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Gramadevata, Village-Goddess.
[to Whom the sixth day of June, day 157, is dedicated]

Geography/Culture: Hindustani: especially southern Hindustani. Very archaic, possibly Dravidian.
Linguistic Note: a generic name, from grama{?s}, 'village{?s}' and devata, 'Goddess'.
Description: Rural Mother Goddess; She with vegetal connections and links with fertility; She Who concerns Herself with villagers and their villages; She Who has a plural quality; She Who can be malignant, inflicting disease and catastrophe.
It is said "Only a Goddess with a streak of the demonic can handle demons".
To Whom Sacred: gramadruma (a particular tree regarded as sacred and worshipped by the villagers); yoni; jar or pot (symbol of the womb).
Iconography: Often a simple stone image of the female generative organ. Her shrines are sometimes represented by a platform under a tree, or by a stone slab with a relief figure of the Goddess, Who may have two, four, six or eight arms, or none at all.
Festivals: the gograsa, an expiatory ritual. Also sheep, goat and buffalo sacrifice, the blood of which is sprinkled on worshippers, the lintels and doorposts of houses, cowsheds and boundary stones, or mixed with rice and scattered in the street or around the village boundary.
Male Associates: She sometimes has a male attendant (mostly in Tamil country), who guards the shrine and carries out Her commands.

Source: Kinsley HGVDF 197-98 {and more}; Olson BGPP; Stutley HDH 101 {and more}, 104-105 {and more}.
Bagala, Deceitful.

Geography/Culture: Hindustani.
Linguistic Note: from vaka, or baka, 'crane', 'heron'; figuratively a hypocrite or cheat.
Description: Crane-headed Goddess of the compulsions underlying cruelty, hate, jealousy, hypocrisy, cheating, black-magic and all destructive desires; the Power of poison.
To Whom Sacred: crane; heron (believed to be birds of great cunning and deceit as well as of circumspection). Source: HDH/37, 172, 321.
Yaksini, {She-of-Silvan-Mysteries}.

Geography/Culture: Hindustani.
Her worship continues from pre-Vedic times. In collective form mentioned in the Atharva-Vedas.
Linguistic Note: the etymology is uncertain. It may be derived from a Vedic word meaning 'mysterious', or 'marvellous'; or from yaj, 'to sacrifice'; it may be related to yakkha, 'a quick ray of light, or ghost', from yaks, 'to move quickly'.
Description: Mysterious shapeshifting Goddess emission of fertility flickering through field, forest and jungle, and perhaps originally also through water; She Who, with Her propensity to be beneficent or malignant, must be appropriately propitiated; Sacred vegetal Spriteling of rural communities; She of the Other Folk; She Whose presence in Her sacred tree ensures the protection and prosperity of the village in which it stands; She Who is sometimes oracular.
The differentiated forms of the river Goddesses of Northern India are derived from the Yaksinis.
To Whom Sacred: the life-sap of trees; the village sacred tree (Her favourite haunt); garlands (hung on the sacred tree); cakes, tiny lamps and other offerings (placed at the tree's foot).
Male Associates: counterpart, Yaksa, (Yaksas can assume any form including that of beautiful women). Kubera, god of wealth is the leader of the Yaksas. Source: Stutley HDH 345-346.
worked on: June 9, 1990; August 6, 1991; May 1995.
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