Showing posts with label poet-saint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poet-saint. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Was Yamunacharya?

 

Yamunacharya (10th c.)  according to legend was Ramanuja's teacher. 

He was a devotee (bhakta) of the deity Vishnu, who is said to be the grandson of Nathamuni.

The Nalayira Divyaprabandham, the collected hymns of the Alvars, a group of poet-saints who lived in southern India between the sixth and eleventh centuries, was compiled by Nathamuni.

The Alvars were all worshippers of Vishnu, and they conveyed their love via impassioned lyrics sung in Tamil; these hymns are so sacred among southern Indian Vaishnavas (devotees of Vishnu) that they are known as the "Tamil Veda." 

Ramanuja, on the other hand, was a philosopher who collected and systematized this devotional outpouring into a coherent philosophical viewpoint, and is therefore regarded as the religious community's founder.

Yamunacharya was thought to be Nathamuni's grandson, and hence heir to the religious tradition that his grandfather had helped establish.

The allegation that he was Ramanuja's religious teacher (guru) is considerably more contested, since it is more probable that Yamuna's effect on Ramanuja was passed down via Yamuna's pupils.

Still, it is undeniable that these three figures played pivotal roles in the development of the Shri Vaishnava tradition, and that Yamunacharya is one of them.


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Hinduism - Who Was Ravidasi(Sant)?

 

Ravidas  (ca. 1500) is a sant or poet-saint who lived in Benares and is said to have been a younger contemporary of poet-saint Kabir, according to tradition.

The Sants were a loose group of poet-saints from central and northern India who shared a number of common characteristics, including a focus on individualized, interior religion leading to a personal experience of the divine, a dislike for external ritual, particularly image worship, faith in the power of the divine Name, and a tendency to disregard traditional caste distinctions.

Ravidas is described as a leather worker (chamar) by both tradition and allusions in his poems, a social group whose interaction with dead animals and their skins left them untouchable.

His hereditary occupation is said to have sustained him, and much of his poetry deals with concerns of worldly birth and standing.

He never questioned the significance of heredity, but he finally believed that his dedication to God had enabled him to transcend his birth and given him prestige based on other factors.

His poetry, as well as his repeated reminders to his audience that life is brief and difficult, and that they should pay close attention to religious practice, reflect this strong personal conviction.

Ravidas was probably definitely uneducated, given his poor social rank.

His poetic songs were most likely passed down orally, but his personal appeal made him one of the most well-known sant poets.

The Adigranth, a scripture for the Sikh community, and the Panchvani collections, produced by the Dadupanth, are the two earliest recorded sources of his work.

Ravidas has also acted as a role model for the poor in contemporary India; his followers are known as Ravidasis.

Songs of the Saints of India, edited by John Stratton Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer, was published in 1988, and The Life and Works of Raidas, translated by Winand M.

Callewaert and Peter Freidlander, was published in 1992.


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Hinduism - Who Is A Ravidasi Or Ravidasiis?

 


Ravidas, the untouchable poet-saint, was given this name by his disciples.

The Ravidasis highlight several principles found in Ravidas' poetry, such as the folly of attempting to confine the divine in scriptures and ceremonies, and his vision of a society in which all individuals may have equal status, regardless of their background.

Although Ravidas is held up as a model for religious equality based on the teachings in his poetry, it is doubtful that the Ravidasis were founded by Ravidas himself, nor is Ravidas an object of worship for them.

In current times, the Ravidasis have concentrated on combating all forms of caste-based prejudice, as well as empowering different low caste communities.

This movement is very new, and little has been written about it to far; for further information, read John Stratton Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer (trans. ), Songs of the Saints of India, 1988, especially the introduction to Ravidas.


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Hinduism - What Is The Ravidas Jayanti?

 


Festival commemorating the birth of medieval bhakti poet-saint Ravidas, who was born near Benares, on the full moon in the lunar month of Magh (January–February).

