Narasinha Mehta of Gujarat: A Legacy of Bhakti in Songs and Stories

Paperback | December 2, 2014

byNeelima Shukla-Bhatt

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Exploring medieval manuscripts, Gandhi's writings, and performances in multiple religious and non-religious contexts, Narasinha Mehta of Gujarat demonstrates how over five centuries, performers and audiences of devotional songs and hagiographic narratives associated with the saint-poetNarasinha Mehta have sculpted them into popular sources of moral inspiration. Taking Gandhi's use of these works in his social reconstruction programs as an example, the book suggests that when religious forms such as songs and hagiographies of saint-poets of South Asia acquire dimensions of popularculture, they offer a platform for communication among diverse groups.An illuminating study that provides a vivid picture of the Narasinha tradition, Narasinha Mehta of Gujarat will be a crucial resource for anyone seeking to understand the power of religious performative traditions in popular media.

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Exploring medieval manuscripts, Gandhi's writings, and performances in multiple religious and non-religious contexts, Narasinha Mehta of Gujarat demonstrates how over five centuries, performers and audiences of devotional songs and hagiographic narratives associated with the saint-poetNarasinha Mehta have sculpted them into popular sou...

Neelima Shukla-Bhatt is Associate Professor of South Asia Studies at Wellesley College.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:December 2, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199976422

ISBN - 13:9780199976423

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsPrefaceNote on transliterationIntroductionPart I - Devotion and Aesthetics in the Narasinha Tradition1. Lyrics of Play - Krishna in the Human World2. Lyrics of Awakening - Mysticism and Moral Reflection3. Exemplary Bhakti, Exemplary Singing - Narasinha in Sacred Narratives4. Singing as Bhakti - Musical Performances of Narasinha's SongsPart II - The Narasinha Legacy in Religious and Popular Cultures5. The Saint of the Threshold, the First of Poets - The Narasinha Tradition in Gujarat and Beyond6. A Saint-poet in the Making of a Mahatma - Narasinha Mehta and Gandhi7. Songs and the Saint in Modern Media - Narasinha in Popular CultureConcluding RemarksGlossaryNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This wonderful book explores the life, legend, and after-life of a great poet-saint who profoundly influenced Mahatma Gandhi. A work both of cultural history and aesthetic appreciation, it demonstrates how words and music can play a pivotal role in shaping moral codes as well as socialbehavior. Analytically sharp and elegantly written, this book will be of great interest to literary historians and scholars of South Asia." --Ramachandra Guha, author of Gandhi Before India