Mara (Hindu goddess)

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Mara or Mrityu Devi is a Sanskrit word meaning "death" or any personification thereof. In Hinduism, Mara is the goddess of death and offerings would be placed at her altar. Though much less popular, some sects of worship do exist in India. Her counterpart in Latvian mythology is Māra.

She is an important deity worshipped by ethnic groups across South Asia, including the Kalash and once by the Nuristani peoples, indicating her prominence in ancient Hinduism.[1][2][3][4] [5] [6]

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  1. ^ Bezhan, Frud (19 April 2017). "Pakistan's Forgotten Pagans Get Their Due". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 11 July 2017. About half of the Kalash practice a form of ancient Hinduism infused with old pagan and animist beliefs.
  2. ^ Barrington, Nicholas; Kendrick, Joseph T.; Schlagintweit, Reinhard (18 April 2006). A Passage to Nuristan: Exploring the Mysterious Afghan Hinterland. I.B. Tauris. p. 111. ISBN 9781845111755. Prominent sites include Hadda, near Jalalabad, but Buddhism never seems to have penetrated the remote valleys of Nuristan, where the people continued to practise an early form of polytheistic Hinduism.
  3. ^ Weiss, Mitch; Maurer, Kevin (31 December 2012). No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan. Berkley Caliber. p. 299. ISBN 9780425253403. Up until the late nineteenth century, many Nuristanis practised a primitive form of Hinduism. It was the last area in Afghanistan to convert to Islam—and the conversion was accomplished by the sword.
  4. ^ http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/KalashaReligion.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  5. ^ name="Jamil2019">Jamil, Kashif (19 August 2019). "Uchal — a festival of shepherds and farmers of the Kalash tribe". Daily Times. p. English. Retrieved 23 January 2020. Some of their deities who are worshiped in Kalash tribe are similar to the Hindu god and goddess like Mahadev in Hinduism is called Mahandeo in Kalash tribe. ... All the tribal also visit the Mahandeo for worship and pray. After that they reach to the gree (dancing place).
  6. ^ West, Barbara A. (19 May 2010). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania. Infobase Publishing. p. 357. ISBN 9781438119137. The Kalasha are a unique people living in just three valleys near Chitral, Pakistan, the capital of North-West Frontier Province, which borders Afghanistan. Unlike their neighbors in the Hindu Kush Mountains on both the Afghani and Pakistani sides of the border the Kalasha have not converted to Islam. During the mid-20th century a few Kalasha villages in Pakistan were forcibly converted to this dominant religion, but the people fought the conversion and once official pressure was removed the vast majority continued to practice their own religion. Their religion is a form of Hinduism that recognizes many gods and spirits and has been related to the religion of the ancient Greeks... given their Indo-Aryan language, ... the religion of the Kalasha is much more closely aligned to the Hinduism of their Indian neighbors that to the religion of Alexander the Great and his armies.