6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vitthal, also called Vithoba, is the most popular god in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, and the best-known Hindu god of that region outside of India. This book, presented here in English translation, is the foremost study of the history of Vitthal, his worship, and his worshipers. First published in Marathi in 1984, this work remains the most thorough and insightful work on Vitthal and his cult in any language, and provides an exemplary model for understanding the history and morphology of lived Hinduism. Vi??hal exemplifies the synthesis of Vaittava and Saiva elements that not only typifies Maharashtrian Hindu religious life but also marks his resemblance to another prominent South Indian god, Vetkates of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. The author's analysis highlights Vitthal's connection with pastoralist hero cults, and demonstrates the god's development from a god of shepherds to a god of the majority of the population, including Brahmans. One chapter displays the feminine side of Vitthal, his role as "Mother," and another explores the efforts of various Brahman adherents of Vitthal to give his cult a Sanskritic, or even Vedic, sheen. In addition to these elements of Hindu traditions, Dhere also explores the connections of Vitthal with Buddhist and Jain traditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages384
ISBN (Print)9780199919048, 9780199777594
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 19 2012

Fingerprint

Deity
Folk
Cult
History
Brahman
Buddhist
Hero
Language
India
English Translation
Religious Life
Resemblance
Hinduism
Worship
Vedic
Pastoralists

Keywords

  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Hinduism
  • India
  • Maharashtra
  • Sanskrit
  • Vedas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Rise of a Folk God : Vitthal of Pandharpur. / Dhere, Ramchandra Chintaman; Feldhaus, Anne.

Oxford University Press, 2012. 384 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Dhere, Ramchandra Chintaman ; Feldhaus, Anne. / Rise of a Folk God : Vitthal of Pandharpur. Oxford University Press, 2012. 384 p.
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