Shakta Bhakti Devotion to the Goddess

June McDaniel

in Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780195167900
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849970 | DOI:
Shakta Bhakti Devotion to the Goddess

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This chapter looks at the subtypes of bhakti and examines some Shakta goddesses and their worship. The four types of bhakti—the folk type involving coerced devotion and obedience to a local goddess; the emotional type involving passionate love of a devotee for a loving mother or daughter; the political type involving idealism and patriotism toward Mother India; and the universalist type involving love of a goddess who is infinite consciousness—have all been very important religious traditions in Bengali Shaktism. Although they may be found in pure form in literature and poetry, in ritual practice they are often found in the form of strands that are braided together. Many Shakta songs and rituals also show the influence of Bengali Vaishnavism.

Keywords: bhakti; Shakta goddess; goddess worship; West Bengal; Bengali Shaktism; Vaishnavism

Chapter.  28702 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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