Living Mantra: Mantra, Deity, and Visionary Experience Today (Contemporary Anthropology of Religion)
Mani Rao
  • ISBN : 9783030113285
  • year : 2019
  • language : English
  • binding : Softcover
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Contents: 1. Introduction. 2. A Mountain of Scholarship. 3. Crossing Over. 4. Are There Revelations Today?. 5. Body-Yantra: Sahasrakshi Meru Temple, Devipuram. 6. Self-Made: Svayam Siddha Kali Pitham, Guntur. 7. “I Am in Mantra, Mantra Is in Me”: Nachiketa Tapovan, Kodgal. 8. Understanding Mantra Again. Living Mantra is an anthropology of mantra-experience among Hindu-tantric practitioners. In ancient Indian doctrine and legends, mantras perceived by rishis (seers) invoke deities and have transformative powers. Adopting a methodology that combines scholarship and practice, Mani Rao discovers a continuing tradition of visionaries (rishis/seers) and revelations in south India’s Andhra-Telangana. Both deeply researched and replete with fascinating narratives, the book reformulates the poetics of mantra-practice as it probes practical questions. Can one know if a vision is real or imagined? Is vision visual? Are deity-visions mediated by culture? If mantras are effective, what is the role of devotion? Are mantras language? Living Mantra interrogates not only theoretical questions, but also those a practitioner would ask: how does one choose a deity, for example, or what might bind one to a guru? Rao breaks fresh ground in redirecting attention to the moments that precede systematization and canon-formation, showing how authoritative sources are formed.