Female Ascetics in Hinduism by Lynn Teskey Denton

By Lynn Teskey Denton

Girl Ascetics in Hinduism presents a brilliant account of the lives of girls renouncers—women who resign the realm to dwell ascetic non secular lives—in India. the writer techniques the research of woman asceticism through concentrating on positive aspects of 2 dharmas, religiously outlined methods of lifestyles: that of woman-as-householder and that of the ascetic, who, for varied purposes, falls open air the world of householdership. the results of fieldwork performed in Varanasi (Benares), the e-book explores renouncers’ social and private backgrounds, their associations, and their methods of existence. supplying a first-hand examine and an insightful research of this little-known international, this hugely readable ebook should be integral to these attracted to woman asceticism within the Hindu culture and women’s religious lives worldwide.

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Female Ascetics in Hinduism

Lady Ascetics in Hinduism offers a brilliant account of the lives of girls renouncers—women who resign the realm to reside ascetic non secular lives—in India. the writer ways the research of woman asceticism through concentrating on beneficial properties of 2 dharmas, religiously outlined methods of existence: that of woman-as-householder and that of the ascetic, who, for varied purposes, falls outdoors the area of householdership.

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These include: regional variations in a widow’s right to property, the practice of the levirate (called niyoga), the age and maternal status of the widow herself, the socioeconomic status of the family, and less well-defined factors such as the personalities of various family members, especially a female in-laws and correlatively, the willingness of a male relative to intervene on her behalf. 10 The majority of classical texts stipulate that a widow’s affines or her natal family, to which some authors say she may return, must provide her shelter and security.

In the classic debate over who might become renouncers, those who permit ߶dras to enter sannyåsa recognize, by extension, the right of women also to undertake that form of asceticism (Chakraborti 1973, 93; Olivelle 1977, 33–34). ” Further, in a reversal of values, the notion that women are essentially impure gains a special positive significance in those sectarian traditions that adopt a radical tantrik ideology. We shall return to these themes. For the moment, the important point to note is that from the perspective of orthodoxy, women’s inherent impurity places strict limitations on their participation in certain religious rituals and statuses.

To this end the spiritual implications of woman’s emotionalism and reproductivity can be her greatest asset. Both these facts of femaleness, nurturance and parturition, figure in ordinary discourse and support the assertion that, for some women at least, asceticism is an entirely appropriate and legitimate enterprise. WOMEN’S NURTURANT EMOTIONALISM AND PASSION AS A SPIRITUAL FORCE The first point—that women are expansively and uncontrollably emotional—is one of the most common observations made about women.

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