Hindu Goddesses – Hinduism

David Kinsley attempts, and to a significant degree, succeeds, to survey all the major Hindu goddesses and describe them by their main appearance, their roles, and interprets their significance within the Hindu tradition. Kinsley’s survey of the Hindu feminine pantheon is the first of its kind in Western literature. Kinsley makes no claim to have exhausted his topic or to have been all inclusive. Rather, Kinsley seeks to open the door to the diversity of goddess worship in Hinduism and its nature.Kinsley began his absorption with Hindu goddesses in 1968 when he went to India to study the Hindu god Krishna. While in Bengal he was disconcerted to note how little he knew about the almost overwhelming number of goddesses he found there, including the role Radha played in Lord Krishna’s life. He found a lack of scholarly writings about goddesses and set out to rectify the situation.

Kinsley found the goddesses illustrated important philosophic ideas and ideals of the Hindu tradition. In descriptions of a goddess’s nature and behavior Kinsley found an insight into the Hindu understanding of physical reality. Some goddesses illuminated the Hindu concept of divine-human relationship and the nature of devotion. Others express Hinduism’s thinking about sexual roles and relationships and in fact several goddesses are viewed in predominantly masculine aspects. Kinsley’s book is sure to open up your vision of the divine feminine as perceived through Hinduism and inspire you to learn more. –

  • Paperback, 281 pages.
  • University of California Press, 1986.
  • An in-depth review of the major female deities of Hinduism: the goddesses in the Vedic literature, Sri Laksmi, Parvati, Sarasvati, Sita, Radha, Durga, Kali, the Mahadevi, the Matrikas, Tara, Chinnamasta, the Mahavidyas.
  • Kinsley also looks at goddesses associated with sacred geography, like Ganga, and a few of the village goddesses and their festivals.

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