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: 08 May 2021

Heroic Śāktism and the Myths of Civilization

Heroic Śāktism and the Myths of Civilization

(p.177) Chapter 6 Heroic Śāktism and the Myths of Civilization
Heroic Shāktism

Bihani Sarkar

British Academy

This chapter begins the third part of the book, which aims to present the belief systems and ritual practices associated with Durgā. Through these beliefs, which conveyed the myth of civilization and imperial kingship for independent rulers to cultivate, the cult made itself meaningful to its adherents. Among beliefs of heroic Śāktism there was, firstly, the belief that a goddess had granted investiture to a king, secondly, the belief that a king defeated in battle would regain power through a goddess, and thirdly, the belief that a goddess was to be worshipped in times of war. These are expressed among various examples of literature from poetry to inscriptions, in versions of the Rāmāyaṇa and the Mahābhārata that include scenes with Durgā aiding Rāma and the Pāṇḍava brothers, thereby showcasing her role in aiding the deserving hero. The chapter turns to the visual symbols and palladia whereby the relationship of king and goddess was made palpable for inhabitants of a kingdom, exploring rituals of goddess-empowered swords, crests, and fortresses, and chariot processions, whereby the protective, triumphant, militaristic and defensive aspects of Durgā's personality were manifested and enlivened within each and every aspect of a medieval city.

Keywords:   Mythology, fortresses, swords, crests, chariot-processions, Rāmayāṇa, Mahābhārata, Devīpurāṇa

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.