The fourth title in the bestselling '7 Secrets' series focuses on the Goddess, and respected mythologist Dr Devdutt Pattanaik tries to unravel the secrets locked. 7 Secrets of the Goddess book. Read 53 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Lakshmi massages Vishnus feet. Is this male domination? Ka. PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have 78,, eBooks for you to download for free. No annoying ads, no download limits, enjoy .
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Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Dr Devdutt Pattanaik is a medical doctor by training, caite.info: 7 Secrets of the Goddess eBook: DEVDUTT PATTANAIK: Kindle Store. 7 SECRETS OF THE GODDESS. Devdutt Pattanaik is a medical doctor by education, a leadership consultant by profession, and a mythologist by passion. 7 Secrets of the Goddess - Devdutt Pattanaik - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. Goddess.
While I enjoyed reading his many books, I find some of his work increasingly eroticised, boring and condescending. Kali does not merely step on Shiva. Daksha fears indifference. M iniature painting of devas invoking the Goddess The story is elaborated in the Shiva Purana. He is the tapasvin. She disobeys and out pours all the problems of the world that promise to keep humanity too busy to bother with trying to overthrow the Olympians. This Nirriti is often identified as a proto-Kali especially since Kali is often addressed in later literature as Dakshina-Kali.
They are the ones who keep the Man Gods under control, the Man Gods who come running to them for help in times of trouble. I somehow didn't like the huge font, it made the book seem childish. Also, the pictures on every single facing page seemed a bit distracting. I had to read the text first and then revisit the whole book to study the pictures. It wasn't possible to do both without breaking the flow. Though every single one of those pictures had a whole story of their own to tell, I somehow couldn't multitask.
And since there was so much, so many names, stories and references, it did need a bit of concentration to keep up. And in a country where the Goddess has so many names, so many faces, so many temples, so many forms, this book should be made mandatory reading.
And after this book, I have the urge to watch some of those numerous Amman movies that were a thing in Tamil cinema some years ago. Nov 12, Vivek Tejuja rated it really liked it. Whenever Devdutt Pattanaik writes a book, it is to be marveled on. Not because of anything else, but because of the way he makes mythology readable.
In fact, according to me he is perhaps one of the first mythological writers who made readers, go out and pick up books on The Mahabharata or The Ramayana. This time it is about the G Whenever Devdutt Pattanaik writes a book, it is to be marveled on. This time it is about the Goddess. It is about all of the Goddesses and this is what led me to read the book.
I loved the concept of it not being restricted to one Goddess, after all each of them is a manifestation of the other, so there cannot be one without the other anyway. Devdutt explores mythology and religion differently than how his counterparts do. While the book is heavy on the names and incidents, the reading is lightened by the fact that not at one single moment, you feel that the writing is pedantic.
What the book also manages to do is reveal the sides of humanity and nature. There is always a balance there or perhaps it should be there and that is what is hinted at throughout. From his illustrations to easy-to-understand narrative, the chapters break-up in fact help the reader comprehend the book better, without it seeming to be an academic read.
The book speaks of male and female domination. It explores gender quality and rituals of Hindu Mythology like never before. To a very large extent, this read will not only open your mind to mythology and its various aspects, but perhaps will also make you see humanity in a different light. Jun 05, Dipa rated it it was amazing. So I've been wondering for a long time why matriarchy and Goddess-worship in India replaced itself with patriarchy and God-worship.
This book answers a lot of questions Aug 10, Aparajita Singh rated it it was amazing. Ever wondered when our society went from being equality driven to patriarchal? Well, this book has the answers. This book tells you exactly when it started to happen and how. How the tales got twist Ever wondered when our society went from being equality driven to patriarchal?
How the tales got twisted and when the symbolism started being ignored. Hinduism is all about metaphors. All it's stories contain strong metaphorical language. I am a curious person. Since childhood, My mother has explained a lot of metaphors in the Mahabharata and Ramayana. I used to bring those up in conversations with my friends or colleagues and was surprised to see how they never knew about them or how they didn't care.
I used to ask my religious friends as to why they used to perform a particular ritual or celebrate a particular festival some of them I knew answers to, thanks to my mom and I found it quite preposterous when they used to reply with "I don't know. Thank God Devdutt Pattnaik is here to rescue me!
This book is quite engaging. I was hooked to it, wanting more! It's the first book by Devdutt Pattnaik that I've read and I'm a big fan now! The words are so freely flowing, the transition from one story to another is so subtle, you'd realize the change halfway through the next one.
There were moments when I would stop reading just to remember how I had read or heard a certain story but either it was twisted or I had missed the symbolism. I would highly recommend it to people seeking answers. This book has all the answers. A great read for all the true feminists out there as well. Apr 10, Utkarsha Singh rated it it was amazing. Changes in society have influenced the view of women and of Goddess worship.
