Medieval Indian Mindscapes

Medieval Indian Mindscapes

Author: Eugenia Vanina

Publisher: Primus Books

ISBN: 9789380607191

Category: History

Page: 345

View: 473

Medieval Indian Mindscapes: Space, Time, Society, Man centres on how Indians in pre-colonial times perceived their world. It compares the specific features of their 'mental programmes' with that of their counterparts in other pre-modern societies. While analysing the importance of space in the medieval world view, the book discusses how medieval Indians comprehended their territories and the landscape as 'their own' vis-a-vis the 'alien' space; the development of territorial-cultural and territorial-political identities, and knowledge about other lands and peoples. In a discussion of medieval temporality, the book also studies the ways of perceiving and reckoning time, attitudes to the historical past and the manifold ways of recording it. A special chapter on 'Society' deals with socio-ethical values and behavioural stereotypes of major estate and caste groups like the feudal landlords, priests and officials, merchants and craftsmen, peasants and the lower castes in villages. The book also has a chapter on the medieval Indian perception of Man, his appearance and peculiarities as they pertained to the age; behaviour, social status, and the steady development of individuality. Medieval Indian Mindscapes will be of interest to medievalists as well as general readers, keen to know more about the dynamics of pre-modern history and culture.

The Ocean of the Rivers of Story, Volume One

The Ocean of the Rivers of Story, Volume One

Author: Somadeva

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 9780814788165

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 562

View: 485

The name of Soma·deva's eleventh-century Ocean of the Rivers of Stories is no boast: in more than 20,000 verses it tells more than 250 tales. The reader has only to enjoy being swept away in the flood of stories, said to spring from that source of so much classical Indian literature, "The Long Story"--Publisher description.

Kiss of the Yogini

Kiss of the Yogini

Author: David Gordon White

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226027838

Category: Religion

Page: 391

View: 414

For those who wonder what relation actual Tantric practices bear to the "Tantric sex" currently being marketed so successfully in the West, David Gordon White has a simple answer: there is none. Sweeping away centuries of misunderstandings and misrepresentations, White returns to original texts, images, and ritual practices to reconstruct the history of South Asian Tantra from the medieval period to the present day. Kiss of the Yogini focuses on what White identifies as the sole truly distinctive feature of South Asian Tantra: sexualized ritual practices, especially as expressed in the medieval Kaula rites. Such practices centered on the exchange of powerful, transformative sexual fluids between male practitioners and wild female bird and animal spirits known as Yoginis. It was only by "drinking" the sexual fluids of the Yoginis that men could enter the family of the supreme godhead and thereby obtain supernatural powers and transform themselves into gods. By focusing on sexual rituals, White resituates South Asian Tantra, in its precolonial form, at the center of religious, social, and political life, arguing that Tantra was the mainstream, and that in many ways it continues to influence contemporary Hinduism, even if reformist misunderstandings relegate it to a marginal position. Kiss of the Yogini contains White's own translations from over a dozen Tantras that have never before been translated into any European language. It will prove to be the definitive work for persons seeking to understand Tantra and the crucial role it has played in South Asian history, society, culture, and religion.

Organicism as Reenchantment

Organicism as Reenchantment

Author: James Kirk

Publisher: Peter Lang Pub Incorporated

ISBN: STANFORD:36105009576104

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 160

View: 162

"Organicism as Reenchantment" explores how an organic metaphor for nature, based on the insights of philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, provides a basis for revitalizing the dialogue between the sciences and the humanities. The book examines the scientific work of Nobel laureate Ilja Prigogine and the novels of John Barth, and argues that the stories humans tell evolve in a manner strikingly similiar to nonlinear, physical systems. The author contends that literature is an external manifestation of the internal relations of nature, providing insight into the fundamental structure of reality.

The Loom Of Time

The Loom Of Time

Author: Kalidasa

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 9789351180104

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 344

View: 708

Kalidasa is the greatest poet and playwright in classical Sanskrit literature and one of the greatest in world literature. Kalidasa is said to have lived and composed his work at the close of the first millennium BC though his dates have not been conclusively established. In all, seven of his works have survived: three plays, three long poems and an incomplete epic. Of these, this volume offers, in a brilliant new translation, his two most famous works"the play Sakuntala, a beautiful blend of romance and fairy tale with elements of comedy; and Meghadutam (The Cloud Messenger), the many-layered poem of longing and separation. Also included is Rtusamharam (The Gathering of the Seasons), a much-neglected poem that celebrates the fulfillment of love and deserves to be known better. Taken together, these works provide a window to the remarkable world and work of a poet of whom it was said: -Once, when poets were counted, Kalidasa occupied the little finger; the ring finger remains unnamed true to its name; for his second has not been found

The Alchemical Body

The Alchemical Body

Author: David Gordon White

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226894991

Category: History

Page: 620

View: 218

Beginning in the fifth century A.D., various Indian mystics began to innovate a body of techniques with which to render themselves immortal. These people called themselves Siddhas, a term formerly reserved for a class of demigods, revered by Hindus and Buddhists alike, who were known to inhabit mountaintops or the atmospheric regions. Over the following five to eight hundred years, three types of Hindu Siddha orders emerged, each with its own specialized body of practice. These were the Siddha Kaula, whose adherents sought bodily immortality through erotico-mystical practices; the Rasa Siddhas, medieval India's alchemists, who sought to transmute their flesh-and-blood bodies into immortal bodies through the ingestion of the mineral equivalents of the sexual fluids of the god Siva and his consort, the Goddess; and the Nath Siddhas, whose practice of hatha yoga projected the sexual and laboratory practices of the Siddha Kaula and Rasa Siddhas upon the internal grid of the subtle body. For India's medieval Siddhas, these three conjoined types of practice led directly to bodily immortality, supernatural powers, and self-divinization; in a word, to the exalted status of the semidivine Siddhas of the older popular cults. In The Alchemical Body, David Gordon White excavates and centers within its broader Indian context this lost tradition of the medieval Siddhas. Working from a body of previously unexplored alchemical sources, he demonstrates for the first time that the medieval disciplines of Hindu alchemy and hatha yoga were practiced by one and the same people, and that they can only be understood when viewed together. Human sexual fluids and the structures of the subtle body aremicrocosmic equivalents of the substances and apparatus manipulated by the alchemist in his laboratory. With these insights, White opens the way to a new and more comprehensive understanding of the entire sweep of medieval Indian mysticism, within the broader context of south Asian Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam. This book is an essential reference for anyone interested in Indian yoga, alchemy, and the medieval beginnings of science.