Kali in Bengali Lives

Kali in Bengali Lives

Narratives of Religious Experience

Suchitra Samanta


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In Kali in Bengali Lives, Suchitra Samanta examines Bengalis’ personal narratives of Kali devotion in the Bhakti tradition. These personal experiences, including miraculous encounters, reflect on broader understandings of divine power. Where the revelatory experience has long been validated in Indian epistemology, the devotees’ own interpretive framework provides continuity within a paradigm of devotion and of the miraculous experience as intuitive insight (anubhuti) into a larger truth. Through these unique insights, the miraculous experience is felt in its emotional power, remembered, and reflected upon. The narratives speak to how the meaning of a religious figure, Kali, becomes personally significant and ultimately transformative of the devotee’s self.


Suchitra Samanta:

Suchitra Samanta is associate professor, collegiate faculty at Virginia Tech.