Chapter

Inheritors of Tradition: Floating in the Śākta Stream

Rachel Fell McDermott

in Mother of My Heart, Daughter of My Dreams

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780195134353
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834457 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195134354.003.0005
Inheritors of Tradition: Floating in the Śākta Stream

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This chapter is mainly a study of the literary heirs of the Hindu Śākta poets Rāmprasād Sen and Kamalākānta Bhaṭṭācārya in Bengal. These are divided into two groups — Śākta poets before 1857, those from the mid‐nineteenth century to the present. There are only a few of these whose biographies are full enough to afford a comparison with Rāmprasād and Kamalākānta, but a common theme of the biographies is indifference to the world. The next part of the chapter addresses recent biographies of certain Bengali Śākta sādhakas (those who engage in spiritual austerities, often Tantric) whose life stories resemble those of Rāmprasād and Kamalākānta more clearly than those of most of the poets already examined. Following on from this, an examination is made of women poets in the Śākta tradition, and finally the best representatives of Śākta “pastness” are examined.

Keywords: Bengal; Hinduism; history; India; poetry; poets; Śāktism; women

Chapter.  14131 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Hinduism

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