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Item Code: IDF706
Edition: 1989
ISBN: 8170760151
Pages: 110 (B/W Illus: 130)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 11.1" X 8.7"
About the Book:

The Saktas believe this universe is an expression of Sakti and an infinite reservoir of power and Sakti. Sakti indicates both activity and capacity. It may be applied to any form of activity; the power to see; the power hear; the power to walk etc. All these powers of activity are ultimately reducible to the primordial Sakti from which every other form of power proceeds. This primordial power is known as an universal mother of many names. She is infinite power, supreme Sakti, the beginning of all the form of all and her greatness is boundless.

Such ultimate infinite power can be conceived in any form. Because it has no form. Hence Sevetasvatara Upnishad points out that the ultimate power which is also called Brahman can be conceived in the form of a woman or in the form of a man or in any stage of life old or young.

Therefore the Saktas conceived supreme Brahman in the form of goddess. In reality she is neither male nor female not neuter. She is not bound to any particular form. She is the personification of primordial energy and the source of all divine and cosmic evolution and also the source and the controller of all forces and potentialities of nature. She can be manifested in any form to fulfill the desires of her devotees. She is the cause of world's creation, preservation and destruction. She inherent in the gods, human beings and inanimate and animate beings of this universe. Therefore the universe with all its beauties is a part of her. In the words of Sarada Tilaka "She pervades in the universe as does oil in the sesame seed." She manifests in so many forms as Durga, Kali, Lakshmi, and Saraswati etc. She also manifests herself in Dasa Mahavidyas. Dasajagnmatas, Saptamatrikas etc.

He conception is popular from Himalayas to Kanyakumari. The worship of this female principle can be traced in India to the hoary past. The cult of this mother goddess existed in some form or other among the Indus valley people. It was confirmed by the Terracotta images of the goddess found in course of excavations. Since vedic age to the modern period its worship can be traced without any interruption.

This book attempts to present a comprehensive study of the origin and evolution of the concept of he goddess since Vedic age to the modern times; discuses various forms i.e. terrific and peaceful and also as the consort of the main gods; mythology stories associated with specific acts of destruction.

It also describes the iconographical features of various images of the goddess along with textual description and the significance of her attributes.

About the Author:

She was awarded Doctorate in Art and Architecture by the Banaras Hindu University and started her career as a lecturer in Fine Arts in he department of Indian Culture, in the Poompuhar College of Indian Culture in Tanjore District. For some time she served the Banaras Hindu University as a lecturer in Sculpture. Later she became Reader in Indian Culture at A. P. College of Indian Culture, Palani, the extension centre of Madurai Kamaraj University and now she is working as Professor and Head of the Department of History, I.C.C.& C.E. Madurai Kamaraj University. She is devoted to the research work in Indian Culture and many of her works are under preparation. She is author of The Pallava Sculpture.

List of Illustrations vii
Preface xi
Introduction xii
Chapter I Origin and Development of the concept of the Sakti 1
Chapter II Lakshmi 16
Chapter III Sapta Matrikas 36
Chapter IV Durga and her nine forms and Mahishasuramardini 48
Chapter V Dasamahavidyas or the Ten Great Cosmic Powers 59
Chapter VI Local Goddesses 79
Chapter VII Weapons and vahanas of the Goddesses and their significance 85
Appendix Canons of the various Goddesses 92
Glossary of terms 97
Bibliography 99
Index 102

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