Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls : Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal
June McDaniel Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies College of Charleston
Oxford University Press, USA, Jul 9, 2004 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 368 pages
In Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls, June McDaniel provides an exhaustive, accessibly written overview of Bengali goddess worship or Shakti. McDaniel identifies three major forms of goddess worship, and examines each through its myths, folklore, songs, rituals, sacred texts, and practitioners. She traces these strands through Bengali culture and explores how they are interwoven with each other as well as with other forms of Hinduism and other forms of religion. McDaniel also discusses how Shakti practices have been reinterpreted in the West, where goddess worship has gained the values of sexual freedom and psychological healing, but lost its emphases on devotion and asceticism. She takes the reader inside the lives of practicing Shaktas, including religious professionals, hymn singers, philosophers, visionaries, gurus, and even a businessman, and offers vivid descriptions of their rituals, practices, and daily lives. Drawing on years of fieldwork and extensive research, McDaniel paints a rich, expansive portrait of this fascinating religious tradition.
What people are saying - Write a review
Other editions - View all
Adivasi Adya Shakti Kali Annada ascetic become Behula Bhairavi Bhattacarya bhava body brahman burning ground Calcutta called chakra Chandi chant classical tantra consort corpse ritual Cult dance daughter death deﬁnitions deities Delhi demon Devi devotees dharma difﬁcult disciples divine dream Durga Puja emphasize energy female festival ﬁgures ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁve ﬂowers gain girl give gods guru Hindu Hinduism human husband Ibid India inﬂuence initiation Interview Jagaddhatri Kali’s Kalika Krishna kula kundalini yoga Lakshmi living low-caste Mahavidya Manasa meditation Mother Muslim night offerings performed person possession practice practitioners priest Purana Rama Ramakrishna Ramprasad Ramprasad Sen religion religious sacred sacriﬁce sadhana sadhu Sanskrit sexual Shakta bhakti Shakta tantra Shaktism Shiva skulls snake sometimes songs speciﬁc spiritual statue story supernatural tantric tantrikas temple Thakur told tradition trance tree tribal understood University Vaishnava Vedanta Vedas Vedic village vision West Bengal wife woman women worship yogic yoginis