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Studies, University of London, Vol. 49, No. 3 (1986), pp. 532-548 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of School of Oriental and African Studies Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/617829 Accessed: 23/12/2009 01:59
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46): I would certainly argue that the " sense " of region and the manipulation of symbols. began to identify themselves as belongingto the regions. Cohn. Sopher (1968). the bhakti literature provides evidence of early forms of these languages. G.3 Unlike the Varkaris.2 This is the process which led ultimately. and their thoughts about Maharashtracannot be said to have had political consequences. In the present paper. In addition. 1968) has been seen by some historians as essentially a phenomenon of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (McDonald. and began to take pride. Turner. it marks the genesis of pride in the languages. But the historian M. 256-61). in very recent times. it is also possible that the bhakti literature provides evidence of the process by which people began to think of the regions as regions (i. see Raeside (1976). by its very existence. The tradition I plan to discuss is that found in the Old Marathi literature of the Mahanubhavas. but in the regions themselves. 1962. and.' The literature on the connexions between religion (including bhakti)and regionalism in other parts of India includes Spencer (1970). not just in the languages or deities of the regions.the Marathilanguage region of western India. 1960. their genesis as cognitive regions). For Maharashtra.MAHARASHTRA AS A HOLY LAND: TRADITION By ANNE FELDHAUS A SECTARIAN The first manifestation of the regional cultures of India as we know them today was. found much earlier roots for his MAarathi 'nationalism': the seventeenth-century Maratha hero Sivaji. ultimately. Stein (1977). Karve. Turner. 1900). Eschmann et al. ' the growth of regional consciousness' (McDonald.. ' 2 An early. and movements in most cases goes back to the twelfth century in the activity of bhakti sects where regionalism was a genuine issue. and authors of the medieval Marathi bhaktiliterature best loved and best known in Maharashtratoday. to the formation of the states of modern India. Ranade. in most cases. the religious spirit fostered from the thirteenth century on by the Varkari poetsaints (Ranade. behaviors. the Mahanubhavas are a Maharashtrian bhakti sect founded in the thirteenth century which has survived to the present day. See Zvelebil (1973). These Varkarl poet-saints were devotees of the god Vithoba of Pandharpur. bringing together as it does pilgrims of many different castes from all parts of the Marathi-speaking region (Deleury. 3For a general description of the Mahanubhavas and their beliefs.e. (1978). 1974. I plan to trace a tradition of Maharashtrianregional consciousness earlier than that of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and distinct from those of Ramdas and the Varkaris. The regular pilgrimage of the Varkaristo Pandharpurprovides one of the clearest symbolic expressions of the unity of Maharashtra. . Like the Varkaris. this literature clearly served to articulate and focus regional devotion to such deities. 1973. the Mahanubhavas never became a widely popular movement. and Hardy (1983. 193-4). clear statement of this possibility is found in Stein (1967. whose literature includes some much earlier than that of the bhaktimovements of the region. of acceptance of them as appropriate vehicles for literary expression. They have hardly been heard of in many parts of Maharashtratoday. 1968. the 'Maharashtra dharma' preached by Sivaji's guru Ramdas.1 Composed in the regional languages. Further. 1967). But the 1 The major exception is the Tamil region. Often addressed to local or regional deities (who are sometimes identified as local manifestations of gods worshipped throughout India). the literature produced by the medieval bhakti (devotional) movements. one of the late nineteenth/early twentieth-century Maharashtriansheld to be responsible for this modern regional consciousness.
' Renounce your attachment to your own land.43).219. having wandered. and Purusottamaksetra (Purl ?).26. solitary wandering. 1950. to 'miserable little villages' (XII. proclaimed: To the utterly at-one with Siva .not only to shun holy places. Devara Dasimayya. says another sutra. as well as with an earlier tradition of ascetic renunciation. In keeping with this theme of bhakti literature. in this connexion.134) name particular pilgrimage places to avoid: MIatpur (Mahfr). Other satras command Cakradhar'sfollowers to avoid important places. 1966. no. and its later commentaries. his front yard is the true Benaras (Ramanujan (tr. Two satras (XII.19). Kolhapur.. (Tukaram. I am indebted to Professor Sopher's article for pointing out the tension in the Indian tradition between two 'messages of place '. and to sleep under a tree or in an abandoned temple outside a village (XIII.66). the omnipresent Lord. a tenth-century Virasaiva saint from Karnataka. and that hence there is no special sanctity attached to any particular place.4 And among the Varkaris of Maharashtra. wrote. In the sect's early literature. cf. 114).35). the first generation of Mahanubhavas were encouraged by their founder. another sutra recommends a thorn bush 4 Cited in Sopher (1980b). in fourteenth-century Kashmir. XIII. instead. renounce your attachment to your own village. for one of the favourite themes of bhaktiliterature is that God is everywhere.MAHARASHTRA AS A HOLY LAND 533 large body of Old Marathi literature they produced (Raeside. enjoins. The present paper is based on the thirteenth and fourteenth-century Mahanubhavahagiographical literature. ' Stay in places where you know no one and no one knows you' (XII. XIII. Cakradharis reported to have prescribed for his followers a life of constant. sitting in his house' (Raghavan. went out far in search of Shiva. Initially. is to stay ' at the foot of a tree at the end of the land' (XII. 1973. I found him in my own body. Instead. to stay 'on hillsides and off the road ' (XII.206). but to avoid attachment to any place at all.36). staying away from cities and towns (XIII.25 and XIII. 105). XII. and on the religious-geographical literature (texts describing and glorifying holy places) produced by members of the sect between the fourteenth and the seventeenth centuries. God's really found in good people.20) and places of pilgrimage (XIII. as well as about some of the religious meanings of the region.the seventeenth-century poet Tukaram was perhaps the most forceful in his denigration of pilgrimage places and their stone gods: Tirthas have but rocks and water. The very first sutra of the relevant section of the Sutrapatha. 144).).22). Elaborating this command. The most frequently repeated command. . the literature of a bhakti movement might seem one of the least promising sources of evidence about religious attachment to a region. Cakradhar. on the late thirteenth or early fourteenth-century text of the founder's aphorisms. 'I.1). one attaching importance to specific places of pilgrimage and the other tending to transcend the importance of place. Cakradhar'sfollowers are advised to keep. Lalla. renounce especially your attachment to your relatives' (XII. 1960) provides valuable evidence about the social and religious life of medieval Maharashtra. one sttra specifiesthat the tree should not bear flowers or fruits (XIII.. the late thirteenth or early fourteenth-century collection of Cakradhar's sayings (Feldhaus. 1983). For instance. Lalla.72.
