reading memo 1 - Maggie Gartman Reli 183 section 604...

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Maggie Gartman Reli 183, section 604 Reading MEMO 1 Liminality and its Reflection in Major Hindu Concepts of Ritual Worship, Iconography and Pilgrimage Time and time again, the readings and key concepts reflecting Hinduism reflect and project the principle theme of liminality. Liminality in this context refers to a time or place of going in- between. Often this state carries with it connotations of vulnerability as it represents a time of change where one is transitioning from one state, place or even idea to another, thus not statically entrenched in either. Thus, this concept of liminality suggests both a time of opportunity and a time of risk. Within Hinduism, this theme is very consistent with many of the key principles and ideas at the heart of this world religion. Liminality is reflected in the relationship between humans and the divine, or between the realm of mortality/reality and that which transcends into the superhuman. This relationship is further developed here in the specific realms of ritual, iconography, worship and pilgrimage. The relationship between worshiper and deity is one that hinges on give and take, and represents a type of liminal state built out of mutual bidirectionality. The key concepts of puja and murti help to further demonstrate this connection. Puja, or worship of the deity is performed to show one’s respect and love. One form of puja is murti, which is the shape or form of the deity that you will perform puja to. Often it takes the form of statues or clay figurines, and through ritual it becomes an embodiment of the deity. Thus, when the deity has come to reside in this object, the worshiper serves it, showering it with honor and respect due to an honored guest-- through
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