From the Back Cover
introduces Paramânand, one of north India's greatest medieval poet-saints, whose poetry has been sung from the sixteenth century to the present in ritual service to the Hindu deity Krishna. A. Whitney Sanford examines how hearing Paramânand's poetry in ritual context serves as a threshold for devotees between this world and Krishna's divine world. To "see Krishna" is a primary goal of the devotee, and Paramânand deftly constructs a vision through words. Sanford employs the dual strategies of interpreting Paramânand's poems--which sing the cycles of Krishna's activities--and illustrating the importance of their ritual contexts. This approach offers insight into the nature of the devotional experience that is not accessible by simply studying the poetry or rituals in isolation. Sanford shows that the significance of Paramânand's poetry lies not only in its beauty and historical importance but finally in its capacity to permit the devotee to see through the ephemeral world into Krishna's world.
"The beautiful lyrics of Paramânand's poetry are a welcome addition to the growing body of Indic poetry in translation. Sanford's excellent book guides us through the poetry and takes us right to its sources." -- Constantina Rhodes Bailly, author of Shaiva Devotional Songs of Kashmir: A Translation and Study of Utpaladeva's Shivastotravali
About the Author
A. Whitney Sanford
is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Florida.