BANARAS CITY OF LIGHT DIANA ECK PDF

After an unplanned and brief first visit to Banaras earlier this year, I realised that I really knew very little about the great city, even though I spent days browsing the internet before the visit. I obtained this book among several others on return, and have thus far read the majority of them carefully, making profuse notes. This review is the result of this near - simultaneous and I remember reading this book cursorily many years back, when a friend lent me a copy with high recommendations. This review is the result of this near - simultaneous and detailed reading of several well-researched and remarkable books. The first thing that strikes the reader is about the present book is the meticulous research that has gone in and the sincerity with it has been presented in the book.

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After an unplanned and brief first visit to Banaras earlier this year, I realised that I really knew very little about the great city, even though I spent days browsing the internet before the visit. I obtained this book among several others on return, and have thus far read the majority of them carefully, making profuse notes.

This review is the result of this near - simultaneous and I remember reading this book cursorily many years back, when a friend lent me a copy with high recommendations. This review is the result of this near - simultaneous and detailed reading of several well-researched and remarkable books. The first thing that strikes the reader is about the present book is the meticulous research that has gone in and the sincerity with it has been presented in the book.

This makes it a very important primary resource to go to for the serious tourist, even though it does not appear to have been revised after the first printing However for the serious Indian reader many inaccuracies and incorrect or untenable premises reduce the value of the book significantly.

I have listed below a few to illustrate the problem: - The Rudram is claimed to be part of the Shatapatha Brahmana pp 69! Some hymns are repeated in the Shvetashvatara Upanishad. In fact, the mosque was supposed to be built by a princess Razia of Jaunpur, to forestall the reconstruction of the temple. Even though the author says that she was "close enough to the Hindu tradition to see its religious significance" in the Preface pp xiii , several incorrect, contentious, even fanciful conclusions are drawn bacause of adopting conjectural academic viewpoints, such as the Aryan Invasion Theory AIT.

A few examples: - The belief on pp that the Birs of Banaras are Yakshas, whereas they are quite clearly hero-stones Viragals of great antiquity - "Non-Aryan" deities Ganesha, Hanuman, Nrisimha and others can be identified by being part animals and by the vermilion coat they get pp and elsewhere!

This is very contentious and very difficult to prove; I know that the vermilion coat is common to all deities who are Rudras.

The 12 solar deities called Adityas are very ancient Vedic deities. The concept that Narayana is stationed at the centre of the sun is familiar to all Hindus, and is recited as a creed in daily rituals such as the Sandhyavandana by the devout. This is an untenable premise; the Dikpalakas are as important as they have always been. This is attested to by the standard Pooja process which involves inviting all the Dikpalakas and offering them the upacharas before the actual worship starts.

However, this does not diminish the value of the huge amount of information, painstakingly collected and systematically presented. The sincerity and feeling for the subject are unquestionable. Anecdotal parts and quotations from traditional texts such as the Kashi Khanda are presented with great feeling and lyricism.

The book contains some of the finest elucidations of Advaita Vedanta and the Indian culture and attitudes I read anywhere. The author was also fortunate to attend the lectures of the great Karpatri Swami. All this makes it all the more intriguing that the book has not been revised in any way after the first printing in ; quite clearly this is a successful book that has gone through multiple reprints.

The lack of updation also reduces its value somewhat for the tourist. The acknowledgements section misspells the name of the first person acknowledged pp and it has never been corrected through all these years!

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Banaras: CITY OF LIGHT

Apr 07, Prasad BSV rated it liked it I remember reading this book cursorily many years back, when a friend lent me a copy with high recommendations. After an unplanned and brief first visit to Banaras earlier this year, I realised that I really knew very little about the great city, even though I spent days browsing the internet before the visit. I obtained this book among several others on return, and have thus far read the majority of them carefully, making profuse notes. This review is the result of this near - simultaneous and I remember reading this book cursorily many years back, when a friend lent me a copy with high recommendations. This review is the result of this near - simultaneous and detailed reading of several well-researched and remarkable books. The first thing that strikes the reader is about the present book is the meticulous research that has gone in and the sincerity with it has been presented in the book.

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ISBN 13: 9780140190793

You look for books on Kashi and this book comes on top. I spoke to many people in Varanasi about books on the city and everyone pointed me to this book. My first rendezvous with this book was in December when my friend Hema and me spent a week in Varanasi. She was reading this book, and we used it as a reference to locate some of the ancient temples in the lesser known areas of the city. In fact, we ended up finding a mistake also in the book. Since then I have been wanting to read this book. She presented the geography of India as I had never seen it.

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Banaras: City of Light

It is the place where Shiva, the Lord of All, is said to have made his permanent home since the dawn of creation. In this eloquent, finely observed study, Diana Eck shows how the city over the centuries has become a lens through which the Hindu vision of the world is precisely focused. She reveals the spiritual and historical resonance of this holy place where great sages such as the Buddha and Shankara were taught, where ashrams, palaces, and universities were built, where God has been imagined and imagined in a thousand ways. She describes the rites of its temples, the busy life of its riverfront, and the exuberance of its festivals. In her account of the sacred history, geography, and art of the city, its elaborate and thriving rituals, its myths and literature, and its importance to pilgrims and seekers, Diana Eck uses her wealth of scholarship to make the Hindu tradition come powerfully alive so that we come to understand the meaning of this sacred city to the millions of believers who have been coming here for over 2, years.

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Banaras City of Light by Diana L Eck

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