Banaras: City of Light

Overview

This is the acclaimed study and interpretation of Banaras, the holy place of the Hindus.

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)

Eck is a master of tone here. She begins...

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Overview

This is the acclaimed study and interpretation of Banaras, the holy place of the Hindus.

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)

Eck is a master of tone here. She begins as dry scholar, allows her personal voice to emerge and then, through judicious use of lyric quotations, advances to a striking level of exaltation and triumph. . . . To take us gently off this high, Eck buttresses us-and her arguments-with a truly amazing display of addenda; glossaries, calendars and appendices. One ends filled with admiration and awe, not just for the vision given us, but for the scholarship and dedication that made it possible. (Los Angeles Times)

Apart from its values to the specialist scholar, [Eck's] book will be at least equally rewarding to the student or general reader wishing to understand what Hinduism is about. . . . Admirable and lucid. (Times Literary Supplement)

A major event among studies of India. (John Stratton Hawley, Asia)

The most beautiful book . . . on India. (Journal of the American Academy of Religion)

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
Eck is a master of tone here. She begins as dry scholar, allows her personal voice to emerge and then, through judicious use of lyric quotations, advances to a striking level of exaltation and triumph. . . . To take us gently off this high, Eck buttresses us-and her arguments-with a truly amazing display of addenda; glossaries, calendars and appendices. One ends filled with admiration and awe, not just for the vision given us, but for the scholarship and dedication that made it possible.
Washington Post
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.
Times Literary Supplement
Apart from its values to the specialist scholar, [Eck's] book will be at least equally rewarding to the student or general reader wishing to understand what Hinduism is about. . . . Admirable and lucid.
John Stratton Hawley
A major event among studies of India.
Journal of the American Academy of Religion
The most beautiful book . . . on India.
Washington Post

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.

Journal of the American Academy of Religion

The most beautiful book... on India.

Asia
A major event among studies of India.

— John Stratton Hawley

Los Angeles Times

Eck is a master of tone here. She begins as dry scholar, allows her personal voice to emerge and then, through judicious use of lyric quotations, advances to a striking level of exaltation and triumph.... To take us gently off this high, Eck buttresses us-and her arguments-with a truly amazing display of addenda; glossaries, calendars and appendices. One ends filled with admiration and awe, not just for the vision given us, but for the scholarship and dedication that made it possible.

Asia - John Stratton Hawley

A major event among studies of India.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691020235
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1983
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 62.50 (w) x 95.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

DIANA L. ECK is professor of comparative religion and Indian studies and director of The Pluralism Project at Harvard University. She is the author of many books, including Daŕsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India and the editor of On Common Ground: World Religions in America, a multimedia CD-ROM, both published by Columbia.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Columbia Edition
Preface
1 Banaras: An Introduction 3
2 Banaras in Historical Perspective 43
3 The City of Shiva 94
4 The Sacred Circle of all the Gods 146
5 The River Ganges and the Great Ghats 211
6 Seasons and Times 252
7 City of all India 283
8 City of the Good Life 304
9 City of Death and Liberation 324
App. I Sanskrit Sources for the Study of Banaras 347
App. II The Zones of the Sacred City 350
App. III The Shiva Lingas of Kashi 358
App. IV The Cycles of Kashi Goddesses 360
App. V Other Deities of Kashi 362
App. VI The Year on Banaras: A Partial Calendar 364
Note on Transliteration and Pronunciation 367
Glossary 369
Notes 379
Bibliography 399
Acknowledgments 407
Illustrations 409
Index 413
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