Friedhelm Hardy offered a strong evolutionary sequence for Tamil Srivaisnavism, seen in the light of meticulous philological analysis of the relevant sources in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Manipravalam. He provided an entirely new, firm foundation for studies of southern Srivaisnavism. This volume includes illuminating essays on Middle Indic, in various linguistic configurations (in particular, the marvelous study of Apabhramsa and Yogindu); on late-medieval or early-modern Tamil religion, including the world of living Tamil temples, in relation to the classical materials; on a particularly eloquent, autobiographical Marathi text; on central techniques and topics within the self-transforming world of Sanskrit poetry (always in relation to the Prakrits, which Hardy certainly loved and knew from the inside); on Jaina narrative; and so on. These essays have been separated into thematic clusters or sections, each one of them testimony to the truly astonishing richness of Hardy’s interests and knowledge.
About the Author
Friedhelm Hardy (1943-2004) was the most original and penetrating scholar of the history of Tamil Sri Vaisnavism in his generation. Trained in Indology at Cologne and Oxford, he was the author of a monumental study, Viraha-Bhakti: The Early History of Krsna Devotion in South India (Oxford University Press, 1983; Reprint MLBD 2015) and The Religious Culture of India: Power Love and Wisdom (Cambridge University Press, 1994). He was the first to define clearly the specific character of South Indian bhakti as highly emotional and sensual, in profound contrast with earlier forms of Vaisnava devotionalism. Adept in Sanskrit, many forms of Prakrit, Tamil, and Marathi, he was a wide-ranging scholar who offered imaginative syntheses of South Asian religious literature and practice over many centuries.