From the wild Kali of the forests, She transforms into the battle ready Durga and finally to Gauri, the mother Skandamata and nourisher Annapurna. The advent of monotheistic religions " What starts as a tool to create equality invariably becomes a tool to create new hierarchies, the Goddess has seen this before and she will see it again The advent of monotheistic religions like Islam and Christianity relegate Her to an inferior position much like Mary, who though important is not really a divine entity.
From there arises the confusion about the position of women which exists today. The book reveals the Vedic ideology which considers the mind to be masculine and nature to be feminine. The mind can be bound into rules of culture and discipline but nature is untamed and unbound much like the spirit of Kali and the hair of Durga.
The female form being nature makes Her presence indispensable. Devi lends half her self to Shiva to construct the Ardhanarishwara or exists as Mohini the female form of Vishnu, but Devi exists as a singular entity with no male half. This reinforces that nature will always exist and outlive the mind. This is not only a good book on puranic lore but also on Hindu philosophy. We bind ourselves with rules of culture and morality which are man-made, nature or the Goddess may choose to follow them or not.
She is the primal one Adya, the one who exists when consciousness sleeps Yoganidra and the one whom we perceive when we awaken Yogamaya. She exists within each one as Shakti and needs to be awakened not in temples but within oneself. Each one of her hundred faces Shatamukhi represents the multiple faces of femininity laced with emotion, empathy and free from dry pragmatism. Mar 09, Manasi Shah rated it it was amazing Shelves: Lakshmi, Durga, Saraswati She is Devi.
No words are enough to convey the wisdom this book brings. Where most of the world is fighting for gender equality today, Devdutt Pattanaik beautifully takes you back to the times of female-dominated society. Answering the questions of how it got turned into a male-dominated one, the book is also wonderfully related with the day-to-da "Creator of humanity, Creation of humanity, She is wealth, power, language. Answering the questions of how it got turned into a male-dominated one, the book is also wonderfully related with the day-to-day beliefs we carry in our households, the reasons behind those beliefs and everything else that a curious person like me needs to know.
There are castes and sects in this world where the Goddess holds equal or more importance than the God even today. But regardless of however one may consider women and Goddesses today as, the world tends to forget that Devi is a complement, rather than a supplement. The nature needs her, but she doesn't need nature.
The Goddess who is the calm and domesticated Gauri, can turn into the untamed Durga. Confronting the truth about us is not easy. It needs Shakti. A must read for all. A good book to understand the concept of goddesses.
And also explains the relevance and significance of the posters of various goddesses we see throughout our country. But there are some drawbacks, especially in the way this book is written. Because the information is given without any bias from the author, it lacks consistency and coherence. Sometimes, it feels like one can highlight the entire chapter because it is just "facts after facts after I know introducing bias and opin A good book to understand the concept of goddesses.
I know introducing bias and opinions may hurt the religious sentiments of many followers of different goddesses mentioned here, but some personal touch would've gone a long way in making this less of an "information guide" and more of "a book". Mar 21, Deepak Barr rated it liked it.
Though I didn't understand some of the things in the book, It still a entertaining read for the open minded. The book contains lot of pictures and I don't think I have ever paid as much attention to a picture of goddess before, as I did while reading this book.
The book illustrates various plausible interpretations around Hindu Iconography, Symbols and Mythology. While some of things does seem over-interpreted, It still offers well-researched insights about the divine feminine, Hindu goddesses a Though I didn't understand some of the things in the book, It still a entertaining read for the open minded. While some of things does seem over-interpreted, It still offers well-researched insights about the divine feminine, Hindu goddesses and how societies and their faith in divine evolved over thousand of years, influenced by numerous socio-political factors.
Jan 12, Ranvir Desai rated it liked it. Finished the book. It was long, but interesting. Problem with me is that I 'get' it, what the book is about, and repetition was killing my spirit to go ahead and read. I like Devdutt, but this is different, stories are mixed up and feels like watching Westworld season 2. The last chapter is good, but it could be that it was last, so I was relieved to finish it. But the concluding remarks are on spot.
As far as mythology genre is concerned, I had read Devdutt Pattanaik's books before and enjoyed Finished the book. As far as mythology genre is concerned, I had read Devdutt Pattanaik's books before and enjoyed them too. I like the rational take on retelling, but I liked this symbolic approach of interpretation more. I would've liked it shorter. But will surely read 7 secrets series. Kali, Lakshmi, Saraswati. Apr 05, Saravana Sastha Kumar rated it it was ok.
Somewhere Devdutt makes the mistake of projecting an image of historian rather than an interpreter of Hinduism to the english speaking audience. While I enjoyed reading his many books, I find some of his work increasingly eroticised, boring and condescending. This book is only a shade of what Dev once was. Sep 16, Sahil Pradhan rated it it was amazing Shelves: Great book. Very subtle and rational interpretation of Indian mythological tales, symbols and iconography.
