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Yoga, tantra and other forms of Asian meditation are practised in modernized forms throughout the world today, but most introductions to Hinduism or Buddhism tell only part of the story of how they developed. This book is an interpretation of the history of Indic religions up to around 1200 CE, with particular focus on the development of yogic and tantric traditions. It assesses how much we really know about this period, and asks what sense we can make of the evolution of yogic and tantric practices, which were to become such central and important features of the Indic religious scene. Its originality lies in seeking to understand these traditions in terms of the total social and religious context of South Asian society during this period, including the religious practices of the general population with their close engagement with family, gender, economic life and other pragmatic concerns.
Fifty-five documents in a western-Himalayan language dealing with land, pilgrimage, legality and temple-economy are presented. They explicate how ‘lesser states’ patronized numerous shrines and the role of Nath-Siddha-ascetics in creating consent-to-rule, and constructing hybridity between the Hindu and Tibetan-Buddhist traditions.
An Emperor's Palace for Krishna in Eighth-Century Kanchipuram
Author: D Dennis Hudson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This remarkable book is the crowning achievement of the great scholar of Hinduism D. Dennis Hudson. Although Hudson died without completing it, the work has been brought to fruition by editor Margaret Case. The book is a finely detailed study of a renowned Tamil Hindu temple, the Vaikuntha Perumal (ca. 770 C.E.). Hudson uses this temple as an illustration of one major current and historical stage in South Indian Vaisnava religion. He offers a sustained reading of the temple as a coherent, organized, minutely conceptualized mandala whose code can be cracked by close analysis of the temple iconography and structure in the light of major literary and religious texts.