Kr̥ṣṇadevarāya's Āmuktamālyada and the narration of a Śrīvaiṣṇava community /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Loewy Shacham, Ilanit, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2015
Description:1 electronic resource (246 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Gary Tubb Committee members: Yigal Bronner; Whitney Cox; Velcheru Narayana Rao.
This item is not available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-02(E), Section: A.
Summary:The Āmuktamālyada (ĀM), which was written by Vijayanagara’s most celebrated monarch King Krsnadevarāya (r. 1509-1529), is often referred to as the story of the Tamil Vaisnava saint (Alvār) Āntāl and is generally classified in one of two ways: as a devotional poem or as a court poem. These two ways of reading the ĀĀM, however, have stemmed from (and may result in) examining only small sections of the text independently. Failure to account for the text as a whole generally leads to reductive, at times paradoxical, readings. This dissertation offers a reading that adequately addresses the text as a whole in a way that accounts for its royal author’s specific religious, philosophical, and personal world view. I demonstrate that rather than compiling a collection of disconnected narratives, Krsnadevarāya creates an intricate web of connections through which he narrates the contours of the religious community he belonged to, namely, the Śrīvaisnavas of South India. I show that thematically, Krsnadevarāya is interested in the everyday lives of Visnu’s devotees—what they eat, how they behave (and how they ought to), and what types of powers their devotion grants them. Geographically, Krsnadevarāya narrates the expansion of Śrīvaisnavism from its original village setting into the royal courts and from its limited hub in the southern Tamil land into Andhra. He creates a genealogy of this community by narrating stories of its key figures and connecting them with historical and mythical people and places. Throughout the ĀM Krsnadevarāya also explicitly and implicitly deals with various Śrīvaisnava philosophical and theological issues. Investigating the types of connections created in the ĀM , this dissertation argues that it should be read as an early example of ethnological/religious history writing. The dissertation also examines the poetic and aesthetic implications of writing a poetic ethnography. Specifically, it demonstrates that Krsnadevarāya created a new mode of narration in which the everyday lives of the Vaisnava devotees are especially prominent and that facilitated the inclusion of a wide array of regional intertexts and sensibilities. It further argues that this new mode of narration is made possible by Krsnadevarāya’s innovative use of Sanskrit and Telugu.