Drawing on both textual and archaeological evidence, this study offers an integrated approach to scholarly debates on monasteries and guru relics in South India between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries. This study analyzes the role of the guru in the development of Hindu monastic orders, from centers of education to institutions of traditional authority. Focusing on the complex socio-religious context of the whole-body icon, the author analyzes the relic as a nexus of contradictions surrounding sacredness and death.
About the Author
Nalini Rao is professor of world art at Soka University of America.