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Knowing God through Art...

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Dear Readers,

I am a current PhD student at an American university. I study anthropology and have been focusing my research in India for the last three years. At the end of this year I will be returning to India for two years of research, where I am focusing my studies on researching the ways devotees use art to make the relationship between themselves and a given deity manifest. This becomes particularly interesting to me whenever this relationship is understood in kinship or familial terms--as in Krishna worshiped as a son on Krishna Janmashtami, or bhakti songs where God is talked about as a husband or other familial member. I'm still working through some of these ideas, but the concept of art I am working through is pretty open-ended, with currently everything from tattooing, bhakti poetry, bhajan, kirtan, temple art, murti form, leela, etc. falling within my present purview. I really need some help, however, to locate everything and hone in a particular example. If anyone is willing to share their thoughts or experiences, maybe an idea of a particular location where this kind of research could best be conducted, or any other helpful information, I would be very appreciative. Also, if anyone has any information on the Ram Rasik Sampraday or knows of any Ramnaamis, that would be great.

Thanks in advance for any help you offer, and best wishes for a blessed day.

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