Mother of Compassion, Mother of Wrath: Integrating Opposed Faces of the Goddess in the Devī Māhātmya
The Hindu Goddess enters the Brahminic fold via the Sanskrit narrative work Devī Māhātmya, the ‘Greatness of the Goddess’. How is the Goddess portrayed therein? The Devī Māhātmya features divergent faces of the Hindu Goddess – one of violent wrath and another of compassionate care. Preserving paradox as only narrative can, the Devī Māhātmya dispenses […]
Although Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country, worship of the Hindu goddess Durga endures in small pockets of the archipelago. This session will touch on three examples: Durga’s abode in the dangerous but empowering Krendawahana Forest in Central Java, the beliefs of the Tenggerese Hindu communities on the volcanic caldera of Mount Bromo […]
This talk examines the local Kannada folksongs that tell the story of Mysore’s goddess Cāmuṇḍi and her marriage to Nañjuṇḍēśvara, the local form of Śiva. In addition to discovering a local iteration of Goddess and Śaiva mythology, we see how these folksongs are embedded with local knowledge that relates the city’s and region’s mythological and urban […]
Feminine divinity in Hindu traditions has often been understood in terms of benevolence or malevolence. Wrathful, independent, and fiery characters are contrasted with compassionate and benign figures; mothers are put opposite warriors. But this dichotomy does not fully show the diversity of Hindu goddess worship. In this talk we will explore how both wrath and […]
In this talk we see many of the key forms of the goddess, images of her in pottery and folk painting, and her presence in temples and local festivals. We will also look at goddesses in myths and texts and will conclude with a few images of her from India’s very early Indus Valley civilisation.
Is Rādhā a gopī or a goddess or both? We examine this question using passages from the Gītagovinda that describe Rādhā and her relationship with Krishna. Placing Rādhā within a larger context of Krishna-bhakti beginning with the Bhagavad-gītā and including the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, we will examine how devotees cultivate intimate relationships with Krishna, and we will thus contemplate the power of love to […]
Two goddesses inseparable from Viṣṇu: one – Śrī-Lakṣmī – who is a supreme deity and another – Andal – who is simultaneously human and divine. Śrī-Lakṣmī is one of the best-known deities in Hinduism. Giver of worldly fortune, bestower of liberation from the cycle of life and death, conferring happiness on all she looks at, […]