The doc- THE Hindu doctrine of Faith (bhakti) was originally pro-
trme of pounded in the famous Sanskrit work entitled the Bhagavad-
gitd. It was subsequently developed in the Puranas, and
especially in the Bhdgavata. The date and history of its origin
in India are unknown, nor does it concern us at present to
consider the question whether it is due to the influence of
Christianity, as has been maintained by some eminent scholars.
Its essence consists in the acceptance of the necessity of faith
in a personal deity, a faith which closely corresponds to what
Christians understand by the term. St. Augustine's commentary
on faith, as quoted by the late Professor Cowell in the preface
to his translation of the Aphorisms of .n.tdilya-g-uid est
credere in Deum ? credendo amare, credendo diligere, credendo
in eum ire, et eius membris incorporari-is almost word for word
what a modern Hindu would say about bhakti.
If we exclude from consideration the religion of some learned
Hindus, whose textbooks are written in Sanskrit, the foundation
of modern Hinduism is not the esoteric VWdantism about which
much has been written in Europe, but consists in a belief in a
Trinity-the Supreme Deity, His Incarnation, and His Energic
Power 2,-consecrated by a passionate bhakti directed either to
the Incarnation or to the Energic Power conceived as a person.
Vernacular Alore than half the literature of modern India is directly
literature based on this view of religion. AWhether in the form of epic
religious. poem, or lyrics, or parenetic treatises, it deals with some aspect
of the Deity, either with one of his two great incarnations, Rama
and Krishna, or with Siva and his energic power under the
- In the following pages free use has been made, so far as it is applicable,
of the account of vernacular literature given in the last edition of the
Gazetteer. The writer has also more than once repeated language
employed by himself on former occasions.
1 This is the true Trinity of Hinduism,-not the oft-quoted Brahma,
Vishnu, and Siva.