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Swaminarayan HinduismTradition, Adaptation, and Identity$
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Raymond Brady Williams and Yogi Trivedi

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463749

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463749.001.0001

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Multivalent Krishna-Bhakti in Premanand’s Poetry

Multivalent Krishna-Bhakti in Premanand’s Poetry

(p.191) 10 Multivalent Krishna-Bhakti in Premanand’s Poetry
Swaminarayan Hinduism

Yogi Trivedi

Oxford University Press

By the end of the seventeenth century, Krishna-bhakti or Krishna devotion had been carefully claimed and assumed by the four Vaishanav sampradays in the north. A new surge rippled the bhakti waters of the Swaminarayan Sampraday in Saurashtra and Gujarat at the dawn of the nineteenth century. This chapter explores the shifting metaphysical understanding of Krishna within this new Vaishnav sampraday through its significant and celebrated poetry corpus. This close reading and detailed survey of Premanand’s (1789–1855) poetry suggests that there was a conscious theological act to centralize and often replace Krishna during certain liturgy, festivals, and performancesAccording to Premanand, there was a specific theological strategy involved in appropriating one deity over the other in specific instances. This conscious act of poetic positioning played a critical role in developing the community’s theological and social identity during its formative yearsThis study raises questions about this new community’s relationship with the earlier four Vaishnav communities.

Keywords:   raga, music, sampraday, Vallabh, Krishna-bhakti, Premanand, Vaishnav sampradays, Saurashtra, Gujarat

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