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"Drawing from topics of religion in India such as bhakti, puja rituals, and spirit posessions, these essays offer a close study of the physical representations of god as the central feature of Hinduism. A valuable tool for students of anthroplogy and the philosophy and history of religion." --
The issue of saints is a difficult and complicated problem in Buddhology. In this magisterial work, Ray offers the first comprehensive examination of the figure of the Buddhist saint in a wide range of Indian Buddhist evidence. Drawing on an extensive variety of sources, Ray seeks to identify the "classical type" of the Buddhist saint, as it provides the presupposition for, and informs, the different major Buddhist saintly types and subtypes. Discussing the nature, dynamics, and history of Buddhist hagiography, he surveys the ascetic codes, conventions and traditions of Buddhist saints, and the cults both of living saints and of those who have "passed beyond." Ray traces the role of the saints in Indian Buddhist history, examining the beginnings of Buddhism and the origin of Mahayana Buddhism.
Genre in Asian Film and Television takes a dynamic approach to the study of Asian screen media previously under-represented in academic writing. It combines historical overviews of developments within national contexts with detailed case studies on the use of generic conventions and genre hybridity in contemporary films and television programmes.
Krishna is a central figure in Hinduism, a religion that has been a fundamental force for thousands of years. This accessible encyclopedia covers texts, practices, scholarship, and arts related to Krishna from the earliest known sources on. • Overviews the importance of Krishna to world history • Offers topical and thematic entries illuminating classical texts and practice and modern developments inside and outside India • Covers philosophical traditions such as Advaita and vegetarianism as well as spiritual and yoga traditions and their contemporary adaptations • Includes extensive studies of followers and founders of Krishna in India and around the world • Shares geographical information regarding sacred places and places of pilgrimage
This book explores the festival of Thaipusam in terms of its own inner dynamics - the traditions and belief structures which ensure the festival's continuing relevance to Malaysian Hindus. It argues that Thaipusam reflects a growing sense of Hindu identity in Malaysia and an as yet inchoate unity. It contends that while the kavadi ritual provides profound meaning at the individual and group level, Thaipusam furnishes a public arena for and gives expression to a powerful Hindu resurgence, largely, though not exclusively, fuelled by Dravidian assertiveness. In situating the festival within the context of a Malaysia dominated by Malay and Islamic power brokers, a society in which both the Indian community and Hinduism are relegated to the margins, the book explores the festival of Thaipusam as a vehicle for mobilization of religious symbols and values which not only simultaneously articulate ethnicity and thus resist the forces which threaten cultural and religious integrity, but which also ultimately signal wider allegiances to the broader politico-cultural world of an imagined, immeasurably rich, and enduring Indo-Hindu civilization.