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The concept of ‘Universalization’ is basically the complete opposite of the concept of Parochialization. If we look at it from the literal point of view, then we can say that universalization means the spread of some cultural feature in every place. –

Mackim Marriott refers to the process of universalization as a situation in which local and minor traditions gradually form a large tradition. Universalization is a very important concept to characterize the cultural life of any society.

The process of ‘Universalization’ was first mentioned by Milton Singer and Robert Redfield. It was later used by McKim Marriott to explain the interrelationship between the Small Tradition and the Great Tradition. Mackim Marriott himself wrote in an article ‘Little Community in an Indigenous Civilization’ in his edited work ‘Village India’ that “to understand why ancient Sanskrit rituals are often associated with non-Sanskritized rituals (Non-Sanskritized) without removing them.” We have to understand the process that is related to indigenous civilization. Indigenous civilization from the point of view of definition is that by which the large traditions related to the origin of the elements of the already existing minor traditions. We know this by the name of ‘universalisation’,  or ‘cosmopolitanisation’.”


It is clear that when a large tradition is formed by the meeting of local minor or minor traditions and their discussion is done in the scriptures, then this process of spreading culture is called ‘universalisation’.



Meaning and Characteristics of Universalization 


Mackim Marriott writes that when the elements of the Little Tradition (goddess practices, rites, etc.) move upwards, that is, the area of ​​their spread widens, when they are the universal rasa of us.

When they reach the level of the Great Tradition and their original form changes, then we call this process ‘Universalization’. Marriott himself wrote that “the process of universalization refers to the creation of the Great Tradition from those elements which are already present in the smaller Traditions and from which the Greater Traditions are always covered.”

Thus it is clear that when the area of ​​spread of cultural elements related to small tradition increases, then their form also changes during this time. These cultural elements gradually become part of the larger tradition over time. When the elements of the minor tradition, deities, customs, rites become prevalent to the level of the larger tradition and they are considered to be part of the larger tradition itself, then we know this process as ‘universalisation’. –


Thus we see that practically minor and major traditions go hand in hand in any society and influence the life of the individual. In short, we call the process of ‘universalization’ the large traditions which are formed by the upward changes of the elements of the minor traditions.

On the basis of this definitional analysis, some important features of ‘universalisation’ can be presented.

(1) The process of universalization develops from the interrelationship of minor and major traditions.

(2) In universalization, many traditions do not end their existence, but even after maintaining their existence, they create a new great tradition different from themselves.

(3) Both the minor and the major traditions are equally maintained from the point of view of purity. This means that most of the people of a society participate equally in both these traditions and consider it mandatory to fulfill the rituals associated with both.

(4) In this way, even after appearing completely new, the big traditions are not completely new, but these big traditions are basically a modified form of the minor traditions.

(5) In short, universalization is a broad extension of local religious beliefs and rituals.


Mackim Marriott has pointed out that to know why the festivals of Kishangarhi did not have much sanskritisation over a long period of time and to understand why cultural rites are usually added to them without changing the cultural rites, the primary of civilization. Or this concept of native process gives beneficial guidance. According to Merrier, “An indigenous civilization is one whose great tradition is derived from the universalization or furthering of elements already existing in the minor tradition.”

It is clear that the elements of the Lagha Tradition spread quite widely as they spread. During this period of dispersal they lose their original form, and gradually they become established as part of the larger tradition, so we call it ‘universalisation’.



Some Examples of Universalization 

Mackim Marriott has cited some traditions of Kishangarhi village as examples to illustrate the concept of ‘universalisation’. In fact, looking at the nature of universalization, it is also clear that there is not only an amalgamation of local characteristics in the Waht traditions of India, but the local characteristics of the rural community have also given rise to many large traditions.

McKim Marriott has tried to explain through the study of Kishangarhi that on the occasion of Diwali festival, villagers make an idol of rice flour on the wall of their house, which is called ‘Saurti’ in the rural language. it is said . Worshiping the goddess ‘Saurati’ is considered mandatory for the villagers here on the day of Diwali. The residents here believe that Lakshmi is the goddess of the rich, while ‘Saurati’ is their own goddess. Apart from ‘Saurati’ here, Lakshmi is also worshiped on Deepawali.

