Devī-māhātmya: The Crystallization of the Goddess Tradition

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Motilal Banarsidass Publ., Jan 1, 1988 - Religion - 359 pages
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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

candika
94
narayani
106
bhagavati
114
vaisnavi
121
nitya
127
parama
134
sthita 143
143
iakti
145
yoganidraJiidra
191
visnumaya
195
sanatani
196
mahadevi
197
viiveivari
198
l ladraaparajitaalaksmimaharatri 199
199
note 473
200
medhapustisantiksantitusti krsnatamasi
203

gauri
153
laksmi
157
varada
160
lajja
162
parameivari
163
sri
166
sraddha
169
kalyani
174
isa
176
parvati
177
prak ti
180
katyayani
186
mahavidyavidya
188
varalii
189
bhadrakali
190
dhatrijagaddhatri
205
narasimhi
206
mahamari
207
THE MYTHS 209249
209
Madhu and Kaitabha
211
Mahisa
221
Sumbha and Nisumbha
231
The Vamana Parana Account
241
From the Rg 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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Page 15 - Central to Indian thinking through the ages is a concept of knowledge which, though known to Platonism and Gnosticism, is foreign to the modern West. Whereas for us, to put it briefly, knowledge is something to be discovered, for the Indian knowledge is to be recovered.
Page 16 - Sanskritic" is that which is the most ancient, therefore the most pure, and therefore hierarchically the most elevated; it thus provides a norm for exclusive personal or group conduct — exclusive for its purity and elevation — that most effectively proves itself in securing correct descent, backward by relating oneself to an ancient lineage or an ancient myth and forward by safeguarding the purity of future...

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