Women Studies (44)

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    This book helps one understand bhakti in its historical, philosophical and social persepectives.Two medieval women, Andal, from Tamil Srivaisnavite tradition, and Akka Mahadevi, from Virasaivite tradition, with their poetic renderings and life, are in focus. It also helps to extricate bhakti experience from its mystical aura and make it more accessible to our perceptive faculties.

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    Andal and Akka Mahadevi by: Alka Tyagi 650.00 585.00

    Bhakti poetry is an amazing amalgamation of art, music, literature, philosophy, politics, soteriology and mysticism. Andal and Akka Mahadevi: Feminity to Divinity reflects this amalgamation in letter and spirit. Two medieval women, Andal, a ninth-century A’lvar saint-poetess from Tamil Srivaisnavite tradition, and Akka Mahadevi, a twelfth-century Kannada saint-poetess from Virasaivite tradition, with their poetic renderings and life, got elevated to a stature beyond that of saints.
    This book deals with three major aspects. One, understanding of bhakti in its historical, philosophical and social perspectives. It thus delves on the idea and phenomenon of bhakti, the ancient religions and the evolution of bhakti tradition in south India. Two, it portrays the life of poet-saints Andal and Akka Mahadevi and their chosen path of bhakti. Their poetic renderings — Tiruppavai and Nachiar Tirumo’li of Andal, and vacanas of Akka Mahadevi —
    have found merit in rituals, theatre, cinema, dance, painting and other arts. The textual analysis of their poetry is done from religious, literary and socio-political angles. Three, it reflects on how the works of these saints have percolated down to the living patterns in modern India; rather it is a dedication to the living traditions in bhakti.
    This volume also helps to extricate bhakti experience from its mystical aura and make it more accessible to our perceptive faculties. Thus it enthuses the spirit of anyone, be an artist, a poet, a philosopher, or a scholar.

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    Indian literature abounds in a variety of myths and legends narrating allegorical/historical stories with moral teachings where celestial or semi-celestial beings, in particular the apsarases, occupy an important place. The work examines the origin and development of the institution of apsarases and their characteristics as described in the vast corpus of Vedic, Epic-Puranic and classical works, with a thorough study of the depiction of the legend of the Urvasi and Pururavas.

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    Apsarases in Indian Literature and the Legend of Urvasi and Pururavas by: Krishna Kanta Handique 350.00 315.00

    Indian literature abounds in a variety of myths and legends narrating allegorical/historical stories with moral teachings where celestial or semi-celestial beings, in particular the apsarases, occupy an important place. Of such legends, a few have become much popular and they reappear in the course of the history of literature at various stages. One such legend is that of Urvashi and Pururavas which is one of the most ancient legends of India, owing its origin to the Rigveda. This scholarly work, based on extensive original sources — primary, comprising ancient Sanskrit texts, commentaries and glosses and modern literary pieces, kavyas and plays, as well as critical writings on these original works, studies the origin and development of the institution of apsarases and their characteristics as described in the vast corpus of Vedic, Epic-Puranic and classical works. In this context, it undertakes an interesting survey of the concept of nymphs (apsarases) in Indo-European, especially Greek mythology. Dr. Handique then thoroughly examines the depiction of the legend of Urvashi and Pururavas — a favourite theme that has been immortalised in literary masterpieces in Indian literature as a whole: from the ancient Vedas and Puranas, the Harivamsha and Vikramorvashiyam to modern works like Urvashi Janani and Abhishapta Urvashi and stray poetic pieces. Presenting a new angle to the study, the book attempts to explore aspects of an age old tradition that bears close affinity with the institution of the apsarases in terms of mode of living worship and ideals — like system of the devadasis. The book will prove invaluable to scholars of Indian mythology, culture and literature as well as interest general readers of ancient India’s legends and tales.

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    The scholarly work throws light on the artistic, aesthetic, literary and philosophical aspects of the Ardhanarisvara form of Siva. Providing a conceptual and historical background of the doctrines relating to Siva and Sakti worship — it involves an iconographical study of the Ardhanarisvara image.

