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Siva's Demon Devotee: Karaikkal Ammaiyar (New)
by Craddock, Elaine
Publisher: SUNY Press
Book ID: 9781438430881, 1438430884
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The Hindu poet-saint Karaikkal Ammaiyar describes herself as a demon, accompanying the god iva as he dances in the cremation grounds. She is believed to be the first to write devotional poetry to Siva in the Tamil language and is considered the first of the sixty-three Tamil poet-saints. Written in the sixth or seventh century, her beautiful poetry presents the path of love and service that brings liberation. In Siva's Demon Devotee, Elaine Craddock provides a historical, literary, and ethnographic exploration of Karaikkal Ammaiyar and her work. An annotated translation of the poet-saint's 143 verses is included along with an introduction to the Tamil literary tradition. Craddock's analysis of this poetry in its ancient context and of the narrative tradition that developed around the life of Karaikkal Ammaiyar centuries later reveals cultural tensions concerning women's roles and the devotional path.
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