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Title: Digu pūjā : lineage god worship: a cultural study of the Kathmandu city
Authors: Manandhar, Tina
Keywords: Kula Devatā
Ita Devatā
Guthi system
Issue Date: 15-Nov-2017
Abstract: Nepal is rich in cultural diversity. Many different ethnicities add wealth to the varied customs here. However, when we talk about Kathmandu, it is mainly the Newari culture that is being referred to. Apart from the festivals that are observed within the small limit of a single family, people also observe festivals requiring participation of families of different generations from a single lineage. These festivals help them to create unity amongst the family members who by some reason are not staying together in a large joint family. „Digu Pūjā‟ is one such occasion which is celebrated in a joint manner by all the family members of different generations of the same lineage. The concept to worship the lineage god is also found among the Non-Newars, and they call it ‘Dewāli Pūjā‟. Ways of celebration may be different but the concept is similar, and that is - to bring all the family members in one place and create the feeling of oneness. Digu pūjā was/is a most significant religious/cultural celebration of the Newars through which they exhibit their rich cultural potentialities. But this aspect of the Newari culture, (i.e. the celebration of Digu pūjā in varied ways), has been considerably overlooked by cultural historians and anthropologists. Through this research, the researcher wants to throw some light on this highly cultured tradition of Newars. It focuses on the deviations that have occurred in the rituals, and under the changed situation and circumstances, and also identifies some basic differences in pūjā rituals among the Newars themselves, while keeping the main concept intact. Through this research, the researcher has analysed the impact of the pūjā among the younger generation who show little interest on it because of its lengthy period and strict rules and regulations. The general objective of this study is focused on the cultural, historical and social aspects of the pūjā ceremony among the Newars, while this study specifically tries to analyse the changes that occurred in the recent past and the people‟s reactions to these changes along with some considerable departure from the past during the recent years. Rituals followed/observed by the different caste groups of the Newars have been described in detail as well as it explain the concept of Kula Devatā among the Non Newars. This study is limited to the rituals and procedures which the Newars of Kathmandu observe. However, an attempt has been made to make a comparative study of Dewāli Pūjā with other communities. Though this research is based on both primary as well as secondary sources, it is highly dependent upon the primary sources such as observation, interview, personal participation etc. as there are very little written resources about the Digu pūjā of Newars. This dissertation is divided into eight chapters. The first one is the introductory chapter in which the objective of the study along with scope and limitation, study area and research methodology of the study is described. Second chapter is Literature Review in which all the previous works done in the same topic or topics related with this are evaluated in detail. Third chapter deals with the theoretical approach to the lineage god (digu dyo), next chapter is related to Lineage God and the Newars, dealing with the anthropological study of the Newars with reference to their religion, caste hierarchy, guthi system etc. The fifth chapter is the main part of the dissertation. It discusses in detail the rituals performed during the lineage god worship by the Newars of Kathmandu. In the sixth chapter under the heading of Changing Patterns in Rituals, the changing styles in the rituals is discussed with possible reasons while in the next chapter a comparative study of the rituals performed by the Non newars during their lineage god worship is discussed. The final or eighth chapter discusses the future prospects of this highly cultured ritual of the Newars along with some suggestions for the preservation and continuation of this ritual so that our future generation could also learn about their culture by participating in it and not merely by reading the rituals in books. On one hand, it has become the duty of the younger generation to preserve this ancient tradition, whereas on the other hand, it is also necessary to simplify the pūjā process or ritual to make room for wider participation.
Description: a dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Tribhuvan University in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Nepalese history, culture and archaeology, Tribhuvan University Kathmandu, Nepal, 2014
Appears in Collections:300 Social sciences

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