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Hindu Goddesses


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Table of Contents

Preface to the 1997 Printing

1. Goddesses in Vedic literature
Minor Vedic Goddesses

2. Sri-Lak~mi
The Early History of Sri-Lak~ml
Sri-Lak~ml in Later Hinduism
Sri-Lak~ml in the Pancaratra and Sri Vai~r;tava Schools
The Worship of Sri-Laksmi
3. Parvatl
Early References to Parvatl
The Mythology of Sati
The Mythology of Parvatl
Tension and Resolution
Devotion and Grace
4. Sarasvati
Sarasvati as a River
Sarasvati in Later Hinduism
5. Sila
The Early History of Slta
Kings and the Fertility of the Earth
The Ideal Wife
Ideal Devotee and Intermediary
6. Radha
The Early History of Radha
The Gop!Tradition
Radha as Belonging to Another (Paraklya)
Radha as Belonging to Kn*Da (Svak!ya)
7. Durga
The Warrior Goddess
The Worship of Durga
8. Kall
Early History
The Later History and the Significance of Kall
9. The Mahadevl
Central Theological and Philosophical Characteristics
Mythological Characteristics and Functions
Auspicious and Terrible Forms
10. The Matrkas
The Early History of the Matrkas
The Matrkas in the Later Tradition
11. Tara, Chinnamasta, and the Mahavidyas
The Mahavidyas
12. Goddesses and Sacred Geography
Earth as a Goddess/ India as a Goddess
The Sakta Ptthas
The Ganges and the Sacrality of Rivers
13. Village Goddesses
The Local Rootedness of the Village Goddesses
Mythological Themes
Death, Disease, and Ambivalence

Appendix: The Indus Valley Civilization

About the Author

David Kinsley is Professor of Religion at McMaster University, Canada. He is the author of Tantric Visions of the Divine Feminine: The Ten Mahavidyas (California, 1997), and The Sword and the Flute: Kali and Krisna, Dark Visions of the Terrible and Sublime in Hindu Mythology (California, 1975).


"A compendious survey of major Hindu goddesses . . . The kind of book that one can readily recommend to students for clear, reliable information and reasonable commentary on the goddesses it examines."--Glenn Yocum, "Religious Studies Review

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