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Ramanandi tradition,Northern Sant tradition,Vaishnavism versus other Hindu traditions. Demography,Academic study,References,Printed sources. Web sources,Further reading,External links, Vaishnavism originates in the latest centuries BCE and the early centuries CE as an amalgam of the heroic Krishna Vasudeva the. divine child Bala Krishna of the Gopala traditions and syncretism of these non Vedic traditions with the Mahabharata canon. thus affiliating itself with Vedism in order to become acceptable to the orthodox establishment Krishnaism becomes associated. with bhakti yoga in the medieval period note 1,Northern India. Although Vishnu was a Vedic solar deity 20 he is mentioned more often compared to Agni Indra and other eVdic deities thereby. suggesting that he had a major position in the Vedic religion 21 Other scholars state that there are other Vedic deities such as. water deity Nara also mentioned as Narayana Purusha in the Brahmanas layer of the Vedas who together form the historical. roots of Vaishnavism 22 In the late Vedic texts 1000 to 500 BCE the concept of a metaphysical Brahman grows in Krishna with Gopis. prominence and the Vaishnavism tradition considered Vishnu to be identical to Brahman just like Shaivism and Shaktism. consider Shiva and Devi to be Brahman respectively. The ancient emergence of Vaishnavism is unclear the evidence inconsistent and scanty 22 According to Dalal the origins may be in. Vedic deity Bhaga who gave rise to Bhagavatism 24 According to Preciado Sol s the Vedic deities Nara and Narayana form one of. the Vedic roots of Vaishnavism 25 According to Dandekar Vaishnavism may have emerged from merger of several ancient theistic. traditions where the various deities were integrated as different avatars of the same god In Dandekar theory Vaishnavism emerged at. the end of the Vedic period closely before the second urbanisation of northern India in the 7th to 4th century BCE Vasudeva and. Krishna the deified tribal hero and religious leader of the Yadavas 26 20 gained prominence merged into Bhagavan Vasudeva. Krishna 26 due to the close relation between the Vrsnis and the Yadavas 26. This was followed by a merger with the cult of Gopala Krishna of the cowherd community of the Abh ras 26 at the 4th century The inscription of the. CE 27 The character of Gopala Krishna is often considered to be non Vedic 28 According to Dandekar such mergers consolidated Heliodorus pillar that was. made by Indo Greek envoy, the position of Krishnaism between the heterodox sramana movement and the orthodox Vedic religion 26 The Greater Krsnaism.
Heliodorus in 110 BCE in, states Dandekar then merged with the Rigvedic Vishnu 26. what is modern Vidisha,Madhya Pradesh The, Syncretism of various traditions and Vedism resulted in Vaishnavism 29 30 At this stage that Vishnu of the Rig Veda was assimilated. inscription states Heliodorus, into non Vedic Krishnaism and became the equivalent of the Supreme God 20 The appearance of Krishna as one of the Avatars of. is a Bhagavata 18 19, Vishnu dates to the period of the Sanskrit epics in the early centuries CE The Bhagavad Gita was incorporated into the Mahabharata. as a key text for Krishnaism 6, Finally the Narayana cult was also included which further brahmanized Vaishnavism 31 The Nara Narayana cult may have originated in Badari a northern ridge of the.
