Bhagavata (a vrddhi formation from Bhagavanta, meaning
"devotee of Bhagavanta", the Lord, i.e. God), is a devotee, worshipper
or follower of Bhagavanta namely God in his personal aspect. The form
of worship is called bhakti which has the meaning of 'adoration'. In
Sanskrit language 'Bhaga' stands for desire as well as vagina, 'antha'
stands for the end. Hence Bhagavanta or
Bhagavan means 'the one beyond
desire or rebirth', whereas
Bhagavata indicates a worshiper of this
purified and persistent entity. It also refers to a tradition
devoted to worship of Krishna, later assimilated into the concept of
Krishna is conceived as svayam bhagavan. According
to some historical scholars, worship of
Krishna emerged in the 1st
century BC. However,
Vaishnava traditionalists place it in the 4th
century BC. Despite relative silence of the earlier Vedic sources,
the features of Bhagavatism and principles of monotheism of Bhagavata
school unfolding described in the
Bhagavad Gita as viewed as an
example of the belief that Vasudeva-
Krishna is not an avatar of the
Vedic Vishnu, but is the Supreme.
1 Definition of Krishnaism
2 Initial History of
3 Second Early Stage
4 Literary references
5 Other meanings
6 See also
8 Further reading
Definition of Krishnaism
Main article: Krishnaism
The Heliodorus pillar, dedicated by a Greek ambassador from the court
Antialcidas circa 100 BCE, contains the first known
inscription related to the
Bhagavata cult in India.
In the ninth century CE Bhagavatism was already at least a millennium
old and many disparate groups, all following the
could be found. Various lineages of Gopala worshipers developed into
identifiable denominations. However, the unity that exists among these
groups in belief and practice has given rise to the general term
Krishnaism. Today the faith has a significant following outside of
India as well. Many places associated with
Krishna such as
Vrindavan attract millions of pilgrims each year who participate in
religious festivals that recreate scenes from Krishna's life on Earth.
Some believe that early Bhagavatism was enriched and transformed with
powerful and popular
Krishna tradition with a strong "human" element
Initial History of
It is believed that
Bhagavatas borrowed or shared the attribute or
Purusa of their monotheistic deity from the philosophy of
Sankhya. The philosophy was formulated by the end of the 4th century
BC and as time went other names such as
Narayana were applied to the
main deity of Krishna-Vāsudeva.
Second Early Stage
Some relate absorption by Brahmanism to be the characteristic of the
second stage of the development of the
Bhagavata tradition. It is
believed that at this stage Krishna-Vāsudeva was identified with the
deity of Vishnu, that according to some belonged to the pantheon of
Rulers onwards from Chandragupta II, Vikramaditya were known as parama
Bhagavata Vaishnavas. The
Bhagavata Purana entails the
fully developed tenets and philosophy of the
Bhagavata cult whereis
Krishna gets fused with
Vasudeva and transcends Vedic
Hari to be turned into the ultimate object of bhakti.
References to Vāsudeva also occur in early Sanskrit literature.
Taittiriya Aranyaka (X, i,6) identifies him with
Narayana and Vishnu.
Pāṇini, ca. 4th century BCE, in his
Ashtadhyayi explains the word
"Vāsudevaka" as a Bhakta (devotee) of Vāsudeva. At some stage during
the Vedic period,
Krishna became one deity or three
distinct deities Vasudeva-Krishna, Krishna-Gopala and Narayana, all
become identified with Vishnu. and by the time of composition of
the redaction of
Mahabharata that survives till today.
Gupta period research makes a "clear mention of
Vasudeva as the
exclusive object of worship of a group of people", who are referred as
According to an opinion of some scholars in Patanjali's time
Vasudeva is an established fact as is
surmised from a passage of the Mahabhasya – (jaghana kamsam kila
vasudevah). This "supposed earliest phase is though to have been
established from the sixth to the fifth centuries BCE at the time of
Pāṇini, who in his Astadhyayi explained the word vasudevaka as a
bhakta, devotee, of
Vasudeva and its believed that
with the worship od
Krishna were at the root of the
Vaishnavism in Indian history."
In the recent times this often refer to a particular sect of
Vaishnavas in West India, referring to themselves as
It is also a common greeting among the followers of
other yoga sects.
