Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions
Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.
Today’s religious topic is as follows:
“Banarsidas”, (b. 1586—d. 1643), Jain mystic and poet (see JAINISM) who is credited with writing one of the first autobiographies in India, his Ardhakathanaka, or “Half a Tale.” It is invaluable for information on daily life in urban north India during Mughal times.
Banarsidas was born into a family of SVETAMBARA Jain merchants n Agra. As a youth he was a libertine and an author of erotic Hindi verses. At age 19 he underwent a change, eventually becoming a wealthy merchant who followed all the forms of ritual and personal conduct expected of a pious, upright Jain. At age 35 he underwent another change, this time rebelling against all outward ritual forms, which he came to see as empty of any spiritual meaning. He was drawn toward a group of layman, of a generally DIGAMBARA leaning, known as Adhyatma (“Innermost Soul”), who engaged in study and discussion of spiritual matters. This group also rejected the authority of all monks. In this context he was introduced by a Digambara lay scholar to the 9th-century Gommatasara of Nemicandra, which explained the 14-rung (GUNASTHANA) path to liberation. This allowed Banarsidas to re-accept image worship and other outward forms of ritual as lower stages on the spiritual ladder. He also encountered the Samayasara of the 2nd-3rd century Digambara mystic KUNDAKUNDA, which explains a two-truth vision of reality as perceived from the worldly (vyavahara) and absolute (niscaya) perspectives. Banarsidas wrote a Hindi version of it. He became a leader of the Adhyatma movement While the movement itself died out within a century of Banarsidas, its principles live on in the Digambara Terapantha, which is still an influential sect in north India.
The 17th-century writer Banārasīdās casts his poem ‘Navarasa’ on the waters of the river Gomati after he rediscovers the Jain beliefs of his family.
(Comeback on 3/31/15 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn more about “Banda Singh Bahadur”.
#ReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver, #Baltic Religion