0- O E *.534 ANNE FELDHAUS c -4 z O H H N s 0 4 < to 10 c LU 4t 4J C z C 0 U *a 0 0 tZ X : a 4 C L) 0 0 LU 0 < N Q. .. k .. . . I: : : : : : .1 LU v U m -4 c as 14 E1 a E 0 ( t 1I I 3 4) I. . .
while giving physical boundaries for the north and west. what actual region Cakradharor the compilers of his sayings referredto as ' Maharashtra'. Kolte's edition (1978. but from the north. it does give some clues. B. the impermanent-the deep-shading Among the stationary are the permanent-trees-and foliage(?).MAHARASHTRA AS A HOLY LAND 535 (XII. or even geometric definition of the south-eastern border of Maharashtra.73).' According to V. which the Sitrapdtha (X. Tulpule's edition (1972. The passage presents an outline of the constituents of Maharashtra: How many divisions are there to Maharashtra ? One Maharashtra is insentient. is to be nowhere in particular-and not to be there very long. and the other kind is anyone with a good heart. ' siatraXII. 133-4).e. the early Marathi biography of Cakradhar. 'Do not get used to any one tree. But nothing is said of his having to learn Marathi. who came to Maharashtra on a pilgrimage and did not return home. 'Stay in Maharashtra'. Acdra Sthala Mahdbhasya.).37). 1982. he is said to have been a Gujarati royal minister's son. They are of two kinds. There is only one man (?) from enlightenment and discipleship to persuasion of sabda[-jidna-stages in the path to liberation]. the other is sentient. Next. that of the religious importance of Maharashtra. Possibly his family were Maharashtrians resident in Gujarat. follows immediately upon one which begins. sleeping places. ch. from Gujarat.. whose life of wandering aims at eliminating not just attachments but habits (savaya). Although the Sutrapathadoes not give a complete answer. or there are many who each have one virtue more than another: all these types together are one kind. solitary places. Two questions will order the discussion: what is Maharashtra. which I intend to trace in the present paper. below. ' That's a foreign land. And the sentient is of two kinds: one stationary and the other moving. 57-8). together are called Maharashtra. in its implied linguistic definition of Maharashtra. In the Llldcaritra.5 What is difficult is to tell exactly what place it was.mda (Kolte (ed. The sutra enjoining. the Indian subcontinentis sometimes interpreted in later Mahanubhava tradition as the human body (Kolte. . and eating places. who practice ahimsd].24 commands. and why is it important to stay there ? The conceptof Maharashtra Karmabhumi. Cakradhar's father's objections were that there was a state of war between the Gujara and Yadava kingdoms. do not get used to any one place ' (XII.that is. 82-3). Cakradhar's father said. 7). The insentient has five divisions: the land.6 5 One exception is a passage in Visvanathbas Bidkar's Sutrapatha commentary Acdraba. 6 As will be seen in the modern definitions cited in n. 8. or stop using Gujarati. It is this other theme in the Mahanubhavatradition. A similarly linguistic definition is implicit in the commentators' interpretation of the recurring phrase 'the end of the land' (desdca sevata) as an area in which Marathi and another language intermingle (Kolte (ed. and the subsequent Mahanubhava tradition gives the region Maharashtra a positive religious value.210) defines as the 500 yojanas between the Himalayas and Setubandhu-that is. In striking contrast to this theme of detachment from any place in particular.23). 1982. ' Do not go to the Kannada country or the Telugu country ' (XII. it is not uncommon to give a linguistic. Stay in Maharashtra'. But Mahanubhava literature consistently understands Maharashtrato be a place. villages. cultural. G. and by naming these regions for the languages spoken in them. it seems. 1975. implicitly gives a linguistic definition to Maharashtraas well. one shouldn't go there. Cakradhar himself is said to have been an immigrant to Maharashtra not from the southern lands where Kannada and Telugu are spoken. and that the family were Ksatriyas (rdje) and so should send a Brihman on the pilgrimage instead of going themselves. Maharashtra. sentient and insentient. 92. is the region in which Marathi is spoken and Kannada and Telugu are not spoken. and a third reminds the ascetic. the Sutrapdthamentions only Maharashtra's southern and not its northern neighbours. ' Pirvardha ' 20). that is.i. These two divisions.). This sutra names the lands to the south and south-east of Maharashtra. the divisions of the moving-that means those who go on foot. The point. which he spoke. but his father's initial refusal to allow him to go on the pilgrimage suggests that they were not: according to S. But it is nevertheless curious that. Those men are Maharashtra who make everyone from tiny insects through humans free from fear [i.
