Victory to the Mother. The Hindu Goddess of Northwest India in Myth, Ritual and Symbol. KATHLEEN M. ERNDL.

Victory to the Mother. The Hindu Goddess of Northwest India in Myth, Ritual and Symbol.

New York. Oxford University Press. 1993. Stock ID #177122

Map, black and white photographic illustrations, 208pp, notes, bibliography, index, very good paperback copy.

The worship of Devi, the Goddess, is one of the most vigorous and visible religious phenomena in northwest India today. In this groundbreaking book, Kathleen Erndl uses interviews, participant observations, and her own acute observations to explore the nature of the Goddess and her devotees' experience of her. Beginning with an analysis of oral and written sources, Erndl then examines specific ritual practices--including pilgrimage, performance, and divine
possession--and presents case studies of women devotees who became 'possessed' by the Goddess and are worshipped as her representatives. The effects of modernization and popular culture on Goddess worship are
revealed in the influence of popular religious pamphlets and the recent absorption of the "new" goddess, Santoshi Ma, into the pantheon. A final chapter suggests a number of ways of understanding the continuing vitality of the goddess as a mythic presence in the lives of contemporary Hindus.

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