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Worshiping Siva in Medieval India: Ritual in an Oscillating Universe

Worshiping Siva in Medieval India: Ritual in an Oscillating Universe

Richard H. Davis

  • ISBN: 9788120817470, 8120817478
  • Year of Publication: 2008
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Edition: 1st
  • No. of Pages: 200
  • Language: English
Rs. 495.00

Saiva liturgy is performed in a world that oscillates: a world permeated by the presence of Siva, where humans live in a condition of bondage and where the highest aim of the soul is to attain liberation from its fetters. In this account of Indian temple ritual, Richard Davis uses medieval Hindu texts to describe the world as it is envisioned by Saiva siddhanta and the way daily worship reflects that world and acts within it. He argues that this worship is not simply a set of ritualized gestures, but rather a daily catechism in which the worshiper puts into action all the major themes of cosmic Saiva philosophy the cyclic pattern of emission and reabsorption, the human path of attaining liberation, the manifestation of divinity in the world, and the proper interrelationship of humanity and god. In re-creating the convictions and intentions of a well-versed worshiper of the twelfth century, Davis moves back and forth between philosophical and ritual texts, demonstrating the fundamental Saiva belief that the capacities of humans to know about the world and to act within it are two interrelated modalities of the unitary power of consciousness.

Review(s)

"...... a commendable work filling a lacuna in Saiva studies." -- Praci-Jyoti, Digest on Indological Studies "...........work comprises an introduction, endnotes, a glossary, a selected bibliography, an index....bibliography is indedd "selected". Those in

About the Author(s)

RICHARD H. DAVIS born in 1951, Professor of Religion, Director Religion Program, Director, Asian Studies Program, Bard College. He is the winner of the 1999 Ananda Kentish Coomarashany Book prize, and Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, U.S. and Canada.

His other publications include Ritual in an Oscillating Universe: Worshiping Siva in Medieval India, and The Bhagavadgita: A Biography (both Princeton University Press). More recently he has edited a volume entitled Images, Miracles, and Authority in Asian Religious Traditions.


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