Cross-cultural encounters often happen through cross-border journeys. Neela Bhattacharya Saxena, an English professor, takes the reader through such travel in Absent Mother God of the West. This is a work that stands at the intersection of many disciplines, such as women's and gender studies, anthropology, religious studies, cultural history, and environmental studies. Best of all, it is an engaging read. In the author's words, in "this book a personal journey takes the shape of a public discourse". This volume is a (...) reflection of the understanding of the echoes of personal devotion to the Divine Feminine in some of the world's major religions.Saxena brings to mind the multi-layered deeply philosophical... (shrink)
Indian philosophy has been often denied the official designation of “philosophy,” and many academics around the world have dismissed it as vague theology, at best. The main reason for such a relegation has been the inaccessibility of the languages in which the source texts were written. This problem was aggravated by the lack of readable English translations. Though, beginning in the nineteenth century many books on Indian philosophy have been written in English, most of them are inaccessible to scholars outside (...) the tradition, both in language and approach. If Indian philosophy is to be taken seriously, and if academics and lay alike have to benefit from the treasures hidden therein, it is necessary that the original concepts and theories are made more accessible and understandable—even to the beginner. An Introduction to Indian Philosophy is a welcome step in this direction. (shrink)
A unique aspect of this book is that it ventures into an analysis of the extant translations of the Rashtrapalapariprichchha Sutra. Delineating the shortcomings of these translations, Boucher gives a new translation based on Sanskrit and Chinese texts of the sutra. We are reminded that translations differ not only because of the target language but also because of the milieu from which the translation is done. The new annotated translation of the Rashtrapalapariprichchha Sutra is lucid and an easy read. Boucher (...) deserves praise for retaining the original ethos in the English idiom. (shrink)
This book is also a call to situate Eastern religious traditions in their own framework, not borrowing from Western scholarly paradigms and also not being apologetic to the Western ideas of life, religion, and the beyond. Written in an engaging and informative style, this book would be interesting to both scholars and ordinary readers.
This work is an intersection of gender studies, philosophy, culture studies, with pertinent aspects of subjectivity. Anyone interested in any of these fields or connected with the humanities should read this book to understand that the ‘non-philosophical discourse implies a constitutive entanglement of the real with the transcendental’ (146).
The author tries to interpret their commentaries on the Gita to ‘develop two competing visions of the relationship between metaphysics and theology, and therefore of how one may relate inquiry to faith’ (xx). In this task, the author has been remarkably successful and he also gives us a wonderful comparative study of Shankara and Ramanuja. Anyone interested in these two thinkers should definitely read this volume.
This book aims to give a better understanding of dharma through an extraordinarily exhaustive account of both the word and the concept through an incisive analysis of Vedic, Buddhist, Puranic, Smriti, and bhakti texts, and even some works of literature.
This book has a topic-wise listing of different aspects of the culture and heritage of Kashmiri Pandits, who have been deprived of their native land because of militancy. This is a timely publication to document the fast disappearing records of the contributions of Kashmiri Pandits.
The author could have shown the other perspective also where fate or fortune is proclaimed to be in the hands of a person. It is notable that almost all of the translations and works she cites are by authors from outside the Indian tradition, with a Semitic bearing on their thought. The author comes a bit too strongly and without sufficient background material, in brushing aside as inconsequential, years of thought and philosophising in the Indian tradition. However, no Eastern tradition (...) gives a concrete validity to the existence of heaven and hell, and they are just some flavours in the religious stories and anecdotes, of which Puranas form a major part. Heaven, hell, fate, and fatalism are pronouncedly Semitic concepts. Had the author presented a balanced view, this book had the potential to become a remarkable work. (shrink)
This book documents the sublime and deep thoughts of great people worldwide on Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. While some had the privilege of meeting these divine personages, others have been deeply influenced by their life and teachings. A revised edition of the earlier book, this volume contains much new material like facsimiles of the tributes of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore.
Marion explores the possibility of a God who would not be, who would not have a being. He sees God in agape, Christian charity, or love and obviates the need for imagining or positing the existence or being of God. Th e second edition and a translation of the original French, this book is a volume in the series Religion and Postmodernism brought out by the University of Chicago Press.
