An exploration of Hindu women’s folk religion focusing on goddess worship and women’s rituals.
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.
|Publisher:||State University of New York Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||0.34(w) x 9.00(h) x 6.00(d)|
Table of Contents
Notes on Spelling, Transliteration, and Pronunciation
1. Folk Hinduism in West Bengal
2. The Folk Goddess Tushu, Her Festival, Songs, and Brata
3. What Is a Brata?
4. Some Bengali Bratas to Goddesses
5. Other Bratas: Women, Nature, Gods, and Magic
6. Brahmanical Bratas: The Rituals for Men