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The fourth title in the bestselling '7 Secrets' series focuses on the Goddess, and respected mythologist Dr Devdutt Pattanaik tries to unravel the secrets locked. 7 Secrets of the Goddess book. Read 53 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Lakshmi massages Vishnus feet. Is this male domination? Ka. PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have 78,, eBooks for you to download for free. No annoying ads, no download limits, enjoy .


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Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Dr Devdutt Pattanaik is a medical doctor by training, homeranking.info: 7 Secrets of the Goddess eBook: DEVDUTT PATTANAIK: Kindle Store. 7 SECRETS OF THE GODDESS. Devdutt Pattanaik is a medical doctor by education, a leadership consultant by profession, and a mythologist by passion. 7 Secrets of the Goddess - Devdutt Pattanaik - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. Goddess.

Eyes are painted on the rock to indicate she is sensitive to the condition of villagers. It grants solace and hope to the villagers who are facing sorrow. Chandika of Chandigarh. Her power unused in marriage and motherhood will also prevent the sea from overwhelming the land. The Mahabharata tells the story of one Bhangashwana who was cursed by Indra to live half his life as a man and half his life as a woman. Bhairava is often shown holding a human head.

Greek mythology tells the story of Adonis. Indus seal showing goddess worship Poster art showing self-sacrifice Poster art of Hinglaj Mata of Balochistan To get access to the women. To ensure that the dominant males did not have exclusive and eternal rights to women. Anyone who attacked the man the woman chose would be put to death by other males: Urvashi curses him to turn into a eunuch.

After thousands of years as hunter-gatherers. As human society learnt to domesticate animals and plants. Could this apply to human society too? Not all males were necessary for reproduction. The triumph of the dominant male was in fact a march to death. So we find in Sumerian mythology. The woman had no say in the matter. When Parashuram slaughtered all the Kshatriya men. Similar thoughts gave rise to the Yogini shrines found across India with just one male.

She could choose her lover. This is reinforced in the story of Nari-kavacha. Any man who forced himself upon a woman was killed: That a tribe needed women.

In such female-dominated cultures. These pastoral communities valued all the cows but realised they do not need all the bulls to maintain numbers. This is the same reason why. Artemis turns Actaeon. Many bulls could be castrated and turned into beasts of burden. The chosen one came to her during the sowing season and he was sacrificed at harvest season.

Some anthropologists trace similar thoughts to the practice of male priests dressing up as women and carrying pots during the worship of many grama-devis. We can only speculate if this can be traced to the ancient rejection. Every woman then was a virgin between menstruations at the time of ovulation. Adonis and Aphrodite The only way to survive being killed at the end of the term as king and consort of the Goddess was by castrating oneself.

And so in the Near East. This thought informs a detail in the epic Mahabharata. In the Rig Veda. But earlier it meant a woman who was ready to bear a child. It was perhaps at this phase of human culture that the Goddess came to be addressed as virgin mother. This virginity was restored after childbirth. In Vaishno-devi. Today a virgin is a woman who has never had sex. Thus rejection of sex turns him into god of death.

Even in Greek mythology. Over time. She was like the earth that accepts seeds from all plants freely. But just when he enters. Maui tries to get immortality for humanity by entering the vagina of Hine. The shift in meaning reflects a shift from an older time when women were free to a later time when women were bound to men. The close association of women with sexual pleasure and childbirth on one hand and death on the other is made explicit in the stories of Yama and Yami.

He rejects her advances on moral grounds and eventually dies and finds himself trapped in the land of the dead as he has left no offspring behind in the land of the living. This is a pejorative term today but long ago. Polynesian mythology: M aui and Hine We also find the virgin being referred to as a whore.

Yami mourns for him. Rejection of women even granted liberation from death. But getting a wife was not easy. Biblical mythology: Samson and Delilah This connection of death with sex. These ideas led to the rise of monastic and mystical cults that sought to either control nature or escape from it.

Rejecting women through celibacy offered physical strength. To get celibate ascetics to marry. In the Puranas. The Puranas refer to Gandharva-vivah. In the Bible. In Buddhism. Samson loses his hair and his strength when he succumbs to the charms of Delilah. Rejecting women granted freedom from suffering.

