Overview for The Bhakti Sect of Valiabhacarya
One of the foremost leaders of the devotional revolution which swept through Hindu society in the 15th and 16th centuries was Vallabhacarya. In terms of religion, Vallabhacarya's main contribution was his demonstration of the way in which a human being can shed his or her limited, mortal ego in order to rediscover an eternal individual participation in an unlimited divine being. With regard to literature, some of the earliest prose writing in any form of Hindi was produced by Vallabhacarya's followers in the Caurasi Vaisnavan ki Varta, a collection of accounts of personal efforts to apply the teachings of Vallabhacarya to everyday life. The first part of the Bhakti Sect of Vallabhacarya deals with Vallabhacarya's life and with his establishment of an organisation for his followers, a philosophical system to explain his view of the world and a spiritual method for putting his teachings into practice. The second part of the book is made up of an English translation of the sections of the Caurasi Vaisnavan ki Varta describing the lives of four early disciples of Vallabhacarya, one of whom was the poet Suradasa.
Richard Barz (Author)
Richard Barz is currently in-charge of the Hindi and Urdu course in the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra. Dr. Barz began his study of Hindi in the United States, first at the universities of Arizona and Wisconsin and later at the University of Chicago. He has spent several years in India, mainly doing research in Hindi linguistics, literature and folklore in and around the cities of Mathura, Lucknow and Gorakhpur. He has also visited Fiji and Mauritius and is interested in the role of Hindi in these countires. In addition to many articles, Dr. Barz is the author of The Bhakti Sect of Vallabhacarya (New Delhi, 1992), and the co-author with J. Siegel of Language Transplanted: the Development of Overseas Hindi (Wiesbaden, 1988) and with M. Thiel-Horstmann of Living Texts from India (Wiesbaden, 1989). Before taking up his present position, he taught Hindi at California State University at Long Beach and the University of California at Berkeley. He has also been associated with the Hindi courses at the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University.