Making Virtuous Daughters and Wives: An Introduction to Women's Brata Rituals in Bengali Folk Religion

Making Virtuous Daughters and Wives: An Introduction to Women's Brata Rituals in Bengali Folk Religion

by June McDaniel
     
 

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Exploring the folk religion of India and the role of girls and women within it, author June McDaniel focuses on the brata (vrata) ritual in which moral lessons are taught and goddesses are revealed. Bratas are performed to gain such goals as a healthy family, a good husband, and a happy life. They are also performed so that the performers (bratinis) develop such…  See more details below

Overview

Exploring the folk religion of India and the role of girls and women within it, author June McDaniel focuses on the brata (vrata) ritual in which moral lessons are taught and goddesses are revealed. Bratas are performed to gain such goals as a healthy family, a good husband, and a happy life. They are also performed so that the performers (bratinis) develop such virtues as devotion, humility, and compassion.This book presents data from fieldwork, along with brata stories, songs, poems, and ritual activities. It discusses Bengali folk religion, offers an example of ritual worship in folk Hinduism, and surveys a variety of bratas. The author analyzes the similarities and differences among these rituals in low-caste village life and in high-caste Hindu tradition, and notes that the development of these rituals involves a form of continuing divine revelation with women as the primary transmitters. Bratas act to maintain traditional Hindu values, but also emphasize the power of women, whose virtues can save their husbands from hell worlds and their families from disasters.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791487655
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
09/18/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
212 KB

Meet the Author

June McDaniel is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and Director of the Religious Studies Program at the College of Charleston. She is the author of The Madness of the Saints: Ecstatic Religion in Bengal.

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