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A comparison of two devotional sects of Southwestern India: the Virasaivas of Karnatak and the Varakaries of Maharastra Mullatti, Leela Laxman

Abstract

This thesis has attempted to explore certain aspects of the complex interrelations of ideology, social organisation and social change in modem India. To elucidate this relationship, I have chosen to compare two devotional sects of Southwestern India: the Vῑrasaivas of Karnāṭak and the Vῑrakarῑes of Māharāṣṭra. The Vῑrasaivas and the Vārakarῑes represent distinct cultural, linguistic groups. The ideologies of the leaders of these two sects, Basavā and Tukārām, are uniquely suited for comparison and contrast. This comparative study of the ideologies throws light on the rigid and the flexible tendencies of their respective social organisations to social changes, with special reference to their religious communities and caste structures. Various aspects of the complex interrelationship of ideology, social organisation and social change have been discussed.

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