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Religions, Volume 8, Issue 8 (August 2017)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Jogaṇī Mātā, a popular goddess in the state of Gujarat in northwest India, is notable for her [...] Read more. Jogaṇī Mātā, a popular goddess in the state of Gujarat in northwest India, is notable for her distinctive depiction: a near-naked, headless female carrying a scimitar along with her own severed head, which drinks the blood spouting from her neck. This iconography follows that of the tantric goddess Chinnamastā, a seldom-worshipped deity with very few temples throughout India. Bloody imagery aside, there are countless Jogaṇī Mātā shrines thriving in present-day Gujarat, which draw devotees from a variety of caste groups. Urban middle-class and upwardly-mobile Gujaratis have become increasingly prevalent at Jogaṇī sites, due in part to the rapid results that the goddess’s power provides. In fact, when interwoven with other upper-caste values like vegetarianism and abstemiousness, the safe, positive tantra Jogaṇī Mātā embodies plays a part in the performance of upward-mobility. View this paper