Visions and Versions of the Miraculous

Corinne G. Dempsey

in The Goddess Lives in Upstate New York

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195187298
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784547 | DOI:
 Visions and Versions of the Miraculous

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This chapter describes the Rush temple as a place where miraculous worldviews thrive amid a worldly, well-educated population. It begins with a description of miracle debates as historically and currently played out within Christian and Hindu contexts, and suggests that Rush temple members represent a larger global trend rather than an aberration. It recounts miracle narratives along with an analysis of their function and meaning and organizes miracles into two groups: “guru miracles” and “deity miracles.” Guru miracles, such as the transfusion of śaktipat into an initiate, are associated with the supernatural powers of the guru, or siddhis, an anticipated byproduct of their many years of religious discipline. Deity miracles, featuring the goddess and other members of her Rush temple entourage such as Ganeś and Dattatreya, tend to be more capricious and directly associated with the power of divinity.

Keywords: miracle; Ganes; Dattatreya; goddess; śaktipat; siddhis; guru; Christian; supernatural

Chapter.  11094 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Hinduism

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