Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-x

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xii

First and foremost, I wish to thank David Kinsley for his inspiration, encouragement, and support through every stage of the research for this project. He not only sparked my interest in Hindu goddesses, but provided sustained guidance whenever it was needed. In our final conversation ...

Abbreviations

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. xiii

A Note on Transliteration and Pronunciation

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xv-xvi

read more

1. Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-12

Traditions of goddess worship on the Indian subcontinent have deep historical roots. However, our knowledge of the nature of the goddesses and the ways they were worshipped in the earliest times in India is limited. We can, for instance, discern traces of goddess worship in the Indus Valley Civilization, ...

PART I: CONTEXT AND OVERVIEW

read more

2. The Setting

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 15-34

According to several Sakta sources, the three hundred and sixty-day annual cycle is divided into forty nine-night periods, known as Navaratras.1 Of these, four Navaratras equidistantly placed around the calendar are prominent for Goddess worship.2 For instance, the Navaratra that falls in the rainy season month ...

read more

3. Overview of the Durga Puja

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 35-68

Puja is the quintessential form of devotional worship practiced by Hindus today. The practice is first mentioned in the Grhya Sutras, Vedic texts that provide rules for domestic rites.1 There, the term puja referred to the hospitality prescriptions to honor brahmana priests who were invited to one's home ...

PART II: DESCRIPTION OF THE DURGA PUJA

read more

4. The Durga Puja

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 71-248

Every specific or special rite (viesa vidhi), such as Durga Puja, for example, is normally preceded by general preliminary rites (samanya vidhi). Typically, pujas themselves may be of two types: one performed as the obligatory worship (nitya puja) of deities daily or at specific times during the year, ...

PART III: INTERPRETATIONS

read more

5. The Nature of Puja

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 251-260

The term puja is most commonly applied to the rites to worship a deity already embodied in some material form. Thus, each morning when a shopkeeper waves lit sticks of incense before a framed lithograph of Durga in his store and drapes the image with a garland of fresh flowers, he is very likely to refer ...

read more

6. The Nature of the Great Goddess

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 261-286

The Great Goddess is worshipped in an astonishing assortment of names and forms during the Durga Puja. Some of these, such as the jar and the polychrome clay image are readily recognizable forms of the Devi. However, there are many others forms that are far less visually obvious, even to the devotees ...

read more

7. Functions of the Durga Puja

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 287-312

Although there are numerous functions (e.g., social, psychological, economic, and political) of the Durga Puja, my discussion of these has been necessarily limited. I do concur with Ákos Östör (1980) and Paul Courtright (1985b) who argue that puja is a distinct symbolic unit that may be analyzed on its own terms, ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 313-356

Glossary

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 357-362

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 363-384

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 385-417