Narasinha Mehta of Gujarat: A Legacy of Bhakti in Songs and Stories

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9780199976416: Narasinha Mehta of Gujarat: A Legacy of Bhakti in Songs and Stories

Exploring medieval manuscripts, Gandhi's writings, and performances in multiple religious and non-religious contexts, Narasinha Mehta of Gujarat demonstrates how over five centuries, performers and audiences of devotional songs and hagiographic narratives associated with the saint-poet Narasinha Mehta have sculpted them into popular sources of moral inspiration. Taking Gandhi's use of these works in his social reconstruction programs as an example, the book suggests that when religious forms such as songs and hagiographies of saint-poets of South Asia acquire dimensions of popular culture, they offer a platform for communication among diverse groups.

An illuminating study that provides a vivid picture of the Narasinha tradition, Narasinha Mehta of Gujarat will be a crucial resource for anyone seeking to understand the power of religious performative traditions in popular media.

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About the Author:


Neelima Shukla-Bhatt is Associate Professor of South Asia Studies at Wellesley College.

Review:


"Neelima Shukla-Bhatt has written a beautiful book on Narasinha Mehta, a poet-saint beloved in Gujarat since the fifteenth century. His poetry has circulated in diverse ways across centuries and regions, through melodic everyday songs, the social justice of Mahatma Gandhi, and the global reach of YouTube, which demands the comprehensive and accessible elucidation that Shukla-Bhatt is the first to provide in English on this iconic figure. Importantly, Shukla-Bhatt considers Narasinha's poetry as a resource for healing a region with a recent troubled past, and for imagining a harmoniously pluralistic future. In the course of providing social history, Shukla-Bhatt brings the aesthetic possibilities of Narasinha's compositions to the fore: Read his poetry through her graceful prose, and be truly enchanted." --Karen Pechilis, author of Interpreting Devotion: The Poetry and Legacy of a Hindu Female Saint of India


"This wonderful book explores the life, legend, and after-life of a great poet-saint who profoundly influenced Mahatma Gandhi. A work both of cultural history and aesthetic appreciation, it demonstrates how words and music can play a pivotal role in shaping moral codes as well as social behavior. Analytically sharp and elegantly written, this book will be of great interest to literary historians and scholars of South Asia." --Ramachandra Guha, author of Gandhi Before India


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Shukla-Bhatt, Neelima
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Book Description Book Condition: New. Oxford University Press, 2015. 352p. Hardback. Neelima Shukla-Bhatt has written a beautiful book on Narasinha Mehta, a poet-saint beloved in Gujarat since the fifteenth century. His poetry has circulated in diverse ways across centuries and regions, through melodic everyday songs, the social justice of Mahatma Gandhi, and the global reach of YouTube, which demands the comprehensive and accessible elucidation that Shukla-Bhatt is the first to provide in English on this iconic figure. Importantly, Shukla-Bhatt considers Narasinha's poetry as a resource for healing a region with a recent troubled past, and for imagining a harmoniously pluralistic future. In the course of providing social history, Shukla-Bhatt brings the aesthetic possibilities of Narasinha's compositions to the fore: Read his poetry through her graceful prose, and be truly enchanted. Karen Pechilis, author of Interpreting Devotion: The Poetry and Legacy of a Hindu Female Saint of India |a 13/02/15 (Publisher's information). Condition: New Print on Demand. Printed on Demand. Bookseller Inventory # 40957

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Shukla-bhatt, Neelima
Published by Oxford Univ Pr (2014)
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Book Description Oxford Univ Pr, 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 1st edition. 352 pages. 9.75x6.50x1.25 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0199976414

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