Shreya Patel

Thesis Title:  "Cultivating Devotion:  A Comparative Study of the Srimad Bhagavatam and Vaishnava Poetry."

Advisor: Edwin F. Bryant

This past year I had the privilege of working with Dr. Edwin Bryant on my Religion departmental Honors thesis entitled "Cultivating Devotion, A comparative study of the Shrimad Bhagavatam and Vaishnava Poetry". While researching and writing the thesis was a very difficult task, I am very grateful to Dr. Edwin Bryant for giving me guidance and support on the project. His help definitely made the process much easier.

For my thesis, I examined the portrayal of Krishna in both scripture (Bhagavatam) and derivative literature (Vaishnava poetry). Ultimately, through my research I was able to see that the Krishna depicted in Bhagavatam differs drastically from the Krishna depicted in poetry. I found that while the Bhagavatam focuses on the deification of Krishna, Vaishnava poetry concentrates on the humanization of Krishna.

Furthermore, I proved that the different depictions of Krishna lead the reader if the respective literature to cultivate a certain type of devotion towards Krishna.