By Eknath Easwaran

One of the oldest of India’s non secular texts, the Upanishads are documents of in depth question-and-answer classes given via illumined sages to their scholars. generally featured in philosophy classes, the Upanishads have wondered and encouraged knowledge seekers from Yeats to Schopenhauer. Eknath Easwaran makes this tough textual content extra available by way of deciding upon the passages such a lot correct to readers looking undying truths this present day. His obtainable, hugely readable translation and full of life foreword position the lessons in a latest context for college kids and basic readers alike.

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Ha¯ courtly practices from Maharashtra, and the modernity of the European Enlightenment. Serfoji II and his heir S´iva¯jı¯ II (r. 1832–1855) deployed courtesan dancers in their rituals of display, casting themselves as rulers who, though incrementally divested of political authority by the British, were nevertheless effective, modern patrons of culture. The Tanjore court thus exemplifies the ways in which devada¯sı¯s were instrumentalized as emblems of cultural capital in the context of an emergent colonial modernity.

Hı¯ pandit G. Nagaraja Rao (1902–1973) and musicologist B. M. 11 WOMEN AND THE PRODUCTION OF CULTURE In order to understand the conditions of professional dancing women at Tanjore, we must delineate the roles afforded to women in the courtly milieu. ¯ıs) to the servant-girls of concubines, were implicated in a symbolic order that attempted to exhibit the power of courtly culture to colonial audiences Producing Dance in Colonial Tanjore 33 and beyond. In many cases, women’s agency was severely curtailed in this process—women and young girls were regularly bought and sold through the intercession of the court, for example—but in other cases, elite courtly women exercised a degree of administrative and cultural power, as we shall see in some of the examples below.

Women from devada¯sı¯ communities are particularly subject to moral suspicion and harassed in schools and other public spaces. iya¯l. (terms that both denote “whore” and also index the devada¯sı¯ community) as insults are part of the quotidian negotiation of identity, stigma, and social discrimination that young women contend with in these communities. Their future prospects are almost always restricted to endogamous, arranged marriages, and these occur at a young age—usually as soon as the fi rst available groom presents himself—in a kind of social paranoia about ensuring that girls do not “miss an opportunity” to become socially integrated.

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