Book chapter / Bhadrakali and Formation of a Regional Goddess in Kerala

Brussel, Noor Van. ‘Bhadrakāḷī: Slaying the Demon in the Backwaters’. In A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses: Tales of the Feminine Divine from India and Beyond, edited by Michael Slouber, 19-41. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2021.
Excerpt: The narrative consists of two chapters translated from The Glorification of Bhadrakāḷī (Bhadrakāḷī Māhātmya), a Sanskrit text of the ‘regional Purāṇa’ type, which mixes local narratives and perspectives with transregional myths and themes.
It tells the tale of the demon Dārika and his destined death at the hands of the fierce goddess Bhadrakāḷī. In this way, it is part of an enduring motif in Hindu myth and art: that of demons being slain by fearsome goddesses.
While the text in its current version likely dates to the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, the first reference to a fierce goddess battling a demon called Dārika already appears about one thousand years earlier, in the Tamil epic Chilappatikāram.
The Hindus of Kerala developed the Bhadrakāḷī narrative into a multifaceted framework of legends, rituals, songs, and performance traditions.

Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup


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