Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Akka Mahādevī

  • Sushumna Kannan
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_296-1

Synonyms

Definition

Akka Mahādevi is a woman saint of medieval South India, who uttered vacanas, a spontaneous verbalization of experiences while on the path of enlightenment. Her 300 and odd vacanas are mostly short couplets and dialogic in nature. They are addressed to her favorite deity, Chennamallikārjuna, or to others around her, always ending with an invocation of the deity, a form of Śiva. Akka Mahādevi also composed the Yogānga Trividhi, which refers to a number of spiritual paths, while emphasizing on the significance of her own path and elucidating and recording her experiences. The prefix “Akka” means sister and could be a respectful form of addressing a renunciate.

Life

Hagiographical sources record her birthplace as Udutadi and her parents as Vimala and Sumati. These texts tell us that Akka Mahādevi was a rudrakannike, a heavenly maid or a “pure portion” of Pārvati, Śiva’s spouse, who came down to earth with a mission. The available sources on...

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References

  1. 1.
    Niranjana T (1992) Siting translation: history, post-structuralism, and the colonial context. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Michael B (1992) The origins of Vīraśaiva sects: a typological analysis of ritual and associational patterns in the Śūnyasaṃpādane. Motilal Banarasidass Publishers, DelhiGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Women’s StudiesSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA