Longing and letting go : Christian and Hindu practices of by Holly Hillgardner

By Holly Hillgardner

Mirabai, a sixteenth-century Indian princess, wrote passionate love songs to Lord Krishna. Hadewijch, a thirteenth-century eu Beguine, wrote of her craving to turn into Love itself, to be "God with God." each one girl practiced a full-bodied, sensuously-imaged eager for love; while, each one additionally practiced yes ascetic disciplines. Spanning centuries, continents, and spiritual traditions, this e-book juxtaposes Hadewijch's and Mirabai's inextricable energies of longing and letting move as assets for a comparative theology of passionate non-attachment. inside of either Hinduism and Christianity, wish and renunciation are frequently offered as opposites; but, either Mirabai and Hadewijch, of their personal targeted methods, light up the imperative, tensile courting among those techniques. instead of identifying one or the opposite, every one woman's twin practices of longing and letting move not just take her on an inward religious trip but additionally deeply contain her within the good looks and affliction of the broader global. Drawing out the most important variations and fascinating resonances among those ladies of religion, Hillgardner develops a Hindu-Christian comparative theology that argues for an interreligious ethic of passionate non-attachment, one capacious and courageous sufficient to carry jointly our personal longings with the wishes of others in an interconnected, fragile world.

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At first glance, these startling comparisons may seem to undermine any notions of mutuality in the human/​divine relationship Mirabai describes. Rather than pointing unambiguously toward subordination though, these tropes may be construed as pointing unexpectedly toward an ethic of mutuality. 24 21.  12: 12. 22. , 10. 23. “Caturvedī’s Pada 58,” in Mirabai, Devotional Poems of Mīrābāī, 58. 24. Ibid. 43 Looking Closer: Mirabai’s Voices  43 For instance, Mirabai discusses the sale of Krishna with her concerned friend: You say it was expensive, But I say it was cheap, And I measured it out on the scales.

Caturvedī’s Pada 94,” in Mirabai, Devotional Poems of Mīrābāī, 73. 52. Mirabai, “Why Mira Can’t Go Back to Her Own House,” in Mirabai, Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems, 21. 34 34 Longing and Letting Go inspired by Mirabai’s bold life outside the boundaries the world set for her, we explore the subversive powers of liberation that viraha bhakti harbors. Reading Mirabai’s songs of passionate non-​attachment through the lens of viraha bhakti, we see how love-​longing takes her and, by proxy, us, deeper into the world, even giving us tools with which to transform it.

40 Taking on the voice of a woman, male writers create female narrators who yearn for Krishna as the male writers imagine a human woman yearns for her male beloved. ”41 Sūrdās must create this female voice because the male equivalent of the female-​gendered virahiṇī does not exist, linguistically or conceptually, in viraha bhakti. The practices of longing become gendered as female in this schema as well, since Mirabai is one of the few bhakti writers who actually is a woman. Because of Mirabai’s gender, her biography and songs inevitably became linked; that is, the narrative voice of a song attributed to Mirabai 38.

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