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Bhakti in Vaishnava Traditions

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Item Code: HAS678
Author: Shakuntala Gawde, Ferdinando Sardella
Publisher: Dev Publishers And Distributors
Language: English
Edition: 2024
ISBN: 9789359441832
Pages: 246
Other Details 9x6 inch
Weight 450 gm
Book Description
About the Book

The book "Bhakti in Vaiznava Traditions" explores various dimensions of bhakri in Vaisnavism. Vaisnavism, a cornerstone of India's spiritual traditions, is deeply entrenched in the fertile grounds of bhakti, representing intense devotion and love towards the divine. This exploration delves into the intricate realm of Vaisnavism, spotlighting its historical trajectory and philosophical bedrock, all harmonized by the resonant theme of bhakti. The book is organized into three parts: Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gitä, Bhakti in Vedanta, and Regional Traditions.

The first part elucidates the essence of bhakti as reflected in Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita, which are known as pivotal texts of bhakti. These sacred scriptures bring to light the profound bond between individual consciousness, and the indwelling Lord. Bhakti, in its radiant form, serves as the beacon guiding this relationship, Enriched by tales of Krsna and the teachings of dharma, these texts unravel the transformative essence of steadfast devotion. It delves into themes such as the nature of divine lilās, devotional Aesthetics and commentator's role in interpretation of bhakti texts. The second part understands the concept of Vaisnava- bhakti as seen in Sänkara Vedanta and it's further development in Vedāntic texts of Ramanuja, Sväminārāyaņa, Nimbarka and Madhusūdana Sarasvati. This section offers a nuanced understanding of how bhakti is conceptualized within diverse Vedāntic traditions, adding complexity to the exploration and showcasing varied perspectives within the broader Vaişņava framework. The final section deals with regional variations, highlighting diverse cultural expressions of Bhakti within Vaişņavism. It captures the dazzling variety of regional Vaişņava traditions including Värkarī traditions, Caitanya Vaişņavism and Braj Vaişņavism. Each regional hue paints the canvas of Vaişņava bhakti traditions, enriching its spectrum.

The book offers a concise yet comprehensive exploration of the multifaceted dimensions of Bhakti in the Vaisnava tradition. As we traverse from the genesis of Vaisnavism to its modern-day manifestations, this volume unfurls a comprehensive and academically rigorous narrative, offering a panoramic insight into one of Hinduism's paramount traditions.

About the Authors

Shakuntala Gawde is the Head and Assistant Professor in the Department of Sanskrit at the University of Mumbai. Her areas of interest include Vedanta, Religious studies, Purăņa studies, and Aesthetics. She completed her Ph.D. on 'Eschatology in Vedic Literature compared with Western Philosophy from the University of Mumbai. She was invited as a 'Visiting Fellow' by Kelaniya University, Sri Lanka in 2017. She was awarded a Doctoral fellowship by the Heras Institute of Indian History and Culture, St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, and the Sir Dorabaji Tata Trust. She successfully completed a research project titled 'Govardhanamahātmya in Texts and Tradition: Sociological and Philosophical Exegesis' under the auspices of a Minor Research Project Grant from the University of Mumbai (2019-2020). With over 40 publications, including books, articles in national and international journals, and chapters in books, as well as encyclopedias, 13 articles are published in the Encyclopaedia of Hinduism and Tribal Religion by Springer. In September 2021, she received the Academisthan Best Teacher of the Year award. She is the author of the book 'Narrative Analysis of Bhagavata Purana' (2023) and the co-editor of the book 'Myths of Creation' (2023).

Ferdinando Sardella (Ph.D. 2010, University of Gothenburg, Sweden) is Associate Professor at the Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies at Stockholm University. He is the co-director of the project Bengal Vaishnavism in the Modern Period at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, where he is a permanent research fellow. His field is South Asian studies, Bengal studies, yoga, new religious movements and the history and sociology of religion. His area of specialization is modern Hinduism. He is the author of the monograph Modern Hindu Personalism: The History, Life and Thought of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī (2013). He has coedited The Sociology of Religion in India: Past, Present and Future (with Ruby Sain 2013), The Legacy of Vaisnavism in Colonial Bengal (with Lucian Wong 2020) and Handbook of Hinduism in Europe (with Knut A. Jacobsen 2020). He has published several articles in international journals about modern Vaishnavism.


This volume represents the fruitful culmination of the International Conference on 'Bhakti in Vaişņava Traditions,' an academic symposium held from 21 to 23rd March, 2022. Orchestrated by the Department of Sanskrit at the University of Mumbai, and facilitated through a strong collaboration with Stock- holm University, Sweden, and the Bhaktivedanta Research Center, Mumbai, the event united a diverse array of scholarly voices.


India, with its rich variety of cultural and intellectual history, has been the cradle of numerous civilizations and the origina- tor of a wide array of cultural complexities. An integral part of this vibrant cultural life is Vaişņavism, a tradition distinguished by its profound philosophical insights and comprehensive theological understandings, which find their expression through a wide range of spiritual practices. Bhakti in Vaişnava Traditions represents a schol- arly examination of this profound tradition and the rich philosophical insights it puts forth.

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