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Radha: From Gopi to Goddess

 
Harsha V. Dehejia (Editor)
Synopsis

In tracing the evolution of Radha from that of a gopi to a goddess one traverses not only a span of several centuries, but travels through cultural divides, political dynasties and philosophical debates. She occupies a space which moves from the aesthetics of shringara rasa to the theology of shringara bhakti, from the madhurya of Pushtimarg Vaishnavism to the prema of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, taking in its stride the philosophies of Advaita and Dvaita, the traditions of Shakti and Shakta, she takes us from the devotional poetry of Bhaktikal to the courtly poetry of Ritikal and even beyond to the modern poetry of Adhunikkal. Radha is both kamini and ramani, desirable and beautiful, and through her persona we understand the role of kama or desire in the workings of the human mind and especially in the aesthetics of shringara, she is both a gopi and a nayika and through her we feel the presence of Krishna in Vrindavana and the opulence of the Vaishnava Rajput courts, she is a devi in the temples of the Gaudiyas and through her we are able to worship Krishna, and finally she is even a kalankini or the defiled one and through her we are privy to the folk literature of Bengal and modern middle class psychology of the bhadralok. Radha: From Gopi to Goddess portrays in poetry and painting, dance and drama, sculpture and icon, songs and stories how Radha occupies a special place in sociology and psychology, aesthetics and theology.

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About the author

Harsha V. Dehejia

Harsha V. Dehejia has a double doctorate, one in Medicine and the other in Ancient Indian Culture, both from the University of Mumbai. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Glasgow and Canada, all by examination. He is Professor of Religion at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada where he teaches Indian Aesthetics. He has published three books, The Advaita of Art, Parvatidarpana (both by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi) and Parvati, Goddess of Love (by Mapin, Ahmedabad). He is Curatorial Advisor to the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Dr. Dehejia is a practicing physician and lives in Ottawa.

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Bibliographic information

Title Radha: From Gopi to Goddess
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2014
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Niyogi Books
Language: English
isbn 9789383098064
length 260p., Colour; Illustrations; 31cm.