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Textual Sources for the Study of Hinduism

Translated by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, with Daniel Gold and David Shulman
"A wider range than usual of Sanskrit texts: not only interesting Vedic, epic, and mythological texts but also a good sampling of ritual and ethical texts. . . . There are also extracts from texts usually neglected, such as medical treatises, works on practical politics, and guides to love and marriage. . . . Readings from the vernacular Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil traditions [serve to] enrich the collection and demonstrate how Hinduism flourished not just in Sanskrit but also in its many mother tongues."—Francis X. Clooney, Journal of Asian Studies

Table of Contents

General introduction
Foreword and acknowledgements
1. Introduction to the Sanskrit sources
2. Vedas
2.1. Rituals
2.1.1. Rig Veda Invocation of Agni Hymn to the funeral fire The horse sacrifice
2.1.2. Brahmanas The offering into the fire (Agnihotra) The creation of fire, the eater The origins of death and the fire-altar Prajapati dismembered and remembered The horse sacrifice Seed as rice Killing the dog Killing the horse The mockery of the women The king copulates with the people Dismembering the horse The restorations The human sacrifice of Shunahshepa
2.1.3. Upanishads: meditation on the sacrificial horse
2.2. Myths
2.2.1. Rig Veda The dismemberment of the cosmic Person The three strides of Vishnu Rudra
2.2.2. Brahmanas: the creation of gods and demons
2.2.3. Upanishads Indra and the demons Satyakama and the animals
2.3. Philosophy
2.3.1. Rig Veda: creation
2.3.2. Upanishads The self The ultimate reality and the two birds Rebirth The Person in the eye and in sleep The self in sleep The wandering king The chariot-maker
2.3.3. Vedanta Shankara dreams Ramanuja dreams Illusion: the man who built a house of air
3. Epics
3.1. Mahabharata
3.1.1. The birth of the Epic heroes
3.1.2. The karma of Dharma: Mandavya on the stake
3.1.3. Yudhishthira approaches heaven with his dog
3.1.4. Salvation and damnation in the Bhagavad Gita
3.2. Ramayana
3.2.1. The birth of Sita and the bending of the bow
3.2.2. The song of Kusha and Lava
4. Puranas
4.1. Myths
4.1.1. How Brahma created the universe
4.1.2. The four Ages
4.1.3. How Rudra destroys the universe
4.2. Philosophy
4.2.1. The fruits of hearing a Purana: Devaraja the sinner
4.2.2. The Mahabharata expiated
4.2.3. Karma transferred in hell: Vipashcit
4.2.4. Ethics: how to stay out of trouble
4.3. Rituals
4.3.1. An animal sacrifice
4.3.2. The origin of the lingam
4.3.3. The origin of the shrine of the lingam
5. Shastras
5.1. The body
5.1.1. Second opinions on the aetiology of disease
5.1.2. The humours of the mind and body
5.1.3. How not to get sick
5.2. Birth
5.2.1. Embryology
5.2.2. A strange birth
5.2.3. The perils of growing up
5.3. Marriage
5.3.1. Women to marry and not to marry
5.3.2. Women not to sleep with
5.3.3. Married women to sleep with
5.3.4. Married women who will sleep with you
5.3.5. Married women who will not sleep with you
5.3.6. The karma of marriage: the king’s wife, the Brahmin’s wife, and the ogre
5.4. Public life: how to test your ministers
5.5. Death
5.5.1. How to die and go to hell
5.5.2. The punishment to fit the crime
5.5.3. How not to go to hell
5.5.4. How to perform a funeral sacrifice
5.5.5. Who not to invite to the funeral
5.5.6. How to perform a Tantric funeral
6. Tantras
6.1. Ritual
6.1.1. The five elements of Tantric ritual
6.1.2. A Tantric animal sacrifice
6.1.3. Tantric sins of excess
6.2. Philosophy
6.2.1. Tantric caste law
6.2.2. Tantric Release
7. The Hindi tradition Daniel Gold
7.1. Kabir
7.2. Sur Das
7.3. Tulsi Das
7.4. Eighteenth-century sants
7.4.1. Paltu
7.4.2. Charandas
8. The Bengali tradition David Haberman
8.1. The birth of Manasa
8.2. The biography of the saint Chaitanya
8.2.1. Krishna’s decision to take birth as Chaitanya
8.2.2. An encounter with the dual form
8.3. Rupa Gosvamin
8.3.1. The general characteristics of devotion
8.3.2. Remembering the eightfold activities of Radha and Krishna
8.4. Poems to Radha and Krishna
8.5. Poems to Mother Kali
8.6. Songs of the Bauls
9. The Tamil tradition David Shulman
9.1. Cuntaramurtti: the harsh devotee
9.2. Kampan: the sight of Sita’s jewels
9.3. Kalamekappulavar: worship by insult (nindastuti)
9.4. The pirate of Tiruccentur
9.5. The story of Nilanakkanar
9.6. Two Telugu poets
Glossarial index

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