. Hasegawa was a theorist and widely published essayist, curator, teacher, and multilingual conversationalist. Creating the Intellectual redefines how we understand relations between intellectuals and the Chinese socialist revolution of the last century. The party turned revolutionaries and otherwise ordinary people into subjects identified as usable but untrustworthy intellectuals, an identification that profoundly affected patterns of domination, interaction, and rupture within the revolutionary enterprise.

Drawing on a wide range of data, Eddy U takes the reader on a journey that examines political discourses, revolutionary strategies, rural activities, urban registrations, workplace arrangements, organized protests, and theater productions. He lays out in colorful detail the formation of new identities in Chinese society as well as new forms of organization and association.

The outcome is a compelling picture of the mutual constitution of the intellectual and the Chinese socialist revolution, the legacy of which still affects ways of seeing, thinking, acting, and feeling in what is now a globalized China. This book deepens our understanding of the tortured relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and these individuals, one that would have catastrophic consequences during the Cultural Revolution. In a world where basic human rights are under attack and discrimination is widespread, Advancing Equality reminds us of the critical role of constitutions in creating and protecting equal rights.

Combining a comparative analysis of equal rights in the constitutions of all United Nations member countries with inspiring stories of activism and powerful court cases from around the globe, the book traces the trends in constitution drafting over the past half century and examines how stronger protections against discrimination have transformed lives. Looking at equal rights across gender, race and ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability, social class, and migration status, the authors uncover which groups are increasingly guaranteed equal rights in constitutions, whether or not these rights on paper have been translated into practice, and which nations lag behind.

Tens of thousands of Eritreans make perilous voyages across Africa and the Mediterranean Sea every year. Why do they risk their lives to reach European countries where so many more hardships await them? By visiting family homes in Eritrea and living with refugees in camps and urban peripheries across Ethiopia, Sudan, and Italy, Milena Belloni untangles the reasons behind one of the most under-researched refugee populations today. Exit and Voice is a compelling account of how Mexican migrants with strong ties to their home communities impact the economic and political welfare of those they leave behind.

In many decentralized democracies like Mexico, migrants step in to supply public goods when local or state government cannot. Exit and Voice sheds light on how migrant transnational engagement refashions the meaning of community, democratic governance, and practices of citizenship in the era of globalization. This boldly original book traces the evolution of documentary film and photography as they migrated onto digital platforms during the first decades of the twenty-first century. Kris Fallon examines the emergence of several key media forms—social networking and crowdsourcing, video games and virtual environments, big data and data visualization—and demonstrates the formative influence of political conflict and the documentary film tradition on their evolution and cultural integration.

Focusing on particular moments of political rupture, Fallon argues that the ideological rifts of the period inspired the adoption and adaptation of newly available technologies to encourage social mobilization and political action, a function performed for much of the previous century by independent documentary film.

Renaissance Futurities considers the intersections between artistic rebirth, the new science, and European imperialism in the global early modern world. This concern with futurity is inspired by the Renaissance itself, a period defined by visions of the future, as well as by recent theorizing of temporality in Renaissance, queer, and ethnic studies. This transdisciplinary collection is at the cutting edge of the humanities, the sciences, and the arts with contributions in history, art history, literature, media studies, mathematics, and medicine.

Rather than considering a single Persian music history, Lucas demonstrates cultural dissimilarity and discontinuity over time, bringing to light two different notions of music-making in relation to premodern and modern musical norms. University of California Press is one of the top publishers for the academic community. For more than years, it has championed work that influences public discourse and challenges the status quo in multiple fields of study. Part of. Show: 10 25 Title Published Date Featured. History U. Book Details. Buy Paperback.

A Philip E. Lilienthal Book in Asian Studies. Islamic Humanities, 2. This lecture will concentrates on five thematic sections: 1 What does it means to be a playful agent? In attempting to refute the Buddhist doctrine of no-Self, Ramakantha absorbed many features of Buddhism. For example, he sided with Buddhism against Nyaya and Vaisesika in denying the existence of property-possessors dharmins over and above properties dharmas , and in denying a Self as something that exists over and above cognition.

For him the Self simply is cognition jnana, prakasa, samvit and so he has to prove that cognition is constant and unchanging. I will present those arguments of Ramakantha's that strike me as his strongest and most original. I will spend at least the first 10 minutes of the talk introducing, and giving an overview of, the Buddhist-Brahmanical atman debate. Related: Buddhism , Philosophy , Saiva. Related: Modern India , Philosophy.

Desire in its widest sense is fundamental to human existence and has been the focus of much discussion in religious traditions over the centuries. Desire has been seen as a negative quality which keeps people in bondage, as generally seen in Buddhism, but desire for a greater good has also been seen as a positive force in different traditions. The aim of this conference is explore the idea of desire and its understanding in Christianity and Indian religions and to generate discussion of comparative philosophy and theology across traditions.

Related: Comparative Theology. This afternoon conference examines the idea of surrender to God in three religions and provides the opportunity to address comparative theological concerns. In all three theistic traditions there is the idea of human surrender to God. The conference will explore what this means in the different traditions and look towards a theological dialogue between them. We find the idea of God in different religions and it is theologically interesting that semantic analogues of the category appear across the boundaries of traditions.

This series of lectures explores Hindu ideas of God and raises questions about the meaning of God in human traditions and the idea of comparative theology. Related: Hindu Theology , Vaisnava. Two seminars focusing on the developing field of comparative theology and its possibilities, directions and relevence. Related: Christianity , Comparative Theology. Professor Keith Ward has developed comparative theology and religion in many of his publications over the years.

