This course investigates Krishna as an expression of the divine, especially as viewed through the many devotional traditions that came to pervade Indian culture from medieval times. Krishna is both the philosophical counselor of the Bhagavad Gita and, with quite a different character and emphasis, is the “divine lover” whose amorous games on the Yamuna riverbank are described in the Sanskrit Bhagavata Purana and its myriad vernacular retellings. We will study texts in translation from both traditions, with an emphasis on north Indian portrayals of Krishna in poetry and art. Temple traditions, performance styles, and sectarian movements will be introduced and discussed, as will the various ways in which Krishna is equated with (or differentiated from) both Rama and Vishnu. Students who wish to study devotional texts in the original Hindi should consult the instructor about enrolling in the parallel HIN 130D class, which will introduce poetry in the Braj Bhasha dialect of Hindi.
Archer, W.G. The loves of Krishna in Indian painting and poetry. London, Allen and Unwin, 1957.
Barz, Richard, The Bhakti sect of Vallabhacharya. Delhi, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1992.
Bryant, Edwin F. (trans.) Krishna : the beautiful legend of God ; ?r?mad Bh?gavata Pur?n?a, Book X. London, Penguin, 2003.
Bryant, Edwin F. (ed.), Krishna: a source-book. Oxford, OUP, 2007.
Bryant, Kenneth E., Poems to the child-god : structures and strategies in the poetry of Surdas. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1978.
Hawley, John Stratton, Krishna, the butter thief. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1983.
Jayadeva, trans. Barbara Stoller Miller, Love song of the dark lord : Jayadeva's Gitagovinda. Various editions. Kinsley, David R., The divine player : a study of Krsna lila. Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1979.
Miller, Barbara Stoler (ed. & trans.) The Bhagavad-Gita : Krishna's counsel in time of war. New York, Columbia University Press, 1986.
Class discussion — 20%
Weekly response papers — 20%
Two essays @ 20% = 40%
Book review — 20%