The number of Śaivite Nāyanārs (also called Samayācāryas) was said to be sixty-three (an apparent counterpart of the Jain tradition of sixty-three Great Men or śalākā-puru&stod;a), among whom only the most important—Jñāna Sambandar, Mā&ntod;ikka Vācakar, and Sundaramūrti—are represented on our map. Of the 274 Śaiva holy places mentioned in a contemporary text, all but six (Śrīśailam in Andhra, Gokar&ntod;a in Karnataka, and Kedāra, Indranīla, Gaurīku&ntod;&dtod;a, and Kailāśa in the Himalayas) are located in the Tamil country. Only a small number of these places are plotted on maps (a) and (b). Those plotted include sacred sites and shrines connected with the lives and missions of such Śaivite theologian-philosophers (Santānā- cāryas) as Ā&ntod;&dtod;ār Nambi, who collected and arranged Nāya- nār hymns, and Śekkilār the hagiographer, who themselves came to be looked upon by posterity as great Nāyanārs.
The Vai&stod;&ntod;avite poet-saints comprised twelve Ā<od;vārs, all of whom are represented on map (b), together with two of their great ācāryas (teacher-saints and theologian-philosophers). The traditional number of Vai&stod;&ntod;ava holy places is 108, of which the great majority are in Tamil country, with small num- bers also in Kerala, southern Karnataka, and Andhra. A sig- nificant number are plotted on map (a).
The religious renaissance and revival led by the Nāyanārs and Ā&lline;vārs are closely related to the political revival of Pallava and Pā&ntod;&dtod;ya power, and their opposition to heretical Jainism and Buddhism. The Pā&ntod;&dtod;yas, in particular, overthrew the power of the Ka&lline;abhras, who patronized both of those faiths. Although Pallava and Pā&ntod;&dtod;ya rulers continued to patronize orthodox Vedic Brahmans and even strengthened the Brah- manical tradition in order to promote their political power, they accepted the liberality of the Bhakti movement, recog- nized the divinity of its poet-saints, and provided for the reci- tation of their hymns in the temples.
The pilgrimages of the poet-saints, their close affinities with diverse segments of the population, and their liberal social phi- losophy created in the Tamil country a strong sense of cultural cohesiveness and promoted a distinctive regional identity that transcended political rivalries. But interregional intercourse was also promoted by long-distance sectarian linkages and by recognition of pilgrimage sites of pan-Indian importance, such as Kailāśa, Kedāra, Kāśī, and so forth, for the Śaivites and Mathurā, V&rtod;ndāvana, and Ayodhyā for the Vai&stod;&ntod;avites.
During the 10th through the 12th century, the cordial rela- tions between the Nāyanārs and Ā&lline;vārs were transformed into sectarian rivalry. The Co&lline;a monarchs, though tolerant of the Vai&stod;&ntod;avites and extending patronage to them, were great sup- porters of Śaivism. The Śaivites thereby gained the upper hand over the Vai&stod;&ntod;avites, who meanwhile had become more promi- nent in Kerala, even counting one of that country's Cera rul- ers, Kulaśekhera (9th century), as one of the Ā&lline;vārs.
While the Tamil country and adjacent regions were being swayed by the devotional fervor of the Bhakti poet-saints, other religious reform and philosophical movements also were launched by extraordinary minds of southern India. Among these we have portrayed the spatial dimensions of the powerful mission of the great ascetic-philosopher Śa&ndot;karācārya, or sim- ply Śa&ndot;kara, a Brahman native of Keladi in Kerala. In his life span, said to be only thirty-two years (788–820), Śa&ndot;kara propounded the advaita (nondualistic or monistic) system of Vedanta philosophy, brilliantly synthesizing the metaphysical systems then in vogue among Hindus and Buddhists; traveled throughout India three times, often debating en route with Hindu, Buddhist, and other opponents; established major cen- ters at Badarikā, Dvārakā, Purī, Ś&rtod;&ndot;geri, and Kāñcī to carry forward his work of religious reform and philosophical enlight- enment; organized ascetics into ten orders; reformed Śaivism by suppressing abominable practices associated with Tantric worship, especially blood sacrifices; and advanced religious syncretism by initiating the integral worship of five deities (pañcāyatana pūjā)—Vi&stod;&ntod;u, Śiva, Śakti, Sūrya, and Ga&ndot;eśa (to which some scholars add a sixth deity, Skanda or Kumāra). Śa&ndot;kara also recognized the force of the Bhakti movement, and devotional hymns in Sanskrit are attributed to him. Be- cause of considerations of space we have plotted on map (b)
Apart from his far-flung missionary activities, Śa&ndot;kara's writing in Sanskrit in preference to any regional language fur- ther evinces his pan-Indian perspective. The widely dispersed religious centers he founded flourish to this day. Although his mission was highly intellectual and his religious organization essentially ascetic, the roles he assigned to his disciples and to the successors to his pontifical seats brought a class of re- nouncers into active relationship with students and society at large. In his remarkably successful career, he contributed no- tably to the religious and cultural unity of India and to the decline of rival Hindu schools of philosophy, especially Mī- mā&mtod;sā, as well as of Buddhism. Yet his influence was not with- out distinctive regional flavor, as, for example, his pronounced effect on the particular form of Śaivism practiced in Kashmir.