He is particularly interested in comparative theology, the dialogue between religions and the interplay between science and faith. In this seminar Keith will share some of his thoughts on comparative theology and its future direction. Related: Consciousness , Saiva , Science and Religion. Related: Britain , Diaspora. However, until now this role has been mainly described in rather vague terms as related to the prestige attached to Sanskrit as the language of the Vedas and the priestly class.

His main areas of research are the Sanskrit grammatical tradition and the history of linguistic ideas in ancient South Asia. His research interests include the intersection between religious movements and scholarly pedagogy, Indian intellectual history, and the early modern world. While such an approach fits some of the female-voice verses in the Tiruviruttam , several verses resist such categories, as they can easily and equally be spoken by the hero, heroine, mother or friend. The temple of Alvar Tirunagari in the deep south of India is a unique archive of hereditary performance traditions in India.

Whereas the seismic shift in patronage that occurred in the post-Independence period ensured the rapid erosion of temple-centered performance cultures, the insularity of Alvar Tirunagari ensured the preservation of multiple hereditary performance traditions—liturgical recitation, gestural interpretation, and ritual singing are just three examples—into the present century. But the performers of Alvar Tirunagari have not been untouched because of the shift in patronage, from local, elite landowners to State supported funding.

The Final Word The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition

Many performers have left temple service for more lucrative employment, while others supplement their meager temple income with white-collar jobs in major cities. She is currently working, with Prof. Francis X. Clooney Harvard , on a translation of the Tiruvaymoli, one of the most important collections of Tamil devotional poetry. This seminar series will examine the issue of representation of the divine in Christian Orthodoxy and Vaisnava Hinduism. Given that God is unknowable and beyond all representation in these traditions, questions will be raised about how a transcendent reality can be represented, the function of such representations, and the degree to which such mediations are thought to be required by tradition.

The first two seminars will offer theological backgrounds to Orthodoxy and Vaisnava Hinduism and the remaining two will examine in more detail conceptual and historical problems in the history of the traditions. Related: Comparative Theology , Iconography. Related: Metrics , Sanskrit. The lecture would shed light on the Indian phenomenon of monasticism shrama, shramana and asceticism tapas, tapasvin. Buddhist monks are referred to as shramanas, the toilers. The concept of shrama labour has a spiritual connotation in the Vedic literature. Monastic way of life, according to me, was not a protest or revolution against the established religious order.

Its tradition seems to be as old that of Vedic ritual, although it was formalised and given a well structured form by Mahavira and especially by Buddha. However they were not the inventors of this tradition. Many Rishis and Aranyakas Vaikhanasas! Performance of austerities is believed to endow a person with extra-ordinary capabilities which could be of many use, besides , of course, spiritual enlightenment.

Tapas is usually associated with the concept of a Rsi who can see beyond time and space. We shall deal with these concepts and trace the history of the spread of monasticism in the west from India in short. Gaya Charan Tripathi was born at Agra India. He went to school and pursued higher studies at Agra, Pune, and Benares.

He received his Ph. He has a Dr. He has published 22 books on subjects mostly pertaining to religions and literature of India. Related: Pancaratra , Ritual , Vaisnava. The paper shall try to trace the close relationship of the Orissan Tantrism and also Vishnuism to Kashmir of the 10thth Century. It were most probably the Orissan students learning in the Pathashalas of Kashmir, mentioned sarcastically by Kshemendra who brought the philosophy and ritual of Kashmir along with manuscripts from there to Orissa which enriched Orissan Vishnuism overlaid by Tantric practices.

The paper would also shed light on the historical aspect of this relationship. Related: Metrics , Sanskrit , Veda. Related: Aesthetics , Bhagavata. The idea of prayer in Islam is vague in the sense that it ranges from the mandatory to the most optional and spontaneous. This lecture will deal with the issue of prayer from an anthropological perspective. His research in the anthropology of Islam focuses on Sufi groups, and madrassahs. Oxford University Press, New York A review of principal foreign policy development in the first decade of the 21st century and implications for the second decade.

Related: Modern India , Politics. Nineteenth-century colonial India offers examples of both Hindu iconoclasts and iconic worshippers, but there has been a tendency to privilege the former and regard them as agents of modernity, and the latter as backward. Most nineteenth-century studies of Hindu attitudes to image worship have mainly focussed on two prominent figures—Rammohan Roy — and Dayananda Saraswati — who denounced image worship.

While Roy and Dayananda rejected image worship, Navalar affirmed it. It seeks to problematize the conventional approach which situates the debate on image worship within the narrow confines of the tradition verses modernity paradigm. Her research focuses on representation of Hinduism in colonial and postcolonial writings. Mysticism is a term that has fallen out of use in recent years, partly due to the critique of essentialism in the history of religions, partly due to the recognition that mysticism is particular to tradition and culture and partly due to the orientation to understand religion in terms of a politics of culture that sees religion purely in constructivist terms.

Of course, the historical reality of religious traditions is much more complex than this. Nevertheless, religious traditions are interested in, and develop, keen senses of inwardness that lay stress upon a direct understanding or experience of transcendence. The series is seen as an exercise in comparative theology.

Short lectures on the mystical traditions would be followed by a response from a Hindu perspective and general discussion. This somewhat unusual text is a colloquy between the Prophet Muhammad and the fallen Iblich Ar. The bulk of this fictional text is an interrogation of Iblich regarding the nature of his followers and their actions.


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The text is prefaced in its opening verses with a somewhat uneasy statement about the nature of the book and whether it was even appropriate to compose such a text it in the vernacular Bangla, a move that immediately draws attention to the language of the text itself and its intended audience. The opening section moves from one language conundrum to another until the attentive reader begins to realize that the fact one is reading the text in Bangla suggests that question and those that followed were actually moot, a set up for something else.

