Between Two Dynasties

Steven Paul Hopkins

in Singing the Body of God

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780195127355
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834327 | DOI:
Between Two Dynasties

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After an account of a typical popular narrative about Vedåntadeóika told around the precincts of a temple, Chapter Two discusses the traditional sacred biographies (prabhåvams), temple chronicles, narrative stotras, the drama (nåìya) of Kalidasa, Bhavabhäti, and Vedåntadeóika, and important inscriptional sources that give us a sense of the poet‐philosopher's place in history between two of the most important South Indian dynasties of the “late medieval” period, that of the Cêöas and Vijayanagar. The analysis uses various methodological sources, from Robert Alter and Hayden White, to the work of D.C. Sircar and V.N. Hari Rao, to speak about the importance of inscriptions, “sacred biography,” and the theme of “history” in pre‐modern South Asian sectarian traditions

This chapter relates how Vedåntadeóika was a politically transitional figure. Though he is emphatically seen by his tradition as a sacred “temple” and not a secular “court” poet, we see, at least in two àrâraígam inscriptions attributed to him as well as in his relationship with a young Telugu prince, that he put some of the weight of his religious authority behind the emerging Vijayanagar empire. His praise of a victorious brahman general of Vijayanagar at àrâraígam after the Muslim raids of the South anticipates alliances of secular and religious power commonplace among Çcåryas of his own community a generation later..

Keywords: àrâ Raígam; àrâvaióïava; Cêöas; court; history; inscriptions; Nåìya; poet; Prabhåvam; raids; sacred biography; temple; Vijayanagar

Chapter.  15104 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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