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Lectures on Vaisnava

The study Of Vaishnava and Christian Theology

Professor Francis X. Clooney, SJ
27 Oct 2000

Related: Christianity, Comparative Theology, Vaisnava

Pains of separation: Narratives of suffering in the Bhagavata Purana

Amanda Mills
6 Nov 2002

Related: Bhagavata, Vaisnava

Coins and icons: Vaishnava imagery on Indian coins

Dr Shailendra Bhandare
4 Dec 2002

Shailendra Bhandare from the Ashmolean Museum speaks on "Coins and Icons: Vaishnava Imagery on Indian Coins"

Related: Numismatics, Vaisnava

Madhvacarya's mitigated monotheism

Wahlstrom Lecture
Dr Deepak Sarma
31 Oct 2003

In this lecture Dr Sarma will examine the distinguishing characteristics of Madhva Vedanta, a school of Hindu theism that was developed in the 13th century by Madhvacraya. He will explore, in particular, the kind of God that Madhvacarya envisioned.

Related: Hindu Theology, Vaisnava, Vedanta

A Hindu theology of revelation, scripture, and tradition: Comments on Vedanta Desika's 14th century Guruparamparasaram

Professor Francis X. Clooney, SJ
28 Jan 2004

Comments on Vedanta Desika's 14th Century Guruparamparasaram

Related: Hindu Theology, Vaisnava

Faith and reason in the scholarship of Tamal Krishna Goswami

Dr Kenneth Valpey
12 Feb 2004

Related: Hindu Theology, Vaisnava

Faith and reason in the scholarship of Tamal Krishna Goswami

Professor Francis X. Clooney, SJ
12 Feb 2004

Related: Hindu Theology, Vaisnava

Indian texts in historical context seminar: Community, text, and context in Vedanta Desika's 14th century Srimadrahasyatrayasara

Professor Francis X. Clooney, SJ
7 May 2004

Related: Text, Vaisnava

A poet and a philosopher: Two women in the Sri Vaishnava tradition

Professor Vasudha Narayanan
21 Oct 2004

Professor Vasudha Narayanan (University of Florida, USA and Tamal Krishna Visiting Fellow, President of the American Academy of Religion [2001])

Related: Gender, Literature, Vaisnava

The dvaita-advaita controversy

Shivdasani Lecture
Professor K. Maheswaran Nair
27 Jan 2005

K. Maheswaran Nair (Professor, Department of Sanskrit, University of Kerala)

Related: Hindu Theology, Vaisnava, Vedanta

Vaishnava views on consciousness in dialogue with the west

OCHS consciousness seminar
Jonathan Edelmann
1 Feb 2005

Related: Consciousness, Science and Religion, Vaisnava

Interconnecting parallel times: Notions of time in the Caitanya tradition of Hinduism

Text, context, and interpretation seminars
Dr Angelika Malinar
2 Mar 2006

While the idea that ancient Indian cultures lack a sense of history has been questioned and even rejected in recent years, the notion of cyclical time is still regarded as the concept of time prevalent in Hinduism. The paper examines this view by dealing with Mircea Eliade‚ understanding of cyclicity and eternal return. It will be argued that time is not only in Western religions, but also in Hinduism conceived of as a complex, multi-layered phenomenon. This will be shown in a case-study of the Caitanya tradition.

Related: Vaisnava

A cherished gem or a bitter fruit? Renunciation in Kavikarnapura's Caitanya-candrodaya-nataka

Graduate Seminar
Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
16 May 2006

Related: Asceticism, Vaisnava

Baladeva vidyabhusana's Premeya-ratnavali and the issue of lineage

Graduate Seminar
Kiyokazu Okita
12 Oct 2006

This seminar will present an account of the Vaishnava philosopher Baladeva Vidyabhusana and his place in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. The paper will address the problem of lineage and raise questions about authenticity, authority, and the legitimacy of practice claimed by tradition. Kiyokazu Okita is a graduate student in the Theology Faculty at Oxford, pursuing research for his DPhil on Baladeva. He has degrees from Japan and the USA.

Related: Hindu Theology, Philosophy, Vaisnava

Making room for the goddess: A theology of Sri in fourteenth-century South India

Majewski Lecture
Professor Francis X. Clooney, SJ
18 May 2007

While Vedanta Desika (fourteenth century, South India), as a Srivaisnava Hindu, was a member of a tradition with the greatest respect for the Goddess Sri, in his era there was still lively debate about her precise status in relationship to the supreme deity, Narayana.

