The Rise of the Goddess in the Hindu Tradition

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Item Code: IDE440
Publisher: Sri Satguru Publications
Author: Tracy Pintchman
Language: English
Edition: 1997
ISBN: 8170305217
Pages: 300
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.8" X 5.8"
Weight 460 gm
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Book Description

From the Jacket:


This book explores the rise of the Great Goddess by focusing on the development of sakt (creative energy), maya (objective illusion), and prakrti (materiality) from Vedic times to the late Puranic period. clarifying how these principles became central to her theology.

About The Author:

Tracy Pintchman is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology at Loyola University of Chacago.

Excerpts from Reviews:

I like very much the way in which Pintchman carefully establishes the interrelationship between sakt maya, and prakrti, concept 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 back in the earlier literature, yet she convincingly demonstrate 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 through 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





<td colspan="3" "=""> Notes 215

Acknowledgements xi
Introduction 1
Setting the Stage 1
Textual Issues 7
Summary of the Book 16
The Feminine Principle in the Vedas
Cosmogony, Cosmology, and Goddess in the Vedas 19
Samhita 22
  The Waters 22  
  Earth 30  
  Aditi 32  
  Viraj 34  
  Vac (and Saraswati) 37  
  Saci/Indrani 41  
Brahmanas 43
  The Waters 43  
  Earth/Aditi/Viraj 46  
  Vac/Saraswati 47  
  Indrani 52  
Upanishads 54
  The Water 54  
  Earth 56  
  Vac 56  
Prakrti, Maya, and Sakt: The Feminine Principle in Philosophical Discourse
Prakrti 62
  The Term  Prakrti in Early Vedic, Grammatical, and Ritual Context 62  
   Prakrti As a Material Principle 64  
   Prakrti in Vedic and Proto-Samkhya Context 65  
  The Marriage of Vedic and Proto-Samkhya Materials in the Mahabharta 72  
   Prakrti in Classical Samkhya 84  
Maya 87
  Maya in Vedic and Early Post-Vedic Contexts 88  
  Maya in Advaita Vedanta 90  
Sakti 97
  Vedic Roots 98  
  Sakti in Philosophical Literature 101  
  Sakti in Grammatical Literature 105  
  Sakti in Tantric Literature 108  
The Feminine Principle in Puranic Cosmogony and Cosmology
Introduction to the Goddess Materials in the Epics and Puranas 117
The Devi-Mahatmya 119
Cosmogony and Goddesses in the Puranas 122
Primary Creation (Sarga): Basic Cosmogony 128
  Samkhya-Type Accounts of Cosmogony 128  
  Reconciliation of Competing Philosophical Systems in Accounts of Primary Creation 131  
Secondary Creation (Pratisarga) 137
  Creation on the Worlds 137  
  Creation of Perogeny 139  
The Explicit Introduction of the Feminine Element in Creation: Prakrti/Sakti at the Consort of God 144
  References outside of Accounts of Cosmogony 144  
Integration of the Feminine Principle in Accounts of Cosmogony: Sarga and Pratisarga 145
  Vaisnava Purana and Vaisnava Sections of Cross-Sectarian Puranas 146  
  Saiva Purana and Saiva Sections of Cross-Sectarian Puranas 170  
  Sakta Purana 178  

Concluding Remarks 

Resume 185
  Contextual Issues 186  
  Thematic Issues 186  
  Historical Issues 190  
  Interpretive Issues 191  
Further Implications of the Study: Historical and Socio-Political Implications Further Implications of the Study: Cultural Implications 192
  The Relationship Between Goddesses and Women 194  
  The Ambiguous Goddess 198  
     Sakti/Maya 198  
     Prakrti/Maya 199  
  The Ambiguous Female: From Divine to Human 201  
     Women and Creation of the Social Order 208  
     Women and Maintenance of the Social Order 211  
Bibliography 249
Index 275

Sample Pages

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