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Vaisnavism in Orissa (An Old and Rare Book)
Vaisnavism in Orissa (An Old and Rare Book)
Description

About the Book

 

In an evolutionary and everchanging religious back-ground on all India basis, Orissa has been a stronghold of Buddhism, jainism, saivism and saktism from time to time as different branches of Hinduism with their characteristic features and doctrines. occuarence of these religious changes has got royal patronage in the form of architectural monuments, temples, foundation of their favourite deities and inscriptions. Jagannatha, the mysterious god at Puri has absorbed the synthetical views of aborginal elements of Jaina and Buddhist features as well as saivite and sakta attributes in various forms. Puri or Nilacala, as the abode of Lord Jagannatha, has been a meeting place of many religious reformers, devotee-saints and preachers, where many mythological legends, wonderful stories on religious miraculous belief and philosophical thoughts have grown up.

 

Introduction

 

Religion and literature are co-related with each other. Religion, since the ancient days up to the early part of the 20th century, has largely dominated the Indian-literature. Not only in Europe but also in other parts of the world literature was very much under the influence of religious belief. The entire cultural domain consisting of art, architecture, sculpture and painting as well as the literary world of music, drama and poetry were based on religious themes, episodes and beliefs. Orissa as the part and parcel of Indian subcontinent has exhibited the panorama of different religious scenes and the flow of religious trends that flows since the remote time.

 

In an evolutionary and everchanging religious back-ground on all India basis, Orissa has been a stronghold of Buddhism, Jainism, Saivism and Saktism from time to time as different branches of Hinduism with their characteristic features and doctrines. Occurrence of these religious changes has got royal patronage in the form of architectural monuments, temples, foundation of their favourite deities and inscriptions. Jagannatha, the mysterious God at Puri has absorbed the synthetical views of aboriginal elements of Jaina and Buddhist features as well as Saivite and Sakta attributes in various forms. Puri or Nilacala, as the abode of Lord Jagannatha, has been a meeting place of many religious reformers, devoteesaints and preachers, where many mythological legends, wonderful stories on religious miraculous belief and philosophical thoughts have grown up.

 

The origin of Vaisnavism or worship of Visnu has been traced back even to the vedic age and this Visnu, the Supreme God in course of time took different forms of Avatsras or manifestation of incarnations. In Indian theology Visnu has been manifested in ten incarnations or Dasavataras, According to the Gaudiya-Vaisuavas Lord Krsna is the Avatari and the Supreme being (Purna Brahma), In the history of Orissan religious life as already mentioned earlier various trends of religious beliefs and worship flowed down and ultimately Vaisnavism occupied an important place which has been dominating and popular for last five centuries. But the archaeological remains, monuments, inscriptions prove the rise and development of Vaisnavism in different forms from a hoary past. Discovery of Visnu, Madhava and Nrsimha images in Western Orissa and Praci valley but has given ample testimony to the popularity of Visnuworship. The Mathara rulers, assuming the royal epithet ‘Parama Bhagavata’, is the glaring instance of royal patronage to Vaisnavism.

 

Lord Jagannatha, as noted above, as a synthesis of various elements and rituals has been Vaisnavised in Orissan religion as well as literature. He is the Buddhist God while some have accepted him as a Sakta God. He is the Mahabhairava of the corresponding Goddess Vimala. For the first time in the history of Oriya literature, Jagannatha has been identified with Krsna, whose iconography is connected with the half-burnt dead body of Lord Krsna in Dvapara Yuga, and the famous Indradyumna-legend has grown up in Sarala Mahabharata, In Post-Sarala-period Jagannatha was accepted as a dual image of Radha-Krsna by Sri-Caitanya, the founder of neo-Vaisnavism in Bengal. Vaisnavism, with Jagannatha, as the presiding deity, was patronised by the Ganga-rulers in the 12th century and Ananta Varma Codagangadeva, the mighty Ganga ruler, reconstructed the existing Jagannatha temple with much expansion and modifications in the system of worship. The reign of solar-Gajapati kings (Suryavamsi rulers), particularly that of Prataparudradeva, witnessed an era of religious and cultural upheaval, when the five associates or Pancasakha flourished with their religious propagation and literary contributions to the Oriya religious and literary field. The long stay of Sri Caitanya at Puri and his close association with the Gajapati and the Pancasakha gave much impetus to the spread and popularity of odisi Vaisnavism alias Jagannatha-Dharma. There was an inter change of Gaudiya-Vaisnavism and Odisi-Vaisnavism which later on made profound impact on Oriya Vaisnava-literature.

