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A Kali in Every Woman: Motherhood and the Dark Goddess Archetype
Published in October 2002
It is well established in the canons of Indian thought that every woman mirrors in herself the divine feminine... Envisioned as totally naked, the visual tales of her terrible form do not end with her dense black color or with the skirt made up of decapitated hands...(or) the necklace made up of heads she has severed from the torsos of beings...The truth behind the mystery of Kali, it seems, is to not be found by a conventional appraisal of her physical appearance....it is the female of the species who comes out with honors here, by resolutely establishing that when they are wives and when they progress to being mothers, Kali forms an integral part of their characteristic buildup.
Dance of the Yogini: Images of Aggression in Tantric Buddhism
Published in September 2002
Iconographic representations tend to show the dakini as a young, naked figure in a dancing posture, often holding a skull cup filled with menstrual blood or the elixir of life in one hand, and a curved knife in the other. She may wear a garland of human skulls, with a trident staff leaning against her shoulder. Her hair is usually wild and hanging down her back, and her face often wrathful in expression, as she dances on top of a corpse, which represents her complete mastery over ego and ignorance. Practitioners often claim to hear the clacking of her bone adornments as the dakinis indulge in their vigorous movement. Indeed these unrestrained damsels appear to revel in freedom of every kind.
Rama The Ideal Man: The Epic Adventure of a Hero
Published in August 2002
Nobility is always a defining quality of the mythic hero. His actions are severe and punishing, or gentle as per the demand of the situation...(The) supreme display of detached attachment was worthy of Rama... Rama was a man. He was also a god...he inspires all of us 'ordinary' mortals to follow the path of a just and upright existence, unswerving in our faith of the correctness of it. This is the true inner journey of the hero, leading to the divine spark that blazes inside each of us, waiting to be discovered.
Each of us a Healer: Medicine Buddha and the Karma of Healing
Published in July 2002
Karma is both action and the consequence of that action...if we want to create happiness in our own lives, we must learn to sow the seeds of happiness for others...In Buddhist tradition the first and primordial healer was the great Buddha himself...The Buddhist tradition identifies the Medicine Buddha as the ideal healer, and it also stresses that the utmost powers of healing lie within our own selves.
The Bodhisattva Ideal - Buddhism and the Aesthetics of Selflessness
Published in June 2002
A bodhisattva wishes to help all beings attain nirvana. He must therefore refuse to enter nirvana himself, as he cannot apparently render any services...after his own nirvana... A bodhisattva can never love the body for its own sake... he cherishes it...because he will...save someone sometime somewhere... in the moment of tribulation.
Wisdom Goddesses - Mahavidyas and the Assertion of Femininity in Indian Thought
Published in May 2002
Iconographically, they (Mahavidyas) are individually shown dominating male deities. Kali and Tara are shown astride Shiva, while others like Shodashi sit on the body of Shiva... By subverting... conventional social norms, the adept seeks to liberate his or her consciousness from the... inhibiting categories of proper and improper, good and bad, polluted and pure.
The Dance of Shiva
Published in April 2002
God of eroticism, Shiva is... the master of Yoga, which is described as the method used to sublimate virile power and transform it into mental and intellectual power. He is therefore the 'great Yogi.'... 'I have never renounced any vice: it is they who have left me' summarizes the message of Shiva.
Women and Jewelry - The Spiritual Dimensions of Ornamentation
Published in March 2002
...each and every part of the feminine physique... have consistently been used to support ornaments... the simple appearance without ornament is not enough... Hence the stress on adornment of the women, who are but the poetry of nature...
Color Symbolism In Buddhist Art
Published in February 2002
...there exists in Buddhism the concept of a rainbow body... the rainbow body signifies the awakening of the inner self to the complete reservoir of terrestrial knowledge that it is possible to access before stepping over the threshold to the state of Nirvana...
Every Woman a Goddess - The Ideals of Indian Art
Published in January 2002
...the originator of families, the preserver of the established order and the perpetuator of traditions...As the Great Goddess rules the heavens, her earthly counterpart, the woman, rules the home...
Om - An Inquiry into its Aesthetics, Mysticism, and Philosophy
Published in December 2001
...God first created sound, and from these sound frequencies came the phenomenal world... Matter itself is said to have proceeded from sound and OM is said to be the most sacred of all sounds. It is the syllable which preceded the universe and from which the gods were created...
Philosophy of
Published in November 2001
...the sacred sound 'namaste' is believed to have a quasi-magical value, corresponding to a creative energy change. This transformation is that of aligning oneself in harmony with the vibration of the cosmos itself....