Mankim Marriott has told in this regard that the beliefs related to ‘Saurati’ are related to the short tradition, but when the area of ​​its spread expanded, and this spread was upwards, then its form changed in this long journey. And she assumed the form of Lakshmi. Lakshmi is such a goddess, whose calculation is under the Vahat tradition. In this way, the minor tradition (Saurati Puja) prevalent in a particular area, over a period of time, turned into that tradition (Lakshmi Puja). This transfer is called ‘universalisation’. Mackim Marriott has given another example of ‘Raksha Bandhan’. Marriott says that the great tradition of Raksha Bandhan has started with such a minor tradition, which is called the festival of ‘Saluno’ in Kishangarhi.

The festival of ‘Salno’ is celebrated in this village on the day of Raksha Bandhan all over the nation. A few days before this festival, traditionally married women prepare to return to their in-laws’ house from their parents’ house. These women, along with their married sisters, put hairs (grains considered sacred) on the heads and ears of their brothers before going back to their in-laws’ house. In fact, they do this only to keep their status and relation to their brothers, because brothers do not accept anything from their sisters without giving anything, so in exchange for earrings they give some coins or money etc. to their sisters. After that brother and brother-in-law participate in the game. The festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the same day. Brahmin pundits tie rakhis with blessings on the wrists of their jajmans and they are given cash, coins or rupees etc. in return, as it is traditionally believed that it is unfair to receive anything without giving anything to the brahmins. In the family festival of ‘Salno’ and the special festival of Brahmins of Raksha Bandhan, similarity is found in the role of ‘Sister’ and ‘Brahmin’.


Mackim Marriott says that the festival of Raksha Bandhan appears to have originated from a small tradition festival like Saluno. Now in Kishangarhi both the festivals are celebrated simultaneously. It is evident that the spread of the Saluno festival gradually increased and gradually this festival increased . What was a minor tradition, it took the form of a tradition and it found a place in the Bhavishya Uttara Purana and many other Sanskrit religious texts. In this way the transformation of Salano into the form of Raksha-bandhan also explains the process of universalisation.


Similarly, McKim Marriott used some local to explain the process of universalisation. Examples of gods and goddesses have also been presented. In this context, he mentions the local deities named Thakur-Thakurani Nayansukh, Kalyani-and Mian Saheb and says that they represent the process of universalisation, as they are gradually becoming famous in other regions from their place of origin. But these ideas of McKim Marriott have been widely criticized. Doctor . s . Ale . by Srivastava. By doing empirical studies in Rajasthan and Eastern Uttar Pradesh, McKim has expressed disagreement with Marriott’s views. According to you, the root of these festivals lies in the larger tradition itself. According to Srivastava, there is no other goddess, except Lakshmi. McKim Marriott himself has also written at one place that “the villagers consider Saurati as Lakshmi.” From the point of view of linguistics, it can be proved from the practical point of view that the word Saurati is a confusion of the word Sukhravi. Good night The word is the ancient name for the festival of Deepawali, in which Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped. In ancient times the worship of Goddess Lakshmi was called the worship of Sukhratri. Even in the present time some learned scholars have said so. That they worship Sukhratri on the night of Deepawali. It is more likely that over a period of time, Sukhratri Puja has gradually come to be known as Saurati Puja due to deteriorating name among the farmers of Kishangarhi.

Generally it is found that many Hindus, while worshiping their favorite deities, keep idols and pictures of other gods and goddesses along with the picture or idol of their favorite deity and worship them too. This type of aggregation of deities can also be seen in many Hindu temples.



Difference Between Parochialization and Universalization 


Having made a detailed explanation of localization and universalisation, we are now in a position to understand the difference between the two processes. Localization and Universalization are different even though they are interrelated with each other. We can understand the major differences found in these by keeping the following points

(1) Localization means the development of the Great Traditions downwards (in the direction of the Minor Traditions), that is, in this process, a large tradition gives rise to many small or minor traditions. Universalization, on the other hand, refers to the upward development of small traditions or local traditions. This means that this process clarifies the formation of a great tradition from many small or minor traditions.

(2) The process of localization limits the scope of the traditions. In other words, in this concept there is a sense of narrowness related to religious life. The process of universalization expands the sphere of influence of the opposite tradition.

(3) The increase in the effect of the process of localization increases the number of local beliefs and rituals, while the process of universalization is opposed to the spread of local rituals.

(4) The process of localization does not give rise to any new beliefs or rituals, rather it develops elements of an already existing large tradition into several smaller ones. On the other hand, the process of universal battle is such a process in which a new tradition is born from many minor traditions, whose characteristics are completely different from the original minor traditions.


(5) The process of localization is a kind of contemporary tradition, that is, the nature of local traditions is seen differently in each region, place and groups. On the other hand, the process of universalization is more systematic in the sense that the nature of beliefs and rituals related to it appears almost the same in all areas.

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