Three Bhakti Voices: Mirabai, Surdas, and Kabir in Their Times and Ours

Paperback | July 15, 2012

byJohn Stratton Hawley

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The landscape of North Indian religion was dramatically transformed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by a remarkable family of poet-saints. Among the most famous and beloved of these figures - in India and throughout the world - are Mirabai, Surdas, and Kabir. In this book, JohnStratton Hawley takes a probing look at all three, finding that many of the beliefs and legends surrounding them - even central motifs - emerged long after their deaths. This volume probes the lives, works, beliefs, and legends of three Bhakti poets-Mirabai, Surdas, and Kabir. Analysing the oldest manuscripts across North India, Hawley describes how these poets were heard and perceived in their own day and reveals startling facts about them. Hawley shows that thesepoets are, surprisingly, creations of those who have loved them through the centuries. Weaving in some sixty-five English verse translations, most of them based on early manuscripts, Hawley tells this fascinating story of change and transmission. The new preface updates the research on the field. This book will interest students and scholars of religious studies, medieval Indian history, and informed general readers.

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The landscape of North Indian religion was dramatically transformed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by a remarkable family of poet-saints. Among the most famous and beloved of these figures - in India and throughout the world - are Mirabai, Surdas, and Kabir. In this book, JohnStratton Hawley takes a probing look at all three...

John Stratton Hawley is Professor in the Department of Religion at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 8.46 × 5.51 × 0.01 inPublished:July 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198085397

ISBN - 13:9780198085393

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback EditionPreface to the First EditionTransliteration and AbbreviationPoems Translated, by English TitlePoems Translated, by Hindi TitleIllustrationsIntroductionTHE BHAKTI POET-SAINT1. Author and Authority2. Morality beyond Morality3. The Nirgun/Sagun DistinctionMIRABAI4. Mirabai in Manuscript5. Mirabai as Wife and Yogi6. The Saints Subdued in Amar Chitra Katha7. Krishna and the Gender of LongingSURDAS8. Last Seen with Akbar9. The Early Sursagar and the Growth of the Sur Tradition10. The Verbal Icon - How Literal?11. Sur's Sudama12. Creative Enumeration in Sur's Vinaya Poetry13. Why Surdas Went BlindKABIR14. The Received Kabir: Beginnings to Bly15. Kabir in His Oldest Dated Manuscript16. Vinaya Crossovers: Kabir and Sur17. Bhakti, Democracy, and the Study of ReligionNotesBibliography of Works CitedIndex