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Sucaruvadadesika (A Festschrift Honoring Professor Theodore Riccardi)

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Item Code: NAM649
Author: Todd Lewis Bruce McCoy Owens
Publisher: Himal Books, Nepal
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9789937597135
Pages: 410 (11 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 9.0 inch x 6.0 inch
Weight 590 gm
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Book Description

About the Book

Sucaruvadadesika- a very beloved/ beautiful/ delightful teacher/ guide whose speech/music of delightful- honors Professor Theodore Riccarde, Jr. of Columbia University through contributions by various of his students and colleagues. Professor Riccardi was known to them as an intellectual who studied, taught, mentored and served through the many years of his engagement with Nepal. The contributors of this volume reflect a range of academic expertise, moral engagement and artistic inspiration that he commanded among students, peers and colleagues, which they had tried to express in this festschrift.



The initiative to honor Professor Theodore Riccardi, Jr of Columbia University began in 2009 with a request for his permission to do so, and then an effort to identify a list of his main students and academic colleagues dating back to his starting to teach in the Middle East Language and Cultures Department in 1968 until his retirement in 2000. Even with internet search tools and e-mail, locating everyone took many month; and it took much longer to get contributions from those expressing the intention to be part of this festschrift, some coming in the final days when the manuscript went to press in Kathmandu in the fall of 2013.

In the course of this volume coming together, Ted requested that we not compile the usual bibliography of his career publications, nor compose an academic biography to ornament this festschrift. A one- page introduction was all he wished for.

Having agreed to this request, we feel that it in nonetheless necessary to at least explain the Sanskrit title of this volume, one suggested by his former student Christian Wedemeyer, who is now a professor at the University of Chicago.

Sucaruvadadesika is a compound term that literally means “very beloved/beautiful/delightful/(sucaru) teacher/guide (desaka) whose speech/music(vada) is delightful.” This title in Sanskrit characteristically contains within its parts a wealth of alternative readings that brilliantly capture the many qualities and dimensions of the virtuoso whom we are honoring.

Drawing classical polysemy to cast a penumbra of meaning, one can read the title as Sucaruvada-desika to yield:

“guide to delightful languages” (since Ted taught many of us Sanskrit and/or Nepali);

“teacher [whose] music/language/argumentation is delightful,” or “one who is at home with melodious music” (capturing his musicianship)

Reading alternatively as Sucaru-vadadesika, we can assign the title also as “beloved teacher of intellectual controversy” (especially true in his postmodernist turn), “esteemed teacher of languages;” or “one who is delightful in his knowledge of music.”

One more: since desika can also be a noun meaning “knower of places (desa),” we can read “one who is an expert on a region of beautiful languages” to make the connection to South Asia and especially Nepal.

As all of his students and close academic colleagues know, just as Ted’s identity was that of an intellectual who studied, taught, mentored, and served, his soul has always been drawn to Nepal and is that of a virtuoso musician.

The contributors to this volume reflect the astounding breadth of academic expertise, moral engagement, and artistic inspiration our dear maestro professor commanded in students, peers, and colleagues. This festschrift is our attempt to express the respect, love and thanks for his role in our own journeys.




Acknowledgements ix
Introduction xi  
I. Homages and Loves Songs
Love Does not Look for Caste 3  
A Song for the Gentle- Souled Guru 10  
The Good Fortune of a Teacher: Reflection Approaching Wholeness 15  
Meetings with a Remarkable Man, Chittadhar Hridaya 18  
An Unpublished Interview with Chittadhar Hridaya in 1975 23  
II. Revealing Histories and Recovering Voices
Yogacara Prehistory: The Interpretation of Bhava, Svabhava, Abhinispanna and Parinispanna in a Gandhari Scholastic Text 37  
The God Is Gone 75  
Considerations of Tebeto-Burman Scripts in Himalayan Cultural History 83  
India's Nietzsche: The Supermen in the East 95  
Accounting for Ritual in the Kathmandu Valley 105  
The Sanskrit Poets "Voice" in Legend and History 116  
An Initial Evaluation of the Relationship between Two Great Sa sakya Masters- Go rams pa and Globo Mkhan chen- As Viewed through Their Commentaries on Sa skya Pandita's Tshad ma rigs gter 141  
III. Identity, Argument, and Resistance
The Yoga Tradition's Arguments against Buddhism 165  
The Wheels of Karma Turn Slowly: Indian Buddhist Deployments of the Medical in Gender Construction 184  
The Contractor, the Duke, the Prime Minister and the Village: Exploitation and Resistance in Nineteenth- Century Rural Nepal 198  
The Mina Becomes a Demon: Crafting Tribal Identity in Contemporary India 212  
Ritual as Theatre: the Theatrical Dimension of the Indra Jatra Festival (Nepal) 224  
Sex, Death, and "Reform" in Eleventh-century Tibetan Buddhist Esotericism 240  
Encountering Identity and Difference in Nepal: A Reflection 261  
IV. Translation
Indravati: Chapter from a Translation in Progress 271  
Translation of "The Ordinariness of a Day" by Indra Bahadur Rai 283  
An Introduction to Chandragomin's Sisyalekha 290  
Two Ancient Newari Words 305  
V. Beyond Asia
The Society of Silence in the Solitude of Revolt 321  
Globalization, World Citizenship, and Religious Studies: Liberal Arts Education in the 21st Century 330  
"Refugees Wish They had Your problem": Two Dinka "Lost Boys" from Southern Sudan 340  
From Hyderabad to Florence: Documenting Transmission of Science 350  
The Mystery of the Aniconic Theory 363  
From Ancient Nepal to digital Himalaya: Meditations on History, Technology and Access 367  
Languages Services in New York Pharmacies: Problems and Progress 379  
Contributors 387  


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