[INDOLOGY] Religious Literature with Political Purposes

Paolo Eugenio Rosati paoloe.rosati at gmail.com
Tue Jul 7 07:46:40 UTC 2015

Dear professor Paturi,
Dear professor Karp,
Dear Indology-list's friends,

First of all I want to thanks Matthew Kapstein, Jesse Knutson and Tim Lubin
for the quick and kind answers to my "general" question.

Then I would be a bit more accurate regarding my research and my question.
I'm investigating on the Kamakhya's cult (Assam), its origins and
cross-cultural roots, so that I would focus on the relations between Hindu
rulers and hill tribes. For example the Brahmanic manipulation of the
Daksha's mythology - with the inclusion (only in north-eastern puranas,
Kalika, Devibhagavata, and later Mahabhagavata and Brhaddarmapurana) of the
Sati's corpse dismemberment -, it can be considered as a tool to include
the yoni symbol in the Hindu cultural folds.
Why it happened? I believe for politica purposes, the need of the new Hindu
rulers of the tribal support to maintain the power (this kind of process
was already studied in other regions as Orissa). This is also supported by
many passages of Kalikapurana.

Regarding the process of sanskritisation/brahmanisation, obviously in my
opinion is widely connected with the Hindu political needs, but... in the
Kamakhya case-study are we in front of a sanskritised goddess? Many
elements should let me suppose it, but comparing Kamakhya with other local
goddesses, some of her devotional elements let me amazed. But two elements
more than other amazed me: 1) She was not anthropomorphised during the
centuries; 2) In the ancient time also inside the inner chamber were
practiced blood rituals.
So that are we sure that Kamahya is a sanskritised goddess? Or should we
consider the reverse process? Doesn't seem that were the Hindus to emulate
the tribal-men incorporating tribal worship elements?

I wish that I have been a bit more clear and that I haven't done more
confusion, and please consider my email as a quick-simplification of the
processes that I'm researching.

Best wishes,

On 7 July 2015 at 09:43, Artur Karp <karp at uw.edu.pl> wrote:

> Dear Prof. Paturi,
> > Emulation or imitation of the class by the non-class...
> Right, in the early stages of the theory's development.
> By now it's the theory of social/cultural exchange. Active, bidirectional
> exchange involving the "class" and the "non-class", emulations and
> incorporations.
> Dialogue.
> Best,
> Artur Karp
> 2015-07-07 9:03 GMT+02:00 Nagaraj Paturi <nagarajpaturi at gmail.com>:
>> Dear Prof. Artur Karp,
>> 1. Sanskritization is a process in the direction  just  opposite to the
>> one being brought for direction by the thread initiator. It is the
>> puranic/Hindu/Brahmanic side which does the absorption of local/tribal
>> traditions in the process brought for discussion. In Sanskritization, the
>> non-Sanskritic communities emulate the rituals and practices of the
>> Sanskritic communities.
>> 2. Emulation or imitation of the class by the non-class is a process well
>> recognized and well studied in the inductive empirical discipline of
>> sociology. These studies are different from deductive Marxist studies.
>> 3. I did not name Professors MN Srinivas, Milton Singer etc. because the
>> issues they were handling are the ones such as Sanskritization that are not
>> relevant in the context of the present thread.
>> 4. Disciplines of Sociology and Anthropology have many explanations other
>> than the political motives on the part of the adopter of the other
>> culture, offered for the intercultural processes such as the one being
>> discussed by the thread initiator.
>> 5. The thread initiator is justified in choosing one of the explanations
>> for his study. It was with the considerations of propriety that I wanted to
>> focus only on that approach and share my understanding that many books from
>> the Marxist school of scholarship should be useful for the purpose of the
>> thread initiator.
>> Thanks for your patience.
>> Warm regards,
>> Nagaraj
>> --
>> Prof.Nagaraj Paturi
>> Hyderabad-500044
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Paolo E. Rosati
Oriental Archaeologist
PhD candidate in Civilisations of Asia & Africa
Section: South Asian Studies
Dep. Italian Institute of Oriental Studies (ISO)
'Sapienza' University of Rome
paoloe.rosati at uniroma1.it
paoloe.rosati at gmail.com
Mobile: (+39) 3387383472
Skype: paoloe.rosati

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