Religious Movements in Rajasthan Ideas & Antiquities : ‘History of ideas and movement of cultures’ received a boost as thrust areas of investigation in the studies and researches initiated in the Department of History and Indian Culture and the Centre for Rajasthan Studies, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur since the days of Professor G.C. Pande’s stewardship. To hold a Seminar on “Religious Movements in Rajasthan: Ideas and Antiquities”, under the auspices of the Centre in Feb., 1995, thus, was one more step to move in that direction. Rajasthan, because of its peculiar geographical location and socio-religious and politico-economic changes and transformations taking place on its borders, both of national and international nature, becomes, in fact, a ‘test-area’ for ideational currents and crosscurrents almost in every field, be it religion or social structure. The present volume includes most of the papers read at the three-day Seminar. The papers have been grouped into two sections, English and Hindi, and arranged chronologically, as far as possible.
The key paper by Prof. G.N. Sharma, the founder Director of the Centre, who also inaugurated the Seminar, sets the pace. He underlines the trends of religious movements in Rajasthan, interaction between classical and folk religions and the socio-religious reform movements of modern times.
Mr. Vijay Kumar tries to reconstruct briefly the religious beliefs in the pre-historic and proto-historic Rajasthan by synthesising multiple archaeological data, especially the themes and contents of newly discovered painted rock-shelters. My own paper ‘Early Footprints of Bhagavatism in Rajasthan’ seeks not only to document the literary and archaeological data from Rajasthan related to Bhagavatism but tries to understand it in the light of movements of peoples and tribes from the Haryana, Punjab and Mathura regions. Prof. B.D. Chattopadhyaya’s paper is a new attempt altogether to understand the dynamic process of integrative nature of Indian culture.