Water and Womanhood: Religious Meanings of Rivers in Maharashtra / Edition 1

Water and Womanhood: Religious Meanings of Rivers in Maharashtra / Edition 1

by Anne Feldhaus
ISBN-10:
019509283X
ISBN-13:
9780195092837
Pub. Date:
05/11/1995
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

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Overview

Water and Womanhood: Religious Meanings of Rivers in Maharashtra / Edition 1

Rivers in India are commonly associated with certain worldly religious values: wealth, beauty, long life, good health, food, love, and the birth of children. However, these "domestic" values have been relatively neglected by Indologists, who have tended to view India and Hinduism through the prism of poverty, misery, asceticism, and themes of purity or pollution. Following recent scholarship by arguing that the earthly pursuits are equally vital to an understanding of popular Hinduism, Feldhaus examines the role of these ideals in the religious meanings of rivers in Maharashtra, a large region of western India. Drawing both on written religious texts and on a wide range of oral, iconographic, and ritual materials gathered in the course of field work in India, she shows that these values, which are usually associated with women or represented by goddesses, are an important motif in popular religious practices and oral traditions associated with the rivers of Maharashtra, and she presents the many different ways in which rivers are imagined, enshrined, worshipped, and feared.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195092837
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 05/11/1995
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.06(w) x 9.19(h) x 0.71(d)

Table of Contents

Note on Translation and Transliteration
Abbreviations
Introduction
Source Materials
1. Mountains, Rivers, and Siva
2. The Femininity of Rivers
3. Abundance
4. Untamed Natural Wealth
5. Sons and Sorrow
6. Modern River Goddess Festivals
7. Combating Evil
Maps
Appendix A. Water to the Gods
Appendix B. Images of Modern River Goddesses
Appendix C. Modern River Goddess Festivals
Bibliography
Index

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