Gautama Siddhartha of the Sakya clan finds freedom from suffering. Kalamkari print of archery contest for the hand of Draupadi in marriage Poster of Krishna abducting Rukmini.

In the Tantra we hear how semen shed into a womb creates the son but weakens the father. The prostitutes were mostly women. In the Mahabharata. Prostitute became a pejorative term as only the rich could afford the most beautiful of women.

Subhadra chooses to elope with Arjuna. In exchange. Ambika and Ambalika in order to procure wives for his brother. She was reduced to being just the field. At first. But she forgives her father and retires to the forest. In the Bhagvata Purana. Rukmini choosing to elope with Krishna rather than marrying the man. Bhisma abducts Amba. Krishna has to tame wild bulls to marry Satya. Thus the priest is able to fulfil his promise to his teacher with the help of Yayati. We find. One reason given for the rise of sacred prostitution is that men took over all the economic activities of society.

The Puranas speak of a Prajapati-vivah. Her child now belonged to a man. Yayati gives his daughter Mamata to a priest who passes her on to four kings because it has been foretold she will be the mother of four kings. No one asks what Mamata wants. If pastoral society gave greater value to the stud bull while castrating the rest.

In Deva-vivah. Gradually the word was used for all women who freely chose and discarded her lovers for a price. They were embodiments of wealth and power. Eventually it came to be associated with exploitation.

Roman mythology: Rape of the Sabine With fathers claiming ownership over daughters and deciding who she should marry. In Rishi-vivah. These stories suggest the rise of trading communities. Thus the crop belongs to the owner of the field and not to the landless labourer who ploughed the field and sowed the seeds. The fierce and independent Bhagavati of Kerala Devadasis who were dedicated to the temple deity In Nepal. The Mahabharata limits the number of men a woman can go to as four.

Children born to them have neither caste nor inheritance. Similar practices have been traced to many parts of India. Shvetaketu created the marriage laws. They had to take recourse to prostitution in order to survive.

Kunti states in the Mahabharata that at one time women were free to go to any man they pleased. Many believed sex with deukis would cure them of many ailments. These women were also associated with art and entertainment as they used song and dance to attract potential customers.

For example. Indra makes love to Ahalya by impersonating her husband. He takes the form of a beam of sunlight and makes love to Danae. In Hindu mythology. A similar story is found in Greek mythology where the seer Tieresias has lived life both as a man and a woman. Renuka was so faithful to Jamadagni that she could collect water from the river in unbaked pots made from riverbank clay.

In Greek mythology. When asked what he preferred. Fear that they would never be good enough to satisfy their wives. He makes love to Alcmene by impersonating her husband.

The Mahabharata tells the story of one Bhangashwana who was cursed by Indra to live half his life as a man and half his life as a woman. He takes the form of a swan and makes love to Leda. In the Ramayana. But there was always fear of being cuckolded by the wife. Sita proves her fidelity by going through a trial by fire.

A sage is so disgusted by the husband that he declares he will die when the sun rises next. M esopotamian mythology: Tiamat and M arduk.

Shilavati then uses her power of chastity to prevent the sun from rising. The Puranas tell the story of one Shilavati who carries her leper husband on her shoulders as he cannot walk. While fertility was rooted in women. She satisfies all his desires. The feminine yin is the earth. There is no superior or inferior force in nature.

We find women at the receiving end of the rules. With urbanisation came more rules and the idea of evil — one who does not submit to the rules. She even takes him to prostitutes.

To prove her chastity. The masculine yang is like a dragon in the sky. Belief in sati meant a widow was seen as a woman who could not prevent the death of her husband.

If rural cultures valued fertility. This is explicit in Chinese mythology. This is explicit in the Mesopotamian epic. They go around once again and this time the man speaks first when they meet.

Everyone is told to be wary of them. He produces five men using her necklace and she produces three women from his sword. Greek democracy valued only men.