Ravidas had a poor social position due to his birth into the untouchable caste of leather workers (chamar).

His poetry is written in a per sonal voice, and it contrasts his humble station with the respect and acclaim he achieved through his dedication to God.

Ravidas is regarded as a role model by many members of the lower classes today, and his birthday is commemorated with zeal.


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Hinduism - Who Was Raskhan?


 (late 16th c.) Saiyid Ibrahim was a poet-saint and Krishna follower (bhakta) who was born a Muslim, especially a Pathan (Afghan), and whose name may have been Saiyid Ibrahim.

Raskhan spent his early years in Delhi, when he was enamored by a lovely lad, according to leg end.

When the object of his emotions proved unattainable, he moved to Brindavan, the place where Krishna is claimed to have resided as a kid, and spent the remainder of his life using his devotion to Krishna to sublimate that desire.

The attraction of the cowherd ladies (gopis) to Krishna, ignited by Krishna's physical attractiveness and, notably, the mesmerizing sound of his flute, are the principal topics of his poetry.

Raskhan is a person who was born a Muslim but who utilized symbols and attitudes from Hindu culture in a real way.

The ras lila is the "circular dance" that Krishna and his followers (bhakta), the gopis, conduct on fall evenings on the Yamuna River, according to Krishna's legend.

Krishna provides a form of himself to each lady present in this dance, which is a symbol of divine contact, in order to persuade them that God is paying attention to her and her alone.


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Hinduism - Who Is Parmananddas?

 


Parmananddas (early 16th c.) One of the ashtachap, a group of eight bhakti (devotional) poets from northern India.

The Pushti Marg, a religious society whose members are Krishna devotees (bhakta), utilised the works of these eight poets for liturgical reasons.

All eight are also identified as members of the community and companions of either the community's founder, Vallabhacharya, or his successor, Vitthalnath, in the Pushti Marg's sectarian literature.

Although legend claims that Parmananddas was a Kanaujia brahmin, nothing is known about him, and the corpus of poetry ascribed to him is considerably bigger in later sources, indicating that his name was adopted by subsequent poets.

According to the evidence from the oldest texts, he was a devout devotee of Vallabhacharya.

Much of his poetry is composed expressly for the Pushti Marg, such as songs in honor of Vallabhacharya or hymns to be repeated throughout the day for Krishna worship, a religiosity that came to characterize the Pushti Marg.

His writings have not been translated to date, perhaps due to their sectarian nature.


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Hinduism - Who Was Muktibai?

 

Muktibai (1279–1297?)  was a poet and saint of the Varkari Panth, a religious group focused on the worship of the Hindu deity Vithoba at his temple in Pandharpur, Maharashtra today.

Muktibai was the sister of Jnaneshvar, the renowned Varkari instructor, according to legend.


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Hinduism - Who Was Mirabai?

 

(early sixteenth century?) A poet-saint who was a devotee of the deity Krishna (bhakta).

Mirabai's songs are among the most well-known religious (bhakti) poetry, despite the fact that nothing is known about her.

Mirabai was born into a royal family in a tiny kingdom in Rajasthan, according to legend.

She had been committed to Krishna since she was a little child.

Despite the fact that her parents had planned for her to marry the scion of another monarch, she regarded Krishna to be her actual spouse.

Her liberation occurred with the death of her husband, after which she was permitted to leave her marital house after extensive battle with her in-laws—during which they allegedly tried to poison her.

She spent her final years traveling areas linked with Krishna and socializing with other devotees in "excellent company" (satsang).

She traveled to Dwaraka, the city where Krishna is claimed to have reigned, and was absorbed into Krishna's image in his temple there.

Mirabai's poetry is characterized by her love for Krishna.

She often refers to herself as his wife or as his awaiting lover, expressing her desire for physical and metaphysical connection with him.

Her poetry is a deeply personal expression of her religious fervor, and the power of her yearning has made her a religious symbol.