as one of the commentaries currently in print is undated. It seems that ancient uses of the name' Maharashtra' referto a much smaller territory than that referredto in modern uses of the term. the Satpura range forms the perpendicular side. whilst on the west it is bounded by the ' ocean. east of Nagpoor.likd MahdbhSsya. ' Stay on the banks of the Ganga ' (gaq. From the junction of these rivers it may be traced up to the east bank of the Wurda to Manikdroog. the sea is on the through Bidar to Chanda on the Warda. reaching to the east beyond Nagpur as far as the watershed of the Godavari and its tributaries extend. G. as used in Mahanubhava literature. and the hypotenuse which joins these two ranges has been determined not so much by natural features as by the test of language.tra ..5. If this is so.') and Elphinstone's (the land between the range of mountains which stretches along the south of the Narbada parallel to the Vindhya chain. and extends from Naundode on the west.nor can they answer the specific reference of ' MIaharashtra question whether.29) cited by Sircar (1971. from Daman to Karwar.gatr7 rn. in the valley of the Godavarl river. Ranade's (1900. both cited in Raychaudhuri (1960. stretching from the Pravara or perhaps the Junnar-Ahmadnagarhills to the neighbourhoodof the Krishna. and a line drawn from Goa. the command to stay on the banks of the Godavari (sutra XIII. it is impossible to tell how closely they reflect the usage of the Sutrapdthaitself.' as distinguished from Aparanta (northern Kofikan).e. and the other dates from the mid seventeenth century. However. 8 The modern state of Maharashtra dates from only 1960. along those mountains.83 commands. A source more nearly contemporary to the Sutrapathais the mid thirteenth-century Kdmasutra commentary (VI. 9: The country. Raychaudhuri (1960.trapdtha. G. Marjaratirtha and Kolapura-nivasini [Kolhapur]. that is. It is obvious that early Hindu geographers used the name Maharashtra in a very restricted sense. 82. i. neither here nor in any other sutra does the Sutrapdtha specify whether or not the Godavari valley is to be understood as coterminous with ' Maharashtra'. according to which ' Mahara. 36). and. form the base. Commentaries on the Sutrapdtha do give answers.' . And H.166) states in a rather off-hand manner that sutra ' 7 It seems likely that the term gaigttira '.83) is consistent with the command to avoid the (Kannada and) Telugu country (sutra XII. asije). extended from Tryambaka to Karnata. 36) concludes. but their answers disagree. for the Sutrapdtha. but only to the upper part-presumably.'). 10) points out that ' Maharashtra' seems 'at one time' to have been restricted in referenceto ' the country watered by the upper Godavari and that lying between that river and the Krishna. to the Wyne Gunga. The western bank of that river forms a part of the eastern boundary until it falls into the Wurda.').the Godavari valley is coterminous with Maharashtra. in a larger area than that indicated by Bhandarkar and Raychaudhuri.23).536 ANNE FELDHAUS Another sutra specifies not just a linguistic region but a physical-geographic one where Cakradhar'sfollowers are to stay: sutra XIII. That river is its boundary on the east as ' west. forms a sort of a triangle of which the Sahyadri range and the sea. 93-4) cites a Sanskrit text from perhaps the early eighteenth century. Vidarbha. and comprised Ujjayini. they cannot provide strong evidence of the ' in the Sutrapdtha.7 However. 94). Bhandarkar (1957. Modern definitions of 'Maharashtra ' pre-dating the state include Grant Duff's (' Maharashtra is that space which is bounded on the north by the Sautpoora mountains. this text 'locates Maharastrabetween the Narmada and Karnata '.. and M. But again... The only region in the present Maratha country which does not seem to be expressly excluded by these authorities is the desh or open country behind the Ghats. and thence westward to Mahoor. on the sea coast. and the valleys of the Tapi and Narmada rivers. From this last place a waving line may be extended to Goa.. refers not literally to the whole length of the Godavari valley. that part lying in the Marathi-speaking rather than the Telugu-speaking territory.8 R. The undated commentary (Acdra M. this does not give a conclusive answer to the question of the meaning of ' Maharashtra' in the Su. as both Bhandarkar's and Raychaudhuri's sources predate the Sutrapdtha by several centuries. Sircar (1971.
(d) the region of [ ? from the Godavari valley to ?] Meghamkarghat.12 Although Cakradhar'sactivities were centred in the Godavari valley. near modern Manthani. and (e) Varhad (i. Krsnamuni identifies Maharashtra as the area 'from Tryambak to Kalesvar at Mathani. The Krtamala-now the Vaigai (Schwartzberg (ed. in commanding Cakradhar'sfollowers to stay in the Godavari valley. In one passage (1967. 12 cf. S. 103-4). at this point. et al. and from the Krtamala to the Tabraparni.e. and Cakradhar'sdisciples went to Vidarbha to stay with Gundam Raul after Cakradhar'sdeath. G.83. this definition does not give firm evidence about the Sutrapdtha's use of the term ' Maharashtra '. 11One of the five manuscripts used for Pathan's edition names the Sahyadris here instead of the Vindhyas. 1934/1353). By this definition. Another Mahanubhava text which explicitly defines Maharashtra is Krsnamuni Kavi Dimbh's Rddhipuramadhtmya. But. Karve. then. lists the Godavari valley as only one of five sub-regions which together make up Maharashtra: (khanda-mandalas) (a) the Marathi-speaking region south of Phaltan.'10 The mention of Tryambak. Mate's identification of these as the two ' nuclear areas ' in which Marathi culture arose (1975. it appears that early Mahanubhavas thought of the Godavari valley as a region distinct from and in some sense opposed to Vidarbha. too. since the Sutrapa. Maharashtra extends less far south.which is the reading of the other four manuscripts used for the edition. I am grateful to Professor S. while women are to stay in the Godavari valley. Tulpule for first reading this text with me.' the forested region comprising the present-day districts of Canda and Bhandara (Date. In one episode related in the late thirteenth-/early fourteenth-century Mahanubhava hagiographies. the treeful region. 1982. Maharashtrais the region south of the Vindhya mountains. is referringto Maharashtra. 79). Karimnagar District. at the source of the Godavari river. to contrast the Godavari valley (which it calls madhya desa ' the middle of the land ') with ' the end of the land ' (desacd sevata). 10The base manuscript of Pathan's edition has kdjalesvarafor kdlesvara. verse 306). Andhra Pradesh (at the farthest eastern border of modern Maharashtrawith modern Andhra Pradesh)-makes the upper Godavari valley the northern limit of Maharashtra. This early seventeenth-century (Raeside. By this definition. 18).MAHARASHTRA AS A HOLY LAND 537 XIII.83's command to stay in the Godavari valley with the Sutra' pdtha's more frequent command to stay at the end of the land '. (b) the region north of that.). his guru. (c) the Godavari valley. M. and of 'Kalesvar at Mathani '-probably the Kalesvar at the confluence of the Godavari and the Pranhita.tha was composed a full three centuries earlier than Krsnamuni's text. lived in Vidarbha (Varhad). though not into any territory explicitly excluded by the Sutrapatha.1' north of the Krsni river. Gundam Raul and one of the immigrant disciples have an amusing misunder9 This commentary is primarily concerned. Gundam IRul. 1978. 494) text gives two definitions of Maharashtrawhich are quite different from each other. 1960. Maharashtra extends a good bit beyond the Godavari valley. 328)-and the Tabraparni (=Tamraparni) rivers are both far beyond the Kannada and Telugu lands which the Sutrapdtha explicitly distinguished from Maharashtra. Vidarbha). But the rest of the definition extends Maharashtrafar to the south. but farther north. literally. and west of the ' ' jhddt mandala ' to the Kofkan. up to Baleghat. In order to reconcile sutra XIII. . in a different context. this commentary says that it is men who are to go to the end of the land. vv. again.). By Krsnamuni's other definition (1967. From Mahanubhava literature more closely contemporary with the Sutrapatha. The 'jhadi mandala ' is. 9 but the other commentary (Kolte (ed.
