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The Gods at Play : Lila in South Asia - William S. Sax

The Gods at Play

Lila in South Asia

By: William S. Sax (Editor)

Paperback

Published: 1st January 1995
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God is playful. Like a child building sand castles on the beach, God creates the world and destroys it again. God plays with his (or her) devotees, sometimes like a lover, sometimes like a mother with her children, sometimes like an actor in a play.
The idea of God's playfulness has been elaborated in Hinduism more, perhaps, than any other religion, providing one of the most distinctive and charming aspects of Indian religious life. Lila or "divine play" can refer to many things: to God's playful creation of the world and to religious dramas or "plays," as well as to various motifs in Hindu art. But despite the importance of lila in the cultural history of South Asia, few comprehensive studies of it are available, partly because scholars have tended to emphasize only one dimension of lila--either the theological or the performative--at the expense of the other. The Gods at Play fills this gap by bringing together scholarly essays on all aspects of this important Hindu idea, providing students with a broader understanding of popular Hindu culture and religion.

"Accessible enough to be useful for introducing college students to the rich concept of play in theistic Hinduism, and sophisticated enough to be of value to specialists."--Religious Studies Review "It is very helpful to have this collection of reflections on the important notion of Play in South Asia."--Richard Lariviere, University of Texas "Interesting overview of a key Hindu concept. Especially enlightening are articles by Hein, Wulff, and Hawley. Fills a gap in the field."--Robert Forman, Hunter College "Good anthology."--Whalen Lai, University of California at Davis "Looks like an excellent text I could use in classes next time I teach a course on India."--H.L. Seneviratna, University of Virginia "Accessible enough to be useful for introducing college students to the rich concept of play in theistic Hinduism, and sophisticated enough to be of value to specialists."--Religious Studies Review "It is very helpful to have this collection of reflections on the important notion of Play in South Asia."--Richard Lariviere, University of Texas "Interesting overview of a key Hindu concept. Especially enlightening are articles by Hein, Wulff, and Hawley. Fills a gap in the field."--Robert Forman, Hunter College "Good anthology."--Whalen Lai, University of California at Davis "Looks like an excellent text I could use in classes next time I teach a course on India."--H.L. Seneviratna, University of Virginia "A solid, useful, well-written collection of essays on an essential topic....The diversity of scholars and disciplines is rich indeed." --David Knipe, University of Wisconsin

1: Introduction I. THE THEOLOGY OF PLAY 2: Norvin Hein: Lila 3: Clifford Hospital: Lila in Early Vaisnava Thought 4: Bettina Baumer: The Play of the Three World: The Trike Concept of Lila 5: Robert E. Goodwin: The Playworld of Sanskrit Poetry: Model Sakuntala 6: Malcolm McLean: At the Whim of the Goddess: The Lila of the Goddess in Bengal Saktism II. RELIGIOUS PLAY IN NORTH AND SOUTH INDIA 7: Donna Wulff: The Play of Emotion: Lilakirtan in Bengal 8: John S. Hawley: Every Play a Play Within the Play 9: W.S. Sax: Who's Who in the Panday Lila 10: Nita Kumar: Class and Gender Politics in the Ramlila 11: Vasudha Narayanan: The Realm of Play and the Sacred Stage 12: Alf Hiltebeitel: Draupadi Cult Lilas 13: John Carman: Some Concluding Reflections

ISBN: 9780195091021
ISBN-10: 0195091027
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 239
Published: 1st January 1995
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.01 x 14.28  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.28