Much has been written on Tamil Bhakti Movement and on its literature by scholars with divergent agendas. However, the present work tries to highlight the aspects of ‘beyond bhakti’, i.e. other than so called Bhakti sentiments and practices. It attempts to study the unique bhakti sentiment of folk people with the firsthand knowledge and information to highlight its specific nature.
This book questions certain aspects of age old socio-cultural conventions of South India, documented in the Saiva Bhakti literature and earnestly exposes its flaws by citing the relevant facts and figures. It also analyses the common features of Virasaiva Saranas of Karnataka and Siddhas of Tamilnadu in general and Basaveswara and Ramalingaswami in particular. It extensively reviews the myth of one peculiar Saiva Dalit Nayanar called Nandanar to understand the past as well as present socio-cultural issues of Tamil Nadu.
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It is a mine of information to the students pursuing the theme of Bhakti cult about the socio-religious milieu of South India.
- Indira Goswatni, Jnan Pith Awardee
The book makes use of literary, philosophical and psychological analysis. Its aim is to go beyond these branches of study and find out something vitally important for the social upliftment of the people. That is why its title is “Beyond Bhakti”.
- Nishikant D. Mirajkar, University of Delhi
It provides a glimpse of issues related to Bhakti cult in South India. It deserves widest possible readership for those interested in Comparative perspectives on Bhakti.
- T.K. Venkatasubramanian, University of Delhi