Goddesses and Women: Asserting Self through Religious Poetry
Throughout the ages, Hindu religiosity developed potent patterns in belief and practice which placed goddess worship at the locus of Hindu religious life, thus having great ramifications for women’s condition in society. This paper analyses the advent of the women’s writing in the religious domain as an assertion of the self at the intersection of the figures of goddesses and the consequent cultural consciousness that is self contradictory but serves as an important backdrop to the comprehension of the women’s voice. Women who surrendered themselves to the quest and devotion of god, poetry acted as a medium for them to move from the illusion of the material world to reach the spiritual reality. Women ascetics liberated themselves from the injunctions of social norms declared an autonomous subjectivity through their devotion and surrender to a personal god. The intense emotions created by this quest gave themselves shape and utterance through the medium of literature of personal experience.