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Andal and Akka Mahadevi

Feminity to Divinity by: Alka Tyagi

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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ISBN: 9788124607169
Year Of Publication: 2014
Edition: 1st
Pages : xvii, 278p.
Bibliographic Details : Appendices; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23
Weight: 600

Overview

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.

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgement
Section One
1. Ancient Religions and Emergence of Bhakti
2. Evolution of Bhakti in South India
3. Allvar Bhakti and Srivaishnavism
4. Nayannmar Bhakti and Virashaivism
Section Two
5. Bhakti Poetry: Intersemiotic Transformations
6. Andal: Srivaishnavite Woman Alvar Saint
7. Transformations in Andal’s Life and Work
8. Akka Mahadevi: Virashaivite Woman Saint
9. Transformations in Akka’s Life and Work
Section Three
10. Living Bhakti Traditions
Appendices
Appendix A: Bhakti Poetry and Bhakti Experience: A State of Mind and a Way of Being
Appendix B: Tiruppavai: The Sacred Vow by Andal
Appendix C: Akka Mahadevi’s Vacanas
Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
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Dr Alka Tyagi, a poet, translator and critic, teaches English at Dyal Singh (evening) College, University of Delhi. Her doctoral thesis is on medieval Bhakti poets Andal and Akka Mahadevi. She writes poetry in Hindi and English and her Hindi collection Sun ri Sakhi has been published recently. Dr Tyagi has co-edited, Gendered Space, an anthology of short stories translated from Indian languages into English. She has edited English translation of Kalidasa's Abhijnanasakuntalam. She has also collected and rewritten a collection of oral and folk tales of wisdom published as Healing Tales. Her areas of interest are Bhakti, Yoga and Tantra Darshan.
Books of Alka Tyagi