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Books > Art and Architecture > Kings And Cults -State Formation And Legitimation In India And Southeast Asia
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Kings And Cults -State Formation And Legitimation In India And Southeast Asia
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Kings And Cults -State Formation And Legitimation In India And Southeast Asia
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About The Book

Kings and Cults contains a selection of articles of H Kulke on various aspects of Ksatra and Ksetra, the interconnected domains of temporal and sacred power in medieval India and South-east Asia. Thematically these papers are intertwined by a study of the quest of medieval rulers for legitimation through religious institutions. Of particular interest in this regard are the changing modes of legitimation of different stages of state formation, ranging from princely patronage of tribal deities by early emerging kings' to the construction of imperial temples by the rulers of great regional imperial' kingdoms. A particularly characteristic feature of India is the great temple cities as centres of regional cults and pilgrimage which became the major focus of later medieval royal patronage. Another important aspect of Kulke's work is historiography as a means of late medieval royal legitimation, linking legendary history of these sacred places and royal patronage with dynastic claims.

About half of the papers focus on Pun in Orissa and its Jagannatha cult which forms a major field work of Kulke's studies. South India is represented by two papers on religious policy of the Colas and the early rulers of Vijayanagara. Four papers deal with Southeast Asia. They reveal that Southeast Asian indigenous rulers faced very similar structural and ideological problems which they tried to solve through similar ritual means as their contemporary Indian `colleagues'.

About the Author

Hermann Kulke retired as Professor of South and Southeast Asian History in the Department of History, Kiel University in 2003. He is co-author of A History of India (with D. Rothermund), co-editor of The Cult of Jagannath and the Regional Tradition of Orissa (with A. Eschmann and G.C. Tripathi) and of Hinduism Reconsidered (with G.D. Sontheimer) and editor of The State in India 1000-1600. He is also co-editor of the series Studies in Orissan Society, Culture and History.

Preface

The present volume contains a selection of articles published over a period of more than twenty years on various aspects of K satra and Ksetra, the inter-related domains of temporal and sacred power in medieval India and Southeast Asia. About half of the papers focus on Orissa and Puri with its Jagannatha cult. South India is represented by two contributions on the religious policy of the Colas and the early rulers of Vijayanagara and four papers deal with Southeast Asia with particular emphasis on Angkor and Indonesia.

Thematically these papers are connected by the study of the quest of medieval rulers for legitimation through religious institutions. Whereas in earlier periods rulers derived religious legitimation of their authority through the performance of grand royal sacrifices, the early Middle Ages witnessed a decisive shift towards royal patronage of local or regional cults. This development was deeply influenced by the emergence of the bhakti cults as the new genuine folk religion. Politically perhaps even more important, however, were the strong local and regional roots of these cults. The spatial connotation of the cults, radiating from their sacred place, vested the newly emerging local and regional states with an additional dimension of territoriality. Of particular interest in this regard are the changing modes of legitimation at different stages of state formation, ranging from princely patronage of tribal deities by emerging early rajas to the construction of imperial temples by rulers of the great early medieval "imperial" regional kingdoms. During the late Middle Ages royal ritual policy shifted its emphasis to royal patronage of places of pilgrimage and their cults and sectarian leaders.

Puri's Jagannatha cult provides an excellent example in the intrinsic relations between the emergence of a great regional kingdom under the Eastern Gangas and of a regional cult. One of the most fascinating aspect of the Jagannatha cult is its relationship with tribal cults as still manifested in the unorthodox wooden figures of Puri's divine trinity. In order to trace the origin and early development of the Jagannatha cult which is still "shrouded in mystery", extensive comparative studies of the tutelary deities of early royal dynasties and of the late medieval princely states in Puri's hinterland have been undertaken, the results of which are included in several papers of the present volume. They reveal a clearly discernible pattern of a synchronous rise of formerly tribal chieftains and of local deities to translocal and, more rarely, to regional importance. The dominant position of the Jagannatha cult in Orissa and Eastern India appears to have been based on the fact that its early development followed exactly this pattern of development till it finally became the tutelary deity of a mighty dynasty. Under the royal patronage its ksetra became one of India's most important centres of pilgrimage, thus spreading the fame of its royal donors even beyond their temporal realm. Their strong affinity with the cult enabled them to denounce political opposition as treason (droha) to Jagannatha as whose earthly deputies (rauta) they claimed to rule. It was this "Puri model" which in turn deeply influenced the socio-political development in Puri's hinterland. After the central kingdom had succumbed to the Afghan Sultanate of Bengal in mid-sixteenth century, the mostly tribal rulers of the hinterland adopted this model in a process of "Ksatriyaization" during their emergence as autonomous local rajas.