Excellent read. Happy have my first author signed copy of any book. Sep 19, Ishaan rated it liked it. The book is overall good for someone new to mythology. But I felt that the author over-interprets about the symbolism in Hinduism. Feb 08, Visithra rated it really liked it. Oct 30, Geeta Nair rated it liked it. Highs Content: The content points to a well researched material.
The author takes us on a virtual tour of the myths and beliefs associated with 7 Goddesses i. Apart from exploring the myths and beliefs associated with each of these seven goddesses the author gives us an insight into the changes that Highs Content: Apart from exploring the myths and beliefs associated with each of these seven goddesses the author gives us an insight into the changes that have taken place in the interpretation of the powers and nature of each of these Goddesses over a period of time.
The strong link between Hinduism and Buddhism are established time and again. The book is also interspersed with facts from Indian History thereby assisting the reader to understand the facts that contributed to the change in peoples perception of the Goddess over the years especially during British Rule.
The subject of male and female domination is underlined of and on. Some convincing explanations are put forth in respect of certain beliefs and practices. The author reveals the significance of every minute aspect of a Goddess.
He sees the unbound hair of Kali as symbolizing her wild nature. She stands for nature, the mother. Gauri on the other hand stands for culture, the daughter, the sister or the wife; demur and dressed with hair bound.
Durga is a mix of Kali and Gauri. Her unbound hair reveals her wild nature while the nos pin indicates domestication. Many practices, beliefs and facts hitherto unknown to many are revealed in the pages of this book. The illustrations one gets to see on every other page adds value to the book. In short, 7 Secrets of the Goddess is a book of facts. The philosophical nature of the author is very much evident in each and every page. Language and Illustrations: Language is simple.
The illustrations are beautiful, relevant and self- explanatory. Lows Content: The content is repetitive and confusing at times. At one point the author reveals that Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Gauri and Goddess Lakshmi were created from the ashes that was once Adya, mother of Shiva and that they married Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu respectively. At another place the author allures to the Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi as daughters of Parvathi also known as Gauri, wife of Shiva.
The editing could have been tighter. This would have taken care of the repetitive portions and would have ensured better presentation of facts. At present the feeling that one gets is that of reading a diary wherein the thought process is translated on paper as and when it comes. The flow is missing thereby making the book a bit heavy after a few pages. In short, it is difficult to finish reading the book in one go.
The reader is forced to take breaks and revisit pages. There is lack of clarity at times. Overall an interesting read View 1 comment.
Dec 05, Senthilkumar Rajappan rated it really liked it. The third in the series of 7 secrets — of Vishnu, Siva and now the Goddess, the author takes us through the mythological and historical evidence that suggests how the society had turned itself from matriarchy to patriarchy.
The structure of the book and the layout makes it easy for the reade The third in the series of 7 secrets — of Vishnu, Siva and now the Goddess, the author takes us through the mythological and historical evidence that suggests how the society had turned itself from matriarchy to patriarchy. The structure of the book and the layout makes it easy for the reader to assimilate each idea and also appreciate the way how things have turned around and the interpretations thereof.
Quite a few times it is the story lost in translation and quite a few times its interpretation that mattered according to the context and the times they were in.
The way how the once fierce and independent womanhood has now given way to a submissive and more enslaved being is very well captured and the best part is all how they got into these submissive overtones simply because its in the nature of human beings to be seen as controlling rather than be the likes of animals which have just their wants and need fulfilled to the extent they are required not a penny more or a penny less in financial terms.
I think this was a long overdue in the way that he has put things in perspective the ideal situation of stories being a mirror to the context and how it has to be interpreted and how it has long lost it to chanting tradition and more so people just chanting them even without knowing their meaning. Apart from that he also has taken on the Western philosophers for their very minimalistic view of the Hinduism that they talk of and never having tried to read the real meaning of the rituals and festivals.
A lot of specifics on the southern traditions being discussed is welcome addition and the Mahabharata character of Draupadi being accorded an Amman Devi status is an interesting one.
A must read for everyone interested to know the significance of Goddesses in the Hindu tradition. The many stories of Brahma not being accorded the temple status is a revealing one. The relationships with the trinity and the Devis are a great read. Feb 19, Shalini Nemo rated it really liked it Shelves: Most informative and accessible. I learned a lot of things which even my parents and grandparents have forgotten. Nov 29, Sushmita Malakar rated it liked it.
I have always been a huge fan of the author for the well researched books that he write and the insightful and motivation lectures that he give. Even though the language used is simple, the book requires a lot of concentration and thinking to grasp the facts that are stated.
If you have keen interest in mythology and are ready to accept an alterna I have always been a huge fan of the author for the well researched books that he write and the insightful and motivation lectures that he give. If you have keen interest in mythology and are ready to accept an alternative angle to the already known things without being judgmental then this book will certainly push you to think, relate and research on many things that you read. This book is very well illustrated with well captioned photographs.
The book is definitely an encyclopedia of facts regarding the Goddess. From the establishment of Devi as the prime power to the story of every Goddess that has been covered in this book, this book has definitely done the job in a perfect manner.