Soon, the logic of the argument makes clear that such a conversation between the always untruthful Iblich and the always truthful Muhammad could only happen in a fiction—and it is perfectly fine to write fiction in Bangla. This fictional inversion of all that is good and proper titillates the reader in its mad escape from the Bakhtinian monologic of theology, history, and law that governs the discourse of the conservative Sunni Hanbalite mainstream.

It is the exaggerated negative image of the law as seen from the imagined squalid underbelly of Bengali society. Tony K. Stewart specializes in the literatures and religions of the Bangla-speaking world, with a special emphasis on the early modern period. Dimock, Jr. He appears nowhere in the historical record of Persian chronicles or copperplate inscriptions and only officially as a mythic figure in the British gazetteers. As a first step in making these tales make sense, I propose that we approach them for what they are: fictional hagiographies.

They are still printed and told today, and performed regularly in public, especially in the Sunderbans, the mangrove swamps in the southern reaches of Bangladesh and West Bengal. Because of the way they defy the strictly demarcated categories that have come to define Hindu and Muslim in the last two centuries, Orientalist scholars, conservative Muslim factions, linguists, and literary historians have until recently rejected or ignored altogether this group of stories as as purely entertaining with no religious, linguistic, or literary merit.

I argue that not only are these fictions religious, they create an important space within the limiting strictures of Islamic theology, history, and law that allows people to exercise their imagination to investigate alternative worlds. These texts simultaneously offer a critique of religion and society through their parodies, rather than articulating doctrine or theology. Because they are fictions, any approach to their religiosity must use hermeneutic strategies suited to the literary world in which they operate.

But the imagination exercised in these tales is not unlimited, rather the parameters of the discursive arena in which they operate—the imaginaire —can be defined by two types of presuppositions and two types of intertextuality that both enable and constrain what is possible to express. They bring together foreigners and locals, courtiers and country bumpkins, in encounters ripe with a myriad of misunderstandings and false assumptions regarding religion, rituals, and those that practice them.

They seek to establish the functional equivalence of religious practitioners, their rituals, and the contours of belief through the vehicle of the generic romance. All of these tales are rife with phantasmagoria equal to anything found in the Arabian Nights, with flying horses, celestial nymphs playing pranks, theriomorphic births, talking birds, and men transmogrified into goats to serve as breeding stock. As Todorov suggests, these fantastic romances produce a special kind of incredulity, a disbelief or suspension of belief that has resulted in their classification as light entertainment for the masses and dismissed as neither Hindu nor Muslim.

But I wish to argue that these Muslim texts are undertaking a very serious cultural work that is not possible within the available genres of Islamic history, theology, and law. These texts explore the subjunctive , not in the sense of the way the world should be, but how it might be imagined, how it might come to be.

The work of these texts is to explore how an Islamic cosmology might accommodate itself to and then appropriate the predominately Hindu cosmology encountered in the Bangla-speaking world of the early-modern period. In his final decade, the poet William Butler Yeats embarked on several years of study and collaboration with Shri Purohit Swami, an Indian monk. Just as he once wrote that Nietzsche completed Blake, Yeats found that Tantra completed Nietzsche, offering a vision of the cosmos that divinized the full range of human experience.

The Mexican poet and essayist Octavio Paz is largely thought of as a Latin American writer, but both his roots as a writer and his fields of interest extended around the world, and Indic traditions held a particular fascination for him. During his years in India, Paz took a special interest in Tantra, and Tantric thought and imagery figures in many of his finest works, from Sunstone through the poems of East Slope and beyond. He also wrote several essays on India and its traditions.

This talk will focus on how Paz incorporated Tantric elements into his poetic vision, which not only sustains a delicate balance between the One and the many but also returns repeatedly to questions of subjectivity and consciousness. In setting a worldly French novelist against a Indian mystical philosopher, Yeats is not merely recasting the dialogue of self and soul that has governed so much of his poetry; he is signaling that one side of the debate has staked out its position in India, and that the terms of the discussion have changed.

In pursuit of Indic wisdom as he conceived it, Yeats left a trail of questions and assertions in letters and essays. This seminar will explore these issues. Related: Literature , Yoga. Related: Dance , Temple and Text. Related: Comparative Theology , Judaism , Text. Related: Iconography , Literature , Modern Hinduism. Related: Aesthetics , Temple and Text. Gregory Shushan is Perrott-Warrick Researcher at the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford, researching comparative afterlife beliefs in small-scale societies worldwide in the contexts of shamanic and near-death experiences.

This paper provides a critical overview of select aspects of religious material culture among the people of Tamilnadu. It first discusses how materials are construed in the ritual context, their agency and efficacy and the continuities seen in the process of engagement between the people and the objects. Secondly, it deals with the changing dynamics of the engagement between the people and the ritual objects, the changing social lives of these objects and examines the processes of commoditization, aestheticization and appropriation.

Finally, this paper also focuses on the shared material culture between Hindus and Christians in Tamilnadu during religious ceremonies and practices of worship which are explored using examples such as thali sacred chain in the marriage ceremony , saris etc. Related: Ritual.

The abstraction "mysticism" is a problematic category that has been developed from Christian mystical theology in contrast to dogmatic or natural theology. Viewing other religions through the lens of "mysticism", particularly the religions of India and China, has tended to give a distorted picture to the West, underlined by Radhakrishnan's claim, among others, that the east is "spiritual" while the west is "material".

While acknowledging the problematic nature of the category "mysticism" this series of seminars intends to explore the mystical traditions of specific religions in dialogue with Hinduism. Related: Buddhism , Comparative Theology , Mysticism. Related: Temple and Text. It suggested to Hindus what Hinduism might mean to them and what inputs it could possibly make into the formulation of the corporate Hindu identity. This paper tries to establish the argument that often, an idea or a practice is not known by a given name.