Another major theme of several articles is historiography and its relationship with legitimation of royal authority and, thus, with the process of state formation, too. During the heydays of Persian historiography at Muslim courts several regions of India witnessed the emergence of a new genre of regional historiography. Centring around a regional deity and its ksetra, it combined mythical accounts of localized divine manifestations and of founder-kings of the "hoary past" with legendary accounts of former imperial royal donors and short annal-like descriptions of more recent historical local kings. These rulers of local successor states appear to have derived their legitimation primarily through patronage of the religious centres of their erstwhile imperial predecessors and through eulogies in these temple chronicles. The Madala Panji provides again an excellent example of this type of late medieval historiography. Originating in the period of restoration of places of Hindu worship under Akbar, these chronicles praise Ramacandra, the local ruler of nearby Khurda, for his restoration of the Jagannatha cult as the "Second Indradyumna", the first being Puri's mythical founder king. A study of the different versions of the temple chronicles of Puri and their various sources shows to what extent these late medieval temple chronicles served as a medium of royal legitimation.

Two papers take up these themes in the context of South Indian history. The Cidambaramahatmya, an early and otherwise conventional hagiographic description of Chidambaram, contains clear allusions to Kulottunga I who had usurped the Cola throne and who obviously needed some additional legitimation of his rule over South India. The foundation of the Vijayanagara empire offers yet another fascinating story of the role that hagiographic accounts and historiography played in the establishment of a medieval kingdom. Moreover the analysis of the contemporary sources of early Vijayanagara discloses a process of systematic "rewriting history" resulting in the invention of the story of Adisankara's famous digvijaya and of his relationship with Sringeri, thus laying the foundation of the future institution of Sankaracaryas.

The papers on Southeast Asia deal with the same range of themes. They show that Southeast Asian indigenous rulers obviously had faced very similar problems of state formation which they tried to solve - under strong Indian influence - by similar means of legitimation as did their contemporary Indian "colleagues". Viewing the process of state formation on both sides of the Bay of Bengal as a process of convergence rather than as "cultural transplantation" or even political colonization of Southeast Asia, comparative studies of South and Southeast Asia may help to understand more clearly processes in both regions which are seemingly not corelated. The paper on Max Weber's contribution to the study of Hinduization in India and Indianization in Southeast Asia indicates the strong influence of Weber's Indian studies on Van Leur's conceptualization of Indonesia's early history and its relations with India. The study of the Devaraja cult of Angkor, which had become a synonym for the cult of deified "god-kings" in Southeast Asia as well as in India, was undertaken as a parallel study to the research on Orissa. A critical analysis of the epigraphical evidence of Angkor and references to certain cults in eastern India reveal in Southeast Asia in fact an even greater nearness between ksatra and ksetra than in India. But at the same time the study strongly disproves the widely accepted notion that "it was the king who was the great god of ancient Cambodia" (G. Cooks). Instead it was Siva who was worshipped as Devaraja, thus refuting indirectly also the equally wrong assumption that Orissa's Gajapati kings once too had achieved a divine status. The paper on the epigraphical references to the "city" and the "state" in early Indonesia shows among other things that the spread of Indian religions and Hinduism in particular to Southeast Asia's early courts was mainly due to the quest of early indigenous rulers for legitimation of their still uncertain royal authority. In the paper on the early and imperial kingdoms in Southeast Asian history it is attempted to develop a conceptual framework of an evolutionary model of early state formation in Southeast Asia. As has been shown more recently also in the Indian context early medieval state formation ran through three different but interrelated stages from chiefdoms to early and to imperial kingdoms, extending step-wise royal authority in a concentric mode into the hinterland. It is this context in which the above mentioned different stages of royal legitimation can be traced.

This book owes a great deal to various friends and colleagues in India and Germany whose comments and encouragement were invaluable during the many years when these papers were written. Two of them, Anncharlott Eschmann and Gunther Sontheimer, are no more with us. Words alone will not suffice to express my thanks for their friendship and advice.

I am also indebted to Mrs. H. Stampa-Rabe, Mr. H. Frese and Mr. M. Brandtner for their unfailing energy and help while preparing the final camera ready copy of this book.

The book is dedicated to Uschi, Annette, Roland and Tilmann who were with me in Delhi when the manuscript was handed over to Mr. Ramesh Jain of Manohar to whom I express, last but not least, my thanks for the many years of fruitful cooperation.

