Cultural Studies (132)

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    The book studies various phases of ancient Indian history and culture with a fresh approach by interpreting historical information. Relying on ancient Indian literature and outside accounts and explaining facts and theories lucidly, it presents rich insights on the social, economic, political and religious life of ancient Indians.

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    Facets of Ancient Indian History and Culture by: G.P. Singh 625.00 563.00

    Facets of Ancient Indian History and Culture: New Perception is an attempt to study various phases of ancient Indian history and culture in a new light and present fresh approaches to understanding and interpreting historical information and evidences. Prof. G. P. Singh here examines aspects of ancient Indian social, economic, cultural, religious and political life, propounding theories for discussion and opening up new avenues for research. Examining works on the subject by eminent scholars, he offers valuable information, full with rich insights and innovative viewpoints, on the Aryans, the Cinas, society in the period of the Buddha and Mahavira, formation of classes, castes, and social and economic associations and institutions in the latter half of the first millennium bc, religious foundations of society at the time of Manu and Patanjali, pre-Persian expeditions into north-west India and political status of Assam under the Guptas. For the purpose, he relies upon a vast number of sources — from texts of the Vedic and post-Vedic period and classical accounts of the Greeks and the Romans as also historical records of the Chinese, the French and the Germans to inscriptional and other findings, interpreting them all scientifically and objectively. The study explains facts and theories lucidly and with great stress on their historical accuracy, where concerned, and value, rendering the work extremely interesting and useful to students and scholars from varied disciplines — history, archaeology, anthropology and sociology.

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    The book is an in-depth study of the socio-cultural life of the Mising tribe of Assam. It studies the factors influencing their material culture, traditional life pattern, art and craft activity et al. and tries to analyze the impact of modernisation, acculturation and urbanization faced by them.

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    Folk Culture of the Misings of Assam by: Ashok Sarma 1,100.00 990.00

    The book is an in-depth study of the socio-cultural life of the Mising tribe of Assam, the second largest among the plain tribes of Assam. Studying their oral narratives, it deals with the factors that influence the material culture of the tribe and delve, broadly, into their folk art, craft, architecture, costumes and ornaments and food. It examines the way their traditional life pattern and legends, myths and tales are interwoven in aspects of their artistic and cultural life, painting and sculpture, specific preoccupations as that of doll-making and the tradition of swastika emblems, for instance. Dr. Sarma studies a vast range of their art and craft activity: weaving and embroidery, designs depicted, cane and bamboo works, wood works, metallic tools and other implements, earthen pottery, aspects of building, traditional cooking process and food types and preservation. He, significantly, tries to analyse the process of modernisation, acculturation and urbanization the Misings are undergoing and the impact of these factors on the tribes people which is resulting in, among other things, erosion of their traditional life and folk culture. The work will interest students and scholars of Indian anthropology, sociology and specifically of folk cultures and traditions. General readers will also find the work extremely interesting and informative.

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    This illustrative monograph systematically documents, investigates and discusses different aspects of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Tamil Nadu — children’s folklore, proverbs, material folk culture, oral narratives, folk gods and goddesses, and ritual practices — and enables one to grasp the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu at ease.

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    Folk Narratives Rituals and Performances by: S. Simon John 1,800.00 1,620.00

    Folk Narratives: Rituals and Performances reflects the world-view of the traditional societies and it is considered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of a particular community or society. This study investigates the culture, in a particular sociocultural context, of the multifaceted Tamil society through numerous rituals, offerings, vows, customs, practices, belief systems, performing folk arts, fairs and festivals, dance and music, material culture, etc. which are deeply rooted in their cultural moorings, and practised and closely associated with the folk religion, life-cycle ceremonies and social psychology.
    This illustrative monograph systematically documents, investigates and discusses different aspects of ICH of Tamil Nadu — children’s folklore, proverbs, material folk culture, oral narratives, folk gods and goddesses, and ritual practices. A number of colourful photographs enable one to grasp the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu at ease.
    The monograph will be of interest to scholars and researchers across humanities and social sciences especially those in folklore, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, religion, ritual studies, art and performance studies. It will also appeal to the general reader.

