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God as Shunya

The Philosophy of Mahima Dharma and Bhima Bhoi by: Tandra Patnaik

This volume is centred around Bhima Bhoi, the chief protagonist of Mahima Dharma of Mahima Svami, and takes this dharma to a meaningful logical conclusion. Bhima Bhoi presents through his lyrical compositions rarefied concepts like Shunya-Brahman, identity between jiva and Brahman, the relation between brahmanda and pinda and bhakti as atmajnana.

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ISBN: 9788124608319
Year Of Publication: 2015
Edition: 1st edition
Pages : xiii, 190p.
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23
Weight: 450

Overview

The philosophy of Mahima Dharma, a religious tradition of Odisha, is centred around the concept of God as Shunya-Brahman, and is remarkable for its stance towards religion, man and society. Mahima Dharma, though very much a part of the Indian religio-philosophical tradition, boldly defies idolatry, meaningless rites, religious pomposites and social discrimination, based on varna dharmajati. Bhima Bhoi, the chief protagonist of this dharma, presents a shunya-centric metaphysics and takes it to a meaningful logical conclusion.
Bhima Bhoi, a well-known tribal poet of nineteenth-century Odisha, presents through his lyrical compositions rarefied concepts like Shunya-Brahman, identity between jiva and Brahman, the relation between brahmanda and pinda and bhakti as atmajnana. His words, choice of philosophical ideas and style of presentation bear the stamp of his predecessors, Pancasakha and Caitanya Dasa.
This volume concisely deals with the varied aspects of Indian religio-philosophic tradition such as God as shunya in other traditions, the genesis of Mahima Dharma and its approach and interpretation of Shunya-Brahman, the relationship between God and man, and the dissident stream of spirituality. It talks about the persona of Bhima Bhoi as a poet and a philosopher, and his contested status in the society; also the impact of other thought systems like Buddhism, classical Advaitism, Sanatana Dharma on Mahima Dharma.
Academic in nature, this book should propel the inquisitiveness of many a researcher on Indian religio-philosophic systems and students of philosophy and theological systems.

Contents

Prologue
Preface
1. Introduction
I. Dhama and Darshana: Paradoxes and Anomalies
Is Bhakti Movement God-centric?
The Philosopher vis-à-vis the Mystic
The Tradition and Its Critique
II. Mahima Dharma: An Overview
Part I
2. God as Shunya: Other Traditions
The Genesis of the Concept of Shunya
The Spirit of Assimilation
God as Shunya in Shaivism
God as Shunya in Buddhism
Dharma Sect of Bengal
Vaishnavism of Odisha (Utkaliya Vaishnavism)
Part II
3. The Genesis of Mahima Dharma
The Backdrop
Mahima Svami
Is Mahima Dharma Inspired by Christianity?
Bhima Bhoi: The Vanguard Mahima Literature
The Tenets of Mahima Dharma
4. God as Shunya: Mahima Dharma
Alekha and Mahima
God as Shunya
The Nature of Shunya-Brahman/Purusha
Monism or Monotheism?
5. Shunya-Brahman, Jagat and Jiva
Shunya-Brahman and Jagat
Shunya-Brahman and Jivatman
The Body as the Seat of Divinity
Layers of Shunya
6. Man and God
Bhakti: The Two Dimensions
Jnana and Bhakti: The New Perspective
The Mahima Concept of Jnana-Bhakti
The Concept of Nishkama-Bhakti: The Progress from Morality to Spirituality
Nishkama-Bhakti and Human Action
The Concept of Guru
7. The Dissident Stream of Sprituality
The Dissident Stream of Spirituality
Dharma and the Children of Lesser God
Bhakti as a Form of Non-Conformism
Mahima Dharma and the Voice of Dissent
8. God as Shunya and Universalism
Samata
Karuna
Epilogue
Bhima Bhoi: A Poet or a Philosopher?
Bhima Bhoi: The Contested Status
Appendix: Mahima Dharma: Buddhism or Classical Advaitism?
Is Mahima Dharma a Form of Buddhism?
Is Mahima Dharma a Part of Sanatana Dharma?
Mahima Dharma: The Indegenous Product of the Soil
Bibliography
Index

Meet the Author
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1947
Late Dr Tandra Patnaik distinguished herself with Utkal University having become topper at the BA (Hons) and MA examinations. She combined in her the scholarship of a grammarian, a Sanskritist and a philosopher which had given her the essential interdisciplinary orientation to reinterpret Bhartrhari in terms of the recent developments in the Philosophy of Language. Her doctoral dissertation on “James’ Concept of Meaning” (1982) was spoken of very highly by Sir P.F. Strawson (of Oxford), who also happened to be her PhD examiner. An author of four books and numerous research papers, Dr Patnaik was with the P.G. Department of Philosophy, Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.
Books of Tandra Patnaik