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Banaras - City of Light
Banaras - City of Light

Banaras - City of Light

by Diana L Eck

Your Price: $34.95
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Product ID:8718

Language

English

Publisher

Penguin

ISBN

9780140190793 - Year: 1993 - Pages: 427

Binding

Paperback

Diana L Eck

Author: Diana L Eck
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 1993
Language: English
Pages: 427
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780140190793

Description

In this eloquent, finely observed study, Diana Eck shows how the city over the centuries has become a lens through which the Hindu vision of the world is precisely focused.

The sacred city of Banaras on the River Ganges is one of the oldest living cities in the world – as old as Jerusalem, Athens, and Peking. It is the place where Shiva, the Lord of All, is said to have made his permanent home since the dawn of creation. There are few cities in India as traditionally Hindu and as symbolic of the whole of Hindu culture as Banaras. In this eloquent, finely observed study, Diana Eck shows how the city over the centuries had become a lens through which the Hindu vision of the world is precisely focused.

She reveals the spiritual and historical resonance of this holy place where great sages such as the Buddha and Shankara taught, where ashrams, palace and universities were built, where God has been imagined and imaged in a thousand ways. She describes the rites of its temples, the busy life of its riverfront, and the exuberance of its festivals, She tells how people travel from all over India to Banaras for the privilege of dying a good death here, for they believe that on the banks of the River Ganges where ‘the atmosphere of devotion is improbable in its strength,’ it is possible to be released from this earthly round forever.

In her account of the sacred history, geography, and art of the city, its elaborate and thriving rituals, its myths and literature, and its importance to pilgrims and seekers, Diana Eck uses her wealth of scholarship to make the Hindu tradition come powerfully alive so that we come to understand the meaning of this sacred city to the millions of believers who have been coming here for over 2,500 years.

Reviews :
A luminous work, as befits this City of Light. I know of few books that capture the soul of a sacred city to the degrees that this one does.
—Huston smith, Thomas J. Watson Professor or Religion,
Syracuse University

This book is attractively printed and illustrated with photographs and nineteenth centuries view…as admirable and lucid work.
—Andrew Topsfield, TLS

Contents

Preface

Banaras: An Introduction

Banaras in Historical Perspective

The City of Shiva

The Sacred Circle of all the Gods

The River Ganges and the Great ‘Ghats’

Seasons and Times

City of all India

City of the Good Live

City of Death and Liberation

Appendix I: Sanskrit: Sources for the Study of Banaras
Appendix II: The Zones of the Sacred City
Appendix III: The Shiva Lingas of Kashi
Appendix IV: The Cycles of Kashi Goddesses
Appendix V: Other Deities of Kashi
Appendix VI: The Year in Banaras: A Partial Calendar

Note on Transliteration and Pronunciation
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Illustrations
Index

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