This book is a compilation of various articles published in the special issue of the English journal 'The Vedanta Kesari' of December 2002. Many monks and other thinkers have put forth their ideas on various methods to organise our lives.
The book under review is a compilation of various accounts of the stay of Sri Sarada Devi, and Swamis Vivekananda, Brahmananda, Shivananda, Ramakrishnananda, Abhedananda, Vijnanananda, Subodhananda, Niranjanananda, Turiyananda, Trigunatitananda, and Premananda in the city.
This anthology is divided into two parts: religious laughter and laughing at religion. Caricature of religion through cartoons and the consequent politics is also examined through an analysis of Greek history. That guilelessness and simplicity are core spiritual values and spirituality has a close connection with humour is well established through this work.
The present book is a painstaking labour of love displaying a selection of the Tamil discourses of Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal, the 68th pontiff of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Kanchipuram, one of the great Hindu religious leaders of the last century. These discourses have been translated into English, edited, and topically arranged. The editor deserves special commendation for this marvellous work which has been culled from a transcript of more than 6,500 pages.
This book aims to see how the victim and the ‘identity of the Real’ are wedded to philosophers and intellectuals. Towards this aim Laruelle does not ‘leave philosophy to its own authority’ just as he does not ‘leave theology or religious beliefs to their own authorities’ (119).
This book is a new translation of Jivanmukti Viveka by Vidyaranya by Swami Harshananda, Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore. This translation is lucid and helps one to understand clearly the various subtle nuances of the original Sanskrit text. The original translation was into Kannada, which has been translated into English by H Ramachandra Swamy.
Drawing from the results of various case studies conducted in India, Japan, China, Korea, and New York, the author focuses on the cultural interplay of Asian and American individualities. T is century has also witnessed barbarous acts of terrorism. Taking the partition of India and Pakistan and the 9/11 tragedy as his points of departure, he traces the trauma and dissociation these events entailed.
The ninth volume contains ahnikas, divisions, forty-two to forty-seven, and the tenth volume contains ahnikas forty-eight to fifty-six. Each Panini sutra is followed by the relevant bhashya, commentary, and the varttika, annotation, of Vararuchi. Each volume has indexes of the sutras, varttikas, nyayas, paribhashas, and important Sanskrit and English words.
In five articles Swami Nikhilananda shows the eternal nature of the soul, its three states, and the real nature of Being. Lucidly written, the book brings modern motifs to elucidate traditional beliefs. An appendix of quotations from the Bhagavadgita and Upanishads and an index adds to its value.
The present book attempts to look out for management lessons in Holy Mother’s life. The author is a disciple of Sri Akshaya Chaitanya who was himself a disciple and biographer of Holy Mother. This book is thus a product of inspired effort. Various facets of the Holy Mother’s personality have been traced through incidents from her life and these have been classified into different sections such as planning, organisation, motivation, leadership, decision-making, communication, and inspiration.
The author places this book as the last of a trilogy of which his Philosophy and the Turn to Religion and Religion and Violence are the first two. In a fresh approach to religious philosophy, de Vries brings to us the similarities in the thoughts of Adorno and Levinas, and shows us how taken together, they have much deeper impact, than considered separately. That the author discussed this book with Emmanuel Levinas in person adds authenticity to the work.
