TANTRIC VISIONS OF THE DIVINE FEMININE THE TEN MAHAVIDYAS

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Tantric Visions Of The Divine Feminine

Author : David R. Kinsley
ISBN : 812081522X
Genre : Hindu goddesses
File Size : 66.80 MB
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What is one to make of a group of goddesses that includes a goddess who cuts her own head off, a goddess who sits on a corpse while pulling the tongue of a demon, or a goddess who prefers sex with corpses? Tantra visions of the Divine Faminine deals with
Category: Hindu goddesses

Tantric Visions Of The Divine Feminine

Author : David R. Kinsley
ISBN : 0520053931
Genre : Goddesses, Hindu
File Size : 31.87 MB
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The Hindu pantheon is rich in images of the divine feminine--deities representing a wide range of symbolic, social, and meditative meanings. This book documents a highly unusual group of ten Hindu tantric goddesses, the Mahavidyas, many of whom are strongly associated with sexuality and violence. What is one to make of a goddess who cuts her own head off, or one who prefers sex with a corpse? The Mahavidyas embody habits, attributes, or identities usually considered repulsive or socially subversive and can be viewed as "antimodels" for women. Yet it is within the context of tantric worship that devotees seek to identify themselves with these forbidding goddesses. The Mahavidyas seem to function as "awakeners"--Symbols which help to project one's consciousness beyond the socially acceptable or predictable. Drawing on a broad range of Sanskrit and vernacular texts as well as extensive research in India, including written and oral interpretations of contemporary Hindu practitioners, this book describes the unusual qualities of each of the Mahavidyas and traces the parallels between their underlying themes.
Category: Goddesses, Hindu

Hindu Goddesses

Author : David Kinsley
ISBN : 052090883X
Genre : Religion
File Size : 52.86 MB
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Goddess worship has long been a significant aspect of Hinduism. In this book David Kinsley, author of The Sword and the Fluteā€”Kali & Krsna: Dark Visions of the Terrible and the Sublime in Hindu Mythology, sorts out the rich yet often chaotic history of Hindu goddess worship.
Category: Religion

Change Continuity And Complexity

Author : Jae-Eun Shin
ISBN : 9780429831027
Genre : Religion
File Size : 61.88 MB
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The Mah?vidy?s are the representative Tantric feminine pantheon consisting of ten goddesses. It is formed by divergent religious strands and elements: the m?t? and yogin? worship, the cult of K?l? and Tripurasundar?, Vajray?na Buddhism, Jain Vidy?dev?s, ?aiva and Vai??ava faith, ?r?vidy?, the Brahmanical strand of Puranic traditions, etc. This volume is the first attempt to explore the historical process, through which these traditions culminated in the Mah?vidy? cult and the goddesses with different origins and contradictory attributes were brought into a cluster, with special reference to socio-political changes in the lower Ga?g? and Brahmaputra Valley between the 9th and 15th centuries CE. Based on a close analysis of Pur??as, Tantras and inscriptional evidence, and on extensive field research on archaeological remains as well as sacred sites, Jae-Eun Shin discusses the two trajectories of the Mah?vidy?s in eastern ??kta traditions. Each led to the systematization of Da?amah?vidy?s in a specific way: one, as ten manifestations of Durg? upholding dharma in the cosmic dimension, and the other, as ten mandalic goddesses bearing magical powers in the actual sacred site. Their attributes and characteristics have neither been static nor monolithic, and the mode of worship prescribed for them has changed in a dialectical religious process between Brahmanical and Tantric traditions of the region. This is the definitive work for anyone seeking to understand goddess cults of South Asia in general and the history of eastern ??kta traditions in particular. To aid study, the volume includes images, diagrams and maps. Please note: Taylor & Francis does not sell or distribute the Hardback in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Category: Religion

