The structure and meaning of daily worship in a South Indian temple

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Abstract

At the core of worship in a large Hindu temple is the complex daily liturgy around which all other temple activities are structured, and upon which the order of the osmos is said to depend. This article, which combines ethnographic observations with exegeses by local priests and insights from indological studies of Saiva Siddhanta philosophical texts, describes daily worship in the temple of Lord Kalukacalamurtti (a local form of Murukan) in the town of Kalugumalai, Tamil Nadu, South India. It goes on to consider the significance of the principal stages - unction, decoration, food offering, and lamp-showing - in the puja rite which forms the basis of worship in Saivite temples
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-507
JournalAnthropos
Volume96
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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