Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Āl̲vārs

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S. M. Srinivasa Chari
Motilal Banarsidass Publ., Jan 1, 1997 - Alvars - 263 pages
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The Buddhist monk Upagupta, who preached and taught meditative practices in Northwest India over two thousand years ago, is venerated today by the laity in parts of Burma, Thailand, and laos as a proctective figure endowed with magical powers. The author demonstrates a remarkable continuity among traditions focused on Upagupta in ancient Sarvastivadin Sanskrit materials, key Pali texts, medieval Thai and Burmese texts, and rituals in Southeast Asia. In so doing he reflects the orientation of popular Sanskrit Hinayana Buddhism, which allows for new perspectives on such classic questions as the nature of enlightnment, the evil, the worship of the Buddha image, the veneration of saints, master-disciple relationships, the treatment of heterodoxy, and the relation of myth and ritual.
  

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Contents

Life and Works of the Alvars 935
9
The Doctrine of Ultimate Reality 3767
37
The Doctrine of God 69107
69
The Doctrine of Individual Self 109119
109
The Doctrine of Sadhana 121141
121
The Doctrine of Supreme Goal 143150
143
Theistic Mysticism 151219
151
General Evaluation and Conclusion 221245
221
Glossary
247
Select Bibliography
253
Index
259
Copyright

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