Female Ascetics in Hinduism
Female Ascetics in Hinduism provides a vivid account of the lives of women renouncers--women who renounce the world to live ascetic spiritual lives--in India. The author approaches the study of female asceticism by focusing on features of two dharmas, two religiously defined ways of life: that of woman-as-householder and that of the ascetic, who, for various reasons, falls outside the realm of householdership. The result of fieldwork conducted in V? ran? si (Benares), the book explores renouncers' social and personal backgrounds, their institutions, and their ways of life. Offering a first-hand look at and an insightful analysis of this little-known world, this highly readable book will be indispensable to those interested in female asceticism in the Hindu tradition and women's spiritual lives around the world.
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The Religious Life of Womanashouseholder
The Woman Who Is Not a Householder Widowhood Unmarriageability and Female Asceticism
Unity and Diversity I Basic Terminology
Unity and Diversity II Sectarian Affiliation Spiritual Path and Ascetic Mode
Socioreligious Aspects of Female Asceticism in Varanasi
Sainthood Society and Transcendence Legends and Poetry of Women Saints
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Anandamayi ascetic women ascetics in Varanasi asram auspiciousness Benares Bengali brahmacarinls brahmacarya Brahmin celibacy celibate Dasanami deity devotion devotionalism dharma disciples discipline discuss distinctive divine dlksa duties enter establishments fact female ascetics Gahga Ghurye guru high-caste Hindu Hinduism householder householdership husband Ibid India initiation institutionalized asceticism kanyapltha Krsna liberation lifestyle live Ma's Mahadevi majority male ascetics mantra Manusmrti marriage Mira Bai mode of asceticism moksa mother mystical Nepali Nimbarki notion Olivelle orthodox person popular practice preceptor purity Ramanandi refer relationship religious renouncers renunciation renunciatory residents rite ritual sainthood Saiva Saivite Sakta Saktism Sampradaya sannyasa sannyasinls sansdr Sanskrit santapanthl Saraswati 1978 sddhu sectarian sectarian affiliation sectarian traditions sects sexual Sinha and Saraswati Siva Sobha society socioreligious specific status strldharma studentship tantric texts textual tion Udasis upanayana Vaisnava Vaisnava ascetics Vaisnavites Varanasi Vedic vows vratas widowhood widows wifehood woman women and girls women saints worship