The Sacred Marriage of a Hindu Goddess
This book combines systematic textual study with descriptive fieldwork to explore the relationship between the human and the divine in Hindu life. For at least the past two hundred years, Hindus in southern India have celebrated the marriage of the goddess Mīnākshī to the Hindu god Śiva. This annual ten-day celebration is among the largest and most famous Hindu festivals, attracting hundreds of thousands of the faithful each year. This work examines this important ritual event from a variety of perspectives, including the history of religions, Sanskrit and Tamil textual traditions, and Hindu culture. Moving beyond traditional understandings of the category of 'sacred marriage' derived from studies of the ancient Near East, the author reveals that sacred marriage in India functions as a devotional metaphor for Hindu devotees, a way of understanding how deities act toward one another and toward those who worship them.
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Sacred Marriage as a Category 1 Metaphors and Their Uses 4 Sacred
The Text as Revelation Theology and History 22 The Document in
The Birth and Reign of the GoddessQueen Minaksi 44 The Marriage
58 Motifs of the Madurai Marriage and the PanIndian Sanskrit Tradition
Marriage as an Antidote to Sacrifice 112 Women as GoddessesGoddesses
Alakar Alakarkovil alliance appears ascetic beautiful becomes Brahma Brahmin bride brothers-in-law caste celebrated celestials Chapter chariots Citra Festival city of Madurai context cross-cousin daughter deities devotees divine elephant episode father female flowers garlands goddess gods golden graciously hair Himavat Hindu Hinduism holy human husband in-law Inden Indra involved Jains jewels king's kinship terms Krsna lineage liriga literary Lord Maci Street Madurai area Madurai temple Malayadhvaja male Mariyamman marry metaphor Minaksi Minaksi and Siva moon mother Murukan mythology Nandin occurs Pandya kingdom Pandya kings Parvati pavilion place-history poet priests procession Purana regarded relationship religious riage role royal rudras sacred marriage sacrifice sages Saiva Saivas and Vaisnavas samskdra Sanskrit sense shrine Siva and Minaksi Siva and Visnu Siva's Sacred Games snake son-in-law southern India spouse story Sundaresvara Tamil Tamil literature Tatatakai tion tradition transformed Ugra Vaigai River Vaisnava Varuna Vedas Visnu wedding wife Wish-granting woman women worship