Hinduism and Tribal Religions

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


  • Namrata Rathore Mahanta
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_474-1


The term vrata has been diversely connoted at different times in the history of Hinduism. It has been used as a referent for cosmic order, for duty, for a moral code, for abstinence from a range of sensory experiences, for a vow or pledge, for obligatory worship to deities, and also as an act of self-mortification for fulfilment of material desires or to attract divine blessings. In present times vrata is connoted as part of popular religious performance which lays great emphasis on fasting and ritual worship. It is performed by Hindu men and women of all castes and tribes across metropolitan, urban, and rural cultures. Most vratas can be performed by both males and females; some vratas are performed only by females. While the vratas performed by men are predominantly personal and are focussed on spiritual goals, majority of the women’s vratas are congregational in character and focus on embodied and material goals. Popular women’s vratasare further factored on the basis...

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English, Mahila MahavidyalayaBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia