God of Desire

God of Desire : Tales of Kamadeva in Sanskrit Story Literature

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God of Desire presents Sanskrit tales of the Indian deity Kamadeva as he battles the ascetic god Siva, assists the powerful goddess Devi, and incarnates as the charming son of Krsna. Exploring the imagery and symbolism of the god of desire in art and ritual, Catherine Benton reflects on the connection of Kamadeva to parrots, makaras (gharials), and apsarases (celestial nymphs), and to playful devotional rituals designed to win his favor. In addition to examining the Hindu literature, Benton also highlights two Buddhist forms of Kamadeva, the demonic Mara, who tries to persuade the Buddha to trade enlightenment for the delights of a woman, and the ever-youthful Manjusri, who cuts through ignorance with the bodhisattva sword of wisdom. Tales of Kamadeva from the Hindu and Buddhist traditions present desire as a powerful force continually redefining the boundaries of chaos and order and gently pulling beyond the ephemeral lure of passionate longings.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 252 pages
  • 154.94 x 236.22 x 20.83mm | 472g
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • Total Illustrations: 0
  • 0791465659
  • 9780791465653

Review quote

"Benton provides us with something valuable and important that we did not have before: a book-length study of Kā madeva. Until now, I don't believe anyone has brought these tales together and provided us with a reasonable chronology, a series of convincing readings, and a catalog of their recurring topoi. This is an incredibly useful book that sets the standard in the field."
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About Catherine Benton

Catherine Benton is Lecturer in the Religion Department at Lake Forest College.
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