 

Rama, the epic-hero of Valmiki Ramnyana is considered as an incarnation of Lord visnu, who appeared in Ayodhya to annihilate the wicked demon Ravana and his family, in Tretaya-yuga i.e. prior to the rise of Krsna. Rise and spread of Rama-cult in Orissa is still in obscurity, which requires further study and research. I have tried to show how Rama-worship, originated in Northern India, could spread over other parts of the country specially in Orissa owing to the strenuous endeavour of Ramananda and his sect called Rnmawat Sect. The archaeological remains in western Orissa have convinced the scholars that the Rama-worship first commenced there and the ideal characters of Ramayana i.e, of Rama-Sita, Laksmana, Bharata, Hanumana and Bibhisana and their dedicated life-story naturally appealed to the popular mind. Rama-theme found a very favourite and important place in Oriya-literature which was further visualised in the forms of Rama-lila in Oriya folk-drama.

 

Then we come to the forms of Radha-Krsna. Visnavism, passing ‘through a process of evolution, reached the apex in the worship of Lord Krsna and His dearest consort Radha. Epigraphic and iconographical records found out in different parts of India prove that the four-armed Visnu was finally converted into two-armed ‘Krsna in a trivang-pose with a flute in hand. Krsna played different roles in different stages such as cowherd boy at Gopa, the king of Dvaraka, participating in Kuruksetra war supporting the cause of the Pandavas like an astute diplomat and lastly, as the Parama Brahma (Supreme Being), delivering the sermons of Srimad Bhagabad Gita to Arjuna.

 

In Orissa Krsna was worshipped as Nrsimha, Madhava and Gopinatha. Findings of large number of Madhava-images in Bolangir and Kalahandi districts and in the wide belt of Praci-river prove the popularity of Madhava-worship in coastal and hilly regions of Orissa. Krsna came to be worshipped as Gopinatha as a single image in different places of Orissa in the 13th century and the images of Ksiracora Gopinatha at Remuna, Balasore district, Totagopinatha at Puri and Saksigopinatha at Satyavadi bear testimony to that effect.

 

The next phase of Vaisnavism in Orissa is connected with the association of Radha with Krsna or the introduction of dual worship (Yugala upasana) Radhabhava existed in Orissa prior to the rise of Sri Caitanya. But relation of Radha and Krsna was that of Jiva and Parama, who are inseparable from each other in the eternal, abode. The paficasakha-Iiterature is replete with the description of Ridha-Krsna as Jiva and Parama. But Radha as the amorous consort of Krsna and their love based on Parakiya priti was not appreciated either in Oriya literature or in art and architecture. Sarali Dasa in his Mahabharata had decried the Radha-Krsna love as antisocial and sinful in Khanikara episode. Of course by that time in Indian literature, particularly in Sri Jaydev’s Gitagovinda erotic dalliance of Radha-Krsna had already been illustrated very openly and freely. Atibadi Jagannatha Dasa in his Bhagavata has nowhere mentioned the word ‘Raadh’ though he has described the Rasa-Krida of Srikrsna with the Gopis. Towards the last part of the 17th century Radha came to prominence in Orissan religious, literary as well as artistic life.

 

The origin of Radha-conception is based on the principle of Sakti-cult whose root has gone deep in to the belief and importance of female energy for the sake of creation. On the basis of the Sakticult, the Vaisnava theologians attached importance on the existence of female deity as inseparable from their Gods. For example, Ramanuja introduced the worship of Laksmi with Jagannatha. This. Laksmi in the later period was described as Kamala, Rama in Gitagovinda, In course of time Laksmi, Kamala and Rama lost their hold in Vaisnava-philosophy and gradually Radha gained prominence as the Hladini Vrtti, the closest consort and dearest devotee of Sri Krsna.

