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The experience of the divine in India merges the three components of sight, performance, and sound. This book is about the power and importance of seeing in the Hindu religious tradition. In the Hindu view, not only must the gods keep their eyes open, but so must we, in order to make contact with them, to reap their blessings, and to know their secrets. When Hindus go to temple, their eyes meet the powerful, eternal gaze of the eyes of God. It is called Darsan, Seeing the divine image, and it is the single most common and significant element of Hindu worship. This book explores what darsan means. This is also a book about the divine image in the Hindu tradition. What do Hindus see in the images of the gods? What is meant by these multi-armed gods, with their various weapons, emblems, and animals? How are these images made and consecreted? How are they treated in a ritual context? In exploring the nature of the divine image, this book not only considers the images of the gods, but also the Hindu temple and the Hindu place of pilgrimage.
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
Buddhism is popularly seen as a religion stressing the truth of impermanence. How, then, to account for the long-standing veneration, in Asian Buddhist communities, of bone fragments, hair, teeth, and other bodily bits said to come from the historic Buddha? Early European and American scholars of religion, influenced by a characteristic Protestant bias against relic worship, declared such practices to be superstitious and fraudulent, and far from the true essence of Buddhism. John Strong's book, by contrast, argues that relic veneration has played a serious and integral role in Buddhist traditions in South and Southeast Asia-and that it is in no way foreign to Buddhism. The book is structured around the life story of the Buddha, starting with traditions about relics of previous buddhas and relics from the past lives of the Buddha Sakyamuni. It then considers the death of the Buddha, the collection of his bodily relics after his cremation, and stories of their spread to different parts of Asia. The book ends with a consideration of the legend of the future parinirvana (extinction) of the relics prior to the advent of the next Buddha, Maitreya. Throughout, the author does not hesitate to explore the many versions of these legends and to relate them to their ritual, doctrinal, artistic, and social contexts.