The Madness of the Saints: Ecstatic Religion in Bengal

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University of Chicago Press, Jul 15, 1989 - Religion - 335 pages
Although ecstasy has been explored in several Indian contexts, surprisingly little scholarship has been devoted to its central role in Bengali devotion. In The Madness of the Saints, June McDaniel undertakes the first comprehensive study of religious ecstasy in Bengal, examining the texts that describe it, the people who experience it, and the traditions that support it.
 

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bauls have been hugely damaged by the so called "spiritual urban elite" who in their singular quest of kinky sexual practices,have plundered the baul premise because like lalon fakir,the bauls are defenceless agaist the urban machinations.
i am a baul disciple for the last 14 years,and feel ashamed of such louts like film director Goutam ghosh who could degrade the bauls as he did in "moner manush", but as we all know the lure of oodles of boodle can make us do really nasty things.
this book,is no exception to the line of such books who project bauls in a very wrong light due to their lack of exposure to the right guru and the right direction.
May these pitiable penpushers have gurukripa and they realise that sublime feeling cannot be printed in books or captured on films.baul is way past our urban machinations,unless ,except,we are looking at short term gains.
(the author is a humble disciple of a remote baul guru and is accountable for every word written above.)
 

Contents

Divine Madness
7
Spontaneous and Ritual Ecstasy
17
Notes on Method
25
Sri Krsna Caitanya
33
The Bhaktirasamrtasindhu
40
Biographies of Vaisnava Saints
53
The Sakta Tradition
86
Conclusion
241
The Ecstatic as Hero
264
The Ecstatic as Madman
280
Notes
295
Bibliography
323
Copyright

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About the author (1989)

June McDaniel is assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

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