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    The folk songs in this collection are given in vernacular Hindi language, transliterated and translated, to reach readers with different backgrounds. These songs tell the story and customs of celebrating life-cycle ceremonies, welcoming seasons, and related mythology.

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    Folk Songs from Uttar Pradesh by: Laxmi Ganesh Tewari 550.00 495.00

    Blowing of a conch-shell and/or ringing of a hand bell and/or singing a song to welcome the evening twilight in front of a tulsi plant is a nostalgic scene from India’s past. For the majority of the young Indian population, this daily routine is only depicted on picture postcards or in Bollywood movies. Folk songs in this book were recorded in the 1970’s. Since Independence, India has been undergoing fast technological advances; a wave of new internationalism is absentmindedly sweeping away rural traditions. Singing and playing of traditional folk songs and ensembles for appropriate ceremonies are becoming less and less popular; instead, movie songs and modern brass bands are appreciated. Each folk song in this collection is like an artefact in an archaeological museum. These songs tell the story and customs of celebrating life-cycle ceremonies, welcoming seasons, and retelling our mythology. The songs are given in vernacular Hindi language, transliterated, and translated, to facilitate understanding by readers with different backgrounds. The original field recordings have been deposited at the Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute of Indian Studies at Gurgaon, Haryana, India, where they are available for listening and recording details.

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    The book explores the concept and experiences of life after death based on religious insights on the subject and experiences of human souls on the threshold of death as recounted by doctors. It examines the sacred texts of religions, like the Holy Bible, the Vedas, the Srimad Bhagavad Gita and the Upanisads for a broad understanding of the subject.

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    Glorious Life After Death by: K.I. Isaac 290.00 261.00

    The book explores the concept and experiences of life after death based on religious insights on the subject and experiences of human souls on the threshold of death as recounted by doctors. It examines the sacred texts of religions, like the Holy Bible, the Vedas, the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads for a broad understanding of the subject. It deals in particular with aspects of life after death as detailed by Christianity: the General Resurrection, Last Judgement, Hades, Paradise, Heaven and Hell, the concept of the Son of God and His dying on the cross as propitiation for the sins of man. It elaborates on the experiences of the soul after death and on the life after death as such by thoroughly studying the Bible. It reveals Biblical insights on Satanic deceits to enter the minds of people who are spiritually devoted, the soul departing from the physical body, and compassion, solace and love in the spiritual world. The volume showcases the experiences of those nearing death which include new feelings and sensations as a spiritual being, meeting with other spirits and viewing the Light, that is, Christ Himself when passing through death. Mr Isaac emphasises the need to be faithful and perform acts of divine love and righteousness in all sincerity in order to prepare oneself for the eternal life in the hereafter.

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    The research examines the nature, development and function of the civil service in ancient India. It explains the ancient perceptions of good and ethical governance study literary, inscriptional and numismatic evidence.

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    Governance in Ancient India by: Anup Chandra Pandey 300.00 270.00

    From the Vedas to Sutra and Smriti texts, from the time honoured epics to the foreigners’ travelogues and literary classics — leave alone Kautilya’s far-famed Arthashastra and other treatises of its genre, ancient Indian literature carries myriad references, bearing out not just the principles, philosophy and mechanisms of good governance, but the existence of a well-organised, hierarchical civil service as well. Yet Dr. Pandey’s happens to be the first ever research effort to consider governance/civil service in ancient India: in all its different manifestations. Covering a vast time-span: from the Vedic times to about the seventh century ad, Anup Pandey’s research explores the evolution, nature, scope, functions, importance, and other kindered aspects of the ancient Indian civil service — with meticulous description of its varying contours during the reigns of the Mauryas, Indo-Greeks, Shakas, Pahlavas, Kushanas, Imperial Guptas, and Harshavardhana. Also, the book tries to unveil the ancient Indian polity’s perceptions/norms/modes of good, ethical governance, largely on the basis of sacred works, like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Together with inscriptional and numismatic evidence, the author has marshalled an astonishing mass of literary sources to show, beside a lot else, how an efficient civil service in ancient India was viewed as an imperative for the vitality of the state; and why, therefore, high-ranking functionaries/bureaucrats, entrusted with legislative, executive, financial and the like offices, or with policing and military duties, were often scrupulously chosen from among the polity’s best talent. Invaluable to the scholars of anceint Indian history, political science and government.

