Encountering the Goddess: A Translation of the Devi-Mahatmya and a Study of Its Interpretation

1
Free sample

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.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

Thomas B. Coburn is Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies and Classical Languages at St. Lawrence University. He is the author of Devi-Mahatmya: The Crystallization of the Goddess Tradition.

Read more
Collapse
5.0
1 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
Read more
Collapse
Pages
257
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780791499313
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Best For
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Religion / General
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
This book explores the rise of the Great Goddess by focusing on the development of saakti (creative energy),maya (objective illusion), and prakr(materiality) from Vedic times to the late Puranic period, clarifying how these principles became central to her theology.

"I like very much the way in which Pintchman carefully establishes the interrelationships between saakti, maya, and prakrti concepts that might not at first appear to be closely connected. This book nicely reveals their organic integration, an integration that Hindu culture itself recognized and elaborated only gradually over the centuries. She avoids reading later Sakta or Tantric theological ideas back into the earlier literature, yet she convincingly demonstrates how the later ideas are firmly rooted in the ancient traditions. Thus, the book provides the reader with a sense both of the continuities involved in the development of the Great Goddess concept, as well as the major transformations of tradition that such a development entailed." -- C. Mackenzie Brown

"There are two complementary, arresting features of this book. One is the broad sweep of the author's inquiry into the history of three concepts that are fundamental to the Great Goddess. She follows a thread of continuity that has never been so crisply delineated. The result is kind of a conceptual "adventure story" told in flashbacks: we know what the mature conception is, as it is now common knowledge. Where it came from makes for very interesting reading. The second striking feature is the provocative, suggestive linking of this history to contemporary issues regarding gender and women." -- Thomas B. Coburn

"The author provides a thorough discussion of the main concepts relating to the feminine principle in the intellectual, literary traditions of Hinduism. She shows that goddess worship is not a marginal expression but is central to even the most orthodox elements of Hinduism. She also brings together much far-flung scholarship from India, Europe, and the United States without duplicating any of it." -- Kathleen M. Erndl
The Indian state of West Bengal is home to one of the world's most vibrant traditions of goddess worship. The year's biggest holidays are devoted to the goddesses Durga and Kali, with lavish rituals, decorated statues, fireworks, and parades. In Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls, June McDaniel provides a broad, accessibly written overview of Bengali goddess worship. McDaniel identifies three major forms of goddess worship, and examines each through its myths, folklore, songs, rituals, sacred texts, and practitioners. In the folk/tribal strand, which is found in rural areas, local tribal goddesses are worshipped alongside Hindu goddesses, with an emphasis on possession, healing, and animism. The tantric/yogic strand focuses on ritual, meditation, and visualization as ways of experiencing the power of the goddess directly. The devotional or bhakti strand, which is the most popular form, involves the intense love and worship of a particular form of the goddess. McDaniel traces these strands through Bengali culture and explores how they are interwoven with each other as well as with other forms of Hinduism. She also discusses how these practices have been reinterpreted in the West, where goddess worship has gained the values of sexual freedom and psychological healing, but lost its emphases on devotion and asceticism. Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls takes the reader inside the lives of practicing Shaktas, including holy women, hymn singers, philosophers, visionaries, gurus, ascetics, healers, musicians, and businessmen, and offers vivid descriptions of their rituals, practices, and daily lives. Drawing on years of fieldwork and extensive research, McDaniel paints a rich, expansive portrait of this fascinating religious tradition.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.