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak asked a question in 1988: ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ That question was the expression of a lifetime of observation of the marginalised and witnessing of attempts to civilise the ‘aborigine’. Eventually, this question led to A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (CPR) in 1999. A seminal work, this book unsettled and reoriented the thoughts of scholars, brought up new questions and insights, and the very construct of civilisation and culture was challenged. (...) In 2000 a group of scholars, of whom many were Gayatri’s students—the first name of the celebrated thinker is being used in this review in keeping with her radical spirit—came together as a panel in the annual meeting of the International Association for Philosophy and Literature at Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York, to deliberate on CPR. The panel discussions were engaging and elicited extraordinary response. This encouraged the publication of the proceedings as a special symposium in 2002 in the journal Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. The present book is a result of further working on these proceedings for more than a decade. (shrink)
This slim yet elegant volume begins with accounts of Cicero and Alexander, and continues with the story of a millionaire who wanted to save for the next six generations, a rich man who broke caste barriers through a meal, a farmer who protected his cows transcending religious boundaries, a widow who lived frugally to save for digging a well in her village, dacoits who were more conscious of their reputation than others, a simpleton but generous person who gave up his (...) family share to avoid disputes, and a boy who is compelled to steal to feed his ailing mother; and ends with legendary accounts of Dronacharya and Tansen. (shrink)
This review is about a book by an Indian Institute of Technology graduate, Rahul Banerjee recounting his experiences of leaving a lucrative career to work among the bhils, tribals of Madhya Pradesh, India. This book talks about the cultural and social invasion going on in the name of civilisation.
In this collection of the Einstein Lectures delivered by the author at the University of Bern in December 2011, we find succinct and striking arguments that try to distinguish the debates on God from those on religion. Dworkin points out the religiosity prevalent in science and situates atheism also as ‘religious’.
This book tries to collate the different ideas of socialistic thought contained in the vast corpus of Swami Vivekananda's writings and speeches. His humanism led to numerous social activities with the idea that God is present in human beings. He said that education was the solution to all social problems.
This book is the retelling of the tenets of Advaita Vedanta in the light of Sri Ramana Maharishi's teachings by Nome in simple and poetic English. This gives one access to these eternal truths in a simple and lucid language.
In this book the author has equated Swaraj with Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘self-rule’, Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s ‘birthright for freedom’, Aurobindo’s ‘Sanatana Dharma’, Raja Rammohun Roy’s ‘individual liberty’, Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘humanity’, and Swami Vivekananda’s ‘love of the motherland’.
The result of the doctoral work of the author, this volume reflects well her painstaking eff orts of the investigative trail into the life of Sir John Woodroffe. This book gives a concise yet overall view of the large and multifarious canvas of the personality that Woodroffe was. Including rare photographs, facsimiles of letters and notes, an elaborate bibliography and index, this book fills a void by fulfilling the long-felt need of a good biography of a soul, who preferred to (...) remain anonymous and speak to the world only through this writings under his pen name, Arthur Avalon. (shrink)
A collection of essays originally published in a special issue of Modern Asia Studies in March 2012, this volume comprises the interactions of various cultures including Singapore, Ladakh, Penang, and Istanbul. It also traces interactions over the sea and between various religious spaces. Businesses or inter-Asian joint-ventures are also included. Edited by professors of history, this book is a welcome addition to the scarce literature on transnational interactions within Asia.
This book is the result of a survey conducted across different segments of Indian populace to understand the influence of religion on the country and how sometimes the political ideas and the ground realities are at loggerheads. The authors juxtapose their findings in India with the studies in the West:.
The present book lacks both purpose and depth. It is nothing more than a pointer to thinking beyond the established constructs and is another example of how a profound thought can be marred at the hands of inefficient writers and editors.
The giving up of the body or suicide for spiritual reasons has been dealt with by James Benn and D Max Moermane. The relationships of the dead and the living are discussed by Bryan J Cuevas, John Cliff ord Holt, and Matthew T Kapstein, while Hank Glassman, Mark Rowe, and Jason A Carbine talk about different funeral practices. With glossaries for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters and an elaborate index, this book is a unique peek into Buddhist practices regarding the (...) dead and deserves attention by researchers, students, and admirers of this religion. (shrink)
The author charts out a path to a better understanding of world religions by pointing out that every religion has its own sociological and anthropological basis and that all ‘cultures are thereby similar, and likewise, all are different’ (201). He stresses that all human cultural and religious worlds are nothing but different worlds made indispensable and in the human imagination, each such world has its rightful place.
The author takes the Mahabharata and the Bhagavadgita as samples of the Eastern stand on tragedy and compares it with the Greek and Shakespearean literature. This in-depth analysis shows that the very meaning of the word ‘tragedy’ changes considerably between these cultures. The narrative, artistic, communicative, social, political, literary, cultural, martial, psychological, ethical, and religious aspects of tragedy are dealt with.