As the title suggests, the book deals with the facts and secrets that revolves around these Goddesses. It has touched upon the sexuality of the super women in this book and has clearly shown that things like virginity, prostitution and polyandry were not a taboo and were differently perceived than what they are today.
This is a book for the contemporary readers. For people who don't want to look beyond what has been taught, read the rose tinted picture of everything that we believe, this is certainly not a really good read. I would definitely recommend this book to the people who enjoy reading non-fictions of this genre.
Dec 04, Aseem rated it really liked it. The book has an interesting cover design which aptly reflects what Devdutt wants to talk about. The font is quite bigger than the ones generally found in other novels and there are illustrations on all left hand side pages.
Even the width of the book is more than what is the case for general novels. In my opinion, Devdutt seems to have done this so as to give the book a very simplistic feel for any and everyone to read and comprehend. There are 7 different chapters each of them dealing with the 7 The book has an interesting cover design which aptly reflects what Devdutt wants to talk about.
There are 7 different chapters each of them dealing with the 7 different goddesses of the Hindu mythology — Gaia, Kali, Gauri, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Vitthai.
Whether its the various illustrations and their sources or the different beliefs for each of the Goddesses, Devdutt seems to have a great interest in Hindu mythology. As I mentioned earlier, the big font and too many illustrations may put off a few people. All in all, a highly informative read for those wanting to know more on Hindu mythology. Dec 02, Vasudha Rao rated it it was amazing. The book is teeming with illustrations of Goddesses Sita proves her fidelity by going through a trial by fire.
For example. In Hindu mythology. The Mahabharata tells the story of one Bhangashwana who was cursed by Indra to live half his life as a man and half his life as a woman. In the Ramayana. When asked what he preferred. A similar story is found in Greek mythology where the seer Tieresias has lived life both as a man and a woman. He makes love to Alcmene by impersonating her husband. Fear that they would never be good enough to satisfy their wives.
In Greek mythology. Renuka was so faithful to Jamadagni that she could collect water from the river in unbaked pots made from riverbank clay. He takes the form of a swan and makes love to Leda. But there was always fear of being cuckolded by the wife. He takes the form of a beam of sunlight and makes love to Danae.
We find women at the receiving end of the rules. The Puranas tell the story of one Shilavati who carries her leper husband on her shoulders as he cannot walk. M esopotamian mythology: Tiamat and M arduk. With urbanisation came more rules and the idea of evil — one who does not submit to the rules. This is explicit in Chinese mythology. The feminine yin is the earth. She even takes him to prostitutes. The masculine yang is like a dragon in the sky. If rural cultures valued fertility.
To prove her chastity. She satisfies all his desires. A sage is so disgusted by the husband that he declares he will die when the sun rises next. Shilavati then uses her power of chastity to prevent the sun from rising. While fertility was rooted in women. There is no superior or inferior force in nature.
Belief in sati meant a widow was seen as a woman who could not prevent the death of her husband. In Japanese mythology. Japanese mythology: The primal twins In cities we find the battle of power. The battle of sexes found in Japanese mythology continues into the next generation. They are seen as dangerous forces who seem to value desire over rules. Amaterasu also competes with her other brother. From that day.
She disobeys and out pours all the problems of the world that promise to keep humanity too busy to bother with trying to overthrow the Olympians. Greek democracy valued only men.
God is said to have created Lilith. It is also explicit in Greek myths of Zeus chasing and raping nymphs across the land and fathering offspring. When they meet. In biblical mythology. Women are the trophies of this masculine rivalry. But then Tsukuyomi strikes the goddess of earth in disgust for producing food from all her orifices. A patriarchal society links women with nature and men with culture.
He says he won as he produced more offspring. Before the creation of Eve. This is explicit in the Mesopotamian epic. They go around once again and this time the man speaks first when they meet. Not surprisingly. They build a house with a pillar and go around it in opposite directions with the intention of copulating when they meet. He produces five men using her necklace and she produces three women from his sword.
For this act of transgression. Enuma Elish. So Amaterasu refuses to see him. Just as culture domesticates nature.
Everyone is told to be wary of them. In this world. After Troy was torn to the ground. Her action. Pandora Greek mythology: Furies chasing Orestes As walls were built around cities. She defends Orestes. And so a thousand Greek ships sailed to bring back Helen. Thus we find the concept of the virginal Snow White in European folklore. This story reveals a shift from matriarchy when the lover of the queen was ritually murdered and killing the mother was the greatest crime to patriarchy when killing women who challenged male authority and dishonoured the family was justified.
Higher the social status. They were restricted to inner courtyards. Orestes was pursued by the dreaded female spirits known as Erinyes also known as Furies until Athena. Greater the isolation. The raiders were keen not just to possess the wealth of those who lived behind the walls. For the crime of killing his mother. The brothers of Dinah did not think so. They killed the Cannanite prince while he is sore following circumcision. In these stories.
