BOL BAM: APPROACHES TO SHIVA Scharada Dubey

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BOL BAM: APPROACHES TO SHIVA  by  Scharada Dubey

BOL BAM: APPROACHES TO SHIVA by Scharada Dubey
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Faith remains strong, even in the midst of devastation. We are stimulated daily by constant reminders of God around us, says Scharada Dubey. There are the daily calls to prayer, devotional songs, calendar pictures, roadside shrines, but it isMoreFaith remains strong, even in the midst of devastation. We are stimulated daily by constant reminders of God around us, says Scharada Dubey.

There are the daily calls to prayer, devotional songs, calendar pictures, roadside shrines, but it is pilgrimages that are the most visible way in which faith is expressed. A yatra is essentially a shared spiritual journey and the writer has undertaken many of her own, particularly to places central to the worship of Shiva. ‘Shiva’s wild, untamed manifestation resonates strongly with millions of people who still, willy-nilly, in close contact with the features and forces of nature,’ she says, explaining her choice of subject.

To some, this choice seemed an odd one, since there are many reasons for non-belief today. But Dubey chooses not to turn her back on ‘such cultural riches’. Large numbers of people move about the country, in obedience to the rhythm of a seasonal call that their forefathers have answered.

This book seeks to explore several such ‘yatras’ through the particular prism of Shiva worship. Shiva occupies a unique place in the Hindu pantheon as a deity equally close to the hearts of vagrants and addicts, the disabled and the no-hopers, and to the more empowered sections of society. Perceptions of Shiva—and of his worshippers— provide the conversational cues for interviews with the people whose accounts and words enrich this book. In it, readers will meet pilgrims and priests, public administrators and all mainstream or marginal participants in journeys undertaken to please their god.

Dubey joins the throng around Shiva, observing, listening, absorbing the deep, quiet enchantment of faith.



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