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    Ardhanarisvara in Art and Literature by: Neeta Yadav 1,800.00 1,620.00

    The scholarly work throws light on the artistic, aesthetic, literary and philosophical aspects of the Ardhanarishvara form of Shiva — the form which is a divine expression of the amalgamation of the male and the female and is said to contain the whole world in it. Providing a conceptual and historical back-ground of the doctrines relating to Shiva and Shakti worship — it involves an iconographical study of the Ardhanarishvara image, with the focus on its dress, ornaments, coiffure, posture and other features. With many visuals of the Ardhanarishvara images — even the unpublished ones, it describes the images found in different parts of India and discusses the emergence of the deity relying on literary sources and theories. Explaining how the idea and actual representation of the unity of Shiva and Shakti came to acquire supreme importance with the growth of sects — each worshipping the deity in its own form, Dr. Yadav points out that the Ardhanarishvara aspect is basically the output of the Tantra philosophy. Providing maps and line-drawings and a list of the places that have yielded Ardhanarishvara images, she makes an interesting and indepth analysis, based on extensive field-work, to come up with some brilliant and new explanations of the meaning and implications of the Ardhanarishvara.

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    This book delves into the contribution of feminist thinkers to examine their transformation of the activity of philosophy itself in the course of its contact with the feminine. Feminist philosophy brings about a greater awareness of philosophy’s relation to history, culture and other disciplines. There exists a struggle between femininity and feminism in the philosophical corpus of feminist thinkers with reference to the concept of care.

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    Between Femininity and Feminism by: Kanchana Mahadevan 600.00 540.00

    This book engages with the contribution of feminist thinkers to examine their transformation of the activity of philosophy itself in the course of its contact with the feminine. It also portrays how the feminist philosophy brings about a greater awareness of philosophy’s relation to history, culture and other disciplines. The author vividly puts into limelight the struggle between femininity and feminism in the philosophical corpus of feminist thinkers with reference to the concept of care. She takes pioneering feminism during the colonial period as its starting point and moves to its second wave during the post-colonial period to examine the trajectory of the concept of care.
    Women do not form a homogeneous category. Therefore, this volume explores the extent to which Ramabai, Wollstonecraft, Okin, Gilligan and de Beauvoir can dialogue with the contemporary women. The relationship between these thinkers and their arguments is conceptually connected. The book addresses a few questions such as what is femininity, can one define feminine at all, how does a feminist feminine differ from a patriarchal feminine, can male philosophical frameworks be employed in feminist directions, among others.
    The book also investigates the shifts from the colonial to post-colonial periods in the feminist approaches to care. It examines the possibility of integrating feminine care with the political concepts of justice and autonomy. An added task of intervening in the conceptual categories of Western feminism in an attempt to blur the strict binary between the Indian and Western traditions, is also explored.

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    This book drives one to the commendable social dignity that women adored during the Vedic period. The values of women were considered holy and pure. Literatures from Vedic period to the British rule glorify women and treat them with high esteem. Brahmavadini Gaargi, Durgavati of Gondavana, Rani Lakshmibai and Ahlyabhai, the towering personalities India, serve as the role model for Indian women and those who are engaged in women studies.

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    Bharatiya Samskriti men Striyon ki Sthiti by: Soti Virendra Chandra 140.00 126.00

    Respecting of women was prevalent in Indian culture ever since the Vedic period. The life values of women were considered holy and pure in those times. In the literature pertaining to Ramayana, Mahabharata, Upanishads, Buddhist, Middle Age and the British times, the highly respectable status of women is clearly shown. How differently were the women viewed at various times in different eras? Which were the women who made a special place for themselves in the different fields of life? In this context we remember Brahmavadini Gargi, Rajmahishi Durgavati of Gondvana, Queen Ahilyabai, Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, and some other women for their special contribution in maintaining the high status of women in Indian society.
    Portraying the position of women in the ancient period and comparing them to the present times when life is full of struggles, this book becomes a valuable tool for the scholars engaged in women studies and also for the people specializing in Indian traditional culture besides the general readers.

