Playing Host to Deity: Festival Religion in the South Indian by Paul Younger

By Paul Younger

The once a year fairs which are principal to the south Indian spiritual culture are one of the greatest spiritual gatherings stumbled on wherever on the earth. such a lot can be found at Hindu temples, yet a few are at Buddhist, Christian, or Islamic facilities, and lots of contain humans or symbols from multiple non secular culture. To an observer, the actions of a competition could appear chaotic, however the contributors contemplate the actions the ritual concentration of a unique non secular adventure, and often testify that it truly is within the job of a competition that they locate their so much profound experience of spiritual which means. right here, more youthful bargains a fieldwork-based research of fourteen various non secular fairs, laying off gentle on not just their non secular, but in addition their social and political meanings.

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4 The Cera kings, who already had diplomatic relations with the North Indian emperor Asoka in the third century BCE, had their capital in Kotunkalur (often called Vanci during this period). Due to the absence of stone inscriptions, we cannot reconstruct a continuous line of Cera kings, but we do know much about them in the second, eighth, and thirteenth centuries (as well as the third BCE) and have every reason to believe that they were powerful rulers throughout that period. We do know that in the second century the Cera ruler, Cenkuttavan participated in the annual festival to the Tevi (Goddess) by placing in her shrine a stone that he had brought all the way from the Himalaya mountains.

1 will attempt to reconstruct the stages in which the development of the many shrines might have taken place and describe the festival site as a sequence of ever more crowded arrangements. In suggesting these stages, I will create a history of this worship center that will no doubt stir up controversies about precedence that swirl around this great festival event. Such controversies and religious rivalries indicate that one of its important functions is to provide a central forum where all the different religious communities of Sri Lanka can interact and try to reinforce their role in the island's cultural identity.

If the pilgrimage to Ayyappan represents a return to the root of the culture, it must be inclusive as much as possible, even if its devotional tone remains intensely Hindu in many ways (and it continues to exclude most women). The other religious emphasis that the modern worshipers mention often is the ascetic dimension of the worship of Ayyappan. With the development of urbanization and industrialization, many people are enjoying new wealth and new social freedom that they are not comfortable about.

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