Showing posts sorted by relevance for query poet-saint. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query poet-saint. Sort by date Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is A Vaishnava?

 


A devotee (bhakta) of the deity Vishnu in any of his many manifestations.

The doctrine of the 10 avatars, or divine incar nations, is particularly prevalent in Vaishnava theology: Fish, Tortoise, Boar, Man-Lion, Vamana (dwarf), Parashuram, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki.

The avatar idea is widely recognized as a means of assimilating lesser regional deities into the greater pantheon by classifying them as manifestations of Vishnu, and Vishnu is most generally worshiped in the guise of these avatars.

Although the Boar avatar and the Man-Lion avatar were powerful regional deities in the early centuries of the common period, the two most important avatars have been Rama and Krishna.

The early Vaishnava faith is hazy and enigmatic.

Despite the fact that Vishnu occurs in multiple hymns in the Vedas, the earliest Hindu religious books, he was obviously a lesser god, and it is impossible to get from there to becoming the universe's greatest force.

Some academics believe that the worship of Krishna, a deified local cowherd hero, originated outside of the Vedic religious framework and that Krishna's cult was integrated into legitimate Vedic religion via the identification of Krishna with Vishnu.

These concepts are fascinating, but there is little empirical evidence to back them up.

The worship of Krishna was well-established by the first century B.C.E., according to inscriptional evidence.

These followers are known as Bhagavatas ("devotees of the Blessed One"), a term that was used to apply to Vaishnavas in general for the following thousand years.

The Pancharatrikas ("followers of the Pancharatra") were a subgroup of the early Bhagavata society who eventually developed distinct cosmological ideas.

These mainstream Bhagavatas demonstrated their love for Krishna by writing works that included portions of the Bhagavad Gita, the Harivamsha, and many puranas, culminating in the Bhagavata Purana in the eleventh century.

The Alvars, a group of twelve devout (bhakti) poet-saints who lived in southern India during the seventh and tenth centuries, changed the tone of Vaishnava devotion dramatically.

The Alvars preached a bhakti distinguished by fervent devotion to God and characterized by a great emotional relationship between god and devotee, singing their songs in Tamil, the vernacular language of their period.

The Alvars, together with their Shaiva counterparts, the Nayanars, pioneered the renewal of Hindu religion in relation to Buddhists and Jains, and in doing so, changed the tradition as the devotional wave they had started spread northward.

Various Vaishnava communities arose throughout the time between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries, generally as a result of a particular charismatic religious personality.

This process started in southern India, where the philosopher Ramanuja (11th century) established the Shrivaishnava group and the philosopher Madhva (1197–1276) established the Madhva community.

Jnaneshvar (1275–1296? ), Namdev (1270–1350), Chokamela (d. 1338), Eknath (1533–1599), and Tukaram (1598–1650) were some of the finest characters in the Varkari Panth, which was centered on the shrine of Vithoba at Pandharpur.

From the thirteenth century onwards, the Mahanubhav cult flourished in Maharashtra.

Jagannath, a tribal god integrated into the pantheon as a version of Krishna, is worshipped in Puri on India's eastern coast.

As the poet Jayadeva's Gitagovinda demonstrates, this was firmly established by the eleventh century.

Finally, many active religious organizations may be found in northern India.

The twelfth-century philosopher Nimbarka, whose Nimbarki society preserves his name, is a very early character; many centuries later, Vishnuswami, about whom little is known, appears.

The Pushti Marg was founded by the philosopher Vallabhacharya, the Gaudiya Vaishnava community was founded by the Bengali saint Chaitanya, and the poet saint Harivamsh (d. 1552) and the Radhavallabh community was founded by the poet saint Harivamsh (d. 1552).

The Pushti Marg and the Gaudiya Vaishnavas viewed Krishna to be the greatest god, whilst the Nimbarkis and the Radhavallabh group worshiped him in conjunction with his consort Radha, whom they considered Krishna's wife and equal.

The devotion of Rama has its deepest roots in northern India, as seen in the poems of the poet-saint Tulsidas (1532–1623?).

Many of these schools, many of which have a lengthy history, are still important in today's world.

Ascetics are the last Vaishnava group that has to be addressed.

