Download A Restatement of Religion: Swami Vivekananda and the Making by Jyotirmaya Sharma PDF

By Jyotirmaya Sharma

In this 3rd installment of his accomplished historical past of “India’s faith” and reappraisal of Hindu id, Professor Jyotirmaya Sharma deals an enticing portrait of Swami Vivekananda and his dating along with his guru, the mythical Ramakrishna. Sharma’s paintings specializes in Vivekananda’s reinterpretation and formula of various Indian non secular and mystical traditions and practices as “Hinduism” and the way it served to create, distort, and justify a countrywide self-image. the writer examines questions of caste and the primacy of the West in Vivekananda’s imaginative and prescient, in addition to the systematic marginalization of exchange religions and heterodox ideals. In doing so, Professor Sharma presents readers with an incisive entryway into nineteenth- and twentieth-century Indian background and the increase of Hindutva, the Hindu nationalist movement.

Sharma’s illuminating narrative is a superb reexamination of 1 of India’s such a lot debatable spiritual figures and a desirable learn of the symbiosis of Indian background, faith, politics, and nationwide identity. It is an important tale for someone attracted to the evolution of 1 of the world’s nice religions and its function in shaping modern India.

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Extra resources for A Restatement of Religion: Swami Vivekananda and the Making of Hindu Nationalism

Sample text

How beautiful is Your nose! ’ and all such nonsense... As if God is such an easy thing to be achieved! 22 Bhakti and the primacy of attaining God as outlined by Ramakrishna are to be brushed aside. But Vivekananda also seems to know God’s mind and even God’s distaste for imbeciles. The outburst above is not merely one where Ramakrishna’s idea of bhakti in its pure devotional form clashes with Vivekananda’s credo of study, public preaching and doing humanitarian work; Vivekananda’s religious nationalism appropriates and refashions Ramakrishna beyond recognition: You think you have understood Shri Ramakrishna better than myself!

You are an ignorant man... Your study ended like that of Prahlada at seeing the first Bengali alphabet, Ka, for it reminded Prahlada of Krishna and he could not proceed further because of tears that came into his eyes... You are sentimental fools! What do you understand of religion? You are only good at praying with folded hands, ‘O Lord! how beautiful is Your nose! ’ and all such nonsense... As if God is such an easy thing to be achieved! 22 Bhakti and the primacy of attaining God as outlined by Ramakrishna are to be brushed aside.

17 A Restatement of Religion He it is, says Rāmprasād, that I approach as Mother; But must I give away the secret, here in the marketplace? 26 Ramakrishna explains the meaning of the poem in the following way: Rāmprasād asks the mind only to guess the nature of God. He wishes it to understand that what is called Brahman in the Vedas is addressed by him as the Mother. He who is attributeless also has attributes. He who is Brahman is also Śakti. When thought of as inactive, He is called Brahman, and when thought of as the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer, He is called the Primordial Energy, Kāli.

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