59. Random reading connections

I happened to go through some books I had randomly picked-up from various places in the past. Look at some of the statements, I discovered in these books :

Publication : India : A History (2007)
Author : John Keay
Title : Chapter 12 (1320 – 1525) 
Page : 287

“A successor, Ala-Ud-din Husain Shah (reigned 1493 – 1519), is revered as an outstanding patron of Bengali scholarship and, though a Muslim, indeed an Arab, is said to have honoured Chaitanya, the leader of the Vaishnavaite bhakti movement in Bengal. In return the Hindus went so far as to honor [the sultan] as an incarnation of Lord Krishna”. 

Publication : Jet Wings, May 2008, Vol 8, Issue 5, “15 years of flying” edition
(an inflight magazine of Jet Airways, India) 
Title : The Immortalised Path
Author : Joydip Mitra
Page : 140

“But all these are secondary facts as far as the age of Mathura is concerned. The social elements especially the vandalism carried out by the Sultanate ruler and the subsequent revival; Emperor Jehangir’s involvement in declaring the religion holy, where one cannot even kill a peacock; and particularly the visit of Bengali Saint Chaitanya with his six disciples have made Mathura what it is today.

Krishna had become a sort of movement in Mathura with the people and Chaitanya’s six disciples, particularly Adwaita, humanising the concept. Chaitanya was a social reformer and used the concept of Lord Krishna to eradicate casteism. His was an experiment with abstraction that got eventually theorized by the six goswamis (spiritual masters). To bring theory within the grasp of millions of illiterates, the idea of Krishna was, for the first time confined within certain boundaries. They chalked down the stories of Lord Krishna and attempted to have him marked on many shrines and dusty villages of eternity. Thus, Mathura came out as the place where King Kansa was slain and Vrindaban as where Radha dwelt. The cult eventually merged with folklores giving the region a definte ‘Krishna’ feel.”

Publication : The Imam and the Indian (Prose Pieces), 2002
Author : Amitav Ghosh
Title : Chapter 8, Empire and Soul : a review of The Baburnama
Page : 104

“Mughal rule also coincided with a great renaissance in Krishnaite theology. It was in this period that Rupa Goswamy and other disciples of the Bengali mystic Chaitanya Mahaprabhu rediscovered and mapped out the sacred geography of the Krishna legend. The region consecrated to Krishna lies between Agra and Delhi, the two principle centres of Mughal power in the sixteenth century. The road connecting these two imperial cities runs right past the sacred sites of this area. It has frequently been observed that the Mughals could easily have persecuted the Hindu saints and pilgrims who were then engaged in rediscovering those sites had the wished to. But, far from suppressing the burgeoning activity in that area, Akbar and his nobles actively supported it.

Akbar was personally responsible for sustaining some of these temples; he granted land and revenue in perpetuity to no less than thirty-five of them. Indeed, Hindusim would scarcely be recognizable today if Krishnaite theology and Krishna-devotion had been actively suppressed in the sixteenth century.”

What do you think about the statements of some of these writers?


4 thoughts on “59. Random reading connections

  1. Thanks for the post prabhu.
    it’s true that the Muslims were generally friendly to the Hindus in those days (before the British invasion who created enmity between the two) and helped them out on many occasions.

    But the comments on Mahaprabhu and the six Goswamis are completely off base. They dare say that Lord Caitanya was a mere social reformer!

  2. Hari Bol,
    Each of these articles have labeled Lord Chaitanya differently, as a leader of a bhakti movement, a social reformer and finally a mystic. I suppose the authors are in different stages of understanding Mahaprabhu.

  3. Hare Krishna,

    Even today many muslims are friendly. But some forces in the name of secularism spoil the relationship between us. One standing example is Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, a muslim who reads Bhagavad Geetha today. If there is one person alive who can be called the leader of the nation it is him.

  4. Thats true Prabhu. Its the politics that is at fault. APJ should have started his career with Indian politics at a very early age so that he could have made a greater contribution.


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