In his Srimad Rahasyatrayasara, Desika pushes for a complete acceptance of Sri as the eternal consort of Narayana, an indispensable equal participant in the divine work of enabling human salvation.
Though in many ways a theological conservative and defender of traditional orthodoxy, Desika here shows himself to be radical and innovative in his defense of Sri. Comparison and contrast with debates over the identity of Jesus in early Christian theology and over the role of Mary, mother of Jesus, as co-mediatrix of redemption, clarify Desika's theological method and contribution to the theology of Sri.
Professor Frank Clooney, SJ, is Parkman Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology at Harvard. Prof. Clooney is the author of numerous articles and books in the area of Hindu Studies and comparative theology, including Fr. Bouchet's India: An 18th-Century Jesuit's Encounter With Hinduism (2005), Divine Mother, Blessed Mother (2005), and Hindu God, Christian God (2001).

Related: Goddesses, Hindu Theology, Vaisnava

An Introduction of ritual and philosophy of the Vaishnavas based especially on the Pancaratra system

Professor Gaya Charan Tripathi
12 May 2008

Related: Pancaratra, Ritual, Vaisnava

Hindu understandings of God 2: The theology of Ramanuja

Professor Keith Ward
12 Feb 2009

We find the idea of God in different religions and it is theologically interesting that semantic analogues of the category appear across the boundaries of traditions. This series of lectures explores Hindu ideas of God and raises questions about the meaning of God in human traditions and the idea of comparative theology.

Related: Hindu Theology, Vaisnava

Hindu understandings of God 3: The theology of Jiva Gosvami

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
26 Feb 2009

We find the idea of God in different religions and it is theologically interesting that semantic analogues of the category appear across the boundaries of traditions. This series of lectures explores Hindu ideas of God and raises questions about the meaning of God in human traditions and the idea of comparative theology.

Related: Hindu Theology, Vaisnava

Krishna-Chaitanya Bhakti and Rabindranath’s Religion of Man: Their resonance and dissonance

Shivdasani Lecture
Professor Joseph T. O’Connell
20 May 2011

When we think of Rabindranath Tagore in relation to the Krishna-Caitanya religio-literary tradition of Bengal, his youthful Bhanusimher Padaboli immediately come to mind, as they should as the most explicit treatments of a Vaishnava theme in all of his immense literary corpus. But we may also ask what other indications there may be of resonances and dissonances vis-à-vis the Vaishnava tradition elsewhere in his prose and poetry, especially as he grew older. This lecture first reviews his family’s Vaishnava affinities, especially among the women, and the countervailing critical attitudes and policies of the Brahmo Samaj of which he was for some time secretary. It then attempts to assess in what ways and to what degree underlying characteristics of Bengali Vaishnava piety and aesthetics may be reflected or rejected, implicitly if not explicitly in the works of the mature Rabindranath.

Related: Literature, Vaisnava

Krishnadasa Kaviraja’s Caitanya-caritamrta: Its characteristics as a sacred biography

Shivdasani Lecture
Professor Joseph T. O’Connell
27 May 2011

Sacred biographies of Visvambhara Misra, aka Krishna-Caitanya, (1486–1533) constitute an unusually ample array of texts that for half a century have provided an enduring basis for an otherwise loosely coordinated community of Vaishnava devotees in Bengal and elsewhere. The Caitanya-caritamrta (Nectar-like Acts of Caitanya) of Krishnadasa Kaviraja is the culmination of an inter-related series of such texts. Relying primarily on the Caitanya-caritamrta (in the Bengali and Sanskrit original and in its translation by Edward C. Dimock, Jr.) and drawing upon Tony K. Stewart’s The Final Word, the seminar examines how theological-cum-devotional concerns and institutional loyalties are mediated through the literary forms and strategies employed by the series of ‘biographers’ of Caitanya culminating in Krishnadasa Kaviraja.

