Description : This thesis argues that the inscription of bodies is necessary in order to constitute the cosmos, gender and sex. A study of the Vedic cosmogonic mythologies of the deities Purusha and Prajapati illustrates the ways in which sacrifice, as a form of inscription, constitutes the cosmos by ordering and fashioning the boundaries of the bodies of the deities through differentiation and unification. An analysis of samskaras, or consecratory rites of The Law Code of Manu, show that they operate as regulatory norms in order to constitute sex and gender. But the instability and unnaturalness of the categories of gender and sex are exposed when an analysis of the samskara rituals of the bride and student show that performative acts and speech involved in their respective rites are nearly identical. This discussion of bodies, gender and sex is founded on Judith Butler's work to show how bodies, sex, and gender are also social and cultural constructs. In particular, Butler's work with performativity reveals the ways in which performative action and speech acts constitute people through their stylized and strained repetition. It is this repetition that proves to be deceiving as it creates the illusion that sex and gender are inherent to bodies. We discover that the problems maintaining the appearance of these categories is experienced in both the cosmogonic myths and with the wife and student.
Description : All of us have heard about the Vedas, but how many of us know what is there in them?In fact, scriptures and classics of any nation are its true heritage, laying a firm foundation for its people to follow.The Vedas are India s and the world s oldest scriptures, believed to have been directly revealed by God.This book gives a clear and concise account on select aspects of the Vedas, which help dispel ignorance, superstition and false beliefs. the Vedas are replete with guidelines to solve varied problems social, economic, political, scientific, mental or any other.The message of the Vedas holds relevance for anybody and everybody - whether a scientist, politician, or educationist,a parent or a pofessional. Understanding and following the essence of the Vedas ensures a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous life.Some Glimpses:*Birth and essence of Vedas, Vedic Principles:-The Rig Veda contains hymns in praise of all devatas.It also describes the better way of living.-Yajur spells ritualistic procedure of Yagna.-Sama Veda demonstrates how to conquer the enemy with love and conciliatory words.-Atharva Veda contains many hymns to ward of evil and hardship, and to destroy the enemy.*Scientific knowledge and outlook as demonstred by Vedas.The Sun never sets or rises and it is the earth that rotates.(Sama Veda-121)*Vedic Mathematics *Art of Warfare*Prayers and their Rewards in Vedas*Vedic Religion and Indian Society.
Description : There has always been an inherent tension in the Vedic system between the negative affirmative approaches, between life in the world and renunciation. The book explores the manner in which dharma and yoga harmonize the tensing between the inner and the outward. The book goes on explain how Vedic management, through the concepts of dharma and yoga, encourage peace and concord through selflessness and cooperative behavior and the sacrifice of the ego, opinions and strongly held beliefs so as to harmonize with fellow human beings. The Upanishad system which interiorize Vedic through the yogic way of meditation and contemplation is also examined. The book goes on the to delineate the concept of dharmic management as applied to social concerns and the polity. This is through an examination of the dhramashastras and the two epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The yogic system as elaborated by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita is studied to see its impact on managements. The conclusion reached is that Lord Sri Krishan makes management more an art than a science while also making the system flexible and creative. The normative Vedic management system was utilized by Gandhi to set up an organization that toppled one of the mightiest empires known to history. The manner in which this was done is also examined. Some reference form the latest management littérateur are also there and it is left to the reader to decide whether Vedic management is relevant today.
Description : In this book, the author seeks access to Karma's origins by following several clues suggested by the doctrine's earliest formulation in the Upanistexts (circa 600-500 B.C.) These clues lead back to the mythical and ritual structure firmly established in the Brahmana texts, texts concerned with the rituals that chronologically and conceptually precede the UpanisThe rise of the karma doctrine is tied to the increasing dominance in late Vedic thought of the cosmic man (Purusa/Prajapati) mythology and its ritual analogue the "building of the fire altar" (agnicayana).
Description : Kalatattvakosa series of the IGNCA has endeavoured to evolve an important modern device to grasp the essential thought and knowledge system of the Indian tradition. Through an indepth investigation into the primary sources of various disciplines the series aims at facilitating the reader to comprehend the interlocking of different disciplines.
