Studies in goddess cults in Northern India with special reference to the first seven centuries A.D.
The present study grew out of an enquiry into the popular religious practices in North India during the rule of the Imperial Guptas, As our investigation proceeded, some salient aspects of the problem soon became apparent. To start with, since the Gupta period only marked the culmination of cultural trends that had been growing in the two or three centuries preceding it, the attribution of a strict chronological reference for various aspects of the popular religious life during the period was...[Show more]
|dc.contributor.author||Tiwari, Jagdish Narain|
|dc.description.abstract||The present study grew out of an enquiry into the popular religious practices in North India during the rule of the Imperial Guptas, As our investigation proceeded, some salient aspects of the problem soon became apparent. To start with, since the Gupta period only marked the culmination of cultural trends that had been growing in the two or three centuries preceding it, the attribution of a strict chronological reference for various aspects of the popular religious life during the period was not desirable. The uncertainty of the dating of the sources further emphasized this, It was also clear that the designation North India should remain rather vague, in view of the fact that the ramifications of several popular cults crossed this boundary and extended to the Deccan and the South. We chose to investigate the goddess cults because these appeared to us to be probably the most representative features of popular religious life. But while the subject was attractive, the difficulties in its treatment were also obvious, Unlike the "higher" religions -with a developed theology, a rich liturgy and sometimes an organized sect which found more frequent notice in literature, the goddess cults, by virtue of their being closer to the masses, had few of these benefits. Their history, therefore, could be reconstructed only in a vague outline, on the basis of meagre evidence, often of a very uncertain nature, The thesis is clearly divided into two parts. The first part, consisting of Chapters I and II, concentrates on certain general aspects of the subject, such as the very wide prevalence of belief in goddesses and their cults, and the gradual evolution of the cult of the Great Goddess. It is necessary to emphasize that while there is sufficient evidence to speak in terms of a popular cult of the Great Goddess from the Gupta period omrards, the nature of the growth of this cult and its developed ideology affected the goddess cults in general, so that it often becomes difficult to ascertain whether a particular piece of evidence is with reference to a purely local goddess or to that of the Great Goddess, The very pervasive and all-absorbing nature of the latter marks it out from the lesser cults of the many individual goddesses. The second part of the thesis, comprising the last three Chapters, is devoted to the investigations of the nature and cults of specific goddesses, such as the Matrs, a goddess who remains unnamed for lack of adequate notice of her in literature but whose figures betray a widespread cult, and lastly Kotavi who was most probably an ancient goddess of the Tamils, For obvious reasons, we have had to be very selective in our choice of the popular goddesses for special investigation. We decided in favour of some of the more obscure figures, about whom the literature gives inadequate or vague information but who are likely to have been closer to the popular religious life than several better known divinities.|
|dc.title||Studies in goddess cults in Northern India with special reference to the first seven centuries A.D.|
|local.description.notes||This thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.|
|local.type.degree||Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)|
|local.contributor.affiliation||Australian National University|
|Collections||Open Access Theses|
|Tiwari_J.N._1971.pdf||Whole Thesis||20.98 MB||Adobe PDF|
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