Mirabai's poetry raises perplexing authorship questions for scholars, as the earliest manuscripts are several hundred years older than when she is supposed to have lived, but for ordinary people, Mirabai's songs are still popular today.

She has also appeared in at least ten feature films, demonstrating the power of devotion even in today's world.

See A. J. Alston's The Devotional Poems of Mirabai, 1980, and John Stratton Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer's Songs of the Saints of India, 1988, for more information.


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Hinduism - Who Was Manikkavachakar?

 

(9th c.) Tamil poet-saint and creator of the Tiruvachakam ("holy words"), who was a devotee (bhakta) of the deity Shiva.

Along with the Nayanar poet saints, Appar, Sambandar, and Sundaramurtti, he is regarded the fourth major figure in the Tamil Shaivite tradition.

Manikkavachakar's songs are viewed as the climax of the older devotional (bhakti) tradition and provide testament to the depth of his own religious experience.

These hymns also served as the foundation for the Shaiva Siddhanta philosophical school's development, making him a key figure in southern Indian Shaivism.

Glenn Yocum's Hymns to the Dancing Siva, published in 1982, has further material.


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Hinduism - Who Was Lal, And Lalleshvari? What Is The Lallavakyani?


Lal, is another name for Lalleshvari(14th c.), a devotional (bhakti) poet-saint who is one of Kashmir's most prominent poets.

"Lalla's Sayings" is Lallavakyani. Lalleshvari, a Shiva devotee (bhakta), is credited with this corpus of poetry.

The poems in this book hint to her early life's harsh conditions, as well as the domestic issues that drove her to leave her husband's house.

They also speak of her all-encompassing devotion to Shiva, whom she considers to be the sole genuine source of bliss.


Lalleshvari was a bhakta (devotee) of Shiva, and her songs are about her devotion to him.

She, like many other female religious exemplars, struggled to reconcile her marriage with her devotion to her chosen god.

Her mother-in-law, according to legend, abused her horribly.

Her husband was characterized as a cold guy who did not protest to the beating or console his wife.

She left home after around twelve years of hardship to roam as a religious seeker.

Lalleshvari walked naked to symbolize her rejection of all attachments and worldly ideals, especially feminine modesty.

She created and sung Shiva devotional songs throughout her wanderings, which are still famous today.



These poems have been translated into English, although all of the editions are fairly old: see Sir George Grierson and Lionel D. Barnett, Lalla Vakyani, 1920; and R. C. Temple, Lalla, the Prophetess, 1924.



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Hinduism - Who Was Krishnadas Kaviraj?

 

Krishnadas Kaviraj is the author of the Chaitanya-Charitramrta ("Nectar of Chaitanya's Deeds"), a chronicle of the life of the Bengali poet-saint Chaitanya, published roughly ninety years after Chaitanya's death.

Krishnadas' manuscript is Chaitanya's most recent and comprehensive biography, focusing mostly on Chaitanya's latter life, particularly his journey to Brindavan, the northern Indian town where the divinity Krishna is said to have spent his boyhood.

The three Goswamis—Rupa, Sanatana, and Jiva—have a strong intellectual effect on this literature, and their views shaped Chaitanya's religious followers, the Gaudiya Vaishnavas.

This narrative, like the other classic accounts of Chaitanya's life, is a hagiography (an idealizing and idolizing image) produced by a devoted devotee, rather than a "objective" history (bhakta).

 

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Hinduism - Who Are The Kabirpanth?


Followers of the northern Indian poet-saint Kabir form a religious group.

Some Kabirpanthis are ascetics, while others live in houses.

The group's most prominent center, which houses an austere community, is at Benares (where Kabir is said to have resided).

Although Kabir opposes ceremony, worship, and dependence on anything other than one's own unmediated experience in his poetry—a background that suggests yoga practice—the Kabirpanth has adopted all of these traditional religious trappings.

The Bijak, a collection of poetry and epigrams ascribed to Kabir, is the community's holy scripture.

