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Cult of Goddess

by: ArputhaRani Sengupta

This book provides an unparalleled insight in exploring the Great Goddess as she lived and still lives in the psyche of India and in the Greater India, over a period of five millennia. It traces the origin and trajectory of the evolution of the divine feminine force in the visual discourse. This multilayered goddess cult finds its expression in great achievements in art and culture in manifold forms and roles.

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ISBN: 9788124607978
Year Of Publication: 2015
Edition: 1st
Pages : xv, 704p.
Bibliographic Details : Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23 cm.
Weight: 2700 gm.

Overview

This volume is comprised of forty-one well researched and illustrated papers on Cult of the Goddess. It tries to trace the origin and trajectory of the divine feminine force in art and culture for over a period of five millennia, which is a great achievement in itself. While exploring the living tradition of the Great Goddess, the book offers unique insight to the psyche of India and the Greater India.
In the multifaceted goddess cult, the goddess takes diverse forms in her role as a destroyer of demonic forces and a donor of boons to her devotees. The goddess is also the divine consort, creator of the universe, source of progeny, prosperity and immortality. In her numerous roles the goddess maintains the equilibrium and sanctity of the universe. In mythology, the Mother Goddess is worshipped as the earth, fish, snake, tree or the forest.
The book delves deep into the imagination and religious lives of the people to understand the meaning of rituals, philosophy and metaphysics. The enduring appeal of the goddess in folk traditions and in classic literary sources is discussed from various points of view. The span and the depth of research encompassing the goddess include the shifting changes in the present era and finds her manifestations in Bonabibi, Kadamkottu Makkam and Manushi Swaccha Narayani, in addition to the well-known concept of Parashakti, Lakshmi, Sarasvati, Durga, Mahishasuramardini, Prajnaparamita, Hathor, Isis and Mother Mary.
This richly illustrated volume on Cult of the Goddess is a rare and priceless collection for art historians, researchers, students, and others interested in art, culture and religion.

Contents

Foreword
— R.C. Mishra
Prologue
— Jawhar Sircar
Preface
— Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty
Introduction
— ArputhaRani Sengupta
Historical and Literary Tradition
1. Kali in Bengali Popular Psyche : Continuity and Change
— Sumanta Banerjee
2. Astronomical Significance of the Iconography of Goddess Durga
— Biman B. Nath
3. Musical Goddesses in Buddhism
— Lokesh Chandra
4. Royal Symbolism of the Prajnaparamita of Ta Prohm
— Lokesh Chandra
5. Sabari
— Sonal Mansingh
6. The Evidence of a Goddess : The Cult of Tara, Trade and Patronage in Early Ladakh
— Yashaswini Chandra
7. The Journey of Goddess Tara : Adoption and Adaptation of a Buddhist Goddess in Hindu Tantric Worship
— Madhu Khanna
8. The Wonder that Is Chinnamasta
— Rita Sridhar
9. Goddesses in Vietnam : A Study of Mahishasuramardini
— Bachchan Kumar
10. The Supreme Is Female
— C.L. Bharany
11. Vedic Goddesses
— R. Nagaswamy
12. Goddess Varahi in Shaktism and Tantric Shaktism
— Haripriya Rangarajan
13. Raudra and Saumya Aspects of the Goddess : A Study of Two Icons from the Camba Valley
— Seema Bawa
14. Inversion of Feminine Beauty as an Expression of Terror : Orissan Images of Seated Camunda
— Thomas Donaldson
15. Mahishasuramardini
— Alka Pande
16. Goddess Durga in Indian Miniatures
— Daljeet
17. The Renaissance Madonna in Mughal Art : The San Diego Madonna and Child Attributed to Basawan
— Ursula Weekes
18. Gaja-Lakshmi : Coexisting Goddess in Buddhist Art and Culture
— ArputhaRani Sengupta
Goddess in Folk Tradition
19. Kadamkottu Makkam
— Balan Nambiar
20. Dancing in Circles : Representation of Radha in Rasalila Performance of Braj
— Pallavi Sharma
21. Divine Marriage of the Goddess
— Choodamani Nandagopal
22. Given to the Goddess : Cult of Yellamma
— K.L. Kamat
23. Sammakka Saralamma Jathara : Medaram Goddess Cult in Andhra Pradesh
— J. Kedareswari
24. Saptamat ka in Rural South India
— Jayalakshmi Yegnaswamy
25. Isaki Amman Worship in Southern Tamil Nadu
— S. Simon John
26. Durga Puja at the British Museum
— ArputhaRani Sengupta
27. Goddess Manasa and Behula–Lakhindar
— Gurupada Chitrakar
28. Bonabibi of Sundarbans
— ArputhaRani Sengupta
29. Folk Goddesses of Bengal
— Asis K. Chakrabarti
30. Cult of the Mother Goddess in North-East India
— Birendranath Datta
31. Goddesses in Orissa
— G.C. Tripathi
32. Bhudevi and : The Gaia Hypothesis : Revival of a Cult
— Purnima Bakshi Kanwar
33. Shalabhanjika : The Tree Goddess
— B.L. Nagarch
Goddess in Contemporary Society
34. Gender and Nation : From Bharati to Bharata Mata
— Gayatri Sinha
35. Mother India : Images of Woman and Nation
— Pushpamala N.
36. Cult of the Goddess and Cult of the Public
— Parul Dave Mukherji
37. Goddess in Popular Culture
— Bhavna Kakar
38. The Goddess Steps Out of the Iconographic Frame
— Sakti Maira
39. Green Goddess
— Arpana Caur
40. Manushi Swaccha Narayani : Avatar of a Secular Goddess for Street Vendors
— Madhu Kishwar
41. Durga Puja : Goddess and Changing Mores
— ArputhaRani Sengupta
List of Contributors
Index

Meet the Author
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Prof. ArputhaRani Sengupta is former Head of Department of History of Art at the National Museum Institute in New Delhi, India. She graduated from Stella Maris College, University of Madras and holds a doctoral degree from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. She has taught postgraduate level art history for over thirty years and has served under the Ministry of Culture at the National Museum Institute (Deemed University) from 1996 to 2010. Her research focuses on the unique position of Indian art at the crossroads of cultural exchange during the Roman Empire. She has worked extensively on Buddhist material culture, synchronal to the Kushana period. Her research publications include Art of Terracotta: Cult and Cultural Synthesis in India (2004), Manimekalai: Dancer with Magic Bowl (2005) and Buddhist Art and Culture: Symbols & Significance (2 vols. 2013). Her book Kailasanatha Temple: The Realm of Immortals (2009) is an extension of her graduate thesis on Architecture and Sculpture of Kanci Kailasanatha. God & King: Devaraja Cult in South Asian Art and Architecture (2005) edited by ArputhaRani Sengupta is prelude to Cult of the Goddess (2014), both proceedings of symposiums organized by her at the National Museum Institute. Her forthcoming books Jewellery: Buddhist Reliquary Cult and Silk Road Fabrics: The Stein Collection in the National Museum of India were researched through the assistance of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India (2001-03) and the Indian Council for Historical Research (2004-06).
Books of ArputhaRani Sengupta