This suggests the abduction was perhaps elopement and violation was perhaps intimacy by mutual consent. This transformation from prized possession to venerated object marks the triumph of patriarchy.
Greek goddess triad of the Fates. But the brothers argue. There are many Marys in the Bible but none of them become apostles. But gradually. Deborah and Anna. Escape was sought. There was Ishtar. Monastic orders around the world sought liberation from this burden of taking care of women and the children they bore.
Prophets carry his word to earth. They are mostly male: She is also the dangerous witch. Jesus is the son of God. Gravity became a fetter. Biblical mythology In Arthurian legends that became popular in medieval Christian Europe.
Mary was voted. For Christians. Meaning was sought beyond the city walls: There is no mention of a daughter of God.
Shift from earth to sky Excessive urbanisation also resulted in disgust for all things material. They overshadow the few female prophets: Those who looked at the earth below saw it as the Goddess.
In fairly tales. There is talk of Shekinah. The serpent. In Islam, there is a folk tradition of how the Devil tries unsuccessfully to include in the Koran through Muhammad a verse that makes the three goddesses of Mecca — Urs, Mannat, Lat — mediums to Allah. These were the infamous Satanic verses.
In Jainism, all the Tirthankaras who establish the bridge out of ignorance to wisdom are male. In some traditions, one of the Tirthankaras, Malli- nath, is female.
His female body is the result of a demerit: He rejects his female body, viewing it as a vessel of putrefaction. In the early days of Buddhism, Buddha refused to include women in his monastic order until he saw his step-mother cry at the death of his father and realised women suffer as much as men. Early Buddhist traditions saw wisdom in intellectual terms only.
But later Buddhism made room for the emotional. Compassion was seen to be as important as knowledge. And compassion took the form of a goddess called Tara. She appeared as a tear shed when Buddha heard the cries of the suffering. Buddha decided not to accept nirvana but work tirelessly as Bodhisattva to help other suffering souls.
All Bodhisattvas are male. But then we do hear of Guanyin, the female Bodhisattva of China, whose presence gave solace to all the suffering souls in the land of the living and in the land of the dead. Four thousand years ago, before the rise of Buddhism, Vedic Hinduism paid greater attention to devas or gods like Agni fire , Indra rain , Vayu wind and Surya sun , over devis or goddesses like Ushas dawn , Vak speech and Aranyani forest. Since two thousand years, after the rise of Buddhism, in Puranic Hinduism, the gods gave way to God bhagavan, ishwar.
But God could not be explained without the Goddess bhagavati, ishwari. She was no supplement; she was an intimately inextricably linked complement. This value placed on the feminine has been attributed to the popularity and influence of village goddesses or grama-devis, which have been revered in settlements across India since the dawn of time, long before the Vedas or the cities of the Indus Valley civilisation.
Three sects emerged in this later Puranic Hinduism: Shiva is the ascetic who attacks Brahma for coveting and trying to control Devi; he shuns worldly life until Devi transforms into Gauri and makes him a householder and father. Vishnu is the householder who looks upon Devi as Lakshmi, goddess of auspiciousness and abundance; taking various avatars to enable Brahma and his sons to cope with Kali.
But Devi is divinity in her own right, independent as the earth, responding to the gaze of Brahma who seeks to control her, Vishnu who enjoys her and Shiva who withdraws from her. She is their mother, daughter, sister and wife. She allows them to dominate but never lets them have dominion over her.
She enables everyone to outgrow the anxiety that creates patriarchy as well as the anxiety created by patriarchy. Kali is perhaps the most dramatic form of Devi in Hindu mythology. She is naked, with hair unbound, standing or sitting on top of Shiva, sickle in hand, with a garland of male heads around her neck, her blood-stained tongue stretching out.
Is that tongue directed at us? Or are we just witnesses? Does she give that tongue meaning, or do we? To understand Kali, it makes sense to appreciate the rise of Devi worship in India. And for that we have to appreciate the transformation of Hinduism over four thousand years from the pre-Buddhist Vedic phase of Hinduism where rituals were more important than gods devas , through the post-Buddhist Puranic phase of Hinduism when devotion to God bhagavan gained paramount importance, to the rise of colonial gaze and the native reaction to it.
Brahmana literature that link hymns to ritual elaborate on the nature of Nirriti. Pinned down during the act of sex. Their relationship with the Indus cities has yet to be resolved. Their hymns. Around BCE. We do not find any Kali-like images. They make love. This soma gave everyone. It reveals male anxiety before female sexual and reproductive prowess. But Dirgha-Jihvi rejects the man as he has just one manhood. These cities ceased to exist by BCE but their cultural practices continued to thrive and spread in the Indian subcontinent.
