The Domain of Constant Excess: Plural Worship at the Munnesvaram Temples in Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan ethnic conflict that has occurred largely between Sinhala Buddhists and Tamil Hindus is marked by a degree of religious tolerance that sees both communities worshiping together. This study describes one important site of such worship, the ancient Hindu temple complex of Munnesvaram. Standing adjacent to one of Sri Lanka's historical western ports, the fortunes of the Munnesvaram temples have waxed and waned through the years of turbulence, violence and social change that have been the country's lot since the advent of European colonialism in the Indian Ocean. Bastin recounts the story of these temples and analyses how the Hindu temple is reproduced as a center of worship amidst conflict and competition.
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... according to the temple origin myth, Munnesvaram was first founded. The Tamil built the temple to house this 'marvel' and it became a popular place for worshippers to visit on their return to the Northern Province following the end of ...
... according to the priests, it is through the presence of sakti that Munnesvaram has its special power for alleviation. Sakti and the goddesses constitute divinity in the world, and part of their constitution stems from Sinhala Buddhist ...
... (according to popular Sinhalese historiography). The fortified town, restored by government archaeologists from the late nineteenth century onwards, is more contemporary, dating from the medieval period when the town would have presided ...
... According to Gananath Obeyesekere, deities belong to the Buddhist pantheon as they are themselves Buddhist. They are oriented to a Buddhist path of liberation and occupy different stages of remoteness from the world as expressions of ...
... According to Obeyesekere (1984: 293–296) there were a number of Kiri Amma goddesses and these goddesses were the original female deities of Sinhala Buddhism who were supplanted by the mostly singular goddess Pattini. Importantly, Kiri ...
Chapter 3 Myths and Marginality
Chapter 4 Ritual Practices and Religious Identity
Chapter 5 The Saivite Temple as a Monumental Architecture
Puja and Arccanai
Chapter 7 The Presence of Sakti
Chapter 8 Guardians Games and the Formation of Power
Chapter 9 The World Inside Out
Chapter 10 The Domain of Excess
Divine Kings and Regal Gods Temples in Society and History