Constant Satsanga with devotees and Bhagavatas, repetition of His
Name, Sri Ram, Sita Ram,
Hari Om, etc., constant remembrance of the
Lord, prayer, study of religious books such as the Ramayana, the
Hari Kirtan, service of ... It can also be spelled
'Bhagavats' and refer to a
Bhagavata Sampradaaya is a very old vedic tradition that respects all
the darshana shastras & siddantas. It is neutral to any particular
practices like only Vaishnava, Smarta, Shakta, Gaanapatya, Saura etc.,
And instructs to practice the rituals that is in accordance with
Vedas. Some of the practices of this Sampradaaya are continuous study
of Vedas, all time chanting of Gayatri, Nitya Agni Upaasana, Atiti
Satkaara, Vaishwadeva, Pancha Yagnas, Daana-Dharma, Simpleness,
humbleness, socially accepted life style, Sachitdananda Dhyana,
leaving egotism, Sarva samarpana Bhaava of one's own
Sampat-Bhakti-Punya Karma-Knowledge. This is actual Bhagavata.
^ a b Hastings 2003, p. 540
^ Beck, G. (2005). "
Krishna as Loving Husband of God". Alternative
Krishnas: Regional and Vernacular Variations on a Hindu Deity.
ISBN 978-0-7914-6415-1. Retrieved 28 April 2008.
by then assimilated with Narayana
^ Hastings 2003, pp. 540–42
^ Srinivasan, Doris (1997). Many heads, arms, and eyes: origin,
meaning, and form of multiplicity in Indian art. Leiden: Brill.
p. 134. ISBN 90-04-10758-4.
^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed.
India through the ages.
Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,
Government of India. p. 76.
^ Osmund Bopearachchi, 2016, Emergence of Viṣṇu and Śiva Images
in India: Numismatic and Sculptural Evidence
^ Schweig, Graham M. (2005). Dance of Divine Love: The Rڄasa Lڄilڄa
Krishna from the Bhڄagavata Purڄa. na, India's classic sacred
love story. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. Front Matter.
^ KLOSTERMAIER, Klaus K. (2007). A Survey of Hinduism. State
University of New York Press; 3 edition. p. 204.
ISBN 0-7914-7081-4. Not only was Krsnaism influenced by the
identification of Krsna with Vishnu, but also
Vaishnavism as a whole
was partly transformed and reinvented in the light of the popular and
Krishna religion. Bhagavatism may have brought an element of
cosmic religion into
Krishna has certainly brought a
strongly human element into Bhagavatism. ... The center of
Krishna-worship has been for a long time Brajbhumi, the district of
Mathura that embraces also Vrindavana, Govardhana, and Gokula,
Krishna from the time immemorial. Many millions of
Krishna bhaktas visit these places ever year and participate in the
numerous festivals that reenact scenes from Krshnas life on
^ Hastings 2003, p. 541,
^ Kalyan Kumar Ganguli (1988). Sraddh njali, Studies in Ancient Indian
History: D.C. Sircar Commemoration: Puranic tradition of Krishna.
Sundeep Prakashan. ISBN 81-85067-10-4. p.36
^ Flood, Gavin D. (1996). An introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge, UK:
Cambridge University Press. p. 341. ISBN 0-521-43878-0.
Retrieved 21 April 2008. "Early
Vaishnava worship focuses on
three deities who become fused together, namely Vasudeva-Krishna,
Krishna-Gopala and Narayana, who in turn all become identified with
Vishnu. Put simply, Vasudeva-
Krishna and Krishna-Gopala were worshiped
by groups generally referred to as Bhagavatas, while
worshipped by the Pancaratra sect."
^ Banerjea, 1966, page 20
^ A Corpus of Indian Studies: Essays in Honour of Professor Gaurinath
Sastri, Page 150, 1980 – 416 pages.
^ Page 76 of 386 pages: The
Bhagavata religion with the worship of
Krishna as the ... of
Krishna and they are the
direct forerunners of Vaisnavism in India.Ehrenfels, U.R. (1953). "The
University of Gauhati". Dr. B. Kakati Commemoration Volume.