She is described as dark and dishevelled. This Nirriti is often identified as a proto-Kali especially since Kali is often addressed in later literature as Dakshina-Kali. Nirriti embodies the human discomfort with the dark side of nature. But there is reference to one Nirriti. This is also identified as a proto-Kali due to the references to the tongue and unbridled sexuality.
Dirgha-Jihvi is much pleased. Seeing Sumitra transformed thus. With fire Agni as their medium. The women. During this journey we shall see how the idea of Kali is more ancient than the name and form that we today associate with her. Dirgha-Jihvi is momentarily immobilised.
Here we find clay figures of naked but bejewelled women alongside images of clay bulls. The bulls represent untamed male virility. So Indra gives that man many manhoods. Indra sends a young man called Sumitra to overpower her. In Jaiminya Brahmana. Different people visualised God differently. And for still others. For some. Buddhism and other sharmana ascetic traditions — which rejected the materialistic obsessions of society — grew.
Words like karma and moksha gained popularity. The yagna gradually went out of favour. There was talk of meditation. In later iconography. For others it was Vishnu. It is at this time that the name Kali appears for the first time. One can only speculate if the flame called Kali is in any way linked to the Kali with flames for hair.
This literature spoke of a single. Poster of birth of Kali from Durga's brow. Each school of thought vied for supremacy. The post-Buddhist period saw the gradual rise of Puranic literature. No deva was able to defeat Raktabeeja. Unlike the Puranas. Any attempt to strike him with weapons only made matters worse.
Vishnu and Devi. In the Devi Mahatmya. And the Goddess rode into battle in two forms. These goddesses embody folk deities associated with wild and domesticated spaces. Vishnu also expressed helplessness and directed them to Shiva.
These collectives include benevolent and fecund goddesses alongside also malevolent and morbid goddesses. Shiva also expressed helplessness and appealed to the Goddess. Kali appears as a discrete goddess. From around CE. An asura called Raktabeeja had obtained a boon from Brahma that if a drop of his blood rakta.
In Buddhist literature. Maha-vidyas and Yoginis. While these goddesses are also mentioned in the Puranas. In them. Here we find Kali and Kali-like goddesses such as Tara. Jain and Hindu mythology that became more elaborate during this period. Tantrik literature began to be composed.
The earliest stories of the Puranas are found in the epics. Chamunda or Chinnamastika appearing with increasing frequency as part of a collective of three. Both Kalaratri and Korravai are Kali-like goddesses associated with rage and violence. So the devas led by Indra went to Brahma. In Tamil Sangam literature.
The second was Kali of outstretched tongue. Chandi struck the many Raktabeejas with her weapons. The first form was of the multi-armed Chandi on a tiger ready to do battle. Appropriation of grama-devas into more mainstream codified religions was common in this period. She either had one foot on him. But while Kali is shown standing or sitting on Shiva. They seem to belong to a single continuum.
Down south. What distinguished her from all other goddesses was her nakedness. She is the Goddess who makes him God. Some addressed this Kali as Maha-Kali to distinguish her from other Kalis. Shiva is called Bhairava.
It often becomes difficult to distinguish Kali from Kali-like goddesses in Puranic and Tantrik literature. She is power. Devi is identified with nature. In the Kalika Purana. Bhairavi and Shiva are seen as a pair. Human society is created within her. In some tales this head cannot be placed on the ground and so Bhairava and Bhairavi take turns holding it.
Their images are also found on Jain temple walls indicating their popularity. Bhairava is often shown holding a human head. He is identified as her husband. Bhairavi is often linked to Kali. By this time. Kali emerges out of the collective and starts being seen as an independent goddess. But he is not a demon she has defeated. As a pair they invoke violence. It is said to be the head of Brahma who dared seek to sexually dominate Bhairavi.
Tara of Hinduism invokes compassion in Shiva and transforms him into a caring householder. Thus in nature. Tara of Buddhism invokes compassion in Buddha and transforms him into Bodhisattva who delays his own liberation to help people out of the ocean of suffering. Stone image of Chamunda Chamunda is distinguished from Kali by her gaunt form. She is emaciated. Here the sexual act is about procreation. Thus she kills and nourishes herself.
She severs her own neck and her detached head drinks the blood spurting out of the neck. She also sits on Kama and Rati. Tara is indistinguishable from Kali. M iniature painting of Chinna-mastika Chinna-mastika means one whose head has been severed.
She is both a Buddhist and a Brahmin goddess. In Bengal and Odisha. In the more masculine Shaiva literature. Everybody and everything has a soul that needs to be respected. Kali sits on top of Shiva. It also explains why Shiva is worshipped as an erect stone linga. She is associated with dogs feeding on corpses either in the aftermath of a battle or an epidemic.
Shiva does not stop and so the rishis declare that Shiva would be worshipped only as a symbol. Bronze image of Shiva dancing Stone image of Lajja-gauri Both Shaiva and Shakta literature tell the tale of how sages stumble upon Shiva and Shakti when they are making love.
