Showing posts with label Harihara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harihara. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Harihara Of The Vijayanagar Empire?


Harihara (early 14th c.) - The founder of the Vijayanagar ("city of triumph") empire, which reigned over most of southern India for the next two centuries after it was founded in 1336.

The empire was named after Harihara's capital city, which was located near the modern-day city of Hampi in Karnataka.

Harihara was kidnapped as a child by Bahmani sultanate forces in the north and converted to Islam while in captivity, making him an outcast among conventional Hindus.

Harihara was dispatched as a young man to reclaim the sultanate's southern territory, but instead utilized the chance to establish his own empire.

Harihara reverted to Hinduism after obtaining power, despite having become an outcast for accepting Islam.

His case exemplifies both the mobility of religious identification in early medieval India and Hindu pragmatism in the face of the reigning forces.

Despite the fact that Harihara had previously been an outcast, his influence as monarch provided him the authority to convert without opposition. 

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Hinduism - Who Is Harihara?

A god who is said to be a mix of the gods Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Vishnu) (Shiva).

The conviction that both of these divinities were different expressions of the same divine force lay behind this hybrid god.

This underlying oneness was shown in a variety of ways.

One method was to build a figure with Shiva's qualities on the right half and Vishnu's on the left.

Another popular way in current poster art is to depict both Vishnu and Shiva in their complete forms, riding their respective animal vehicles.

Vishnu's elephant and Shiva's bull are linked at the head in such a manner that the heads of both creatures may be discerned, but only one can be seen at any one time.

The elephant-bull and the split image both illustrate that Vishnu and Shiva are manifestations of the same divine force, and that whatever god one experiences at any one time is determined by one's current viewpoint.

The Harihara image as a whole represents a significant religious truth, yet it is simply too abstract to become popular or ubiquitous.

People have preferred to worship one or the other of these deities in their daily religious lives, rather than their idealized combination. 

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.