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Singing the Body of God : The Hymns of Vedantadesika in their South Indian Tradition - Steven Paul Hopkins

Singing the Body of God

The Hymns of Vedantadesika in their South Indian Tradition

Hardcover Published: 1st May 2002
ISBN: 9780195127355
Number Of Pages: 368

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This is the first full-length study of the devotional poetry and poetics of the fourteenth-century poet-philosopher Vedantadesika, one of the most outstanding and influential figures in the Hindu tradition of Sri-Vaishnavism (the cult of Lord Vishnu). Despite their intrinsic beauty and theological importance, the poetry and philosophy of Vedantadesika have received very little scholarly attention. But for the millions who belong to the Vaishnava tradition, those poems are not just classical literature; they are committed to memory, recited, sung, and enacted in ritual both in India and throughout the Hindu diaspora. Steven Hopkins here offers a comparative study of the Sanskrit, Prakit, and Tamil poems composed by Vedantadesika in praise of important Vaishnava shrines and their icons--poems that are considered to be the apogee of South Indian devotional literature.

Industry Reviews

"An excellent and important addition to the scholarship on South Indian religious literature. Hopkins is eminently succesful in raising broad issues that are of interest to students of poetry, religion, and history at the same time that he renders a particular South Indian intellectual and his world interesting and fully accessibleto the nonspecialist. Hopkins has captured the beauty and emotional power of De'sika's poetry in three languages, making Singing the Body of God yet another link in the chain of "texts of enjoyment." --History of Religions "A significant contribution to the study of pre-modern South Indian literary and devotional cultures. ...Perhaps the best part of Singing the Body of God--certainly the foundation of the fine and persuasive analysis offered here--are the beautiful translations of Vedantadesika's poetic work, artful renderings in eminently readable and even poetic American English that set a high standard for all future scholarship in the field. ...A significant work that challenges current scholarly models of bhakti, language, choice, and literary cultures in pre-modern South Asia." --Journal of the American Oriental Society

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
A Note on Orthography and the Pronunciation of Wordsp. xvii
Singing the Body of Godp. 2
Introduction Singing in Tonguesp. 3
The Bell of Tirupatip. 25
Philosopher, Preacher, Poetp. 27
Deśika in the Art of Śrīvaisnava Narrativep. 48
Tamil and Beyondp. 77
Deśika's Tamil Poetry and the Praise of Kingsp. 79
Deśika's Tamil Poetry in the Akam Modep. 115
In Love with the Body of Vishnup. 135
Singing the Southern Tradition in Sanskrit and Prākritp. 167
Praises of Kanci in the Northern Tonguep. 169
Seeing the Body of Devanayāka in Sanskrit and Prākritp. 199
Conclusion: The Hymns of Vedantadeśika in Their South Indian Traditionp. 232
Notesp. 245
Bibliographyp. 313
Indexp. 327
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195127355
ISBN-10: 0195127358
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 1st May 2002
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.39
Weight (kg): 0.52