Vaishnava asceticism is a more recent development than Shaiva asceticism (though dates are unknown), and it is mostly found in India's northern regions (the Shaivas are spread throughout the country).

Bairagis ("passionate") Vaishnava ascetics are divided into four sampradays (religious groups characterized by distinct bodies of teachings), each associated with a notable Vaishnava figure.

The Shri Sampraday of the Ramanandi ascetics is by far the most powerful, tracing its spiritual lineage from poet-saint Ramananda to the southern Indian philosopher Ramanuja, whom they claim was Ramananda's guru.

The Nimbarki ascetics' Sanaka Sampraday may trace their spiritual heritage back to the philosopher Nimbarka.

The Vishnuswami ascetics' Rudra Sampraday may be traced back to an older person, Vishnuswami, via the philosopher Vallabhacharya.

Finally, the Brahma Sampraday, a Gaudiya Vaishnava ascetic subgroup, traces its spiritual lineage from Bengali saint Chaitanya to southern Indian scholar Madhva.

Each of these sampradays is distinct not just in terms of its founder, but also in terms of its tutelary god or deities.

The Ramanandis worship the deity Rama, whereas the rest revere the god Krishna and his bride Radha, however they differ in how they place Radha.

Scholars have pointed out that these historical assertions are either very suspect or utterly false, and that the differences between the sampradays are mostly academic in nature.

Given that Ramanandis make up the vast majority of these ascetics, the others seem to be relevant solely for symbolic purposes, such as having a representation from each of the great Vaishnava religious personalities.

~Kiran Atma


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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 Was Pipa?



Pipa (15th century?) is a poet-saint in the Sant religious group.

Sant is an umbrella term for a group of poet-saints from central and northern India who share a number of common traits, including:

  1. A focus on individualized, interior religion leading to a personal experience of the divine; 
  2. Disdain for external ritual, particularly image worship; 
  3. Belief in the power of repeating one's patron deity's name; 
  4. And a willingness to ignore traditional caste distinctions.


Pipa was born into a Rajput royal family in the Malwa area, but he finally abdicated his kingdom and traveled to Benares to study under the poet-saint Ramananda.

Pipa was a follower of the mighty goddess Bhavani (an epithet of Parvati), according to the hagiographer Nabhadas, demonstrating the scope of the Sant tradition.

A couple of Pipa's lyrics have been preserved in the Adigranth, the Sikh community's holy scripture, and they are congruent with these traditions in terms of language and theological focus.


~Kiran Atma


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Hinduism - Who Are The Goswamis Of The Gaudiya Vaishnava Religious Group?

 


Jiva, Goswami (ca. late 16th c.) Along with his uncles Sanatana Goswami and Rupa Goswami, he was a prominent role in the Gaudiya Vaishnava religious group.

Despite the fact that the poet-saint Chaitanya formed the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, it was the Goswamis who gave discipline and systematic reasoning to Chaitanya's ecstatic devotionalism.

The Goswamis were originally from southern India, but their family had relocated to northern India.

When Rupa and Sanatana met Chaitanya, their lives were changed forever.

Chaitanya sent the brothers to Brindavan, the hamlet where Krishna is said to have spent his infancy, with orders to reside there and reclaim it as a sacred site.

The three Goswamis remained there for decades, recovering holy locations (tirthas), erecting temples, and, most all, establishing the Gaudiya Vaishnava community's principles and institutions.

Jiva was a versatile scholar who wrote on a variety of topics related to Vaishnava devotion, but he is most recognized for his metaphysical writings, which give the community's conceptual foundations.

Sushil Kumar De, Early History of the Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Bengal, from Sanskrit and Bengali Sources, 1961, is a good source of knowledge.

Rupa Goswami, Rupa Goswami, Rupa Goswami, Rupa Gos (ca. mid-16th c.) Along with his brother Sanatana Goswami and nephew Jiva Goswami, he was a follower of the Bengali saint Chaitanya, and was a crucial player in the creation of the Gaudiya Vaishnava society.

Despite the fact that the poet-saint Chaitanya formed the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, it was the Goswamis who gave discipline and systematic reasoning to Chaitanya's ecstatic devotionalism.

According to records, the Goswamis were brahmins whose ancestors came from the Karnataka area.

Rupa and Sanatana were in the service of a local Muslim monarch in Bengal, where the family had settled.

When Rupa and Sanatana met Chaitanya, though, their lives were changed forever.

Chaitanya sent the brothers to Brindavan, the hamlet where Krishna is said to have spent his infancy, with orders to reside there and reclaim it as a sacred site.

The three Goswamis remained there for decades, recovering holy locations (tirthas), erecting temples, and, most all, establishing the Gaudiya Vaishnava community's principles and institutions.

Rupa was a devout follower of Krishna (bhakta), but she was also a playwright and a scholar.

He concentrated on examining bhakti as an emotional experience in addition to composing poetry as a medium for expressing devotion to Krishna.

He is well known for enumerating the five forms of devotion, which describe the many ways to experience God's love.

Sushil Kumar De, Early History of the Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Bengal, 1961; and Shrivatsa Goswami, "Radha," in John Stratton Hawley and Donna Wulff (eds. ), The Divine Consort, 1982, for further information.


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Hinduism - What Is The Sursagar?

 

 

 ("Sur Ocean") Surdas, a northern Indian poet-saint, is credited with a corpus of poetry in the Braj Bhasha language known as the Sursagar.

The Sursagar is traditionally split into twelve sections to reflect the organization of the Bhagavata Purana, which is the most significant Sanskrit source for Krishna mythology.

Surdas was a Krishna devotee (bhakta), and this arrangement gives vernacular religious poetry the glitter of an official Sanskrit book.

The Sursagar is most usually connected with verses painting personal and adoring portraits of Krishna's boyhood, much as the Bhagavata Purana lavishly portrays Krishna's juvenile escapades.

Although Surdas' poetry is attributed to him in Sursagar publications, the most of it is undoubtedly pseudonymous.

Surdas's poetry has at best a few hundred verses in the earliest manuscripts, and the corpus nearly increases every century, reaching the five thousand poems in the current Sursagar.

The tone of the early poems is also markedly different in terms of topic content.

Although they feature Krishna's boyhood, the poet's sufferings of separation (viraha) from Krishna or complaint (vinaya) about his spiritual woes are expressed in a significantly bigger percentage.

Even the oldest manuscripts indicate no common body of poetry, and it is probable that the "Surdas" literary tradition was derived from the songs of roaming singers from the beginning, a description that fits well with the poet's persona.

For further detail, read John Stratton Hawley's Krishna: The Butter Thief (1983) and Surdas: Poet, Singer, Saint (1984); also check John Stratton Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer's Songs of the Saints of India (1988).


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Hinduism - What Is The Significance Of Dohas In North Indian Literature?

 



Made consisting of two lines of twenty-four metric beats, split irregularly after the thirteenth beat in northern Indian bhakti (devotional) poetry. 

The first line's metric pattern is 6 + 4 + 3, whereas the second line's is 6 + 4 + 1. 

The metric beats are counted using a system that distinguishes between "heavy" and "light" syllables. 

Any syllable with a long vowel or a consonant cluster is considered heavy, and is counted at two metric beats; all other syllables are considered light, and are counted as one. 

Aside from the metric pattern, there are rules about how each half line should end—for example, the three metric beats ending the first line cannot be a heavy syllable (two beats) followed by a light one (one beat)—which means it must either be a light syllable followed by a heavy one, or three light ones—and the line's final syllable must be light. 

These norms provide a lot of room for creativity, and the doha is one of the most significant poetry forms for poets working in Braj Bhasha (Krishna devotional language) and Avadhi (a dialect of medieval Hindi). 

As in the epigrams of the poet-saint Kabir, which have become customary sayings in most of contemporary India, the doha may stand alone at times. 

In the Ramcharitmanas, the doha was frequently utilized in conjunction with verses in various meters. 

The doha normally follows after four lines in the chaupai (four-line) meter in this vernacular rendering of the epic Ramayana, composed by the poet-saint Tulsidas, and helps to summarize what has happened in the previous verses. 



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Hinduism - What Is A Doha?


 A metrical form used in northern Indian bhakti (devotional) poetry that consists of two lines of twenty-four metric beats that are split irregularly after the thirteenth beat. 

The first line's metric pattern is 6 + 4 + 3, whereas the second line's is 6 + 4 + 1. 

