A sweeping, interdisciplinary history of the world´s third-largest river, a potent symbol across South Asia and the Hindu diaspora. Originating in the Himalayas and flowing into the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges is India´s most important and sacred river. In this unprecedented work, historian Sudipta Sen tells the story of the Ganges, from the communities that arose on its banks to the merchants who navigated its waters, and the way it came to occupy center stage in the history and culture of the subcontinent. Sen begins his chronicle in prehistoric India, tracing the river´s first settlers, its myths of origin in the Hindu tradition, and its significance during the ascendancy of popular Buddhism. In the following centuries, Indian empires, Central Asian regimes, European merchants, the British Empire, and the Indian nation-state all shaped the identity and ecology of the river. Weaving together geography, environmental politics, and religious history, Sen offers a remarkable portrait of one of the world´s largest and most densely populated river basins. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Neil Shah. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/014286/bk_tant_014286_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
´Gloriously provocative... female sexuality within a patriarchal world is Chughtai´s central concern´ Kamila Shamsie, winner of the Women´s Prize for Fiction 2018, from the introduction Lifting the Veil is a bold and irreverent collection of writing from India´s most controversial feminist writer. These stories celebrate life in all its complexities: from a woman who refuses marriage to a man she loves to preserve her freedom, to a Hindu and a Muslim teenager pulled apart by societal pressures, to eye-opening personal accounts of the charges of obscenity the author faced in court for stories found in this book. Wickedly funny and unflinchingly honest, Lifting the Veil explores the power of female sexuality while slyly mocking the subtle tyrannies of middle-class life. In 1940s India, an unlikely setting for female rebellion, Ismat Chughtai was a rare and radical storyteller born years ahead of her time. ´Ismat Chughtai is known for her iconoclastic, feminist writings which explored the inner workings of women´s lives´ Huffington Post
Raja Yoga contains transcripts of lectures by Vivekananda on ´´Raja Yoga´´, his interpretation of Patanjali´s Yoga Sutras, and a ´´rather free translation´´ of Patanjali´s Yoga Sutras plus Vivekananda´s commentaries, which also was a series of talks. It presents Vivekananda´s understanding and interpretation of Patanjali´s Yoga Sutras, ´´and a selection of hathayoga teachings on the basis of the beliefs that he shared with his students.´´ These included elements from traditional Hinduism, but also ideas from Western science, Idealism, and ´´the Neo-Vedantic esotericism of the Brahmo Samaj and Western occultism,´´ including mesmerism and ´´American Harmonial religion´´. Vivekananda adapted traditional Hindu ideas and religiosity to suit the needs and understandings of his Western audiences, who were especially attracted by and familiar with Western esoteric traditions and movements like Transcendentalism and New Thought. An important element in his adaptation of Hindu religiosity was the introduction of his four yoga´s model, which includes raja yoga, his interpretation of Patanjali´s Yoga Sutras, which offered a practical means to realize the divine force within which is central to modern Western esotericism. The other three yogas are the classical karma yoga, bhakti yoga, and jnana yoga. Vivekananda´s interpretation of Patanjali´s Yoga Sutras is mostly based on the part on astanga yoga, the eight limbs of yoga described in the Sadhana Pada or practice part. According to De Michelis, Vivekananda´s ideas on raja yoga mainly consists of two different models, with sometimes a third ´´mode of thought´´. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Barry J. Peterson. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/109991/bk_acx0_109991_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
On September 11, 2001, as Central Intelligence Agency analyst Philip Mudd rushed out of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House, he could not anticipate how far the terror unleashed that day would change the world of intelligence and his life as a CIA officer. For the previous 15 years, his role had been to interpret raw intelligence and report his findings to national security decision makers. But within weeks of the 9/11 attacks, he would be on a military aircraft, flying over the Hindu Kush mountains, en route to Afghanistan as part of the U.S. government´s effort to support the fledgling government there after U.S. forces had toppled the Taliban. Later, Mudd would be appointed deputy director of the CIA´s rapidly expanding Counterterrorist Center and then senior intelligence adviser at the FBI. A first-person account of Mudd´s role in two organizations that changed dramatically after 9/11, Takedown sheds light on the inner workings of the intelligence community during the global counterterror campaign. Here, Mudd tells how the Al Qaeda threat looked to CIA and FBI professionals as the focus shifted from a core Al Qaeda leadership to the rise of Al Qaeda-affiliated groups and homegrown violent extremism from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. As a participant in and a witness to key strategic initiatives - including the hunt for Osama bin Laden and efforts to displace the Taliban - Mudd offers an insider´s perspective on the relationships between the White House, the State Department, and national security agencies before and after the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Through telling vignettes, Mudd reveals how intelligence analysts understood and evaluated potential dangers and communicated them to political leaders. Takedown is a gripping narrative of tracking terrorism during what may be the most exhilarating but trying times the American intelligence community has ever experie 1. Language: English. Narrator: John Edmondson. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/010198/bk_acx0_010198_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In 1202, a 32-year-old Italian finished one of the most influential books of all time, which introduced modern arithmetic to Western Europe. Devised in India in the 7th and 8th centuries and brought to North Africa by Muslim traders, the Hindu-Arabic system helped transform the West into the dominant force in science, technology, and commerce, leaving behind Muslim cultures which had long known it but had failed to see its potential. The young Italian, Leonardo of Pisa (better known today as Fibonacci), had learned the Hindu number system when he traveled to North Africa with his father, a customs agent. The book he created was Liber abbaci, the ´´Book of Calculation´´, and the revolution that followed its publication was enormous. Arithmetic made it possible for ordinary people to buy and sell goods, convert currencies, and keep accurate records of possessions more readily than ever before. Liber abbaci´s publication led directly to large-scale international commerce and the scientific revolution of the Renaissance. Yet despite the ubiquity of his discoveries, Leonardo of Pisa remains an enigma. His name is best known today in association with an exercise in Liber abbaci whose solution gives rise to a sequence of numbers - the Fibonacci sequence - used by some to predict the rise and fall of financial markets, and evident in myriad biological structures. One of the great math popularizers of our time, Keith Devlin recreates the life and enduring legacy of an overlooked genius, and in the process makes clear how central numbers and mathematics are to our daily lives. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Ray Chase. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/009747/bk_adbl_009747_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Hinduism is practiced by about 80% of India´s population, and by about 30 million people outside India. But how is Hinduism defined, and what basis does the religion have? In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott provides clear insight into the beliefs and authority of Hindus and Hinduism, and considers the ways in which it has been affected by colonialism and modernity. Knott offers succinct explanations of Hinduism´s central preoccupations, including the role of contemporary gurus and teachers in the quest for spiritual fulfillment; and the function of regular performances of the Mahabharata and Ramayana - scriptures that present the divine in personal form (avatara) and provide models of behavior for everyone, from kings and warriors to servants and children, and which focus on the dharma, the appropriate duties and moral responsibilities of the different varna or classes. The author also considers the challenges posed to Hinduism today as it spreads far beyond India, and as concerns are raised about issues such as dowry, death, caste prejudice, and the place of women in Hindu society. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Susan McIneary. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/002790/bk_adbl_002790_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The Waste Land is a long poem by T. S. Eliot. It is widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century and a central text in Modernist poetry. Published in 1922, the 434-line poem first appeared in the United Kingdom in the October issue of The Criterion and in the United States in the November issue of The Dial. It was published in book form in December 1922. Among its famous phrases are ´´April is the cruellest month´´, ´´I will show you fear in a handful of dust´´, and the mantra in the Sanskrit language ´´Shantih shantih shantih´´. Eliot´s poem loosely follows the legend of the Holy Grail and the Fisher King combined with vignettes of contemporary British society. Eliot employs many literary and cultural allusions from the Western canon, Buddhism and the Hindu Upanishads. Because of this, critics and scholars regard the poem as obscure. The poem shifts between voices of satire and prophecy featuring abrupt and unannounced changes of speaker, location, and time and conjuring of a vast and dissonant range of cultures and literatures. The poem´s structure is divided into five sections. The first section, The Burial of the Dead, introduces the diverse themes of disillusionment and despair. The second, A Game of Chess, employs vignettes of several characters-alternating narrations-that address those themes experientially. The Fire Sermon, the third section, offers a philosophical meditation in relation to the imagery of death and views of self-denial in juxtaposition influenced by Augustine of Hippo and eastern religions. After a fourth section that includes a brief lyrical petition, the culminating fifth section, What the Thunder Said, concludes with an image of judgment.
Companion to the major new BBC documentary series CIVILISATIONS, presented by Mary Beard, David Olusoga and Simon Schama The idea of ´civilisation´ has always been debated, even fought over. At the heart of those debates lies the big question of how people - from prehistory to the present day - have depicted themselves and others, both human and divine. Distinguished historian Mary Beard explores how art has shaped, and been shaped by, the people who created it. How have we looked at these images? Why have they sometimes been so contentious? In Part One, she examines how the human figure was portrayed in some of the earliest art in the world - from the gigantic stone heads carved by the Olmec of Central America to the statues and pottery of the ancient Greeks to the terracotta army of the first emperor of China. And she explains how one particular version of representing the human body, which goes back to the ancient world, still influences (and sometimes distorts) how people in the West see their own culture and that of others. Throughout this story, she is concerned not only with the artists who made images, but with those who have used them, viewed them and interpreted them. In other words: How Do We Look? In Part Two, Mary Beard turns to the relationship between art and religion. For centuries, religion has inspired art: from the Hindu temple at Angkor Wat to the Christian mosaics of Ravenna to the exquisite calligraphy of Islamic mosques. But making the divine visible in the human world has never been simple. All religions have wrestled with idolatry and iconoclasm, destroying art as well as creating it - and asking how to look with The Eye of Faith.