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Gupta: The Cosmic Play of Power

Gupta, Sanjukta:
The Cosmic Play of Power : Goddess, Tantra and Women / Sanjukta Gupta. - Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass, 2013. - vi, 488 S.
ISBN 978-81-208-3542-9
Rs. 1000,00
US$ 40,70 (D.K. Agencies)
DDC: 294.5514

In Hindu theology Divine Power is conceived as a divine woman - the Goddess. Sometimes she is wholly autonomous and sometimes she is the divine spouse of the creator God, Śiva or Viṣṇu. She is also held to be the evolving material source of every created phenomenon. Religious texts like Purāṇas and Tantras have thoroughly investigated the mysterious nature of the Cosmic Goddess. Tantra as a religious practice endeavoured to show how through ritual and Yoga one may achieve realization of the mystery of the Supreme Goddess. Authors in Sanskrit and modern Indian languages, have poured out their ecstatic devotion to the Goddess. She is close to the heart of the passionate devotee, who adores her as mother or daughter - a mortal emotional bond with the divine so peculiar to Hindus. She is also sovereign Power a little part of which reigning royalties covet to possess in order to be good rulers. As the divine woman she is represented in all women. Therefore women should be holding a high position amongst Hindus. But the question is, do they? In spite of the obvious contrary evidence, women do succeed in carving out a very important position in Hindu religious practices by having their alternative religious rituals highly valued by Hindu women have a very complex interrelationship.
   The book focuses on the great cosmic Goddess and her ritual worship, Tantric theology and praxis in a wider sense, the attitude of her devotees towards her authority and the social character of the Tantric practitioners, and the position of Bhakti. It also figures out the position of women inside the Tantric and non-Tantric Hindu religious milieu. The Goddess symbolizes the supreme divine authority that activates the creation, protection and governance and necessary dissolution of the world in accordance with the ancient Indian concept of cyclical Time. But She also discharges the divine sovereign privilege of punishing evil-doers and rewarding true devotees. Finally, the relevant forms of the Cosmic Goddess in this book are Śrī/Tripurasundarī/Lalitā; Goddess Kālī and Her various emanations; and Lakṣmī and Her powers in the Pāñcarātra canonical texts. [Verlagsinformation]

Introduction. 1
1. Sarasvatī/Vāc, the Sacral Word and the Supreme Cosmic Goddess. 37
2. Śakti the Supreme Divine Power: The Role of Lakṣmī in Pāñcarātra Soteriology. 54
3. Hindu Tantrism: Sādhanā, Pūjā. 79
4. The Worship of Kālī According to the Ṭoḍala Tantra. 145
5. Maṇḍala as an Image of Man. 185
6. The Religious and Literary Background of the Navāvaraṇa-Kīrtana of Muttusvāmī Dīkṣitār: Dīkṣitār's Cycle of Nine Hymns to Goddess Tripurasundarī/Śrī-cakra. 198
7. The Domestication of a Goddess: Caraṇa-Tīrtha Kālighāṭ, the Mahāpīṭha of Kālī. 269
8. Kings, Power and the Goddess. 297
9. Hindu Tantric and Śākta Literature in Modern Indian Languages. 319
10. Women in Śaiva/Śākta Ethos. 378
11. The Goddess, Women, and Their Rituals in Hinduism. 401
12. Lālan Fakir: The Confluence of Islam and Hindu Popular Mysticism. 431
Bibliography. 453
Selected Glossary. 469
Index of Indic Words, Texts and Authors. 475

Dr SANJUKTA GUPTA worked as a lecturer in Sanskrit at Visva Bharati, Calcutta and Jadavpur Universities from 1958 to 1966. She subsequently joined Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 1967, where she held the post of senior lecturer in Sanskrit until 1986. She is presently a member of the Oriental Faculty of Oxford University, where she is a part-time tutor. Apart from Sanskrit, Dr Gupta also specialises in Indian philosophy (Vedanta) and ancient Indian religions, with particular emphasis on Tantra, Vaishnavism and bhakti and gender studies. Profile page (OCHS).

Quellen: Motilal Banarsidass; WorldCat; D.K. Agencies; Exotic India; Bookbutler
Bildquelle: Motilal Banarsidass
Bibliographie: [1]