New Book about Wandering Religious Poets: Songs on the Road

The aim of this edited volume, Songs on the Road: Wandering Religious Poets in India, Tibet, and Japan, is to highlight the religious poet for whom wandering is an essential part of the poets lifestyle.

In what ways have wandering poets contributed to the formation of common religious traditions canons?

How have the prerequisites for wandering poets changed, depending on social and historical circumstances?

In this volume we encounter priest-poets in search of munificent patrons, renouncers and yogins who sing about the bliss and hardship of wandering alone in the wilderness, Hindu pilgrims and opponents of pilgrimage, antinomian Buddhist-Tantric poets from Bengal, and the originator of the haiku. We are led along roads travelled by many, as well as paths tread by few.

This cross-cultural study contributes to our understanding of some of the religious traditions of Asia from ancient to modern times. It consists of seven chapters on the subject of poetry and itinerancy within the religious traditions of India, Tibet, and Japan. The chapters look, each from a different angle, at how itinerancy is reflected in religious poetry, what the purposes of the wanderers’ poems or songs are, and how the wandering poets relate to local communities, sacred geography, and institutionalized religion.

Songs on the Road: Wandering Religious Poets in India, Tibet, and Japan will be of interest to scholars in the discipline of History of Religions, Comparative Religion, Asian studies, Buddhist studies, Indology, etc.

How to access this book
You can download the book for free as an ePub or PDF-file or read the book online. Our books are accessible on multiple devices. You may also find ways to order a print copy of the book through the Stockholm University Press website. The book is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

How to cite this book
Larsson, S. and af Edholm, K. (eds) (2021) Songs on the Road: Wandering Religious Poets in India, Tibet, and Japan. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI:

Stockholm Studies in Comparative Religion

Songs on the Road: Wandering Religious Poets in India, Tibet, and Japan is published in the peer-reviewed book series Stockholm Studies in Comparative Religion, by Stockholm University Press.

About the publisher Stockholm University Press

Stockholm University Press (SUP) is an open access publisher of peer-reviewed academic journals and books. We aim to make journals and books affordable, and to give them the widest possible dissemination, so that researchers around the world can find and access the information they need without barriers.

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