Related: Vaisnava

Krishnadasa Kaviraja’s Caitanya-caritamrta: Its value as a witness to historical events

Shivdasani Lecture
Professor Joseph T. O’Connell
3 Jun 2011

The sacred biographies of Krishna-Caitanya appear to convey a great deal of historical information about the words and actions of their main subject and of hundreds of his followers and other contemporaries. They also include along the way a number of vignettes, some with political implications, that, if accurate, would extend our knowledge of early sixteenth century Bengal some degrees beyond the intramural affairs of the nascent community of devotees. But how reliable are these texts as records of actual historical persons, words and events? Devotees tend to say very reliable. Scholars tend to divide on the issue with some claiming that theological, devotional, and polemic concerns thoroughly negate the ostensible historicity of the texts. Others take a more favourable view arguing that much historical fact is recoverable from the sacred biographies despite the presence of theological and ‘mythical’ constraints. It may even be argued that the authors’ conviction that Krishna-Caitanya’s apparently human actions are ontologically lilas (divine sport) intended to instruct humans in authentic devotion (bhakti) itself provides a religious motive for seeking accuracy in reporting those actions, even in Krishnadasa Kaviraja’s Caitanya-caritamrta (Nectar-like Acts of Caitanya).

Related: Vaisnava

Transforming Traditions 2: Krishna's Broken Contract: a Bhakti Reading of the Afghan Invasions in the 18th century

Transforming Traditions Series
Richard Williams
6 Feb 2012

Related: Bhakti, Hindu Theology, Vaisnava

Transforming Traditions 4: ‘Why do we still sift the husk-like Upanisads?’: Revisiting Vedanta in Early Caitanya Vaisnava Theology

Transforming Traditions Series
Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
27 Feb 2012

Related: Hindu Theology, Literature, Vaisnava

Vaishnava Features of Traditional Hatha yoga

Dr James Mallinson
8 Mar 2012

The history of hatha yoga is only now becoming clear through close attention to the textual tradition. This seminar examines the Vaishnava roots of some hatha yoga practice.

Dr James Mallinson has a BA in Sanskrit from Oxford and an MA with a major in ethnography from SOAS. His DPhil. thesis at Oxford was a critical edition of the Khecarividya, a Kaula work on khecarimudra, an important technique of hathayoga. After his DPhil. he translated Sanskrit poetry for the Clay Sanskrit Library for six years. He then spent a year teaching Sanskrit at SOAS and is now helping to set up an institute of Indian classical studies at Lavasa in India while continuing his research into yoga and yogis.

Related: Vaisnava, Yoga

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and the West

Dr Ferdinando Sardella
3 May 2012

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's (1874–1937) passing away. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was the founder of the Gaudiya Math and the inspirator of a wide range of Vaishnava movements that have been established in the West from the 1930s and onwards, among others ISKCON or the Hare Krishna Movement. The lecture discusses the relationship of Bhaktisiddhanta with modernity, his theological ideas in relation to Christianity, and his approach to Western culture. Bhaktisiddhanta launched a missionary effort in the 1930s to London that involved members of the British cabinet. The lecture will also present some of the latest research on Bhaktisiddhanta featuring the recent discovery of his diary and an autobiographical sketch. The lecture is based on Sardella's monograph titled “Modern Hindu Personalism: The Life, Place and Works of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati” to be published by Oxford University Press.

Dr. Ferdinando Sardella is based at the Department of Theology, Uppsala University (Sweden) and is a Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.

Related: Diaspora, Modern Hinduism, Vaisnava

The Concept of Laksmi in Srivaisnavism

Wahlstrom Lecture
Professor M Narasimhachary
17 May 2012

 This lecture aims at presenting a holistic picture of Laksmi covering the earliest and later phases of the development of this concept. She, known by another popular name Sri, is the embodiment of all the powers which make the Lord her consort, a veritable ruler of the world. She, as the repository of benign love, plays the role of mother of all living beings. She plays a vital role in the redemption of the erring humanity by interceding on their behalf and mitigating the rightful wrath of the Lord in which act her motherly nature gets fully manifested.

Founder Professor and Head (Retired), Department of Vaishnavism, University of Madras, India. His specialist subjects include the Pre-Ramanuja Religion and Philosophy, Pancharatra Agama Literature, Telugu and Sanskrit Literature and popularisation of Sanskrit as a spoken tongue. He has published a number of articles and monographs in academic journals on topics such as the Samskrita Svapnah, Bhakti and Prapatti in Srivaishnava Philosophy and the Pancaratra-kantakoddhara. Important Publications include: The Contribution of Yaamuna to Visistadvaita [Pub; Jayalakshmi Publications, Hyderabad]; Critical Edition and Study of Yaamuna's Aagamapraamaanya [pub: Gaekwad's Oriental Series, Baroda]; and an English translation of Sri Vedanta Desika's Padukasahasram and all of his 32 Stotras. Prof. Narasimhachary received the Certificate of Honour for Proficiency in Sanskrit from the President of India for the year 2004.

Related: Hindu Theology, Vaisnava