In the Tamil country, the Nāyanārs and Ā&lline;vars were fol- lowed in the 10th through the 12th century by a succession of ācāryas, theologian-philosophers, who collected their hymns, created an institutional framework for the Bhakti movement, harmonized devotionalism with the sacred Hindu texts, such as the Upani&stod;ads, and expanded the philosophical bases of Bhakti, thereby bringing the movement within the fold of or- thodox Hinduism. We have shown the places associated with Ā&ntod;&dtod;ār Nambi, who arranged Nāyanār hymns in eleven books, and Śekkilār, author of the Periyāpura&ntod;a, the hagiography of the Nāyanārs. (For simplicity, we have symbolized both on our map as Nāyanārs proper.) The twelve books of these two ācāryas are collectively referred to as the Tamil fifth Veda.
Of the ācāryas who were successors to the Ā&lline;vārs, we have plotted places associated with Nāthamuni and the great Rāmā- nuja. Nāthamuni (9th century) arranged 4,000 Ā&lline;vār hymns, founded the Śrīvai&stod;&ntod;ava sect, and made Śrīra&ndot;gam a leading apostolic seat of Vai&stod;&ntod;avism. Rāmānuja (11th century) was the greatest of the ācāryas. He propounded the vi⋅i&stod;&ttod;ādvaita (qualified monism) system of philosophy and traveled to northern Indian Vai&stod;&ntod;ava sacred places, to some of which he introduced Śrīvai&stod;&ntod;avism. He is credited with the conversion of the Hoysa&lline;a king Vi&stod;&ntod;uvardhana to Vai&stod;&ntod;avism, and he es- tablished several shrines and centers in southern Karnataka, the chief of which was Yadavagiri. Also plotted are places as- sociated with Nimbarka and Jayadeva, both of whom lived during the 12th century. The Telugu Brahman Nimbarka, like Rāmānujācārya, contributed notably to establishing the devo- tional Vai&stod;&ntod;ava faith in the North. Migrating to V&rtod;ndāvana, he there established his own sect, emphasizing love as the es- sence of devotionalism. Also popularizing Vai&stod;&ntod;avism in the North was Jayadeva (12th century), whose Sanskrit work, the erotic-mystical Gītagovinda, was produced in Bengal and was subsequently diffused to many other regions.
The Tamil Bhakti movement spread northward into Karna- taka and Andhra. In the former region we have portrayed the Vīraśaiva or Lingāyat movement and the places prominently associated with the life of Basava (1105–67), the alleged founder of the sect. In fact, Vīraśaivism (literally Śaivism of the stalwarts, or heroic Śaivism) traces its origin to the teacher- saints who flourished earlier than Basava and recognized the Tamil Nāyanārs as their spiritual guides. But Basava, minister of the Kalacuri king Bijjala of Kalyā&ntod;a, was the real inspira- tion and organizer of the movement, noted more for its sec- tarianism and social program than for its philosophy. The sect advocated faith in Śiva alone, was anticaste, created its own priesthood, the ja&ndot;gamas, and granted equal status to women. Vīraśaiva writings are in Kannada. The stronghold of the faith was northern Karnataka, where its major establishments, in- cluding Kū&dtod;ala Sa&ndot;gama, Ujjayinī, Ballehalli, and Abbalūr, flourished despite the alleged persecution of the Kalacuri kings in the 12th century. Major ma&ttod;has were also maintained at Śrīśailam, Kāśī, and Kedāra, thus maintaining Vīraśaiva links with movements elsewhere. Vīraśaivism was hostile to Jainism and remained so beyond the 12th century. It was chiefly re- sponsible for the decline of the Jain faith in Karnataka. The Ārādhya Śaiva movement in Andhra was inspired by, friendly to, and in many ways like Vīraśaivism, though it retained many trappings of orthodoxy. It too was dedicated exclusively to de- votion to Śiva, rejected much ritual, liberalized caste rules, and attacked heretical sects such as Jainism.
