Devī-Māhātmya: The Crystallization of the Goddess Tradition

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Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1988 - Religion - 359 pages
The Devi-Mahatmya is well-known to both devotees and scholars of the Indian Great Goddess. It is the first comprehensive account of the Goddess in Sanskrit, and it has maintained its centrality in the Goddess (Sakta) tradition to the present day. Like so much in that tradition, however, the text has until now resisted careful study from an historical perspective. It is this study that the present volume accomplishes.The central task here is to explore how an anonymous Sanskrit text articulates a view of ultimate reality as feminine when there is virtually no precedent in the Sanskrit tradition for such a view. To accomplish this task, an appropriate method of scriptural analysis is developed. This involves an examination of Hindu understanding of the Puranas in general, and of the Devi-Mahatmya in particular, along with consideration of several recent scholarly discussions, in India and elsewhere. Subsequently, a comprehensive inquiry into the Goddess's epithets in this text is undertaken, followed by examination of the earlier history of the myths that the Devi-Mahatmya associates with her. The study culminates in translations of the text's hymns, which are annotated so as to indicate the synthesis that is here being accomplished. The resulting illumination of Sanskritized form of Goddess worship is what Daniel H.H. Ingalls calls in his Foreword a notable scholarly achievement.
 

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Contents

THE EPITHETS 89208
87
durgā
115
vaisņavi
121
nityā
127
paramă
134
sthitā 143
143
sakti
145
gauri
153
vişņumāya
195
sanātani
196
mahadevi
197
viśveśvari
198
bhadrāaparăjitāalakṣmimahārātri 199
199
medhapustiśāntikşāntitusti
202
krșņātāmasi
203
dhātrījagaddhātri
205

laksmi
157
varadā
160
lajjā
162
parameśvari
163
śri
166
śraddhā
169
kalyāni
174
iśā
176
pārvati
177
prakti
180
katyayani
186
mahāvidyāvidyā
188
vārāhi
189
bhadrakäli
190
yoganidrănidrā
191
nārasimhi
206
mahămări
207
THE MYTHS 209249
209
Madhu and Kaitabha
211
Mahişa
221
Śumbha and Niśumbha
230
The Vāmana Purāņa Account
241
From the æg Veda
255
J Brahmastuti
290
CONCLUSION 303309
303
The Seven Little Mothers
313
Correlation of Epithets and Myths according
330
INDEX
353
Copyright

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