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Vasantotsava: The Spring Festivals of India

Texts and Traditions

This study treats Vasantotsava as a thematically unified "generic" whole embracing a wide range of spring festivals including the Phalgunotsava, below

About This Book

This study treats Vasantotsava as a thematically unified "generic" whole embracing a wide range of spring festivals including the Phalgunotsava, Caitrotsava, Phalgu, Madhutsava, Madanamahotsava, Madanatroydashi, Anangotsava, Madanadvadaishi, Kamotsava, Shripancami, Yatramahotsava, and Holaka (Holi). These festivals are pansectarian in character and incorporate a variety of ritual observances practised through- out the Indian subcontinent.

Signifying the termination of winter and announcing the advent of spring, the celebration was a diverse and complex spectacle situated within the framework of Indian ritual and myth. On the basis of puranic and ritual texts, folk tales, drama, poetry, and narratives in mixed prose and poetry (campus), Dr. Anderson addresses complex issues of indigenous ritual, mythology, and tradition. The Vasantotsava incorporates a broad spectrum of human concerns: in the sphere of polity, it can be turned to account to celebrate and reinforce the power of the king; in the social sphere, it is a time of revelry and merry-making indicative of the annual renewal in human affairs; and in the sphere of religion, it celebrates the exploits of the gods and establishes a link between human and divine actions and events. 

  • Foreword By :
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124600115
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124600112
  • Edition : 3rd Impression
  • Year : 2005
  • Pages : xi, 254 [+8] p.
  • Bibliographic Details : 8 Coloured plates; Glossary; Bibliography; Index
  • Size : 23 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 600 gm

List of Plates

1. Introduction

The Date of the Vasantotsava

2. The Vasantotsava and its Variants

The Vasantotsava and the Worship of Kama
Vasantotsava and Holi
Vasantotsava and Regional Celebrations

3. The Ratnavali: The City

Manners and Ways
Colours, Powders, and Syringes

4. The Ratnavali: The Pleasure Grove

Flowers and Trees
The Ashoka Tree
The Mango Tree
Kama Rituals: The Matsya Purana and the Sanatkumara Samhita
Kama and Women
Images of Kama and Image Worship

5. The Spring Stage

The Ratnavali
Parijata-Manjari Alias Vijayashri
Underlying Themes: Fertility and Marriage
Marriage and Renewal

6. Kathasaritsagara

The Kathasaritsagara: Book xii, Story Number 17
The King
Duty or Desire
The Buddhist Recension

7. Vikramacarita

Story Number 16: "The Spring Festival and the Brahmin's Daughter"
The Good King
The Jain Recension
The Seclusion of the King
Deities and Worship

8. Bhavishya Purana, 135: Kama

Bhavishya Purana, 135: Madanamahotsavavarnam
Kama's Mythology and the Vasantotsava
Kama and Shiva

9. Bhavishya Purana, 132: The Demoness

Bhavishya Purana, 132: Phalgunapurnimotsavavarnam
Dhaundha, Holaka and Putana
The Demoness and the Gods
Fire and Ash

10. Virupakshavasantotsavacampu

The Axis of Power: The City and the Temple
Chapter Three: The Festival of the Chariot (Rathotsava)
The King in his City
Chapter Four: The Hunt Festival (Mrigayotsava)
The Shaiva Tradition and the Vasantotsava

11. Conclusion

The Vasantotsava and Sectarianism
Vedic Precedents

Dates of Texts

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