The Bhagavata Purana: Sacred Text and Living Tradition

Kobo ebook | April 9, 2013

byRavi M. Gupta, Kenneth R. Valpey

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A vibrant example of living literature, The Bhagavata Purana is a versatile Hindu sacred text containing more than 14,000 Sanskrit verses. Finding its present form around 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 text’s entire twelve volumes.

The Bhagavata Purana is a hard-to-classify embodiment of classical Indian cultural, religious, and philosophical thought. Its language and poetic expression are on par with the best of Sanskrit poetry (kavya), while its narrative structure holds together tightly as a literary work. Its theological message centers on devotion to Krishna and Vishnu, while its philosophical content is grounded solidly in the classical traditions of Vedanta and Samkhya. Each essay in this volume focuses on a key theme of The Bhagavata Purana and its subsequent presence in Hindu dance, music, 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 glossary aids in the understanding of the work. Featuring original, expert scholarship, this volume is an essential companion for courses and research on India, Hinduism, and related topics.

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A vibrant example of living literature, The Bhagavata Purana is a versatile Hindu sacred text containing more than 14,000 Sanskrit verses. Finding its present form around 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 p...

Ravi M. Gupta is associate professor of religious studies at the The College of William and Mary and is the author of The Caitanya Vaisnava Vedanta of Jiva Gosvami: When Knowledge Meets Devotion.Kenneth R. Valpey is a research fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and has been a regular visiting scholar at the Chinese Univers...

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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:April 9, 2013Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231531478

ISBN - 13:9780231531474

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction. Churning the Ocean of L?l?: Themes for Bhagavata Study
Part One: The World of the Bh?gavata
1. Reading: Pur??ic Trekking Along the Path of the Bh?gavatas
2. Time and Narrative: A Ma??ala of Remembrance: The Bh?gavata Pur??a's Time-Transcending Narrative of L?l?
3. Cosmology: Dialogues on Natural Theology: The Bh?gavata Pur??a's Cosmology as Religious Practice
4. Ethics: "May Calamities Befall Us at Every Step": The Bh?gavata's Response to the Problem of Evil
5. Commentary: Vallabha, the Bh?gavata Pur??a, and the Path of Grace
6. Sacred Geography: Vraja-Dh?man: Krishna Embodied in Geographic Place and Transcendent Space
7. Theology: The R?sa L?l? of Krishna and the Gop?s: On the Bh?gavata's Vision of Boundless Love
Part Two: The Bh?gavata in the World
8. Boundaries: Heresies and Heretics in the Bh?gavata Pur??a
9. Dance: Krishna Come Soon: Bharata Natyam and the Bh?gavata Pur??a on Stage
10. Song: Two Braj Bh??? Versions of the R?sa L?l? Pañc?dhy?y? and Their Musical Performance in Vai??ava Worship
11. Recitation:
12. Text History: Modern Reception and Text Migration of the Bh?gavata Pur??a
Bibliography
List of Contributors
Index

Editorial Reviews

A much needed analysis of the [Bhagavata Purana] as a whole? a valuable addition to Bhagavata studies.