The Truth, the Way, the Life: A Christian Commentary on the Three Holy Mantras of the Sri Vaishnava Hindus

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Overview

The Truth, the way, the Life offers a careful reading of the three holy mantras of Srivaisnavism, a south Indian Hindu tradition dedicated to Narayana, Lord of the universe, and Sri, his eternal spouse. The mantras, short prayers rich in theological and devotional meaning, explain and encourage a way of life dedicated to praise and service, surrender and dependence on divine grace - and so introduce key topics that Christian readers will find familiar and still central to the spiritual life today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802864130
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/6/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 214
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Introduction: The Three Holy Mantras: Commentary and Christian Commentary 5

I Commentary, Religious Reading, and Christian Commentary 6

II The Three Holy Mantras of the Srivaisnavas 14

1 The Srivaisnava Tradition 14

2 The Three Mantras 15

3 Reading with Vedanta Desika 17

4 Who Can Understand Sacred (Rahasya) Mantras? 24

III The Order of the Chapters to Follow 26

Chapter 1 To Know the Truth: The Tiru Mantra 31

Aum, obeisance to Narayana 31

I Introduction 31

1 The Tiru Mantra in the Astasloki of Parasara Bhattar 35

II Exegeting the Mantra 37

III Insights Elsewhere in the Essence 61

IV Reading the Tiru Mantra from a Christian Perspective 63

1 Theological Insights and Concerns, for a Christian Reader 63

2 Resonances in the Christian Prayer and Worship 66

3 Praying with the Tiru Mantra? 72

V Looking Ahead 73

Chapter 2 A Divine Invitation: The Carama Sloka's First Line 75

Having completely given up all dharmas, to Me alone come for refuge 75

I Introduction 75

1 The Carama Sloka's First Line as Verse 18.66a of the Bhagavad Gita 75

2 The Carama Sloka's First Line in the Astasloki of Parasara Bhattar 78

I Exegeting the First Line of the Carama Sloka 79

II The First Line in the Rest of the Essence 99

IV Reading the First Line from a Christian Perspective 101

1 Theological Insights and Concerns, for a Christian Reader 102

2 Resonances in the Christian Tradition 105

3 Praying with the Carama Sloka's First Invitation? 107

V Looking Ahead 108

Chapter 3 The Way of Radical Faith: The Dvaya Mantra 109

I approach for refuge the feet of Narayana with Sri, obeisance to Narayana with Sri 109

I Introduction109

1 The Dvaya Mantra in the Astasloki of Parasara Bhattar 113

II Exegeting the Dvaya Mantra 114

III The Dvaya Mantra in the Larger Narrative of Surrender in the Essence 132

IV Reading the Dvaya Mantra from a Christian Perspective 139

1 Theological Insights and Concerns, for a Christian Reader 139

2 Resonances in the Christian Tradition 142

3 Praying with the Dvaya Mantra? 144

V Looking Ahead 145

Chapter 4 To Live in Freedom: The Carama Sloka's Second Line 147

...from all sins I will make you free. Do not grieve 147

I Introduction 147

1 The Carama Sloka's Second Line as Verse 18.66b of the Bhagavad Gita 148

2 The Carama Sloka's Second Line in the Astasloki of Parasara Bhattar 149

II Exegeting the Second Line of the Carama Sloka 150

III The Second Line in the Rest of the Essence 164

IV Reading the Second Line from a Christian Perspective 169

1 Theological Insights and Concerns, for a Christian Reader 169

2 Resonances in the Christian Tradition 171

3 Praying with the Carama Sloka's Second Invitation? 172

V Looking Ahead 173

Chapter 5 After Commentary 175

I On Reading and Writing from the Perspective of Commentary 176

II Theological Openings 178

III From Commentary to a Theology of Religions? 182

IV Ethical Openings 185

V Scriptural Intertextuality 189

VI Praying with the Mantras: A Brief Reprise 190

Bibliography 195

Index of Names, Terms, Texts 199

Index of Biblical References 203

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