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7. The Herbal Arsenal and Fetid Food: The Power of Plants in Early Tantric Exorcism Rituals

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1. Title Title of document 7. The Herbal Arsenal and Fetid Food: The Power of Plants in Early Tantric Exorcism Rituals - Roots of Wisdom, Branches of Devotion
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Michael Slouber; Western Washington University, USA;
3. Subject Discipline(s) Religious Studies
4. Subject Keyword(s) plants in Asian religion; Hinduism; Jainism; Buddhism; Tantric texts; tantric exorcism; sacred nature of flora; trees in religion; plants as food; plants as medicine; plants in ritual and myth
5. Subject Subject classification South Asian Religions
6. Description Abstract This chapter discusses early medieval Bhūta and Bāla Tantras. On the basis of unedited manuscript sources, the author describes the role played by plants in religion and life as seen through the lens of exorcism rituals. Datura, red oleander, mustard seeds,
rice, sesame, garlic, fig, Flame of the forest, wood-apple: these and many
more formed the basis of tantric exorcisms. Plants were used to attract,
feed and repel demons. They were made into incense, oil, and weapons, as
well as cakes, mannequins and medicines. Auspicious and noxious qualities
of sacred plants and trees were infused into water, milk and cooling ointments,
or made into sweet fragrances or foul-smelling fires. In short, the
universe of early tantric exorcism ritual was suffused with plants whose
powers resonate in contemporary exorcist practice across South Asia.
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 01-Jun-2016
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.30834
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Roots of Wisdom, Branches of Devotion
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.) Indian sub-continent,
historic to contemporary
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd