Books on Hindu Goddesses

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About the Author

Elisabeth Benard became interested in India at the age of twelve years when her father first brought back Hindu image from a trip to India. For many years she looked at these image in her family library never dreaming that one day she would become a scholar in Indian religions. She researched in India under the auspicious of the American Institute of Indian Studies and received her doctorate from Columbia University. She has lectured widely in the United States, including at Smithsonian Institute and Asia Society, as well as in India and Japan. She has taught at Princeton, Rutgers University, Collage of Wooster and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Presently she is teaching Hinduism, Women in Religion, and Asian Religions at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.


This is the first monograph which examines the rare Hindu and Buddhist Tantric Goddess, Chinnamasta, her rituals, her names and forms (namarupa) and their symbolism by comparing and contrasting her sadhanas (spiritual practices) in Hinduism and Buddhism. The entire Hindu "Chinnamastatantra" section from the Sakta Pramoda, the Buddhist "Chinnamunda Vajravarahisadhana" and the "Trikayavajrayoginistuti" are translated for the first time into English. Since Chinnamasta is a rare goddess, her texts were not popularized or made "fashionable" according to the dictates of a particular group at a particular time. The earliest extant texts date from the ninth and tenth centuries-a time when Hindu and Buddhist Tantras were developing under common influences in the same places in India. Having such texts about Chinnamasta Chinnamasta from these centuries, one can begin to understand the mutuality of a general Tantric tradition and the exclusivity of a particular Hindu or Buddhist Tantric tradition. Hence the study, not only examines Chinnamasta, but also attempts to understand what is a Tantric tradition.


Elisabeth Benard’s work on the Hindu-Buddhist goddess Chinnamastã is a product of indefatigable energy, not overlooking any lead from Sanskrit and Tibetan texts or from knowledgeable informants. So to cast light on a goddess that was strangely obscure and yet implicates any Indian goddess properly to be called wondrous or arousing of awe. Although completed in the United States, her treatise does not follow a History of Religions approach with a baggage of technical terms. Besides, Dr. Benard avoids the guessing and speculations that characterized some previous references to this goddess. Throughout she employs a direct communication with the reader while soberly basing her conclusions on stated sources.

One welcome feature of Benard’s book is the translation of much material from the Sakta Pramoda. Another fine feature is the treatment of the goddess’s names, both the 108 and 1,000 list. Her classification of the names by the rasas of Hindu drama is probably unique.

This work is a solid contribution to the theories of the Hindu and Buddhist Tantras and their symbolism, in particular as related to the goddess.

About the AuthorElisabeth Benard became interested in India at the age of twelve years when...
Devi Mahatmya

The Devi-Mahatmya is well-known to both devotees and scholars of the Indian Great Goddess. The central task in this study 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 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 and of the Devi-Mahatmya in particular, along with consideration of several recent scholarly discussions, in India and elsewhere. The study culminates in annotated translations of the text's hymns.

About the Author
Thomas B. Coburn is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies and has many academic works to his credit.

  • Product Code: BK11580
  • Publisher : Motilal Banarsidass Publishers
  • Edition : January 1, 2002
  • Pages : 359
  • Weight : 500 gm.
  • Size : 0.5 x 5.6 x 8.7 inches
  • Cover : Hardcover 
  • Auther : Thomas B. Coburn
  • Language : English
  • ISBN: 8120805577, 978-8120805576
Description: The Devi-Mahatmya is well-known to both devotees and scholars of the Indian Great Goddess....
$55.00 $49.50
Inner Tantric Yoga
Inner Tantric yoga presents the deeper tradition of Tantra, its multidimensional vision of the Divine and its transformative practices of mantra and meditation that take us far beyond the outer models of how Tantra is usually presented today. The book can expand your horizon about masculine and feminine energies, Self and world, universe and the Absolute into a living experience of the Infinite and Eternal both within and around you.


With Inner Tantric Yoga, David Frawley reminds us that we have, hidden within our own deeper awareness, wonderful Gods and Goddesses in embryo who have but one intention: to bring the sacred back into our lives. — Deepak Chopra and David Simon, The Chopra and David Simon, The Chopra Center for Wellbeing

Vamadeva (Dr.Frawley) is a living rishi who guides his students to the fullest scope of yogic insight and realization. His book weaves Tantra, Veda and Yoga, Shakti and Shiva, into a magnificent tapestry of wisdom, beauty and delight.-Shambhavi Chopra, author of Yogini, Unfolding the Goddess Within

David Frawley continues to bring new understandings of the esoteric aspects of Tantra and Yoga. This work is invaluable for all seekers of yoga who would know it in its fullest context as a spiritual art and practice.-Mukunda Stiles, author of Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy

David Frawley, (Vamadeva Shastri) is the preeminent American born authority on Hindu philosophy and scripture. Inner Tantric Yoga is a new jewel from Vamadeva's store of precious treasures, and a ""must have"" for serious students of Eastern mystical teachings and dedicated practitioners. It receives my highest recommendation.-Thomas Ashley-Farrand, author of Healing Mantras and Shakti Mantras
Inner Tantric yoga presents the deeper tradition of Tantra, its multidimensional vision of the Divine...
The Transcendental Non-Dualism of Trika Saivism

The basic principle of Kashmir Saivism is that consciousness alone is real, and that which is not consciousness has no reality of its own, but is contingent on account of its being the expression of consciousness. It accepts a priori that consciousness alone is real, whereas what we cognize or perceive is nothing but what comes out of and from consciousness. The source of this thinking lies in the fact that it is in and through consciousness that we are empowered to engage in the process of reflective thinking, and due to it we become aware of what we are. This personal awareness gives rise to such reasoning which compels us to think that, a part from the body, there is existing within us a thinking principle, namely, the self. It is the inner self which is identified with the absolute—and the Absolute is nothing but consciousness. Whatever we know or experience is because of consciousness. In the absence of consciousness, everything would be insentient, and there would prevail utter darkness of non-knowledge. It is in the context of the thinking that Kashmir Saivism has developed the philosophy of transcendental non-dualism that is theistically oriented, which maintains that the Absolute is none else than the core of myself. It is this self as the Absolute that expresses itself in and through the universe, which is to say that the phenomena are but the appearances of consciousness. Since everything is contained in consciousness, so nothing is different from consciousness. In this manner is established such a form of non-dualism that is both logical and experiential. Printed Pages: 289.

Non-Dualism Trika Saivism Shaivism India

The basic principle of Kashmir Saivism is that consciousness alone is real, and that which...
From Dualism to Non-Dualism

From Dualism to Non-Dualism: A Study of the Evolution of Saivite Thought

The religious history of India has expressed itself in terms of what has come to be known as the Great Tradition and the Little Tradition. It is the synthesis of these two traditions that has given rise, through the process of evolution, to the present-day Hinduism. It is with this absorptive spirit of Hinduism with which this book deals by pointing out as to how Saivism, though belonging to the Little Tradition, has evolved as part and parcel of Brahmanism. While being absorbed by Brahmanism, Saivism at the same time has maintained its personal identity in terms of its scriptures and spiritual practices. Although a part of Brahmanism, yet Saivism itself has so evolved in terms of metaphysical thought as to parallel the larger pattern of metaphysical thought of Hinduism in general. Thus the Saivite thought, while following the metaphysical footprints of Brahamanism, ultimately has climaxed in the non-dualistic recognitive philosophy of the Trika. Printed Pages: 254.

Dualism Non-Dualism Saivite Saivism India

From Dualism to Non-Dualism: A Study of the Evolution of Saivite ThoughtThe religious history of...
Laksmi Tantra (A Pancaratra Text)

About the Book:

Otto Schrader in 1916 recommended the Lakshmi Tantra for the study of Pancaratra philosophy. Among the vast number of Pancaratra Agamic text the Laksmi Tantra stands out because it deals almost exclusively with Lakshmi, the divine creative impulse, intelligence, potency, potentiality, power, majesty and speech. The focus of the text is on Pancaratra philosophy (including cosmogony) and the practice of yoga based on it, with its attendant Mantra Sastra. It records the earliest Vaisnava speculation on the paradox of a Supreme God who is totally identified with Brahman, the unique and transcendent Conscious Reality, and is at the same time the creator of a dualistic universe which cannot be related to Him. The key to solving this riddle is the Divine Sakti. By dealing with the role of Sakti in the creation and maintenance of the world, and in the saving of devotees who totally rely on God's mercy and benevolence, the Laksmi Tantra succeeds in overcoming sectarian boundaries.

About the Author:

DR. SANJUKTA GUPTA is a leading authority on the early Pancaratra (Vaisnava) cult and sectarian system. She is also a specialist in Hindu Tantra. She has published extensively on these topics. She began her scholarly career with a study in Advaita Vedanta focused on the great sixteenth-century savant Madhusudana Sarasvati. She taught for almost twenty years at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands), and is now teaching, in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford.

About the Book:Otto Schrader in 1916 recommended the Lakshmi Tantra for the study of Pancaratra...
Sharada Pradeep
Sharada Pradeep: Elevation of Education, Spiritual Remedies.
Sharada Pradeep: Elevation of Education, Spiritual Remedies.
Mahisasuramardini In Art, Iconography and Cult Practices
Saktism, the concept of Śakti, the source of all energies of the Universe plays a vital role in the socio-religious tradition of India since the dawn of human civilization. Mahiṣāsuramardinī, the Divine Mother is one of the manifestations of Śakti. She is the most impressive and formidable goddess of the Hindu pantheon. The cult of Mahiṣāsuramardinī is of considerable antiquity. Its genesis can be traced from the Vedic literature. The Mahabharat and the Purāṇas have provided varied but vivid accounts of the origin of the goddess. The author besides emphasizing on the descriptions of the deity as per the Puranic texts, has also discussed the emergence and representation of the goddess who has occupied a prominent place in the sculptural history of India through the ages.

Here the author presents a rich and variegated picture of the Mahiṣāsuramardinī art of Orissa, highlighting the evolving iconography of individual images with special reference to the Śilpa and Tantric Texts. He focuses on different forms and depictions of the goddess. In this work the generalization and characteristics have been drawn on the basis of iconographic, ritualistic and comparative studies. The book also incorporates the genesis of Śakti cult, historical development, ritualistic patterns along with the elements of art and aesthetic in Mahiṣāsuramardinī images. The work abounds in photographs revealing the variety forms of the goddess and provides many maps, diagrams and iconographical charts, yantras, mudras etc which will create interest not only for the scholars of archeology, history and religion but also for the historians of art as well.
The Author
Dr. Sanjaya Kumar Mahapatra (born 1963) who is an ardent devotee of Female Divinity,has devoted two decades of his illustrious career to the study of Archaeology, History and culture of the state of Odisha. Presently he is working as the Principal and the Departmental Head of History in Janata College, Kuhuri, Dist-Khurda(Odisha). For his excellence he has been conferred upon the titles such as Rastriya Gaurava Award by the India International Friendship Society, Delhi and also"Jyotishavidya Bachaspati" by the Astrological Foundation, Dinalipi, Berhampur (Odisha) and is also felicitated as educationist by Sri Sashi Bhusana Behera, the honourable M.P on behalf of Ramadaya Parishad, Nirakarpur, Khurda, Odisha.

Dr. Mahapatra is well versed in Yoga, Tantra and Astrology and has got the credit to publish seventy articles in the different national and state magazines like "The Kalyan Kalpataru", Gita Press Gorakhpur, "The Bhavan's Journal" Bombay, "Orissa Review" (Odisha), "The Orissa Historical journal", Bhubaneswar(Odisha), "The Mahodadhi", "The Nirmalya", "The Daivi Sakti", "The Niyati" and "The Nakshatra" etc. which brought him state and national repute in recognition. For the achievement of the spiritual goal he was initiated into the path of Kriya-Yoga in 1988 and simultaneously blessed with the divine grace of Sri Paramahamsa Hariharananda Giri, the beloved Kriya-Yoga Master.
Saktism, the concept of Śakti, the source of all energies of the Universe plays a...
Mother Goddess in Central India
Author : Misra, O. P.
Edition : 1985
Language : English
Size & Pages : Size 26 cm, pp. xvi, 192, Illus., 1985
Publisher : Agam Kala Prakashan
Format : Hardbound
Author : Misra, O. P.Edition : 1985Language : EnglishSize & Pages : Size 26 cm,...
Iconography of Parvati
Edition : 1981
Language : English
Size & Pages : Size 23 cm, pp. 96, Illus., 1981
Publisher : Agam Kala Prakashan
Format : Hardbound
Edition : 1981Language : EnglishSize & Pages : Size 23 cm, pp. 96, Illus., 1981Publisher...
Book Of Kali
One of the most unconventional yet immensely popular deities in the Hindu pantheon, goddess Kali essentially represents the dark and contrary aspects of the cosmos. Her naked form and association with violence, blood and gore challenge the very concept of divinity. Yet, over the centuries, she has come to represent a whole gamut of conflicting images—from bloodthirsty ogress to benign goddess. So today while she is venerated as Chamunda, a deity who verges on the macabre and grotesque, she is also adored in household shrines in one of her milder forms, Dakshina-Kali. It is this evolution of Kali—from her origin as a tantric goddess to her metamorphosis into a divinity in mainstream religion—that Seema Mohanty captures brilliantly in this book. Drawing upon a variety of sources—rituals associated with the worship of Kali, tales from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Puranas, the Tantras and Agamas, folklore and films—she has succeeded in portraying in engrossing detail the myriad manifestations of the enigmatic deity that is Kali.
One of the most unconventional yet immensely popular deities in the Hindu pantheon, goddess Kali...
'Devi : The Devi Bhagavatam Retold
  • Product Code :BK8685
  • Size :8.8" x 6.1" x 1.5"
  • Weight :630g.
  • Author :Ramesh Menon
  • ISBN :8129115549, 978-8129115546
  • Publisher :Rupa Publications India
  • Edition :October 10, 2010
  • Cover :Paperback
  • Language :English
  • Pages :514

The Devi Bhagavatam, also known as the Devi Bhagavata Purana, ‘the old book of the goddess’, is an integral part of ancient Indian mythology. It is important for the Shakta sect of Hinduism, which describes the Devi as the foundation of the world and equivalent in stature to Brahman, the supreme being.

The original text was written in Bengali and consists of 318 chapters and 18,000 verses, all praising the Devi as supreme and describing instructions for her worship, including temples and rituals such as the annual ritual of Durga Puja which is celebrated all over India, especially in Bengal. The Devi, the mother of the Universe, is worshipped in India in her many forms as Goddess Durga, Kali, Shakti and Saraswati, to name a few.

Menon’s Devi : The Devi Bhagavatam Retold, is a condensed version of The Devi Bhagavatam and describes the legends of the Goddess in all her forms and interpretations. The books opens with the birth of Ved Vyasa, who is also regarded as the author of the Mahabharata and narrates poignant instances from his relationship with his son Suka, such as the dialogue between them over the decision to enter Grihastashrama. Also described is the incarnation of the Devi as Goddess Durga and the epic tale of her destruction of the evil demons Rakthabija and Mahishasura. The tale depicting the origin of the holy Indian rivers, Ganga, Padma and Saraswati, is one of the many rich stories connected to our ancient origins, woven into the tapestry of this literary piece on Indian mythology.

Specification Product Code :BK8685 Size :8.8" x 6.1" x 1.5" Weight :630g. Author :Ramesh Menon...
The Nation as Mother And Other Visions of Nationhood
History matters in contemporary debates on nationalism,' Sugata Bose contends in The Nation as Mother. In this interconnected set of deeply researched and powerfully argued essays and speeches Bose explores the relationship between nation, reason and religion in Indian political thought and practice. Offering a subtle interpretation of the ways of imagining the nation as mother, the book illuminates different visions of India as a free and flexible federal union that have acquired renewed salience today. Breaking out of the false dichotomy between secular nationalism and religious communalism, the author provides incisive analyses of the political legacies of Tagore and Gandhi, Nehru and Bose, Aurobindo and Jinnah, and a range of other thinkers and leaders of the anti-colonial movement. The essays question assumptions about any necessary contradiction between cosmopolitanism and patriotism and the tendency among religious majoritarians and secularists alike to confuse uniformity with unity. The speeches in Parliament draw on a rich historical repertoire to offer valuable lessons in political ethics. In arguing against the dangers of an intolerant religious majoritarianism, this book makes a case for concepts of layered and shared sovereignty that might enable an overarching sense of Indian nationhood to coexist with multiple identities of the country's diverse populace. The Nation as Mother delves into history on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of freedom to evoke an alternative future of a new India based on cultural intimacy among its different communities.
History matters in contemporary debates on nationalism,' Sugata Bose contends in The Nation as Mother....
Sri Vidhanarva Tantra (Set Of 5 Vols.)
Language: hindi Pages: 2209 Introduction Ever since the dawn of Hindu civilisation and culture the Hindu mind has been busy in making assiduous efforts to find various means for the obtainment of Sreyah and Preyah-v-spiritual greatness and worldly prosperity. The former, it has come to the conclusion, is not achievable unless the unification is reached with the highest Reality as forming the causeless cause of the universe. For this, approach is advised of the two possible aspects of the highest Reality-un-qualified and qualified. The unqualified is difficult of access to the man as is declared in the Bhagavadgita. The qualified has reference either to the male conception or the female. It is therefore that the highest Reality is described in the sacred texts whether Agamas or Tantras as a personal God or Goddess always engaged in creating, sustaining and dissolving the world, both admitting their affiliation more or less with the Vedas. Agamas refer to the highest Reality through the male aspect calling it by Siva and the Tantras through both, male and female. Those of the latter which stress the importance of the female aspect are designated by the term Sakta Tantras. From their standpoint the highest Reality is known by the name of Mahatripurasundari. She is recognised and contemplated upon as constituting the quintessence of the female Trinity corresponding to that of Brahma, Visnu and Rudra, i.e., the male Trinity. In this way the female Trinity is known popularly by Mahasarasvati, Mahalaksmi and Mahakali. Worship of these two aspects seems to have been simultaneously going on from the earliest times. The episode of the appearance of Uma to Indra and other Vedic Gods, appearing as it does in the Kenopanisad, supports this view. The first founder of the Recognitive School Sornananda of the ninth century A.D. tells in clear terms that the highest Reality was being worshipped a
Language: hindi Pages: 2209 Introduction Ever since the dawn of Hindu civilisation and culture the...
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