Kamandalu: The Seven Sacred Rivers of Hinduism

Front Cover
MAYUR University, 2014 - Hinduism - 280 pages

Hindu theology views rivers as goddesses who confer blessings and spiritual purification and their release from the grip of the demon of drought is a recurring theme in the mythology. India is a country blessed with many rivers, but of these, seven are considered to be particularly important. Known collectively as Saptaganga, Sapta Sindhu or Saptapunyanadi, the Ganges, Yamuna, Sindhu, Sarasvati, Godavari, Narmada and Kaveri rivers are invoked at the start of every ritual. They weave through sacred narratives about gods, sages and heroes and define the physical, spiritual and cultural landscape of Bharatavarsha.

The book draws extensively on the Vedas, Puranas and Hindu epics to present the mythological stories relating to the seven sacred rivers, the towns and cities along their course that are designated as tirthas, and the practices connected to river goddess worship. The shared concerns of sacred and secular ecology in modern India are also discussed.

Presented in hardback with 20 colour illustrations, it provides a comprehensive reference list, explanatory notes and a detailed glossary, which should make it a useful resource for research scholars and academics. Written in a lucid, engaging style, the book should also appeal to a wider readership interested in Hinduism and Comparative Religion.


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Note on Translation and Transliteration
Ganga 36 66
Yamuna 68 94
Sarasvati 96 112
Sindhu Indus 114 131
Narmada 132 157
Godavari 158 189
Kaveri 190 227

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About the author (2014)

 Prof. Shrikala Warrier is an anthropologist with a Ph.D from the University of London. She developed the first validated degree program for Ayurveda in the West and is the Dean of MAYUR University, a small private institution in London. She comes from the well-known community of Warriers in Kerala, India, which has traditionally been connected with temples, Ayurveda and other aspects of Hindu culture.

She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has undertaken research for several organizations, including the National Health Service in England, the World Health organization, British Red Cross, The King's Fund and Helen House, the first children's hospice in the world. She has contributed to several anthologies of ethnographic studies in the UK and one of her books which provides a cross-cultural perspective on rites of passage and the celebration of festivals has been widely used as a teaching resource in the UK and at some universities in the USA.

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