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The Bhaktirasāmṛtasindhubindu of Viśvanātha Cakravartin

Klaus Klostermaier
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 94, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1974), pp. 96-107
DOI: 10.2307/599733
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/599733
Page Count: 12
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Abstract

Viśvanātha Cakravartin (ca. 1660-1754 A. D.) of the Caitaṇya school of Bengal Vaiṣṇavism, who spent most of his life at Vṛndāvana enjoys a great reputation amongst the Caitaṇyites even today as a writer and commentator of the classics of Bhakti. The work, whose translation follows, is a condensed rendering of the famous Bhaktirasāmṛtasindhuḥ by Rūpa Goswāmin, Caitanya's most brilliant disciple and theologian. It systematically explains the various kinds and stages of devotion to Kṛṣṇa. Under the category of 'ritualistic devotion' (vaidhiḥ bhaktiḥ) it enumerates the constituent parts of Kṛṣṇa-worship, the offences against this worship, the power of the name of Hari and the sins against it. The greater part of the exposition is devoted to 'passionate devotion' (rāgānugā bhaktiḥ) leading up to highest love (premā). It is highly interesting because of its religious psychology which utilizes and adapts the insights arrived at by the Indian literary critics. The work has gained a certain actuality because of the quite rapid expansion of the Kṛṣṇa-Consciousness-Movement, whose founder (a Caitaṇyite from Bengal) follows in his popular writings more or less the ideas developed in the Bhaktirasāmṛtasindhubinduḥ.

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