Eminent writer Amitav Ghosh: "Contemporary Hinduism was essentially shaped under Mughal rule"

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Eminent writer Amitav Ghosh: "Contemporary Hinduism was essentially shaped under Mughal rule"

Post by Rashmun on Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:47 pm

In any event, it is beyond dispute that Babur's descendants presided over a virtually unprecedented efflorescence in Hindu religious activity. Hinduism as we know it today - especially the Hinduism of north India - was essentially shaped under Mogul rule, often with the active participation and support of the rulers and their officials and feudatories. The Ramcharitmanas, for example, the version of the Ramayana that was to be canonised as the central text of north Indian devotional practice, was composed in Akbar's reign by the great saint-poet Tulsidas.

The early years of Mogul rule also coincided with a great renaissance in the theology of Krishna. It was in this period that Rupa Goswami and other disciples of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rediscovered and mapped out the sacred geography of the Krishna legend. Brajbhumi - the region that is most sacred to Krishna bhakti - lies between Agra and Delhi, the two principal centres of Mogul power in the 16th century. The road connecting these two imperial cities runs right past the sacred sites of Braj. It is self-evident that if the Moguls had wished to persecute Vaishnavites they could easily have done so. But far from suppressing the burgeoning activity in this area, Akbar and his nobles actively supported it. The Hindu generals and officials of his court built several of the most important temples in this area, with Akbar's encouragement. Akbar was personally responsible for sustaining some of these temples: he granted land and revenue in perpetuity to no less than 35 of them. Hinduism would scarcely be recognisable today if Vaishnavism had been actively suppressed in the 16th century: other devotional forms may have taken its place, but we cannot know what those would have been. It is a simple fact that contemporary Hinduism as a living practice would not be what it is if it were not for the devotional practices initiated under Mogul rule.


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Re: Eminent writer Amitav Ghosh: "Contemporary Hinduism was essentially shaped under Mughal rule"

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:52 pm

North india only.

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Re: Eminent writer Amitav Ghosh: "Contemporary Hinduism was essentially shaped under Mughal rule"

Post by Rashmun on Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:57 pm

Max, don't Tamilians worship Lord Krishna? Don't they believe in the association of present day Mathura and Vrindavan and the surrounding region with Krishna? Didn't Andal express her desire to live in present day Vrindavan with Krishna in the afterlife?

But if the events related to the Krishna mythology were geographically mapped out* during the reign of Akbar (by Rupa Goswami and other disciples of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) then one is obliged to agree that the contemporary hinduism of south india was also affected by mughal patronage of hinduism.

*associating Krishna with the region around present day Mathura and Vrindavan

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Re: Eminent writer Amitav Ghosh: "Contemporary Hinduism was essentially shaped under Mughal rule"

Post by MaxEntropy_Man on Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:01 pm

Krishna etc predate Mughal rule. AFAIK Andal lived in 8 CE.


There is no trace of garlic in Tamil Bhakti literature.

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Re: Eminent writer Amitav Ghosh: "Contemporary Hinduism was essentially shaped under Mughal rule"

Post by Rashmun on Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:05 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:Krishna etc predate Mughal rule. AFAIK Andal lived in 8 CE.

who is denying that? What Ghosh is saying is that the region in and around present day Mathura and Vrindavan was associated with Krishna only during the reign of Akbar by the disciples of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu like Rupa Goswami. There may have been mention of a certain Mathura associated with Krishna in pre-Mughal literature. But there was no linking of present day Mathura and Vrindavan and the surrounding regions and sacred places (like Govardhan parbat) prior to the reign of Akbar. The geographical linking--connecting Krishna with present day Mathura and Vrindavan and surrounding places-- only took place during Akbar's rule.

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Re: Eminent writer Amitav Ghosh: "Contemporary Hinduism was essentially shaped under Mughal rule"

Post by Rashmun on Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:06 pm

i retract my comment about Andal. She expressed her desire to be in Vrindavan with Krishna, but clearly the Vrindavan in her mind was not present day Vrindavan. It may have been some imaginary place.

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Re: Eminent writer Amitav Ghosh: "Contemporary Hinduism was essentially shaped under Mughal rule"

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:33 pm

MaxEntropy_Man wrote:North india only.
Are you talking about the change in name of Hindu holy city on the Ganges from Prayag to Allahbad?

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Re: Eminent writer Amitav Ghosh: "Contemporary Hinduism was essentially shaped under Mughal rule"

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:30 am

Seva Lamberdar wrote:
MaxEntropy_Man wrote:North india only.
Are you talking about the change in name of Hindu holy city on the Ganges from Prayag to Allahbad?
btw what about the south then -- the name for Ram Setu (the bridge mentioned in the Hindu epic Ramayana between South India and Lanka) given a new name 'Adam Bridge'?

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Re: Eminent writer Amitav Ghosh: "Contemporary Hinduism was essentially shaped under Mughal rule"

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