Hindu Kush and absorbed into the Vedic orthodoxy as Purusa Narayana 31 Purusa Narayana may have later been turned into Arjuna and Krsna. This complex history is reflected in the two main historical denominations of Vishnavism The Bhagavats worship Vasudeva Krsna and are followers of brahmanic. Vaishnavism while the Pacaratrins regard Narayana as their founder and are followers of Tantric Vaishnavism 31. Southern India, According to Hardy note 2 there is evidence of early southern Krishnaism despite the tendency to allocate the Krishna traditions to the Northern traditions 32 South Indian. texts show close parallel with the Sanskrit traditions of Krishna and his gopi companions so ubiquitous in later North Indian text and imagery 34 Early writings in Dravidian. culture such as Manimekalai and the Cilappatikaram present Krishna his brother and favourite female companions in the similar terms 34 Hardy argues that the Sanskrit. Bhagavata Purana is essentially aSanskrit translation of the bhakti of the Tamil alvars 35. Devotion to southern Indian Mal Tirumal may be an early form of Krishnaism since Mal appears as a divine figure largely like Krishna with some elements of Vishnu 36. The Alvars whose name can be translated sages or saints were devotees of Mal Their poems show a pronounced orientation to the Vaishnava and often Krishna side of. Mal But they do not make the distinction between Krishna and Vishnu on the basis of the concept of the Avatars 36 Yet according to Hardy the term Mayonism should be. used instead of Krishnaism when referring to Mal or Mayon. Most of the Gupta kings beginning withChandragupta II Vikramaditya 375 413 CE were known as Parama Bhagavatas or Bhagavata Vaishnavas 37 31. Early medieval period, After the Gupta age Krishnaism rose to a major current of Vaishnavism 17 and Vaishnavism developed into various sects and subsects most of them emphasizing bhakti. which was strongly influenced by south Indian religiosity. Vaishnavism in the 8th century came into contact with the Advaita doctrine of Adi Shankara Many of the early Vaishnava scholars such as Nathamuni Yamunacharya and. Ramanuja contested the Advaita Vedanta doctrines and proposed Vishnu bhakti ideas instead 38 39 Vaishnavism flourished in predominantly Shaivite South India during the. seventh to tenth centuries CE with the twelve Alvars saints who spread the sect to the common people with their devotional hymns The temples that the Alvars visited or. founded are now known as Divya Desams Their poems in praise of Vishnu and Krishna in Tamil language are collectively known as Naalayira Divya Prabandha 4000 divine. verses 40 41,Later medieval period, The Bhakti movement of late medieval Hinduism started in the 7th century but rapidly expanded after the 12th century 42 It was supported by the Puranic literature such as. the Bhagavata Purana poetic works as well as many scholarlybhasyas and samhitas 43 44 45. This period saw the growth of Vashnavism Sampradayas denominations or communities under the influence of scholars such as Ramanujacharya Vedantha Desikacharya. Madhvacharya Nimbarkacharya and Vallabhacharya 46 Bhakti poets or teachers such as Manavala Mamunigal Namdev Ramananda Surdas Tulsidas Eknath Tyagaraja. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and many others influenced the expansion of Vaishnavism Even Meera bai princess of Mehwar and Rajasthan took part in this specific. movement 47 48 49 These Vaishnavism sampradaya founders challenged the then dominant Shankara s doctrines of Advaita Vedanta particularly Ramanuja in the 12th. century Vedantha Desikacharya andMadhva in the 13th building their theology on the devotional tradition of theAlvars Shri Vaishnavas 50. In North and Eastern India Krishnaism gave rise to various late Medieval movements Nimbarka and Ramananda in the 14th century Sankaradeva in the 15th and Vallabha. and Chaitanya in the 16th century Historically it was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who founded congregational chanting of holy names of Krishna in the early 16th century after. becoming a sannyasi 51,Modern times, During the 20th century Vaishnavism has spreadfrom India and is now practiced in many places around the globe including. North America Europe Africa Russia and South, America This is largely due to the growth of theISKCON movement founded byA C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadain 1966 52 53 54.
Theism with many varieties, Vaishnavism is centered on the devotion of Vishnu and his avatars According to Schweig it is a polymorphic monotheism i e a theology that recognizes many forms. ananta rupa of the one single unitary divinity since there are many forms of one original deity with Vishnu taking many forms 55 Okita in contrast states that the. different denominations within Vaishnavism are best described as theism pantheism and panentheism 56. The Vaishnava sampradaya started by Madhvacharya is a monotheistic tradition wherein Vishnu Krishna is omnipotent omniscient and omnibenevolent 57 In contrast Sri. Vaishnavism sampradaya associated with Ramanuja has monotheistic elements but differs in several ways such as goddess Lakshmi and god Vishnu are considered as. inseparable equal divinities 58 According to some scholars Sri Vaishnavism emphasizes panentheism and not monotheism with its theology of transcendence and. immanence 59 60 