The Dark Blue Flame of the Sacrifice

Steven Paul Hopkins

in Singing the Body of God

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780195127355
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834327 | DOI:
The Dark Blue Flame of the Sacrifice

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After a discussion of the place of the Tamil Çôvårs in his Sanskrit stotras, Chapter Six is a close thematic reading of selections from Vedåntadeóika's Varadaråjapañcåóat in Sanskrit to Varadaråjaperumåö in Kåñcâpuram. The reading treats the stotra as a “theology in miniature,” treating various themes, from self‐effort, the experience of helplessness or worthlessness (akiñcanatvam), “tender love without pretext” (avyåja vatsalyam) and the “rival” theology of the Teúkalai Çcåryas, tensions between poetry and philosophy, the temple icon as the “body of god,” the uses of double‐entendre, and a theology of “beauty untouched by thought.” The chapter also contains a reading of images from the esoteric ritual texts, the Påñcaråtra Çgamas, and how they operate within the semantic registers of the poem. Ultimately, this praise of Varadaråja in Sanskrit follows closely the vision of the Tamil “Splendor,” studied in Chapter Three: Varadaråja emerges as a God‐King, with royal imagery, to be venerated from a distance, and not like Devanåyaka, the intimate Beloved who Himself draws the poet into a love drama.

Keywords: akiñcanatvam; avyåja vatsalya; beauty; Påñcaråtra Çgamas; tender; theology; thought; Varadaråjapañcåóat; worthlessness

Chapter.  12689 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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