bring me a dhldarem.' The Gosavi accepted her offer. She prepared a seat. She mixed it up.I tell you.).' So Mahadaisem. 235). hold the immigrants responsible for his misbehaviour (Kolte (ed. Then the Gosavi said. [The bards] prostrated themselves. our Varhad deity must not go to the Sivana country.I tell you. 88. On one occasion. Come on! Bring me a dhUdarem ! Bring me one.).).). Rddhipur. turn it around! Turn it around! ' and made the palanquin turn back (Kolte (ed. I tell you. the residents of his town. cf. when Gundam Raul has destroyed the arrangementsfor the Navaratra festival.' So the Gosavi agreed to their request. ' Lord. ' Pfrvardha' 585). they call it a dhldarem.'he said. It looked different to him..132. She poured ghee into a metal cup. SutrapdthaXI. 'No. drop dead ! She'll give me a dhidarem. black pepper. In two other episodes in this same text.. 1984. I tell you. She put it onto his plate. 'This is what I want. The Raiil is our Mother. on another occasion. ' Oh. sTvanadesa). where I come from. I tell you! ' And he acted angry. Here in your Varhad they call it an dhTtd. This is an dahtd. Now it's right. And. it's good. and said. served him more. ' Oh. Varhadi bards come to dissuade him from leaving: The devotees were taking the Gosavi to the Ganga valley when they met some bards on a plain to the west of a village. 'she'll give me a dhidarem. Gosavi.I tell you ! ' He didn't go out at all to play. Feldhaus (tr. Oh. she poured it in the shape of a conch. Lord.delighted. and Mahadaisem offered him the dh. ch. Lord. I tell you. Please turn back. 1978. The Gosavi sat in the seat. Two other passages in early Mahanubhava texts contrast Varhad/Vidarbha and the Godavari valley in more cryptic fashion.). Gosavi. when the devotees are about to take Gundam Raul to the Godavari valley (=Sivana. She sponged some ghee onto the earthen griddle. ch. Without the Raiil.' ' Oh. 1972. Kolte (ed. In this way.darem.) On top she sprinkled powdered cardamom. We're subject to calamities and afflictions.' he said. this isn't a dhldarem. 1972. and their resentment of the immigrant devotees.' Then Mahadaisem prepared a dh7daremand put it onto a plate. Lord. I tell you. and cloves. 102). 1984. Feldhaus (tr. I'll give you a dh7darer [to eat] today. the Gosavi accepted the meal (Kolte (ed. The Riail is our Father.).' said Mahadaisem. residents of Varhad express their identification of Gundam Raul as belonging to their region. She poured [the batter] onto it in a phallic shape. (According to some. 1972.538 ANNE FELDHAUS standing because of differences between their Godavari valley and Varhadi dialects of Marathi. and suddenly she had an idea. I tell !' he acted angry. He was delighted. I should eat it. everything is desolate. Gundam Raul's petulance about his food in this episode is typical of his behaviour toward his servant-devotees: One day Mahadaisem asked the Gosavi. 'An old . 1984. then they said. she turned it over and took it off. ' Hey. And you Mahadaisem began to think. and he said. When one side was done. So she put some fine wheat flour into milk. Then the Gosavi looked at the dhTdarem. I shouldn't eat it. 'Lord.). Varhad will be orphaned. Gosavi.And he said. Don't go out to play. ' Bring me one ! Bring me one. 'Oh. Feldhaus (tr. If these people from Sivana take you away. ch. 'in the Galngavalley.
