Annette Wilke wilke at
Mon Jun 23 16:21:06 UTC 1997

Dear indologists,

Some time ago I was inquiring whether "folk deities" do have
SahasranAmastotras. I would like to specify this question regarding the
popular "regional" North Indian goddess ShitalA. She does have hymns of
praise (e.g. an aSTaka) and her own myth. I am curious to know

1. Does ShitalA also have a SahasranAmastotra and do you know details about
it (time of composition, date etc.)

2. Nicholas in his article on the goddess suggests that ShitalA is a generic
name, only used in rituals. Otherwise the goddesses identified with ShitalA
are called Mother-of-such-and-such a village. He argues (as does Babb) that
such village deities are rather colourless and pretty much the same. I doubt
this contention and recall, among others, E. Meyers book on Ankalamman
(Tamil Nadu) who has her very own myths and rituals, despite of being
identified with Mariyamman.
I think it is a rather common practice that deities who are identified with
a deity of a wider geographic distribution still keep their own names. Is it
so? Is ShitalA merely a generic name?

Thanks for your reply,
Annette Wilke
Dr. Annette Wilke
University of Berne
Institute for the Science of Religions
Lerchenweg 36
CH-3000 Bern 9
Tel.: 031 / 631 35 81  Fax.: 031 / 631 35 51

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