Given this fact, this paper seeks to examine the ideological and historical compulsions that lay behind the articulation and use of such terms. This paper also argues that reform was a strongly contested term and ought to be studied in its various nuances that were determined by acute differences over understanding, intentions or strategy.

The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition

Following Prof. My rejoinder to this has been that short of a miracle, it is only the dying that can be revived, not the dead. Contrary also to what has sometimes been suggested, revivalism was not archaic, anachronistic, or a romantic return to the past. Careful selection went into the question of just what ought to be revived or could be revived at all.

Given the ideological framework of the contemporary Hindu intelligentsia, the issue of revival was implicit in acts of reform and reform, implicit in attempts to bring about a revival. The revivalist, I feel, has indeed to be separated from the reactionary. Amiya P. Sen is by training a historian with special interest in the intellectual and cultural history of colonial India. Prof Sen took his undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from St. Sumit Sarkar, again at the University of Delhi. To date, Prof. Perhaps the shortest of the well-known sutra texts among Hindu traditions is The Bhakti Sutra of Narada, consisting only of 84 aphorisms.

This work, however, possesses the most expressive and least cryptic aphorisms, as compared to other sutra texts, while providing the seeds for a remarkably comprehensive bhakti theology. Graham Schweig, while preparing his new translation of the work for publication with Columbia University Press, will present his findings on the ways in which the literary and theological aspects of this text work together synergistically to express some of the deepest dimensions of bhakti.

He will also make some intertextual connections and resonances by drawing from the Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavata Purana, and the Yoga Sutra, in order to illuminate dramatic theological moments of the Bhakti Sutra. And further, he will offer some closing reflections on why no traditional commentaries were ever written for this work. Related: Bhakti , Hindu Theology. Many translators of the Bhagavad Gita resort to an informationally accurate prose translation that sometimes loses the poetic power and expression of the original verse.

Others resort to constricted verse translation droping important and nuanced meanings of the text. Related: Bhagavad-gita. The focus of this presentation will be two-fold. Contemplation and participation become one by virtue of the power of this bhakti - yantr a. Graham M. After a summary account of the contents of the text-passages where this practice is either described or alluded to passages which are given in full in the Handout , some of the problems raised by these texts are discussed and provisional working hypothesis are put forward.

In the first place, the question of how and why the practice of yogic suicide is treated in different ways in the texts where it occurs is examined. In the second place, the issue of whether and how this practice harmonizes with the visions of liberation advocated by the texts in question is discussed. She has also translated into Italian texts from the Sanskrit narrative and devotional literature, for editions aimed at a general readership. Related: Hindu Theology , Vedanta. In the early modern period since the seventeenth century, after contact between East and West became vigorous, Indian religious thought was introduced to the West and attracted the attention of Western intellectuals.

One of these intellectuals was the Lutheran theologian Rudolf Otto — In his works on Indian religious thought, Otto focused on Vedanta philosophy, represented by Sankara and Ramanuja, and on Vaisnava faith in Hindu religious tradition. From the perspectives of religious studies, my lecture aims to explore the nature of the two kinds of faith, i. The purpose of this lecture is to elucidate the characteristics of Indian philosophy on reality and consciousness, from the semantic perspectives of the famous Japanese philosopher Toshihiko Izutsu The Madhva school of Vedanta is an orthodox tradition that is being forced to rise to the challenges of modernity, and in particular, recent technological advances.

Are these changes minor ones or do they strike at the very heart of Madhva doctrine? Do they point towards its end or are they a chance to flourish? Dr Sarma's talk addresses these and other related issues that would face any esoteric tradition. Related: Veda. This event marks the launching of a newly started project at the OCHS called "Bengali Vaishnavism in the Modern Period", which undertakes the mapping, collection, translation and investigation of literature and other relevant material related to or dealing with the modern development of Caitanya Vaisnavism in Bengal from the late 18th century to the present.

It is divided into three sections: the first presents the historical context for the reception of the Bhagavata in 19th century Bengal—at the time the most prominent intellectual centre of the British Empire in South Asia—among the Bengali middle classe and some of the controversies that surrounded its popular usage as a sacred text. The second discusses the text as part of a process of religious and cultural negotiation between India and the West, with particular reference to Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati - the founder in Calcutta of a modern religious institution called the Gaudiya Math - and his successors.

The third section will trace the gradual transformation of the Bhagavata from a sacred text read by the literate among the Hindus to an instrument for diffusion of religious ideas and practice during the period following World War II. The presentation ends with a brief discussion of the function of the text within its indigenous religious tradition, and the ways in which this function has transformed through the dynamic social and cultural interactions between India and the West.

Related: Bhagavata , Modern Hinduism. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's — passing away. The lecture discusses the relationship of Bhaktisiddhanta with modernity, his theological ideas in relation to Christianity, and his approach to Western culture. Bhaktisiddhanta launched a missionary effort in the s to London that involved members of the British cabinet. The lecture will also present some of the latest research on Bhaktisiddhanta featuring the recent discovery of his diary and an autobiographical sketch. Related: Diaspora , Modern Hinduism , Vaisnava.

Hindu religions and oriental spirituality have travelled West during the last two centuries, and adapted in many ways to the cultures and societies of the West. The presentation first looks briefly at the processes of migration of Indian religions and spirituality to the West and second to a case of return to their place of origin in the. East through modern global institutions. The lecture discusses issues of identity, conversion and the emerging of a globalised Hinduism in Sweden and in India that challenges local social, cultural and religious communities.

