Download Medusa's Hair: An Essay on Personal Symbols and Religious by Gananath Obeyesekere PDF

By Gananath Obeyesekere

The good pilgrimage middle of southeastern Sri Lanka, Kataragama, has turn into in recent times the religious domestic of a brand new type of Hindu-Buddhist spiritual devotees. those ecstatic clergymen and priestesses continually reveal lengthy locks of disheveled hair, and so they show their devotion to the gods via hearth strolling, tongue-piercing, placing on hooks, and trance-induced prophesying.The expanding acclaim for those ecstatics poses a problem not just to orthodox Sinhala Buddhism (the authentic faith of Sri Lanka) but in addition, as Gananath Obeyesekere exhibits, to the conventional anthropological and psychoanalytic theories of symbolism. Focusing firstly on one image, disheveled hair, Obeyesekere demonstrates that the traditional contrast among own and cultural symbols is insufficient and naive. His designated case experiences of ecstatics convey that there's regularly a reciprocity among the personal-psychological size of the emblem and its public, culturally sanctioned position. Medusa's Hair therefore makes a major theoretical contribution either to the anthropology of person adventure and to the psychoanalytic realizing of tradition. In its analyses of the symbolism of guilt, the adaptational and integrative value of trust in spirits, and a bunch of similar matters bearing on ownership states and religiosity, this e-book marks a provocative develop in mental anthropology.

Show description

Read Online or Download Medusa's Hair: An Essay on Personal Symbols and Religious Experience PDF

Similar hinduism books

Contemporary Hinduism: Ritual, Culture, and Practice

An exam of the modern practices, ideals, and problems with one of many world's oldest and such a lot enduring religions, either inside of its Indian place of origin and during the global. • Ten essays discover the background, glossy perform, and modern problems with Hinduism• Maps together with old and modern India and the Hindu diaspora, in addition to illustrations inside person essays• The booklet features a word list of phrases and a consultant to announcing phrases from Indian languages• A accomplished introductory essay offers a uncomplicated old evaluation and addresses the improvement of the definition and learn of Hinduism

The Cambridge Companion to Gandhi (Cambridge Companions to Religion )

Even at the present time, six a long time after his assassination in January 1948, Mahatma Gandhi remains to be respected because the father of the Indian kingdom. His highbrow and ethical legacy - encapsulated in works akin to Hind Swaraj - in addition to the instance of his lifestyles and politics function an thought to human rights and peace events, political activists, and scholars in lecture room discussions through the global.

Religion, Narrative, and Public Imagination in South Asia: Past and place in the Sanskrit Mahābhārata

The Sanskrit Mahabharata is among the maximum works of global literature and pivotal for the knowledge of either Hindu traditions and wider society in historic, medieval and sleek South Asia. This publication provides a brand new synthesis of philological, anthropological and cognitive-linguistic process and concept with regards to the examine of narrative textual content via targeting the shape and serve as of the Mahabharata within the context of early South Asia.

Additional info for Medusa's Hair: An Essay on Personal Symbols and Religious Experience

Sample text

Thus it means rightness, justice, goodness, purpose rather than chance. Underlying this idea is the oneness of life: the Upanishadic discovery that all things are interconnected because at its deepest level creation is indivisible. This oneness bestows a basic balance on the whole of nature such that any disturbance in one place has to send ripples everywhere, as a perfect bubble, touched lightly in one place, trembles all over until balance is restored. The implications are caught perfectly by those famous lines from John Donne, which deserve to be read now with a fresh eye as not merely great rhetoric but a faithful representation of reality: No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.

The most useful part of this vocabulary comes from Sankhya, the philosophical system whose practical counterpart is the school of meditation called Yoga. Both are traditionally traced to one towering authority, Kapila, and have much in common with Buddhist philosophy. ” The Gita does not belong to the Sankhya school or to any other; it is as comprehensive as the Upanishads. But Sankhya provides a precise vocabulary for describing the workings of the mind, and the Gita draws on that vocabulary freely.

The Gita does not belong to the Sankhya school or to any other; it is as comprehensive as the Upanishads. But Sankhya provides a precise vocabulary for describing the workings of the mind, and the Gita draws on that vocabulary freely. Sankhya philosophy posits two separate categories: Purusha, spirit, and prakriti, everything else. This is not the Western mind-matter distinction. Prakriti is the field of what can be known objectively, the field of phenomena, the world of whatever has “name and form”: that is, not only of matter and energy but also of the mind.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.13 of 5 – based on 30 votes