Author: Diana L. Eck
The sacred city of Banāras on the River Ganges is one of the oldest living cities in the world—as old as Jerusalem, Athens, and Peking. It is the place where Shiva, the Lord of All, is said to have made his permanent home since the dawn of creation. There are few cities in India as traditionally Hindu and as symbolic of the whole of Hindu culture as Banāras. In this eloquent, finely observed study, Diana Eck shows how the city over the centuries has become a lens through which the Hindu vision of the world is precisely focused. She reveals the spiritual and historical resonance of this holy place where great sages such as the Buddha and Shankara were taught, where ashrams, palaces, and universities were built, where God has been imagined and imagined in a thousand ways. She describes the rites of its temples, the busy life of its riverfront, and the exuberance of its festivals. She tells how people travel from all over India to Banāras for the privilege of dying a good death here, for they believe that on the banks of the River Ganges where “the atmosphere of devotion is improbable in its strength,” it is possible to be released from the earthly round forever. In her account of the sacred history, geography, and art of the city, its elaborate and thriving rituals, its myths and literature, and its importance to pilgrims and seekers, Diana Eck uses her wealth of scholarship to make the Hindu tradition come powerfully alive so that we come to understand the meaning of this sacred city to the millions of believers who have been coming here for over 2,500 years.
Banaras, City of Light
Author: Diana L. Eck
Publisher: Columbia University Press
"In BANARAS, Diana Eck . . . has written a notable book about this greatest of Indian pilgrimage sites. . . . Her brilliant, comprehensive book seems likely to remain for a long time the definitive work on this great Indian city".--WASHINGTON POST. 61 photos. 7 maps.
Author: Diana L. Eck
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Author: Diana L. Eck
A spiritual history of India draws on more than a decade of work by a Harvard University scholar and provides coverage of its sacred places, its core tenets and the historical events of specific regions while sharing a basic introduction to Hindu religious ideas and how they have influenced modern India. Reprint.
Author: Piers Moore Ede
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Situated on the left bank of the Ganges, in the state of Uttar Pradash, Varanasi is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. For Hindus there is nowhere more sacred; for Buddhists, it is revered as a place where the Buddha preached his first sermon; for Jains it is the birthplace of their two patriarchs. Over the last four thousand years, perhaps no city in the world has stood witness to such a flux of history, from the development of Aryan culture along the Ganges, to invasions that would leave the city in Muslim hands for three centuries, to an independent Brahmin kingdom, British colonial rule, and ultimately independence. But what is the city like today? Home to 2.5 million people, it is visited by twice that number every year. Polluted, overpopulated, religiously divided, but utterly sublime, Varanasi is a living expression of Indian life like no other. Each day 60,000 people bathe in the Ganges. Elderly people come to die here. Widows pushed out by their families arrive to find livelihood. In the city center, the silk trade remains the most important industry, along with textiles and the processing of betel leaf. Behind this facade lurk more sinister industries. Varanasi is a major player in the international drug scene. There's a thriving flesh trade, and a corrupt police force that turns a blind eye. As with Suketu Mehta's Maximimum City Piers Moore Ede tells the city's story by allowing inhabitants to relate their own tales. Whether portraying a Dom Raja whose role it is to cremate bodies by the Ganghes or a khoa maker, who carefully converts cow's milk into the ricotta like substance that forms the base of most sweets, Ede explores the city's most important themes through its people, creating a vibrant portrait of modern, multicultural India.
Author: Madhuri Desai
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Between the late sixteenth and early twentieth centuries, Banaras, the iconic Hindu center in northern India that is often described as the oldest living city in the world, was reconstructed materially as well as imaginatively, and embellished with temples, monasteries, mansions, and ghats (riverfront fortress-palaces). Banaras�s refurbished sacred landscape became the subject of pilgrimage maps and its spectacular riverfront was depicted in panoramas and described in travelogues. In Banaras Reconstructed, Madhuri Desai examines the confluences, as well as the tensions, that have shaped this complex and remarkable city. In so doing, she raises issues central to historical as well as contemporary Indian identity and delves into larger questions about religious urban environments in South Asia.
