6 Jalarām Bāpā: Miracles and Meaning in Nineteenth Century Gujarāt

in Religious Transformation in Modern Asia
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Abstract

Whilst some work has been carried out concerning the lives and events of Hindu saints associated with the Gujarāt region of Western India, there has been little sustained work on the life of and the miraculous events surrounding the popular Nineteenth Century, Lohānā saint Jalarām Bāpā. During his life, few would have known about Jalarām Bāpā beyond the Kathiawad region of Gujarāt, a region that at the time was experiencing considerable social, economic and political upheaval. Due to the nature of the Gujarātī Diaspora, however, Jalarām Bāpā has become a transnational phenomenon and the miraculous events that he is associated with have travelled with him. Despite his global popularity, however, no attempt has been made to contextualise the hagiographical narratives that speak of his teachings and miracles in nineteenth century Gujarat. This article will attempt to address this scholarly lacuna whilst at the same time providing an understanding of the wider religious and social fabric of the Gujarat at the time.

Religious Transformation in Modern Asia

A Transnational Movement

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