^ Page 98: In the Mahabharata, Vasudeva-
Krishna is identified with the
highest God.Mishra, Y.K. (1977). Socio-economic and Political History
of Eastern India. Distributed by DK Publishers' Distributors.
^ General, A. (1920). "I. The
Bhagavata Sampradaya". An Outline of the
Religious Literature of India.
^ Singhal, G.D. (1978). "The Cultural Evolution of Hindu Gaya, the
Vishnu Dham". The Heritage of India: LN Mishra Commemoration
^ BHAKTI YOGA[permanent dead link] 19 February 2008 by ANKARALI INC
^ "The Newly Discovered Three Sets of Svetaka Gangacopper Plates"
(PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 20
^ Kielhorn, F. (1908). "Bhagavats, Tatrabhavat, and Devanampriya".
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: 502–505. Retrieved 20 April
Dahmen-Dallapiccola, Anna Libera; Dallapiccola, Anna L. Dictionary of
Hindu lore and legend. London: Thames & Hudson.
Hastings, James Rodney (2003) [1908–26]. Encyclopedia of Religion
and Ethics. Volume 4 of 24 ( Behistun (continued) to Bunyan.). John A
Selbie (2nd edition 1925–1940, reprint 1955 ed.). Edinburgh:
Kessinger Publishing, LLC. p. 476. ISBN 0-7661-3673-6.
Retrieved 3 May 2008. The encyclopaedia will contain articles on all
the religions of the world and on all the great systems of ethics. It
will aim at containing articles on every religious belief or custom,
and on every ethical movement, every philosophical idea, every moral
Thompson, Richard, PhD (December 1994). "Reflections on the Relation
Between Religion and Modern Rationalism". Retrieved 12 April
Gupta, Ravi M. (2004). Caitanya Vaisnava Vedanta: Acintyabhedabheda in
Jiva Gosvami's Catursutri tika. University of Oxford.
Gupta, Ravi M. (2007). Caitanya Vaisnava Vedanta of Jiva Gosvami.
Routledge. ISBN 0-415-40548-3.
Ganguli, K.M. (1883–1896). The
Vyasa. Kessinger Publishing.
Ganguli, K.M. (1896).
Bhagavad-gita (Chapter V). The Mahabharata, Book
6. Calcutta: Bharata Press.
Wilson, H.H. (1840). The
Vishnu Purana, a System of Hindu Mythology
and Tradition: Translated from the Original Sanscrit and Illustrated
by Notes Derived Chiefly from Other Puranas. Printed for the Oriental
Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland.
Prabhupada, A.C. (1988). Srimad Bhagavatam. Bhaktivedanta Book
Kaviraja, K.; Prabhupada, A.C.B.S.; Bhaktivedanta, A.C. (1974). Sri
Caitanya-Caritamrta of Krsnadasa Kaviraja. Imprint unknown.
Goswami, S.D. (1998). The Qualities of Sri Krsna. GNPress.
pp. 152 pages. ISBN 0-911233-64-4.
Garuda Pillar of Besnagar, Archaeological Survey of India, Annual
Report (1908–1909). Calcutta: Superintendent of Government Printing,
Rowland, B., Jr. (1935). "Notes on Ionic Architecture in the East".
American Journal of Archaeology. 39 (4): 489–496.
doi:10.2307/498156. JSTOR 498156.
Delmonico, N. (2004). "The History of Indic Monotheism And Modern
Chaitanya Vaishnavism". The Hare
Krishna Movement: the Postcharismatic
Fate of a Religious Transplant. ISBN 978-0-231-12256-6. Retrieved
12 April 2008.
Mahony, W.K. (1987). "Perspectives on Krsna's Various Personalities".
History of Religions. 26 (3): 333–335. doi:10.1086/463085.
Beck, Guy L., ed. (2005). Alternative Krishnas: Regional and
Vernacular Variations on a Hindu Deity. SUNY Press.
Vyasanakere, Prabhanjanacharya. Download and Listen to
Kannada. Vyasamadhwa Samshodhana Pratishtana.
Vyasanakere, Prabhanjanacharya. Download and Listen Shloka by Shloka
Bhagavata and translation in Kannada. Vyasamadhwa Samshodhana