since the ascetic's life does not aim at ease. But the sutra preceding the command to stay there does give a reason for its command to avoid the Kannada and Telugu lands: 'Do not go to the Kannada country or the Telugu country. Thus. the point is once again that. 184. is interpreted by several commentaries to mean that the people of the Godavari valley are stingy and those of Varhad generous (Deshpande (ed. How much else this whole included is not clear. 203. the language of Maharashtra. while at the same time restricting them to a more limited geographical area. for instance. But none of the passages identifies the Godavari valley exclusively as Maharashtra. Smrtisthala. understood as contrasting parts of a larger whole. 246). ' Maharashtra' included both the Godavari valley and Vidarbha. 14 Professor S.a text from the early fourteenth (Tulpule.). vv. Kesiraj (1962. 499). As with other medieval Indian bhaktimovements. Prakarnavasa. September 29. Sri Cakradhartaught me in Marathi. Cf.83. or. Thus Cakradhar'scommand to stay in Maharashtramust be seen as. and while she may make many pleasant visits there. ' Ajnata Lila ' 159). 1983) that the reason for the Mahanubhavas' pleasant associations with Vidarbha and their unpleasant associations with the Godivari valley is that Cakradhar met his guru. 320) or the early fifteenth century (Raeside. Tulpule suggests (personal communication. Cakradhar'ssuccessor Nagdev makes a statement which seems to have a similar point: ' Varhad is our maternal home. The religiousimportanceof Maharashtra Whatever Cakradhar meant by Maharashtra. ch. the Mahanubhavas'use of the vernacular makes their teachings much more broadly accessible-to all classes and to both sexes-than the Sanskrit tradition. as expressing a preference for the Godavari valley from the point of view of the ascetic life. 268-84). in Vidarbha. See also Kolte (ed.however. directly. and was killed in the Godavari valley. 206). although ascetics may like Vidarbha more. at the time of the Sutrapdtha. 1960. Nagdev's-use of and insistence on Marathi. along with SutrapathaXIII. they should spend most of their lives in the Godavari valley. 13 Vicdra Mdlikd Mah&bhdsyagives two other interpretations besides the one cited here. 1960. That's what you should use to question me (Deshpande (ed. that is. a case of legislating the obvious. why did he command his followers to stay there ? And how is this command to be reconciled with the command to be in no place in particular-' at the foot of a tree at the end of the land ' ? One important answer is that such geographicalrestriction is a necessary consequence of Cakradhar's-and his first successor. It seems more likely that. 66). G. once the importance of Marathi is established. 1960. ch. Gundam Raul. but not necessarily better. The Sutrapdtha. Varhad is easier.).14 Some of the passages contrasting the Godavari valley with Vidarbha may thus be interpreted.). reports that Nagdev responded angrily to two fellow disciples who asked him a question in Sanskrit: I don't understand your 'asmdt' and 'kasmdt' [Sanskrit pronouns]. 1979. .) (1978. In Smrtisthala. at least in part.d '. 1961. does not give this. Vicdra Milikd Mahabhdsya. and the Godavari valley our in-laws' house ' (Deshpande (ed.13 For an ascetic mendicant.MAHARASHTRA AS A HOLY LAND 539 woman on the banks of the Gafnga. any other reason for the command to stay in Maharashtra. and a prostitute in Varh. it is in her in-laws' house that she really lives out her life. This aphorismtakes the point of view of a woman in a virilocal society like India's: while she may-and typically does-have a lifelong sentimental attachment to the home in which she grew up.
Since this rationale for avoiding the Kannada and Telugu lands is followed immediately by the sutra enjoining. they sell them. Subsequent Mahanubhava literature does not value Maharashtra for its insignificance. They sacrifice them to a deity. Acdra Sthala Mahabhasya. 126-9). temples. In some countries the people are rajasic. in other lands. in some countries one gives oneself trouble (adhydtmTka tdpa). The soil of some countries is rdjasic. The preference for Maharashtra over the Kannada and Telugu country would thus be analogous to that for the Godavari valley over Vidarbha. Other lands are sorrowful and harmful. they make slaves of them. and so on-it is a good place to practise asceticism.19 some countries are large in crookedness and lust. 15The command is not explained in Niruktasesa (Deshpande (ed. they do homage to them. Both of these commentaries are actually sub-commentaries on a text whose relevant passage is as follows: ' Maharashtra' means ' great (mahanta)land (rdstra)'. 16 some countries are large in [numbers of ? size of ?] men. Maharashtrais not recommendedfor any positive qualities. inconvenience. In some countries one is troubled by deities (adhidaivTka tdpa).540 ANNE FELDHAUS Those regions are full of sense pleasure. 15 but the commentaries' overwhelming emphasis is on the physical and psychological benefits of living in Maharashtra. 18 some countries are large in power. some countries' is tdmasic. 18 Acdra Sthala Mahabhdsya gives ' Arabasthan ' (= Arabia) as an example. or Vicdra Acdra Prakarndcd Vacana SambamdhaArtha (p. houses. or lack of comforts. they subject them to sense pleasure. 20 Acdra Sthala Mahdbhdsya gives Gaud Bengal as an example of a land great in kautalya. in some countries one is troubled by the elements (adhibhautika tapa). but also the more subtle temptation of complacence.20 (witchcraft ? kautf&lya) In some countries one gets diseases and faults. In some countries they give them honour. In some countries they put foreigners to the sword. but ascribes positive qualities to the region. in some countries they are tdmasic. Some countries are large in land. 17). If this is indeed the reason for the Sutrapdtha'scommand to stay in Maha' rashtra. 82-4. 4). leaf vegetables. orchards(?). In some countries they take foreigners prisoner. . There ascetics are honoured ' (XII. 73). One becomes sullied. and the moral superiority of Maharashtrato other places. 'Stay in Maharashtra'. for there those who avoid sense pleasure are given honour. the Kannada and Telugu lands present a twofold danger to the ascetic life: not only the temptations of sense pleasure. One gets the itch. 19Acdra Sthala Mahdbhdsya's example is the Kofikan. of being honoured and provided with sense pleasures (Kolte (ed. fruits. Prakarnavasa (p. The food and water.the implication is that Maharashtrais a place where sense pleasures are few and ascetics not particularly honoured. ' Great' (mahanta)means ' large ' (thora).). that command is consistent with the command to stay at the foot of a tree at the end of the land '. Thus. In some countries the people poison foreigners (desantariya). and all the [holy] places (sthanemr) of some countries are rajasic-everything. 1982. trees. 'Land' (rdstra) means ' country ' (desa).23). and the Kannada and Telugu countries as examples of lands great in lust. 17 some countries are large in grandeur (aisvarya). the end of the land. but [this one is] blissful and beneficial. 16 The sub-commentary Acdra Sthala Mahdbhasya gives Marvada as an example. 17 Accra Sthala Mahdbhdsya gives Gujarat and Panjab as examples. I. but because-like the side of the road. the foot of a tree.). 1961. The two published Sitrapdtha commentaries which explain the command to stay in Maharashtra do mention the danger.
