Water and Womanhood: Religious Meanings of Rivers in Maharashtra

By Anne Feldhaus | Go to book overview

7
Combating Evil

By focusing in this book upon the themes of feminity and fecundity in the religious treatment of rivers in Maharashtra, I have sought to portray what I believe to be the major emphases in contemporary religious practice and oral traditions with respect to rivers. In addition, I have sought to demonstrate the presence of these themes in the Māhātmyas of the rivers of the Deccan. However, although the themes are clearly present in the river Māhātmyas, they are by no means the most prominent focus of these texts. Much more noticeable are statements and narratives that praise the rivers in terms of the merit to be gained at them and their power to do away with sin. These subjects appear to belong to a markedly different realm than that with which this book has primarily been concerned. Merit and sin are matters of calculation, abstraction, and morality, whereas we have been concerned with fertility, plenty, and concrete human joys and sorrows. In this final chapter, however, I examine one of the more prominent themes in the Māhātmyas: the power of rivers to do away with sin. In asking how rivers are understood to act on sin, I suggest that the Māhātmyas' answer may in fact be closely related to the other themes on which this book has focused.

By "sin" I mean, first, an evil act performed by a human or a god and, second, the fact of having done such an act. (Other effects of sin I will call "the effects of sin.") The Sanskrit and Marathi terms are pāp(a), pātak(a), agh(a), and others. Since I am using English, I translate these terms with the word "sin," even though not all the theological implications this word has in English are applicable in a traditional Indian context. The topic of sin must be considered, I believe, in the more general context of evil. I discuss two other types of evil in addition to sin: first, evil beings, asuras or rākṣasas, both of which I call "demons"; and, second, natural evil--in particular, drought. Of these three types of evil, sin is the one to which the Māhātmya texts pay the most attention.

-173-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Water and Womanhood: Religious Meanings of Rivers in Maharashtra
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • A Note on Translation and Transliteration xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 3
  • Notes 17
  • 1 - Mountains, Rivers, and Śiva 20
  • Notes 36
  • 2 - The Femininity of Rivers 40
  • Notes 60
  • 3 - Abundance 65
  • 4 - Untamed Natural Wealth 91
  • Fish 109
  • 5 - Sons and Sorrow 118
  • Notes 142
  • 6 - Modern River Goddess Festivals 146
  • Notes 169
  • 7 - Combating Evil 173
  • Notes 186
  • Appendix A. Water to the Gods 193
  • Appendix B. Images of Modern River Goddesses 198
  • Appendix C. Modern River Goddess Festivals 201
  • Bibliography 203
  • Index 227
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 258

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.