Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , David L. Haberman and others published India: A Sacred Geography by Diana L. Eck. Description A spiritual history of the world's most religiously complex and diverse society, from one of Harvard's most respected scholars. India: A Sacred Geography is the culmination of more than a decade's work from the renowned Harvard scholar Diana L. Eck. [PDF] Download How I. India: a Sacred Geography. By Eck, Diana L.. New York: Three Rivers Press, Pp. x + ; illustrations, maps. Paper, $
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13 Eck, Diana L, India: A Sacred Geography, (New York: Three Rivers Press, ), onatnakchiter.cf; [accessed 14 December ],[ hereafter. India: A Sacred Geography by Diana L. Eck is an important contribution to the literature on the processes that have contributed to imagining India long before the. India: A Sacred Geography by Diana L. Eck. Harmony, Random House, New York, , pp., Rs , ISBN
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Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other: Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — India by Diana L. A Sacred Geography by Diana L. In India: No matter where one goes in India, one will find a landscape in which mount In India: No matter where one goes in India, one will find a landscape in which mountains, rivers, forests, and villages are elaborately linked to the stories of the gods and heroes of Indian culture.
Every place in this vast landscape has its story, and conversely, every story of Hindu myth and legend has its place. Likewise, these places are inextricably tied to one another—not simply in the past, but in the present—through the local, regional, and transregional practices of pilgrimage. In these pages, Diana Eck takes the reader on an extraordinary spiritual journey through the living landscape of this fascinating country —its mountains, rivers, and seacoasts, its ancient and powerful temples and shrines.
Seeking to fully understand the sacred places of pilgrimage from the ground up, with their stories, connections and layers of meaning, she acutely examines Hindu religious ideas and narratives and shows how they have been deeply inscribed in the land itself.
This is the astonishing and fascinating picture of a land linked for centuries not by the power of kings and governments, but by the footsteps of pilgrims. A Sacred Geography offers a unique perspective on India, both as a complex religious culture and as a nation.
Based on her extensive knowledge and her many decades of wide-ranging travel and research, Eck's piercing insights and a sweeping grasp of history ensure that this work will be in demand for many years to come. Get A Copy.
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A Sacred Geography
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May 18, Aasheesh rated it it was amazing. Truly illuminating! I noticed two significant errors. One p. I would also like to highlight a third point p. View all 3 comments. Feb 08, Arvind rated it really liked it Shelves: But, ignoring that, the book has been written with a lot of research and perhaps because the author is in love with India, it is largely non-judgem 3.
But, ignoring that, the book has been written with a lot of research and perhaps because the author is in love with India, it is largely non-judgemental. Except for one long but interesting chapter in which she describes her idea of India, she has faded into d background. But, though the book has a lot of information, it is not dry. Rather it serves as the ideal tourist guide. The religious places of Hinduism, their interconnections, their histories and myths, the present day condition and rituals are lovingly presented in a delightful platter.
A diff book thats a must-read. Sep 20, Harsh Verma added it. What is the idea of India? Unlike other countries that have developed national consciousness over centuries and millenia India has always been confused and divided. Yet her people have shown a similarity of consciousnes and familiarity for an even longer time than nations have stood on this earth.
Diana Eck points out how a different framework has to be added when dealing with the east and especially India because the assumptions have to change. Eck points out the whole idea of India has been pr What is the idea of India? Eck points out the whole idea of India has been present in the minds of Indians for at least two millenia which was expressed in the piligrims traversing the country and the sacred books extolling the grace of the divine.
The books developed a mental landscape which was lived by the piligrims in their journeys which in turn built a level of familiarity about a land they would call their own. Eck's book looks at the legends surrounding places, deities and even natural surroundings and shows their contribution to the development of this thought. Its an excellent endeavour and a praiseworthy one. The only thing that is problematic is that she conviniently ignores the regions that are now Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The Puranas included these regions as well but in her haste to be politically correct Eck simply ignores the references thereby setting an impression that Indians had long neglected these regions in their mental landscape which would thereby mean that the idea of Pakistan is not new but formulated by Indians themselves.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. That aside the books is an excellent hypothesis on how we have become Indians.
Jan 09, Abhinav Agarwal rated it it was ok. Readable book, but beware of the several insinuations inserted in the book, the delegitimizing of Hindu history, the diminishing of the factual. Compare her writing in the book on Dwarka and Ayodhya to the factual, and you can detect a strong ideological bias against acknowledging anything historical and factual with respect to the antiquity of Hinduism.
Eck seems determined to place Hinduism firmly in the space of the mythological, and rarely historical. An important aspect of the Hindu tradition is the reverence and awe for the sacrality of the land itself and especially for the Bharata Khanda, Indian subcontinent as a whole.
This reverence for the land goes back to the Rig veda where there are several hymns personifying and praising Prthivi, Earth itself.