They build a house with a pillar and go around it in opposite directions with the intention of copulating when they meet. Amaterasu also competes with her other brother. In Japanese mythology. Japanese mythology: The primal twins In cities we find the battle of power. Women are the trophies of this masculine rivalry. In biblical mythology. Before the creation of Eve. Just as culture domesticates nature. From that day. They are seen as dangerous forces who seem to value desire over rules.

Not surprisingly. He says he won as he produced more offspring. Enuma Elish. It is also explicit in Greek myths of Zeus chasing and raping nymphs across the land and fathering offspring.

For this act of transgression. A patriarchal society links women with nature and men with culture. But then Tsukuyomi strikes the goddess of earth in disgust for producing food from all her orifices. When they meet. The battle of sexes found in Japanese mythology continues into the next generation. So Amaterasu refuses to see him. God is said to have created Lilith. She disobeys and out pours all the problems of the world that promise to keep humanity too busy to bother with trying to overthrow the Olympians.

They were restricted to inner courtyards. She defends Orestes. Thus we find the concept of the virginal Snow White in European folklore.

Her action. And so a thousand Greek ships sailed to bring back Helen. For the crime of killing his mother. Higher the social status. Orestes was pursued by the dreaded female spirits known as Erinyes also known as Furies until Athena.

This story reveals a shift from matriarchy when the lover of the queen was ritually murdered and killing the mother was the greatest crime to patriarchy when killing women who challenged male authority and dishonoured the family was justified.

Pandora Greek mythology: Furies chasing Orestes As walls were built around cities. After Troy was torn to the ground.

In this world. Greater the isolation. The raiders were keen not just to possess the wealth of those who lived behind the walls. This suggests the abduction was perhaps elopement and violation was perhaps intimacy by mutual consent.

They killed the Cannanite prince while he is sore following circumcision. The brothers of Dinah did not think so. This transformation from prized possession to venerated object marks the triumph of patriarchy. But the brothers argue. In these stories. Greek goddess triad of the Fates. Jesus is the son of God. They are mostly male: The serpent.

Deborah and Anna. Mary was voted. There is no mention of a daughter of God. Shift from earth to sky Excessive urbanisation also resulted in disgust for all things material. They overshadow the few female prophets: Prophets carry his word to earth. Biblical mythology In Arthurian legends that became popular in medieval Christian Europe.

In fairly tales. For Christians. There are many Marys in the Bible but none of them become apostles. She is also the dangerous witch. There was Ishtar.

Those who looked at the earth below saw it as the Goddess. Gravity became a fetter. But gradually. Monastic orders around the world sought liberation from this burden of taking care of women and the children they bore. There is talk of Shekinah. Escape was sought. Meaning was sought beyond the city walls: In Islam, there is a folk tradition of how the Devil tries unsuccessfully to include in the Koran through Muhammad a verse that makes the three goddesses of Mecca — Urs, Mannat, Lat — mediums to Allah.

These were the infamous Satanic verses. In Jainism, all the Tirthankaras who establish the bridge out of ignorance to wisdom are male. In some traditions, one of the Tirthankaras, Mallinath, is female. His female body is the result of a demerit: He rejects his female body, viewing it as a vessel of putrefaction.

In the early days of Buddhism, Buddha refused to include women in his monastic order until he saw his step-mother cry at the death of his father and realised women suffer as much as men. Early Buddhist traditions saw wisdom in intellectual terms only. But later Buddhism made room for the emotional. Compassion was seen to be as important as knowledge. And compassion took the form of a goddess called Tara. She appeared as a tear shed when Buddha heard the cries of the suffering. Buddha decided not to accept nirvana but work tirelessly as Bodhisattva to help other suffering souls.

All Bodhisattvas are male. But then we do hear of Guanyin, the female Bodhisattva of China, whose presence gave solace to all the suffering souls in the land of the living and in the land of the dead. Four thousand years ago, before the rise of Buddhism, Vedic Hinduism paid greater attention to devas or gods like Agni fire , Indra rain , Vayu wind and Surya sun , over devis or goddesses like Ushas dawn , Vak speech and Aranyani forest. Since two thousand years, after the rise of Buddhism, in Puranic Hinduism, the gods gave way to God bhagavan, ishwar.

