Ashes of Immortality attempts to see the satis through Hindu eyes, providing a wide-ranging experiential and psychoanalytic account of ritual self-sacrifice and self-mutilation in South Asia. Based on fifteen years of fieldwork in northern India, where the state-banned practice of sati reemerged in the 1970s, as well as extensive textual analysis, Catherine Weinberger-Thomas constructs a radically new interpretation of satis. She invites readers to set aside their personal prejudices and worldviews and enter the Hindu universe, in which humans and deities freely cross the borderline between heaven and earth, people are born and die again and again according to the laws of karma, and violent self-sacrifice is perceived as a path to immortality.
About the Author:
CATHERINE WEINBERGER-THOMAS is Professor of Hindi, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, a member of the Centre d'Etudes de I'Inde et de I'Asie du Sud, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and winner of the 1996 Alexandra David-Neel Prize for the French edition of Ashes of Immortality.