Encountering the Goddess: A Translation of the Devi-Mahatmya and a Study of Its Interpretation
Coburn provides a fresh and careful translation from the Sanskrit of this fifteen-hundred-year-old text. Drawing on field work and literary evidence, he illuminates the process by which the Devi-Mahatmya has attracted a vast number of commentaries and has become the best known Goddess-text in modern India, deeply embedded in the ritual of Goddess worship (especially in Tantra). Coburn answers the following questions among others: Is this document "scripture?" How is it that this text mediates the presence of the Goddess? What can we make of contemporary emphasis on oral recitation of the text rather than study of its written form?
One comes away from Coburn's work with a sense of the historical integrity or wholeness of an extremely important religious development centered on a "text." The interaction between the text and later philosophical and religious developments such as those found in Advaita Vedanta and Tantra is quite illuminating.
Relevant here are the issues of the writtenness and orality/aurality of 'scripture,' and the various ways by which a deposit of holy words such as the Devi-Mahatmya becomes effective, powerful, and inspirational in the lives of those who hold it sacred.
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The Text in Its Context
The Historical Setting
The Text in Translation
The Legacy of a Text
Encounter With the Text 1 The Ritual and Philosophy of the Angas
Encounter With the Text II The Commentaries
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Encountering the Goddess: A Translation of the Devi-Mahatmya and a Study of ...
Thomas B. Coburn
No preview available - 1991
A. N. Jani afﬁrms Agrawala Ambika angas Argala arrows Asuras auspicious Banerjea battle Bhagavad Gita Bhaskararaya Brahman Candika century chapter commentaries contemporary context critical edition Crystallization cult deity demons Devi Devi-Mahatmya devotion difﬁcult divine Durga Durga-Saptas'ati ﬁgure ﬁlled ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬂowers Gita give the fame give the victory Goddess gods Goudriaan gunas Gupta hail Hiltebeitel Hindu Hindu Tantrism historical hymns Ibid identiﬁed Indian Indra interpretation Jani’s Kali Kavaca Kilaka kill the enemies king Krishna Laksmi lord Mahabharata Mahakali Mahalaksmi Mahasarasvati Mahatmya Mahisa mantra Markandeya Purana Mother myth Nagoji Bhatta Nisumbha Pradhanika Rahasya praise protect queen Raktabija recitation reﬂection Religion religious Rg Veda ritual s'akti Sakta Sanskrit Saptas'ati Sarasvati Scripture seer signiﬁcance Siva slain slay spear speciﬁc Srividya Sumbha sword Tantric Tantrism text’s tradition translation understanding University Press unmanifest Upanisad utterance Vaikrtika Rahasya Varanasi Vedic verbal artifact verses Visnu vyasti words worship