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Books > Hindu > Bhakti > The Bhakti Cult in Ancient India
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The Bhakti Cult in Ancient India
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The Bhakti Cult in Ancient India
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From the Jacket :

Originally submitted as a thesis for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the Calcutta University which was adjudicated upon by such eminent Orientalists as M. Winternitz, Sylvain Levi, and Julious Jolley, this scholarly treatise "Bhakti Cult in Ancient India" was first published by the author in a limited edition in 1924. For the last thirty years or so this illuminating work has been out of print and therefore without the easy reach of scholars and research students of Philosophy and Religion. In response to insistent demand from different parts of India and elsewhere we are issuing a second reprint.

In the course of twenty-two chapters the author gives a running survey of the various aspects of the cult of Bhakti in Ancient India, particularly the Krshnaite Bhakti groups of North India with the history, beliefs and practices of the Madhavas, Nimbarkas, Vishnuswamins, Chaitanyas, Vallabhas and the minor sects of India. Herein one finds an illuminating pen-picture of not only the theological conceptions, the ascetic practices and the ritualistic details but also the history of the Bhakti movement from 1100 A.D. till the present times. The treatment of the subject as a whole is quite objective and not from the sectarian point of view of any particular one. He effectively deals, on the basis of works of proved antiquity and other relevant records, with the earliest phase of the Sraddha-Bhakti Cult, Jnana Karmavadas, the rise of distinct philosophical systems in India to support orthodoxy, Bhavana-Bhakti, the rise of the Satwata or Bhagavata schools, Suddha Bhakti, Vishnuism, Suddha Sadhana, Suddha Bhavana and Suddha-Prema etc. to establish the philosophy of life divine.

He traces with more than ordinary acument the evidence of Bhakti in its historic and generic aspects throughout the whole course of Indian religion and philosophy, for philosophy is synonymous with religion in India. Himself a rigid and astute Vaishnava all his life, he gives a full and clear exposition of the doctrine of the Vaishnavite sect.

The book contains a vast mass of carefully verified information lucidly arranged with special reference to the speculations in the supplementary Vedas, Yoga and Sankhya philosophy, the basic concepts of Jainism, Buddhism, Theism, Pantheism, the Smarta System of the Vednata Cult, Itihasa, Purana and Agama Sastras, all of which proclaim the doctrine of comprehensive devotion. Dr. Shastri here embodies the results of a scientific enquiry, from the historical standpoint, into the genesis, origin and psychology of the Bhakti Cult in Ancient India.

The book on its publication forty-two years ago was regarded as authoritative work on the subject from the pen of a vastly read Sanskrit conversant with the minutest details of the subject treated. It undoubtedly distinguishes itself from the average publications of its kind in a considerable measure.

 

Publisher’s Note

Originally submitted as a thesis for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the Calcutta University which was adjudicated upon by such eminent Orient lists as M. Winternitz, Sylvain Levi, and Julious Jolley, this scholarly treatise “Bhakti Cult in Ancient India” was first published by the author in a limited edition in 1924. For the last thirty years or so this illuminating work has been out of print and therefore without the easy reach of scholars and research students of Philosophy and Religion. In response to insistent demand from different parts of India and else where we are issuing a second reprint.

In the course of twenty-two chapters the author gives a running survey of the various aspects of the cult of Bhakti in Ancient India, particularly the Kjsh,jaite Bhakti groups of North India with the history, beliefs and practices of the Madhavas, Nimburkas, Vishnuswamins, Chaitanyos, Vallabhas and the minor sects of India. Herein one finds an illuminating pen-picture of not only the theological conceptions, the ascetic practices and the ritualistic details but also the history of the Bhakti movement from 1100 A. 0. till the present times. The treatment of the subject as a whole is quite objective and not from the sectarian point of vies’ of any particular one. He effectively deals, on the basis of works of proved antiquity and other relevant records, with the earliest phase of the Sraddha-Bhakti Cult, jana Karmavadas, the rise of distinct philosophical systems in India to support orthodoxy, Bhivanä-Bhakti, the rise of the Sitwata or Bhãgavata schools Suddha Bhakti, Vishnuism Suddha Sadhana, Suddha Bhavana and Suddha Prema etc. to establish the philosophy of life divine.

