Worship and Devotional Life - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Worship and Devotional Life: Hindu Devotional Life

Although there is great variety in the forms of devotional life in Hinduism, some common themes may be identified that characterize the general religious impulse behind their variety. One important theme is that of ritual enhancement: Devotional practice aims at sustaining or improving the circumstances of the worshiper. These aims may be immediate and practical, such as the healing of disease, avoidance of the destructive influences of malevolent forces, fertility of crops, animals, and persons, and maintenance of family solidarity; or they may be more soteriological in character, such as the pursuit of liberation (mokṣa) from the bondage of rebirth. In this way, devotional life may be seen as a series of elaborate strategies for the enhancement of an individual's or group's situation as defined in terms of both worldly and transcendent goals.

A second theme centers...

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This section contains 6,048 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Worship and Devotional Life Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Worship and Devotional Life from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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