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Sattvata in Hinduism

The word sattvata has several meanings in Hinduism. Sattvata means

  • Balarama
  • Yadava race
  • Sri Krishna sattvatam varah (the foremost among the sattvatas)
  • Vishnu as one who nourishes noble qualities
  • A person endowed with noble qualities (sattva gunas)
  • Who is an exclusive worshipper of Bhagavan Vishnu
  • He how has no desire other than salvation

In Bhagavata Purana, it is said that the sattvatas worship Brahman (the Ultimate Reality) as Bhagavan and Vasudeva. In the Mahabharata, Samkarshna is said to have introduced the sattvata rites to worship Vasudeva. Yamunacharya, one of the earliest preceptors of the Visistadvaita Vedanta, belonging to the 10th century CE., explains that those who worship Bhagavan with purity (sattva) are called Bhagavata or Sattvata. He counters the views which considered sattvatas as belonging to a low caste, earning their living from images. Manu considered them as children of a kshatriya woman and a vaishya. It is also held that they constructed temples and repaired them.

The word Sattvata Agamas refers to one of the three most ancient Vaishnava Agamas (traditional doctrines), the other being Paushkara and Jaya. The agama insists on absolute bhakti and ekanta (exclusively) to Bhagavan Narayana.