Goddess Varahi in Indian Art

Goddess Varahi in Indian Art

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Book Specification

Item Code: AZE595
Author: Sanjaya Kumar Mahapatra
Publisher: B.R. Publishing Corporation
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2018
ISBN: 9789387587113
Pages: 126 (Throughout B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 11.00x9.00
Weight 650 gm

Book Description

About the Book
Sakti is the Mother of the Universe the highest primal power. She is the all-pervading, intangible energy principle that propels the cosmos and its endless human dimensions with the life throbs of activity and culture. Varahi, the Divine Mother is one of the manifestations of Sakti She is ferocious goddess like Camunda of the Hindu pantheon representing the female energy of Varaha Visnu though she has little in common with her male counterpart Varaha except her boar face. The cult of Saptamätrkä is of considerable antiquity. The Mahabharata, the Puranas and other literary texts have provided vivid accounts of the origin of the little Mother Goddesses. The author besides emphasizing on the literary descriptions of Matrikas has also discussed the emergence and representation of the Goddess Värähi along with the iconographical interpretation as the goddess has occupied a prominent place in the sculptural history of India through Here the author presents rich the ages.

and variegated pictures of the Goddess Vārāhi which glorify the Art History of India highlighting the iconography of individual images with special reference to the Silpa and Tantric texts. He focuses on different depictions of Värähi images. The book also incorporates the genesis of Sakti cult, sākta pithas of Odisha, origin and evolution of the goddess Värähi, survey of prominent sculptures found both in Odisha and Indian sub-continent. The work abounds in photographs revealing the variety forms of the goddess which will create interest for scholars and students of Indology, particularly those studying religious art, architecture and sculpture of Odisha in particular and that of India in general.

About the Author
Dr. Sanjaya Kumar Mahaptra (born 1963), presently working as the principal in the Janata College, Kuhuri, Khordha, Odisha is the recipient of prestigious Rastriya Gaurav Award. He is an eminent scholar of history and Archaeology who has devoted two decades of his illustrious career to the study of Archacology, History and Culture of our land. His valuable writings have not only enriched the art, architecture and sculpture of India but also paved the way for the growth of cultural heritage of our sub-continent.

Dr. Mahapatra is well versed in Yoga, Tantra and Astrology and has got the credit to publish seventy articles in the different national and state journals which brought him state and national repute in recognition. His valuable books "Mahisasuramardini in Art, Iconography and Cult Practices, Mahisasuramardini: The Great warrior Goddess, Camunda in Mythology, Art and Iconography and The Khakharā Temples" are well appreciated by the scholars. Besides, he has co-edited the two volume work "A Bouquet of Indian Heritage, Research and Management". His edited treatise "Social History of Orissa in 19th Century" is also a unique reference work. For the attainment of spiritual goal and ever blissful state he was initiated into the path of Kriya Yoga in 1988.

Saktism, the concept of Sakti, the source of all energies of the Universe plays a vital role in the religious tradition of India since the dawn of human civilization. Originated from the primitive mother goddess cult prevalent among the aboriginal society, Saktism gradually assimilated various heterogeneous traits and finally emerged as an independent religious thought forming a significant aspect of mainspring of Indian religious system. Unlike other religious sects, Saktism has a continuous and colorful history of its own. Although Saktism crept into other religions as the energizing power of male divinities, it has close affinity to Saivism and has conceptualized that the procreation is possible only through the union of Siva with Sakti.

The antiquity of Sakti cult in India dates back most probably to the 3rd millennium B.C. on the basis of terracotta figurines discovered from the Harappa sites and the historic rock shelters where the Sakti is manifested in triangular genital forms or in the forms of fecundity and fertility. She was invoked and adored in the names of Us, Aditi, Śri, Sarasvati etc in the Vedic age while Durga, Candika, Saptamātṛkä, Yoginis, Camunda etc in the Epic and Mahabharata periods. She is Mahākāli, Mahalaksmi and Mahisarasvati as delineated in the Märkandeya Purana. Even modern Indian saints like Ramakrsna Paramahamsa and Sri Aurovinda have invoked this Sakti in the shape of Divine Mother. She is also regarded as the Maya and Prakrti by the Vedantins. Being the primordial energy she creates, sustains and dissolves the universe. That is why since the dawn of civilization the worship of the Divine Mother crept into the spiritual and religious beliefs of mankind.

The Sakti cult occupies a pivotal position in the socio-religious life of Indian people. The paintings and engravings of the rock-cut art, the bisected triangles, the perforated stones in the rock shelters and the Yoni stone etc have not only strengthened the above statement but also provided the concrete materials to the scholars to prove the beginning of Sakti cult in India since the pre-historic period. Further, the primitive tree-worship is no doubt the early manifestation of mother-worship which reinforces the genesis of Sakti cult in India to a hoary past.

Sakti, the cradle of the phenomenal existence of beings, plays a vital role not only in India but also in the whole world. She is the source of cosmic evolution and the controller of all forces and potentialities of nature. She is the immediate cause of the perceptible world and all the beings are in her domain. As such, to know her in the entirety is to know her reality. To add more, Saktism is the worship of Sakti or the female principle, the primary factor in the creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe. The term Sakti represents divinity in general and stands for the energizing power of some divinity in particular. Being feminine in gender she has long been associated with the various male deities as their energy but in Saktism the energy of each God becomes personified as his consort, and thus, if a god is separated from his consort or Sakti, he is powerless and inert. To justify this statement, Sankaracharya, the propounder of monistic theory, in the Saundaryalahari? has culogised the greatness of Sakti in the following manner.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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