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    This book provides an unparalleled insight in exploring the Great Goddess as she lived and still lives in the psyche of India and in the Greater India, over a period of five millennia. It traces the origin and trajectory of the evolution of the divine feminine force in the visual discourse. This multilayered goddess cult finds its expression in great achievements in art and culture in manifold forms and roles.

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    Cult of Goddess by: ArputhaRani Sengupta 7,200.00 6,480.00

    This volume is comprised of forty-one well researched and illustrated papers on Cult of the Goddess. It tries to trace the origin and trajectory of the divine feminine force in art and culture for over a period of five millennia, which is a great achievement in itself. While exploring the living tradition of the Great Goddess, the book offers unique insight to the psyche of India and the Greater India.
    In the multifaceted goddess cult, the goddess takes diverse forms in her role as a destroyer of demonic forces and a donor of boons to her devotees. The goddess is also the divine consort, creator of the universe, source of progeny, prosperity and immortality. In her numerous roles the goddess maintains the equilibrium and sanctity of the universe. In mythology, the Mother Goddess is worshipped as the earth, fish, snake, tree or the forest.
    The book delves deep into the imagination and religious lives of the people to understand the meaning of rituals, philosophy and metaphysics. The enduring appeal of the goddess in folk traditions and in classic literary sources is discussed from various points of view. The span and the depth of research encompassing the goddess include the shifting changes in the present era and finds her manifestations in Bonabibi, Kadamkottu Makkam and Manushi Swaccha Narayani, in addition to the well-known concept of Parashakti, Lakshmi, Sarasvati, Durga, Mahishasuramardini, Prajnaparamita, Hathor, Isis and Mother Mary.
    This richly illustrated volume on Cult of the Goddess is a rare and priceless collection for art historians, researchers, students, and others interested in art, culture and religion.

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    Deviant Sex and Buddhism by: Wadinagala Pannaloka 1,200.00 1,080.00

    Deviant Sex and Buddhism discusses deviant sexual practices recorded in Pali Sutta and Vinaya texts categorizing into normal, pathological and sociological. In Buddhist spirituality and philosophy, like in other religions, sex within the institution of marriage is admissible, while all other forms of sexual practices are immoral and denounced. A sexual act violating the norms of chastity and celibacy within the Buddhist community comes to be identified as a deviant sexual act.
    At the backdrop this positioning, this volume engages one in a deep study of what were sensuality and sexuality in early Buddhism, Buddhist attitude to human body, and the definition of celibacy, chastity and normal deviant sexual behaviour along with the nuances of the other two forms of deviant sexual behaviour, i.e. pathological and sociological. Going by the Buddhist philosophy, any deviant sexual behaviour is connected with the issue of human suffering. Twofold sexual conformity – complete sexual abstinence and sex only with one’s own spouse – is emphasized while decrying all non-conforming sexual practices and deciding on a range for sexual acts including homosexual relationship.
    This scholarly work should invigorate the interests of many researchers and academicians to take up further studies and researches on the topic, which has not yet been exposed to the literary world at length.

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    The book systematically studies various Hindu gods and goddesses based on Hindu sacred literature. It covers their earliest references and the evolution of their worship, their attributes and forms, and their signific-ance in the Hindu scheme of worship. It also includes references to many animate/inanimate sacred beings/things associated with the deities.

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    Dictionary of Hindu Gods and Goddesses by: TRR Iyengar 300.00

    The Hindu pantheon of gods and goddesses has evolved over many millennia from a simple worship of elements and phenomena of nature to a complex system of myriad gods and goddesses of differing physical attributes, characteristic features and functions and each with different forms. The present Dictionary is an attempt to provide an in-depth yet comprehensive account of Hindu gods and goddesses referring to all the important religious sources. Based on Hindu sacred literature including the Vedas, epics and the Puranas, the book is a systematic study, in alphabetical order, of various Hindu gods and goddesses covering aspects such as the evolution of their worship and their earliest references in texts, stories of their birth and achievements, their attributes, their significance in the Hindu scheme of worship, their forms of representations, and their relationship with one another. It has references to not only personified beings but also other animate and inanimate ‘sacred’ beings/things, seen in close association with the deities and worshipped by devotees, like Nandi, the bull, the snakes, the banyan and pipal trees, the saligramas and the banalingas. The adornments, vahanas, weapons and places associated with the deities are also elaborately discussed. The Dictionary will be an immensely useful reference work for scholars of ancient Indian mythology and religion as well as general readers willing to know more about Hindu gods and goddesses.

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    Since the inception of Creation, woman has always been adored as a symbol of strength (Shakti) and beauty (Saundarya). In reality, the importance of woman begins in the foremost ancient text of the Rigveda in its Vak Sukta. Upanishads also mention “Usha Devi” as eternally young woman. This trend continues in Puranas too. History of ancient India has been described in Puranas, and sanskriti (culture) shown therein is the sanskriti of a comman man. Markandeya Purana, one of the eighteen Mahapuranas, consists a collection of thirteen chapters in 700 shlokas named Durgasaptashati, depicting that form of Goddess Bhagavati, the Universal Mother, which explores woman’s dignity with its constructive power.
    In the same tone, Saundaryalahari mentions about Bhagavati who is simply Kundalini, and her depiction as aesthetically beautiful woman is manifested by Shankaracharya. This scripture reveals that the worshipping power inspires us for continuous creation, and discusses about philosophical (Tantric), cultural and literary “trinity.” In this deliberation antiquity manifests itself into modernity and ultimately into science. When meaningfulness of “word-Brahman” takes divine form, then it becomes humanity and there itself we realize the concept of Shiva-Shakti. The light of Brahman exists in this world. This exact realisation of Brahma is the subject-matter of this book.
    The sources of Indian culture are found in Darshan and Tantra. This expounds the expression of Tantra philosophy in the comparative appreciation of Durgasaptashati and Saundaryalahari. This book appreciates poetry, culture and literature and at the same time, there is also beautiful assimilation of aesthetic sense, Tattva-Darshan and literature.

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    Durgasaptashati Evam Saundaryalahiri ka Tulnatmak Anusheelan by: Vishvamohini Pandey 500.00 450.00

    Since the inception of Creation, woman has always been adored as a symbol of strength (Shakti) and beauty (Saundarya). In reality, the importance of woman begins in the foremost ancient text of the Rigveda in its Vak Sukta. Upanishads also mention “Usha Devi” as eternally young woman. This trend continues in Puranas too. History of ancient India has been described in Puranas, and sanskriti (culture) shown therein is the sanskriti of a comman man. Markandeya Purana, one of the eighteen Mahapuranas, consists a collection of thirteen chapters in 700 shlokas named Durgasaptashati, depicting that form of Goddess Bhagavati, the Universal Mother, which explores woman’s dignity with its constructive power.
    In the same tone, Saundaryalahari mentions about Bhagavati who is simply Kundalini, and her depiction as aesthetically beautiful woman is manifested by Shankaracharya. This scripture reveals that the worshipping power inspires us for continuous creation, and discusses about philosophical (Tantric), cultural and literary “trinity.” In this deliberation antiquity manifests itself into modernity and ultimately into science. When meaningfulness of “word-Brahman” takes divine form, then it becomes humanity and there itself we realize the concept of Shiva-Shakti. The light of Brahman exists in this world. This exact realisation of Brahma is the subject-matter of this book.
    The sources of Indian culture are found in Darshan and Tantra. This expounds the expression of Tantra philosophy in the comparative appreciation of Durgasaptashati and Saundaryalahari. This book appreciates poetry, culture and literature and at the same time, there is also beautiful assimilation of aesthetic sense, Tattva-Darshan and literature.

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    The book is a meticulous research work based on field study that delves deep into the need for the empowerment of the aged while analysing the factors that lead to disempowerment in the old age as also the social role of old-age homes in mitigating the difficulties of the aged.