Tantra In Practice

Author : David Gordon White
ISBN : 9780691190457
Genre : Religion
File Size : 22.31 MB
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As David White explains in the Introduction to Tantra in Practice, Tantra is an Asian body of beliefs and practices that seeks to channel the divine energy that grounds the universe, in creative and liberating ways. The subsequent chapters reflect the wide geographical and temporal scope of Tantra by examining thirty-six texts from China, India, Japan, Nepal, and Tibet, ranging from the seventh century to the present day, and representing the full range of Tantric experience--Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and even Islamic. Each text has been chosen and translated, often for the first time, by an international expert in the field who also provides detailed background material. Students of Asian religions and general readers alike will find the book rich and informative. The book includes plays, transcribed interviews, poetry, parodies, inscriptions, instructional texts, scriptures, philosophical conjectures, dreams, and astronomical speculations, each text illustrating one of the diverse traditions and practices of Tantra. Thus, the nineteenth-century Indian Buddhist Garland of Gems, a series of songs, warns against the illusion of appearance by referring to bees, yogurt, and the fire of Malaya Mountain; while fourteenth-century Chinese Buddhist manuscripts detail how to prosper through the Seven Stars of the Northern Dipper by burning incense, making offerings to scriptures, and chanting incantations. In a transcribed conversation, a modern Hindu priest in Bengal candidly explains how he serves the black Goddess Kali and feeds temple skulls lentils, wine, or rice; a seventeenth-century Nepalese Hindu praise-poem hammered into the golden doors to the temple of the Goddess Taleju lists a king's faults and begs her forgiveness and grace. An introduction accompanies each text, identifying its period and genre, discussing the history and influence of the work, and identifying points of particular interest or difficulty. The first book to bring together texts from the entire range of Tantric phenomena, Tantra in Practice continues the Princeton Readings in Religions series. The breadth of work included, geographic areas spanned, and expert scholarship highlighting each piece serve to expand our understanding of what it means to practice Tantra.
Category: Religion

Nine Lives

Author : William Dalrymple
ISBN : 9781408803417
Genre : Travel
File Size : 51.18 MB
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Three brothers from a remote village in the Himalayas are driven by poverty to become monks. One becomes a famous masked dancer; the second an accomplished player of the Tibetan temple trumpet; and the third a great Buddhist scholar. A Jain nun tests her powers of detachment as she watches her best friend ritually starve herself to death. A woman leaves her middle class family in Calcutta and her job in a jute factory, only to find unexpected love and fulfillment living as a tantric in a skull-filled hut in remote a cremation ground. A prison warder from Kerala becomes for two months of the year a temple dancer and is worshipped as an incarnate deity; then, at the end of February each year, he returns to prison. An idol maker, the thirty-fifth of a long line of sculptors going back to the legendary Chola bronze makers, regards creating Gods as one of the holiest callings in India, but has to reconcile himself to his son who only wants to study computer engineering. An illiterate goat herd from Rajasthan keeps alive an ancient 200,000-stanza sacred epic that he, virtually alone, still knows by heart. A devadasi - or temple prostitute - initially resists her own initiation into sex work, yet pushes both her daughters into a trade she regards as a sacred calling. Nine people, nine lives. Each one taking a different religious path, each one an unforgettable story.Exquisite and mesmerizing, and told with an almost biblical simplicity, William Dalrymple's first travel book in a decade explores how traditional forms of religious life in South Asia have been transformed in the vortex of the region's rapid change. Nine Lives is a distillation of twenty-five years of exploring India and writing about its religious traditions, taking you deep into worlds that you would never have imagined even existed.
Category: Travel

