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Viraha-Bhakti: The Early History of Krsna (Krishna) Devotion in South India

Viraha-Bhakti: The Early History of Krsna (Krishna) Devotion in South India
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Item Code: IDE759
Author: Friedhelm Hardy
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Edition: 2001
ISBN: 0195649168
Pages: 713
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.6" X 5.5"
From the Jacket:

The Lord Krsna abandoned his early mistresses who then spent their days of separation pining for his return. This powerful theme found expression not only in myth, but also in the devotion and poetry of a religious culture which evolved in South India. Viraha-bhakti, as the author styles this type of Krsna religion, imbued the theme of separation with erotic and ecstatic features and evolved as one of the highlights of Indian religion and culture. This work is a detailed study of the multifarious origins of Viraha-bhakti in South India and its developments up to the point at which it entered the pan-Indian scene.

The study suggests a revision of the monolithic image of Indian religion implied in much scholarly literature. It differentiate a great variety of interacting traditions and milieux, and demonstrates the dynamism of Indian culture. By identifying a specific type of religion and reflecting on its significance, the author attempts to go beyond purely textual and historical considerations. This book will be of interest to any student of Indian religion and culture.

About the Author:

Friedhelm Hardy is Reader in Indian Religions, King's College, University of London. His main areas of interest are the religions and cultures of India, especially South India.


1. General Introduction1
2. The Myths of Krsna and the milkmaids in Northern Literature (up to the eleventh century)51
3.Mayon: The god of the jasmine landscape (Krsnaism in cankam literature)119
4. Mayon mysticism: The Alvars239
5. The Bhagavata Purana481
6.Emotional Krsna bhakti: prolegomena to an evaluation553

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