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Heroic Shāktism – The Cult of Durgā in Ancient Indian Kingship - British Academy Scholarship Online
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Heroic Shāktism: The Cult of Durgā in Ancient Indian Kingship

Bihani Sarkar


This book tells the story of Durgā, the buffalo-demon-slaying deity dear to Indic rulers, between the 3rd and the 12th centuries CE, as she transformed from a Vaiṣṇava, to a Śaiva and finally to a supreme deity, a concentrated power-source Śakti, in whom all divinities and dualities were thought to inhere and also to transcend. Reconstructed through mythology, liturgy, the belles lettres, ritual instructions, epigraphy, local legends of kingship, sculptural evidence and anthropological studies, the stages of this story illuminate an entire belief system concerning political power: warrior-cent ... More

Keywords: Heroism, Durgā, warrior goddess, Śakti, kingship, state-formation, civilization, power, ritual, India, Navarātra

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780197266106
Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266106.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bihani Sarkar, author
British Academy Post-doctoral Fellow, Christ Church, Oxford