Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol 4, No 2(2010): Forests of Belonging: The Contested Meaning of Trees and Forests in Indian Hinduism

Forest Paradigms in Vrat Kathas

Robert Menzies
Issued Date: 11 Jul 2010


Vrat kathas (Hindu women’s domestic literature) present the forest as a place for the reception of religious knowledge. These stories place themselves on par with divinely revealed texts by emulating certain themes found there. The vrat kathas, moreover, present women as ritualists whose actions are more effective than are men’s. While the vrat kathas do seem to “emulate” the male models, they also posit superiority of both the woman as a ritualist and the vrat as a ritual. Thus, the vrat kathas posit the superiority of vrat rituals, vrat stories, and vrat performers as superior to the “elite” male forms they are ostensibly emulating.

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DOI: 10.1558/jsrnc.v4i2.139


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