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