It is based on field work, participant observation, and interviews of informants conducted among others in Stockholm and West Bengal during and The Atharvaveda Samhita, more than any other Vedic text, is an irreplaceable source of data on the Indian society and its non-ritualistic aspects. With regard to animals, the numerous Atharvanic hymns witness a deep conditioning, either positive or negative, of them on the psyche of the Vedic social structure at that stage. Images, metaphors, descriptions of wild and domestic animals abound through the 20 books of this Samhita, together with terrific and theriomorfic descriptions of demons in the act of killing children, women and Brahmans or destroying human bodies, health and peace.

Nivrtti denotes disengagement with worldly conventions. But this paper intends to release the word nivrtti from this narrow application and look at it in a wider context. Again is Savitri exerting her independence and opting to marry Satyavan in spite of her father's advice? Sulabha again could be someone who did not want to marry anyone because she was far superior to all those who wooed her. She makes the deliberate choice to become a bhiksuni.

There are any number of these examples in Sanskrit texts which will form the basis of the talk.

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Related: Dharmasastra , Gender. The general view amongst scholars, and western scholars in particular, is that there is not sufficient attention paid to ethics in Hinduism. While no one holds that view seriously these days it does surface in discussions on Hinduism even today. This presentation tries to tackle that issue from the point of view of the early Upanishads. The main argument I develop is that moral theory and ethical behaviour is culture specific and there cannot be a uniform standard moral theory for all cultures.

Moreover, it is axiomatic that no culture, particularly one that has survived thousands of years like that of the Hindus, could have survived without a moral code. Moral theory grows in consonance with the values that each society considers of ultimate importance. Keeping this as the background, this paper looks at a number of the early and middle Upanishads to build a behaviour pattern based on the twin concepts of dharma and moksa.

Along the way the paper also tries to answer criticisms from scholars like Zaehner for whom a jivanmukta one liberated while still in the body is beyond all morality. The conclusion drawn is that there is a close connection between moral behaviour and the realization of what it means to be human. Related: Ethics , Upanisads. The Hindu temple is a religious site and signifies some ritual activity. The general perception of a samnyasin, on the other hand, is one not associated with ritual activity as that is seen as perpetuating worldly existence or samsara.

However since this polarization is not evidenced in real life this is indeed a contested issue and this paper examines how far this relationship of a renouncer with the temples as seen in the world can be justified based on the prescriptions given in ascetic samnyasa manuals like the Samnyasa Upanishads, the Yatidharmasamuccaya and Jivanmuktiviveka. Related: Asceticism , Temple and Text. Related: Dance. Related: Bhakti , Comparative Theology , Mysticism.

Related: Bhakti , Literature. Buddhists do not deny the existence of gods, but they regard them as beings who are subject to karma and sa? Their life is extremely pleasant, but when they die they experience horrible agonies, and Buddhists say that there is no greater suffering in the world than that of a god who is dying.

In early legends, gods like Indra and Brahma appear as supporters of Buddha Shakyamuni. The lecture will illustrate these multi-faceted views with examples from Buddhist literature. Related: Buddhism. Dr Robinson did his D. An important part of this was the study of Hindu iconography and the festivals of West Bengal, including Durga puja.

Items such as pata paintings and saras collected during my research in Bengal are also in the Asia collection of the British Museum. He is currently a teacher of Religious Education in Oxfordshire. His fascination with Durga started from a very early age in India where he was born and brought up and he is now particularly interested in researching Durga puja in Calcutta during the British period from 18th—20th centuries.

Related: Goddesses , Iconography. This paper will look at the representation of female sexuality in the "women's newspaper" sections of the Urdu language newspaper Medinah, published in Bijnaur district of Uttar Pradesh, India. In , Maulana Majid Hasan started a new publication named Medinah, named for both the holy city of Islam and the boat that carried George V to his coronation darbar in Delhi.

Medinah grew into a significant voice for Muslims, loyal to the British Empire but nevertheless critical of the West. As social and political realities rapidly transformed society, the editors and contributors in Medinah sought not merely to report on the diverse attitudes of Muslims toward these changes, but more importantly it sought to shape discourse on what it meant to be Muslim in the first half of the twentieth century.

The literary tradition has it that after the Buddha left his earthly body, his body was cremated and his bones divided between 8 kings. These bones are, according to Buddhist tradition, corporeal relics of the Buddha. Literature also claims that the 8 stupas were later opened by King Asoka, who distributed the bones, and had them buried in 84, stupas. The deposition of objects inside stupas in Gandhara, present-day northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan, could be traced back to the mid 2nd century BC.

Not all Gandharan stupas contain bones. Bones in Gandharan stupas consist of both burned and unburned bones. All burned bones are of small size, while unburned bones are of different sizes and show obvious indication of being animal bones. This presentation will look at the spatial distribution of bones in Gandharan stupa deposits, and attempt to discuss reasons of the absence of bones in some stupas. One of the main arguments for the absence of the bones concerns the attitudes towards body remains.

Apart from Buddhists, Gandhara was also inhabited by Zoroastrians and Hindus, to whom dead body is considered impure. The co-inhabiting of the Buddhists with the Zoroastrians and Hindus may have prompted the exclusion of bones in stupa deposits. The Vaikhanasas are a small South Indian community of Vaisnava Brahmins who have traditionally engaged in conducting temple worship by following their distinctive ritual system.

The name Vaikhanasa derives from Sage Vikhanas, who is attributed with the authorship of the Vaikhanasa Sutras and with the founding of the Vaikhanasa School. The Vaikhanasa regards itself as part of the Vaisnava tradition orthodoxy because of its close adherence to Vedic religion and its presence within the Taittiriya School of the Black Yajurveda. This lecture will explore the ways in which the concept of Vedic fires is appropriated in the typical Vaisnava way by formulating a new ritual system for image worship samurtarcana in a temple setting within the Vaikhanasa School.