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    Japuji, Guru Nanak’s seminal work, also a daily prayer book, is the quintessence of his teaching. This book also attempts to explain the order of Guru’s prolific utterances, be they invocatory or just eulogistic. It has the Mul Mantra well interpreted. It also has the entire text of Japuji in Punjabi and Devnagari with Roman transliteration.

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    Guru Nanak’s Japuji by: Satnam Kaur, S.K. Saxena, 160.00

    The ultimate reality, God or Brahman, may well be said to outstrip the reach of thought; but if we do not try, as thoughtfully as we possibly can, to get at what Guru Nanak really says in this seminal work Japuji — a daily prayer book Þ how will we be able to benefit from his teaching, as he surely wanted fervently? In the entire history of mankind very few men have been so acutely sensitive to our multifarious suffering, and so keen to show us the way to transcend it for good, as Guru Nanak was. This makes the authors approach this holy work in a new perspective.
    This volume tries to interpret Mul Mantra in such a way that the celestial attributes listed in it come to be interrelated, as they must be taken to be. It also attempts wherever possible to explain the order of Guru’s prolific utterances, be they invocatory or just eulogistic. However ebullient the Guru’s utterances may seem to be, they are always significant vehicles of some profound meaning; and also warranted by the running context.
    Guru Nanak’s Japuji is a great work, yet this volume is expected to do some good to every thoughtful reader. At the end, the entire text of Japuji in Punjabi, Devnagari with Roman transliteration is given, making the text accessible to the masses who live outside India and need this prayer to be read in English.

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    The book studies, in two volumes, the traditional concept of Hindu marriage as a sacrament, analysing the validity of the reasons for incorporating the provision of divorce in the Hindu Law. It discusses divorce laws in the global perspective and analyses statutory divorce in Hindu Law.

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    Hinduism and Divorce by: Hari Dev Kohli 1,200.00 1,080.00

    The book is a detailed study (in two volumes) of the traditional concept of Hindu marriage as a sacrament, analysing the validity of the reasons for incorporating the provision of divorce in the Hindu Law. Relying on a variety of original and secondary sources -the juridical literature of ancient texts like the Vedas, Dharmasutras and works of eminent scholars on the subject, it first examines the status of women under Shastric law: her exalted position in family and society and the constraints imposed upon her. Showing how the concept of divorce is based on recognising marriage as a contract rather than a sacrament, this scholarly work discusses divorce laws in the global perspective and makes a detailed analysis of statutory divorce in Hindu Law, particularly the grounds for divorce and its statutory evolution. Dr. Kohli considers crucial concerns related to secularisation of marriage, the Western culture’s influence on the social upheaval in Indian society, and whether divorce is the solution to effectively address the social evils against women. Maintaining that Hindu marriage is still a sacrament despite inclusion of divorce-related provisions in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, he recommends abolition of divorce laws for their disastrous results on the society or, at least, a review of these laws. Quoting from diverse original Sanskrit works and giving. their English translations as well for a better understanding of the modern law, the book will be extremely useful for law and Dharmashastra scholars and students and those interested in a study of the divorce laws in the Indian context.

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    Historical Geography of Orissa by: J.K. Sahu 1,300.00 1,170.00

    The region of Orissa, from the point of view of studies in historical geography, has always remained a challenging area, not least owing to its vast and complicated history, varied geography and intriguing sources. Though the historical geography of this region has been considered for analysis in the past, it has only been featured as a chapter or in a section as part of a larger whole. Thus, this work is perhaps the first attempt to present a comprehensive research study of the historical geography of Orissa.
    The author, guided by long research experience, culls material from all available sources — literary, epigraphic, etc. — to subject the theme to a systematic analysis that leaves not a facet of the subject unexplored. He describes and delves into the ancient, medieval and modern periods of historical growth to underline the historico-geographical significance of various kingdoms and places of importance that emerged, flourished and disintegrated at different times — as Kalinga; South Koshala; Odri, Utkala or Toshala; Trikalinga; and the many Mandala states. He studies the physical features of the area, the mountain system of the Orissa state and its rivers, with a view to showing how they have shaped its history. The transport and communication routes in the region since ancient times are retraced to reveal the region’s strong cultural and economic foundations among other things.
    This book, from first to last, unfolds a wealth of interesting and useful information. Complete with an exhaustive bibliography, index and maps of Orissa, the book can immensely aid further research works on the subject.

