Hindu Theology in Early Modern South Asia

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Hindu Theology in Early Modern South Asia

English | 2014 | 301 Pages | ISBN: 0198709269 | PDF | 1.8 MB

Focusing on the idea of genealogical affiliation (sampradaya), Kiyokazu Okita explores the interactions between the royal power and the priestly authority in eighteenth-century north India. He examines how the religious policies of Jaisingh II (1688-1743) of Jaipur influenced the self-representation of Gaudiya Vaisnavism, as articulated by Baladeva Vidyabhusana (ca. 1700-1793). Gaudiya Vaisnavism centred around God Krsna was inaugurated by Caitanya (1486-1533) and quickly became one of the most influential Hindu devotional movements in early modern South Asia.
In the increasingly volatile late Mughal period, Jaisingh II tried to establish the legitimacy of his kingship by resorting to a moral discourse. As part of this discourse, he demanded that religious traditions in his kingdom conform to what he conceived of as Brahmanicaly normative. In this context the Gaudiya school was forced to deal with their lack of clear genealogical affiliation, lack of an independent commentary on the Brahmasutras, and their worship of Goddess Radha and Krsna, who, according to the Gaudiyas, were not married. Based on a study of Baladeva’s Brahmasutra commentary, Kiyokazu Okita analyses how the Gaudiyas responded to the king’s demand.



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