Traditions of the Seven Rsis

by John E. Mitchiner


  • ISBN Hardcover: 9788120813243, 8120813243
  • ISBN Paperback: 9788120817623, 8120817621
  • Year of Publication: 2000
  • Edition: 1st
  • No. of Pages: 350
  • Language: English
  • Sale price ₹ 795.00 Regular price ₹ 795.00

    Tax included.

    Ascetics and mystics have played a prominent role in the development of

    nearly all religious traditions. The particular importance of such figures

    within Hinduism is especially evident in the traditions recounted of the

    Seven Rsis--the seven archetypal sages or seers who are depicted as being

    more important and powerful than even the gods themselves: indeed, through

    their asceticism the Rsis become the progenitors of the gods, as also of

    men, demons and all other orders of creation. Traditions of the Seven Rsis

    is the first systematic study of these traditions, and consists of two

    separate but closely related parts: the first part is a text-historical

    examination of how and when different traditions were formulated, while the

    second part explores the various activities and ideas associated with the

    Seven Rsis. Basing his study on the Sanskrit sources, but making use also

    of Tamil, tribal and non-Indian sources, Dr. Mitchiner sets out the main

    traditions associated with the Seven Rsis and traces the underlying themes

    in those traditiions--particularly that of the creative role of these

    ascetic figures. The work encompasses a wealth of original literary

    material, much of it previously untranslated, and is both a sourcebook of

    the Rsi traditions and a study of the historical development, symbolic

    meaning and interconnectedness of those traditions, illustrating above all

    the dynamically creative role of the ascetic and mystic within Hinduism.

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    About the Author(s)

    JOHN EDWARD MITCHINER has held appointments as Ambassador to Armenia and as

    British Deputy High Commissioner in Calcutta. He has travelled extensively

    throughout India; the Middle East and South-East Asia, and is the author of

    Studies in the Indus Valley Inscriptions, The Yoga-Purana, and Guru: The

    Search for Enlightenment as well as of numerous articles on Indian history

    and religion.