But God could not be explained without the Goddess bhagavati, ishwari. She was no supplement; she was an intimately inextricably linked complement. This value placed on the feminine has been attributed to the popularity and influence of village goddesses or grama-devis, which have been revered in settlements across India since the dawn of time, long before the Vedas or the cities of the Indus Valley civilisation.

Three sects emerged in this later Puranic Hinduism: Shiva is the ascetic who attacks Brahma for coveting and trying to control Devi; he shuns worldly life until Devi transforms into Gauri and makes him a householder and father. Vishnu is the householder who looks upon Devi as Lakshmi, goddess of auspiciousness and abundance; taking various avatars to enable Brahma and his sons to cope with Kali.

But Devi is divinity in her own right, independent as the earth, responding to the gaze of Brahma who seeks to control her, Vishnu who enjoys her and Shiva who withdraws from her.

She is their mother, daughter, sister and wife. She allows them to dominate but never lets them have dominion over her. She enables everyone to outgrow the anxiety that creates patriarchy as well as the anxiety created by patriarchy. Kali is perhaps the most dramatic form of Devi in Hindu mythology.

She is naked, with hair unbound, standing or sitting on top of Shiva, sickle in hand, with a garland of male heads around her neck, her blood-stained tongue stretching out. Is that tongue directed at us? Or are we just witnesses? Does she give that tongue meaning, or do we? To understand Kali, it makes sense to appreciate the rise of Devi worship in India.

And for that we have to appreciate the transformation of Hinduism over four thousand years from the pre-Buddhist Vedic phase of Hinduism where rituals were more important than gods devas , through the post-Buddhist Puranic phase of Hinduism when devotion to God bhagavan gained paramount importance, to the rise of colonial gaze and the native reaction to it.

We do not find any Kali-like images. In Jaiminya Brahmana. Indra sends a young man called Sumitra to overpower her. Dirgha-Jihvi is much pleased. Seeing Sumitra transformed thus. Their hymns. With fire Agni as their medium.

But Dirgha-Jihvi rejects the man as he has just one manhood.

Secrets pdf 7 of the goddess

Around BCE. These cities ceased to exist by BCE but their cultural practices continued to thrive and spread in the Indian subcontinent. During this journey we shall see how the idea of Kali is more ancient than the name and form that we today associate with her.

This soma gave everyone. So Indra gives that man many manhoods. This is also identified as a proto-Kali due to the references to the tongue and unbridled sexuality. It reveals male anxiety before female sexual and reproductive prowess. Their relationship with the Indus cities has yet to be resolved. She is described as dark and dishevelled.

This Nirriti is often identified as a proto-Kali especially since Kali is often addressed in later literature as Dakshina-Kali. Nirriti embodies the human discomfort with the dark side of nature. They make love. Pinned down during the act of sex.

The bulls represent untamed male virility. Brahmana literature that link hymns to ritual elaborate on the nature of Nirriti. But there is reference to one Nirriti. The women. Dirgha-Jihvi is momentarily immobilised. Here we find clay figures of naked but bejewelled women alongside images of clay bulls. There was talk of meditation.

This literature spoke of a single. For some. It is at this time that the name Kali appears for the first time. Poster of birth of Kali from Durga's brow. The post-Buddhist period saw the gradual rise of Puranic literature. Different people visualised God differently.

In later iconography. And for still others. Buddhism and other sharmana ascetic traditions — which rejected the materialistic obsessions of society — grew. Each school of thought vied for supremacy. For others it was Vishnu. One can only speculate if the flame called Kali is in any way linked to the Kali with flames for hair.

Words like karma and moksha gained popularity. The yagna gradually went out of favour. Shiva also expressed helplessness and appealed to the Goddess. While these goddesses are also mentioned in the Puranas.

So the devas led by Indra went to Brahma. The earliest stories of the Puranas are found in the epics. Chamunda or Chinnamastika appearing with increasing frequency as part of a collective of three. Unlike the Puranas. Any attempt to strike him with weapons only made matters worse. The second was Kali of outstretched tongue. No deva was able to defeat Raktabeeja. Vishnu also expressed helplessness and directed them to Shiva. Kali appears as a discrete goddess.

