The Indian Mother Goddess
. . . you have not only collected a great deal of very important material but have also organized them wonderfully well and this from a carefully worked out sociological approach. This has given us a really fine study in comparative religion, which you have brought a modern mind to work upon.' Niharranjan Ray, renowned Indologist, on the first edition. Encouraged by the reception the first edition received, the author expanded its scope and coverage and the second edition included the following chapters: Introduction; The Mothers: Forms of the Cult; Mother Goddesses in Literary and Mythological Records; Mother Goddesses in Archaeology; and Mother Goddesses and the Advanced Religious Systems. In addition, there were three appendices, viz., Regional Distribution of the Goddess Cult; The Female-Dominated Societies; and Fertility Rites as the Basis of Tantricism. To further enrich the work two more appendices, viz., The Realm of Kamakhya, and Important Puranic Goddesses, along with an updated bibliography have been added in the present (Third) edition. The study, a standard work on the subject, correlates the cult of Indian Mother Goddess with similar cults found in different parts of the world. It reveals interesting historical processes working behind the origin and development of the cult. It further highlights its popularity among the masses, specially among the lower order, its functional role in space and time and its entry into the so called higher forms of religious systems of India and abroad. The study is marked by the author's accent on comparative treatment and on the social basis of religious ideas and deft handling of a bewildering variety of sources.
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The FemaleDominated Societies
Forms of the Cult
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According agricultural already ancient appears associated became beliefs belonging Bengal body bronze Buddhist called celebrated century century A.D. conceived conception connection consort contains cult daughter deity demons described developed Devi district divine Durgā earlier early Earth especially evidently Female Principle fertility festival figure figurines four gods hand head holding human identified important India influence inscription interesting Jain king known Lakşmi later legends literature lotus lower male Matsya Māyā means mentioned Mother Goddess Museum nature offered originally period popular practices presiding primitive probably protectress Purāņas refers regarded region religion religious represented rites rituals Śakti Sarasvati sculptures seated sexual shown shows shrine side Siva Skanda society standing stone story symbol Tantric Tārā temple texts tion tradition tribes Umā various Vedic village Vişņu wife woman women worshipped