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Hindu Studies Book Series - Routledge

Deepak Sarma
28 October 2004
Epistemologies and the Limitations of Philosophical Inquiry: Doctrine in Madhva Vedanta

Deepak Sarma explores the degree to which outsiders can understand and interpret the doctrine of the Màdhva school of Vedànta. The school is based on insider epistemology which is so restrictive that few can learn its intricate doctrines. This book reveals the complexity of studying traditions based on insider epistemologies and encourages its audience to ponder both the value and the hazards of granting any outsider the authority and opportunity to derive important insights into a tradition as an insider.

John Taber
7 January 2005
A Hindu Critique of Buddhist Epistemology: Kumarila on Perception: The 'Determination of Perception' Chapter of Kumarila Bhatta's Slokavarttika -Translation and Commentary

This is a translation of the chapter on perception of Kumarilabhatta's magnum opus, the Slokavarttika, one of the central texts of the Hindu response to the criticism of the logical-epistemological school of Buddhist thought. In an extensive commentary, the author explains the course of the argument from verse to verse and alludes to other theories of classical Indian philosophy and other technical matters. Notes to the translation and commentary go further into the historical and philosophical background of Kumarila's ideas. The book provides an introduction to the history and the development of Indian epistemology, a synopsis of Kumarila's work and an analysis of its argument.

Jacqueline G. Suthren Hirst
13 April 2005
Samkara's Advaita Vedanta: A Way of Teaching

Samkara (c.700 CE) has been regarded by many as the most authoritative Hindu thinker of all time. A great Indian Vedantin brahmin, Samkara was primarily a commentator on the sacred texts of the Vedas and a teacher in the Advaitin teaching line. This book provides an introduction to Samkara's thought which takes this as a central theme. The author develops an innovative approach based on Samkara's ways of interpreting sacred texts and creatively examines the profound interrelationship between sacred text, content and method in Samkara's thought. The main focus of the book is on Samkara's teaching method. This method is, for Samkara, based on the Upanishads' own; it is to be employed by Advaitin teachers to draw pupils skilfully towards that realisation which is beyond all words. Consequently, this book will be of interest not only to students and scholars of Indian philosophy, but to all those interested in the relation between language and that, which is held to transcend it.

Kenneth Russell Valpey
21 April 2006
Attending Krishna's Image: Chaitanya Vaishnava Murti-seva as Devotional Truth

There is a steady and growing scholarly, as well as popular interest in Hindu religion – especially devotional (bhakti) traditions as forms of spiritual practice and expressions of divine embodiment. Associated with this is the attention to sacred images and their worship.

Attending Krishna's Image extends the discussion on Indian images and their worship, bringing historical and comparative dimensions and considering Krishna worship in the context of modernity, both in India and the West. It focuses on one specific worship tradition, the Chaitanya Vaishnava tradition of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, as it develops and sustains itself in two specific locales. By applying the comparative category of ‘religious truth’, the book provides a comprehensive understanding of a living religious tradition. It successfully demonstrates the understanding of devotion as a process of participation with divine embodiment in which worship of Krishna’s image is integral.
Sanjukta Gupta
24 August 2006
Advaita Vedanta and Vaisnavism: The Philosophy of Madhusudana Sarasvati

In Indian philosophy and theology, the ideology of Vedanta occupies an important position. Hindu religious sects accept the Vedantic soteriology, which believes that there is only one conscious reality, Brahman from which the entire creation, both conscious and non-conscious, emanated.

Madhusudana Sarasvati, who lived in sixteenth century Bengal and wrote in Sanskrit, was the last great thinker among the Indian philosophers of Vedanta. During his time, Hindu sectarians, rejected monistic Vedanta. Although a strict monist, Madhusudana tried to make a synthesis between his monistic philosophy and his theology of emotional love for God.
Sanjukta Gupta provides the only comprehensive study of Madhusudana Sarasvati's thought. She explores the religious context of his extensive and difficult works, offering invaluable insights into Indian philosophy and theology.
Mikel Burley
26 October 2006
Classical Samkhya and Yoga: An Indian Metaphysics of Experience

Samkhya and Yoga are two of the oldest and most influential systems of classical Indian philosophy. This book provides a thorough analysis of the systems in order to fully understand Indian philosophy. Placing particular emphasis on the metaphysical schema which underlies both concepts, the author adeptly develops a new interpretation of the standard views on Samkhya and Yoga.

Drawing upon existing sources and using insights from both Eastern and Western philosophy and religious practice, this comprehensive interpretation is respectful to the underlying spiritual purpose of the Indian systems. It serves to illuminate the relation between the theoretical and practical dimensions of Samkhya and Yoga. The book fills a gap in current scholarship and will be of interest to those concerned with Indology as well as philosophies in general and their similarities and differences with other traditions.
Srilata Raman
20 December 2006
Self-Surrender (prapatti) to God in Shrivaishnavism: Tamil Cats or Sanskrit Monkeys?

