Paṭṭini Sect

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Pattini Sect, PaTTini Sect, Pattini Sect


Paṭṭini sect literally means ‘the sect of a chaste wife’.

Associated with the sect of Śakti or the Divine Mother, sects of some minor goddesses also grew, either around them or independently. Some of these goddesses were personifications of certain dreadful diseases like smallpox. They had to be specially appeased to be freed from these diseases. Some of them were human beings like Draupadī, the queen of the Pāṇḍavas and those who committed satī[1] raised to the level of a divinity in course of time.

One sect that arose chiefly in Tamil Nadu was centered around Kannagi, the wife of Kovalan, a paragon of wifely virtues and chastity. It was called the pattinī sect. The word paṭṭinī seems to have it's origin form of the Sanskrit word patnī or wife. The sect gradually spread from Tamil Nadu to Ceylon which is now in Sri Lanka. An annual celebration with decoration and some sort of worship seems to be a characteristic of such sects.


References

  1. Satī means dying on the funeral pyres of their husbands.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore