The Veda and the Patronage Economy of the Hindu Temple

An Early Modern Case from Kerala




atronage economy, emple Hinduism, Veda, rahmin/s, brahman/s, ritual prestige, Kerala history, Brāhmaṇa/s


The ambiguous relationship between the Veda and Hinduism has attracted considerable scholarship. So have recent cases of revival and redesigning of Vedic ritualism. Much less has been written on the concepts, forms and actual practices of the coexistence of temple ritual and the Veda within the territory of the Hindu temple. This relationship, by no means homogenous and not easy to articulate, must often have been problematic while engaging issues of identity, eligibility, agency, economy and power. It remains relevant to contemporary national Hinduism and political scene. From the early years of temple Hinduism, the presence of the Veda in the Hindu temple depended on a dynamic process of inclusion and exclusion with prestige game, status aspiration and competition among ritual agents. To make sense of this relationship, the essay proposes a historically in-formed perspective set against a background of regional patterns of pat-ronage and temple economy while addressing a variety of such relation-ships from historical Malabar (today‘s Kerala) with a focus on the temple ritual of vāraṃ.

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How to Cite

Galewicz, Cezary. 2023. “The Veda and the Patronage Economy of the Hindu Temple: An Early Modern Case from Kerala”. Cracow Indological Studies 25 (2):1-36.

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