where God interpenetrates everything in the universe and all of empirical reality is God s body 61 62 The Vaishnava sampradaya associated with. Vallabhacharya is a form of pantheism in contrast to the other Vaishnavism traditions 63 The Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition of Chaitanya states Schweig is closer to a. polymorphic bi monotheism because both goddess Radha and god Krishna are simultaneously supreme. Vaishnavism precepts include the avatar incarnation doctrine wherein Vishnu incarnates numerous times in different forms to set things right and bring back the balance in. the universe 65 66 67 These avatars include Narayana Vasudeva Rama and Krishna each the name of a divine figure with attributed supremacy which each associated. tradition of Vaishnavism believes to be distinct 68. Vishnuism and Krishnaism, The term Krishnaism has been used to describe the sects focused on Krishna while Vishnuism may be used for sects focusing on Vishnu in which Krishna is an Avatar. rather than a transcended Supreme Being 69 Vishnuism believes in Vishnu as the supreme being Krishnaism contradicts this and claims that Krishna is the source of the. Tridev and also an immediate expansion of Himself as Mahavishnu manifested himself as Krishna while Krishnaism accepts Krishna to be Svayam bhagavan or authentic. that manifested himself as Vishnu As such Krishnaism is believed to be one of the early attempts to make philosophical Hinduism appealing to the masses 70 In common. language the term Krishnaism is not often used as many prefer a wider term V. aishnavism which appeared to relate to Vishnu more specifically as Vishnu ism. In Vishnu centered sects Vishnu or Narayana is the one supreme God The belief in the supremacy of Vishnu is based upon the many avatars incarnations of Vishnu listed in. the Puranic texts which differs from other Hindu deities suchas Ganesha Surya or Durga. To the devotees of the Sri Sampradaya Lord Vishnu is the Supreme Being and the foundation of all existence 71. In the Krishnaism branch of Vaishnavism such as the Gaudiya Vaishnava Nimbarka and Vallabhacharya traditions devotees. worship Krishna as the One Supreme form ofGod and source of all avatars Svayam Bhagavan 71 73. Krishnaism is often also called Bhagavatism after the Bhagavata Purana which asserts that Krishna is Bhagavan Himself. and subordinates to itself all other forms Vishnu Narayana Purusha Ishvara Hari Vasudeva Janardana etc 74. Krishna is often described as having the appearance of a dark skinned person and is depicted as a young cowherd boy playing. Bhagavad Gita 75, a flute or as a youthful prince giving philosophical direction and guidance as in the. Krishna is also worshiped across many other traditions of Hinduism and Krishna and the stories associated with him appear. across a broad spectrum of different Hindu philosophical and theological traditions where it is believed that God appears to. his devoted worshippers in many different forms depending on their particular desires These forms include the different Relationship between different forms. avataras of Krishna described in traditional Vaishnava texts but they are not limited to these Indeed it is said that the of Krishna as paripurna avatara of. different expansions of theSvayam bhagavan are uncountable and they cannot be fully described in the finite scriptures of any Vishnu and as Svayam Bhagavan in. one religious community 76 77 Many of the Hindu scriptures sometimes differ in details reflecting the concerns of a Chaitanya school of Vaishnavism 72. particular tradition while some core features of the view on Krishna are shared by all. Radha Krishna, Radha Krishna is the combination of both the feminine as well as the masculine aspects of God Krishna is often referred as svayam bhagavan in Gaudiya Vaishnavism. theology and Radha is Krishna s supreme beloved 79 With Krishna Radha is acknowledged as the Supreme Goddess for it is said that she controls Kris. hna with Her love 80, It is believed that Krishna enchants the world but Radha enchants even Him Therefore She is the supreme goddess of all Radha Krishna.
While there are much earlier references to the worship of this form of God it is since Jayadeva Goswami wrote a famous poem Gita Govinda in the twelfth century CE that. the topic of the spiritual love affair between the divine Krishna and his devotee Radha became a theme celebrated throughout India 83 It is believed that Krishna has left the. circle of the rasa dance to search for Radha The Chaitanya school believes that the name and identity of Radha are both revealed and concealed in the verse describing this. incident in Bhagavata Purana 84 It is also believed that Radha is not just one cowherd maiden but is the origin of all the gopis or divine personalities that participate in the. rasa dance 85,Dashavatara, According to the Bhagavatas there are ten avatars of Vishnu including Rama and Krish. Sri Vaishnava Gaudiya Vaishnavism Varkari tradition and Vithoba worship Krishna showing his vishvarupa universal form to Arjuna before the Kurukshetra War Contents Ramanandi tradition Northern Sant tradition Vaishnavism versus other Hindu traditions Demography Academic study Mantras See also Notes References Sources Printed sources Web sources Further reading External links Vaishnavism

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