Hindu Deities A Mythological Dictionary With Illustrations

Hindu Deities A Mythological Dictionary With Illustrations

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Item Code: IDI697
Author: Margaret Stutley
Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 9788121511643
Pages: 206 (Black & White Figure: 24)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9.7" X 7.2
Weight 630 gm

From The Jacket

Hinduism is the term now used to summarize the religious aspirations of the majority of Indians. It includes a variety of highly intellectual, metaphysical and philosophical systems, as well as the naive demonology and magico-religious beliefs of the masses. Hinduism is also a synthesis of three, originally separate religious traditions: the Dravidian, the Aryan and the aboriginal.

Although many westerns regard Hinduism as polytheistic, this view does not take into consideration the sophisticated basis of the tradition as seen in the ancient Rgveda where a transcendental Oneness is perceived that manifests Itself only partially in this world to "create" apparent forces which appear to human beings as separate deities, thus there are as many gods as there are aspects of creation.

Many deities are depicted with a multiplicity of arms, heads, and emblems, so distinguishing them from ordinary mortals as well as pointing to the immense potentiality of the Divine that is forever beyond the comprehension of human beings.

About The Author

Margaret Stutley has studied Buddhism and Hinduism for over fifty years, and has formed a large library of Indological works on which Hindu Deities: A Mythological Dictionary with Illustrations is based. Among her publications are: a Dictionary of Hinduism with her late husband, Ancient Indian Magic and Folklore, and the Illustrated Dictionary of Hindu Iconography. She is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.

Hindu Deities

Hinduism is the term now used to summarize the religious aspirations of the majority of Indians. It includes a variety of highly intellectual, metaphysical and philosophical systems, as well as the naïve demonology and magico-religious beliefs of the masses. Hinduism is also a synthesis of three, originally separate religious traditions: the Dravidian, the Aryan and the aboriginal.

Although many Westerners regard Hinduism as polytheistic, this view does not take into consideration the sophisticated basis of the tradition as seen in the ancient Rgveda where a transcendental Oneness is perceived that manifests Itself only partially in this world to "create" apparent forces which appear to human beings as separate deities, thus there are as many gods as there are aspects of creation.

Many deities are depicted with a multiplicity of arms, heads, and emblems, so distinguishing them from ordinary mortals as well as pointing to the immense potentiality of the Divine that is forever beyond the comprehension of human beings.

Margaret Stutley has studied Buddhism and Hinduism for over fifty years, and has formed a large library of Indological works on which Hindu deities: A Mythological Dictionary with Illustrations is based. Among her publications are: A dictionary of Hinduism with her late husband, Ancient Indian Magi and Folklore, and the Illustrated Dictionary of Hindu Iconography. She is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.

Preface

It is impossible to write a definitive account of the multitude of Hindu deities, some of which originated over 6000 years ago and are still venerated, whilst others have developed over many centuries through the insights of great rsis and teachers, although the belief in the underlying unity of the Supreme Spirit behind all ephemeral forms still remains.

I have explained some of the many layers of religio-philosophical meanings of the main deities and a number of minor ones.

Until recently it had been difficult to establish a chronology of Hinduism before the time of the Buddha (sixth century BCE) but not a "new chronology" based on archaeological discoveries, satellite photography and astronomy, puts the Vedic Period between 4000-2000 BCE. It also rejects the late nineteenth century belief in an Aryan invasion said to have occurred about 1500 BCE.
The entries are in alphabetical order for easy reference. I hope this work will be of use to students and interested lay people.

 

CONTENTS
List of Figures ix
Preface xi
Transliteration xii
Abbreviations xiii
Introduction xv
Dictionary 1-178
Bibliography 179

 

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