Gundam Raul. each sanctified by the former presence of Cakradhar. between). and (5) Gundam Raul's guru (and a previous incarnation of Cakradhar). CfangdevRaul. it is virtuous because it does good. Maharashtra is faultless and virtuous. Of these. five are considered the most important: (1) Dattatreya and (2) Krsna. No bodily or mental harm comes from being there. being the best.MAHARASHTRA AS A HOLY LAND 541 living and non-living. For a discussion of the structure of this pantheon. rainstorms.tha) make pilgrimages to these places. or both. and a number of ' verse texts entitled X-mdhdtmya ' or ' X-varnana '. (A majority of Mahanubhava monks and nuns now spend most of their time living in monasteries-although the monastic life is not recommended. It is faultless and virtuous itself. is implicit in Mahanubhava pilgrimage practices. and allows no one else to do wrong. For a more detailed examination of Mahanubhava ideas about their pilgrimage places. Rddhipur. in the Sutrapdtha. 22 This literature includes Tirtham. so how much worse must it be to make use of them ? Maharashtra is sdttvic. 'Great' means faultless and virtuous. everything is tdmasic. Sthtnapothi. Starting in the time of Nagdev (Deshpande (ed. whom they call Paramesvara. see Feldhaus (forthcoming). When one is there one does not think of doing wrong. It is faultless because it does not do harm. or another of the human incarnations of God. a text in verse listing places visited by the incarnations. But the basic message is simple: one should stay in Maharashtra because it is good for one's health and one's Another kind of importance for Maharashtra. ' darkness '.). and a scattering elsewhereinside and outside of the present state of Maharashtra. and showers are also sdttvic and cure all afflictions. Mahanubhavas have made of Maharashtraa vast network of pilgrimage places. ch. For these 21 Mahanubhavas hold that there is a single supreme God. Precise information is not available.Gundam Raul. In some countries. who are gods for other Hindus. the commentator uses the traditional methods of etymology and of classification by means of the three gunas (sattva. Its food and water are curative. morals. glorifying one or another of the places.likd. The vast majority of the Mahanubhava pilgrimage places are associated with either Cakradhar or Gundam Raul.one more specifically religious.) Lay Mahanubhavas also (whose way of life is likewise not recognized by the Sutrap.21 The greatest numbers of these holy places are in Vidarbha and along the Godavari river. Some countries are faultless but not virtuous. ' passion '. To make his point.lds) the incarnations did in them and the power (sakti) they deposited in them. and rajas. tamas. or even referredto. Maharashtra does no wrong itself. for Mahanubhava monks and nuns. Its wind. Paramesvara has had a number of incarnations.22in terms of the deeds (l. 'purity'. and in particular of the types of significance attached to the chief such place.the Mahanubhavas' founder. the aimless wandering enjoined by the Sutrapdtha has by now been replaced in part by peregrination from one to another of these holy places. Its herbs are curative. the worst. (4) Cakradhar's guru. see Feldhaus (1983b). One's body and mind are harmed just from proximity to such things. These find a sacrality in Maharashtralike that which Christians find in 'the Holy Land' and Krsnaites in Braj. and if one does think of it one doesn't get to do it. and sometimes also in terms of the pre-Mahanubhavamythological traditions of the places. and it makes others also faultless and virtuous. Maharashtra is [where] dharmagets accomplished. with several others in between. is rajasic. The living and non-living things in it are also sattvic. He also uses a good bit of hyperbole. a prose text giving detailed descriptions of the places. but my impression is that. (3) Cakradhar. 1960. A good deal of Mahanubhavaliterature is devoted to the description and glorification of such places. 115). in . Being in Maharashtra cures bodily and mental afflictions which have arisen in other countries.
as well as of the mahaliigas (' great liingas'). since Datta is a god for orthodox Hindus as well. Naganath in Amvadhe or Amardaka.Krsnamuni explains the greatness of Maharashtraas follows: 307. It is the playground of God. Somanath in Saurastra. Maharashtra. Brahma said to Narada. but there are also many non-Mahanubhavaholy places there. and so. and the jyotirlinga at Mandhata (on the Narmada). 308) are holy for Mahanubhavas. And. Atmatirtha destroys the sin of killing a Brahman.Rddhipuramdhdtmya. but such places are also holy for non-Mahanubhavas. Bhismesvar (=Bhimasankar) in Dakini. Maharashtra's holiness as the locus of the activities of the Mahanubhava incarnations is a purely sectarian holiness. The places Krsnamuni names in verse 310 are Mahanubhava holy places. Krsn. 309. in verse 309 Krsnamuni points out that Maharashtrianplaces predominate in one of the most important sets of non-Mahanubhava pilgrimage places located throughout India and visited by pilgrims from all over India: the twelve jyotirlingas. Vaidyanath in Paral. (" the great land "). and for the pilgrimage tradition which they reflect. Phalasthal destroys the sin of killing a woman. these places are of importance outside the sect as well as within it. but holy. appears as the first of the ' great below.23 But one of the Mahanubhava pilgrimage authors. a village in Parbhani District. 310. Vijnanesvar gives the state of liberation. in a passage in his Rddhipuramahatmya. Earlier in his work. Ghusamesvar (==Ghrsnesvar)in Yelaur (=Ellora). it will be noted. This list then differs from the Sivapurdna list cited and explicated in the Bhdratiya Samskrtikosa only in substituting ' Kalesvar in Mathani ' for Mallikarjun on Srisaila mountain (in present-day Andhra Pradesh). Ramesvar 'at Setubandhu in the South '. There are twelve jyotirlingas. most strikingly. 1965. This is why Maharashtrais at the crown of all lands.24 Of these. 807) as an older name of Aumdhe. six of them are in Maharashtra.dmvadhe ndgandthaamardakatapovana ' in verse 124 to refer to a single place. the early seventeenth-century Krsnamuni Kavi Dimbh. although of the greatest importance among Mahanubhavas. The Bhdratiya Samskrtikosa (Joshi (ed. he has the sage Devala list for his questioner Asita the twelve jyotirlingas of all of India (vv. For instance.). The Mahatma Sri Datta. Sarvatirtha provides liberation to one's ancestors.. 123-6): Tryambak. 24 I have taken ' . places touched by his ' lotus feet' (v. Similarly. Nine of the twelve mahalingas are there. See Stanley (forthcoming). Mahakal in Ujjain. 685) identifies this village as the location of the Darukavana (= Tapovana ?) in which the Sivapurdna places Naganath. in the family of rsis famous from the purcnas. Visvanath in Kasi. describes the holiness of Maharashtra in terms drawn from and relevant to the wider Indian tradition. lingas ' listed in the next three verses of the .' The ' crowd 'of holy places in the last verse of this passage could be the numerous Mahanubhava holy places along the Godavari. Maharashtra is not merely beneficial. 311. at whose lotus feet are all holy places. amuni provides a more detailed discussion of the jyotirlingas. cannot be expected to carry much weight outside the sect.542 ANNE FELDHAUS texts. since Dattatreya is one of the Mahanubhava incarnations. lives in the Saihyadris. the six that verse 309 refers to as being in Maha23 Some of the Mahanubhava pilgrimage places are reputed to have special power to cure ghost possession. but the reasons he gives for their importance are drawn from Brahmanical orthodoxy. Kalesvar at Mathani. And on both banks of the Ganga (Godavari) is a crowd of all holy places. it is called Maharashtra. ' lihgas of light '.' I'll tell you clearly why it is called Maharashtra 308. Mallikarjun. as ' Amardaka ' is identified by Kolte (1978. one which. . First. and these may be included in the ' crowd '. Kedar(nath) (near) Badri(nath).
