The Sword and the Flute Kali and Krsna: Dark Visions of the Terrible and the Sublime in Hindu Mythology, With a New Preface

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University of California Press, May 8, 2000 - Religion - 167 pages
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With a New Preface

Kali and Krsna are two of Hinduism's most popular deities, representing dramatically different truths about the nature of the sacred. The cruel and terrible Kali is thought to be born of wild, aboriginal roots. She is the goddess of thieves and often associated with human blood sacrifice. Krsna, in contrast, is the divine lover and inimitable prankster who plays a bewitching flute to draw all to him. But Kali and Krsna have much more in common than their contrasting personalities suggest. Kinsley shows that Krsna's flute can be interchangeable with Kali's sword, revealing important perceptions of the divine in the Hindu tradition.
 

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Contents

CHAPTER I
9
Combat as Play
19
The Call of Krsnas Flute
32
The Divine Lover
41
CHAPTER II
56
The Inherent Bliss of the Divine
66
The Divine Player
73
CHAPTER III
81
Kali in the Mahabharata
88
Kalis Regional Distribution
96
Kali and the Tantric Hero
109
Summary
125
CONCLUSION
151
WORKS CITED
161
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About the author (2000)

David R. Kinsley is Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

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