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Abstract

THE poetical and theological dynamics of apparent absence, which kindle the desire for the always-elusive presence of God, are shared by the Sanskrit Rāsa Līlā and the Spanish Cántico espiritual. Although these Hindu and Christian mystical works of literature are not historically or philologically related, they converse in poetical and theological terms, revealing aspects that are not so obvious when they are read alone. Here I am bringing these texts together because they first have as David Damrosch says, resonated in the mind of a reader “where works meet and interact in ways that may have little to do with cultural and historical proximity” (298). Having had a longstanding interaction with the writings and the teachings of Juan de la Cruz, when I first encountered Rāsa Līlā I was overtaken by the resonant modes in which these works ask for the whereabouts of the divine lover, the Amado (male lover) in the Cántico, and Kṛṣṇa in Rāsa Līlā.

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