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Heroic Wives Rituals, Stories and the Virtues of Jain Wifehood$
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M. Whitney Kelting

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195389647

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195389647.001.0001

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The Perfect Marriage

The Perfect Marriage

(p.79) 4 The Perfect Marriage
Heroic Wives Rituals, Stories and the Virtues of Jain Wifehood

M. Whitney Kelting (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapterr examines the ideal Jain marriage, that of the sati Maynasundari and King Sripal; this pair shares a companionate marriage centered around mutuality and the shared performance of Jain rituals. In order to have an ideal marriage, one must be a religious wife (dharmapatni) who also serves as a role model for her husband. Mayna performs a fast, which heals her husband's leprosy. After this Mayna and Sripal dedicate their lives to the performance of Jain worship. Their story provides a charter both for the quintessential fast for marital happiness—the popular Navpad Oli fast—and for worship of the siddhacakra, which reenacts the ideal moment in the ideal marriage when they are patrons of Jain worship and blesses the couple that performs it with an ideal marriage. Contemporary Jain women perform these rituals in hopes of simultaneously creating and displaying their own ideal marriages.

Keywords:   companionate marriage, fasting, marriage, mutuality, patron, ritual

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