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The Life of Hinduism$
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John Stratton Hawley and Vasudha Narayanan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520249134

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520249134.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

• Possession by Durga

• Possession by Durga

The Mother Who Possesses

(p.158) 10 • Possession by Durga
The Life of Hinduism

John Stratton Hawley

Vasudha Narayanan

University of California Press

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

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