Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Worship and Cult Of The Goddess In India and Tibet




Introduction . . . . . . . . . . .........................................2
Gnostic Tantra . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...............................4
History and Politics . . . . .. .  . . . . . . ........................8
The Goddess and Tantra . . . . . . . . . ......................10
Snakes, Venom and Milk . . . . . . . . . . . ................ 21
The Earliest Goddess in India . . .. . . . . . . . . . .  .....23
Taming of the Goddess in Vedic India . . . . ............29
Re-Emergence of the Goddess . . . . . . . . . . .  ....... 33
Earth Goddess: Blood Sacrifice and Kali . . . . . . . . 37
The Mistress of Animals .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Gaia and Sovereignty: Sri Lakshmi . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Gaja Lakshmi Travels to Europe …………………54
Sri as Giver of Sovereigntly… ……………………54
The Goddess of Life and Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . .56
The Stallion and the Mare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58
The Doomsday Mare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..64
Denial and Acceptance . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  73
Ménage a Trois . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .............75
Radha, Smallpox, Chaos and Transcendence . . . . . .78
Tara: Goddess of Tibet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Arrival and Settlement of Tara in Tibet . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Tara: Tantric Cult and Folk Religion . . . . . . . . . . . . .93
Homage to Tara . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97
Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  105




Any discussion of the worship and cult of the Goddess in
India and Tibet is unavoidably complex; there is no way
to enter into this region of mytho-poetics and present
a simplified overview which is both easy to digest for the
nonspecialist and also true to both historical and present
day realities. The evidence is direct experience, direct
narrative, textural and archeological. The complexities
that India and Tibet present, can be briefly outlined but
not simplified. These are cultural regions whose depth
can never be exhausted or completely understood. They
must be approached with the attitude that they represent
the potential for a life-long involvement, never to be
completed, yet forever enriching. India is justifiably
called a subcontinent, not a single country, and it should be
thought of in that manner. It has been home to several
hundred kingdoms and languages over the past three
millennia. Scholars have long acknowledged the Indian
intellectual genius as most profound in its talent for 
elaboration, ornamentation and exploration of the
mythological reality. The term ‘renaissance’ was coined in
the West to label the post medieval expansion of knowledge
and research in Europe, and has come to mean indepth
encyclopedic intelligence and creativity. This quality may be
said to characterize almost all of India and Tibet from the
inception of their recorded history. An encyclopedic approach
to creativity is fostered by both Buddhism and Hinduism,
which in their ecumenism and acceptance for the broadest
diversity of human behavior, were fundamental for establishing
the context within which a very large Asian region would
become ‘renaissance’. The same cannot be said of the
Christianized, and often Catholic West, whose central
paradigm, equally creative, lay in other directions (although
geniuses such as Dante and Leonardo da Vinci typify the
renaissance mentality in the West). The detail and complexity
of Indian and Tibetan writing, religious or secular, is often
overwhelming when first encountered. Overlapping layers of
complex metaphor are challenging indeed! However, their
beauty and courage quickly win many adherents and one’s
involvement is always rewarded, although never completed.


















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