Devoted to the Goddess: The Life and Work of Ramprasad / Edition 1 by Malcolm McLean | 9780791436905 | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Devoted to the Goddess: The Life and Work of Ramprasad / Edition 1

Devoted to the Goddess: The Life and Work of Ramprasad / Edition 1

by Malcolm McLean
     
 

ISBN-10: 079143690X

ISBN-13: 9780791436905

Pub. Date: 04/28/1998

Publisher: State University of New York Press

The eighteenth-century Bengali poet and religious adept Ramprasad was an important figure in the revival of the worship of the Goddess in Bengal at a time when the previously dominant Vaisnavism was beginning to sustain a decline in popularity. In this book, Malcolm McLean examines the evidence for the life of Ramprasad, and finding little in the historical record,

Overview

The eighteenth-century Bengali poet and religious adept Ramprasad was an important figure in the revival of the worship of the Goddess in Bengal at a time when the previously dominant Vaisnavism was beginning to sustain a decline in popularity. In this book, Malcolm McLean examines the evidence for the life of Ramprasad, and finding little in the historical record, deconstructs the important early biographics, which contain material that is largely legendary in nature. A founder figure emerges whose "life", modeled on that of the earlier saint, Caitanya, became a rallying point for his followers.

An analysis of the approximately 350 songs of this "Ramprasad" are analyzed and show how he skillfully combined three important elements of the Hindu tradition into a consistent whole: the classical Puranic Goddess tradition, especially as it is found in the Devi Mahatmya; the indigenous tradition of Bengali fold Goddesses, still enormously popular; and the previously underground esoteric Tantric tradition. This was a powerful and popular mix which allowed a very Tantric Goddess tradition to flourish for the next two hundred years. The book makes a strong case for seeing Ramprasad as basically a Tantrika, and argues that the kind of devotion advocated in the songs is a Tantric devotion of a kind quite different form the current Vaisnavite devotion.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791436905
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
04/28/1998
Series:
SUNY series in Hindu Studies Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
205
Product dimensions:
5.91(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.52(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Part I: The Life

1. The Search for the Historical Ramprasad

2. The Deconstruction of the Tradition

3. Reading the Life of Ramprasad

Part II: The Work

4. Ramprasad's Mad Bitch Goddess

5. Ramprasad's Tantric Goddess

6. The Goddess as Ramprasad's Daughter

7. Reading the Songs of Ramprasad

Conclusion

Appendix: Isvarachandra Gupta's Biography of Ramprasad

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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