A God from Toe to Crown

Steven Paul Hopkins

in Singing the Body of God

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780195127355
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834327 | DOI:
A God from Toe to Crown

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Chapter Five considers an example of Vedåntadeóika's Sanskrit style by way of his dhyåna‐stotra modelled after the Tamil poem of the Untouchable saint‐poet Tiruppåïåôvår. It focuses on a particular type of poetic writing in Tamil and in Sanskrit, the pådådikeóa anubhava or “limb‐by‐limb” “enjoyment” of the body of God, with related examples from Kålidåsa, the gadyas of Råmånuja and Tantra texts. This focus on the anubhava reveals another facet of Deóika's devotional poetics, from the Sanskrit side, and shows more concretely how his poetic voice compares with that of an Çôvår. The anubhava also reveals the cultic context of so many of Vedåntadeóika's poems: here you have a supreme example of the temple icon viewed devotionally as the living “body of god,” and the successive descriptive form of the poem as a kind of “icon of an icon.” Along with an analysis of these poems, exploration of the themes of bhakti as kåma (desire, passion) and the erotics of “double‐entendre” (óleóålaõkåra), the chapter takes a close look at some commentarial texts, both on Vedåntadeóika and by Vedåntadeóika himself on Tiruppåï's poem.

Keywords: Anubhava; bhakti; Dhyåna‐stotra; erotic; Gadyas; icon; Kålidåsa; kåma; óleóålaàkåra; Råmånuja; Tantra; Tiruppåïåôvår

Chapter.  13786 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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