This is an attempt to understand the meaning of goddess worship in our time. Written in simple narrative style, it takes us through Shakta imagery, philosophy, beliefs, customs, history, folklore and myth.
The book reaches to young and old alike, bringing together tales of Adi-Maya-Shakti, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Parvati, Kali, Durga as well as several village-goddesses such as Kanyakumari, Vaishnav-devi, Bahucharmata and heroines such as Anasuya, Arundhati and Savitiri.
Highlights include lucid explanations and a pictorial key to numerous symbols associated with Shakta customs and Tantrik rituals, a map showing important Devi temples, a bibliography for those interested in learning more and over 150 illustrations.
"Let me meditate on the supreme goddess who is existence itself, who sits on the lotus, who rides the tiger, who plays the lute, whose divine form dazzles gods, demons and humans, whose womb contains Time and Space, who embodies cosmic energy, who holds in her hands the implements of life and the instruments of death, who spins the cycle of existence as she creates and destroys all that is, was and will be and who empowers and enriches devotees with the ability to accept and appreciate the unfathomable universe."
About the Author: Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik graduated in medicine from Mumbai University.
Though a medical man by profession, Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik is a mythologist by passion. He topped Mumbai University's course on Comparative Mythology and is now part of 'Sabrang', a cultural organization that aims to demystify the arts. Through lectures, workshops, articles in journals and newspapers, illustrations and books, he is determined to keep alive the ancient heritage of sacred lore and bring out its relevance to modern times.
Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik has a wonderful, Narrative writing style which is extremely easy to follow and entertaining to read.
Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik's has written five books on selected gods in the Hindu pantheon;
Vishnu - An Introduction
Shiva - An Introduction
Devi - The Mother Goddess - An Introduction
Lakshmi - An Introduction
Hanuman - An Introduction
Lakshmi - An Introduction
Other books also available from Lotus Sculpture from Shakunthala Jagannathan are:
Ganesh - The Auspicious - The Beginning
Hinduism - An Introduction
She impels full control over kama
Devi is the Sanskrit word for "Goddess". She is the core aspect of every Hindu Goddess. Devi is synonymous with Shakti, the female aspect of the divine, as conceptualized by the Shakta tradition of Hinduism. She is the female counterpart without whom the male aspect, which represents consciousness or discrimination, remains impotent and void.
Devi has many different names depending on where in India she is worshipped. In Madurai she is referred to as Meenakshi, in Chidambaram Shivakami, and in Kanchipuram she is revered as Kamatchi. In each city her likeness takes on different aspects as you can see by the variety of poses of Devi. As Meenakshi she stands holding a parrot. As Shivakami she stands next to her husband as Lord Nataraja and as Kamatchi holding fertility symbols.
Kamatchi is Devi in her creative manifestation bearing fertility symbols such as sugarcane, conch shell and parrot. As Prakriti she balances out the male aspect of the divine.
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