by Krishnaswami Aiyangar | 1940 | 69,979 words
This page describes the bhagavata religion of the pancaratras of the English translation of the Parama Samhita, representing a manual of the Pancaratra school of Vaishnavism philosophy. These pages summarize ritualistic worship, initiation and other topics, as contained in the various Agamas belonging to the Pancaratra school
What is called the Pāñcarātra is generally regarded as the Bhāgavata religion of Bhakti or devotion to God, capable of being propitiated by devoted service and of granting in consequence ultimate salvation (niḥśreyas). The question of the antiquity of the religion of Bhāgavata, and of the Bhāgavatas as a sect, has received considerable attention in recent times. It is regarded as a school of thought, and a body of people practising a mode of worship in conformity thereto, and goes back to times anterior to the Buddhist and Jain history. We are enabled by recent research to trace the growth of this sect of teachers and teaching from now backwards regularly to Vedic times. The teaching of the Bhāgavatas likewise has been receiving much attention, and the conclusion has recently been reached that the Bhagavad-gita itself is a manual of the Bhāgavata religion. We shall consider these positions briefly.