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A North Indian Vaiṣṇaiva bhakti sampradāya, founded by Hitaharivaṃśa when he consecrated an image of Kṛṣṇa called Rādhavallabha (‘Lover of Rādhā’) at Vṛndāvana in 1535, and continued, after his death, by his son Kṛṣṇadāsa. The sampradāya was dedicated to the worship of Rādhā through an attitude of sakhya-bhakti, in which the devotee assumed the role of a female attendant or close girl-friend (sakhī) of Rādhā, the better to contemplate the eternal union of her and her husband Kṛṣṇa; the ultimate aim of this practice was to engender a liberating emotion or aesthetic experience (rasa) of joy (hita). All other concerns, whether ritual, theological or philosophical, were treated as essentially irrelevant to this devotion. The Sakhībhāvas may have been an offshoot of the Rādhavallabhīs, although little is known about the history of either tradition.

Subjects: Religion

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