Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Heroic ShāktismThe Cult of Durgā in Ancient Indian Kingship$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Bihani Sarkar

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266106

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266106.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 01 March 2021

The Regional Cults of Goddesses Merged with Durgā

The Regional Cults of Goddesses Merged with Durgā

(p.137) Chapter 5 The Regional Cults of Goddesses Merged with Durgā
Heroic Shāktism

Bihani Sarkar

British Academy

This chapter shows how the cult transformed against the backdrop of upcoming lineages, such as the early Rajputs, into a symbol of particularity by absorbing other similar deities important to specific lineages. Chapter 5 encapsulates the 6th and 12th centuries, when the political map of India represented a heterogeneous order of entrepreneurial lineages. It untangles the distinctively coloured threads of smaller local figures enmeshed with Durgā in her symbolic form of this cohesive social backdrop. It presents as case studies the stories of six locally popular goddesses who were synthesized with Durgā—Bhīmā, Nana, Kaṇṭeśvarī of the Caulukyas, Māneśvarī of the Mallas, Āśāpurī of the Cāhamānas and Danteśvarī of the Nāgas and Kākatiyas of the Bastar Raj. These aid us in evaluating the intricacies of individual goddess-cults and their continuity through dynastic shifts up to the 12th century. It also recounts other tales of clan-goddesses, in which heroic Śāktism is seen as the theology sanctifying a king, assessing the tropes and motifs whereby this sanctification and its concomitant concepts of power are evoked. First it locates a period and a locus when and where Brahmanical discourse, silent on local goddesses, began to contain such deities and the heterogeneous practices many represented, and assess accordingly the genealogical part of the Sahyādrikhaṇḍa, a Purāṇic work, as an example of this containment. Next, I study the legend of Kāmateśvarī, a story that was employed by the princely state of Cooch-Behar in explaining the divine right of its rulers, assessing this in parallel with Rajput ideologies and narratives, where similar narrative structures and figurative devices centring on the goddess and the king are employed.

Keywords:   Rajput, Nana, Bhīmā, Caulukya, Malla, Cauhan, Danteśvarī, Āśāpurī, Nāgas, Sahyādrikhaṇḍa, Kāmateśvarī, lineages, genealogy

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.