Synopses & Reviews
Singing Krishna introduces Param nand, one of north India s greatest medieval poet-saints, whose poetry has been sung from the sixteenth century to the present in ritual service to the Hindu deity Krishna. A. Whitney Sanford examines how hearing Param nand s poetry in ritual context serves as a threshold for devotees between this world and Krishna s divine world. To see Krishna is a primary goal of the devotee, and Param nand deftly constructs a vision through words. Sanford employs the dual strategies of interpreting Param nand s poems which sing the cycles of Krishna s activities and illustrating the importance of their ritual contexts. This approach offers insight into the nature of the devotional experience that is not accessible by simply studying the poetry or rituals in isolation. Sanford shows that the significance of Param nand s poetry lies not only in its beauty and historical importance but finally in its capacity to permit the devotee to see through the ephemeral world into Krishna s world."