**Contents and Sample Pages**














Kings And Cults -State Formation And Legitimation In India And Southeast Asia

Item Code:
NAW734
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2020
ISBN:
9788173040375
Language:
English
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9.00 X 6.00 inch
Pages:
392
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Weight of the Book: 0.56 Kg
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About The Book

Kings and Cults contains a selection of articles of H Kulke on various aspects of Ksatra and Ksetra, the interconnected domains of temporal and sacred power in medieval India and South-east Asia. Thematically these papers are intertwined by a study of the quest of medieval rulers for legitimation through religious institutions. Of particular interest in this regard are the changing modes of legitimation of different stages of state formation, ranging from princely patronage of tribal deities by early emerging kings' to the construction of imperial temples by the rulers of great regional imperial' kingdoms. A particularly characteristic feature of India is the great temple cities as centres of regional cults and pilgrimage which became the major focus of later medieval royal patronage. Another important aspect of Kulke's work is historiography as a means of late medieval royal legitimation, linking legendary history of these sacred places and royal patronage with dynastic claims.

About half of the papers focus on Pun in Orissa and its Jagannatha cult which forms a major field work of Kulke's studies. South India is represented by two papers on religious policy of the Colas and the early rulers of Vijayanagara. Four papers deal with Southeast Asia. They reveal that Southeast Asian indigenous rulers faced very similar structural and ideological problems which they tried to solve through similar ritual means as their contemporary Indian `colleagues'.

About the Author

Hermann Kulke retired as Professor of South and Southeast Asian History in the Department of History, Kiel University in 2003. He is co-author of A History of India (with D. Rothermund), co-editor of The Cult of Jagannath and the Regional Tradition of Orissa (with A. Eschmann and G.C. Tripathi) and of Hinduism Reconsidered (with G.D. Sontheimer) and editor of The State in India 1000-1600. He is also co-editor of the series Studies in Orissan Society, Culture and History.

Preface

The present volume contains a selection of articles published over a period of more than twenty years on various aspects of K satra and Ksetra, the inter-related domains of temporal and sacred power in medieval India and Southeast Asia. About half of the papers focus on Orissa and Puri with its Jagannatha cult. South India is represented by two contributions on the religious policy of the Colas and the early rulers of Vijayanagara and four papers deal with Southeast Asia with particular emphasis on Angkor and Indonesia.

Thematically these papers are connected by the study of the quest of medieval rulers for legitimation through religious institutions. Whereas in earlier periods rulers derived religious legitimation of their authority through the performance of grand royal sacrifices, the early Middle Ages witnessed a decisive shift towards royal patronage of local or regional cults. This development was deeply influenced by the emergence of the bhakti cults as the new genuine folk religion. Politically perhaps even more important, however, were the strong local and regional roots of these cults. The spatial connotation of the cults, radiating from their sacred place, vested the newly emerging local and regional states with an additional dimension of territoriality. Of particular interest in this regard are the changing modes of legitimation at different stages of state formation, ranging from princely patronage of tribal deities by emerging early rajas to the construction of imperial temples by rulers of the great early medieval "imperial" regional kingdoms. During the late Middle Ages royal ritual policy shifted its emphasis to royal patronage of places of pilgrimage and their cults and sectarian leaders.

Puri's Jagannatha cult provides an excellent example in the intrinsic relations between the emergence of a great regional kingdom under the Eastern Gangas and of a regional cult. One of the most fascinating aspect of the Jagannatha cult is its relationship with tribal cults as still manifested in the unorthodox wooden figures of Puri's divine trinity. In order to trace the origin and early development of the Jagannatha cult which is still "shrouded in mystery", extensive comparative studies of the tutelary deities of early royal dynasties and of the late medieval princely states in Puri's hinterland have been undertaken, the results of which are included in several papers of the present volume. They reveal a clearly discernible pattern of a synchronous rise of formerly tribal chieftains and of local deities to translocal and, more rarely, to regional importance. The dominant position of the Jagannatha cult in Orissa and Eastern India appears to have been based on the fact that its early development followed exactly this pattern of development till it finally became the tutelary deity of a mighty dynasty. Under the royal patronage its ksetra became one of India's most important centres of pilgrimage, thus spreading the fame of its royal donors even beyond their temporal realm. Their strong affinity with the cult enabled them to denounce political opposition as treason (droha) to Jagannatha as whose earthly deputies (rauta) they claimed to rule. It was this "Puri model" which in turn deeply influenced the socio-political development in Puri's hinterland. After the central kingdom had succumbed to the Afghan Sultanate of Bengal in mid-sixteenth century, the mostly tribal rulers of the hinterland adopted this model in a process of "Ksatriyaization" during their emergence as autonomous local rajas.