The Earth itself and especially Bharata Khanda Indian subcontinent as a whole is considered to be especially holy land. And Indian mythology is rooted in Indian geography.
All of these teerthas, Pithas and Kshetras are connected to Hindu mythology and puranas, giving India her sense of cultural and historical unity. While India as a whole has rarely been politically unified, it is this sacred geography sanctified by the deeds of Gods and Heroes and connected by the paths of the pilgrims that has always created a strong sense of unity and uniqueness of Indian subcontinent.
The myth of the Sakta pithas is where this expression is shown most vividly, where the subcontinent that is sown with the pieces of Sati's body creates a powerful sense of India as Bharata Mata.
Diana L. Eck here explores this Hindu sacred geography and its interconectedness in all its dimensions.
Starting with the mythological Hindu geography, she explores the sacredness attached to all the rivers of the subcontinent, the deep rooted meanings and stories attached to the Siva, sakti and the Vishnu teerthas and also the places associated with journeys of the epic heroes in Mahabharatha and Ramayana.
A very good narrative. May 10, Arvind Balasundaram rated it liked it. In this book, Hinduism scholar Diana Eck makes a compelling case of why the Hindu Indian landscape is a vast network of cultural codes where the geography of place is intimately connected to the actual realization of mythological characters and events.
Drawing heavily on the Purana and Mahatmya texts as a backdrop, Eck presents a summary of her own travels to various places of pilgrimage, from Badrinath and Kedarnath in the north to Ramesvaram and Kanyakumari in the south. She highlights the p In this book, Hinduism scholar Diana Eck makes a compelling case of why the Hindu Indian landscape is a vast network of cultural codes where the geography of place is intimately connected to the actual realization of mythological characters and events.
She highlights the parallels in the significance of the similarity of events that took place at dispersed sites, reinforcing the linkage of the various places via the shared cultural landscape, irrespective of physically differentiated geographical features or location.
This is possible through an elaborate grammar of sanctification, through which the elements of the shared landscape are established and revered - Ayatarana Divine Descent , Svayambhu Self-Manifest Destiny , Pratishtha Sanctification by Adhesion and Body Language of Godhead.
The book is segmented by an overview of sacred sites associated with the respective ishtadevatas or chosen deities, including Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Rama, Krishna, and Ganga. In each case, the main Puranic and Mahatmya context is clearly identified, and a summary of the rituals and experiences of the pilgrimage are highlighted. The author serves up occasional nuggets of information such as the association of Namboodri Brahmin priests from southern Kerala with the snowy, Himalayan pilgrimage site of Badrinath in the extreme north, the close connection of pilgrimage sites of Rama with Shiva as at Ramesvaram.
The author also takes a stab at how the unfolding of various political happenings in the name of pilgrimage, such as the Babri Masjid episode over the notion of Ramjanmabhoomi, or actual birthplace of Rama, fundamentally undercuts the mythic importance of Rama by overprioritizing the physical site of his birth, and attempts to make a larger, and more sacred cultural linkage into a mere geographical association to a single place.
Jun 02, Robert rated it liked it.
Probably should be entitled India: A Hindu Sacred Geography. There's virtually no discussion of Islam, Jainism, Buddhism, or Christianity, all of which have their sacred geographies in India. This omission is surprising for someone whose interests include religious pluralism in the United States. The theme of the book is Hindu spiritual pilgrimage, and I cannot imagine a better introduction to that topic. Eck writes for an audience that has a more thorough command of Hinduism than I have.
View 2 comments. Apr 17, Sean Holland rated it liked it. Extremely detailed, impeccably researched, catastrophically boring. Aug 15, Anand rated it it was amazing. This great scholarly work took almost thirty years for the author to complete, and the detail, knowledge and coherence derived from such hard work is evident in this book.
For a westerner to have such detailed and intricate knowledge of Hindu mythology and religious believes is astounding. She demonstrates how religious believes and mythology of Hindus is linked to specific geographies and physical locations. Every caste, every community under the broader umbrella of Hinduism has its own pious an This great scholarly work took almost thirty years for the author to complete, and the detail, knowledge and coherence derived from such hard work is evident in this book.
Every caste, every community under the broader umbrella of Hinduism has its own pious and sacred "sthan" or location. At a broader level are the more homogeneous 'tirths' and 'peeths' that are revered by most Hindus irrespective of their caste or community.
Because of the existence of such sacred sites, the cities and towns containing them also become sacred sites themselves. Additionally, there are countless and numerous regional sacred sites revered by local communities and customs. They too over time come to define the geography of the region. In the process, it emerges that even at a time "India" was not "India" since India as a politically coherent and distinct concept emerged only upon independence in and consisted of hundreds of smaller and distinct princely states, there was nonetheless a commonality shared by Hindus across the south Asian peninsula.
This shared bond was not a making of political affiliations, but sacred and religious believes. A north Indian and an east Indian shared a thread of togetherness even hundreds of years ago, since there was shared reverence for holy sites in each other's regions.
