The Hindu pantheon is rich in images of the divine feminine—deities representing a wide range of symbolic, social, and meditative meanings. David Kinsley's new 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, Kinsley describes the unusual qualities of each of the Mahavidyas and traces the parallels between their underlying themes. Especially valuable are the many rare and fascinating images he presents—each important to grasping the significance of the goddesses. Written in an accessible, engaging style, Kinsley's book provides a comprehensive understanding of the Mahavidyas and is also an overview of Hindu tantric practice.
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"A far-ranging and impressively comprehensive book with exemplary iconographic analyses. Kinsley has drawn together a group of rare, stunning, and fascinating images."--Miranda Shaw, author of Passionate EnlightenmentAbout the Author:
David Kinsley is Professor of Religion at McMaster University, Canada. He is the author of Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition (California, 1985), and The Sword and the Flute: Kali and Krisna, Dark Visions of the Terrible and Sublime in Hindu Mythology (California, 1975).
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Book Description University of California Press, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: Acceptable. Highlighting/Underlining/Notes etc. Some shelf wear. Satisfaction 100% guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # mon0001397309
Book Description University of California Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fair. 0520204980 Hardcover without dust jacket. Book is in good overall condition, pages are tight. Text has yellow highlighting. Bookseller Inventory # 32893X
Book Description University of California Press, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Good condition, some are ex-library and can have markings. Bookseller Inventory # GD-268-08-3239503
Book Description University of California Press, Berkeley, 1997. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Very Good+. No Jacket. First Printing. The boards look nice. The hinges and the spine are very good. The inside pages are bright and unmarked. Bookseller Inventory # 001030
Book Description Book Condition: Acceptable. Book Condition: Acceptable. Bookseller Inventory # 97805202049805.0