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The Secret of the Three Cities: An Introduction to Hindu Sakta Tantrism.

by Douglas
Renfrew Brooks; Ritual and Speculation in Early Tantrism: Studies in Honor of Andre Padoux.
by Teun Goudriann
Review by: Glen A. Hayes
The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 53, No. 4 (Nov., 1994), pp. 1287-1288
Published by: Association for Asian Studies
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2059294 .
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BOOK

REVIEWS-SOUTH

ASIA

1287

sharedby manymedical officers.Finally,the threatfromepidemicsto the British


arrivingin India in largernumbersafter1857 also focusedattentionon medical
by thestate.At a timewhenthehealthof the largerIndianpopulation
intervention
was relativelyunexplored,the army and the jails became key sites of medical
However,Arnoldqualifiesthe "enclavist"argument
observationand intervention.
to the army,the jail, and
by contendingthat the medicalgaze was not restricted
the Britishcommunity,but extendedto some sectionsof the largerIndian society,
as the defendersof colonialismclaimed.
thoughnot as extensively
becauseit movesbeyondsomescholars'
Arnold'sanalysisis freshand interesting
tendencyto depictWesternscience,technology,and medicineas nothingmorethan
"tools" of colonialinterests.Arnoldoffersa much morenuancedexplorationof the
colonizing process and incorporatesthe varied responseof Indians to medical
These responsesincluded:thecompleterejectionofWesternmedicine;
intervention.
overthostilityagainst postmortemsand vaccination;rumorsabout doctorsbeing
to exterminate
Indians;hospitalsand othermedicalbuildings
involvedin conspiracies
of colonialhospitalsas "institutionsfor
being set on fire;Gandhi's characterization
sin"; and the Indianelites'scathingcritiqueof the medicalestablishment
propagating
fornot havingdone enough forthe population.As Arnoldargues, "Indians were
oftenactive, and not just passive participants"and "the colonizingprocessesof
in colonial hands alone" (p.
colonial medicinecould neverfind theirfulfillment
294). In due course,India's emergingelites were to take up Westernmedicineas
part of theirown hegemonicproject.
to a betterunderstanding
of the multitextured
substantially
Arnoldcontributes
and enjoyable.
is
readable
The
narrative
extremely
natureof the colonizationprocess.
on
is
overburdened
not
Arnold's
work
colonialism,
scholars
writing
some
For unlike
or predictable
dosesofarcaneneologisms
meditations
on "alterity"
eitherby gratuitous
and the "othering"process.
ZAHEER

BABER

ofSingapore
NationalUniversity

to Hindu Sckta Tantrism. By


The SecretoftheThreeCities.An Introduction
Chicago and London:The Universityof
ChicagoPress, 1990. xx, 307 pp. $47.50 (libraryclothedition);$18.95
(paper).

DOUGLAS RENFREW BROOKS.

Ritual and Speculationin Early Tantrism:Studies in Honor of Andre


ofNew
Paddux. Editedby TEUN GOUDRIANN. Albany:StateUniversity
York Press, 1992. xv, 359 pp. $16.95.
to
TheSecret
oftheThreeCities,
providesus witha clearand conciseintroduction
and complexrealmof Hindu Tantrism.Douglas Brooksraisesbasic
the fascinating
issuesconcerninghow we approachthestudyofTantraand how we locateit among
Hinduismin general,and providesas a case studya majorHindu Tantrictradition,
The
thatof the Srividyamovementsworshipingthe goddessLalita Tripurasundarl.
of Hindu Tantrismwhile the secondcontains
firstpartsurveysmajorcharacteristics

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1288

THE JOURNAL

OF ASIAN

STUDIES

a fine translationof a commentary


by the guru-scholarBhaskaraya(c. 1728-50)
upon the pithy TripurdUpanisad. Overall, Brooks has combined good critical
scholarshipwith a guided tourof a venerableand profoundTantricmasterpiece.
in Early Tantrism,while,not easily accessible to the
Ritual and Speculation
nonspecialist,containstwelveinsightfularticlesdedicatedto a pioneeringscholar
of Tantricstudies,the renownedFrenchIndologistAndrePadoux. Edited by another
leadingscholarin the field,Teun Goudriann,thisvolumeexaminesthe fundamental
relationship
betweenritualactionand philosophical
speculationin a varietyofTantric
traditions,primarilythosefromthe Saiva schools. Some of the issuesconsideredby
the internationalgroup of scholarsinclude: divinizationof the human being in
ritual, the roles of mantrasand Sanskritvowels in meditation,dualism versus
nondualism,developmentof yogic systems,and historicalantecedentsto certain
Tantricbeliefsand practices.
While Brooksprovidesus with a usefulintroductionto Tantrism,Goudriann
and his colleagueshave providedus with detailedglimpsesinto some of the more
specializedaspectsof theseintriguingtraditions.In conclusion,both worksshould
be regardedas major steps forwardin our understandingof the historyof these
importantpan-Asianmovements.
GLEN

A.

HAYES

Bloomfield
College

SanskritCriticism. By V. K. CHARI.
Press, 1990. xiv, 302 pp. $35.00.

Honolulu: Universityof Hawaii

The stated goals of V. K. Chari's book are to profileall the major critical
conceptsin Sanskritliterarytheory,to see how these conceptsstack up against
Westernliterary
criticism,and, finally,to provethatrasa theoryprovidesa superior
and universalcritical"template"with which to discuss literaturein generaland
poetryin particular.This is a richvolume, but it triesto do too much, and the
extremedensityof Chari's writingstyle obliteratesthe book's richnessat times.
More oftenthan not, readerswill find themselvesstrugglingto slash theirway
throughlongpassagesofChari'soccasionally
impenetrable
prose,but therearetangible
rewardsforthe effort.The midsectionof the book is lucidly written,and upon
reachingchapter5, titled "Modes of Meaning: Metaphor,"readerswill feel that
theyhave suddenlytumbledinto a cool, clear lake.
Chapters5, 6, and 7 formthe true heartof the book, and are what make it
worthwhile.
In particular,
chapter7, titled"Styleand Meaning,"containsan excellent
of historicaltrendsin writingon aIakdra and Sanskritarguments
characterization
of what constitutes"poetic language." In general,stylein Sanskrit
overdefinitions
(riti) is well discussed. For example, thereis a wonderfulsummaryof Kuntaka's
ideas on stylisticanalysis,and thisis whereCharishines:he has brilliantlybrought
such as Kuntaka and Dandin in a cogent
togetherdiversequotes fromrhetoricians
and interestingway. Chapter8 also containsan invaluablesummaryof mFmrmsd
theoriesof language.
Charipresentsa good discussionof Bharata'stheoryof the emotionsin chapter
4, but thisis wherethebook'slargerproblemslie, as well as in its openingchapters.
Chari'scase forrasa, that "poetryis betterdefinedby its evocatoryaim" (p. 2), is
overstatedand, in a sense, the authoris puttingthe cart beforethe horse. While

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