Sati, the Blessing and the Curse: The Burning of Wives in India

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John Stratton Hawley
Oxford University Press, Sep 8, 1994 - Religion - 214 pages
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Several years ago in Rajasthan, an eighteen-year-old woman was burned on her husband's funeral pyre and thus became sati. Before ascending the pyre, she was expected to deliver both blessings and curses: blessings to guard her family and clan for many generations, and curses to prevent anyone from thwarting her desire to die. Sati also means blessing and curse in a broader sense. To those who revere it, sati symbolizes ultimate loyalty and self-sacrifice. It often figures near the core of a Hindu identity that feels embattled in a modern world. Yet to those who deplore it, sati is a curse, a violation of every woman's womanhood. It is murder mystified, and as such, the symbol of precisely what Hinduism should not be. In this volume a group of leading scholars consider the many meanings of sati: in India and the West; in literature, art, and opera; in religion, psychology, economics, and politics. With contributors who are both Indian and American, this is a genuinely binational, postcolonial discussion. Contributors include Karen Brown, Paul Courtright, Vidya Dehejia, Ainslie Embree, Dorothy Figueira, Lindsey Harlan, John Hawley, Robin Lewis, Ashis Nandy, and Veena Talwar Oldenburg.

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Sati the story of Shiva was Assom BUT LATER PRACTICES OF SATI WERE not good they were worst later they were modified by good leaders


1 The Iconographies of Sati
Sati in European Culture
Sati Tradition in Rajasthan
Feminist Responses
The Public Debate on Roop Kanwars Death
The Mysteries and Communities of Sati
Select Glossary of Indic Terms
Notes on the Contributors

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Religion: The Basics
Malory Nye
No preview available - 2008
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About the author (1994)

John Stratton Hawley is Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion at Barnard College, and Director of the South Asian Institute at Columbia University. He is the editor of Songs of the Saints of India (Oxford, 1988) and Fundamentalism and Gender (Oxford, 1993), as well as numerous other books on Indian religion and literature.

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