He traces with more than ordinary acumen the evidence of Bhakti in its historic and generic aspects throughout the whole course of Indian religion and philosophy for philosophy is synonymous with religion in India. Himself a rigid and astutue Vaishnava all his life, he gives a full and clear exposition of the doctrine of the Vaishnavite sect.

The book contains a vast mass of carefully verified information lucidly arranged with special reference to the speculations in the supplementary Vedas, Yoga and Sankhya Philosophy the Smarta system of the Vedanta cult, Itihasa purana and Agama Sastras all of which proclaim the doctrine of comprehensive devotion. Dr. Shastri here embodes the results of a scientific enquiry from the historical standpoint into the genesis origin and psychology of the bhakti cult in ancient India.

The book on its publication forty two years ago regarded as an authoritative work on the subject from the pen of a vastly read Sanskrit conversant with the minutest details of the subject treated. It undoubtedly distinguishes itself from the average publications of its kind in a considerable measure.

 

Introduction

Hindu philosophy practically started with the search for the immortal element behind and beyond mortal life. Almost at the start life itself was recognized as essentially immortal. Mortal life must be regarded as only a phase of immortal life. This was the view of the early philosophers and it has held the ground ever since. Individually this principle of life was conceived as behind every unit of mortal life and universally it was conceived as behind the whole sphere of ever-changing cosmic life.

As there was every chance that if the principle of life was simply named life then there would be confusion between mortal life and immortal life the immortal aspect came to be designated in various ways with the progress of philosophic speculations. All such names bear evidence of philosophic researches about the essential nature of life. Life is everything that exists. Life is the principle of existence cosmic amplification arises out of the power of life hence life is Brahman. Life enters every phase of existence hence life is Atman. Life is Parabrahman or paramdiman as you view life not individually but universally. Universally life is law unto the world and dominates and regulates all its activities all phases of individual and universal karma. Life is thus vidhi or I swara externally this Iswara is behind the centre of external cosmic life the great sun god. Immortal life in his life such were some of the conceptions and designations of the immortal element of life associated with early philosophical thoughts in ancient India.

That birth and death are the two individuals phases of mortal life behind which looms large the element of absolute immortality is only a logical out come of the doctrine of life thus enunciated by the early sages. This logical outcome of their own doctrine could not escape the keen philosophic insight of the philosophers. It foreehadwoed in fact the later sankhya view of material life as settled in itself through to be or not to be a view that has dominated philosophical thoughts in some form or other. In the language of the early thinkers the mortal elements were sambhuti and vinasa or prana and apana.

 

CONTENTS

 

Publishers Note iii
Biographical Note v
Abbreviations vii
Introduction ix
Chapters  
I. SRADDHA-BHAKTI 1
II. HERESY AT WORK 14
III. JNANA-KARMAVA'DAS
 The religious doctrine of abstract devotion
22
IV. MATERIALISM RAISES ITS HEAD 34
V. YOGA & SA'MKHYA 37
VI. JAINISM, BUDDHISM, THEISM & PAN-THEISM 55
VII. BHA'VANA'-BHAKTI 74
VIII PASUPATA AND VAISNAVA YOGAS, SUDDHA-BHAKTI 83
IX. VISHNU EVERYWHERE 99
X. FULL SCOPE OF BHAKTI 108
XI. PERSONAL ASPECTS OF VISHNU 118
XII. THE ETERNAL HOME OF VISHNU 139
XIII. MA'YA' AND HER JURISDICTION 149
XIV. INDIVIDUAL SOULS AND UNIVERSAL SOUL 167
XV. BHAKTI FOR ALL 188
XVI. BHAKTI FOR THE WORLD 224
XVII. BHAKTI MERGED IN DIVINE LIFE 237
XVIII. FIRST IMPRESSION OF REAL LIFE 267
XIX. ALL-ROUND LIFE-IMPRESSION 290
XX. SUDDHA-SA'DHANA' 310
XXI. SUDDHA-BHA'VANA' 341
XXII. SUDDHA-PREMA 382

 

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The Bhakti Cult in Ancient India

