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Title: Puranic Vedanta : on the issue of lineage in the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya
Author: Okita, Kiyokazu
ISNI:       0000 0003 8392 0250
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis examines the issue of lineage in the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradiiya. In the South Asian context, the idea of sampradiiya or lineage guarantees the authenticity of a religious community. A widely accepted view designated the followers of Ramanuja, Madhva, Nirnbarka, and Visnu Svarni as the four sampradiiyas. Starting with Kavi Karnapiira in the 16th CE, the Gaudiyas claimed their affiliation with Madhva. This claim for the Madhva-Gaudiya affiliation was consolidated as late as in the 18th CE. At the time, the Gaudiyas rose to the prominence at the court of Jaisingh H. However, in his public role Jaisingh H wished to promote the image of being a righteous king (dharmartija). Thus, the king perceived ,the following aspects of the Gaudiya tradition problematic: (1) the Gaudiyas ' ambiguous sampradiiya affiliation, (2) their lack of any BraSii commentary, and (3) the extramarital relationship between Radha and Krsna. In response, Baladeva wrote the Govindabhiisya to solidify the authority of the Gaudiya tradition. To understand the nature of the Madhva-Gaudiya affiliation, the first part of the thesis examines the sampradiiya affiliation of Caitanya. I make a distinction between a formal affiliation and a theological affiliation, and suggest that Caitanya might have been formally affiliated with the Madhvas but his theological affiliation is unclear. Since Caitanya did not compose any theological works, I examine Jiva's theology instead, to understand the theological relation between the Gaudiyas and the Madhvas. For this purpose, the second part of the thesis compares the commentaries of Madhva, Vijayadhvaja, Sridhara, and Jiva on the Catuhslokibhiigavata. This comparative study makes it clear that Jiva's commentary differs from the rest, theologically, exegetically, and stylistically. With the background of what is discussed in the first two parts of the thesis, the last part of the thesis examines Baladeva's Govindabhiisya in relation to the Brahmasiitra commentaries of Sankara, Rarnanuja, and Madhva. I conclude that the Gaudiya affiliation with the Madhvas is formal but their affiliation with Brahma is theological.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available