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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... .) – generic term for low labourer caste often described as 'firewood collector' palågi (Skt.) – 'flowery' column design of two mirrored lotus flowers paligahanavå (Sinh.) – striking revenge, a form of sorcery distinguished – xix – ...
... described how he used this bo tree throughout the year for sacrifice and sorcery, bringing clients from different parts of the island for night-time rites. Nine cobras dwell in the tree, he added, and he made regular offerings to them ...
... described for other south Indian temples,15 this has not meant that the temples remain aloof from the social tensions affecting Sri Lanka. Apart from anything else the priests are Tamil while the majority of worshippers is Sinhalese ...
... described as non-Sinhala 'mother tongue' where the father's language was not Sinhala (Ceylon at the Census of 1921 p.156) are all evidence of the area's floating population.3 In addition to the Karava, Chilaw included a strong Muslim ...
... described as the 'galactic polity' (Tambiah 1976, 1985): a satellite orbiting a core planet and replicating it in smaller scale (Tambiah 1976: 113). Large-scale religious festivals centring on important temples were vital to the ...
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