Constructing the Aesthetic Self of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa

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Abstract

The Bhāgavata Purāṇa combines Vedāntin philosophy, dramatic and aesthetic elements, and personal expressions in a unique manner. Moreover, it seems to be conveying a notion of selfhood or personhood which is unique and innovative for the Hindu tradition. This paper aims at uncovering this unique notion. It deconstructs the BhP by arguing for the amalgamation of the Rasa-aesthetic school with Vedānta. It then turns to the topic of personhood in the Hindu tradition; it raises the complexity of discussing personhood in the Indian context and discusses three notions of personhood which are ‘the Worldly Self of Mīmāṁsā’, the ‘Solitary Self of Sāṅkhya’, and the ‘Transcendental Self of Vedānta’. Having articulated these three notions, it highlights the notion of aesthetic personhood underlying the BhP. The paper goes further to differentiate notions of Vivarta from those of Pariṇāma, pointing out at the Pariṇāma worldview to be underlying the notion of aesthetic personhood of the BhP. At last and as an outcome of its main argument, it offers a sketch of ascending notions of aesthetic notions of personhood in the BhP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-127
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Dharma Studies
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Keywords

  • Bhāgavata Purāṇa
  • Personhood
  • Philosophy
  • rasa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Religious studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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