Religion Against the Self: An Ethnography of Tamil Rituals by Isabelle Nabokov

By Isabelle Nabokov

This booklet offers a holistic description of Hinduism, displaying how forms of Hinduism shape a "total" or systematic cosmology and repeat the most important values via various symbols. taking a look at Tamil spiritual practices, Isabelle Nabokov unearths that Tamil faith is essentially occupied with differences of id and subjectivity, either during this global and within the hereafter.

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Then, was undergoing some sort of painful physiological or psychological transition at the time. Their liminality was evoked 2^ RKLIGION AGAINST THK SELF through the symbolic language of their vision accounts; spatial and temporal images of "thorn bushes," "grove," and "festival" conformed to Victor Turner's observation that being in "between and betwixt" is the critical requirement for receiving what he called, the "communication of the sacra" (1964: 19). But such images also suggest that all four camis first made connection with the goddess in an "outside" place.

Cdrnis like Suresh are not handed down their religious role by institutional means, such as inheritance through the male line. And unlike the canniydds. or "renouncers" of Hindu society, these initiates rarely elect a spiritual path. 4 Their profiles always underscore the intensity of those initiation experiences. The Goddess Descends on Nagaji A forty-five-year-old man, Nagaji was raised in a small village of Kavuntars near the bustling town of Gingee. For over a year I visited his compound on a weekly basis, learning gradually how this frail man with clear eyes and a warm smile managed to reenergize his dispirited petitioners.

We don't have the money. Please, tell us what to do. " RAVI'S MOTHFR: "What can I do? " AMMA: "I'll give you one. " The seance was not going well. The goddess's curt and caustic responses made it clear she was unmoved. By now Ravi and his family were in great distress: Kuppu was weeping, her husband threatened to beat her. " This reminder that she had originally granted Kuppu's vow, and not the other supernatural option, the more demanding god Perumal, suggested that her gifts were a bargain. Moreover, as she now logically reasoned, since it was she who had first responded to Kuppu's prayer what was the need to enlist Perumal's help?

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