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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... tradition, knowledge, authority ågama nilåyam (Skt.) – temple library ågamas (Tm.) – the core texts of Tamil Saivism (in Anglicised plural form) aisvarya (Skt.) – regal power aiyyå (Sinh.) – honorific term for sir, lord åkarsana (Skt ...
... traditions the mystical agents of sorcerous attack. For there to be as many as nine of them suggests that the religious power of this particular site is very great. Moreover, the number nine generally relates to goddesses, the nine ...
... tradition is the weaving of historical figures and geo-political events with such guardian deity traditions (Kapferer 1997a, nd). By the second half of the sixteenth century, Madampe was ruled by princes aligned with the Sitavaka ...
... traditions brother-in-law) Visnu, the pre-eminent god of Sinhala Buddhism.16 So while Siva's divine and honourable qualities are celebrated by both the Munnesvaram priests and the Tamil Saivites who worship 'Munnesvara' as the ...
... traditions and ideas of south Indian Jainism and Buddhism and not in Hinduism (Obeyesekere 1984: 511–516).21 When asked if Ambal is the Pattini, many Munnesvaram devotees answered without hesitation. Some qualified their answer through ...
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