Cultural Studies (132)

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    Dr. Murthy marshals the whole extent of geological data from the Vedic/post-Vedic literatures and even later works like Varahamihira’s Brhatsamhita to highlight the Vedic world-view of the earth, particularly the Vedic theory on Earth science.

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    Vedic View of the Earth by: S.R.N. Murthy 700.00 630.00

    Vedas are indisputably the oldest of mankind’s documents. Which not just magnificently articulate the early civilized man’s wonderment about the cosmos and his yearnings for the divine, but also unfold the foundations of many ancient sciences, like mathematics, astronomy, alchemy, metallurgy, botany and medicine. This book, however, is the first ever effort to show how Vedas embody the earliest discourses on the earth and the earth-related phenomena. Combining in him the acumen of a professional earthscientist and a highly proficient Sanskritist, Dr. Murthy marshals the whole extent of geological data from the Vedic/post-Vedic literatures, and even some of the later works, like Varahmihira’s Brihatsamhita (of the 5th century ad) — in his thematic effort to highlight the Vedic worldview of the earth and, importantly, how it almost approximates the projections of modern earthscience. Developed from over three decades of Dr. Murthy’s researches in ancient Sanskrit literature, the study employs contemporary scientific idiom to describe Vedic perception of the earth, its origin, shape, dimensions, constitution, movements, quakes/tremors, and its position vis-a-vis the solar system, stars and ethereal space. Also including, contextually, the Vedic idea of heliocentricity, the book puts forth the Veda-based methods for deciphering/predicting deep-focus earthquakes — for future research and investigation. Together with a glossary of Sanskrit terms and relevant bibliographic references, this geological perspective on the Vedas will fascinate scholars, specialists and discerning readers alike.

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    Of a rare kind, this book does comparative analyses — after studying seventeen Grhya-Sutras across four Vedas — of the number and type of rituals of marriage in each Grhya-Sutra and the order of performance of rituals. It also lists the mantras (with English translation) and their sources and talks about the differences in employing the mantras.

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    Vivaha Samskara in Grhya-Sutras of the Four Vedas by: V.R. Anil Kumar 1,200.00 1,080.00

    Vivaha (marriage), in Hindu society, is one of the most important samskaras, out of the sixteen sacraments, which a person steps in with full understanding/consciousness. Marriage is a fascinating experience that stays alive in one’s mind throughout the life. The mantras and slokas of the Grhya-Sutras of the four Vedas, chanted in this ritual, are in Sanskrit and a vast majority is unaware of their meanings and just follows the instructions of the celebrant priest, purohita.
    The author delves deep into the Grhya-Sutras of Vedas and brings forth the details of vivaha samskara — principles, philosophy, practices, rituals and so on. Grhya-Sutras — Asvalayana, Sankhayana and Kausitaki of Rigveda; Paraskara (Sukhla Yajurveda), Apastamba and Hiranyakesin (Krsna Yajurveda), Baudhayana, Varaha, Manava, Agnivesya, Bharadvaja, Kathaka and Vaikhanasa of Yajurveda; Gobhila, Khadira and Jaimini of Samaveda; and Kausika of Atharvaveda — are well explored and seriously analysed, having given the original mantras in Sanskrit with their English translation.
    Of a rare kind, this book does comparative analyses of the number and type of rituals in each Grhya-Sutra and the order of performance of rituals.
    This scholarly work creates a sudden seriousness and sanctity to vivaha samskara through the detailing of mantras and the rituals. Being in it, one is not far off the Vedic period, giving a new meaning and dimension to our understanding of Hindu vivaha samskara and its sanctity.

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    This book, presents an in-depth study of the concept of death from the distinct viewpoints of all religions and cultures and at the same time taking into account their common concept of continuity of life after death, in contrary to the biological science that adheres to the mechanism of “cell-death.”

