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Dance of Divine Love : India's Classic Sacred Love Story: The Rasa Lila of Krishna - Graham M. Schweig

Dance of Divine Love

India's Classic Sacred Love Story: The Rasa Lila of Krishna

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The heart of this book is a dramatic love poem, the Rasa Lila, which is the ultimate focal point of one of the most treasured Sanskrit texts of India, the "Bhagavata Purana." Judged a literary masterpiece by Indian and Western scholars alike, this work of poetic genius and soaring religious vision is one of the world's greatest sacred love stories and, as Graham Schweig clearly demonstrates, should be regarded as India's Song of Songs. The story presents the supreme deity as the youthful and amorous cowherd, Krishna, who joins his beloved maidens in an enchanting and celebratory "dance of divine love."

Schweig introduces this work of exquisite poetry and profound theology to the Western world in the form of a luminous translation and erudite scholarly treatment. His book explores the historical context and literary genre of the work and elucidates the aesthetic and emotional richness of the composition, highlighting poignant details of this drama of divine love. Schweig illuminates the religious dimensions and ethical nuances of the drama, drawing widely from the commentaries and esoteric vision of masters of the Caitanya school of Vaishnavism, a prominent devotional Hindu tradition.

Themes such as transcendence of death through love, the yoga of devotion, the contrast between worldly love and passionate love for God, and the dialectical tension between ethical boundaries and boundless love are presented. The final event of the Rasa dance, the author concludes, presents a dynamic symbol of supreme love that provides the basis for a theological vision of genuine religious pluralism.

Industry Reviews

"This is the most complete presentation of the Rasa Lila, focusing on the text and story itself and looking at it, as it requires, from each of its many viewpoints. The scholarship and teaching quality are first-rate... Schweig's approach is inclusive, consciously reaching out to all levels of reader/devotee/connoisseur and clearly wishing not to leave anyone behind... [E]veryone interested in Hinduism, literature, and religion should consider buying this book."--James D. Redington, S.J., Journal of Vaishnava Studies "A fascinating study and eloquent translation of the beloved story of the all-attractive god Krishna's nocturnal dalliances with the cowherder women of Vraja as described in the Bhagavata Purana... Schweig render[s] this Sanskrit classic into elegant English."--Joel Bordeaux, Altar Magazine This book is an event-for Vaishnavas and everyone else. Long awaited by insiders, it will be a grace to outsiders, too... [E]veryone interested in Hinduism, literature, and religion should consider buying this boo--especially those who incline to mystical love religion and its literature."--James D. Redington, Jr., Yoga and Vaishnavism "Scholars of Vaisnavism will be pleased by this volume and its singular focus."--Frederick M. Smith, Religious Studies Review

List of Figures and Tablesp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Pronunciationp. xxi
Abbreviationsp. xxv
Introduction The Sacred Love Storyp. 1
A Drama of Lovep. 1
Sacred Love Storiesp. 6
India's Song of Songsp. 8
Bhagavata as the Ultimate Scripturep. 11
Sacred Context of the Rasa Lilap. 16
Poems from the Bhagavata Purana
Dance of Divine Love: Rasa Lilap. 23
Krishna Attracts the Gopis and Disappearsp. 25
The Gopis Search for Krishnap. 39
The Song of the Gopis: Gopi Gitap. 51
Krishna Reappears and Speaks of Lovep. 58
The Rasa Dancep. 65
Song of the Flute: Venu Gitap. 78
Song of the Black Bee: Bhramara Gitap. 86
Textual Illuminations
Background of the Textp. 97
Devotional Love as "Rasa"p. 97
Ancient Sources of Devotional Lovep. 101
Devotional Love as the Path to Godp. 105
Forms of the Deity Vishnup. 108
Aspects of the Storyp. 111
Framing Passages of the Rasa Lilap. 111
Poetic and Dramatic Dimensionsp. 114
Krishna: Lord of Love and Beautyp. 117
Vraja: Pastoral Paradisep. 125
Yogamaya: Potency for Intimacyp. 130
The Gopis: Beloveds of Krishnap. 137
The Special Gopi: Radhap. 147
Messages of the Textp. 152
Devotional Yoga Transcends Deathp. 152
Ethical Boundaries and Boundless Lovep. 158
The Vision of Devotional Lovep. 166
Symbolism in the Rasa Lilap. 172
Notes and Comments
Introductionp. 187
p. 189
p. 222
p. 237
p. 250
p. 263
The Sanskrit Text
Introductionp. 291
p. 293
p. 304
p. 313
p. 318
p. 322
Note on Translationp. 331
Poetic Meters in Sanskrit Textp. 336
Accent and Syllable Length: Emphasis and Rhythm in Sanskrit Versep. 337
Sanskrit Meters Used in Rasa Lila Textp. 337
Storyline and Poetic Meter Analysisp. 338
Verse Numbering Variations and Actual Verse Countp. 342
Synoptic Analysis of the Rasa Lilap. 344
Glossaryp. 347
Bibliographyp. 355
Indexp. 367
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691114460
ISBN-10: 0691114463
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 424
Published: 22nd February 2005
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.18 x 16.31  x 3.02
Weight (kg): 0.64