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RELIGION & METAPHOR #2 - Gerrit Lange: Ākarśaṇ, the "Attraction" and "Urge" of a Contemporary Hindu Goddess: Force as Metaphor for Emotion, Emotion as Metaphor for Force


Online Event

Guest lecture by Gerrit Lange (Marburg University)

In the Indian Central Himalayas, several metaphors are employed to conceptualize śakti, the "force" or (emotional) intensity of divine presence. When Naiṇī Mātā, a village goddess of Pindar valley, travels through the region for six months, she takes the form of a clothed bamboo pole - her niśān ("token") which is believed to be the goddess herself, and to be moved by her śakti. One among several forms in which this śakti emerges is ākarśaṇ, an "attraction", "magnetism" or "urge" hindering her carriers to carry her along and leave behind a village to which the Goddess is said to feel emotional attachment. Both mechanical and emotional, this "attracting force" oscillates between metaphor (the "magnetism" or "attraction" of love) and metonymy (an actual force which can be countered by the paraphysical mechanisms of mantras, drum patterns and songs used to make her move). Insofar these metaphors remain unspoken, can we speak of "nonverbal" metaphors? And is film editing, itself involving the nonverbal metaphors of montage, an adequate means to analyse such metaphors?

The lecture is open to all members of the university and academic audiences. Please contact in order to receive the access data for the lecture.