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The Origin and Development of Vaisnavism (Vaisnavism from 200 BC to AD 500)

The Origin and Development of Vaisnavism (Vaisnavism from 200 BC to AD 500)


Item Code: IHD35

by Suvira Jaiswal

Hardcover (Edition: 1981)

Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
ISBN 21501970

Size: 8.8" X 6.0"
Pages: 306 (Map: 1)
Price: $30.00   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 1st Jul, 2009


About the Book

This edition is revised and enlarged to update the material and impart more depth to author's strikingly original interpretations, especially those relating to Narayana and Vasudeva-Krsna. It questions the general assumption that the sentiment of personal devotion of bhakti formed a basic component of pre-Aryan aboriginal cults from which it was borrowed by later sectarian religions. The author argues that religions. The author argues that religious consciousness being an ideological reflex of man's real life process its structure also undergoes changes in conformity with the changing social relations. The adoption of the principle of ahimsa and of vegetarianism in Vaisnavism is explained in its social context. It is shown how Puranic Vaisnavism evolved in the process of revitalizing Brahmanism through assimilating a number of orthodox, non-conformist and tribal elements; the absorption of mother goddess Sri-Laksmi in the Vaisnava pantheon is a case in point. The revised edition throws fresh light on the Narasimha incarnation of Visnu and remodeling of some Vaisnava ritual. Finally, it highlights the social role of this religion and indicates the extent of its influence in post-Maurya and Gupta times.

About the Author

Suvira Jaiswal took her M.A. from the University of Allahabad in 1953 and received her doctorate from Patna University. She began her career as Lecturer in the Department of History, Patna University, and joined the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, in 1971 as Associate Professor, which assignment she still holds.

Mrs. Jaiswal was made President of the Ancient India Section of the thirty-eight session of the Indian History Congress held at Bhubaneswar in 1977. Currently she is engaged in research on social history of early India and has prepared a historiographical survey of the work done on the subject under a scheme sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research.


Preface to the Second Edition ix
Preface to the First Editionx
Roman Equivalents of Nagari Lettersxii
   Sankarsana-Baladeva 52
   Vasudeva-Krsna 62
   The Doctrine of Bhakti116
   The Doctrine of Ahimsa 123
   The Doctrine of Incarnation 129
   Vaisnavism and the People 167
   Regional Extent of Vaisnavism 188
   A. The Identity of Herakles and Dionysos in Megasthenes236
   B. An Extract from the Chinese Tripitaka 243
   C. Footprint of Visnu245
   D. A Cultwise Analysis of Some Proper Names 251
Bibliography 252

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