The Buddhist Viṣṇu: Religious Transformation, Politics, and Culture
John Holt's groundbreaking study examines the assimilation, transformation, and subordination of the Hindu deity Visnu within the contexts of Sri Lankan history and Sinhala Buddhist religious culture. Holt argues that political agendas and social forces, as much as doctrinal concerns, have shaped the shifting patterns of the veneration of Visnu in Sri Lanka. Holt begins with a comparative look at the assimilation of the Buddha in Hinduism. He then explores the role and rationale of medieval Sinhala kings in assimilating Visnu into Sinhala Buddhism. Offering analyses of texts, many of which have never before been translated into English, Holt considers the development of Visnu in Buddhist literature and the changing practices of deity veneration. Shifting to the present, Holt describes the efforts of contemporary Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka to discourage the veneration of Visnu, suggesting that many are motivated by a reactionary fear that their culture and society will soon be overrun by the influences and practices of Hindus, Muslims, and Christians.
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The Buddhist Visnu: Religious Transformation, Politics, and Culture
John C. Holt
Limited preview - 2004
Alutnuvara Alutnuvara Devalaya Anuradhapura asala asked Avalokitesvara avatar basnayaka nilame bodhisatva Brahmanical Buddha Buddhist religious culture Buddhist Visnu century c.e. chapter coconut Colombo contemporary context cult of Visnu cultic Dadimunda deity deva Devalaya in Kandy devale Devata Devata Bandara devotees dhist discussion disti divine Gadaladeniya gods golden bow guardian deities Hindu historical Huniyam India Kande Viharaya Kandy Kandy Visnu devalaya Kandyan kankariya kapuralas karma Kataragama king kingship Kuveni Lankatilaka literature LTTE Maha Visnu Mahavamsa mala raja Mara minister monastic myth Natha Obeyesekere origins Pali Parakramabahu Pattini perahara political Polonnaruva presence protect puja Rama Ramayana Ravana reference regarded relation religion rite ritual royal sandalwood image Sandesa sangha sannasa Sanskrit Seneviratne shrine significance Sinhala Buddhist religious Sinhala Kavi Sinhalese Sita Soma Soma's specific Sri Lanka story Tamil temple Theravada tion tradition translated up-country Upulvan valiyak mangalya varama verses Vijaya village Visnu Kalyani worship yaksas yatikas