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8. and Mallikarjun at Srlsaila in less distant Andhra Pradesh. and Krsnamuni's claim is that there is a complete replica of this set to be found in Maharashtra. in modern Ahmadnagar District]. I will tell you about them. Mathura. 6. Kasi (=Varanasi.Maya (= Gaya). Dhoresvar. . 27 This list agrees with the standard one given by Eck (1982. Dvarka/Dvaravati. 2. Bhimasankar [=Bhismesvar in Dakini of the previous list]. 97). parts of India: ' The creation of an artificial symmetry between a mythic North (including Bengal and perhaps Orissa) and South (including Maharashtra) is also found in a listing of a dozen northern and a dozen southern loci of jyotirlinga (sic) . Bhismesvar. p. calling these not ' lingas of light (jyotirliitgas) but great liigas' (mahaliigas): Another twelve lingas have been established on earth by lordly sages. 26 I have not been able to locate any other references to the set of mahlizngas. With respect to another very important set of pilgrimage places located throughout India and visited by pilgrims from all over India. Ghatasiddhanath [also on the Godavari. 3. would belong to Maharashtraby either of Krsnamuni's definitions of Maharashtra (see map 2). Ghusamesvar. and Kalesvar. The set of mahaliigas is by no means as famous.. three famous liingasin Pratisthan (Paithan): 7. 5. Know these to be the twelve great lilgas: 1. That Krsnamuni identifies it as Gaya is seen from verse 145. and 12. Gangasagar. Mahabalesvar. listen carefully in your heart. Vaidyanath. and Avanti (=Ujjain) 27-Krsnamuni claims that the bases or abodes (adhisthdnem) of these seven are in Maharashtra(v. but clearer and bolder. Vijnanesvar.'. Ten of these. 25 By the definition of Maharashtra given by Krsnamuni in Rddhipuramdhdtmya 306. 312. also 10. Ambanath in Alarkavati (Amaravati). After listing (v. Naganath. a way of enabling twelve more liUiga temples to share as a set in a religious importance analogous to that of the jyotirlihgas. this time found in distinct. established by Sri Datta. Mallikarjun. n. 11.544 ANNE FELDHAUS rashtra must be Tryambak. Siddhanath. rather than the nine claimed by verse 309. as a set. Krsnamuni makes a claim that is similar. The others are located outside of Maharashtra. below. and 9.26 It appears to be a replica of the set of jyotirlihgas. as the jyotirlintgas. rather than overlapping. Madhyamesvar on the bank of the Gafga (Godavari) [in modern Nasik District].25 Devala then proceeds to give another list of twelve lingas. 139). as well as half of the twelve jyotirlihgas. Banaras). Kanti (=Kfaicipuram).) refers to another pair of sets of lingas. Thus. which by that definition extends as far south as the Tamraparni river. 4. 138) the saptapuri of all of India-Ayodhya. That Maharashtracontains almost all of these mahalingas. Gangasagar is in distant Bengal. except that Maya is more usually identified as Hardvar than as Gaya. shows Maharashtra'simportance to a major pilgrimage tradition of all of India. Hatakesvar in Rddhipur. . Pimpalesvari. Ramesvar too would be included in Maharashtra. 38) and Bharati (1970. The set is that of the seven liberation-(moksa-)grantingcities (saptapuri). Sopher (1980a.
