Darsan : Seeing the Divine Image in India

Darsan : Seeing the Divine Image in India

Product ID: 25695

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Author: Diana L Eck
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass
Year: 2007
Language: English
Pages: 115
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-208-3266-3


The experience of the divine in India merges the three components of sight, performance, and sound. One in a trilogy of books that include Harold G. Coward and David J. Goa’s Mantra: Hearing the Divine in India and America and Susan L. Schwartz’s Rasa: Performing the Divine in India, Darsan presents an introduction to the use of sight – Darsan – in the practice of Indian religion.

The role of the visual image is essential to Hindu tradition and culture, but many attempts to understand India’s divine images have been laden with misperceptions. Darsan, a Sanskrit word that means “seeing,” is an aid to our vision, a book of ideas to help us read, think, and look at Hindu images with appreciation and imagination.


"Eck writes with clarity, insight, and intelligence, and this book … belongs in every religionist's and South Asianist's library….It is simply one of the best short introductions to Hinduism available."
- Religious Studies

"This is recommended without reservation. It is as fine an explanation of temple worship and use of Deity images as can be found. Darsan will give the Hindu deeper insight into the practices of his own religion, provide explanations for non-Hindu friends, and convey useful knowledge to his children."
- Hinduism Today


Preface to the Third Edition
Preface to the Second Edition

Chapter – 1. Seeing the Sacred
A. Darsan
B. The Visible India
C. Film Images
D. The Image of God
E. The Polytheistic Imagination

Chapter – 2. The Nature of the Hindu Images
A. The Aniconic and the Iconic Images
B. The Ritual Uses of the Images
C. Creation and Consecration of Images
D. Festivals and Images

Chapter -3. Image, Temple, and Pilgrimage
A. The Temple and the Image
B. Image and Pilgrimage

Afterword: Seeing the Divine Image in America
A. America’s Murtis and Temples
B. Sri Lakshmi Temple: The Process of Divine Embodiment

Appendix I. Bibliography
Appendix II. Note on Pronunciation
Appendix III. Glossary