Bhagavata Traditions in Maharashtra
The Bhaktivedanta Research Centre (BRC – www.brcindia.com ) is an academic research institute engaged in the preservation, research and dissemination of India’s rich history, religion and culture. The center is located in Kolkata and Mumbai and is affiliated to the Department of Philosophy, University of Mumbai. The BRC is in the beginning stages of undertaking various academic programs, such as PhD and MA by research. BRC also undertakes various research programmes that support well-defined areas such as Bhāgavata studies.
In particular, the BRC has taken up an independent research project on ‘Bhāgavata Traditions in Maharashtra.’ This project aims at exploring Bhāgavata traditions of Maharashtra through a multidisciplinary approach. Its objective is to understand philosophical and social intricacies of the Vārakarī Saṁpradāya in particular. It aims to explore less known texts and commentary literature of the Maharashtrian Bhāgavata Saṁpradāya, for example Eknāthī Bhāgavata, Rukmiṇī Svayaṁvar, Uddhavagīta, Catuhślokī Bhāgavata, and commentaries from the Eknāthī paraṁparā. This project seeks to illuminate interconnections between the Bhāgavata Saṁpradāya of Maharashtra and other cults of Maharashtra like the Mahānubhāva and the Datta Saṁpradāya. Understanding the transmission of Bhāgavata elements from Maharashtrian tradition to other states is another interesting aspect to be explored. Further, Maharashtrian folk culture has deeply impacted and has been impacted by Bhāgavata traditions. Bhajans, kīrtans, bhāruḍs, and gavaļaṇs are part of Maharashtra’s narrative tradition. Maharashtrian textual, narrative, art and saptāha traditions based on Bhāgavata will also be explored. The project will also throw light on sacred geography of Maharashtra which has Bhāgavata influence. The main aim of the project is to publish an edited volume with scholarly articles. A further phase of this project will involve the production of English translations of key texts belonging to the Bhāgavata tradition of Maharashtra.a.
Dr. Shakuntala Gawde (Assistant Professor, Department of Sanskrit, University of Mumbai)—Project Leader
Dr. Sumanta Rudra (Dean Academic, BRC)
Sneha Nagarkar (Research Assistant)