The metric beats are counted using a system that distinguishes between "heavy" and "light" syllables. 

Any syllable with a long vowel or a consonant cluster is considered heavy, and is counted at two metric beats; all other syllables are considered light, and are counted as one. 

Aside from the metric pattern, there are rules about how each half line should end—for example, the three metric beats ending the first line cannot be a heavy syllable (two beats) followed by a light one (one beat)—which means it must either be a light syllable followed by a heavy one, or three light ones—and the line's final syllable must be light. 

These norms provide a lot of room for creativity, and the doha is one of the most significant poetry forms for poets working in Braj Bhasha (Krishna devotional language) and Avadhi (a dialect of medieval Hindi). 

As in the epigrams of the poet-saint Kabir, which have become customary sayings in most of contemporary India, the doha may stand alone at times. 

In the Ramcharitmanas, the doha was frequently utilized in conjunction with verses in various meters. 

The doha normally follows after four lines in the chaupai (four-line) meter in this vernacular rendering of the epic Ramayana, composed by the poet-saint Tulsidas, and helps to summarize what has happened in the previous verses. 



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Hinduism - Who Is Bahina Bai?

 




(1628–1700) Bahina Bai 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. 


Bahina Bai defied conventional wisdom not just because she was a female religious icon, but also because she was a brahmin student of the shudra poet-saint Tukaram, a connection that flipped societal status norms. 




  • This is because a brahmin is a person of high social status, while a shudra is a member of Hindu society's lowest and least prominent caste. 
  • Tukaram accepted Bahina as his pupil in a dream, according to legend, since Bahina's husband—a educated brahmin who was acutely aware of his brahmin status—had prohibited her from meeting with him. 
  • Bahina also published an autobiography, which was strongly inspired by her religious views, in addition to her devotional poetry. 
  • Bahina is noteworthy as one of the few female bhakti (devotional) personalities who was able to combine the demands of her marriage with her devotion to God, but this was not without difficulty and heartbreak. 



Bahina Bai, translated by Justin E. Abbott, 1985; and Anne Feldhaus, “Bahina Bai: Wife and Saint,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 50, 1982.


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Hinduism - Who Was Kabir?


 (middle of the 15th century?) A poet is considered as one of the most important religious personalities in northern India.

Kabir belonged to the Sants, a group of poet-saints from central and northern India who shared several characteristics: an emphasis on individualized, interior religion leading to a personal experience of the divine; disdain for external ritual, particularly image worship; belief in the power of the divine Name; and a tendency to ignore caste hierarchies.

Kabir was a devout follower of these ideas, and in his works, he openly criticizes any religious practice based on habit or custom, such as asceticism, unique ways of clothing, fasting (upavasa), image worship, caste, and text.

Kabir describes himself as a weaver (julaha) in his poems, and according to legend, he supported himself via this employment.

Kabir's background makes it impossible to associate him with a certain faith.

In Arabic, the name Kabir ("Great") is one of Allah's names in the Qur'an, indicating that he is a Muslim.

His poetry, on the other hand, demonstrates his extensive understanding of Hindu religious life.

The members of Kabir's julaha society were supposed to be new converts to Islam who had not yet completely integrated.

Kabir's poetry, on the other hand, plainly demonstrates that he was neither Hindu nor Muslim.

Kabir's appeal is probably due to his forthright, impassioned assertion that true religious accomplishment can only be attained via inward, individual experiences of the divine, which he refers to as Ram.

This is a word for the incomprehensible, ultimate Supreme Reality, not the god-king who is the hero of the Ramayana.

Both of these emphasizes reflect the Nathpanthi ascetics' influence, who also emphasized inward experience and yoga.

Kabir reportedly claimed in one of his songs that he had never put pen to paper since he was so engaged in the holy.

Many of his shorter epigrams have become conventional sayings, and his songs are still popular today.

Kabir's oldest attested poetry can be found in three major collections: one in the Adigranth, the Sikh scripture also known as the "Primal Book," another compiled by the Dadupanth, the religious organization founded by the Sant poet-saint Dadu, and the Bijak, compiled by the Kabirpanth, a religious community that claimed Kabir as its guru (religious preceptor).

These collections show substantial variances, indicating that they are not all from the same source.