We will examine the concepts of Triple Fires tretagni and Five Fires pancagni within the context of triple images bimbatrayi and fivefold images pancabera. Also considered are the ways in which the Vedic ideas of fire sacrifice are rearticulated with new meanings and interpretations for the theistic, temple-based religion of Visnu as Venkatesvara.

Dr Prabhavati C. She is an interdisciplinary scholar with a Ph. A and M. She specializes in Hindu traditions and is interested in the historical development of sectarian traditions with reference to constructive theological frameworks and syncretism, religious authority and identity, and conflict and resolution in response to sociological and political processes.

She has lectured at universities in both the U. S and India as well as has presented papers at professional conferences. From temple building to image making, from temple rituals to domestic vratas , from village festivals to pilgrimage journeys, the Hindu temple religion demonstrates an integrated process of creating material forms and objects that express religious and cultural ideas. The material connections of Hindu temple religion are evident in the daily worship to images murtis in sanctums and in public festival performances that honor utsava icons. My lecture focuses neither on the image making nor the performance of rituals in Hindu temples.

Instead, it explores the material dimensions of sacred images as reflected in the ritual lives of deities and material objects used in festival exhibitions at the famous Venkateswara Temple Tirumala-Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, South India. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam TTD , the temple institution that oversees the management of the religious calendar of events and the ritual performances of Sri Venkatesvara temple SV , plays a significant role both in the production of religious objects and in the process of legitimizing for approval and usage of created objects for the temple programs.

Two theoretical dimensions concerning the material culture of sacred images are considered. The material objects and materials used for sacred images in the Tirumala Temple constitute of two kinds: 1 sets of attire, body armor, jewelry, and ornaments worn by deities, and 2 materials applied to the aesthetic beautification alankara of images and objects used in rituals.

The images and religious objects promoted by TTD become the focus for the transmission of Vaisnava bhakti ideals, image incarnation archavatara , master-servant relationship, the path of knowledge, and the aim of reaching higher realms of Visnu-Venkatesvara. This seminar focuses on various aspects of the Tantric mandala of Srisailam and the religious culture of Saiva and Sakta communities as is demonstrated in textual sources as well as hundreds of images depicted on the Prakara enclosure of the temple complex.

The mandala helps us to understand the ways Tantrikas conceptualized Srisailam as the macrocosmic universe of Siva and Sakti, and their religious worldview based on the soteriological goals to gain both worldly and supernatural enjoyments bhukti and powers siddhis as well as liberation in this life jivanmukti. By the fifteenth century, the Nath lineage of Siddhas had emerged as influential teachers and wonder-working yogis in the Telugu-speaking region of Srisailam in South India. Both textual and archaeological evidence suggest that Nath gurus have gained popularity among royal families and common people as well as the establishment of regional Nath parampara traditions, combined with Saiva, Tantra and Hatha Yoga practices in the environs of Srisailam.

The distribution of Buddhist and early temple sites shows that they overlap in the lower Krishna basin. But more noticeable is the clustering of early temple sites in the two interior districts of Mahboobnagar and Kurnool in Andhra where no Buddhist sites have been found, for example temple sites such as Keesaragutta and Alampur. The most ornate of the early temples located in the Eastern Deccan are those at the site of Alampur situated at the confluence of the rivers Tungabhadra and Krishna.

The sites of Aihole, Badami and Patadakal formed the core area of temple construction in central Deccan. Inscriptions dating from 8th to 12th centuries from these temple sites, especially Aihole provide valuable information on the operations of the merchant guild Ayyavole and donations made by them to the temple complex. The importance of the sites of Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami in the development of multi-layered sacred space in central Deccan is undeniable and this presentation locates these temple complexes within their social domains. Related: Archaeology , Temple.

Recitation from sacred texts including the Epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata was a crucial part of ritual activities at temples further reinforced by representations of themes from literature in narrative panels on temple walls. The Ramayana travelled to Southeast Asia towards the end of the first millennium AD, but the selection of themes and episodes to be depicted on monuments varied from place to place.

This presentation analyses the Ramayana panels with a view to understanding the religious and cultural milieu of these shrines. Related: Archaeology , Ramayana , Temple. The first lecture in the series traces the beginnings of the archaeology of religion in 19thth century India and highlights the trends that emerged in the study of the Hindu temple as a result of this intervention. Perhaps the most salient is the disjunction between religious praxis and theory and the study of architecture divorced from its ritual and philosophical moorings.

A second is the change in the character of religious sites in the subcontinent from a culturally pluralistic personality to a monotheistic religious identity as a result of early archaeological legislation in the 19th century and more specifically from the early years of the 20th century onwards.

This lecture counters the linear view of religious change in South Asia, which suggests that the Hindu temple came into its own after the decline of Buddhism in the fourth-fifth centuries AD. Instead the presentation shows that the temple form was part of a common architectural vocabulary widely used from the second century BC onwards not only for the Buddhist shrine, but also for the Hindu and Jain temples and several local and regional cults.

The speaker thus makes a case for plurality of religious beliefs and practices in ancient South Asia as against the prevailing view that these local and regional cults were gradually subsumed under the mantle of Sanskritisation starting from the 4th-5th centuries onwards. Related: Ritual , Temple. Any discussion of the motivation of gambling usually starts with the natural comparison to life. Life is a gamble.

Everyday, people are faced with situations which involve risk and chance. Professor Rangachar looks at the religious antecedents of gaming and the reaction to its development. Related: Ethics , Games. Related: Games. Related: Iconography , Modern India , Politics. Related: Bhagavad-gita , Comparative Theology. While the differences between Sankara's and Ramanuja's systems as found in their respective commentaries on the Brahmasutras are relatively well-known, much commented on and highly influential in the living traditions, there has been surprisingly little attention paid to a comparative understanding of their Bhagavad Gita commentaries.

