Chapter

Mystical Cognition and Canonical Authority: The Devotional Mysticism of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa

Barbara A. Holdrege

in Mysticism and Sacred Scripture

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780195097030
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199848805 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195097030.003.0010
Mystical Cognition and Canonical Authority: The Devotional Mysticism of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa

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The Bhāgavata Purāna, one of the most important textual monuments to Hindu devotional (bhakti) mysticism, claims as its source and goal ecstatic union with Lord Krsna. This paradigmatic devotional text, which originated in South India in the 9th or early 10th century, attempts to invest its mystical teachings with canonical authority by securing for itself a place within the brahmanical Hindu canon. The Bhāgavata establishes its canonical status through assimilating itself to two principal categories of brahmanical scripture: Purāna and Veda. This chapter attempts to elucidate the various strategies used by the Bhāgavata Purāna—in terms of its form, language, content, and self-representations—to establish its dual status as the “Purāna–Veda” that is the culminating scripture of the brahmanical canon.

Keywords: Hinduism; sacred scripture; mysticism; brahmanical Hindu canon; Purāna; Veda

Chapter.  14956 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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