Author: Romila Thapar
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231156554
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Literary Criticism

The figure of Sakuntala appears in many forms throughout South Asian literature, most famously in the Mahabharata and in Kalidisa's fourth-century Sanskrit play, Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection. In these two texts, Sakuntala undergoes a critical transformation, relinquishing her assertiveness and autonomy to become the quintessentially submissive woman, revealing much about the performance of Hindu femininity that would come to dominate South Asian culture. Through a careful analysis of sections from Sakuntala and their various iterations in different contexts, Romila Thapar explores the interactions between literature and history, culture and gender, that frame the development of this canonical figure, as well as a distinct conception of female identity.

Sakuntala Texts Readings Histories

Author: Romila Thapar
ISBN: 818896560X
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Sanskrit drama

The importance of Sakuntala as personifying Indian womanhood in Indian literature and culture is undisputed. This book attempts to explore some of the links between culture, history and gender, and between literature and history, through reading variant versions of the narrative of Sakuntala. These include the stories in the Mahabharata, the play by Kalidasa, and the 18th century kathÄ in Braj. The transformation of Sakuntala from an autonomous assertive figure in the Mahabharata, to the quintessential submissive woman in the Kalidasa version, is carefully examined by the author through a fascinating reading of texts and translations of the play in India and Europe.

The Recognition of Shak ntala

Author: Kālidāsa
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814788157
Release Date: 2006-11-01
Genre: Literary Collections

The play Shakuntala was one of the first examples of Indian literature to be read in translation in Europe. Shakuntala's story is a leitmotiv that recurs in many works of Indian literature and culminates in the master Kali-dasa's drama for the stage. The virtuous heroine is forgotten by her betrothed, the king Dushyanta, only to be refound thanks to a distinguishing signet ring discovered by a fisherman in the belly of one of his catch. The final act distills the essence of human forgiveness, in Shakuntala's gracious release of her husband from his guilt.

Pa catantra

Author: Patrick Olivelle
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199555758
Release Date: 2009-08-27
Genre: Fiction

The Pancatantra is the most famous collection of fables in India and was one of the earliest Indian books to be translated into Western languages. No other work of Indian literature has had a greater influence on world literature, and no other collection of stories has become as popular in India itself. The Pancatantra teaches the principles of good government and public policy through the medium of animal stories, providing a window on toancient Indian society. Its positive attitude towards life and its advocacy of ambition, enterprise, and drive are a salutary antidote to the pious pronouncements about the passivity and other-worldliness of ancient Indiansociety and religion.

From Lineage to State

Author: Romila Thapar
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199087655
Release Date: 1999-11-01
Genre: Social Science

This book is a concise collection of lectures which discuss the nature of early Indian society during the mid-first millennium BC and relate it to the ancient Indian historical tradition in its earliest forms. It also looks at the particular character of social formations, their genesis, and continuity as part of the later Indian social landscape. Examining the social and political formulations of the period, this volume analyses the transformation of lineage-based societies into state formulations. It considers the migration and arrival of the monarchies in the middle Ganga valley, where the evolution of these societies resulted in the formation of a state. It provides insights into environmental influences on settlements, the particularities of caste, the role of rituals, and the interaction of ideology with these changes. The volume presents an account of the interplay of a range of variables in state formation.

Lives of Indian Images

Author: Richard H. Davis
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691005206
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Religion

For many centuries, Hindus have taken it for granted that the religious images they place in temples and home shrines for purposes of worship are alive. Hindu priests bring them to life through a complex ritual "establishment" that invokes the god or goddess into material support. Priests and devotees then maintain the enlivened image as a divine person through ongoing liturgical activity: they must awaken it in the morning, bathe it, dress it, feed it, entertain it, praise it, and eventually put it to bed at night. In this linked series of case studies of Hindu religious objects, Richard Davis argues that in some sense these believers are correct: through ongoing interactions with humans, religious objects are brought to life. Davis draws largely on reader-response literary theory and anthropological approaches to the study of objects in society in order to trace the biographies of Indian religious images over many centuries. He shows that Hindu priests and worshipers are not the only ones to enliven images. Bringing with them differing religious assumptions, political agendas, and economic motivations, others may animate the very same objects as icons of sovereignty, as polytheistic "idols," as "devils," as potentially lucrative commodities, as objects of sculptural art, or as symbols for a whole range of new meanings never foreseen by the images' makers or original worshipers.

