This book is a study of the shifts in historical context of ritual observances from Vedic to Puranic traditions. It looks into the representations of women in early textual traditions to explore how women's identities are not only established in ritual spaces but are also constantly reworkedand negotiated. It is in this context that this book attempts to "re-read" the Matsyamahapurana and through the study of vratas and myths, reconstruct the anxieties that theological traditions have with regard to women and women's responses to these anxieties. Patriarchal traditions have never remained frozen, they constantly reinvent themselves to deal with the negotiations and contestations that women make. It is these very traditions then, which, when read carefully, tell us about women and the challenges that they constantly put to theologicaltraditions. The book will revise our understanding of later Vedic and Puranic texts as well as provide a deeper understanding of the gender roles that evolved during this time period.