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.
... Brahmins the other by non-vegetarian non-Brahmins, enables the complex to express in a refractive manner (and not simply reflect or represent) the activities of sections of Sri Lanka's landed and high caste strata who sponsor the Brahmins ...
... Brahmins and the non-Brahmins of the Bhadrakali temple. In Chapter 3 I begin my examination of the religious world of the Munnesvaram temples by discussing the principal temple myths recounted to me by devotees. These myths concern the ...
... Brahmins who own and run the temple, 'Munnesvara' is the name of Siva, the 'First of the Sages' (Skt. muni). Munnesvaram is, in this sense, simply a Siva temple. Yet 'Munisvara' is also the name of a lower status village guardian deity ...
... Brahmins, who are Tamil foreigners, stole it from them. The interaction between these Brahmins and – 31 – Fluidity and Ambiguity in the History of Munnesvaram.
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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