River of Love in an Age of Pollution: The Yamuna River of Northern India

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University of California Press, 2006 - History - 277 pages
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Celebrated as an aquatic form of divinity for thousands of years, the Yamuna is one of India’s most sacred rivers. A prominent feature of north Indian culture, the Yamuna is conceptualized as a goddess flowing with liquid love--yet today it is severely polluted, the victim of fast-paced industrial development. This fascinating and beautifully written book investigates the stories, theology, and religious practices connected with this river goddess collected from texts written over several millennia, as well as from talks with pilgrims, priests, and worshippers who frequent the pilgrimage sites and temples located on her banks. David L. Haberman offers a detailed analysis of the environmental condition of the river and examines how religious practices are affected by its current pollution. He introduces Indian river environmentalism, a form of activism that is different in many ways from its western counterpart. River of Love in an Age of Pollution concludes with a consideration of the broader implications of the Yamuna’s plight and its effect on worldwide efforts to preserve our environment.
 

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The books opens up thought on certain places of river which is little known.

Contents

Two women making offerings in the Yamuna
8
A River of Delights a River of Troubles
14
The banks of the Yamuna in Vrindaban
40
Mother of Life
43
The Yamunotri temple complex
51
The Goddess Yamuna as she is portrayed in Yamunotri
55
Sunderlal Bahuguna at his home in Tehri
67
River of Death
74
The Goddess Yamuna as she is portrayed in Braj
112
Vishram Ghat on the occasion of Bhai Duj
129
Signs of Hope
141
Schoolchildren in Vrindaban
142
Gopeshwar Nath Chaturvedi at Vishram Ghat in Mathura
143
Krishna dancing on the poisonous snake Kaliya
151
A Matter of Balance
176
Woman carrying a pot of water
193

Goddess of Love
95
Yamuna worshippers at Vishram Ghat in Mathura
97
Worshippers wrapping Yamuna with saris
99
Shrine at Vishram Ghat in Mathura
101
Translations
197
Organizations Working on River Issues
224
Glossary
263
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About the author (2006)

David L. Haberman is Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is the author of Acting as a Way of Salvation: A Study of Raganuga Bhakti Sadhana, Journey through the Twelve Forests: An Encounter with Krishna, and The Bhaktirasamrtasindhu of Rupa Gosvamin.

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