Only word of caution- India is not only Hindus, so to that extent, this work is more of sacred geography of Hindus rather than India per se. But overall, fantastic work!
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India is one of the most interesting topics for me and I am very much impress about the view made by this book. As a insider of this tradition and customs, I can see things differently and may be more emotionally. Seriously, after landing from airport you will find that India is not just a nation of India is one of the most interesting topics for me and I am very much impress about the view made by this book. Seriously, after landing from airport you will find that India is not just a nation of Land, forest, river and people.
It is a nation of 1. Full Review https: Sep 16, Mike rated it really liked it. To read this book is to look through the eyes of a pilgrim seeking revelation of the divine in the landscape of India, a landscape where the temporal world and the spiritual world occupy the same space.
A temple or a shrine, a mountain or a river, a forest or a rock formation: They are to the pilgrim the fords by which one crosses into the dimension of the sacred, which is why when learning about Hinduism, it To read this book is to look through the eyes of a pilgrim seeking revelation of the divine in the landscape of India, a landscape where the temporal world and the spiritual world occupy the same space.
Jul 20, Samantha rated it it was amazing Shelves: Hinduism can be impenetrable to Westerners, with its multiform gods, its relationship with image, and with its body-cosmology. A Sacred Geography interweaves sacred stories and myths with pilgrim's-eye observations of locations and rituals. It is definitely steeped in its material--it's written from the perspective of someone who knows the area and its less tangible surroundings.
It shows an India less concerned with nationalism and other modern constructs and more with its spiritual spac Hinduism can be impenetrable to Westerners, with its multiform gods, its relationship with image, and with its body-cosmology.
It shows an India less concerned with nationalism and other modern constructs and more with its spiritual spaces that are outside time. Mar 27, Sailen Dutta rated it it was amazing Shelves: I can simply marvel at the research done on this book.
By Diana L.
India: A Sacred Geography
Harmony Books, This book—really a hefty tome—has been well worth the long wait for its appearance. In many ways, Diana Eck has been working on it since the publi- cation thirty years ago of her first book, Banaras, City of Light. It is a magnum opus of a scholar of South Asian religions who has spent her career working on the interrelated issues of pilgrimage, sacred space, embodiment, plurality, theistic Hinduism, and temple rituals.
This book examines the particular notion that India has not been so much shaped by the concept of the modern nation-state as it has by an extensive and intricate interaction between mythology and geography.
It is a highly informative and enjoyable read for students and scholars of the religious traditions of India, and is a treasure house for understanding Hindu embodiment. The main elements of the grammar that determine sacred space in Hindu India Book Reviews include divine descent avatarana , self-manifestation svayambhu , and adhe- sion pratishtha. Sacred rivers, for example, descend to Earth, Shiva lingas manifest on their own accord, and sacred mountains adhere to a particular place.
A place worthy of reverence, however, is not locked into singularity; pol- ycentricity, pluralism, and duplication rule sacred space in India. Its landscape is filled with a multiplicity of sacred places, each claiming to be superlative, and many of these have been replicated in numerous other places. Eck draws our attention to the fact that the land of India is delineated by a vast and complex web of pilgrimage sites that are interreferential.
But how does all this relate to the modern notion of the Indian nation? And the India she discovers in ancient texts—Bharata—has been thought of and described as a single land from the Himalaya Mountains to the southern tip where the subcontinent touches the sea, and between the two coasts from the Western Ghats to the Eastern Ghats. Eck demonstrates how religious figures at the time such as Swami Vivekananda and leaders of the Indian National Congress like Jawaharlal Nehru opposed this position by arguing that there was indeed a unified India, and that it was based in a conception of the land long celebrated in ancient Sanskrit texts.
India: A Sacred Geography
The name for this unified space was Bharata. All of this involves a different kind of mapping that depends on a mythical way of apprehending the world. It is to this subject that Eck turns in the third chapter of the book. Her main argument here is that ever since the time of the Mahabharata, which she dates over two thousand years old, the entire subcon- tinent has been conceived of as a single land. Mapping out this India, this Bharata, com- prises the work of the remainder of the book.
Chapter 4 examines the sacred rivers of India, with a special emphasis on the Ganga. I especially appreciated the inclusion in this chapter of a conclud- ing section dedicated to the consideration of the polluted state of these rivers today. Chapter 5 presents the sacred landscape of India from a Shaivite per- spective. The sixth chapter is a rich exploration of the worship of the goddesses of India, a thorough examination of the worship of Devi in her many forms.He had twice circled the length and breadth of the subcontinent, looping from Benares in the north via Puri in the east to Kanyakumari in the far south, and round again via the holy places of Gujarat.
Eck in this timeless account of research explores the land and its tales that do not fail to fascinate the reader. Trivia About India: A bit laboured and academic at times, though. Edited by Steven Jensen.
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