Description : Halbfass (Indian philosophy, U. of Pennsylvania) combines specialized philological and conceptual investigations with general philosophical and comparative reflections to present a history of the ontology of the Vaisesika system, which is commonly considered the lowest of the Vaisesika school, he focuses on the older period up to Udayana, whose work paves the way for Navyanyaya. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Description : This book explores the rise of the Great Goddess by focusing on the development of saakti (creative energy),maya (objective illusion), and prakr(materiality) from Vedic times to the late Puranic period, clarifying how these principles became central to her theology. "I like very much the way in which Pintchman carefully establishes the interrelationships between saakti, maya, and prakrti concepts that might not at first appear to be closely connected. This book nicely reveals their organic integration, an integration that Hindu culture itself recognized and elaborated only gradually over the centuries. She avoids reading later Sakta or Tantric theological ideas back into the earlier literature, yet she convincingly demonstrates how the later ideas are firmly rooted in the ancient traditions. Thus, the book provides the reader with a sense both of the continuities involved in the development of the Great Goddess concept, as well as the major transformations of tradition that such a development entailed." -- C. Mackenzie Brown "There are two complementary, arresting features of this book. One is the broad sweep of the author's inquiry into the history of three concepts that are fundamental to the Great Goddess. She follows a thread of continuity that has never been so crisply delineated. The result is kind of a conceptual "adventure story" told in flashbacks: we know what the mature conception is, as it is now common knowledge. Where it came from makes for very interesting reading. The second striking feature is the provocative, suggestive linking of this history to contemporary issues regarding gender and women." -- Thomas B. Coburn "The author provides a thorough discussion of the main concepts relating to the feminine principle in the intellectual, literary traditions of Hinduism. She shows that goddess worship is not a marginal expression but is central to even the most orthodox elements of Hinduism. She also brings together much far-flung scholarship from India, Europe, and the United States without duplicating any of it." -- Kathleen M. Erndl
Description : The present geopolitical rise of India and China evokes much interest in the comparative study of these two ancient Asian cultures. There are various studies comparing Western and Indian philosophies and religions, and there are similar works comparing Chinese and Western philosophy and religion. However, so far there is no systemic comparative study of Chinese and Indian philosophies and religions. Therefore there is a need to fill this gap. As such, Brahman and Dao: Comparative Studies of Indian and Chinese Philosophy and Religion is a pioneering volume in that it highlights possible bridges between these two great cultures and complex systems of thought, with seventeen chapters on various Indo-Chinese comparative topics. The book focuses on four themes: metaphysics and soteriology; ethics; body, health and spirituality; and language and culture.
Description : Offers alphabetically arranged stories of the revered deities, sacred places, key events and epics of Asia discusses the recurring themes and traditions that make up the varied fabric of Asian mythology.
Description : Eschatology in the Indo-Iranian Traditions traces the roots of the belief in life after death from the earliest religious beliefs of the Indo-European people, through its first textual emergence among the Indo-Iranians. Tracing the Indo-Iranian concepts of the nature and constitution of man, with special reference to the doctrine of the Soul and its transmigration, the book demonstrates the profound nature of the physical, ethical, spiritual, and psychological ideals embodied in these thought systems as preserved in the Indian and Iranian scriptures. The central issue was death and the journey to the afterlife. Exploring the characteristic features of Indo-Iranian religions provides a better understanding of the development of eschatological beliefs in later religions in the same way that the Zoroastrian apocalyptic beliefs point to genetic historical relations among Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam. This comparative study enriches our understanding of the antecedents of afterlife beliefs and creates enthusiasm for further in-depth research into the Indo-Iranian religion as a system, acknowledging its genetic historical connections with both earlier and subsequent traditions. Eschatology in the Indo-Iranian Traditions has wide-ranging appeal to upper undergraduate and graduate courses in comparative religion, Asian studies, philosophy, and Indian and Iranian studies.
Description : Eleven eminent Buddhist studies scholars have contributed essays to this collection, assembled to celebrate the life of the late Sri Lankan scholar, social worker, and meditation master Godwin Samararatne.
Description : Written by one of the world's top scholars in the field of Pali Buddhism, this new and updated edition of How Buddhism Began, discusses various important doctrines and themes in early Buddhism. It takes 'early Buddhism' to be that reflected in the Pali canon, and to some extent assumes that these doctrines reflect the teachings of the Buddha himself. Two themes predominate. Firstly, the author argues that we cannot understand the Buddha unless we understand that he was debating with other religious teachers, notably Brahmins. The other main theme concerns metaphor, allegory and literalism. This accessible, well-written book is mandatory reading for all serious students of Buddhism.
Description : Prasad writes that the Vedas are the oldest written source of theology and, ultimately, the source of all other theological systems. He takes major religious themes--such as good and evil, the afterlife, resurrection and the name used for god in the religions of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and others--and traces them back to the Vedas.
Description : Gavesanam deals with the Vedic discourse on many levels. It is mostly with the Rgvedic and the Yajurvedic texts, that is, with the hymns and the ritual texts, that it does so. The work shows a search for an insight into the highly cultivated poetic mind of the Rsis, which displays mystery and myth, knowledge and secrecy in their creations. The first two chapters illustrate with some clarity the method which is adopted in order to come to grips with a few of the symbolic and metaphorical, mythic and ritualistic texts and lays the foundation for the rest of the essay. The approach is interpretive and, therefore, necessarily speculative. In the main, the procedure is neither classificatory nor descriptive of the texts, since many scholars have done excellent work in this manner. The present exercise highlights the importance of the Vedic Ida, the Vedic World, the Vedic gods and goddesses like the Mitravaruna, Agni, Vak, Visnu, Sarasvat, Soma, and so on, from an interpretive point of view. A few figures make comprehension easier and more concrete. The work as a whole may be considered to be a long essay of progressive approximations, which means that the thoughts that are presented have to be corrected and complemented by further approximations in a truly academic and scientific spirit. Such an effort opens a new way for a better understanding and appreciation of the Vedic and the post-Vedic literature and culture.
Description : In this magisterial volume of essays, Wendy Doniger enhances our understanding of the ancient and complex religion to which she has devoted herself for half a century. This series of interconnected essays and lectures surveys the most critically important and hotly contested issues in Hinduism over 3,500 years, from the ancient time of the Vedas to the present day. The essays contemplate the nature of Hinduism; Hindu concepts of divinity; attitudes concerning gender, control, and desire; the question of reality and illusion; and the impermanent and the eternal in the two great Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Among the questions Doniger considers are: Are Hindus monotheists or polytheists? How can atheists be Hindu, and how can unrepentant Hindu sinners find salvation? Why have Hindus devoted so much attention to the psychology of addiction? What does the significance of dogs and cows tell us about Hinduism? How have Hindu concepts of death, rebirth, and karma changed over the course of history? How and why does a pluralistic faith, remarkable for its intellectual tolerance, foster religious intolerance? Doniger concludes with four concise autobiographical essays in which she reflects on her lifetime of scholarship, Hindu criticism of her work, and the influence of Hinduism on her own philosophy of life. On Hinduism is the culmination of over forty years of scholarship from a renowned expert on one of the world's great faiths.
Description : Puspika 2 is the outcome of the second International Indology Graduate Research Symposium and presents the results of recent research by young scholars into pre-modern South Asian cultures with papers covering a variety of topics related to the intellectual traditions of the region. Focusing on textual sources in the languages in which they were composed, different disciplinary perspectives are offered on intellectual history, linguistics, philosophy, literary criticism and religious studies.
Description : The Israelite world-view was essentially a West Semitic world-view in origin, with additional deeply embedded influences from Egypt and Mesopotamia, though it produced its own distinctive character by way of synthesis and reaction. The essays in this volume explore various aspects of this process, historically and cosmologically, commonly challenging received views developed in the treatment of Israel in isolation.
Description : The work appears in five volumes. Vol. I comprises Buddhist and Jaina Philosophy and the six systems of Hindu thought, viz.., Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisesika, Mimamsa and Vedanta. It also contains the philosophy of the Yogavasistha, the Bhagavadgita and speculations in the medical schools. Vol. III contains an elaborate account of the Principal Dualistic and Pluralistic Systems such as the philosophy of the Pancaratra, Bhaskara, Yamuna, Ramanuja, Nimbarka, Vijnanabhiksu and philosophical speculations of some of the selected Puranas. Vol. IV deals with the Bhagavata Purana, Madhva and his School, Vallabha, Caitanya, Jiva Gosvami and Baladeva Vidyabhusana. Vol. V treats the Southern Schools of Saivism, viz., Saiva Siddhanta, Vira Saivism, philosophy of Srikantha. Saiva Philosophy in the Puranas and in some important texts. In the words of the Oxford Journal 'the collection of data, editing and the interpretation of every school of thought is a feat unparalleled in the field of history of philosophy.'
Description : Encompassing a Fractal World presents a groundbreaking, innovative paradigm which opens up new perspectives for understanding and analyzing Hindu life and culture. This book is an interdisciplinary comparative work which attempts to 'connect the dots', moving beyond isolated local village-based studies in order to bridge the gulf between anthropology and Hindu studies.