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    Voice of Death by: Baidyanath Saraswati 400.00 360.00

    If life is a reality, the death is an eternal truth. Does immortality mean clinging to body? If so, it cannot be the life artificially alive as in modern hospitals. Is extinction of species important? The recent developments in the field of molecular biology to clone the extinct animals may raise another dimension: do the species ever die? Death is not the extinction of life, it rather opens a horizon for new journey on this planet or the other. If a person elevates himself and immensely contributes to the society, he gets perpetuated and becomes immortal. Every culture has its own eschatology bearing with death, rituals, customs, beliefs and values. While the Hindus and the Buddhists adhere to the theory of reincarnation, the Muslims and the Christians hold the concept of eternal after life. In the present book, originally the proceedings of the seminar organized by the N.K. Bose Memorial Foundation, Varanasi, various distinguished scholars have richly contributed in presenting an in-depth study of the concept of death from the distinct viewpoint of all religions and cultures and at the same time taking into account their common concept of continuity of life after death in contrary to the biological science that adheres to the mechanism of “cell-death.” Through the social, philosophical, medical, and ayurvedic approaches to death, the existence of soul based on the ideas of immortality and ancestor-worship has been further validated. The book has demonstrated as to how this hard-headed research can illuminate a certain theory that would serve as a bridge between the physical science and social science, the purpose being to reveal the most overall general character of Nature and the nature of Man. This book would definitely appeal to all general readers and more particularly to those of philosophical temperament keen to know more about Death and also the world beyond it.

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    This book presents an understanding of God in various religions and traditions around the world — Brahman in the Upanishads, Allah in Islam, God in Tibetan, Zoroastrian, Buddhist and Jaina faiths, the conception of the divine in Christianity and the folk deities of the Adivasi groups.

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    Voice of God by: Baidyanath Saraswati 650.00 585.00

    The result of a seminar’s proceedings, the volume presents an understanding of God in various religions and traditions around the world. It examines the concept of the Brahman in Hindu religious thought, and God as forming the relationship between the unmanifest Brahman and the manifest Universe. It views the approach of the Semitic religions that make absolute difference between God and Man. It discusses the glory associated with God, the nature of the Supreme God and His lesser denominations as well as the modern notion of God as a human creation and residing in the mind of Man. It delves into the core of the Upanishadic thought, God in Tibetan thought, signs of Allah and his attributes in Islam, God in the Zoroastrian faith, Buddhism and Jainism vis-a-vis the notion of divinity and the Christian conception of the divine. It deals with God in the Shamanic cosmogonies of some Adivasi groups of eastern India and the syncretic folk deities of Sundarbans in West Bengal. The scholars interpret the cosmological, teleological and ontological proofs, in various forms, to understand the reality of God.
    The volume, with its painstaking studies, will prove invaluable to scholars and readers, mainly those associated with religious studies.

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    The book presents views on life from the traditional as well as modern perspectives to come up with many interpretations surveys evolution of life and extinction theories, focusing on development of life over 600 million years from simple to complex. The contributors delve into the Upanisadic and Vedic concepts of life, and the Hindu astrological and ayurvedic perception and Christian perspective of life as well.

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    Voice of Life by: Baidyanath Saraswati 280.00 252.00

    The volume presents views on life from the traditional as well as modern perspectives to come up with many interpretations. Indologists, anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers and physical and social scientists profess that traditional thought and modern science offer two different world-views on life: the first encompassing a wholeness of life, and the other explaining the universe and life with ideas of the realm of matter alone. Referring to various ancient texts as well as thoughts of social scientists based on empirical studies, the contributors delve into the Upanishadic and Vedic concepts of life, and the Hindu astrological and ayurvedic perception of life. They examine the Christian perspective of life as well. Discussing the theme from the viewpoint of physical law, the book surveys evolution of life and extinction theories, focusing on development of life over 600 million years from simple to complex. It ponders over questions like radical difference between living and non-living matter though both consist of molecules. Connecting science to societal development, it deals with ancient community theories on life and nature taking specific ethnic communities like the Mesoamericans and the Santals in India as examples. The book is an all-inclusive and extensive study of traditional and scientific perspectives on the life origin, urges and responses, meaning and essence of life, and its development.

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    This volume is devoted to a thorough understanding of the concept of senses as interpreted in the ancient Asian traditions with particular reference to Indian religious and philosophical thought. It examines the functions, perception, scientific approach and the recurring cycle of Five Senses in Chinese, Tibetan and Indian philosophy.

