Hindu Theology in Early Modern South Asia

ISBN : 9780198709268

Kiyokazu Okita
304 Pages
162 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jul 2014
Oxford Theology and Religion Monographs
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Focusing on the idea of genealogical affiliation (sampradaya), Kiyokazu Okita explores the interactions between the royal power and the priestly authority in eighteenth-century north India. He examines how the religious policies of Jaisingh II (1688-1743) of Jaipur influenced the self-representation of Gaudiya Vaisnavism, as articulated by Baladeva Vidyabhusana (ca. 1700-1793). Gaudiya Vaisnavism centred around God Krsna was inaugurated by Caitanya (1486-1533) and quickly became one of the most influential Hindu devotional movements in early modern South Asia. In the increasingly volatile late Mughal period, Jaisingh II tried to establish the legitimacy of his kingship by resorting to a moral discourse. As part of this discourse, he demanded that religious traditions in his kingdom conform to what he conceived of as Brahmanicaly normative. In this context the Gaudiya school was forced to deal with their lack of clear genealogical affiliation, lack of an independent commentary on the Brahmasutras, and their worship of Goddess Radha and Krsna, who, according to the Gaudiyas, were not married. Based on a study of Baladeva's Brahmasutra commentary, Kiyokazu Okita analyses how the Gaudiyas responded to the king's demand.


1. Historical Background
2. The Genealogy of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas
3. Bhagavata Theologies in Comparison
4. Baladeva's Govindabhasya

About the author: 

Kiyokazu Okita is an Assistant Professor at the Hakubi Center for Advanced Research / Department of Indological Studies, Kyoto University. After obtaining his D.Phil. from the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Oxford, he served as a lecturer at the Department of Religion, University of Florida . Subsequently, he was a JSPS post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Indological Studies, Kyoto University (2011-13) as well as a visiting research fellow at the Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies, University of Hamburg (2012-13).

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