Time as a Metaphor of History

Author: Romila Thapar
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195637984
Release Date: 1996
Genre: History

Thapar examines the link between time and history through the use of cyclic and linear concepts of time, and argues for the existence of historical consciousness in early India, on the evidence of early texts.

Remarkable Healings

Author: Shakuntala Modi
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing
ISBN: 1612831095
Release Date: 1998-04-01
Genre: Psychology

Psychiatry remains an emerging discipline. Many people suffer from ailments that have no apparent cause, no obvious cure. Quite by accident, while using hypnotherapy, Dr. Modi discovered that pastlife regression can be a beneficial treatment. Many of these patients, under hypnosis, claimed to have spirits attached to their bodies and energy fields, creating psychological and physical problems. Based on years of experience, Dr. Modi describes techniques that release these spirits, revealing how patients can sometimes recover within a few sessions. While most doctors would agree that emotional states affect our health, few would give credence to spiritual "influences." In this truly groundbreaking book, Dr. Modi presents evidence that something beyond the physical affects the health of many people, and urges medical scientists to objectively assess this revolutionary approach to mental and, often, physical illness. Pioneers have the courage to put aside the status quo and evaluate what the evidence shows, even if it defies the prevailing logic of the time. Both physicians and the general public should explore the pioneering work of Dr. Modiwork which no doubt has produced many remarkable healings.


Author: Priya Sarukkai Chabria
Publisher: Zubaan
ISBN: 9789385932007
Release Date: 2016-03-11
Genre: Poetry

Ninth century Tamil poet and founding saint Andal is believed to have been found as a baby underneath a holy basil plant in the temple garden of Srivilliputhur. As a young woman she fell deeply in love with Lord Vishnu, composing fervent poems and songs in his honour and, according to custom, eventually marrying the god himself. The Autobiography of a Goddess is Andal's entire corpus, composed before her marriage to Vishnu, and it cements her status as the South Indian corollary to Mirabai, the saint and devotee of Sri Krishna. The collection includes Tiruppavai, a song still popular in congregational worship, thirty pasuram (stanzas) sung before Lord Vishnu, and the less-translated, rapturously erotic Nacchiyar Tirumoli. Priya Sarrukai Chabria and Ravi Shankar employ a radical method in this translation, breathing new life into this rich classical and spiritual verse by rendering Andal in a contemporary poetic idiom in English. Many of Andal's pieces are translated collaboratively; others individually and separately. The two approaches are brought together, presenting a richly layered reading of these much-loved classic Tamil poems and songs.

Healing Lost Souls

Author: William J. Baldwin
Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing
ISBN: 1612830129
Release Date: 2003-06-01
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit

For two decades, William Baldwin has been a pioneer in the ever-expanding therapeutic fields of Spirit Releasement, Past Life Regression, and Soul-Mind Fragmentation. In his Florida practice, he uses these therapies routinely to help patients who suffer from Dissociative Trance and Dissociative Identity (formerly called Multiple Personality) Disorders. Healing Lost Souls explains the attributes of each therapy in everyday language, and provides dozens of case studies to illustrate its clinical use. Likening his work to the ancient practice of shamanism, Baldwin has found that psychological disorders are often rooted in past life traumas, the interference of attached entities of various origins, and the fragmentation of one’s soul. Baldwin stresses the importance of active patient participation throughout the stages of regression, as well as the need to treat encountered entities with respect, since they are often mere lost souls as bewildered and frightened as the patients themselves.