This book is the history of the beginning of the Vedanta movement in Australia leading to the founding of the Vedanta Society in Sydney. The book brings out the undying spirit of the members of the Vedanta group in Australia and their unremitting efforts at spearheading the movement.
Bred in an intellectual and practising tradition, the author explores layers of dharma, with its meanings and influences, from the ancient to the present. He juxtaposes and contextualises this concept based on the Mahabharata and relates it to the problems of life vis-à-vis social strata. The work analyses philosophical concepts, readings, and re-readings in a novel way. The sceptre and solace of dharma are depicted and the political interpretation in the Indian Constitution is traced.
This book contains some valuable appendices that present a synopsis of therapies, a list of vegetable juices helpful in detoxification, and even recipes of some Ayurvedic delicacies! A glossary clarifies technical terms and the bibliography, index, and endnotes make the work useful for serious students, practitioners, and researchers. With so much information packed in a compact volume, it truly is ‘the most complete guide to natural healing and health with traditional Ayurvedic herbalism’, as the subtitle of the book claims. It (...) is a welcome addition to the slowly increasing literature in English about Ayurveda. Such guidebooks help bring back Ayurveda to its lost glory. (shrink)
The Journal of Oriental Research was started in 1927 by Prof. S Kuppuswami Sastri, who was also the founder of the Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute. Originally an annual journal, its regularity has been disturbed due to financial difficulties. Th e present issue comprises volumes eighty-three to eighty-four and has been funded by the Dr V Raghavan Memorial Endowment.
India has been the seat of deep philosophical engagements since the Vedic period. However, Indian philosophical wisdom, albeit different from Western philosophy in many respects, was not widely known to the rest of the world before colonial thinkers started their dialogue with Indian philosophy through their translations and academic exegeses. Western scholars, primarily the Indologists, analyzed Indian thought through the lens of Western thought in spite of the traditional insular approach of Indian pandits. Amidst this tension between traditional Indian scholars (...) and Western scholars who encountered Indian philosophy, was born a unique breed of Indian scholars, thanks to the colonial milieu of education and... (shrink)
This article discusses the implications of the symbology of Kali from a different and fresh perspective and positions the worship of Kali in the bigger picture of the divinisation of everything in Sanatana Dharma. It also discusses the needless marginalisation of so-called 'ugly' and 'terrible' and how these prejudices have to be overcome to realise the Divinity innate in all.
Argument and Design: The Unity of the Mahābhārata is the outcome of a series of three panels dedicated to the renowned scholar of the Mahābhārata, Alf Hiltebeitel, organized by his favorite disciple, Vishwa Adluri on the occasion of Alf’s seventieth birthday. Per its author “whatever is found here [in the Mahābhārata] may be found elsewhere, but whatever is not, will be found nowhere else” (ix). In his foreword, Robert P. Goldman says that, despite having so many dimensions encompassing so many (...) fields, in the end the Mahabharata “is just a rollicking great tale that has inspired countless re-tellings and kept audiences fascinated for millennia” (x). Adluri, one of the editors, introduces “the premise” of this volume to be “that the Mahābhārata is a work of literature and that its upākhyānas (subtales or, perhaps more accurately, proximate narratives) are central to its literary project” (1). (shrink)
This book is about the coming together of two great polyglot geniuses who were also autodidacts, who were concerned with the other’s nation, but though glorified in their own countries, remain relatively unknown in the nations of the other. Their friendship is, in many ways, a representation of the friendship of the East and the West, albeit more of a conceptual exchange than cultural. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries were witness to the interchange of ideas among the East and West (...) at various levels and at an enormous magnitude. Rabindranath Tagore and Patrick Geddes are great representatives of that era. Their interaction led to an influence on their works, even outside of the topics they discussed. Geddes influenced Tagore’s writings and Tagore influenced Geddes’s architecture, both subjects, which they did not discuss among them, at least not in depth. (shrink)