They are known as Vallabhacharyas, and their gosains or high priests as maharajas, to whom semi-divine honours are paid.
Henceforth the relations of the maharajas with the British government were increasingly cordial.
In this he attacked the immoralities of the Maharajas or hereditary high priests of the Vallabhacharya sect of Vaishnavism to which the Bhatias belong.
See History of the Sect of Maharajas or Wallabhacharyas of Western India (1865).
Another special feature of this sect is that their spiritual heads, the Gosains, also called Maharajas, so far from submitting themselves to self-discipline and austere practices, adorn themselves in splendid garments, and allow themselves to be habitually regaled by their adherents with choice kinds of food; and being regarded as the living representatives of the "lord of the Gopis" himself, they claim and receive in their own persons all acts of attachment and worship due to the deity, even, it is alleged, to the extent of complete self-surrender.
In the final judgment of the famous libel case of the Bombay Maharajas, before the Supreme Court of Bombay, in January 1862, these improprieties were severely commented upon; and though so unsparing a critic of Indian sects as Jogendra Nath seems not to believe in actual immoral practices on the part of the Maharajas, still he admits that "the corrupting influence of a religion, that can make its female votaries address amorous songs to their spiritual guides, must be very great."
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