Cycle - Régionalisme et cosmopolitisme : l’Inde du Sud |

	<em>Bhakti</em> in the Himalayas: Origins and Transformations

Bhakti in the Himalayas: Origins and Transformations


5 mai 2015 | 14h

[salle 662, 190 avenue de France 75013 Paris]


Conférence donnée dans le cadre de l'atelier thématique Régionalisme et cosmopolitisme : l’Inde du Sud


The rise of devotional (bhakti) movements in early modern South Asia assumed various forms in the Himalayas, depending on the socio-cultural norms prevalent in the areas it had spread to and their specific historical circumstances at the time. In the kingdom of Kullu (Himachal Pradesh, India), ascetics affiliated with the Ramanandi sampraday succeeded in instating their primary deity as sovereign by adapting to the West Himalayan form of politicised-religion so that it nowadays constitutes an integral part of the valley’s heritage. The protracted process that took place in Kullu (c. 1500-1800) may be fruitfully contrasted with nearby Jubbal (Shimla Hills, HP, India) under the British. As archival records and local histories indicate, the rulers of this principality subscribed to novel strands of bhakti current in the Punjab plains, creating a rift in kingly functions as imagined by the British and those pursued by rulers in practice. An examination of these disparate cases allows for addressing the changing nature of bhakti in the West Himalayas, and ultimately highlights the interplay of local beliefs and fluctuating political conditions in our understanding of South Asian devotionalism.


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