Maria HeimDec 8, 2022
Words for the Heart
A Treasury of Emotions from Classical India
Princeton University Press 2022
Words for the Heart: A Treasury of Emotions from Classical India (Princeton UP, 2022) is a captivating treasury of emotion terms drawn from some of India’s earliest classical languages. Inspired by the traditional Indian genre of a “treasury”—a wordbook or anthology of short texts or poems—this collection features 177 jewel-like entries evoking the kinds of phenomena English speakers have variously referred to as emotions, passions, sentiments, moods, affects, and dispositions. These entries serve as beautiful literary and philosophical vignettes that convey the delightful texture of Indian thought and the sheer multiplicity of conversations about emotions in Indian texts. An indispensable reference, Words for the Heart reveals how Indian ways of interpreting human experience can challenge our assumptions about emotions and enrich our lives.
Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com.