River and Goddess Worship in India: Changing Perceptions and Manifestations of Sarasvati (Paperback)
  • River and Goddess Worship in India: Changing Perceptions and Manifestations of Sarasvati (Paperback)
zoom

River and Goddess Worship in India: Changing Perceptions and Manifestations of Sarasvati (Paperback)

(author)
£36.99
Paperback 148 Pages / Published: 12/12/2019
  • We can order this from the publisher

Usually dispatched within 15 working days

  • This item has been added to your basket

Sarasvati assumes different roles, a physical river and a river goddess, then as a goddess of speech and finally that of a goddess of learning, knowledge, arts and music. References to Sarasvati in the Vedas and the Brahmanas, the Mahabharata and the Puranas and her marked presence in other religious orders, such as Buddhism, Jainism and the Japanese religion, form the basis of discussion as regards her various attributes and manifestations. In Jainism, her counter-part is Sutra-devi, in Buddhism it is Manjusri and Prajnaparamita and in the Japanese religion, Benten is the representative goddess. The physical presence of Sarasvati in various iconic forms is seen in Nepal, Tibet and Japan. Tantrism associated with Sarasvati also finds reflection in these religious traditions. Sculptors and art historians take delight in interpreting various symbols her iconic forms represent.



The book examines Sarasvati's origin, the course of her flow and the place of her disappearance in a holistic manner. Based on a close analysis of texts from the early Rig-Veda to the Brahmanas and the Puranas, it discusses different view-points in a balanced perspective and attempts to drive the discussions towards the emergence of a consensus view. The author delineates the various phases of Sarasvati's evolution to establish her unique status and emphasise her continued relevance in the Hindu tradition. The book argues that the practice of pilgrimage further evolved after its association with the river Sarasvati who was perceived as divinity personified in Hindu tradition. This, in turn, led to the emergence of numerous pilgrimage sites on or near her banks which attracted a large number of pilgrims.



A multifaceted and interdisciplinary analysis of a Hindu goddess, this book will be of interest to academics researching South Asian Religion, Hinduism and Indian Philosophy as also the general readers.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
ISBN: 9780367886714
Number of pages: 148
Weight: 354 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

This is a commendable book, thorough, carefully researched, ground-breaking, and generously sensitive to the multiple dimensions of Sarasvati as goddess and river over the ages. R. U. S. Prasad has very responsibly studied the many and varied relevant texts, and also paid attention to geographical, architectural, and iconographic details. He has taken seriously a very long history, without reducing the meaning of what we learn about Sarasvati simply to historical data. Scholars and believers both will respect this book and benefit from the immense learning it contains. It should quickly become a standard resource for the study of Sarasvati and similar figures in the Vedic and Hindu traditions.

Francis X. Clooney, SJ, Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology and Director, Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University, US

This carefully researched study provides an excellent contribution to present controversial debates on the identity of India's holy river. Of particular relevance in this context is the critical evaluation of the various theories about Sarasvati's identification with the Helmand river in Afghanistan, the Indus and the seasonal monsoon fed Ghaggar-Hakra river in Haryana and south eastern Pakistan. The main emphasis and significant capacity of the book is the comprehensive analysis of the textual evidence from the Rigveda to the Puranas, depicting the successive stages and facets of Sarasvati's transformation from a river goddess to the divine embodiment of speech and learning, fine arts and music.

Hermann Kulke, Kiel University, Germany

Dr R.U.S. Prasad's work reflects a very thorough study of the available evidence on Sarasvati. He has effectively demonstrated within the confines of evidence that Sarasvati was a river in reality eulogized by the Aryans without getting trapped in the quagmire of an irrelevant archaeol

You may also be interested in...

The Sickness Unto Death
Added to basket
Judaism: A Very Short Introduction
Added to basket
Fields of Blood
Added to basket
£11.99
Paperback
A History of Christianity
Added to basket
Humanism: A Very Short Introduction
Added to basket
Religion and the Decline of Magic
Added to basket
There Is a God
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Meditations
Added to basket
£7.99
Paperback
Islam
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Screwtape Letters
Added to basket
Christendom Destroyed
Added to basket
Critique of Judgement
Added to basket
Event
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Simone Weil: An Anthology
Added to basket
Beyond Good and Evil
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.