31 This story is widely known in Rddhipur today. 639-94. The Bhogavati [river ?] 30 came from the underworldto meet the Gautami (= Godavari) at Pratisthan. The demon was destroyed when Viniu got him to place his own hand on his head (Citrav.). PART 3. 149. 145. 141.36 (Vefikatesvara Press edition). 1972. 148.MAHARASHTRA AS A HOLY LAND 545 140. the tirtha Vanki is Maya. Because Rama made Dasaratha's funeral offerings there. vv. But for only one of the seven identifications-Rddhipur the equivalence rest on an exclusively Mahanu=Dvarka/Dvaravati-does bhava story. These identifications are then supported by a series of analogies and mythological connexions between each pair of places: 143. 144. as far as I know. Krsnanath went to Alarkavati on his way to Rukminl's engagement ceremony.31 Therefore Rddhipur is called Dvaravati. Ravana's sister. Chinnapapis called Ayodhya. Since the demon Bhasma was burned to ashes (bhasma) at Vaniki. Paithan) is called Kasi. 28 The demon Maya may be Maya. 1984).). the jyotirlinga Ghusamesvar is in Yelaur. Pratestan (=Pratisthan. The story of Krsna and Rukmini (in connexion with which Alarkavati is here identified with Mathura) is told by both Mahanubhavas and nonMahanubhava Hindus. Therefore Yelaur's name is said to be Avanti. He made an offering (vidd) to Ambinath. 37 . All seven of the Maharashtrian places are pilgrimage places for Mahanubhavas because of the places' connexion with the lives of the Mahanubhava incarnations. 41 (in the Venkatesvara Press edition of the Brahmd Purdna). 147. ch. Rama was released [at Phalasthal ?] from the sin of killing a woman. not strihatyd (the sin of killing a woman). ch.Rddhipuramdahtmya. By killing Ravana. 29 On Rukmangada's devotion to the Ekadasi vow. Namuci's brother. the reasons he gives for the identifications are overwhelmingly non-Mahanubhava. 1932). 262). Phalasthal (=Phaltan) is called Kanti.29 Therefore Phalasthal is called Kanti. a Dinava. Anyone who put his hand on the head of the demon Bhasma was turned to ashes. otherwise at all prominent in the Mahanubhavatradition. Vanki on the bank of the Sina [in modern AhmadnagarDistrict] is the tTrtha 1ayTa. XLIX. Rama incurred brahmahatyd(the sin of killing a Brahman). Just as the jyotirliinga Mahakal resides in Ujjain. according to Godbole (1928. 213 (Kolte (ed. [and] Avanti. Chinnapap's name is Ayodhya [Rama's capital]. the Lord showed Dvarka to the Brahman Laksmidhar [in Rddhipur]. VOL. and it forms the basic story of Mahesvarapandit's fourteenth-century(?) . Thus. Dvaravati.28 146. Yelaur (=Ellora).Rddhipuramdhdtmya. Descending in the Kali Age. In Mahinubhava literature it is found in Krsnamuni's . Perhaps the reference is to Rama's having Laksman cut off the nose and ears of gurpanakha. The other stories and analogies Krsnamuni uses are not. 30 Bhogavati = Sarasvati. Just as Rukmafigada was released through the Ekadasi vow [at Kanti ?]. tells of the marriage of a princess Bhogavati to a snake (a creature of the underworld) at Pratisthan. Feldhaus (tr. Gaya is calledMaya because the demon Maya was burned to ashes there. although the seven Maharashtrianplaces which Krsnamuni identifies with the seven liberating cities are of sectarian importance to Mahanubhavas. Therefore[Pratisthan] is said to be a mite better than Kasi [India's holiest city]. see Ndrada Purdna 2. therefore it's known to be Mathura [Krsna's home town]. The Gautami Mdhdtmya. Alkapur (=Amaravati) is called Mathura.Both of these are elaborations of a story found in the biography of Gundam Raul. Rddhipur.
and the twelve jyotirlingas as well. for example. and into a whole other realm of values from that of Cakradhar'sunexplained or negatively motivated command to stay in Maharashtra. Were they intended to convince non-Mahanubhavas? It might appear so. often one at or near water) which includes all tirthas within it. Compare. Was. And what Krsnamuni has done here is to assert that Maharashtrareplicates the religious geography of all of India. But if. like was copied and other Mahanubhava texts. More fundamentally. One should stay in Maharashtra because every place worth going to is there. Krsnamuni's Rddhipuramahdtmya written codes secret in in (Raeside. Maharashtrahas here become the totality of the world-at least. that is. it is impossible to be certain that this logical progression of ideas culminating in Krsnamuni's claim correspondsto a chronological development of Mahanubhavas' thinking about Maharashtra. He is able in this way to identify the religious importance of Maharashtraas that of all of India. it would have preserved manuscripts been available only to Mahanubhavas until the early twentieth century. are found in the purdnic Hindu tradition. 1982. implicitly. beyond the reverence for it implicit in the Mahanubhava pilgrimage tradition. From having been equivalent (or almost so) to the ' end of the land '. 144 and passim). are as irrelevant to Mahanubhava theology as they are important to non-sectarian (and. . I am also grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities and to Arizona State University for the grants which enabled me to read through the published Mahanubhava religious-geographical literature during 1982 and 1983. though not necessarily in connexion with the places where Krsnamuni locates them.33 32 Not only is this a claim which assumes the importance of non-Mahanubhava Hindu pilgrimage places. then. Lee Schlesinger. Unfortunately. the exclusivism of Mahanubhavas less strict in the early seventeenth century than it is in our own time or than it was at the beginnings of the sect ? Or was Krsnamuni himself just an anomalous liberal ? In any case. when the codes were revealed outside the sect.546 ANNE FELDHAUS The stories. 1980). with the claims of Krsnamuni. 1970). and what audience he intended them for. the positive valuation of Maharashtra is carried far beyond the moral and physical benefits ascribed to it in some Sutrapdthacommentaries. that is.32 Thus. It is thus something of a mystery where Krsnamuni got the idea of making these identifications. a tradition of ' regional consciousness '. only the one. the deity worshipped in lirga temples (Feldhaus. and Eleanor Zelliot for their careful reading and helpful comments. absolute God (Paramesvara) grants liberation. nor can any merely relative deity (devata)like Siva. the seven liberating cities. According to Mahanubhava theology. and thus to give the fullest possible rationale for the command to stay in Maharashtra. it seems not even to have been widely known outside the sect. of all of the world that matters. This tradition seems never to have had any political significance. and the idea that Kasi (Banaras)-which numerous holy places all over India claim to replicate-contains within it all the other holy places of India (Eck. given the incomplete state of our knowledge of the chronology of Mahanubhava literature. Maharashtrais a microcosm of India. it is also a typically Hindu sort of claim. the ubiquitous notion of ' sarvatirtha'-a tirtha (holy place. The Mahanubhavas had. no place can grant liberation. Shankar Gopal Tulpule. Joel Gereboff. in the case of thejyotirliitgas. Krsnamuni's work has been preserved-and thereby. Saiva) Hindu pilgrimagetraditions. 33I am grateful to Surinder Mohan Bhardwaj. but it undoubtedly illustrates the religious significance that a region can have within a bhakti sectarian tradition. accepted-by the Mahanubhavatradition. But it is possible to see that the ideas outlined here constitute a consciously articulated sense of pride in Maharashtrawhich was in existence by the early seventeenth century.
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