The Bhagavata Purana: Selected Readings

Paperback | November 29, 2016

byRavi GuptaEditorRavi Gupta

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Formalized by the tenth century, the expansive Bhagavata Purana resists easy categorization. While the narrative holds together as a coherent literary work, its language and expression compete with the best of Sanskrit poetry. The text's theological message focuses on devotion to Krishna or Vishnu, and its philosophical outlook is grounded in the classical traditions of Vedanta and Samkhya. No other Purana has inspired so much commentary, imitation, and derivation. The work has grown in vibrancy through centuries of performance, interpretation, worship, and debate and has guided the actions and meditations of elite intellectuals and everyday worshippers alike.

This annotated translation and detailed analysis shows how one text can have such enduring appeal. Key selections from the Bhagavata Purana are faithfully translated, while all remaining sections of the Purana are concisely summarized, providing the reader with a continuous and comprehensive narrative. Detailed endnotes explain unfamiliar concepts and several essays elucidate the rich philosophical and religious debates found in the Sanskrit commentaries. Together with the multidisciplinary readings contained in the companion volume The Bhagavata Purana: Sacred Text and Living Tradition (Columbia, 2013), this book makes a central Hindu masterpiece more accessible to English-speaking audiences and more meaningful to scholars of Hindu literature, philosophy, and religion.

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Formalized by the tenth century, the expansive Bhagavata Purana resists easy categorization. While the narrative holds together as a coherent literary work, its language and expression compete with the best of Sanskrit poetry. The text's theological message focuses on devotion to Krishna or Vishnu, and its philosophical outlook is gro...

Ravi M. Gupta is the Charles Redd Chair of Religious Studies at Utah State University. He is the author of The Caitanya Vaishnava Vedanta of Jiva Gosvami: When Knowledge Meets Devotion (2007), editor of Caitanya Vaisnava Philosophy (2014), and coeditor, with Kenneth R. Valpey, of The Bhagavata Purana: Sacred Text and Living Tradition ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:328 pagesPublished:November 29, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231169019

ISBN - 13:9780231169011

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Table of Contents

Foreword, by C. Mackenzie BrownPrefaceIntroductionBook OneBook TwoBook ThreeBook FourBook FiveBook SixBook SevenBook EightBook NineBook TenBook ElevenBook TwelveCommentarial ExcursionsNotesGlossaryReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

The Bhagavata Purana is an enormously important text in the religious landscape of Hindu India. It is also a text that is very difficult to translate. Ravi Gupta and Kenneth Valpey have performed a huge service by producing an eminently readable and scholarly translation of vital selections of the Bhagavata Purana that will be very useful for those interested in this essential scripture. This volume contains the Bhagavata's most popular narratives that are commemorated in widespread artwork and religious commentaries, and knits them together with very effective summaries of the untranslated portions. Along with its informative introduction, the overall result gives handy and accurate access to a text that many initial readers find unwieldy.