For more information, see Charlotte Vaudeville's Kabir (1974); Linda Hess and Shukdev Singh's The Bijak of Kabir (1983); John S.

Hawley and Mark Juergensmeyer's Songs of the Saints of India (1988); Nirmal Dass' Songs of Kabir from the Adi Granth (1991); and David Lorenzen's Kabir Legends and Ananta-Das' Kabir Parachai (1991). 


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Hinduism - What Is The Vinaya Patrika By Tulsidas?

 

 

Vinaya Patrika or a petition letter is a collection of 280 short poems written in the Braj Bhasha dialect by poet-saint Tulsidas (1532–1623?).


The entire work is presented as a letter of petition to Tulsidas' chosen deity, Rama, through the monkey god Hanuman, who acts as his intermediary.


The letter's main theme is a plea for deliverance from the current degenerate age's evils (kali yuga).


The first sixty-odd verses are a series of invocations to various gods, demonstrating Tulsidas' devotion's ecumenical quality.

The poem's remainder is addressed to Rama and emphasizes other themes that run throughout Tulsidas' poetry.


One of the themes is the kali yuga's corrupted nature, which makes devotion the only effective means of salvation.


Another pervasive theme is the incomparable power of God's name to rescue the devotee (bhakta).

Finally, the listeners are cautioned not to squander the gift of human birth.

Much of the poetry has an intensely personal quality to it, and it seems to reflect both the poet's despair and eventual hope for salvation.

The Vinaya Patrika is generally thought to have been written in the poet's later years, though it cannot be precisely dated, based on its general tone.



~Kiran Atma


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Hinduism - What Is The Nacciyar Tirumoli?

 


The Tirruppavai is one of two volumes of poetry composed by the poet-saint Andal (9th century).

Andal was the only woman among the Alvars, a group of twelve poet-saints who flourished during the seventh and tenth centuries in southern India.

All of the Alvars were Vishnu worshipers (bhakta).

Their focus on fervent devotion (bhakti) to a personal deity, expressed via Tamil hymns, changed and revived Hindu religious life.

Andal's chosen god was Ranganatha, a manifestation of Vishnu who presides over the Shrirangam temple.

Nonetheless, both of her poetry books are devoted to Krishna, a different incarnation of Vishnu.

This seeming split might be due to her belief that all incarnations of Vishnu are ultimately the same, or it could be due to the distinction between personal devotion and literary expression.



The Nacciyar Tirumoli has thirty poems recited by a group of unmarried females who had made a pledge to wash in the river at daybreak during the coldest month of the year.

This oath has a long history in southern India, when young ladies would swear to find a nice spouse and live happily ever after.

The females in the poem had made a promise to win Krishna as their spouse.

The cycle's poems depict many aspects of the natural world at morning, the girls' aspirations for carrying out the pledge, and their return to Krishna's dwelling to awaken him and ask for his favor.

The concluding poem in the sequence explains the advantages of chanting the text.


~Kiran Atma


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Hinduism - Who Was Dadu?

 


 (1554–1603)  Sant poet-saint and founder of the Dadupanth, a religious institution. 

The sants were a group of poet-saints from central and northern India who shared a number of common traits, 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 willingness to ignore traditional caste (social order) distinctions. 

Dadu was born into a family of cottoncarders, a low-status vocation, according to legend. 

He was also said to have been born a Muslim, yet his poetry suggests that he was untouched by the religion. 

Many of the aforementioned sant themes are prominent in his songs. 

His poetry also emphasize nonviolence (ahimsa) and vegetarianism as a practical implementation of that ideal. 

Another major subject is the religious importance of labour, since he is claimed to have carded cotton till his death, despite his celebrity. 

Some of Dadu's poems include lists and classifications, as though he's trying to organize his thoughts for teaching purposes. 

This indicates that he envisioned a well-established discipleship network. 

According to mythology, Dadu met with the Moghul emperor Akbar, who was so taken aback by Dadu's charm that he stopped hurting sentient creatures. 

The story is most likely made up, since there are similar legends about many of the sant poets, all of which depict the well-known subject of the worldly monarch submitting to the spiritual adept. 

See Winand Callewaert (trans. ), The Hindi Biography of Dadu Dayal, 1988, for more information on traditional sources. 

