(redirected from Vaishnavism)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Vaishnavism: Shaivism
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(sometimes Vaishnavism), one of the religious doctrines of Hinduism uniting a number of Vishnuite sects. Although they differ from each other in certain religious dogmas and rituals, all the sects recognize the god Vishnu as the supreme divinity and worship him mainly in the form of two avatars (incarnations)—Rama and Krishna. Vishnu and his avatars are benevolent divinities connected with popular sun cults of fertility. Vishnuism is widespread mainly in northern India. As early as the middle of the first millennium B.C. a monotheistic tendency appeared in Vishnuism, and the doctrine of bhakti was created—a doctrine of personal love and devotion to god denying the necessity of ritual. Since the llth century A.D. sectarian tendencies have been arising in Vishnuism. Several of these sects have protested against class-caste inequality and were closely connected with the bhakti doctrine. The south Indian philosopher and religious reformer Ramanuja (died 1137) preached the bhakti doctrine and founded the Sri Vaishnavas sect, which has remained the major Vishnuite sect until the present time.


Barth, A. Religii Indii. Moscow, 1897. (Translated from French.)
Radhakrishnan, S.Indiiskaiafilosofiia, vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1956-57. (Translated from English.)
Bhăndārkar, R. G. Vaisnavism, saivism, and minor religious systems. Strasbourg, 1913.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
If someone who has no idea of Vaishnavism were to ask, they would say they are Hindu, but if another Hindu were to ask them, they would say they are Vaishnavas or devotees of Krishna.
In the seventeenth century, a religious movement centered on the worship of the divine couple Krisna and Radha, and named Gaudiya Vaishnavism, became a cultural force for transforming the countryside of southwestern Bengal into a cosmopolitan urban environment.
The world's list of monotheistic religions includes: Baha'i, Christianity, Druzism, Hare Krishna, Islam, Judaism, Rastafarianism, Saivism, Sikhism, Smartism, Vaishnavism, and Yezidism.
Later he sent six of his followers, now called the Goswamis, to locate the lost sacred places associated with Krishna and to develop the theological, ritual, and devotional framework of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. The Goswamis' religious vision was embodied not only in text and memory but also in the deity images they worshipped, the temples in Vrindaban which housed those images, and the lineages they established.
Hinduism has many branches, with the most widely followed being Vaishnavism and Shaivism.
This same pattern of a heterodox heterosexuality and an orthodox homoeroticism is also seen in the case of Bengali Vaishnavism, where the ultimate goal is to share in the bliss of Krishna's love play with Radha in Vrindavana.
Bahina follows Vaishnavism or Vishnuism which worships Vishnu as the visible aspect of God in his various incarnations, or avatars.
(48) Jones was faithful to the spirit of contemporary Bengali Hinduism both in his attention to the cult of sakti and in his representation of the cult of Vaishnavism (devotion to Vishnu).
In the bhakti (devotional) movement of Vaishnavism, the female, Radha, symbolizes the human soul and the male, Krishna, the divine.
The latter two, sometimes through their avatars and consorts, serve as the foci for the two major sects of Hinduism, Vaishnavism and Shaivism.
As cultural bridges have been built between mainland Shaivism and Bodo traditions, Vaishnavism and Sankardev's heritage, bridges are being built between (Arunachal) Donyi-Polo and Puranic deities, (Meghalaya) Jaintia practices and Epic narratives.
Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Mahayana Buddhism flourished among the ruling Khmer elites until the 14th century.