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Mother of My Heart, Daughter of My DreamsKali and Uma in the Devotional Poetry of Bengal$
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Rachel Fell McDermott

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195134353

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195134354.001.0001

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“Born in Rāmprasād's Line to Revive Bhakti”: Sādhaka Kamalākānta

“Born in Rāmprasād's Line to Revive Bhakti”: Sādhaka Kamalākānta

Chapter:
(p.84) 3 “Born in Rāmprasād's Line to Revive Bhakti”: Sādhaka Kamalākānta
Source:
Mother of My Heart, Daughter of My Dreams
Author(s):

Rachel Fell McDermott (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195134354.003.0004

This is a study of the Bengali Hindu Śākta poet Kamalākānta Bhaṭṭācārya (ca. 1769–1821), a sādhaka (one who engages in spiritual austerities, often Tantric). He is regarded as the second‐ranking figure (in chronology as well as talent) of the Śākta Padāvalī (a collection of short sung verses or padas of the Śākta persuasion) genre, and most of his biographers depict him as following the example of Rāmprasād Sen both poetically and in lifestyle. The three stages in the progression of ideas and modes of presentation in the Bengali biographical literature on Kamalākānta are examined, with quotations from his poetry. An account is also given of efforts to commemorate his life through buildings and monuments in the Burdwan area, and of another site associated with him at Baj Baj (south of Calcutta). Three case studies are then presented that chart changes in the depiction of Kamalākānta over time, and finally some historical judgments made of him are revisited.

Keywords:   Bengal, Kamalākānta Bhaṭṭācārya, Hinduism, history, India, poetry, poets, Śāktism

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