MA dissertation: The shrine of Hinglaj Devi in Baluchistan

Jürgen Schaflechner, Die Göttin Hiṅglāj Eine Untersuchung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung ihrer Bedeutung für die jāti der Brahmakṣatriya, MA thesis, Institut für Neuere Südasienstudien der Universität Heidelberg, 7 July 2009.

“Indological and Anthropological studies have for long ignored the shrine of Hiṅglāj Devi, or Nānī Mā as she is also called, in Baluchistan. This Magister thesis explores the narratives of this particular religious place and argues that its remote position and ancient history have, over the years, led to multiple and often overlapping mytho-historical oral traditions and writings. Such myths, often reflecting the socio-political changes of the area, are found among various religious communities and thus thwart a conventional segregation of religious taxonomies at the shrine. Due to such overlapping discourses the heuristic value of the concept of “Syncretism” is discussed and scrutinized for its usage within this case study.

The second part of the book focuses on the history and the symbolic interpretation of the shrine among one particular group, the Brahmakṣatriya/Khatrī caste of West Rajasthan. One of their main texts, the “Brahmakṣatriyotpatti Evaṃ Maṁ Hiṃgulāj” is given in translation from Hindi, to show how the goddess as a religious symbol, along with the power of a sanskritic-brahmanic discourse, are used to justify the caste´s claim to be of Kṣatriya origin.”

Keywords: Hinglaj Devi, Avar, Karni Mata, Carani Sagati, Lhatri Community, Brahmanksatriya, Parashurama, Mythology, Caran Community, Cultural Memory


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *