Three Bhakti Voices: Mirabai, Surdas, and Kabir in Their by John Stratton Hawley

By John Stratton Hawley

The e-book is a set of essays written over 20 years yet with consistency of fashion, crisis and argument. it truly is divided into elements: the 1st, "The Bhakti Poet Saint: Economies of observe and lifestyles" levels over the literature of Bhakti as an entire. the second one half is prepared round person poets: Mira, Sur, and Kabir. Connections among the 3 poets is validated meticulously and convincingly.

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Extra resources for Three Bhakti Voices: Mirabai, Surdas, and Kabir in Their Time and Ours

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Llnirgu~1 issue by setting certain poems of Surdas, who is commonly viewed as sagu1;1, alongside counterparts that are attributed to the famously 11irgu~ Kabir. Like the essays on Mirabai and Surdas that we have just reviewed, there are also chapters in which I consider some of the uses to which Kabir has been put. There are two chapters of this sort, and they frame the last section of the book. The first in this pair, 'The Received Kabir: Beginnings to Bly' (Chapter 14), begins early, then jumps forward to Robe11 Bly's adaptation of Kabir to the contemporary American scene.

I look at a certain range of hagiographies and anthologies (sphufkar pads) and observe that the nirgu~zlsagwz taxonomy describes them less well than its propounders might have hoped. The textual record is very mixed. Rather than grouping the nirgU(Z and sagu~z poets in separate anthologies-a practice that belonged rather to major sectarian communities-these more generic and often humbler anthologies typically jumble them together. Recently, for instance. I was looking at an eighteenth-century manuscript that began as a collection of poems bearing the name of the Marathi poet-saint Tukaram-clearly a sagu(z figure in Sukla's terms.

It was to see this place and hear these poems that I traveled to Sri Govardhanpur. I expected that I would at last have the chance to hear how the poems of Ravidas sound when they are actually recited by members of the community that holds them in special esteem. I was ready with my tape recorder and eager to check them against printed versions of the same poems, particularly those included in the earliest known corpus, that of the Gunl Gramh sahib. How great was my nai·vete. When the Guru Ravidcls Grantlz was opened in the temple at Sri Govardhanpur and the old liturgist began to chant.

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