Kamban's Aryan

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Dec 26 17:01:28 UTC 1998

Dear Sreenivas,

Greetings from Ganesan.

When does the Sufi movemement in Baasra get started?
What century?

I think Hindu bhakti, which as a mass movement gets going
from KaraikkAl Amma (5th cent.), Tevaram saints, Srivaishnava Alvars,
draws its inspiration from earlier Mahayana traditions of
Bodhisattva bhakti (cf. Avalokitezvara, ch. XXIV, Lotus sutra etc.,
GaNDavyUha is a Southern text, ..). Similar bhakti-like
phenomenon can be detected in Jain rituals, texts, especially from the
South, 1-5 ceturies AD. Hinduism absorbs
these popular longigs and expresses them as Bhagavad Giithaa,
Tevaram, Divya prabandham, etc.,

I do not think Sufism is the cause of bhakti origins. But,
later than 8th or 9th century AD, Sufism could be a factor.
Inversely, Sufism could have been influenzed by Muslim
contacts with India too. It could be an ubhaya mArga
between bhakti and sufi cults.

N. Ganesan
Ch. Vaudeville in her oft-cited essay: Evolution of love symbolism in
Bhagavatism (JAOS, 1962) writes about a possible link between the Sufi
movement (with its origins in Baasra) and the Bhakti movement (in
There were already strong trade links between Baasra and the Malabar

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