Revisiting Bhakti
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Revisiting Bhakti

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Item Code: NAL064
Author: Susmita Pande
Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9789350502365
Pages: 468 (25 B/W and Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9 inch X 6.5 inch
Weight 920 gm
About the Book

The work seeks to establish on the basis of a detailed analysis of the original literature that the true sentiment of bhakti may be traced back to Vedic times and seeks to elucidate the various stages through which it developed and reached its complete maturity in the Bhagavata. It analyzes the obstacles the challenges which stood in the way of this development, whether in the shape of Mimamsa formalism or Vedantic gnosticism or Buddhist impersonalism, and also how these were overcome through the evolving notion of a personal Godhead and its involvement in the history of humanity especially in terms of the doctrine of incarnation. So powerful was this notion of a personal deity deigning to assume a human form that Sankhya and Mimamsa, Vaisesika and Vedanta, all tended to move in a visibly theistic direction and even Buddhism and Jainism remained atheistic more in abstract theory than in concrete practice. The present work thus not only includes the analysis and interpretation of doctrine as well as cult practices but it also essays to go beyond these to discover the subterranean stream of the experience and feeling of bhakti which gradually came to surface and finally swept away obstacles as a mighty river.

The revised and enlarge edition also includes new researches on historiography of Bhakti, Vaisnavism and Pancaratra cult, spiritual humanism of Ramayana, philosophical thoughts in the Siva Purana and fresh light on the date of Lakulisa.

About the Author

Dr. Susmita Pande, D’Litt. was Professor and Head in the School of Studies in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, Vikram University, Ujjain (India) till December 2014. She is at present academic advisor and head of the dept. of History in Atal Bihari Vajpeyee Hindi University, Bhopal.

Her important books include Bhakti: Doctrines, Art & Culture (as in Vaishnava Puranas), Birth of Bhakti in Indian Religions & Art, Mediaeval Bhakti Movement, Samaj, Arthik Vyavastha Evam Dharma, Rajnaitik Itihas Aur Sansthayen and Bhartiya Sanskriti.

She has a number of research articles to her credit which include Articles on various aspects of History, History of Science, Art, Religion and Culture. She has made many Audio-Video Lectures and films on various aspects of Indian culture and heritage for M.P. Bhoj (Open) University, Bhopal. She has been the Editor of many books and also of the research journal, Prachya Pratibha.

She was also associated with the research projects of U.G.C., I.C.H.R. and I.I.A.S. Simla and NMMA, New Delhi.

She has also been the Director of an important excavation at Takrawada (M.P.) where a new chalcolithic site was unearthed.

Preface

While the philosophical systems or religious cults of ancient Indian have received some attention from historians and Indologists, the developments of religious feelings and sentiments in the contexts of the diverse doctrinal and cultural factors influencing and shaping them, has attracted relatively little historical attention. It is not too difficult to describe dogma and ritual in their systematic or crystallized form; to connect them with the fundamental religious experience and feeling from which they spring and which, in turn, they seek to determine, is an exceedingly complex task. We have, thus, the curious situation that while several monographs have been published on the development of Buddhist or Vedantik systems or the Vaisnava or Saiva cults, the development of religious feeling as an inalienable aspect of the human heart underlying all these various facets of thought and tradition still remains a subject of considerable obscurity. In fact, it is a widely current notion that ancient Indian religion fell between the two tools of impressionistic intellectualism on the one hand and the superstitious ritualism and mythology of polytheistic cults on the other. It has even been held that the development of the true religious of the heart, of bhakti, really belongs to medieval India, presumably of Islam, if not Christianity.

The present work seeks to establish on the basis of a detailed analysis of the original literature that the true sentiments of bhakti may be traced back to Vedic times and seeks to elucidate the various through which it developed and reached its complete maturity in the Bhagavata. It analyzes the obstacles and challenges which stood in the way of this development, whether in the shape of Mimamsa Formalism, or Vedantic Gnosticism or Buddhist Impersonalism, and also how these were overcome through the evolving notion of a personal Godhead and its involvement in the history of humanity especially in terms of the doctrine of Incarnation. So powerful was this notion of a personal deity deigning to assume a human form, that Sankhya and Mimamsa, Vaisesika and Vedanta, all tended to move in a visibly theistic more in abstract theory than in concrete practice. The present work thus includes the analysis and interpretation of doctrine as well as cult practices but it essays to go beyond these to discover the subterranean stream of the experience and feeling of bhakti which gradually came to the surface and finally swept eery obstacle as a mighly river.

Contents

Preface
1The idea of Bhakti1
2Bhakti in the Vedas and Upanisads10
3Bhakti in the Epics49
4Bhakti in the Gita77
5Bhakti in Buddhism107
6Contribution of the Pancaratra Literature135
7Contribution of the Alvars and Nayanars165
8Bhakti in the Puranas, Especially the Bhagavata207
9Contribution of Sankara and Ramanuja260
10Bhakti in Relation to Art278
Appendix309
Bibliography415
Index430
Plates433
Sample Pages





















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