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    Voice of Senses by: Baidyanath Saraswati 480.00 432.00

    This volume is devoted to a thorough understanding of the concept of senses as it has been interpreted in the ancient Asian traditions with particular reference to Indian religious and philosophical thought. It examines the functions of the sense-organs and the perception of them adopting a sociological and scientific approach. The first part of the presentation comments on the recurring cycle of Five Senses in Chinese, Tibetan and Indian philosophy. It takes up ancient knowledge on the senses as can be gained from the Vedas and the Upanishads, the Buddhist Abhidharma text and Jainism, as also from Islamic and Christian philosophies. They relate functioning of the sense-organs to aesthetic perception. Articles in the second part examine ethnic-cultural communities’ responses to senses and attribution of functions to them, as, for instance, the importance attached to the senses by the traditional snake-charmers. They study responses by plant and animal life to their environment and inquire into the biological processes involved in sense perceptions. Modern technology is discussed as imitating the Five Senses. These articles should be of benefit to scholars interested in learning about the different aspects of Indian religious and philosophical perceptions.

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    The book explores the essential nature of Vrndavana, analysing various Vaisnava texts — mythological, meta-physical, devotional and commentatorial. It identifies a notional sequence of ideas connected with Vrndavana — the description of a mythic place, a symbolic place, etc.

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    Vrndavana in Vaisnava Literature by: Maura Corcoran 350.00 315.00

    A well-known geographical site on the banks of the Yamuna, about 150 kilometers from Delhi, VRINDAVANA is the holiest of the pilgrimages for the worshippers of Krishna. However, in the devotional Sanskrit and Braj Bhasha literatures, another dimension of Vrindavana dominates the picture, i.e., its role as an expression of the divine realm. What, then, is Vrindavana? A terrestrial place of pilgrimage? A mythic locale associated with Krishna and Radha? Or a metaphysical concept symbolizing the celestial space of the eternally-going lila (divine sport)? With sharp focus on these and allied questions, Dr. Corcoran explores afresh the essential nature of Vrindavana, critically analysing the representative texts from the immense corpus of Vaishnava literature of different genres: mythological, metaphysical, devotional and commentatorial. The author’s inquiry seeks to identify a notional sequence of ideas connected with Vrindavana: the description of (a) a mythic place, (b) a symbolic place, (c) the geographical town as a centre of pilgrimage. And also looks at other thematically relevant concepts, for instance, avatara (incarnation) and lila (divine sport), underlying the entire understanding of the nature of the divine and the relation of the divine to the material world. The book exhibits a striking departure from modern sources which have, for the most part, concentrated on Vrindavana as a geographical place, glossing over its symbolic and mythic significance.

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    Writing in a simple language, Prof. D. L. Johnson acquaints Asian readers with the traditional ideas and values that have shaped the culture of the western world over centuries, mainly dominant thinkers and ideas of classical Greece and Rome and religious traditions of the Jews and the Christians.

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    Western Thought for Asian Readers by: David L. Johnson 220.00 198.00

    This book acquaints Asian readers with traditional ideas and values that have shaped the culture of the Western world over centuries. Written in simple language, it throws light on dominant thinkers and ideas of classical Greece and Rome as well as the religious traditions of Jews and Christians. Greek mythology, Greek epic literature and drama are included in the survey. The impact of Greek philosophy in moulding of Western thought as well as the Roman interpretations of Greek philosophy are included. The history of Jewish and Christian interpretations of god and the human predicament are explained with clarity and compared and contrasted with Asian ideas. Special attention is given to controversial ideas which often confuse Asian readers, as for instance the Jewish and Christian assertion of their ideas as truth claims. The book will be useful to scholars of Asia as well as to general readers and students keen on understanding the sources of Western culture and its appeal today.

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    Wheel of Desire by: M.L. Varadpande 1,700.00 1,530.00

    Lord Buddha, in his profound wisdom, said that for extinction of human suffering, complete annihilation of desire is the only way. This is the sacred truth of suffering.
    Acarya Carvaka, equally profound in his thinking, said that life is a continuous celebration of desire. Kama (desire) and artha (wealth) are the only true goals of life. Beg, steal or borrow, but live life like a king. Enjoy life full as long as one is alive.
    Who is correct? Lord Buddha or Acarya Carvaka? What is desire really meant to Indian society, religion and culture through ages?
    The book tries to address these and similar questions objectively and diligently.