 

Contents

 

I

Elements of Vaisnavism in Sarala Mahabharta

1

II

Vaisnavism as Reflected in Pancasakha-Literature

13

III

Jagannatha in Oriya Literature

94

IV

Impact of Rama-Cult on Oriya Literature

126

V

Trend of Radha-Krsna Cult in Oriya Literature

153

 

Bibliography

209

 

Index

225

 

Sample Pages













Vaisnavism in Orissa (An Old and Rare Book)

Item Code:
NAH128
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1988
Publisher:
ISBN:
8185094144
Language:
English
Size:
8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Pages:
252
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 330 gms
Price:
$30.00
Discounted:
$22.50   Shipping Free
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$7.50 (25%)
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About the Book

 

In an evolutionary and everchanging religious back-ground on all India basis, Orissa has been a stronghold of Buddhism, jainism, saivism and saktism from time to time as different branches of Hinduism with their characteristic features and doctrines. occuarence of these religious changes has got royal patronage in the form of architectural monuments, temples, foundation of their favourite deities and inscriptions. Jagannatha, the mysterious god at Puri has absorbed the synthetical views of aborginal elements of Jaina and Buddhist features as well as saivite and sakta attributes in various forms. Puri or Nilacala, as the abode of Lord Jagannatha, has been a meeting place of many religious reformers, devotee-saints and preachers, where many mythological legends, wonderful stories on religious miraculous belief and philosophical thoughts have grown up.

 

Introduction

 

Religion and literature are co-related with each other. Religion, since the ancient days up to the early part of the 20th century, has largely dominated the Indian-literature. Not only in Europe but also in other parts of the world literature was very much under the influence of religious belief. The entire cultural domain consisting of art, architecture, sculpture and painting as well as the literary world of music, drama and poetry were based on religious themes, episodes and beliefs. Orissa as the part and parcel of Indian subcontinent has exhibited the panorama of different religious scenes and the flow of religious trends that flows since the remote time.

 

In an evolutionary and everchanging religious back-ground on all India basis, Orissa has been a stronghold of Buddhism, Jainism, Saivism and Saktism from time to time as different branches of Hinduism with their characteristic features and doctrines. Occurrence of these religious changes has got royal patronage in the form of architectural monuments, temples, foundation of their favourite deities and inscriptions. Jagannatha, the mysterious God at Puri has absorbed the synthetical views of aboriginal elements of Jaina and Buddhist features as well as Saivite and Sakta attributes in various forms. Puri or Nilacala, as the abode of Lord Jagannatha, has been a meeting place of many religious reformers, devoteesaints and preachers, where many mythological legends, wonderful stories on religious miraculous belief and philosophical thoughts have grown up.

 

The origin of Vaisnavism or worship of Visnu has been traced back even to the vedic age and this Visnu, the Supreme God in course of time took different forms of Avatsras or manifestation of incarnations. In Indian theology Visnu has been manifested in ten incarnations or Dasavataras, According to the Gaudiya-Vaisuavas Lord Krsna is the Avatari and the Supreme being (Purna Brahma), In the history of Orissan religious life as already mentioned earlier various trends of religious beliefs and worship flowed down and ultimately Vaisnavism occupied an important place which has been dominating and popular for last five centuries. But the archaeological remains, monuments, inscriptions prove the rise and development of Vaisnavism in different forms from a hoary past. Discovery of Visnu, Madhava and Nrsimha images in Western Orissa and Praci valley but has given ample testimony to the popularity of Visnuworship. The Mathara rulers, assuming the royal epithet ‘Parama Bhagavata’, is the glaring instance of royal patronage to Vaisnavism.

 

Lord Jagannatha, as noted above, as a synthesis of various elements and rituals has been Vaisnavised in Orissan religion as well as literature. He is the Buddhist God while some have accepted him as a Sakta God. He is the Mahabhairava of the corresponding Goddess Vimala. For the first time in the history of Oriya literature, Jagannatha has been identified with Krsna, whose iconography is connected with the half-burnt dead body of Lord Krsna in Dvapara Yuga, and the famous Indradyumna-legend has grown up in Sarala Mahabharata, In Post-Sarala-period Jagannatha was accepted as a dual image of Radha-Krsna by Sri-Caitanya, the founder of neo-Vaisnavism in Bengal. Vaisnavism, with Jagannatha, as the presiding deity, was patronised by the Ganga-rulers in the 12th century and Ananta Varma Codagangadeva, the mighty Ganga ruler, reconstructed the existing Jagannatha temple with much expansion and modifications in the system of worship. The reign of solar-Gajapati kings (Suryavamsi rulers), particularly that of Prataparudradeva, witnessed an era of religious and cultural upheaval, when the five associates or Pancasakha flourished with their religious propagation and literary contributions to the Oriya religious and literary field. The long stay of Sri Caitanya at Puri and his close association with the Gajapati and the Pancasakha gave much impetus to the spread and popularity of odisi Vaisnavism alias Jagannatha-Dharma. There was an inter change of Gaudiya-Vaisnavism and Odisi-Vaisnavism which later on made profound impact on Oriya Vaisnava-literature.

