• Possession by Durga

John Stratton Hawley and Vasudha Narayanan

in The Life of Hinduism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780520249134
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940079 | DOI:
• Possession by Durga

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This chapter deals with medium and performance of religious possession. As this term and its correlates in Indian languages imply, there is a certain way in which people approach this important aspect of lived Hinduism backwards: by grouping it with other examples of performance. In introducing possession as in the Punjab, the chapter acknowledges that the Punjabi women possessed by Durga do respond to dramatic protocols. Their performances in the course of all-night vigils called jagratas are not as unscripted as they might seem.

Keywords: religious possession; Punjab; Durga; jagratas; lived Hinduism

Chapter.  5806 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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