Thursday 5 April 2018

Delving into Folk roots - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

The Mangal-Kāvya tradition of Bengal was an archetype of the synthesis between the Vedic and the popular folk culture of Eastern India. According to the experts, indigenous myths and legends inherited from Indo-Aryan cultures began to blend and crystallize around popular deities and semi-mythological figures in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. A new story of the creation of the universe evolved, as quite different from the Sanskrit tradition but with an unmistakable affinity with the creation hymns in Rigveda and the other eastern myths of creation. Manasamangal Kāvya was the oldest of the Mangal-Kāvya that narrates how the snake-goddess Manasa established her worship in Bengal by converting a worshipper of Shiva to her own worship. Manasa, a non-Aryan deity, had her worship prevalent in ancient Bengal. It is believed, in fact, that she came to Bengal with the Dravidians who worshipped her in the hope that she would protect them against snakes. Manasa was also known as Bisahari, Janguli and Padmavati.

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