Devi Mahatmya: The Crystallization of the Goddes Tradition

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Devi Mahatmya: The Crystallization of the Goddes Tradition

Both worshippers and academics of the Indian Great Goddess know the Devi-Mahatmya. It's the earliest Sanskrit narrative of the Goddess and remains fundamental to the Goddess (Sakta) tradition. Like much in that tradition, the book eluded historical examination until today.

The central task here is to explore how an anonymous Sanskrit text

articulates a view of ultimate reality as feminine when there is virtually

no precedent in the Sanskrit tradition for such a view. To accomplish this

task, an appropriate method of scriptural analysis is developed. This

involves an examination of Hindu understanding of the Puranas in general,

and of the Devi Mahatmya in particular, along with consideration of several recent scholarly discussions, in india and elsewhere. Subsequently, a comprehensive inquiry into the Goddess's epithets in this text is undertaken, followed by examination of the earlier history of the myths that the Devi-Mahatmya associates with her. The study culminates in

translations of the text's hymns, which are annotated so as to indicate the

synthesis that is here being accomplished. The resulting illumination of

Sanskritized form of Goddess worship is what Daniel H.H. Ingalls calls in

his Foreword "a notable scholarly achievement"

Authored by

Thomas B. Coburn

About the author

Thomas B. Coburn is currently serving as the Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies and has accumulated a significant number of scholarly works.


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Devi Mahatmya: The Crystallization of the Goddes Tradition

Both worshippers and academics of the Indian Great Goddess know the Devi-Mahatmya. It’s the earliest Sanskrit narrative of the Goddess and remains fundamental to the Goddess (Sakta) tradition. Like much in that tradition, the book eluded historical examination until today.

The central task here is to explore how an anonymous Sanskrit text

articulates a view of ultimate reality as feminine when there is virtually

no precedent in the Sanskrit tradition for such a view. To accomplish this

task, an appropriate method of scriptural analysis is developed. This

involves an examination of Hindu understanding of the Puranas in general,

and of the Devi Mahatmya in particular, along with consideration of several recent scholarly discussions, in india and elsewhere. Subsequently, a comprehensive inquiry into the Goddess’s epithets in this text is undertaken, followed by examination of the earlier history of the myths that the Devi-Mahatmya associates with her. The study culminates in

translations of the text’s hymns, which are annotated so as to indicate the

synthesis that is here being accomplished. The resulting illumination of

Sanskritized form of Goddess worship is what Daniel H.H. Ingalls calls in

his Foreword “a notable scholarly achievement”

Authored by

Thomas B. Coburn

About the author

Thomas B. Coburn is currently serving as the Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies and has accumulated a significant number of scholarly works.

 

 

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 10 × 11 × 12 cm
Book Author

Thomas B. Coburn, D.H.H. Ingalls

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