March 09, 2007

Bukka I - Vijayanagar king

If there is something that didnt change for centuries, it has to be the religious conflicts in India.

Jyotsna Kamat narrates a good-will incident found in an inscription of Vijayanagar king, Bukka I (1356-77 CE). The king himself interfered to bring harmony between two powerful dissenting sects, Jains and Srivaishnavas.

There was once a conflict between Jains(referred to as the bhavyas)and Shrivaishnavas (referred to as the bhaktas). The Jains complained to the king about the injustice done to them. The king personally examined the issue, visited the spot and proclaimed that there was no distinction between the two creeds and that they will not be treated differently.

The king took the hand of the Jains and placing it in the hands of
Srivaishnavas, with representatives of both the communities watching, declared:

"There is no difference between Vaishnava darsana (Srivaishnava faith and Jaina darsana (Jaina faith).... If loss is caused to Jaina darsana through the bhaktas, the Vaishavas will kindly deem it as loss to their own darsana. The Srivaishnavas to this effect, may kindly set up a proclamation (Sasana) in all the basadis of the kingdom. As long as the Sun and the Moon endure, the Vaishnava creed will continue to protect Jaina darsana. The Jainas and Vaishnavas are one body".
If only the present day conflicts can be solved so easily!

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