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The Goddess in India: The Five Faces of the Eternal Feminine (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. September 2000


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"In this wide-reaching exploration of ancient Hindu lore and legends, Devdutt Pattanaik investigates the evolving cultural perceptions of each, women, and goddess over the course of 4,000 years. As these tales come to light through word and stunning imagery, the author identifies the five faces give to the eternal feminine as man sought to unlock the mysteries of life. Exploring mysteries of gender and biology and shedding light on the roots of taboos and traditions still practiced in India today, Pattaniak shows how mortal woman can be both worshipped and feared as she embodies the image of the Mother Goddess." (Desh-Videsh, Volume 4 - Number 8)

"Unique and fascinating for customers interested in goddess mythology, Indian deities, and feminism." (Barbara Stevens, New Age Retailer)

"An informative and enlightening introduction to the portrayal of woman." (East and West, June 2002)

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HINDUISM / MYTHOLOGY In India it is said that there is a goddess in every village, a nymph in every lake. Demonesses stand guard on village frontiers, ogresses howl on crossroads, untamed forests resound with the laughter of celestial virgins. It is a land of mysterious apsaras and seductive yakshinis, of terrifying dakinis and wise yoginis--each with a story to tell. In this wide-reaching exploration of ancient Hindu lore and legends, Devdutt Pattanaik investigates the evolving cultural perceptions of earth, women, and goddess over the course of 4,000 years. Some of the tales recounted are revered classics; others are common and folkloric, often held in disdain by priests. Until now most have remained hidden, isolated in distant hamlets or languishing in forgotten libraries, overwhelmed by the din of masculine sagas. As these tales come to light through word and stunning imagery, the author identifies the five faces given to the eternal feminine as man sought to unlock the mysteries of life.The female half of existence is at first identified with Nature, gradually deified and eventually objectified. She comes to be seen as the primal mother, fountainhead of life and nurturance.The all-giving mother then transforms into the dancing nymph, a seductress offering worldly pleasures that bind man to the cycle of life. As this nymph is domesticated, the dominant image of woman becomes that of the chaste wife with miraculous powers. Finally, the submissive consort redefines herself as the wild and terrifying goddess who does battle, drinks blood, and demands appeasement. Exploring mysteries of gender and biology and shedding light on the roots of taboos and traditions still practiced in India today, Pattainaik shows how mortal woman can be both worshipped and feared as she embodies the image of the Mother Goddess. A medical doctor by training, DEVDUTT PATTANAIK moved away from clinical practice to nurture his passion--mythology. His unorthodox approach is evident in his books on Hindu mythology, which include introductions to Shiva and Vishnu. Dr. Pattanaik lives in Mumbai, India, where he works as a health communicator and writes and lectures on Hindu narratives, art, ritual, and philosophy.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 von 5 Sternen 4 Rezensionen
30 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Watered-Down, New-Aged-Up Version of an Excellent Original 9. Dezember 2005
Von Devi Bhakta - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book is basically a reworked, rearranged, Westernized version of "Devi, the Mother Goddess: An Introduction," by the same author, which is also easily available -- most readily through Marketplace sellers -- right here on Amazon.com.

The original "Devi: An Introduction" is a really useful guide -- but it was published in India, for Indians, and possibly this Western publisher feared it assumed more prior knowledge of the topic than most Western readers would likely bring to the table. If that's the case, I must disagree: Any interested, moderately educated general reader could pick up "Devi" and totally enjoy it.

"The Goddess in India," on the other hand, seems to be based on a reorganization principle that appears regrettably forced and artificial. The nature of this artifice is revealed in the book's subtitle, "Five Faces of the Eternal Feminine." Where do these "Five Faces" appear in the authentic Hindu Shakta tradition? Unless I've missed something big, they appear precisely nowhere.

I mean, I may have been miseducated, but I've never understood Sri Chakra as having a circle for "Dancing Nymphs," a circle for "Goddesses with Unbound Hair," or an apparent sort of non-smoker's section for a so-called "Cult of Chastity." (Apparently, neither did the author, since he mentioned *none* of these oddball categories in "Devi: An Introduction.")

My guess, though I hope I am wrong, is that the U.S. publisher decided that there was not a sufficient Western audience for an authentically Hindu presentation on the subject, and therefore dreamed up these so-called "Faces of the Feminine" to appeal to New Agers and Pagans and fit in more easily to the more vague and nebulous Goddess-revival cults of the West.

In doing so, they left us with a book that's pretty enough to look at, but one that is *far* inferior to the original "Devi, the Mother Goddess: An Introduction" as a reliable guide to authentic Hindu tradition.

I can't totally pan the book because much of the content is fine. But the misleading structure of this reissue forces me to redirect serious readers to the original version.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Review of Pattanaik's 'Goddess in India' 16. Juni 2011
Von Ryan Mease - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I found this to be a thorough-going textual analysis of the woman's place in Indian, and, specifically, Hindu/Brahmanical culture. The author begins by offering his very thoughtful and careful vision of the material he wants to present. This theme is later forgotten to some extent, but I found the anthology altogether informative, its thematic structure well-maintained. Pattanaik would have done well to add more pictures and representations to the myths and stories he presents, since I'm sure there are many works of art dedicated to these tales. In any case, I have few complaints.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen From an American Christian viewpoint 19. Februar 2013
Von India E. Henson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Years ago when my Conservative Christian practices left a huge void in my life, I turned to authors such as Frederick Buechner, Barbara Brown Taylor, Father Thomas Keating, Thomas Merton, Saints such as Teresa of Avila. I read books on the Kabbalah, Sufism, the Civil Rights Movement. My religion stayed Christian but with a totally different outlook... more meditative, thoughtful, contemplative and loving, tolerant.

When I saw how Christianity systemically undermines the "free will" of women, something that came much later in my spiritual awareness, I wondered about the historical context of women in religion. But history mostly said, "that's the way we've always done it". And I wanted some answers more definitive. I got those answers from this book. This is a wonderful book that traces the mythology that formed to harness the power of women. Some of it is quite disturbing, but worth a thorough reading. In ancient times the power of women was the status quo. If you have begun to question the wisdom of patriarchy, the mean and hateful comments regarding women on the subject of rape and chastity, then this is the book to read. Understanding God as Creator from a Hindu viewpoint gives clarity to the events in the Garden of Eden mythologically. Understanding the apocryphal Lilith story from this viewpoint makes even more sense.

One of the best practices for a person's spirituality is to find information on the subject from another religion's point of view. What one finds are very similar practices that are easier to understand, because one is not fearful of undermining one's own religion.

“Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.” Joseph Campbell
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen deep insight into Hindu perspective of the Divine Feminine 15. September 2013
Von Aseem Seth - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Hinduism is arguably the oldest surviving religion, as old as the pyramids, if not older. The perspective on the Mother Goddess is an can inept living tradition still alive today.

Devdutt does an excellent job in putting together a sketch of the feminine power associated with nature, creation and destruction.

A very interesting and light read.
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