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Ganapati: Song of the Self (Suny Series, Religious Studies) Paperback – July 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Series: Suny Series, Religious Studies
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (July 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791424405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791424407
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,022,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Grimes received his B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Indian Philosophy from the University of Madras. He has taught at Universities in the United States, Canada, Singapore and India. His book publications include: A Song Sung in the Key of Sai; Ramana Maharshi: The Crown Jewel of Advaita; The Vivekacudamani: Sankara's Crown Jewel of Discrimination; A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy; Ganapati: Song of the Self; Problems and Perspectives in Religious Discourse: Advaita Vedanta Implications; Sapta Vidha Anupapatti: The Seven Great Untenables; Quest for Certainty; Sankara and Heidegger: Being, Truth, Freedom; Paramamrita of Mukundaraj; and The Naiskarmyasiddhi of Suresvara. He currently spends his time writing and traveling between California and Chennai.
grimesj9@gmail.com
http://grimesj9.wix.com/internetsite

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
Prof. John Grimes with a Ph.D. on Vedanta from Univ. Of Madras describes this work as a 'view from with in the tradition'. Thus it is a view of a Ganesha worshipper, and NOT of an outsider unlike many Western scolars. This is an important difference in the outlook. Like a spiritual aspirant's progress (Sadhana), the book unfolds as a personal journey wherein the form of Ganesha unfolds its higher meanings as it progresses. Ultimately, as the title suggests, Ganesha or Ganapati is the Song of the Self or Atman. Relating all the stories from Indian scriptures and highlighting the inner meaning is simply delightful learning. Prof. Grimes also relates a few personal spiritual experiences again highlighting the Upanishadic wisdom 'Tat tvam asi' - That Thou art' which Ganesh symbolizes.
Chinmaya Mission's book on Ganesh is very similar to this. Yet Dr. Grime's book brings all the threads together into a coherent story.
I Highly recommend this book for both Hindus and others.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have read and reread this book several times. Each time, I find something else of worth. I have never yet read a book on a hindu diety written by a westerner that so captures the simple faith of the average hindu while simultaneously providing such a wealth of information to the reader. I would recommed it to any reader searching for information on Ganesh.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Clara Ibanez on May 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
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I'm glad I purchased this volume, which is written from the perspective of Advaita Vedanta (I believe Dr Grimes is himself an Advaitin). There's many valuable scriptures and stories on Ganapati/Ganesha, accounts of the main Ganesha temples in India, good explanations of some mantras and names, instructions for worship, etc. A great book, inspiring the devotee of Sri Ganesha and the Jnana yogi/ni as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By RKS on July 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
I had the opportunity of listening to his lecture and the present work is truly a result of dedication. The author had taken a sincere effort to compile various versions of Ganapathi worship, legends. Apart from typographical errors (I think the work should be re-edited), the references need to worked too. The author could have included 'Ganesa Purana','Ganesa Gita'and 'Mudgala purana' (as a chapter) in prose form. (refer [URL]). The atharva sirsha translation is good but very vague, especially 'phalasruthi'. The author did accept that he is not a sanskrit scholar, then I feel he should have consulted with some scholar to direct him on the philosophical aspects. The vedantic views are purely based on advaita. Ganesa worship in cults, other than the main stream 'ganapathyas' in Maharashtra, are neglected, like tantric and tibetian forms etc. Along with this he could have included some of the temples in the south India with legends to complete his stories. He can also include many saiva agama literatures and rituals like, "vanja ganapathy, karpaga vinayagar" and other forms of ganesa in practise. In this regards, there is a wonderful book by Bharadwaja swami on vanja ganapathy worship by vedic methods. There are a lot of information available from Sri Lanka too. Slokas in full (with sanskrit script and its english transliteration and translations) might have been added. Some of the ganesa mantras could have been included. Also while mentioning a chapter on Avvaiyar, it would have been really nice to include the famous 'agaval' in original Tamil. I sincerely hope that the author would rectify and add more to this wonderful work. In this regard, refer, Swami Chinmayananda's chapter on 'phalasruthi: ...modaka sahasrena, yajathi...' in his 'Glory of Ganesa'.
Over all, a fine literary work requiring a 'master's touch' and proper editing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey S. Dorchen on May 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm only half way through this book, which is often useful in learning about Ganapati and his iconography and worship, but I am vexed by the incredible number of typographical errors on virtually every page. Quotes and parentheses open without ever closing, or close without having opened, or appear for no clear reason whatsoever. A quote opening the book is attributed to an author named C.D. Lewis. I'm not aware of such a writer. I've heard of C.S. Lewis, but maybe C.D. does exist and I've just never heard of him. Words are left out, extra words put in, confounding the sense of the essays.
I do intend to finish the book, but unless someone much more alert edited the second half, I doubt my opinion will change.
To my mind, a much better book written from "inside" the ganapatya faith is the book Ganesh: the Broken and the Misshapen, by Akhter Ahsen.
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