In the sixteenth century, the saint and scholar Sri Caitanya set in motion a wave of devotion to Krishna that began in eastern India and has now found its way around the world. Caitanya taught that the highest aim of life is to develop selfless love for God Krishna, the blue-hued cowherd boy who spoke the Bhagavad Gita. Although only a handful of poetry is attributed to Caitanya, his devotional theology was expounded and systematized by his followers in a vast array of poetical, philosophical, and ritual literature.This book provides a thematic study of Caitanya Vaishnava philosophy, introducing key thinkers and ideas in the early tradition, using Sanskrit and Bengali sources that have seldom been studied in English. The book addresses major areas of the tradition, including epistemology, ontology, aesthetics, ethics, and history, and every chapter includes relevant readings from primary sources.
Contents: Preface; Introduction: circling in on the subject: discourses of ultimacy in Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism, Kenneth R. Valpey; Reading: Śrī Caitanya jokes with Veṅkaṭa Bhaṭṭa: Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja’s Caitanya Caritāmṛta, translated by Kenneth R. Valpey; Bibliography; Epistemology and ontology I: where one is forever two: God and world in Jīva Gosvami’s Bhāgavata-sandarbha, Ravi M. Gupta; Reading: the Bhāgavata Purāṇa in four verses: Jīva Gosvāmī’s Kramasandarbha, translated by Kiyokazu Okita; Bibliography; Epistemology and ontology II: Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism on trial: continuity and transformation in the eighteenth century, Kiyokazu Okita; Reading: a pearl necklace of propositions: Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s Prameyaratnāvalī, translated by Ravi M. Gupta; Bibliography; Ethics and practice: Caitanya Vaiṣṇava ethics in relation to devotional community, Joseph T. O’Connell; Reading: the Upadeśāmṛtam of Rūpa Gosvāmī: a concise teaching on essential practices of Kṛṣṇa Bhakti, Graham M. Schweig; Bibliography; Aesthetics: an ocean of emotion: Rasa and religious experience in early Caitanya Vaiṣṇava thought, Rembert Lutjeharms; Reading: two discourses on Rasa, translated by Rembert Lutjeharms; Bibliography; Index.
About the Editor: Ravi M. Gupta holds the Charles Redd Chair of Religious Studies at Utah State University. He is the author of The Caitanya Vaiṣṇava Vedānta of Jīva Gosvāmī: When Knowledge Meets Devotion (2007) and co-editor of The Bhāgavata Purāṇa: Sacred Text and Living Tradition (2013). Ravi completed his doctorate in Hindu Studies at Oxford University and subsequently taught at the University of Florida, Centre College, and the College of William and Mary. He has received three teaching awards, as well as research fellowships at Linacre College and the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.
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