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    This volume Hymns to the Goddess is an endeavour of Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon) to translate the Sanskrit hymns in praise of the Goddess or Devi, scattered in Tantra and Purana texts, Mahabharata, and in the hymns of Shankaracharya. Hymn to Kali (Karpuradi Stotra), another book within the book, is a celebrated Kaula stotra, having commentary on the hymns.

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    Hymns to the Goddess and Hymn to Kali by: Sir John Woodroffe 395.00

    The Goddess or Devi is God in Its Mother aspect. Devi, who is existence, consciousness and bliss, is thought of as a female, a male or pure Brahman. This volume Hymns to the Goddess is an endeavour of Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon) to translate the Sanskrit hymns in praise of the Goddess or Devi, scattered in Tantra and Purana texts, Mahabharata, and in the hymns of Shankaracharya, who was an incarnation of devotion and a great philosopher, Valmiki and Indra.
    After a general introduction, the book starts with a hymn to Kalabhairava, the spouse of Devi, followed by Devi stotras. In these hymns, Devi is praised as Bhairavi, Bhuvaneshvari, Adyakali, Lakshmi, Tara, Mahishamardini, Annapurna, Sarasvati, Durga, Tripura in Tantra texts; Sarvavishvajanani, Ambika, Chandika, Mahadevi and Jagadambika in Puranas; Durga, Arya, Durga in Mahabharata; Tripurasundari, Ganga, Ananadalahari, Yamuna, Narmada and Mahalakshmi.
    Hymn to Kali (Karpuradi Stotra), another book within the book, is a celebrated Kaula stotra, having commentary on the hymns. It, in addition to mantroddharadhara, contains stotras of dhyana, yantra, sadhana, madya, mamsa, maithuna and phala-shruti matters.

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    This book critically analyses the state of affairs in India after the British left in 1947 and examines whether Independence has ushered an era of cultural and social freedom or a cultural decline has set in — a thought-provoking subject.

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    India by: Bharat Gupt 300.00

    It is often taken for granted that Independence from the British rule also ushered an era of cultural and social freedom in India. The author wishes to examine if that is true or if a cultural decline set in soon after. Based on a verse in the Pancatantra, the book has been divided into six parts: Eka (person), Kula (family), Grama (habitat), Janapada (land), Prithvi (earth) and Atma. Issues of education; conflicts between the classes, regions, jatis, languages and religions; expansion of proselytizers; lack of governance; tensions between the legislators and judiciary; rise of unbridled consumerism; falling standards of democracy; dilemmas created by notions of dharma challenged by Westernized modernity; and the problems of attaining universal harmony, are all put into a perspective under these six categories. While examining the state of affairs the author also suggests a way for the pursuit of happiness through unselfish transcendence.

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    India and South-East Asia by: Lokesh Chandra 3,600.00 3,240.00

    The South-East is a cultural perspective aptly named agneyi the direction of the God Agni. It is reflected even in the Sino-Japanese Mahakarunagarbha mandala of the 8th century where Agni is surrounded by sages: Angiras with his consort Gautami and Atreya with his consort Bhrgvi. In the Pao-hsiang Lou pantheon Agni is surrounded by eight rsi’s Angiras, Vasistha, Garga, Markandeya, Gautama, Kasyapa, Shan-ch’eng-ming-yang and Su-chi-i (the Sanskrit names of the last two have to yet to be found). In Indic terms, the conceptual space of SE Asia endows it with the serenity of the mind, the grandeur of structures, the profundity of expression derived from Sanskrit. The SE is the mind ground of the sages, the rishis, and as such the marvellous manifestation of the Hindu-Buddhist genius. This book chronicles the dynamism, the fire, the Agni of the Agneya (SE) direction across the past that shades into the present with tomorrows inside.

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