By Vedantadesika

ISBN-10: 0198043724

ISBN-13: 9780198043720

During this significant other quantity to ]i]Singing the physique of God[/i] (Oxford 2002), Steven P. Hopkins has translated into modern American English verse poems written through the South Indian Srivaisnava thinker and saint-poet Venkatesa (c. 1268-1369).

These poems, in 3 assorted languages - Sanskrit, Tamil, and Maharastri Prakrit -- composed for one specific Hindu god, Vishnu Devanayaka, the "Lord of Gods" at Tiruvahindrapuram, shape a microcosm of the saint-poet's paintings.

They surround significant issues of Venkatesa's devotional poetics, from the play of divine absence and presence on this planet of non secular feelings; the "telescoping" of time earlier and destiny within the everlasting "present" of the poem; love, human vulnerability and the impassible perfected physique of god; to the devotional event of a "beauty that saves" and to what Hopkins phrases the paradoxical coexistence of asymmetry and intimacy of lover and cherished on the middle of the divine-human come across.

Moreover, those poems shape not just a thematic microcosm, yet a linguistic one embracing all 3 of the poet's operating languages. just like the remembered global of Proust's Combray within the flavor of madeleine dipped in tea, or Blake's global in a Grain of Sand, we style and notice, during this one specific position, and during this one specific kind of Vishnu, a variety of protean kinds and powers of the divine, and hint a veritable summa of theological, philosophical, and literary designs.

Each translated poem kinds a bankruptcy in itself, has its personal person brief Afterword, besides specific linguistic and thematic notes and observation. the quantity concludes, for comparative purposes, with a translation of Tirumankaiyalvar's luminous cycle of verses for Devanayaka from the Periyatirumoli.

As a lot a controversy as an anthology, this booklet may be of curiosity to scholars and students of South Asian reports, comparative faith, and Indian literatures.

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Additional resources for An Ornament for Jewels: Love Poems for the Lord of Gods

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The Structure of the Book This collection consists of complete translations of five long poems of Vexkatesa: two from the Tamil, Mumanikko¯vai and Navamanima¯lai, and two, _ _ _ ˜ ca¯sat and Gopa¯lavimsati, from the Sanskrit. Selected verses from Devana¯yakapan these poems are analyzed in the larger study, as luminous details that condense various semantic registers and theological colors of the whole, but here the reader can encounter these individual verses set within the larger canvas of the entire visionary cycle.

28  ˙ In this way the poem inscribes two seemingly antithetical truths at the heart of Ven˙katesa’s theology of devotion: divine-human asymmetry and the _ intimacy of particular love.

8 Meru, the golden mountain became the perfect waterpot to wash the foot of Narayapa raised that very day from this very place to highest heaven: our dark god the color of the sea the cause of all things stood here: descending, be came to Tiruvahı¯ndrapuram, the town of the serpent king, he who is desired even by the Vedas. 9 The foster mother speaks to her mother: We are utterly confused by our girl slender as a creeper her long eyebrows curved like bows, the very image of god’s Red Lady sitting in the Lotus.

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An Ornament for Jewels: Love Poems for the Lord of Gods by Vedantadesika

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