Shakti: Power in the Conceptual Structure of Karimpur Religion adds to the growing literature about the village Karimpur, first made famous by William and Charlotta Wiser (The Hindu Jajmani System and Behind Mud Walls). In this book, village beliefs about the nature of ritual and the organization of the pantheon, as expressed in myth and song, are explored using structural and linguistic analysis. It is shown that the concept of power, Shakti, is critical to understanding the nature of the Hindu pantheon and that the gods, and thus the rituals directed to them, are ordered by their perceived powers. Hindu deities and humans are bound together in a mutual giving of boons and service, and humans are as necessary to the gods as are gods to humans. Finally, this mutual bonding is shown to carry over to human-human relationship, particularly those of the Jajmani system.
About the Author:
Susan Snow Wadley is Professor of Anthropology at Syracuse University, USA. She received her training at the University of Chicago and has made numerous field trips to North India. In the past ten years she has written extensively on village religion and folklore in North India, in addition to editing volumes on Women in India.
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