Islam - Aesthetics of a Mystic Religion
Published in October 2001
...Islamic art conveys the spirituality and quintessential message of Islam through a timeless language which precisely because of its timelessness as well as its direct symbolism...
Tantra - The Art of Philosophy
Published in September 2001
...art which has evolved out of tantra... is especially intended to convey a knowledge evoking a higher level of perception, and tapping dormant sources of our awareness...
Mudras of the Great Buddha: Symbolic Gestures and Postures
Published in August 2001
...symbolic sign based finger patterns taking the place, but retaining the efficacy of the spoken word, and are used to evoke in the mind ideas symbolizing divine powers or the deities...
Parvati - Goddess of Love & Devotion - Hindu Goddess - Exotic India Art
Published in July 2001
In classical mythology the raison d'кtre of Parvati's birth is to lure Shiva into marriage and thus into the wider circle of married life from which he is aloof as a lone ascetic, living in the wilds of the mountains. The goddess represents the complementary pole to the ascetic, world-denying tradition in the Hindu ethos. In her role as maiden, wife, and later as a mother, she extends Shiva's circle of activity into the realm of the householder, where his stored-up energy is released in positive ways.
Ritual Implements in Tibetan Buddhism: A Symbolic Appraisal
Published in June 2001
Rites and rituals are an essential part of Tibetan religion and reflect its practical side. Not restricted to temples alone, they are performed in a variety of places and circumstances, for a myriad of purposes. Daily ceremonies are conducted in temples, although they are perhaps not so elaborate as those that take place in Hindu temples in India and Nepal.
The Taj Mahal - Architecture of a Love Story
Published in May 2001
As a tribute to a beautiful woman and as a monument for enduring love, the Taj reveals its subtleties when one explores it at leisure and not hurriedly. The rectangular base of Taj is in itself symbolic of the different sides from which to view a beautiful woman. The main gate is like a veil to a woman's face, which should be lifted delicately, gently and without haste on the wedding night. As per the charming Indian tradition the veil is lifted gently to reveal the beauty of the bride, in the couple's first night together.
Durga - Narrative Art of a Warrior Goddess
Published in April 2001
...The Great Goddess Durga was born from the energies of the male divinities...The awesome three-eyed Goddess was adorned with the crescent moon...seas trembled as the Goddess engaged the Great Demon Mahisasura...Thus the reveries of Mahisa are exterminated...
The Indian Sari - Fashioning the Female Form
Published in March 2001
The Sari, it is said, was born on the loom of a fanciful weaver. He dreamt of a Woman. The shimmer of her tears. The drape of her tumbling hair. The colors of her many moods. The softness of her touch. All these he wove together. He couldn't stop. He wove for many yards. And when he was done, the story goes, he sat back and smiled and smiled and smiled.
Wrathful Guardians of Buddhism - Aesthetics and Mythology
Published in February 2001
An enigmatic aspect of Buddhist iconography is the presence of wrathful, terrifying forms. Though these awesome, hair-raising images seem contradictory to Buddhist ideals, they are not personifications of evil or demonic forces. Rather they symbolize the violence that is a fundamental reality of the cosmos in general, and of the human mind in particular. In addition to destroying the passions of the mind, the purpose of gods is to protect the faithful. The wrathful deities, who symbolize the tremendous effort it takes to vanquish evil, especially perform this function.
Shiva as Nataraja - Dance and Destruction In Indian Art
Published in January 2001
Shiva the Hindu god of destruction is also known as Nataraja, the Lord of Dancers (In Sanskrit Nata means dance and raja means Lord). The visual image of Nataraja achieved canonical form in the bronzes cast under the Chola dynasty in the tenth century AD, and then continued to be reproduced in metal, stone and other substances right up to the present times. The Chola Nataraja is often said to be the supreme statement of Hindu art.
Hindu Goddesses - Lakshmi and Saraswati- Exotic India Art
Published in December 2000
The role of the goddess as one who fulfills wishes has remained one of enduring strength and consequence. In the ancient collection of sacred hymns known as the Veda, this aspect of the goddess already becomes manifest. The two most shining examples in this context are The Great Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati.
Green Tara and White Tara: Feminine Ideals in Buddhist Art
Published in November 2000
Goddess Tara, a female Buddha and meditational deity, is arguably the most popular goddess in the Buddhist pantheon. She is considered to be the goddess of universal compassion who represents virtuous and enlightened activity. The word Tara itself is derived from the root 'tri' (to cross), hence the implied meaning:' the one who enables living beings to cross the Ocean of Existence and Suffering'. Her compassion for living beings, her desire to save them from suffering, is said to be even stronger than a mother's love for her children.
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