Item Code:
IDE919
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2002
ISBN:
8170800668
Language:
English
Size:
8.8" X 5.7"
Pages:
450
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Weight of the Book: 600 gms
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$31.00
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From the Jacket :

Originally submitted as a thesis for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the Calcutta University which was adjudicated upon by such eminent Orientalists as M. Winternitz, Sylvain Levi, and Julious Jolley, this scholarly treatise "Bhakti Cult in Ancient India" was first published by the author in a limited edition in 1924. For the last thirty years or so this illuminating work has been out of print and therefore without the easy reach of scholars and research students of Philosophy and Religion. In response to insistent demand from different parts of India and elsewhere we are issuing a second reprint.

In the course of twenty-two chapters the author gives a running survey of the various aspects of the cult of Bhakti in Ancient India, particularly the Krshnaite Bhakti groups of North India with the history, beliefs and practices of the Madhavas, Nimbarkas, Vishnuswamins, Chaitanyas, Vallabhas and the minor sects of India. Herein one finds an illuminating pen-picture of not only the theological conceptions, the ascetic practices and the ritualistic details but also the history of the Bhakti movement from 1100 A.D. till the present times. The treatment of the subject as a whole is quite objective and not from the sectarian point of view of any particular one. He effectively deals, on the basis of works of proved antiquity and other relevant records, with the earliest phase of the Sraddha-Bhakti Cult, Jnana Karmavadas, the rise of distinct philosophical systems in India to support orthodoxy, Bhavana-Bhakti, the rise of the Satwata or Bhagavata schools, Suddha Bhakti, Vishnuism, Suddha Sadhana, Suddha Bhavana and Suddha-Prema etc. to establish the philosophy of life divine.

He traces with more than ordinary acument the evidence of Bhakti in its historic and generic aspects throughout the whole course of Indian religion and philosophy, for philosophy is synonymous with religion in India. Himself a rigid and astute Vaishnava all his life, he gives a full and clear exposition of the doctrine of the Vaishnavite sect.

The book contains a vast mass of carefully verified information lucidly arranged with special reference to the speculations in the supplementary Vedas, Yoga and Sankhya philosophy, the basic concepts of Jainism, Buddhism, Theism, Pantheism, the Smarta System of the Vednata Cult, Itihasa, Purana and Agama Sastras, all of which proclaim the doctrine of comprehensive devotion. Dr. Shastri here embodies the results of a scientific enquiry, from the historical standpoint, into the genesis, origin and psychology of the Bhakti Cult in Ancient India.

The book on its publication forty-two years ago was regarded as authoritative work on the subject from the pen of a vastly read Sanskrit conversant with the minutest details of the subject treated. It undoubtedly distinguishes itself from the average publications of its kind in a considerable measure.

 

Publisher’s Note

Originally submitted as a thesis for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the Calcutta University which was adjudicated upon by such eminent Orient lists as M. Winternitz, Sylvain Levi, and Julious Jolley, this scholarly treatise “Bhakti Cult in Ancient India” was first published by the author in a limited edition in 1924. For the last thirty years or so this illuminating work has been out of print and therefore without the easy reach of scholars and research students of Philosophy and Religion. In response to insistent demand from different parts of India and else where we are issuing a second reprint.

In the course of twenty-two chapters the author gives a running survey of the various aspects of the cult of Bhakti in Ancient India, particularly the Kjsh,jaite Bhakti groups of North India with the history, beliefs and practices of the Madhavas, Nimburkas, Vishnuswamins, Chaitanyos, Vallabhas and the minor sects of India. Herein one finds an illuminating pen-picture of not only the theological conceptions, the ascetic practices and the ritualistic details but also the history of the Bhakti movement from 1100 A. 0. till the present times. The treatment of the subject as a whole is quite objective and not from the sectarian point of vies’ of any particular one. He effectively deals, on the basis of works of proved antiquity and other relevant records, with the earliest phase of the Sraddha-Bhakti Cult, jana Karmavadas, the rise of distinct philosophical systems in India to support orthodoxy, Bhivanä-Bhakti, the rise of the Sitwata or Bhãgavata schools Suddha Bhakti, Vishnuism Suddha Sadhana, Suddha Bhavana and Suddha Prema etc. to establish the philosophy of life divine.

