Heroic Wives Rituals, Stories and the Virtues of Jain Wifehood
Although in Hinduism it is mainly used to refer to widow immolation, the term 'sati' means 'true woman' - a female hero. Whitney Kelting has learned that in Jainism satis appear as subjects of devotional hymns. This seems paradoxical, given that Jain spirituality is to disengage oneself from worldly existence and Jain devotionalism is usually directed toward those souls who have reached perfect detachment. In fact, however, there is a vast corpus of popular texts, many of them written by prominent scholar-monks between the 16th and 18th centuries, illustrating the distinctly worldly virtues of devoted Jain wives. In this fieldwork-based study, Kelting explores the ways in which Jain women use sati narratives and rituals to understand wifehood as a choice, which these women's ongoing ritual practices continually shape. She focuses on eight well-known Jain sati narratives, recorded in both formal ritual contexts and in informal retellings, and also as read aloud from printed versions. She finds that one of the principal functions of Jain sati narratives is to contribute to a discourse of wifehood, which addresses the concerns of Jain laywomen within the Jain value system and provides a fertile context in which Jain women can explore their questions of virtue and piety.
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A¯yambil O_lı acts An˜jana bangles blessing body bride Candanba¯la contemporary Jain context Cort couple daughter death deities devotion dharmapatnı discourse discussion fast Gacch groom Gujarati Harlan henna Hindu husband’s ideal marriage identity ideologies intimacy Jain laywomen Jain mendicants Jain rituals Jain satı Jain women Jainism Jina karma Kelting Laidlaw liberation lineage goddess linked Maha¯vı¯r Maharashtra mantra marital happiness marriage marriage arrangements married Marwari May_na Maynäsundari mendicants merit transfer monk mother-in-law narratives Navpad O_lı Nemana¯thno Saloko Nemi Nemi’s nunhood nuns one’s husband ordination pativrata perform piety practices protect pu¯ja Pune Ra¯jı¯matı Ra¯jul Rajasthan Rathanemi recitation rejection religious renounce renunciation Reynell rite Rohi_nı Rohin˙ı S´rı¯pa¯l and May_na¯sundarı S´veta¯mbar Sajjha¯y sari satı¯ma¯ta satı¯s saubha¯gya sexual siddhacakra Siddhacakra maha¯pu¯ja social Sripal story Su¯tra Subhadra Sulasa Tapa tellings temple texts told unmarried women Updha¯n veil songs virtue virtuous wedding well-being widow wife wife’s wifehood wives woman woman’s worship young women