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CompleteMartialArts.com - Kali's Child: The Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrishna

Kali's Child: The Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrishna
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Manufacturer: University Of Chicago Press
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 2.0/5Average rating of 2.0/5Average rating of 2.0/5Average rating of 2.0/5Average rating of 2.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 294.555092
EAN: 9780226453774
ISBN: 0226453774
Label: University Of Chicago Press
Manufacturer: University Of Chicago Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 420
Publication Date: 1998-10-01
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Studio: University Of Chicago Press

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Editorial Reviews:

In a book now marked by both critical acclaim and cross-cultural controversy, Jeffrey J. Kripal explores the life and teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, a nineteenth-century Bengali saint who played a major role in the creation of modern Hinduism. Through extended textual and symbolic analyses of Ramakrishna's censored "secret talk," Kripal demonstrates that the saint's famous ecstatic and visionary experiences were driven by mystico-erotic energies that he neither fully accepted nor understood. The result is a striking new vision of Ramakrishna as a conflicted, homoerotic Tantric mystic that is as complex as it is clear and as sympathetic to the historical Ramakrishna as it is critical of his traditional portraits.

In a substantial new preface to this second edition, Kripal answers his critics, addresses the controversy the book has generated in India, and traces the genealogy of his work in the history of psychoanalytic discourse on mysticism, Hinduism, and Ramakrishna himself. Kali's Child has already proven to be provocative, groundbreaking, and immensely enjoyable.

"Only a few books make such a major contribution to their field that from the moment of publication things are never quite the same again. Kali's Child is such a book."—John Stratton Hawley, History of Religions

Winner of the American Academy of Religion's History of Religions Prize for the Best First Book of 1995



Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Poor scholarship
Comment: As I have commented in response to another review this is a poor effort on a number of counts but most specifically in terms of the author's inability to distinguish between a hypothesis and fact.

I'll leave the accuracy of translation from mid 19th century colloquial Bengali both in terms of language and culture to others more knowledgeable, but for the author to present suppositions about childhood sexual abuse as hypothesis and to lack the honesty to temper the conclusions based on these suppositions with the acknowledgement that he presents no facts to support his case is simply poor scholarship.

Oh dear.

P.S. Just imagine what would have happend if he had undertaken a similar analysis of Muhammed or Jesus... How well would the "its just an academic point of view - didn't mean to be insulting" argument have gone down then?

:)



Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Different perspective on Ramakrishna
Comment: I knew in advance of the purchase what the book was about so I could not have been disappointed with the material.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: Evidence for Ramakrishna's true mysticism
Comment: [...] which ask for evidence of Ramakrishna's true mysticism. I tell them that the evidence is the devotees themselves who follow His teachings. You cannot create wise people like Vivekananda and his brother disicples just by following a "mad" man. What about the visions of Ramakrishna devotees and saints? Yeah you can rubbish ALL of them as hallucinations. Well that is not your evidence anyway, right? I saw thousands and thousands of saints and devotees who cite Ramakrishna as their guru and these people are the best among men - you feel it when you are in their midst and their life is an example (again an unscientific mind trashes ALL of them). Are all of these men getting inspired by a "mad" man then? Are ALL their visions, wisdom and experience false then? How far can you go and say ALL are cheating without even provideing evidence and deluding yourself? Now, why talk of others. I can best talk about myself as evidence. I have seen perceptible change in myself for better after reading and following His teachings. If you really need evidence against Kali's Child - I tell you to first read His life and teachings and IMPLEMENT in your life. You can see yourself who He is and everything will be self-evident. There cannot be a best subject of study than yourself (your mind). And I am sure you cannot/wont do that becasue as yours is a weak mind that cannot experiment anything, but likes to see what it wants to! By the way, what is in one's mind, thats what one sees. Even the kissing of Jesus feet by adultress woman can be seen in a perverted way if the person's mind is heaped in lust. As Jesus Himself said, "Blessed are those who are pure, for they shall see God." Kali's Child is a fit testimony to that teaching! You yourself can experience how you see "things" in others that dont exist (in other person) just because your mind "sees" and "thinks" so. If you have not learnt these simple lessons yet, well only prayer to God will help that your mind might grow.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: Scholarship or fraud?
Comment: Just because Kali's Child won AAR award some people seem to believe it passed the test of academic vigor. This is akin to saying since Enron hired third party accountants their accounting books are not cooked. We now know better. Atleast Enron hired third party, no such pretense is made in case of Indology. Jeffrey Kripal's Knowledge of Bengali is suspect, so is his scholarship. He is yet to accept a debate in Bengali language in an open forum speaks reams about his proficiency.
There has been a scholarly rebuttal to Kripal at http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/s_rv/s_rv_tyaga_kali1_frameset.htm. However Kripal declined to include Tyagananda's rebuttal in newer versions of the book. All this says more about state of Indology studies & Kripal than the later has to say about Ramakrishna.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: Wonder how many births the author will need
Comment: I really wonder how many births the author will need to wash off the sin of writing this book. Ramakrishna will surely forgive him as he was Lord himself. But what about the wrath of so many devotees.
Dont even attempt to look at this book. Its blasphemy. As somebody said rightly that the author is like a vulture soaring high, but is looking at filth (also one of Ramakrishna's saying).



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