Buddhist Goddesses of India

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2006 - Religion - 571 pages
7 Reviews

The Indian Buddhist world abounds with goddesses--voluptuous tree spirits, maternal nurturers, potent healers and protectors, transcendent wisdom figures, cosmic mothers of liberation, and dancing female Buddhas. Despite their importance in Buddhist thought and practice, these female deities have received relatively little scholarly attention, and no comprehensive study of the female pantheon has been available. Buddhist Goddesses of India is the essential and definitive guide to divinities that, as Miranda Shaw writes, "operate from transcendent planes of bliss and awareness for as long as their presence may benefit living beings."

Beautifully illustrated, the book chronicles the histories, legends, and artistic portrayals of nineteen goddesses and several related human figures and texts. Drawing on a sweeping range of material, from devotional poetry and meditation manuals to rituals and artistic images, Shaw reveals the character, powers, and practice traditions of the female divinities. Interpretations of intriguing traits such as body color, stance, hairstyle, clothing, jewelry, hand gestures, and handheld objects lend deep insight into the symbolism and roles of each goddess.

In addition to being a comprehensive reference, this book traces the fascinating history of these goddesses as they evolved through the early, Mahayana, and Tantric movements in India and found a place in the pantheons of Tibet and Nepal.

  

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Review: Buddhist Goddesses of India

User Review  - Lisa - Goodreads

Used this as a reference book for certain pieces and did not read the whole book. The information that I did access from here was very useful and I would recommend it. Read full review

Review: Buddhist Goddesses of India

User Review  - Goodreads

Used this as a reference book for certain pieces and did not read the whole book. The information that I did access from here was very useful and I would recommend it. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Prthivi Mother Earth
17
Mayadevi The Buddhas Wondrous mother and Her Sacred Grove
38
Yaksinis Voluptuous Magical Nature Spirits
62
Sri Laksmi Glorious Good Fortune
94
Hariti Goddess of Motherly Love
110
Female Buddhas The Case of Gotami
143
Goddesses in the Flower Ornament Scripture
155
Sitatapatra Invicible Goddess With a Thousand Heads and Hands
276
Usnisacijaya Bestower of Long Life and Immortality
291
Tara Mahayana Buddha Universal Savior
306
Vajrayogini Her Dance Is Total Freedom
357
Nairatmya Her Body Is the Sky
387
Chinnamunda SeveredHeaded Goddess
403
Simhamukha LionFaced Female Buddha
418
Kurukulla Red Enchantress with Flowered Bow
432

Prajnaparamita Luminous Mother of Perfect Wisdom
166
Parnasavari Healing Goddess Clothed in Leaves
188
Marici Lady of Sunrise Splendor
203
Janguli The Buddhist Snake Goddess
224
Sarasvati Divine Muse
234
Vasudhara Lady Bountiful
247
CUNDA Saving Grace
265
Epilogue
448
Notes
453
Glossary of Tibetan
521
Bibliography
525
Index
553
Copyright

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Page 531 - The Stupa of Bharhut. A Buddhist Monument. Ornamented with numerous Sculptures illustrative of Buddhist Legend and History in the Third Century BC By ALEXANDER CUNNINGHAM, CSI, CIE, Major-General, Royal Engineers (Bengal Retired) ; Director-General Archaeological Survey of India.
Page 533 - Tree and Serpent Worship ; Or, Illustrations of Mythology and Art in India in the First and Fourth Centuries after Christ, from the Sculptures of the Buddhist Topes at Sanchi and Amravati.

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