A vibrant example of living literature, the Bhagavata Purana is a versatile Hindu sacred text written in Sanskrit verse. Finding its present form by the tenth century C.E., the work inspired several major north Indian devotional (bhakti) traditions as well as schools of dance and drama, and continues to permeate popular Hindu art and ritual in both India and the diaspora.
Introducing the Bhagavata Purana's key themes while also examining its extensive influence on Hindu thought and practice, this collection conducts the first multidimensional reading of the entire text. Each essay focuses on a key theme of the Bhagavata Purana and its subsequent presence in Hindu theology, performing arts, ritual recitation, and commentary. The authors consider the relationship between the sacred text and the divine image, the text's metaphysical and cosmological underpinnings, its shaping of Indian culture, and its ongoing relevance to contemporary Indian concerns.
Edited by Ravi M. Gupta and Kenneth R. Valpey
Introduction. Churning the Ocean of L?l?: Themes for Bhagavata Study
Part One: The World of the Bh?gavata
1. Reading: Pur??ic Trekking Along the Path of the Bh?gavatas
2. Time and Narrative: A Ma??ala of Remembrance: The Bh?gavata Pur??a's Time-Transcending Narrative of L?l?
3. Cosmology: Dialogues on Natural Theology: The Bh?gavata Pur??a's Cosmology as Religious Practice
4. Ethics: "May Calamities Befall Us at Every Step": The Bh?gavata's Response to the Problem of Evil
5. Commentary: Vallabha, the Bh?gavata Pur??a, and the Path of Grace
6. Sacred Geography: Vraja-Dh?man: Krishna Embodied in Geographic Place and Transcendent Space
7. Theology: The R?sa L?l? of Krishna and the Gop?s: On the Bh?gavata's Vision of Boundless Love
Part Two: The Bh?gavata in the World
8. Boundaries: Heresies and Heretics in the Bh?gavata Pur??a
9. Dance: Krishna Come Soon: Bharata Natyam and the Bh?gavata Pur??a on Stage
10. Song: Two Braj Bh??? Versions of the R?sa L?l? Pañc?dhy?y? and Their Musical Performance in Vai??ava Worship
12. Text History: Modern Reception and Text Migration of the Bh?gavata Pur??a
List of Contributors