For at least the past two hundred years, Hindus in southern India have celebrated the marriage of the goddess Minakshi to the Hindu god Siva. This annual ten-day celebration is among the largest and most famous Hindu festivals, attracting hundreds of thousands of the faithful each year.
William Harman's work examines this important ritual event from a variety of perspectives, including the history of religions, Sanskrit and Tamil textual traditions, and Hindu culture. Moving beyond traditional understandings of the category of sacred marriage" derived from studies of the ancient Near East,
Harman reveals that sacred marriage in India functions as a devotional metaphor for Hindu devotees, away of understanding how deities act toward one another and toward who worship them. Combining systematic textual study with descriptive fieldwork, Harman offers us an original and perceptive exploration of the relationship between the human and the divine in Hindu life.
About the Author:
William P. Harman is Associate Professor at De Pauw university and teaches published philosophy and religion. He has articles in, among other Periodicals, The journal of the American Academy of Religion, Mankind Quarterly and The Journal of the Institute of Asian Studies.