Mrtyu: Concept of Death in Indian Traditions - Transformation of the Body and Funeral Rites (Reconstructing Indian History and Culture)

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9788124600726: Mrtyu: Concept of Death in Indian Traditions - Transformation of the Body and Funeral Rites (Reconstructing Indian History and Culture)
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Yama, in Hindu mythology, is the eschato-logist and god of death. And is, thus, dreaded. Even in today's India, there is a fearful hesitancy, if not conscious avoidance, of any talk about him. Yet, paradoxically, the phenomenon of death does not evoke a similar fear in the Indian psyche accepted, as it is, a natural event, a part of life: just like poverty, sickness and old age. Here is an insightful, at once compelling exposition of the phenomenon of death, based on plurimillennial tradition of the Hindus which, despite the affirmation of Western attitudes in certain elitist sections of the urban society, has endured since the times of the Vedas and Indic Civilization. Exploring, contextually, the age-old Indian view of mortal existence: from the very moment of an individual's conception to his/her journey to the Kingdom of Yama through the major phases of birth, growth and ageing, Professor Filippi unveils a complex network of sentiments, beliefs, scriptural references, customs, hopes, ritualistic practices and much else relevant to the "great adventure" of death. Notwithstanding the sentimental undertones of the m_rtyu-theme, Dr. Filippi's work outstands for its rare scientific objectivity. It has grown from years of his rigorous research effort involving not only his extensive studies of Indian literature: classical and modern, but also his interviews with Indian sa]mnyasins, brahmanas, relatives of the dead, and the persons living around the cremation grounds. Together with visual material, bibliographic references, and a glossary of non-English terms, the book holds out as much appeal to the general reader as to the specialist. AUTHOR DETAILS: Gian Giuseppe Filippi, (born: 21 June 1947), holds Venice University's doctorate and international recognition as a specialist in Indological studies. For over two decades, he has lectured on Indian art history and different Indology-related subjects at different fora that notably include his stints, as visiting Professor, at the UK's Hull University, India's prestigious Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (New Delhi) and the National Museum Institute (New Delhi). His membership of several learned bodies apart, he is the Vice-President of Italy-India Association, and also the Director of the V.A.I.S. Currently Professor of History of Art of India at the University of Venice a position he has held since 1985, Dr. Filippi has already published two books and over sixty papers.

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Yama in Hindu mythology is the eschatologist and god of death. And is thus, dreaded. Even in today's India, there is a fearful hesitancy, if not conscious avoidance, of any talk about him.

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