Sisir’s Tears: Bhakti and Belonging in Colonial Bengal View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2017-03-29

AUTHORS

Varuni Bhatia

ABSTRACT

This article explores the manner in which bhakti emerges as a politicotheological concept in the period of rising nationalism in colonial Bengal. It examines Śrī Amiya Nimāī Carita, a multivolume sacred biography of Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya (1486–1533) authored by Sisir Kumar Ghosh (1840–1911) between 1885 and 1910. Ghosh was a journalist and a publisher with a reputation for anticolonialism and Hindu revivalism. Ghosh’s autobiographical and didactic prefaces attached to this sacred biography allow us to parse out a complex narrative of filial bonds and belonging that is integrally connected to an ambrosial (amiya) Nimāī (Caitanya’s nickname) and the devotional collective dedicated to him. Furthermore, these sacred biographies draw correspondences between the figure of Nimāī himself and the idea of Bengal—its history, culture, people, and society. This article systematically examines the evidence provided in this sacred biography of such overlaps between the figure of Caitanya and love for Bengal to argue that in the years leading up to the Swadeshi movement (1905–8), Vaiṣṇava bhakti, with its emphasis on love, loss, and femininity, arises as the idiom of comprehending and reifying ideas of intimacy and belonging to one’s homeland. In this fashion, they intellectually prepare the ground for the emergence of the powerful notion of deś-bhakti in its modern form—as patriotic nationalism based upon love and devotion for homeland. More... »

PAGES

1-24

References to SciGraph publications

  • 2004-08. The ontology of Bhakti: devotion as paramapurusārtha in gaudīya vaisnavism and madhusūdana sarasvatī in JOURNAL OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY
  • 2006-08. Bhakti and Nationalism in the Poetry of Subramania Bharati in INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HINDU STUDIES
  • 2007-12. Bhakti and Its Public in INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HINDU STUDIES
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    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s11407-017-9205-1

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    http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11407-017-9205-1

    DIMENSIONS

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