INDEX
Note: Italics indicate figures; n indicates a note
affliction, 7, 32–35, 60–61, 70, 84–86, 97,
100–101, 109, 142, 151, 187, 214–15, 217,
234n28
agency: political, 26, 49, 68, 194; reli-
gious, 42, 67, 70, 218; sexual, 27, 108,
140–41, 164, 173, 175–77
Ambedkar, B. R.: and Dalit conver-
sion to Buddhism, 17, 53–54, 86–87;
and Dalit liberation, 52–54, 124–25,
232–33n20–21, 233n23; desecration
of statutes of, 116–17, 239n4. See caste
distinction; Dalit activists; reformers
Apfell- Marglin, Frederique, 27, 32,
230n8
Asad, Talal 16, 219, 225n16
auspiciousness: darshan, 94, 145, 234n31;
devadasis as bearers of, 6, 27–28,
75, 87–88, 92, 97, 101, 145, 149–51,
155, 160, 170–71, 210; and devotees,
56–57, 78, 80, 83, 106; for gandulla-
valu (women with husbands) 165–66;
and gift offerings, 84, 165, 170–72; in-
auspiciousness, 83, 148, 152, 153, 160,
242n1; and marriage and fertility, 83,
128, 146; occasions that manifest, 1,
7, 75, 79; prasada, 151–52; signs of, 83,
148, 152, 242n1; vs. purity and pollu-
tion, 27, 133, 242–43n5; Yellamma’s
arrival as an event of, 81, 170
avaru (third person gender neutral pro-
noun), 182, 201–3, 205–6, 208, 244n3
bettale seve (naked worship): banning
of, 119–20, 122; at Chandragutti, 116–
22, 125, 240n9; and Dalit activism, 34,
117, 119, 122–26, 140; as a rite, 119, 122,
154, 240n9
body, the: bodily commitment, 34, 101,
114, 121, 129, 133, 140–41, 177, 215,
238–39n1; and castration, 100–101,
141, 202, 238n26; embodying the
devi, 3, 66, 75, 85–88, 97, 100, 101, 105,
128, 142–43, 145, 160, 187, 203, 217,
219–21; of the devi, 2, 65, 80, 87–88,
101, 137, 139; as ecstatic medium, 34,
101, 134–37; epistemologies of, 101–2,
116, 124, 126, 127, 138, 140, 185, 210–11,
214–15, medicalization of, 90, 97, 99,
101–2, 220; as site of reform, 13, 16, 23,
101, 125; as symbol, 24, 34, 98–99, 101,
108, 137, 159, 219–20, 229–30n3
Brahmanism: Ambedkar’s campaign
against, 52–54, 124–25, 232–33n20–21,
233n23; as compared to Buddhism,
54; as compared to non- Sanskritic
Hinduism, 15–16, 42, 63, 72, 234n28,
236n8; and conjugal monogamy, 22,
25, 158–59, 194–95; as Hinduism,
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