Yet, in those works, they offer interpretations particular to the nature and structure of the Gita that do not map directly onto their other standard works. Using an interpretive vocabulary that engages with currents in postmodern Christian theology, I offer readings of each of their treatments of the relationship between the self-declared nature of the divine person, Krsna and his diverse mentions of the mysterious brahman.

I suggest that strikingly original views of theology and its connections to metaphysics are found in these great commentaries - views that can contribute to the actual content and not just the metatheory of comparative theology. Related: Comparative Theology , Hindu Theology. Related: Ritual , Temple and Text. Recently there has been a general interest in the relation of religion to kingship in the history of Indian religions. In the context of this interest, the seminar examines the relationship between power and ritual through showing how sovereignty is expressed in Vedic liturgies.

Related: Ritual , Veda. He is active as both a scholar and a peace activist. He has also been co-editor of ReVision from , and a contributing editor of Zygon. He has lectured and taught at more than seventy universities either as visiting professor or as guest lecturer in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and the United States.

Drawing particular attention to accounts of the darkness, absence, and wrath of God in Western Christian mysticism, the lecture questions the essential relation between the demonic and the divine elements encountered in the numinous. Related: Christianity , Comparative Theology , Mysticism. While exploring the collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art PMA , I was struck by four dazzling illustrations where splendid architecture and dramatic landscapes in rainbow colours serve as backdrops as Krishna hunts, marries beautiful princesses, and engages in combat.

Understanding World Religions - Conclusion: Does Religious Studies Have a Future?

The four PMA illustrations and the lavish Nepali manuscript to which they belong have never been studied in detail. Neeraja Poddar received her Ph. She was the Andrew W. This paper examines Nyaya's understanding of the sources of knowledge, especially perception and inference, as generating genuine subkinds of cognition that are discernible by introspection as well as through our own and others' behaviour, and addresses how typological resources are used by the school in its epistemological theory.

By being able to recognize a cognition as perceptual, inferential, analogical, or testimonial in character, we have access to our knowledge such that doubt and controversy can be resolved. The hinge premise is that we may assume such cognition to be veridical. Like contemporary disjunctivists, Naiyayikas see pramana as natural processes and their results as falling into natural kinds, with close imitators, illusions, incorrect inferences, false testimonial comprehension, and so on, as something else altogether, not the same at all, though a wider uniting kind may be identified, being-a-property, being-a-psychological-property, and so on up through the categorial system.

This facet of Nyaya's epistemology helps to solve an issue facing modern reliabilist externalism, which is the position that beliefs receive a default positive epistemic status in virtue of being the results of reliable processes of belief-formation. The issue is how to differentiate doxastic processes in an epistemically relevant fashion. Nyaya has a straightforward answer--identify candidates by the highest standard, one-hundred percent reliability, and correlating marks jati-vyanjana --an answer that this paper in the end says a word or two to defend. Related: Categories , Nyaya , Philosophy.

This seminar will explore the idea of suffering in Hindu traditions and the proposed remedies for its termination. Related: Christianity , Film. This seminar is an exploration of theories of religious action and meta-ethics in late pre-modern Indian philosophy of religion. Related: Nyaya , Philosophy. In this seminar, we will explore what was at stake, both philosophically and otherwise, for Brahmanical philosophers in debates with Buddhist opponents.

Related: Buddhism , Nyaya , Philosophy. It is so well-known that Buddhist philosophers in India argued with their non-Buddhist opponents that it is hardly worth mentioning. Yet, despite the centuries-long history of such polemics, Buddhist philosophers in India rarely explained what they hoped to gain in critically engaging their opponents through such arguments.

Related: Buddhism , Philosophy. However, in the early 18th century a wave of texts appear attempting to devise a bridge between bhakti and karma. These texts appear to have been produced as the tradition enters into a dialogue with Jai Singh II of the Kachvaha dynasty. His reseach interests include the intersection between religious movements and political power, Indian intellectual history, and the early modern world. These four, interrelated talks on Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi may be considered as an attempt to understand and articulate the coherence of an exemplary life.

Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrta and the Grammar of Religious Tradition: New

To that extent, his is a life which sets itself up almost in opposition to modernity—almost, because it might be reductive to see Gandhi merely as an opponent of modernity. Related: Gandhi , Modern India. The last seminar is as much a celebration of Bollywood as of Gandhi. It is to the former that the credit for most effectively resurrecting the Mahatma should go, certainly much more so than to Gandhians or academics. For Bollywood literally revives the spirit of Gandhi by showing how irresistibly he continues to haunt India today.


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Not just in giving us Gandhigiri—a totally new way of doing Gandhi in the world—but in its perceptive representation of the threat that modernity poses to Gandhian thought is Lage Raho Munna Bhai remarkable film to be shown Monday morning. What is more, it also draws out the distinction between Gandhi as hallucination and the real afterlife of the Mahatma.

Yet, it is also an extremely difficult book to stomach, with its uncompromising attacks on the British parliament, on machinery, on railways, doctors, lawyers, and English educated elites. Instead, Hind Swaraj seems to be a last-ditch stand in favour of a pre-modern, traditional civilizational ethos, which exalts manual labour, self-restraint, and the pursuit of virtue and sacrifice, instead of pleasure and profit.

What kinds of demands does the text make on us a years after its publication? More importantly, what hermeneutical strategies can we bring to bear on it to make it more palatable? In Bhartrhari, we find the only exception who delves into explaining nature of mantra-s. He formalizes the Mantrabhaga through his unique theory of aksara-brahman or Sabdadvaita without violating the cardinal form of ekavakyata in tune with the traditionalists view. Related: Grammarians , Philosophy.