Map (b) shows the areas where Jainism remained promi- nent throughout the period covered as well as those where it suffered losses. The principal losses were sustained in the far South, where Jainism was reduced to a vestigial position through the hostility of the Tamil Bhakti movement, whose leaders ex- ploited the royal authority to help bring about its downfall. Retreating to Karnataka, Jain monks received patronage and were able to proselytize there during the rule of the Ga&ndot;gas of Talakā&dtod;. In Maharashtra Jains had earlier (7th and 8th cen- turies) made significant gains at the expense of Buddhism and were favored by the Rā&stod;&ttod;rakū&ttod;as, a few of whose monarchs, such as Amoghavar&stod;a I, allegedly converted to their faith.
North of the Vindhyas, the Jains continued to retain their significant position in the domains of the Kalacuris, Paramāras, and Candellas. In Rajasthan and Gujarat, they made important
The gains registered by Jainism were largely due to the ex- emplary character, scholarship, and missionary role of their monks, especially those belonging to the Kharatara-gacca mo- nastic order. But Jain teachers, in seeking to promote their religion, admitted within it certain features of Hinduism and accorded a place to certain Hindu deities such as Śiva, Vi&stod;&ntod;u, and Brahmā, who were included in the list of the outstanding personages (⋅alāka-puru&stod;a) of Jainism. This syncretism was characteristic of the age, and Jain recognition of such Hindu scriptures as the Vedas as important sources of knowledge and religious guidance helped mitigate popular hostility toward them in northern India. Although Jains held certain holy places, such as Sammeya, to be of pan-Indian importance, they adopted an essentially regional outlook in their religious and scholarly activities and advanced regional languages and lit- erature.
Like Jainism, Buddhism too was under attack from revital- ized Hinduism, as mainfested in Śaivism, Vai&stod;&ntod;avism, and the popular Bhakti movement, which undermined its strength in areas where it enjoyed mass participation without ritual inter- mediary and communicated through popular languages. De- spite its general decline, Buddhism obtained a fresh lease on life in Bihar and Bengal under the patronage of the Pālas. However, the development within Buddhism of the Vajrayāna and other Tantric sects did little to invigorate the religion and enhance its ethical and moral appeal. On the contrary, these Tantric elements made it more vulnerable to Hinduism, which had also developed Tantric cults, especially as part of the doc- trines of the Śākta sect and of Śaivism. Similarly, the Mahā- yāna mode of worship and its philosophy closely approached popular Hinduism, while Śa&ndot;kara's advaita system did much to undermine Buddhism's philosophical position. Vai&stod;&ntod;avism also attempted to absorb Buddhism by declaring Buddha to be the ninth incarnation of Vi&stod;&ntod;u. Despite its weakening appeal, Buddhism survived through the 12th century in the eastern Ganga Plain and along certain coastal regions, especially those that were prominent in overseas commerce with Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka. Kashmir and Nepal remained Buddhist strongholds and, even after the destruction of the Buddhist monasteries and universities such as Nālandā, Udda&ntod;&dtod;apura, Vikramaśilā, and Somapura and the killing of Buddhist monks by Muslim conquerors in the late 12th and early 13th centu- ries, Buddhism continued to survive in southeastern Bengal. Buddhism remained the state religion in Si&mtod;hala (Sri Lanka) despite the prominence of Śaivism during the Co&lline;a occupation of the northern part of the island.
While Buddhism was yielding to the assimilative and inte- grative forces of Hinduism, it totally collapsed under the blows of Islam in the areas of the latter's conquest. Buddhists were both numerous and flourishing in Sind before the Arab con- quest in 712. But subsequently there was a virtual exodus both to the western coast and to the hearth of Buddhism in Bihar. During the period of the Ghaznavids and Ghūrids, especially during the conquest of Bihar and Bengal by Bakhtyār ud-dīn Khaljī, Buddhism received its death blow. For, once the main religious establishments of those regions had been destroyed, the very fabric of their religious life disintegrated. Hindu tem- ples over much of the Gangetic Plain were also targets for destruction; this helps explain the remarkable absence on map (a) of symbols indicative of major Hindu monuments in that region dating from the period under review.
Islam advanced into and within South Asia along with mer- chants and warriors. The Arab conquest of Sind gradually led to the prominence of Islam in that region by the 11th century, though it is difficult to ascertain the extent of its hold over the people. Arab merchants obtained permission from the Hindu rulers of the Cālukya and Rā&stod;&ttod;rakū&ttod;a dynasties to build mosques along the western and eastern coasts. The Perumals of Kerala were particularly benevolent toward Muslims, ex- tending patronage to Islam and permitting Muslim merchants to marry Hindu women, thus giving rise to the local Mappilla community. Elsewhere in the South, important Muslim centers grew up at Nagūr and U&rline;aiyūr, the latter being noted for Is- lamic missionary activities in the 11th century.
Although, in the wake of Ghaznavid and Ghūrid conquests, Islamic establishments arose in the capitals and administrative headquarters of the northwestern region, it is difficult to judge the extent of Islamic influence, and our depiction of the areas