11. Agriculture, Floriculture and Botanical Knowledge in a Middle Bengali Text
Università degli Studi di Padova
The last chapter offers an overview of the botanical lore in Śūnyapurāṇ, a heterogeneous Bengali Śaiva text attributed to Rāmāi Paṇḍit and celebrating the god Dharmarāj, a figure overlapping with local forms of Śiva. In this work, Fabrizio Ferrari analyses the place of flowers in the worship of Dharmarāj, the birth of paddy (dhānyer janma) in the popular tale of the farming (kr̥ṣak) Śiva, and the auspicious song of the husking pedal (ḍheṅkīmaṅgalā), the vehicle of sage Nārada. The chapter naturally links with the preceding study and, by means of its focus on nature and devotion, also brings us full circle to connect with Chapter 1.