Author: Diana L. Eck
Publisher: Beacon Press
Religion scholar Diana Eck is director of the Pluralism Project, which seeks to map the new religious diversity of the United States, particularly the increasing presence of Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim communities. In this tenth-anniversary edition of Encountering God, Eck shows why dialogue with people of other faiths remains crucial in today's interdependent world--globally, nationally, and even locally. She reveals how her own encounters with other religions have shaped and enlarged her Christian faith toward a bold new Christian pluralism From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Nandini Majumdar
Publisher: Roli Books Private Limited
Banaras is a city on the banks of the river Ganges. It is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism. It is regarded as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is portrayed beautifully through Majumdar's captivating perspective on different walks around the city. Banaras witnesses thousands of devout Hindus who journey to the banks of the Ganga to wash their sins away. The ghats and the riot of colors only add to the character of this city. Banaras now known as Varanasi is also a major tourist attraction and welcomes thousands from around the world.
Author: Istvan Keul
Publisher: Otto Harrassowitz
In Banaras Revisited, scholars from various disciplines talk about their research in a city that has been described as a veritable microcosm of India: multifaceted, complex, vibrant, and full of contradictions. The themes range from the sensory aesthetics of everyday life to the history of the Marathas in Banaras; from Harishchandra, the "father" of modern Hindi, to the "tribals" of Nagwa; from the architecture of the ghats to the works of the Austrian writers Zweig and Winkler; from 'informative relationships' with research assistants to the mediatization of goddesses; from reflections on public education to a contemporary literary chronicler of Assi; from "colonial ghosts" in the 1950s to present-day Western travelers. In addition to its thematic diversity, the volume benefits from another strong asset: the voices of its contributors, clearly audible in reflexive passages and personal vignettes that make the essays a useful reading also for undergraduates considering fieldwork in Banaras or elsewhere.
Author: Diana L. Eck
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishe
The experience of the divine in India merges the three components of sight, performance, and sound. This book is about the power and importance of seeing in the Hindu religious tradition. In the Hindu view, not only must the gods keep their eyes open, but so must we, in order to make contact with them, to reap their blessings, and to know their secrets. When Hindus go to temple, their eyes meet the powerful, eternal gaze of the eyes of God. It is called Darsan, Seeing the divine image, and it is the single most common and significant element of Hindu worship. This book explores what darsan means. This is also a book about the divine image in the Hindu tradition. What do Hindus see in the images of the gods? What is meant by these multi-armed gods, with their various weapons, emblems, and animals? How are these images made and consecreted? How are they treated in a ritual context? In exploring the nature of the divine image, this book not only considers the images of the gods, but also the Hindu temple and the Hindu place of pilgrimage.
Death in Banaras
Author: Jonathan P. Parry
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
A study of Hindu death rituals and the sacred specialists who perform them in the Indian city of Banaras.
Benaras Hindu University has drawn immense public attention of late. The widely prevailed notion that its founder was only one charismatic person, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya has now been legitimized by decorating him (posthumously) with Bharat Ratna, the countrys highest civilian honour. Nothing can be farther from the truth. The documents unearthed almost a century after the creation of B.H.U. vividly reveal his status and role in the Committee for the Establishment of Benaras Hindu University. Malviya can be considered, at best, simply as one along with Mrs. Annie Besant, Sir Sundar Lal under the leadership of the then Maharaja of Darbhanga, Sir Rameshwara Singh, who led the movement for the establishment of the first denominational university in India. These historical documents present evidence of how and by whom the colonial power was successfully persuaded to inaugurate a new chapter of Indias cultural history by yielding to the mission of establishing the first private university in the country.
Author: Christopher Roche
The acclaimed photographer Christopher Roche offers a stunning panoramic portrait of Banaras, the spiritual capital of India. Banaras, or "Varanasi" in Hindi, is a Northern Indian city on the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, it is also one of the holiest in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cultures. In this large-format book, the landscape and spiritualism of this beautiful city come to life through the lens of award-winning photographer Christopher Roche. Spending two years covering the city's daily events, Roche turned his lens toward its holy men, temples, shrines, and religious ceremonies. He depicts the ubiquitous lingams and yonis, as well as the city's fabled burning Ghats--a series of long, wide steps leading to the Ganges. Rarely photographed due to cultural restrictions, Banaras teems with life, color, and emotion. In his large, brilliantly hued images, Roche manages to capture the throbbing vitality of this important city as no one ever has before.
Author: Milind Mulick
Author: Bradley R. Hertel
Publisher: SUNY Press
By focusing on contemporary popular religious traditions, the book represents a substantial contribution to the study of modern religious practices in Banaras, holy city of India. This book offers in-depth, ethnographic views of many contemporary popular religious practices that have, for the most part, received little attention by scholars. Topics covered include the Ramlila celebrations, devotion to Hanuman, and goddess worship, and the way that Banarsi Boli, the local dialect of Banaras, supports its users in their identification with the sacred city.