Vaishnavism in Rajasthan

Vaishnavism in Rajasthan

Bhakti movement originated in South India in 7th century as social religious movement through the teachings of poet saints known as Alvars (Vishnu bhakts) and Nayanar (Shiva bhakts). Transfer of ideas of bhakti from south to north India was slow, long drawn process. Ideas were carried to north by scholars and saints. Consequently, multiple denominations of hindu religion developed based on the teachings of the saints emerged. Vaishnavism is one of the major Hindu religion denominations centered around devotion of lord Vishnu & his incarnations. The description of vaishnavism in Rajasthan was found in Ghosundi Inscription of 2nd century B.C.

Jagdish temple in Udaipur, Shrinathji temple in Nathdwara, Dwarkadhesh temple in Kankroli and Ghanshyam ji temple in Jodhpur are prominent vaishnav temples of Rajasthan

Vaishnav tradition in Rajasthan has many Sampradeyas (denominations, sub-schools, sects).

Ramanuja Vaishnavism Sect

  • The founder of this sect was Ramanuja, an expounder of Vishishta-Advaita school of Vedanta. 
  • In 1503 A.D. Payohari Swami Shri Krishnadas Ji, a follower of Ramanuja Sect established principal seat at Galata Ji (Jaipur).
  • The sect emphasizes the worship of lord Rama, and also lord Vishnu and his incarnations.
  • Main disciple of Payhari Krishnadas Ji:- Agradas Ji (Rewasa, Sikar), established Rasikpriya cult.

Nimbark Vaishavism Sect

  • Also known as Hans sect or Kumāra sect.
  • It was founded by Nimbarka (7th century A.D.), who is known for propagating the Dvaita-Advaita or “dualistic non-dualism”.  It is also known as ‘Bhedābheda’ Philosophy.
  • Dvaitadvaita states that humans are both different and non-different from Isvara, God or Supreme Being.
  • Main monastery in Rajasthan- Salemabad, Kishangarh, Ajmer

Vallabh Vaishnavism Sect

  • Established by Vallabhacharya(1479-1531).
  • He founded the Krishna-centered Pushti sect of Vaishnavism and the Philosophy of Shuddha-Advaita (Pure Nondualism).
  • It sees equality in “essence” of the individual self with God. There is no real difference between the two, unlike Shankara’s Advaita, Vallabha does not deny God as the whole and the individual as the part. 
  • The Vallabh Sampraday was established during the rule of Aurangzeb in Rajasthan, as the idols were patronized at Nathdwara.
  • Other temples of Vallabh Vaishnavism in Rajasthan include:
    • Mathuresji – Kota
    • Dwarkadesh ji. – Kankroli, Rajsamand
    • Gokulchandra ji – Kanga (Bharatpur)
    • Madmohan Ji – Karoli

Gaudiya Vaishnavism

  • Gauḍīya” refers to the Gauḍa region of Bengal.
  • The focus of Gaudiya Vaishnavism is the devotional worship (bhakti yoga) of Radha and Krishna, and their many divine incarnations as the supreme forms of God.
  • Gaudiya Vaishnavism is a Vaishnava religious movement inspired by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1534) in North India.
  • This sect was founded by Madhwacharya in 12th Century AD.
  • Main Monastery of Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Rajasthan – Govind Dev Ji (the Idol was established by Jaipur Ruler Maharaja Man Singh-I), other similar idol is placed at Madan Mohan Ji Temple (Karauli).
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