Kabir, who has become an object of adoration, is depicted in its holy centers.

On particular days, elaborate rites are carried out.

This is odd since many of the activities that Kabir criticized seem to have been accepted by the group that claims to follow his teachings.

Given Kabir's constant emphasis on the necessity for direct, intimate encounters with the divine, the idea of his being regarded as the founder of a sect would have been absurd to him.

See David Lorenzen, “Traditions of Non-Caste Hinduism: The Kabir Panth,” Contributions to Indian Sociology, Vol. 21, No. 2, 1987, for more information.



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Hinduism - Who Is Haridasa?

 

(ca. late 16th c.) Poet, singer, and devotee (bhakta) of the Hindu god Krishna who founded the Haridasis sect.

Haridasa was the tutor of Tansen, the perfect musician at the court of the Moghul emperor Akbar, according to legend.

The majority of Haridasa's songs are about Radha and Krishna's love. 


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Hinduism - Who Is Gora?

 

(1267–1397?) Gora Poet and saint associated with the Varkari Panth, a religious order dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Vithoba at his temple in Pandharpur, Maharashtra.

Gora was a potter, which was a fairly low-status employment by the standards of the period; Gora's selection as one of the Varkari saints serves to underline the devotional (bhakti) idea that birth status was less significant than real love of God.

Gora is said to have spent much of his life at Teradhoki village in Maharashtra, although little is known about his life since he is a minor Varkari character.

G.A. Deleury, The Cult of Vithoba, 1960; Justin E. Abbott and Narhar R. Godbole (trans.), Stories of Indian Saints, 1982; and G.A. Deleury, The Cult of Vithoba, 1960.



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Hinduism - Who Was Eknath?


At Vithoba's temple in Pandharpur, Maharashtra, a poet and saint of the Varkari Panth, a religious group that worships the Hindu deity Vithoba. 

Eknath was a brahmin who spent the most of his life at Paithan, an important commerce and political hub. 

In Paithan now, there is a shrine dedicated to Eknath. 

Eknath was well-versed in old Sanskritic learning, as befitting his birth as a brahmin. 

His most well-known work is a Marathi translation of the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavata Purana, a sectarian religious literature considered to be the most essential for Krishna devotion. 

Eknath, on the other hand, seems to have been acutely aware of the spiritual qualities of the lower castes, as well as the ways in which devotion may be used to break down social barriers. 

He talks in a variety of voices, including those of untouchables, Muslims, and women, in short poems called as bharuds. 

He treated untouchable worshippers (bhakta) as equals, even eating and drinking with them, according to traditional accounts of his life. 

More orthodox brahmins—who are represented as the villains in these traditional accounts—were outraged by such blatant transgressions of social limits, but Eknath managed to avoid being outcasted by them on each occasion, often by divine intervention. 

G. A. Deleury, The Cult of Vithoba, 1960; Justin E. Abbott, The Life of Eknath, 1981; and Eleanor Zelliot, "Chokamela and Eknath: Two Bhakti Modes of Legitimacy for Modern Change," Journal of Asian and African Studies, Vol. 15, Nos. 1–2, 1980. 




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Hinduism - Who Was Chaturbhujdas?

 





 (late 16th century) One of the ashtachap, a group of eight bhakti (devotional) poets from northern India. 



The Pushti Marg, a religious group whose members are Krishna devotees (bhakta), utilized the works of these eight poets for liturgical reasons. 




All eight are mentioned in the Pushti Marg's sectarian literature as members of the community and companions of either Vallabhacharya or his successor, Vitthalnath. 

Chaturbhujdas is believed to be the son of Kumbhadas, one of the first ashtachap poets, and a companion of Vitthalnath, according to allusions in his poetry. 

Chaturbhujdas portrays himself as a companion to Krishna and his wife, Radha, in his poems, offering modern followers a glimpse into their everyday lives. 





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