Beauty, Power and Grace: The Many Faces of the Goddess

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9781932771152: Beauty, Power and Grace: The Many Faces of the Goddess

Adapted from ancient Sanskrit texts, these stories comprise the literary heart of Hinduism, wherein divinity assumes innumerable forms. Among these, the portrayal of the Goddess is perhaps the most alluring. In just a few of her manifestations, she appears as a devoted wife, a master of the arts, a terrifying demon slayer, a scornful critic, a doting mother and a crafty lover stealing off into the night. The Vedic tradition, the beauty, power and grace of the Goddess is as one, with God, reflecting the universal truth that male and female are simply different expressions of one supreme, absolute truth. The stories of these and many other goddesses, spanning from the obscure to the iconic, are gathered here in a timeless celebration of Goddess imagery, symbolism and lore. The arresting, original portraits that accompany them complete this mythic repertoire with a stunning gallery of color, form and meaning.

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About the Author:

B.G. Sharma is a recipient of the prestigious National Art Award bestowed by the president of India. He is internationally recognized for his mastery of the traditional styles of Kangra, Kishangarh, and Mughal, as well as for pioneering his own painting style. Sharma has been commissioned to create portraits of heads of state, such as Prime Minister Indira Ghandi and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He is the recipient of the Independent Publisher s Award for Prince of Dharma (Mandala, 2003) and a two-time finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award (2002 and 2003). He lives in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this oversized coffee table art book, Dharma pays homage to the female aspect of Divinity as it has been expressed in many different Hindu traditions. The book includes all of the more popular female deities (Lakshmi, Kali, Durga, Sita, etc.), as well as goddesses who are lesser known in the West, such as Saraswati, the font of learning and speech, and Rukmuni, the first and greatest of Krishna’s 16,108 wives. Each chapter includes several color illustrations, some full-size and some in miniature, by Mahaveer Swami, B.G. Sharma and Indra Sharma. Readers will want to pore over the glorious detail of these portraits, several of which were commissioned exclusively for this edition. In addition to its beautiful design, the text presents Hindu traditions and beliefs in terms that Westerners can understand. Dharma presents the goddesses by way of story, retelling some of the great legends about them and calling attention to their various attributes. This is an accessible introduction to the goddesses of Hinduism, as well as a beautifully produced and highly collectible art book.
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