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Nandakumara, Mattur Narayanavadhani (1983) Krsna in Kannada literature with special reference to Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Research work on the Krsna theme is not new. It could be said that people have worked more on Krsna than any other character in Indian religion. The origin of the Krsna legend itself is a much discussed subject. Many scholars have convincingly argued that the origin of the later Krsna theme has its roots in the Vedas, and have furnished suitable examples. And it is said that the Visnu of the Vedic period led to the formation of the Vaisnava cult which later became famous by the name Bhagavata cult. The theory of Avatara, the personality of Krsna in the Mahabharata in the later Puranas and, the many attributes he was given in these all show some resemblance to the character of the Vedic Visnu. Thus Krsna was considered the incarnation of Lord Visnu, and the Bhagavadgita played a major part in this regard. Since then the Bhakti cult has grown and developed up to this day. This Bhakti, or devotion, spread its wings and embraced the whole of India. Thus today we see Krsna-Bhakti- Kavyas in all Indian languages. The present thesis which mainly deals with Krsna in Kannada literature, with special reference to Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa, is the continuation of the Krsnabhakti movement which started long before Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa. A modest effort is made here to give a critical and objective view on this subject. The thesis includes the origin of Krsnabhakti, its history, development from the Vedic Visnuism up to the Bhagavatapurana; Krsnabhakti literature in the South in Karnataka, its development, its growth under the great Vaisnavas like Ramanuja, Madhva and other saints, the influence of Sivasaranas, the Haridasa movement, Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa, their vision of Balakrsna and Balakrsna as seen by some later Haridasas; A few Vaisnava votaries other than the Haridasas are also included as they also have some important points in their composition with regard to Krsna and Krsnabhakti. The source materials are to be found in the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University; The British Library; The India Office Library and Records; and from the author's own collections. Here and there are included certain points that came out during the discussions the author had with eminent scholars in India during his field-work tour. Important points which have been brought out by the dasas as seen by the author: I. Using little Krsna to bind people with love and thus creating social harmony. II. The diversity of ideas of the playfulness of Krsna which has not been dealt with in such detail in the original texts. III.Extensive information concerning the culture and customs of the relevant area (Karnataka) which found expression in the poems of the dasas which brought Krsna closer to the hearts of the local people as he came to them like one of their family. IV. Contribution to the Kannada speaking land of a literature of their own, particularly aimed at the welfare of common folk. This helped to bring home the ideas of the ancient Sanskrit texts and highly sanskritised Kannada works to common people, which until then had belonged mainly to the pandits. V. Creating an awareness of music and the part it can play in bringing people together.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:03

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