Rama and Krsna (the most prominent of the incarnations of Visnu-Narayana), Siva and Devi, form the four main pillars upon which the edifice of Hindu theism rests. The two epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, as also the vast pauranika literature, form the basis for the various cults and sects that have woven the texture of the variegated Hindu fabric. Among the various puranas, however, it is the Bhagavata that has earned a pre-eminent place for itself, not only for its philosophical content and devotional fervour but also for its exquisite literary beauty. Though basically a text of the Bhagavata School preaching the Visnu-Narayana-Krsna cult, it is remarkably catholic in its outlook and has successfully harmonized Advaita philosophy as also the Saiva cults with its basic tenets. While a study of this work is definitely fascinating and highly rewarding, it has also been considered as a text of one’s scholarship.
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