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    Empowerment and Disempowerment of the Olds by: L. Thara Bhai 600.00 540.00

    The book emphasises on a deeper understanding of ageing in the society of today, viewing it as a precarious process, both at the individual and at the societal level. It takes into consideration the position of the aged within the family and in the society, and the changes that have come about over the last few decades. Effects of globalization, break-up of the joint-family system, and the growing materialism and commercialization of society make the elderly viewed only from the ßeconomicû perspective.
    The book examines certain theories on gerontology, pointing out that the workable theories should focus more on application so that the aged can benefit from such theories. It analyses the literature on the old: how different scholars and specialists have viewed ageing and its different aspects like the impact of genetic influences and the environment on ageing. Based on a field study, involving elderly from all castes and religious groups both in urban and rural areas, it delves deep into the need for empowerment of the aged. It argues that religion, community and the institutional stay have a direct correlation with the empowerment and disempowerment process, which has more impact on the upper than the lower castes. It undertakes case studies and comes up with interesting and significant observation. Personal income is considered the main source of empowerment. It significantly views institutional care of the old in the context of empowerment and disempowerment, analysing factors that force the old to choose to live in the old-age homes.
    The volume is a meticulous research work that will prove extremely relevant to scholars and students as a sociological study on ageing and the elderly especially in the Indian context.

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    The book is a study of Indian art, iconography and sculptures representing devotion, love, human moods and sentiments, especially in its depiction of female sculptures on ancient temples covering famous temple of Khajuraho, Bhubaneswar, Pura, Konark, Nagda, Belur, Halebid, Ajanta and Ambarnath of various dynasties.

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    Feminine Beauty in Indian Art and Literature by: T.N. Mishra 750.00 675.00

    The book is a study of Indian art representing devotion, love, human moods and sentiments, especially in its depiction of female sculptures on ancient temples. It begins with a discussion on Indian art as synthesis of the sublime in nature and the human physical form that conveys the sublime. With numerous illustrations of art, iconography and sculptures from different regions of India, it examines a breath-taking variety of female forms of divinities, celestial nymphs and others symbolising youth, beauty and sensuousness. Referring to features of art of different periods under various dynasties, like the Gupta art, it focuses on representation of female forms and couples particularly erotic realisations in art, i.e. nude figures and mithuna scenes. It studies the figures carved on various materials and in different styles, highlighting the salient features of each one of them. The influence of religious traditions, as Tantrism, on the art depicted is painstakingly traced. Giving examples from famous temples of Khajuràho, Bhubaneswar, Purã, Koõàrk, Nàgdà, Belår, Haëebid, Ajantà and Ambarnàth, the work examines expressions, postures and attitudes of figures to show that they reflect physical bliss, emotional and psychological expressions, and the spiritual state. The book will be useful for scholars of art and art historians in particular who are keen on understanding the aesthetics of Indian art.

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    The work examines adoption of handicrafts as an occupation by artisan women of Kashmir to contribute significantly to their families and the society in spite of problems of earning livelihood in a patriarchal society. Based on empirical data, it deals with their socio-economic background, the way they cope with their duties at home and those of their profession, and their aspirations and rights.

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    Forgotten Identities by: Salima Jan 500.00 450.00

    The contribution of women to sustenance and survival of cultures and civilization, as such, has assumed new proportions in the last century or so, with women engaging themselves in a range of activities for livelihood in urban centres. Their contributions have, however, largely gone unacknowledged due to various factors. This study attempts to address this aspect by focusing on the role of urban women in the handicrafts sector in Kashmir. Dr. Salima Jan examines how the artisan women, in spite of difficulties of earning livelihood in a patriachal society, have adopted handicraft as a household occupation and are contributing immensely to family and society. Based on empirical data obtained from survey and presenting case studies, the work examines the socio-economic and educational background of artisan women before delving into aspects, such as, the nature of work done by them, their wages in different handicrafts, their control over these and the conditions under which the women have opted for the role. It analyses the manner in which the women cope with their dual roles — involvement in household chores as well as employment in handicrafts — and deals with their individual aspirations and rights in this context — i.e., their say in decision-making in families and their perceptions of job satisfaction and changing role of women. This research effort would be useful to researchers and scholars engaged in a range of sociological disciplines but, particularly, associated with sociology of work and gender studies.

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