Marijamman jako bogini ospy, czyli o chorobie w kulturze tamilskiej
MARIYAMMAN AS THE SMALLPOX GODDESSS, OR ILLNESS IN TAMIL CULTURE
Languages of publication
The aim of this article is to present how illness is seen in Tamil culture and to indicate some important connections between the power of Mariyamman, the Smallpox Goddess, and the weather phenomena as well as the physical condition of her worshippers. We seek to answer the questions why the Goddess sometimes treats her devotees so cruelly and on what condition they survive her wrath. Furthermore, the relationship between the worshipper and the adored deity is analysed and the main circumstances and conditions which her believer has to fulfil in order to stay in good health, such as special prayers or eating 'cold' food, are discussed. These efforts sometimes may save one from illness but they are worth nothing without great faith and total submission to the Goddess. It is said that when Mariyamman enters the body of her believers she shows them her love and affection. On the other hand, the symptoms of disease can be taken as her wrath and wish to destroy those who did not obey the rules and instructions she instituted. In most of the cases, the best solution for worshippers who suffer from smallpox is to stay at home and wait till the Goddess releases them from her influence. It is believed that if it happens that a sick person has to go to hospital, Mariyamman would be even more angry and may kill him/her immediately.
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier