Neither here nor there

The betwixt and between religious imaginary of Lāldās

Authored by: Mukesh Kumar

Routledge Handbook of South Asian Religions

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367150778
eBook ISBN: 9780429054853
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter analyses the historical transformations in a north Indian saintly tradition of Lāldās, who advocated a liminal path marked by nirguṇ bhakti. Through his messages, Lāldās appealed to Hindu and Muslim followers to adopt a righteous lifestyle devoid of violence, thievery, and animal killing. Although Lāldās’ notion of religion and religious identity stood in stark contrast to institutional values of society, his example shows that religious life in India can be variously lived and delineated. To sum up, a shared religious plurality has been and still is a widespread norm in the subcontinent that makes it hard to categorise the general populace in religious terms.

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