Another major theme of several articles is historiography and its relationship with legitimation of royal authority and, thus, with the process of state formation, too. During the heydays of Persian historiography at Muslim courts several regions of India witnessed the emergence of a new genre of regional historiography. Centring around a regional deity and its ksetra, it combined mythical accounts of localized divine manifestations and of founder-kings of the "hoary past" with legendary accounts of former imperial royal donors and short annal-like descriptions of more recent historical local kings. These rulers of local successor states appear to have derived their legitimation primarily through patronage of the religious centres of their erstwhile imperial predecessors and through eulogies in these temple chronicles. The Madala Panji provides again an excellent example of this type of late medieval historiography. Originating in the period of restoration of places of Hindu worship under Akbar, these chronicles praise Ramacandra, the local ruler of nearby Khurda, for his restoration of the Jagannatha cult as the "Second Indradyumna", the first being Puri's mythical founder king. A study of the different versions of the temple chronicles of Puri and their various sources shows to what extent these late medieval temple chronicles served as a medium of royal legitimation.

Two papers take up these themes in the context of South Indian history. The Cidambaramahatmya, an early and otherwise conventional hagiographic description of Chidambaram, contains clear allusions to Kulottunga I who had usurped the Cola throne and who obviously needed some additional legitimation of his rule over South India. The foundation of the Vijayanagara empire offers yet another fascinating story of the role that hagiographic accounts and historiography played in the establishment of a medieval kingdom. Moreover the analysis of the contemporary sources of early Vijayanagara discloses a process of systematic "rewriting history" resulting in the invention of the story of Adisankara's famous digvijaya and of his relationship with Sringeri, thus laying the foundation of the future institution of Sankaracaryas.

The papers on Southeast Asia deal with the same range of themes. They show that Southeast Asian indigenous rulers obviously had faced very similar problems of state formation which they tried to solve - under strong Indian influence - by similar means of legitimation as did their contemporary Indian "colleagues". Viewing the process of state formation on both sides of the Bay of Bengal as a process of convergence rather than as "cultural transplantation" or even political colonization of Southeast Asia, comparative studies of South and Southeast Asia may help to understand more clearly processes in both regions which are seemingly not corelated. The paper on Max Weber's contribution to the study of Hinduization in India and Indianization in Southeast Asia indicates the strong influence of Weber's Indian studies on Van Leur's conceptualization of Indonesia's early history and its relations with India. The study of the Devaraja cult of Angkor, which had become a synonym for the cult of deified "god-kings" in Southeast Asia as well as in India, was undertaken as a parallel study to the research on Orissa. A critical analysis of the epigraphical evidence of Angkor and references to certain cults in eastern India reveal in Southeast Asia in fact an even greater nearness between ksatra and ksetra than in India. But at the same time the study strongly disproves the widely accepted notion that "it was the king who was the great god of ancient Cambodia" (G. Cooks). Instead it was Siva who was worshipped as Devaraja, thus refuting indirectly also the equally wrong assumption that Orissa's Gajapati kings once too had achieved a divine status. The paper on the epigraphical references to the "city" and the "state" in early Indonesia shows among other things that the spread of Indian religions and Hinduism in particular to Southeast Asia's early courts was mainly due to the quest of early indigenous rulers for legitimation of their still uncertain royal authority. In the paper on the early and imperial kingdoms in Southeast Asian history it is attempted to develop a conceptual framework of an evolutionary model of early state formation in Southeast Asia. As has been shown more recently also in the Indian context early medieval state formation ran through three different but interrelated stages from chiefdoms to early and to imperial kingdoms, extending step-wise royal authority in a concentric mode into the hinterland. It is this context in which the above mentioned different stages of royal legitimation can be traced.

This book owes a great deal to various friends and colleagues in India and Germany whose comments and encouragement were invaluable during the many years when these papers were written. Two of them, Anncharlott Eschmann and Gunther Sontheimer, are no more with us. Words alone will not suffice to express my thanks for their friendship and advice.

I am also indebted to Mrs. H. Stampa-Rabe, Mr. H. Frese and Mr. M. Brandtner for their unfailing energy and help while preparing the final camera ready copy of this book.

The book is dedicated to Uschi, Annette, Roland and Tilmann who were with me in Delhi when the manuscript was handed over to Mr. Ramesh Jain of Manohar to whom I express, last but not least, my thanks for the many years of fruitful cooperation.

**Contents and Sample Pages**














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