Bhakti and Embodiment
Fashioning Divine Bodies and Devotional Bodies in Krsna Bhakti
Routledge – 2014 – 256 pages
Series: Routledge Hindu Studies Series
This book explores the connections between bhakti and embodiment and is concerned more specifically with constructions of divine bodies and devotional bodies in Krishna bhakti traditions. Grounding general reflections on bhakti and embodiment in an analysis of two case studies: the Bhagavata Purana, one of the most important scriptures in the Vaisnava bhakti canon, and the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, an important bhakti movement inspired by the Bengali leader Caitanya in the sixteenth century that invokes the canonical authority of the Bhagavata Purana as the basis for its own distinctive teachings.
Introduction 1. Bhakti and Divine Embodiment: Fashioning Divine Bodies 2. The Embodied Aesthetics of Bhakti: Fashioning Devotional Bodies 3. Bhagavata Purana as Text-Avatara: From Purana-Veda to Krishna-Veda to Embodiment of Bhagavan 4. Naman as Sound-Avatara: From Transcendent Vibration to Reverberating Name 5. Vraja-Dhaman as Place-Avatara: From Mythic Space to Pilgrimage Place to Transcendent Space 6. Meditation as Devotional Practice: Experiencing Krishna in His Transcendent Dhaman
Barbara A. Holdrege is a comparative historian of religions in the Department of Religious Studies and Chair of the South Asian Studies Committee at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.