‘The Goddess, the Emperor and the Tantric:Re-examining Śivāji in the light of the Śākta traditions of early-modern Maharashtra’

Sarkar, Bihani (2021) ‘The Goddess, the Emperor and the Tantric:Re-examining Śivāji in the light of the Śākta traditions of early-modern Maharashtra’. South Asian History and Culture, 12 (1). pp. 39-52. ISSN 1947-2498

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Abstract

Śivāji Bhonsle (1627–1680) is largely held to be the champion of Vaidika ‘Hindu’ identity, a view apparently demonstrated by his Vedic consecration by Banarasi priests in 1674. In this article, I present religious narratives of the court of Śivāji, that represent his interactions with a much more diverse local religious milieu. This heterodox environment comprised of local cults, saints, priestly groups, and scribes involved in composing and popularizing religious texts and messages. I consider two kinds of narratives that emerged out of the socio-religious networks sustained by Śivāji: one in a Marathi hagiography (bakhar) portraying his association with the Maratha patron goddess Tuḷjā Bhavānī and another, a Sanskrit account of Śivāji’s Tantric consecration, the Śrīśivarājyābhiṣekakalpataru. These accounts contain depictions of the critical role of a powerful goddess cult and the Tantric priests from the Konkan coast in ritually sanctifying and granting power and affirmation to the Maratha court.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
South Asian History and Culture
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200
Subjects:
ID Code:
177050
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Oct 2022 11:25
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:54