Mitthu, Miṭṭhu: 1 definition


Mitthu means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: A Śākta Rāsalīlā as Rājayoga in Eighteenth-Century Benares

Miṭṭhu (मिट्ठु) or Miṭṭha or Miṭṭhu Śukla is the name of a Smārta Brahmin named who was born in 1737 CE in Gujarat and is the author of the Haṃsavilāsa, or (“transport of the Haṃsas”): a complex and unusual work composed in Sanskrit. In 1742 CE, when Miṭṭhu was in his fifth year, he received his Vedic upanayana initiation. Since this is the earliest possible age for a Brahmin to undergo this rite of passage we might assume either that he was especially gifted, or that his parents were very ambitious for him. Thereafter Miṭṭha Śukla tells us that he mastered the Śrīvidyā system of Śākta Tantrism with ease.

In Miṭṭhu’s writings we can perceive a syncretic approach that actively seeks accommodation with the brahmanical mainstream. In his twelfth year he married Bhūlī and lived as a householder with her until his sixteenth year, “frolicking like a crow” as he himself puts it. In 1754 CE, when Miṭṭhu Śukla was still a teenager, he ran away from his home and teenage bride Bhūlī in Gujarat because he was overcome by a sudden and inexplicable dispassion. Miṭṭhu was drawn to Benares, which under the rule of the Bhūmihāra Brahmin Balwant Singh (reg. 1740– 1770 CE) had become a rapidly growing boom town. There he spent some time studying Upanishadic and Tantric scriptures, but he found no solace in these, and finally left for the Vindhyācala temple in Mirzapur to commit ritual suicide and thereby attain liberation or at least a pleasant sojourn in a paradise world.

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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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