Guests at God's Wedding: Celebrating Kartik among the Women of Benares

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SUNY Press, Aug 25, 2005 - Religion - 241 pages
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This fascinating look at the sacred Hindu month of Kartik (October–November) as it is celebrated in the city of Benares in North India highlights Kartik-related practices, stories, songs, and experiences particular to women. During Kartik, Hindu women living in and around Benares meet daily to enact a form of ritual worship, or puμjaμ, in which they raise the playful Hindu deity Krishna from childhood to adulthood throughout the month, ultimately marrying him to the plant-goddess Tulsi (Basil). Tracy Pintchman explores how women who perform Kartik puμjaμ understand and celebrate both Kartik and Krishna in ways that are linked to the desires, hopes, fears, and social realities characteristic of many Hindu women living in the rather conservative social milieu of this region.
 

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Contents

Kartik as a Sacred Month The Kartik Vrat in Text and Context
15
Kartik and the Hindu Calendar
16
Textual Sources and Kartik
18
The Texts of the Kartik Mahatmya
19
Kartik and Auspiciousness
20
The Kartik Vrat
23
Glorifying Kartik and the Kartik Vrat
30
The Bhishmapancak and the Bhishmapancak Vrat
33
Dala Chath or Surya Chath
71
Gopashtami
73
Prabodhani Ekadashi and the Tulsi Vivaha
76
Vaikunth Caturdashi
82
Kartik Purnima
83
Adoring Krishna at the Rivers Edge The Practice of Kartik Puja
89
Setting the Stage and a Tale of Two Votaries
96
Performing Kartik Puja
101

Kartiks Religious Celebrations and the Churning of the Ocean of Milk
45
Krishna and Kartik
51
Sharat Purnima Autumn Full Moon
55
Karva Cauth
57
Govatsa Dvadashi
58
Yamatrayodashi and Dhanteras
59
Narak Caturdashi
60
Diwali
61
Kartik Shukla PratipadaGovardhan WorshipAnnakut
63
Yamdvitiya or Bhaiya Duj
66
Nag Nathaiya
69
Chapter 4 Krishna Kartik and Hindu Womens Lives
143
Being a Sakhl in Kartik Puja
146
Krishna as Lover Husband and Son
155
Radha and Tulsi in Kartik Puja Traditions
166
Concluding Remarks
176
Kartik Puja Traditions and Womens Empowerment
179
Transliterated Song Texts
195
Notes
207
Works Cited
219
Index
231
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About the author (2005)

Tracy Pintchman is Professor of Hindu Studies at Loyola University Chicago. She is the author of The Rise of the Goddess in the Hindu Tradition and the editor of Seeking Mahaμdeviμ: Constructing the Identities of the Hindu Great Goddess, both also published by SUNY Press.

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