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    Providing detailed accounts of the women seers of Rigveda, this volume discusses the traditional expositions vis-à-vis the modern interpretations of those accounts. It minutely explains the sociocultural aspects of the select texts, thus exposing the world-view of those women seers.

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    Women Seers of the Rigveda by: Mau Das Gupta 1,150.00 1,035.00

    This volume brings forth an in-depth study of Rigveda from the sociocultural perspective, analysing the various aspects of hymns ascribed to the women seers of the “root Veda”. Though modern scholars from the East and the West have made many an attempt in interpreting the hymns of the Rigvedic poetesses, those lacked a thorough study from the sociocultural perspective.
    While providing detailed accounts of the women seers of Rigveda, this volume discusses the traditional expositions vis-à-vis the modern interpretations of those accounts. It minutely explains the sociocultural aspects of the select texts, thus exposing the world-view of those women seers. Their personal traits and compositions on the basis of the mythological data available in the Vedic and subsequent literatures enrich the volume further.
    Apart from the liturgical peculiarities and literary analysis of the hymns of the women seers, and the language and stylistics of the texts from a linguistic point of view, the book deals with a study of the sentence patterns which, normally lacks in Sanskrit research works.

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    The image of Yama, the god of death in Hindu mythology, has come to have many variants. Dr. Merh’s study tries to capture these against their essential literary settings to explore all possible traits of Yama’s personality.

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    Yama by: Kusum Pradeep Merh 550.00 495.00

    In the Hindu pantheon, Yama holds a unique place. A counterpart, in the indigenous tradition, of Avestan Yima, Egyptian Osiris or Greek Pluto, he inspires terror in the heart of an average mortal : not only owing to his overlordship of the abode of the dead, but also for his identification with death itself. Yama’s image in Hindu mythology, however, has come to have full many variants — which Dr. Merh’s study tries to capture against their essential literary settings. Based on the prodigious mass of India’s old-world scriptural literature — the Vedas, Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads, besides the puranic texts, the book meticulously explores all possible traits of Yama’s personality, highlighting how the mythical view of this glorious, other-world god passes through a striking change over the millennia between the Rigveda and the later Puranas. Unfolding the deity’s ‘Vedic’ and ‘Puranic’ descriptions — respectively in part 1 and part 2 of the book, the author focusses specially on Yama, the creator, preacher, the philosopher, the law-giver, the punisher and above all, on his role as an eschatologist. Invaluable to the scholars of Indology, Hindu mythology and comparative religion.

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    भारतीय राष्ट्रवाद by: Vishwanath Mishra 480.00

    इस पुस्तक में राष्ट्रवाद की पश्चिमी एवं भारतीय अवधारणा के अनुसार व्याख्या की गई है तथा दोनों में अन्तर्विरोधों एवं विशिष्टताओं को रेखांकित किया गया है। पश्चिम में परिप्रेक्ष्य रहित व्यक्ति की अवधारणा पर आधारित राष्ट्रवाद राजनीतिक राष्ट्रवाद के रूप में ही क्यों परिणत होता है और वह मानवतावाद के विरुद्ध क्यों प्रवृत्त है, यह इस पुस्तक का प्रथम प्रतिपाद्य विषय है। अद्वैत दर्शन पर आधारित सर्वात्मवादी राष्ट्रवाद मानवतावाद की ओर कैसे अग्रसर होता है यह पुस्तक का दूसरा प्रतिपाद्य विषय है। राष्ट्रवाद के प्रायः सभी प्रभावी विमर्शों की चर्चा के साथ-साथ यह पुस्तक भारतीय राष्ट्रवाद का एक अवधारणात्मक विमर्श प्रस्तुत करती हैए जिसे सर्वात्मवादी राष्ट्रवाद का नाम दिया गया है। इस पुस्तक में आधुनिकता को भारत विभाजन के मुख्य कारण के रूप में स्थापित किया गया है।

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