Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 454 pages of information about Hinduism and Buddhism, An Historical Sketch, Vol. 2.

[Footnote 600:  This is expressly stated at the end of the commentary on the Brih.  Ar.  Upan.]

[Footnote 601:  Life and teachings of Sri-Madhvacharyar by Padmanabha Char. 1909, p. 159.  Some have suspected a connection between Madhva’s teaching and Manicheism, because he attached much importance to an obscure demon called Manimat (see Mahabh.  III. 11, 661) whom he considered incarnate in Sankara.  It is conceivable that in his Persian studies he may have heard of Mani as an arch-heretic and have identified him with this demon but this does not imply any connection between his own system (or Sankara’s either) and Manicheism.]

[Footnote 602:  Brih.  Ar.  Upan.  III. 7. 2.]

[Footnote 603:  Among them are the Manimanjari, the Madhvavijaya and the Vayustuti, all attributed to a disciple of Madhva and his son.]

CHAPTER XXX

LATER VISHNUISM IN NORTH INDIA

1

With the fifteenth century Hinduism enters on a new phase.  Sects arise which show the influence of Mohammedanism, sometimes to such an extent that it is hard to say whether they should be classed as Hindu or Moslim, and many teachers repudiate caste.  Also, whereas in the previous centuries the centre of religious feeling lay in the south, it now shifts to the north.  Hinduism had been buffeted but not seriously menaced there:  the teachers of the south had not failed to recognize by their pilgrimages the sanctity and authority of the northern seats of learning:  such works as the Gita-govinda testify to the existence there of fervent Vishnuism.  But the country had been harassed by Moslim invasions and unsettled by the vicissitudes of transitory dynasties.  The Jains were powerful in Gujarat and Rajputana.  In Bengal Saktism and moribund Buddhism were not likely to engender new enthusiasms.  But in a few centuries the movements inaugurated in the south increased in extension and strength.  Hindus and Mohammedans began to know more of each other, and in the sixteenth century under the tolerant rule of Akbar and his successors the new sects which had been growing were able to consolidate themselves.

After Ramanuja and Madhva, the next great name in the history of Vishnuism, and indeed of Hinduism, is Ramanand.  His date is uncertain.[604] He was posterior to Ramanuja, from whose sect he detached himself, and Kabir was his disciple, apparently his immediate disciple.  Some traditions give Prayaga as his birthplace, others Melucote, but the north was the scene of his activity.  He went on a lengthy pilgrimage, and on his return was accused of having infringed the rules of his sect as to eating, etc., and was excommunicated, but received permission from his Guru to found a new sect.  He then settled in Benares and taught there.  He wrote no treatise but various hymns ascribed to him are still popular.[605] Though he is not associated with any special dogma,

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