Filling the most glaring gap in Shrivaishnava scholarship, this book deals with the history of interpretation of a theological concept of self-surrender-prapatti in late twelfth and thirteenth century religious texts of the Shrivaishnava community of South India. This original study shows that medieval sectarian formation in its theological dimension is a fluid and ambivalent enterprise, where conflict and differentiation are presaged on "sharing", whether of a common canon, saint or rituals or two languages (Tamil and Sanskrit), or of a "meta-social" arena such as the temple.

Srilata Mueller, a member of the Shrivaishnava community, argues that the core ideas of prapatti in these religious texts reveal the description of a heterogeneous theological concept. Demonstrating that this concept is theologically moulded by the emergence of new literary genres, Mueller puts forward the idea that this original understanding of prapatti is a major contributory cause to the emergence of sectarian divisions among the Shrivaishnavas, which lead to the formation of two sub-sects, the Tenkalai and the Vatakalia, who stand respectively, for the "cat" and "monkey" theological positions.
Making an important contribution to contemporary Indian and Hindu thinking on religion, this text provides a new intellectual history of medieval Indian religion. It will be of particular interest to scholars of Shrivaishnava and also Hindu and Indian religious studies.
Ravi M. Gupta
30 March 2007
The Chaitanya Vaishnava Vedanta of Jiva Gosvami: When Knowledge Meets Devotion

The Chaitanya Vaishnava tradition is famous for its depth of devotion to Krishna, the blue-hued Deity. Chaitanya Vaishnavas are known for having refined the practice and aesthetics of devotion into a sophisticated science. This imposing devotional edifice was constructed upon a solid foundation of philosophical argument and understanding. In this book, Ravi Gupta sheds new light on the contribution of Chaitanya Vaishnavism to the realm of Indian philosophy. He explores the hermeneutical tools employed, the historical resources harnessed, the structure of the arguments made, and the relative success of the endeavor. For most schools of Vaishnavism, the supporting foundation consists of the philosophical resources provided by Vedanta. The Chaitanya tradition is remarkable in its ability to engage in Vedantic discourse and at the same time practice an ecstatic form of devotion to Krishna. The prime architect of this balance was the scholar-devotee Jiva Gosvami (ca. 1517 - 1608). This book analyses Jiva Gosvami's writing concerning the philosophy of the Vedanta tradition. It concludes that Jiva's writing crosses 'disciplinary boundaries', for he brought into dialogue four powerful streams of classical Hinduism: the various systems of Vedanta, the ecstatic bhakti movements, the Puranic commentarial tradition, and the aesthetic rasa theory of Sanskrit poetics. With training in and commitments to all of these traditions, Jiva Gosvami produced a distinctly Chaitanya Vaishnava system of theology.

Simon Brodbeck (ed), Brian Black (ed)
24 July 2007
Gender and Narrative in the Mahabharata

The Sanskrit Mahabharata is one of the most important texts to emerge from the Indian cultural tradition. At almost 75,000 verses it is the longest poem in the world, and throughout Indian history it has been hugely influential in shaping gender and social norms. In the context of ancient India, it is the definitive cultural narrative in the construction of masculine, feminine and alternative gender roles.

This book brings together many of the most respected scholars in the field of Mahabharata studies, as well as some of its most promising young scholars. By focusing specifically on gender constructions, some of the most innovative aspects of the Mahabharata are highlighted. Whilst taking account of feminist scholarship, the contributors see the Mahabharata as providing an opportunity to frame discussion of gender in literature not just in terms of the socio-historical roles of men and women. Instead they analyze the text in terms of the wider poetic and philosophical possibilities thrown up by the semiotics of gendering. Consequently, the book bridges a gap in text-critical methodology between the traditional philological approach and more recent trends in gender and literary theory.
Gender and Narrative in the Mahabharata will be appreciated by readers interested in South Asian studies, Hinduism, religious studies and gender studies.
Mark Singleton (ed.), Jean Byrne (ed.)
31 March 2008
Yoga in the Modern World: Contemporary Perspectives

Today yoga is a thoroughly globalised phenomenon. Yoga has taken the world by storm and is even seeing renewed popularity in India. Both in India and abroad, adults, children and teenagers are practicing yoga in diverse settings; gyms, schools, home, work, yoga studios and temples. The yoga diaspora began well over a hundred years ago and we continue to see new manifestations and uses of Yoga in the modern world.

As the first of its kind this collection draws together cutting edge scholarship in the field, focusing on the theory and practice of yoga in contemporary times. Offering a range of perspectives on yoga's contemporary manifestations, it maps the movement, development and consolidation of yoga in global settings. The collection features some of the most well-known authors within the field and newer voices. The contributions span a number of disciplines in the humanities, including, anthropology, Philosophy, Studies in Religion and Asian studies, offering a range of entry points to the issues involved in the study of the subject. As such, is of use to those involved in academic scholarship, as well as to the growing number of yoga practitioners who seek a deeper account of the origin and significance of the techniques and traditions they are engaging with. It will also-and perhaps most of all-speak to the growing numbers of 'scholar-practitioners' who straddle these two realms.
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