Moghul dynasty is another name for the Moghuls. 



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Hinduism - What Is The Dadupanth?

 

Dadu (1554–1603), a sant poet-saint, created a religious order. 

Rajasthan, the desert state where Dadu is said to have resided, has the strongest Dadupanth. 

The Dadupanth emphasizes theological themes common to sant poet-saints, such as the rejection of ritual and image worship in favor of an interior quest for a formless god, a conviction in the relative unimportance of traditional caste distinctions, and a confidence in the power of the holy Name. 

It also promotes nonviolence (ahimsa), vegetarianism, and the religious importance of labour, all of which were very significant to Dadu himself. 

The Dadupanth has always been a modest group in terms of numbers, but their document collections have made them historically significant. 

Because they comprise the works of five separate religious (bhakti) poets: Dadu, Kabir, Namdev, Ravidas, and Hardas, these volumes are known as the "five voices" (panchvani). 

The arid environment of Rajasthan has aided in the preservation of ancient manuscripts, some of which date back to the early seventeenth century. 

The Panchvani manuscripts are among the oldest sources for all of these poets, making them a valuable resource for the study of northern Indian devotional poetry's history. 

See Winand Callewaert (trans. ), The Sarvangi of the Dadupanthi Rajab, 1978; and The Sarvangi of Gopaldas, 1993, for further information on the Dadupanth's literary treasures. 



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Hinduism - Who Was Namdev?

 

(1270–1350?)  At his temple at Pandharpur in the current state of Maharashtra, poet-saint who is one of the major characters in the Varkari Panth, a religious group focused upon the worship of the Hindu deity Vithoba.

Namdev was a cotton-printer, a low-class vocation, according to legend, but the power of his dedication made his worldly rank inconsequential.

Jnaneshvar and Chokamela, two additional Varkari poet saints, are reported to have been his associates.

Several collections of his songs have been preserved, including the Adigranth (collected by the Sikh community) and the Panchvani (a col lection of songs by five poets compiled by the Dadupanth).

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. See Winand Callewaert and Mukund Lath, The Hindi Padavali of Namdev, 1989, for a more critical examination of his Hindu songs and the challenges in utilizing them as biographical sources.

~Kiran Atma


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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 Mahipati?

 

Mahipati (1715–1790) was a Hindu ruler who lived from 1715 to 1790.

Mahipati was a writer and hagiographer of devotional (bhakti) poet-saints, particularly those associated with the Varkari Panth, to which he also belonged.

The Varkari Panth is a religious organization dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Vithoba, whose temple is located in Pandharpur, Maharashtra.

Mahipati was a government worker in his hometown, according to legend.

He was called to work one day after failing to do his regular worship.

Mahipati completed the task at hand, but then quit, promising to only employ his writing in the service of the saints.

Mahipati readily confessed that he drew a lot of his information about the saints from older writings, notably the Bhaktamal by poet saint Nabhadas.

He depicts each of his themes as a paradigm of devotion, much as Nabhadas did; the tales reaffirm and confirm the ability of dedication to conquer all difficulties.

The Bhaktavijaya and the Bhaktililamrta are his main writings; sections of the former have been translated by Justin E. Abbott as The Life of Eknath, 1981, and The Life of Tukaram, 1980; while the latter has been translated by Justin E. Abbott as Stories of Indian Saints, 1982.


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Hinduism - Who Is Basavanna?

 





(1106–67/68) Basavanna Was A Poet-Saint and Religious Leader of the Lingayat community, a Bhakti (Devotional) Sect/Society that Worships Shiva as the Only Ultimate God and Opposes all Caste Rules. 



The Lingayats originated in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, where they still have a significant presence, and their most important religious scriptures are collections of poetry written in Kannada. 


  • Basavanna was a great devotee (bhakta) of Shiva from his childhood, according to legend, and his piety was so strong that he disregarded all ideas of ceremony and caste. 
  • Basavanna became minister to a monarch called Bijjala after spending most of his childhood as a religious seeker. 
  • Basavanna utilized his riches and power to look after Shiva's traveling followers (jangama), and Bijjala's court attracted a slew of prominent people, including poet and religious leader Allama Prabhu. 



