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RITUAL: Generating the Pure and the Auspicious

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Religious Studies
RELG 252
Davesh Soneji

To discuss Generating the Pure and the AuspiciousAuspiciousness InauspiciousnessPurity Pollution and WomenThis section is basically about Women in terms of ritual Mapping of womens presence in Hinduism How women participate in religious activities Rituals enables us to see the ways in which women as individuals have the ability to be resilient in the systemic patriarchy On the other hand the sight of womens resistance against the patriarchyThe participation and the perception of women through canonical text is not entirely correct There are utopic ideas about women and womens bodies How do we conceptualize women in Hindu traditions Sometimes is limited to Sanskrit Canonical textsBrahmanic Texts and Idealized Orthodoxy and OrthopraxyStridharma meaning the Dharma for women in Sanskrit textsThere is a whole body of knowledge that is called Womens dharma There are sections that deal with how an orthodox women is supposed to behave and also talks about gender roles for women Punishments for women who overstep the boundaryNarratives also talk about womens roles In the Ramayana it revolves around the hero but at the same time his foil is his wife who is Sita a story of constant selfsacrice extreme submission to her husband seen as an embodiment of chastity forced to undergo all sorts of trials in order to prove her chastity and prove that she did not cheat on her husbandThere is another kind of place or space popular understanding of womanhood partially informed by brahmanic orthodoxy transmitted through sanscrit narratives and ritualsThere is also another level of subversive images of womanhood In bhakti tantric and village traditions that are often removed from brahmanic orthodoxyVillage and Dalit traditionsAll these are present simultaneouslyBrahmanic notions of ritual purity and their implicationsPurity SAUCAPollutions ASAUCAAuspiciousness SUBHA MANGALAPower of SAUBHAGHYA or good fortuneInauspiciousness ASUBHA AMANGALAKarmic merit PUNYA
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