He traces with more than ordinary acumen the evidence of Bhakti in its historic and generic aspects throughout the whole course of Indian religion and philosophy for philosophy is synonymous with religion in India. Himself a rigid and astutue Vaishnava all his life, he gives a full and clear exposition of the doctrine of the Vaishnavite sect.

The book contains a vast mass of carefully verified information lucidly arranged with special reference to the speculations in the supplementary Vedas, Yoga and Sankhya Philosophy the Smarta system of the Vedanta cult, Itihasa purana and Agama Sastras all of which proclaim the doctrine of comprehensive devotion. Dr. Shastri here embodes the results of a scientific enquiry from the historical standpoint into the genesis origin and psychology of the bhakti cult in ancient India.

The book on its publication forty two years ago regarded as an authoritative work on the subject from the pen of a vastly read Sanskrit conversant with the minutest details of the subject treated. It undoubtedly distinguishes itself from the average publications of its kind in a considerable measure.

 

Introduction

Hindu philosophy practically started with the search for the immortal element behind and beyond mortal life. Almost at the start life itself was recognized as essentially immortal. Mortal life must be regarded as only a phase of immortal life. This was the view of the early philosophers and it has held the ground ever since. Individually this principle of life was conceived as behind every unit of mortal life and universally it was conceived as behind the whole sphere of ever-changing cosmic life.

As there was every chance that if the principle of life was simply named life then there would be confusion between mortal life and immortal life the immortal aspect came to be designated in various ways with the progress of philosophic speculations. All such names bear evidence of philosophic researches about the essential nature of life. Life is everything that exists. Life is the principle of existence cosmic amplification arises out of the power of life hence life is Brahman. Life enters every phase of existence hence life is Atman. Life is Parabrahman or paramdiman as you view life not individually but universally. Universally life is law unto the world and dominates and regulates all its activities all phases of individual and universal karma. Life is thus vidhi or I swara externally this Iswara is behind the centre of external cosmic life the great sun god. Immortal life in his life such were some of the conceptions and designations of the immortal element of life associated with early philosophical thoughts in ancient India.

That birth and death are the two individuals phases of mortal life behind which looms large the element of absolute immortality is only a logical out come of the doctrine of life thus enunciated by the early sages. This logical outcome of their own doctrine could not escape the keen philosophic insight of the philosophers. It foreehadwoed in fact the later sankhya view of material life as settled in itself through to be or not to be a view that has dominated philosophical thoughts in some form or other. In the language of the early thinkers the mortal elements were sambhuti and vinasa or prana and apana.

 

CONTENTS

 

Publishers Note iii
Biographical Note v
Abbreviations vii
Introduction ix
Chapters  
I. SRADDHA-BHAKTI 1
II. HERESY AT WORK 14
III. JNANA-KARMAVA'DAS
 The religious doctrine of abstract devotion
22
IV. MATERIALISM RAISES ITS HEAD 34
V. YOGA & SA'MKHYA 37
VI. JAINISM, BUDDHISM, THEISM & PAN-THEISM 55
VII. BHA'VANA'-BHAKTI 74
VIII PASUPATA AND VAISNAVA YOGAS, SUDDHA-BHAKTI 83
IX. VISHNU EVERYWHERE 99
X. FULL SCOPE OF BHAKTI 108
XI. PERSONAL ASPECTS OF VISHNU 118
XII. THE ETERNAL HOME OF VISHNU 139
XIII. MA'YA' AND HER JURISDICTION 149
XIV. INDIVIDUAL SOULS AND UNIVERSAL SOUL 167
XV. BHAKTI FOR ALL 188
XVI. BHAKTI FOR THE WORLD 224
XVII. BHAKTI MERGED IN DIVINE LIFE 237
XVIII. FIRST IMPRESSION OF REAL LIFE 267
XIX. ALL-ROUND LIFE-IMPRESSION 290
XX. SUDDHA-SA'DHANA' 310
XXI. SUDDHA-BHA'VANA' 341
XXII. SUDDHA-PREMA 382

 

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