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Poetry as Prayer in the Sanskrit Hymns of Kashmir - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Poetry as Prayer in the Sanskrit Hymns of Kashmir

Hamsa Stainton


This book investigates the history of a popular genre of Sanskrit devotional poetry in Kashmir: the stotra, or hymn of praise. Such hymns demonstrate and frequently reflect upon the close link between literary and religious expression in South Asia—the relationship between poetry and prayer. This study presents an overview and reassessment of the stotra genre, including its definition and history, focusing on literary hymns in Kashmir from the eighth to the twentieth century. Investigating these hymns as theological texts, it argues for their pedagogical potential and their particular appeal f ... More

Keywords: stotra, hymn of praise, Sanskrit poetry, kāvya, prayer, bhakti, Kashmir, Śaivism, rasa, poetics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190889814
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190889814.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Hamsa Stainton, author
Assistant Professor, School of Religious Studies, McGill University