This story explains the name Lajja-gauri. She evokes despair and suffering. Thus we have stories of how Shiva competes with Kali in a dance competition only to triumph over her by taking up positions that Kali is too embarrassed to assume.
In one version. This literature evokes the consciousness of man. Only by engaging with her does he turn into Shiva. Shiva enables the domestication of Kali on the request of Brahma and the other devas. There are two versions of what follows. Shiva is able to bind Kali by evoking marital and maternal desires in her. Kali does not merely step on Shiva. Everybody and everything needs to be controlled.
As temples were built to enshrine Shiva. She simply sticks out her tongue. In the other version. Kali wants Shiva to pay attention to her for the benefit of humanity. She refuses to be invisible. If she was nature that is indifferent to the mind prakriti. So she covers her face with a lotus flower. But in the more feminine Shakta literatures. There are also stories where. This form seems to embody decay and drought. In this literature. In the less subtle Tantrik imagery. Human gaze judges sex and violence in ethical.
If he succeeded in doing so. Such a confrontation could also transform the vira into a rasa-siddha. The second one is seen as more considerate of cultural norms and is called Bhadra Kali. Smashan Kali is wild and free. Bhadra Kali. The latter Kali was also called Tara. One in which she steps on Shiva with her left foot and raises a sickle in her right hand. In Kali-kula Tantra. Kali who is modest.
It reminds us that nature is sovereign. Be that as it may. Kali of the crematorium. In nature. Smashan Kali is nature that ultimately consumes humanity. In a similar vein. The first one is seen as more fearsome and is called Smashan Kali.
It demanded that the aspirant break free from the social structures. Bhadra Kali is nature that is understanding of human shortcomings.
Confrontation with fears jolted the vira into wisdom. That is why Kali was also a venerated deity in the nath-sampradaya. Bhadra Kali offers the strength to cope with the limitations of a domesticated life. Poster art of Tarini. From the twelfth century onwards. Gita Govinda. The idea of gopis or milkmaids swooning over Krishna. But her popularity is traced to the thirteenth century Sanskrit work. Radha makes her appearance in the Hindu imagination in Prakrit works.
And yet. Her name was Radha. When Radha appears. Odisha Since Kali was connected with Shiva. She is described as a married woman in some songs. Radha is demanding. She quarrels with Krishna. Radha admonishes him for offering intellectual remedies for their emotional despair: This grants the nature of the relationship a very Tantrik theme.
Unlike the self-contained hero of earlier works. She describes him as a honey bee whose nature it is to go from flower to flower. Thus she becomes the embodiment of true unconditional immersive love. Krishna promises that he will return but Radha knows he will not. When duty beckons. M iniature painting of Radha and Krishna intertwined Unlike the gopis who are subservient and even admonished for being possessive. She does not expect him to return.
When Krishna does not return and sends Uddhava to pacify the heartbroken milkmaids. This makes the relationship extramarital. M iniature painting of Radha and Krishna in M adhuvan Not everyone was pleased with such breaking of boundaries. Temples depicting Tantrik iconography were torn down to cater to the increasingly conservative mindset. The folk traditions and regional literature were comfortable with the idea that Radha was married to another man.
There were fierce arguments whether Radha was parakiya. The idea of Radha flourished primarily in the Gangetic plains. But it arose in the eastern areas of Odisha. It is interesting to note that Radha as an idea emerges after the arrival of Islam. Radha emerges. It reveals the discomfort with all things Tantrik commonly seen in mainstream society. Thus the overtly Tantrik traditions were tempered. The psychological intensity of the romance was not mirrored physically. Bengal and Assam. While Tantrik rituals.
They were only known to those very few people who were steeped in Tantrik mysteries. Ram and Krishna only to satisfy the bloodlust of Kali. Kali terrified them. In medieval regional Ramayanas. Sita and Draupadi. In fact. This was reinforced by medieval Sanskrit stories and plays where sorcerers sacrifice men.
In the nineteenth century. When the Europeans came to India in the sixteenth century. They became convinced Hindus were worshippers of the Devil. It is this Kali-side of Draupadi that makes her take the vow that she will wash her blood with the hair of the men who abused her. Draupadi transforms into Kali at night. Sita is able to kill a Ravana who has a hundred heads. M iniature painting depicting rise of the Shakta cult By the fifteenth century.
Clash of two worlds There are stories. From a forbidding force she became a forbidden force. In the Tamil Mahabharata. In the Adbhuta Ramayana. But the image of a murderous tribe inspired by Kali had such an impact that even today they inspire tales not just in Hollywood Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
This devotion to Kali was clearly an extension of the larger bhakti movement that swept India from the thirteenth century onwards. At another level. In the eighteenth century Kali started becoming the object of devotion. This colonial gaze embarrassed the natives of India. It is this Kali to which Vivekananda and his guru. In all probability. Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Despite her fierce form. Shyama means the dark-one.
She inspired poets like Ramprasad Sen and this created a new musical genre called Shyama Sangeet. Kali was seen less in terms of power and more in terms of love.
