Lecture Outline: 2-26-04 & 3-02-04

The  Goddess Traditions


I.  The Great Goddess (Devi = "Goddess," Maha = Great) and Hindu Goddesses


II.  The Creative/Destructive Potential of the Feminine as Shakti (“power”)


The Creative Potential of Shakti

Auspicious and benign forms: fertility, protection and establishment of dharmic order, cultural creativity, wifely duty, material abundance, wisdom and learning, beauty (the exciter of desire), food and nourishment.


Benevolent,  tame, “wifely” goddesses:


The Destructive potential of Shakti

Fierce and terrible forms: war, destruction, death, hunger.  Positive ends, tends to lose control, threaten the cosmos.



10 Mahavidyas (great manifestations)


The Goddess as the Physical Universe


The Goddess as Mother India (Bharat Mata):  the Goddess and Sacred Geography


Women as the Embodiments of the Feminine Principle