In Indian tradition, oral transmission of the Veda unfolds the mystery of perfect linguistic behaviour, i. Reasons for such linguistic structure have been well expressed in Taittiriya Aranyaka followed by the vedangas, namely, siksa, pratisakhya, vyakarana and nirukta.

Varna-s or aksara-s happen to be the micro units. On pronunciation in contiguity they form a string known as vakya, which also encases pada-s or short strings of varna-s. Formation of such syllabic strings has been noted as samhita, sandhi or santana in Taittiriiya Aaranyaka followed by Rk-pratisakhya and nirukta. Paninian grammar expresses an algorithm of these syllabic forms in about sutra-s or operative rules composed as short strings. Narration of Mahesvara-sutra-s and discussions in Paspasha-kanda of the Mahabhasya distinctly expresses the motive and analytic mode of scanning sabda available in the Bhasa.

Sad-darshanasamuccaya by Haribhadra Suri. Related: Grammarians , Philosophy , Veda. This lecture will continue the themes of the first. This world features four basic constituents stated as i pramata, the knower, ii prameya, the knowables, iii pramana, the process of knowing, and, iv pramiti, the knowledge achieved by the pramana.

Nothing in this world is left out of these broad categories, i. To speak more specifically, all worldly entities must fall either under the category of prameya, the knowables or under pramana, the process of knowing; in fact while we speak or even think about the process of knowing, pramana also happens to fall under the character of prameya. Hence, to take a definite look into this character — prameya, was of utmost importance for the Indian philosophers to get a clear picture of this world. Neo-logicians adopted the Vaisesika theory of padartha and developed it through linguistic elaboration since for them this world appeared to be not only a prameya but also as abhidheya — verbalisable — which was accepted by all the philosophical schools.

Practically, knowability and verbalisability are two basic properties of this world of our experience, and, virtually our experiences tell us how we know and how we express our experiences through language or try to communicate with others. The sacred biographies of Krishna-Caitanya appear to convey a great deal of historical information about the words and actions of their main subject and of hundreds of his followers and other contemporaries.

They also include along the way a number of vignettes, some with political implications, that, if accurate, would extend our knowledge of early sixteenth century Bengal some degrees beyond the intramural affairs of the nascent community of devotees. But how reliable are these texts as records of actual historical persons, words and events? Devotees tend to say very reliable. Scholars tend to divide on the issue with some claiming that theological, devotional, and polemic concerns thoroughly negate the ostensible historicity of the texts.

Related: Vaisnava. There is a striking disparity between the prominence of religious factors in personal and collective life of so much of the population of South Asian countries and the extreme rarity of study and research explicitly on religion in the universities of those same countries. This anomalous disparity has recently become a subject of concern to a number of scholars within South Asia as well as to some elsewhere who focus their own scholarship on religion in South Asia.

This lecture notes several contributory factors European origin, cultural differences, colonial precedents, novelty and lack of teachers, teaching resources and teaching positions but gives primary attention to fear and hostility between religio-political communalist and secularist mentalities and interests as inhibiting academic study of religion.

Related: Religious Studies. Sacred biographies of Visvambhara Misra, aka Krishna-Caitanya, — constitute an unusually ample array of texts that for half a century have provided an enduring basis for an otherwise loosely coordinated community of Vaishnava devotees in Bengal and elsewhere. The Caitanya-caritamrta Nectar-like Acts of Caitanya of Krishnadasa Kaviraja is the culmination of an inter-related series of such texts.

Relying primarily on the Caitanya-caritamrta in the Bengali and Sanskrit original and in its translation by Edward C. When we think of Rabindranath Tagore in relation to the Krishna-Caitanya religio-literary tradition of Bengal, his youthful Bhanusimher Padaboli immediately come to mind, as they should as the most explicit treatments of a Vaishnava theme in all of his immense literary corpus. It then attempts to assess in what ways and to what degree underlying characteristics of Bengali Vaishnava piety and aesthetics may be reflected or rejected, implicitly if not explicitly in the works of the mature Rabindranath.

Related: Literature , Vaisnava.

Tony K. Stewart (Author of Fabulous Females and Peerless P-IRS)

How does one worship a liberated being who is technically inaccessible? In the early ninth through tenth century, temples with shrines containing a life-sized Jina image were hewn out of rock. Among the earliest of these temples is a monument known today as the Chota Kailasa. Though this is technically the case, similarities between these two monuments at Ellora, especially in some of their external imagery, suggest more nuanced connections. Related: Jainism , Temple and Text.

This paper concentrates on how these two respective texts define the two deities. More precisely, this essay focuses on such issues as transcendence and immanence, creative power and play, obedience and love, and the relationship between God and humans. These various themes are examined from the perspective of comparative theology, which can be defined as an articulation of truths and a realization of a more complete knowledge of God in so far as it is possible by means of theology conceived broadly as inter-religious, comparative, dialogical, and confessional.

This paper proposes to use a hermeneutical dialogue, which is an interpretative approach that is intended to lead to better cross-cultural understanding. Such a dialogue is risky because it entails entering the margins between oneself and the other. When the interpreter brings together the representative texts of different traditions, she forms a triadic relationship and dialogue with the context of a marginal situation. Related: Bhagavata , Comparative Theology , Islam. Professor Patrick Olivelle is very well known and highly regarded for his work on early Indian religions.

Among his research interests are ascetic traditions and the history of the idea of dharma. Professor Olivelle teaches at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition
The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition
The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition
The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition
The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition
The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrita and the Grammar of Religious Tradition

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