Basavanna's sponsorship was crucial in the formation of the Lingayat community, and the suffix anna ("older brother") was added to his name, Basava, as a mark of his significance. 


  • More traditional groups reacted angrily to the Lingayat community's outspoken resistance to ritual worship and caste differences as the Lingayat community became stronger. 
  • When the nascent Lingayat society allegedly arranged a marriage between an untouchable boy and a brahmin girl, the dispute came to a violent climax. 
    • Traditionalists were so angry that they killed the fathers of the bride and groom. 
  • Basavanna died shortly after the Lingayat community was scattered. 



Speaking of Siva, translated by A. K. Ramanujan, was published in 1973.


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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Was Andal?



 Andal was the lone Female poet-saint among the Alvars from the 9th century. 


  • The Alvars, a group of twelve poet-saints who lived in southern India during the seventh and tenth centuries, had just one female member. 
  • The Alvars were all Vishnu worshippers (bhakta), and their emphasis on intense devotion (bhakti) to a personal deity, expressed via hymns sung in Tamil, revolutionized and rejuvenated Hindu religious life. 
  • Andal had a very intense connection with her chosen god, whom she considered her betrothed spouse, as do many female bhakti figures. 
  • Ranganatha, a specific form of Vishnu who resides at the Shrirangam temple in Tamil Nadu, was the god in question. 
  • Andal was an earthly incarnation of Vishnu's bride Bhudevi ("Earth Goddess"), who came to her foster father, Periyalvar, another of the Alvars, as an abandoned infant. 
  • She was determined that she would not marry a human when she reached adulthood, and she blended into the image of Ranganatha at Shrirangam. 
  • Andal wrote two volumes of poetry, the Tirruppava I and the Nacciyar Tirumoli, both of which are devoted to Vishnu in his incarnation as Krishna. 
  • Vidya Dehejia (trans. ), Antal and Her Path of Love, 1990, is a good source of knowledge.




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Hinduism - What Is Bijak?





Bijak means "inventory." 



The Adigranth and the manuscripts of the religious institution Dadupanth include the other two major collections of poetry attributed to the poet-saint Kabir (mid-15th century?). 


  • Kabir is the most well-known of the sants, a group of poet-saints from central and northern India who share several concepts, 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. 
  • In terms of established religious rituals and authority, Kabir is the most iconoclastic of all the sants. 
  • He always stresses the need of personal seeking and fulfillment. 




The Bijak is the scripture of the Kabirpanth, a religious group claiming to be Kabir's followers, which is noteworthy given the nature of Kabir's message. 


  • Certainly, the idea of declaring Kabir the founder of anything, or of his words acquiring the authority of a scripture, would have been rejected by him. 
  • The Bijak includes a variety of poems, including brief epigrams that have become proverbial wisdom, lengthier chaupai stanzas, and shorter two-line poetry (doha). 
  • The Bijak has linguistic characteristics that place it in the eastern portion of the Hindi language area, thus its popular moniker of "eastern" recension. 



Linda Hess and Shukdev Singh (trans. ), The Bijak of Kabir, 1983, contains translations of the text itself.




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Hinduism And Hindu Theology - Who Was Anantadas?



Anantadas is a Hindu poet-saint from the late 16th century. 


  • Ravidas, Kabir, Namdev, Trilochan, Angada, and Pipa are among the most well-known northern Indian religious (bhakti) poet-saints for whom he composed "introductions" (parchais). 
  • Because Anantadas cites 1588 C. E. as the date of writing for his Namdev Parchai, his period may be determined with fair certainty. 
  • Anantadas lived at the same time as another renowned hagiographer, Nabhadas, whom Anantadas refers to as a "guru brother" to his own guru, thus making Nabhadas Anantadas' "spiritual uncle." 
  • Although both hagiographers offer important information, Nabhadas' descriptions are very short, and Anantadas' descriptions are extremely detailed. 
  • Although the wonderful occurrences contained in the introductions make them dubious as historical sources, Anantadas' writings are by far the first comprehensive descriptions of these literary giants. 



He is practically unknown since his complete works have never been published. David Lorenzen, Kabir Legends and Ananta-Das' Kabir Parachai, 1991; and Winand Callewaert and Peter G. Friedlander (trans. ), The Life and Works of Raidas, 1992.



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