It speaks of how Kali. This story is steeped in patriarchy. So Shiva throws himself to the ground in her path. In these. She steps on him. But they gave it a different spin. Kali became an image of revolution and subversion. It appealed to the sensibilities of those newly educated in European ways.
Two ways of seeing Kali Increasingly Kali is becoming part of global neo-paganism and neo-feminism that seeks not to confront masculinity but embrace it in its fold. In post-colonial times.
In her nakedness and refusal to submit to the male gaze. She was also seen as female energy that will ultimately triumph over masculine hegemony. She was seen to embody raw female energy before it was forced to conform to patriarchal norms.
With the rise of the freedom struggle. Gauri is culture. The characteristic feature of Hindu mythology is the great emphasis on the mind. In culture. Calendar print of Jagadamba. Kali is nature. After humanity. We are conditioned to assume that mind is superior to matter. Humanity however deludes itself that Brahma created prakriti first. The question persists: Evolutionary biologists are clear that nature came first. Calendar print of Balambika. In the Vedas. Life on earth began a billion years ago.
Madhu and Kaitabha. That being said. Thus prakriti came first. What came first? Who came first? Was it water? Was it air? Was it the sky? Who witnessed their creation? Who can testify they came first? The gods?
But are even the gods creations of the mind? What existed before the mind? Who created the mind? Can we ever know? Later Vedic texts clearly distinguish between prakriti nature. They steal the Vedas and create havoc. These are the three worlds we inhabit.
When a sage spurts semen in the presence of a nymph. The narrative in the Puranas begins with pralaya. The attribution. This form of Vishnu is called Narayana. That is when the twin asuras. So deep is his slumber that Vishnu is not aware of himself. The relationship between man and woman. Nothing exists then but waters that stretched into infinity. There is no escaping this. Who got rid of them? It was the Goddess. Semen then. On the waters Vishnu sleeps. These are our negative thoughts.
She is called Maya. This makes Brahma. Yoga-nidra is reality but Yoga-maya is perceived reality. Narayana here is our sleeping mind. She is Yoga-nidra: But what do they create.
Calendar print of the trinity of the Puranas Brahma. But nature. Vishnu and Shiva are commonly identified as the creator. Pahari miniature of Yoga-maya But how do we know? Was there a witness? Who was the witness? It was Brahma. When Brahma. He seeks to control her. Positive thoughts. That is why God-mind is associated with verbs: What is being continuously created. The Goddess in this story is nature. She is called Shakti.
His mind has no notion. She is also Yoga-maya: What is the name of this perceived reality? She is called Adya. She is the mother. Madhu and Kaitabha are our thoughts emerging from the partially awakened mind. The God-mind draws wealth. For him. She can also be the daughter. Gauri is daughter.
Vishnu is our awakened mind. He saw the birth of Madhu and Kaitabha. By controlling her. He is the tapasvin. The Goddess-matter. The assumption is that they create. He creates culture by domesticating nature. He balances the two and so is the preserver of culture.
Killing these knowledge-carriers or brahmins was considered the greatest of crimes in the Hindu world as it meant the loss of Vedic knowledge that enabled humanity to turn nature into culture. This knowledge exists in the forms of poems called mantras.
Shiva is embedded so deep in our consciousness that even we are not aware of it. Disgusted by the incestuous cravings of her father. The purpose of life is to invoke that hidden unexplored potential. Devi seeks to marry him. Each reading is valid. The keepers of these brahamana texts were known as brahmins. Her disgust gave rise to Shiva. This is what makes him the destroyer of culture.
She can also be mother. Devi is sister. Symbolic readings of mythology are problematic for many reasons. Details about these yagnas are compiled in manuals known as brahmanas. It is pure. But Brahma desired her. Modern academic education is based on scientific principles as well as Euro- American bias that are more comfortable with the literal. He understands the insecurities of Brahma and the value of Shiva. Only he appreciates Kali and Gauri. When Shiva awakens and acknowledges Shakti.
He pursued her. Poster art showing Kamakhya Vishnu is our wise mind capable of understanding perceived nature. From Brahma comes knowledge or Veda. Vishnu is born. Gauri is more commonly known as Parvati. Ram performs austerities to rid himself of the demerit earned for his brahma-hatya-paap. That is why Brahma seeks dominion over Devi.
The Vishnu Purana tells us that Ravana. In her previous life. That is why Brahma is unworthy of worship and that is why his ritual of yagna. She is also called Uma. It can also be seen historically as a reference to the end of the old Vedic culture of yagna that was eventually replaced by the later Puranic culture of puja. We do not know who we are and what the purpose of our life is.
For Vishnu understands the fears that make a Ravana behave as he does. While Shiva does not apologise for beheading Brahma. What is this misbehaviour? It is the assumption of property: Ram as Vishnu and Hanuman as Shiva. M iniature painting of Bhairavi.