Female Divine

Running head:   The Female Divine

Celebrating the Female Divine

June 14, 2010

                            Hindu Female Divine

Chawla's article is a semi-ethnographic narrative on the Kamakhya mandir annual worship known as Ambubachi Mela. The Shakti is the Hindu Female Divine. The Shakti is the worship of the 'primordial divine' - being the personification of the creative and reproductive power of the feminine. The 'Shakti' as a divine concept is not only limited in women but is manifested in men too as it is the universal agent of creation and change according to the Hindus. The Ambabuchi Mela is held in the city of Gauhati in the province of Assam, India. The article describes the annual worship as the celebration of the female Divine manifested in a particular ritual. At the center of the ceremony in the holy Hindu temple is a yoni - a bowl symbolizing the female genitalia. It is situated above a natural spring from which water flows - symbolizing life. In coordination with the 'Moonsoon' which is seen as the 'menses' of Mother Earth, the celebration of female menstruation happens as the 'flows of life' from the Shakti becomes accessible to the devotees. The article summarizes the varied practices and rituals performed in the ceremony in relation to their relevance in the worship of the Shakti - the Hindu Female Divine. It also relates the importance of the Shakti to the Hindus as annually, up to 300,000 converge into the city to take part in this annual worship. Chawla then goes on to discuss the implication of the practice to the current feminist views of religious practices seen as oppressive to woman. She poses several questions on her article, including the relevance and systemic worship of the Female Goddess in Hinduism in light of the fact that women are considered in some Hindu classes as lower forms of being, affecting their social & economic status in the Indian society.


Chawla, J. (2002)....