 

Rama, the epic-hero of Valmiki Ramnyana is considered as an incarnation of Lord visnu, who appeared in Ayodhya to annihilate the wicked demon Ravana and his family, in Tretaya-yuga i.e. prior to the rise of Krsna. Rise and spread of Rama-cult in Orissa is still in obscurity, which requires further study and research. I have tried to show how Rama-worship, originated in Northern India, could spread over other parts of the country specially in Orissa owing to the strenuous endeavour of Ramananda and his sect called Rnmawat Sect. The archaeological remains in western Orissa have convinced the scholars that the Rama-worship first commenced there and the ideal characters of Ramayana i.e, of Rama-Sita, Laksmana, Bharata, Hanumana and Bibhisana and their dedicated life-story naturally appealed to the popular mind. Rama-theme found a very favourite and important place in Oriya-literature which was further visualised in the forms of Rama-lila in Oriya folk-drama.

 

Then we come to the forms of Radha-Krsna. Visnavism, passing ‘through a process of evolution, reached the apex in the worship of Lord Krsna and His dearest consort Radha. Epigraphic and iconographical records found out in different parts of India prove that the four-armed Visnu was finally converted into two-armed ‘Krsna in a trivang-pose with a flute in hand. Krsna played different roles in different stages such as cowherd boy at Gopa, the king of Dvaraka, participating in Kuruksetra war supporting the cause of the Pandavas like an astute diplomat and lastly, as the Parama Brahma (Supreme Being), delivering the sermons of Srimad Bhagabad Gita to Arjuna.

 

In Orissa Krsna was worshipped as Nrsimha, Madhava and Gopinatha. Findings of large number of Madhava-images in Bolangir and Kalahandi districts and in the wide belt of Praci-river prove the popularity of Madhava-worship in coastal and hilly regions of Orissa. Krsna came to be worshipped as Gopinatha as a single image in different places of Orissa in the 13th century and the images of Ksiracora Gopinatha at Remuna, Balasore district, Totagopinatha at Puri and Saksigopinatha at Satyavadi bear testimony to that effect.

 

The next phase of Vaisnavism in Orissa is connected with the association of Radha with Krsna or the introduction of dual worship (Yugala upasana) Radhabhava existed in Orissa prior to the rise of Sri Caitanya. But relation of Radha and Krsna was that of Jiva and Parama, who are inseparable from each other in the eternal, abode. The paficasakha-Iiterature is replete with the description of Ridha-Krsna as Jiva and Parama. But Radha as the amorous consort of Krsna and their love based on Parakiya priti was not appreciated either in Oriya literature or in art and architecture. Sarali Dasa in his Mahabharata had decried the Radha-Krsna love as antisocial and sinful in Khanikara episode. Of course by that time in Indian literature, particularly in Sri Jaydev’s Gitagovinda erotic dalliance of Radha-Krsna had already been illustrated very openly and freely. Atibadi Jagannatha Dasa in his Bhagavata has nowhere mentioned the word ‘Raadh’ though he has described the Rasa-Krida of Srikrsna with the Gopis. Towards the last part of the 17th century Radha came to prominence in Orissan religious, literary as well as artistic life.

 

The origin of Radha-conception is based on the principle of Sakti-cult whose root has gone deep in to the belief and importance of female energy for the sake of creation. On the basis of the Sakticult, the Vaisnava theologians attached importance on the existence of female deity as inseparable from their Gods. For example, Ramanuja introduced the worship of Laksmi with Jagannatha. This. Laksmi in the later period was described as Kamala, Rama in Gitagovinda, In course of time Laksmi, Kamala and Rama lost their hold in Vaisnava-philosophy and gradually Radha gained prominence as the Hladini Vrtti, the closest consort and dearest devotee of Sri Krsna.

 

Contents

 

I

Elements of Vaisnavism in Sarala Mahabharta

1

II

Vaisnavism as Reflected in Pancasakha-Literature

13

III

Jagannatha in Oriya Literature

94

IV

Impact of Rama-Cult on Oriya Literature

126

V

Trend of Radha-Krsna Cult in Oriya Literature

153

 

Bibliography

209

 

Index

225

 

Sample Pages













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