Places In Motion

Author : Jacob N. Kinnard
ISBN : 9780199359684
Genre : Religion
File Size : 42.32 MB
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Jacob Kinnard offers an in-depth examination of the complex dynamics of religiously charged places. Focusing on several important shared and contested pilgrimage places-Ground Zero and Devils Tower in the United States, Ayodhya and Bodhgaya in India, Karbala in Iraq-he poses a number of crucial questions. What and who has made these sites important, and why? How are they shared, and how and why are they contested? What is at stake in their contestation? How are the particular identities of place and space established? How are individual and collective identity intertwined with space and place? Challenging long-accepted, clean divisions of the religious world, Kinnard explores specific instances of the vibrant messiness of religious practice, the multivocality of religious objects, the fluid and hybrid dynamics of religious places, and the shifting and tangled identities of religious actors. He contends that sacred space is a constructed idea: places are not sacred in and of themselves, but are sacred because we make them sacred. As such, they are in perpetual motion, transforming themselves from moment to moment and generation to generation. Places in Motion moves comfortably across and between a variety of historical and cultural settings as well as academic disciplines, providing a deft and sensitive approach to the topic of sacred places, with awareness of political, economic, and social realities as these exist in relation to questions of identity. It is a lively and much needed critical advance in analytical reflections on sacred space and pilgrimage.
Category: Religion

Yoga Karma And Rebirth

Author : Stephen H. Phillips
ISBN : 9780231519472
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 47.38 MB
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For serious yoga practitioners curious to know the ancient origins of the art, Stephen Phillips, a professional philosopher and sanskritist with a long-standing personal practice, lays out the philosophies of action, knowledge, and devotion as well as the processes of meditation, reasoning, and self-analysis that formed the basis of yoga in ancient and classical India and continue to shape it today. In discussing yoga's fundamental commitments, Phillips explores traditional teachings of hatha yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga, and tantra, and shows how such core concepts as self-monitoring consciousness, karma, nonharmfulness (ahimsa), reincarnation, and the powers of consciousness relate to modern practice. He outlines values implicit in bhakti yoga and the tantric yoga of beauty and art and explains the occult psychologies of koshas, skandhas, and chakras. His book incorporates original translations from the early Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutra (the entire text), the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and seminal tantric writings of the tenth-century Kashmiri Shaivite, Abhinava Gupta. A glossary defining more than three hundred technical terms and an extensive bibliography offer further help to nonscholars. A remarkable exploration of yoga's conceptual legacy, Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth crystallizes ideas about self and reality that unite the many incarnations of yoga.
Category: Philosophy

The Self Possessed

Author : Frederick M. Smith
ISBN : 9780231510653
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 23.15 MB
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The Self Possessed is a multifaceted, diachronic study reconsidering the very nature of religion in South Asia, the culmination of years of intensive research. Frederick M. Smith proposes that positive oracular or ecstatic possession is the most common form of spiritual expression in India, and that it has been linguistically distinguished from negative, disease-producing possession for thousands of years. In South Asia possession has always been broader and more diverse than in the West, where it has been almost entirely characterized as "demonic." At best, spirit possession has been regarded as a medically treatable psychological ailment and at worst, as a condition that requires exorcism or punishment. In South (and East) Asia, ecstatic or oracular possession has been widely practiced throughout history, occupying a position of respect in early and recent Hinduism and in certain forms of Buddhism. Smith analyzes Indic literature from all ages-the earliest Vedic texts; the Mahabharata; Buddhist, Jain, Yogic, Ayurvedic, and Tantric texts; Hindu devotional literature; Sanskrit drama and narrative literature; and more than a hundred ethnographies. He identifies several forms of possession, including festival, initiatory, oracular, and devotional, and demonstrates their multivocality within a wide range of sects and religious identities. Possession is common among both men and women and is practiced by members of all social and caste strata. Smith theorizes on notions of embodiment, disembodiment, selfhood, personal identity, and other key issues through the prism of possession, redefining the relationship between Sanskritic and vernacular culture and between elite and popular religion. Smith's study is also comparative, introducing considerable material from Tibet, classical China, modern America, and elsewhere. Brilliant and persuasive, The Self Possessed provides careful new translations of rare material and is the most comprehensive study in any language on this subject.
Category: Social Science

The Pacific World

Author :
ISBN : STANFORD:36105132148045
Genre : Buddhism
File Size : 58.78 MB
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Category: Buddhism