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Title: Le roi et les déesses
Subtitle: La fête de Navarātri et Desahra au Rajasthan
Author(s): VERGATI, Anne
Journal: Journal Asiatique
Volume: 282    Issue: 1   Date: 1994   
Pages: 125-146
DOI: 10.2143/JA.282.1.2006118

Abstract :
In the kingdoms of Northern India, during the Medieval Period, royal power was linked to a goddess. Every Indian king, in order to govern, needed a tutelary goddess for kingdom and dynasty. This need derived from religious ideas formulated by one current of Hinduism, Tantrism, the ideology of which prevailed from the XIth century onwards in North India. In accounts of the foundation of capital towns, the king who allied himself with a goddess, is the founder. Once the capital of the kingdom is founded, this goddess becomes the tutelary goddess of the kingdom and so, implicitely, of the territory it englobes. The tutelary goddess of the dynasty and the kingdom is responsible for war and military success. The clan goddess kul-devī, on the other hand, protects individuals as members of a particular lineage and occupies an important place in domestic rituals. She establishes a link between a clan and the territory. The festival of Navarātri and Dasahra, which takes place in autumn, commemorates the victory of the goddess over the demon Asura. In ancient Rajput kingdoms ceremonies were carried out during this festival to celebrate het military exploits. The Rajputs worship on the eighth day of the festival the weapons placed in front of the tutelary goddess. On the ninth day there is a ceremony for Cāmuṇḍā the tutelary goddess of the kingdom offered by the king and followed by a procession the court and the army. In this context the political aspects of the Dashera festival at Jodhpur (the ancient kingdom of Marwar) are analysed and particularly the relationship between the king and the goddess, Cāmuṇḍā, the tutelary goddess of the kingdom and the territory.

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