In Buddhist literature. Maha-vidyas and Yoginis. And the Goddess rode into battle in two forms. Here we find Kali and Kali-like goddesses such as Tara. Both Kalaratri and Korravai are Kali-like goddesses associated with rage and violence. Jain and Hindu mythology that became more elaborate during this period.

In the Devi Mahatmya. In Tamil Sangam literature. Chandi struck the many Raktabeejas with her weapons. These goddesses embody folk deities associated with wild and domesticated spaces. Tantrik literature began to be composed. An asura called Raktabeeja had obtained a boon from Brahma that if a drop of his blood rakta.

These collectives include benevolent and fecund goddesses alongside also malevolent and morbid goddesses. Vishnu and Devi. In them. Appropriation of grama-devas into more mainstream codified religions was common in this period. From around CE. The first form was of the multi-armed Chandi on a tiger ready to do battle. By this time. He is identified as her husband. Human society is created within her.

Down south. She is the Goddess who makes him God. Bhairavi is often linked to Kali. But he is not a demon she has defeated. She either had one foot on him. It often becomes difficult to distinguish Kali from Kali-like goddesses in Puranic and Tantrik literature. What distinguished her from all other goddesses was her nakedness. Bhairava is often shown holding a human head. Bhairavi and Shiva are seen as a pair. In the Kalika Purana. In some tales this head cannot be placed on the ground and so Bhairava and Bhairavi take turns holding it.

It is said to be the head of Brahma who dared seek to sexually dominate Bhairavi. Their images are also found on Jain temple walls indicating their popularity.

But while Kali is shown standing or sitting on Shiva. As a pair they invoke violence. Devi is identified with nature. They seem to belong to a single continuum. Kali emerges out of the collective and starts being seen as an independent goddess. Shiva is called Bhairava.

Some addressed this Kali as Maha-Kali to distinguish her from other Kalis. She is power. Thus she kills and nourishes herself. She severs her own neck and her detached head drinks the blood spurting out of the neck. M iniature painting of Chinna-mastika Chinna-mastika means one whose head has been severed.

Here the sexual act is about procreation. Thus in nature. She is emaciated. Tara of Hinduism invokes compassion in Shiva and transforms him into a caring householder. Stone image of Chamunda Chamunda is distinguished from Kali by her gaunt form. Tara is indistinguishable from Kali. In Bengal and Odisha. She also sits on Kama and Rati. Tara of Buddhism invokes compassion in Buddha and transforms him into Bodhisattva who delays his own liberation to help people out of the ocean of suffering.

She is both a Buddhist and a Brahmin goddess. Kali sits on top of Shiva. If she was nature that is indifferent to the mind prakriti.

So she covers her face with a lotus flower. It also explains why Shiva is worshipped as an erect stone linga. This literature evokes the consciousness of man. But in the more feminine Shakta literatures. In the less subtle Tantrik imagery. There are also stories where. Kali wants Shiva to pay attention to her for the benefit of humanity. She evokes despair and suffering. Shiva does not stop and so the rishis declare that Shiva would be worshipped only as a symbol. She simply sticks out her tongue.

In one version. In the other version. Shiva is able to bind Kali by evoking marital and maternal desires in her. She is associated with dogs feeding on corpses either in the aftermath of a battle or an epidemic.

She refuses to be invisible. Everybody and everything needs to be controlled. As temples were built to enshrine Shiva. In the more masculine Shaiva literature. Everybody and everything has a soul that needs to be respected. Bronze image of Shiva dancing Stone image of Lajja-gauri Both Shaiva and Shakta literature tell the tale of how sages stumble upon Shiva and Shakti when they are making love.

Kali does not merely step on Shiva. Shiva enables the domestication of Kali on the request of Brahma and the other devas. This form seems to embody decay and drought. This story explains the name Lajja-gauri. In this literature.

There are two versions of what follows. Thus we have stories of how Shiva competes with Kali in a dance competition only to triumph over her by taking up positions that Kali is too embarrassed to assume.

Only by engaging with her does he turn into Shiva. Smashan Kali is wild and free. Bhadra Kali offers the strength to cope with the limitations of a domesticated life. In Kali-kula Tantra. The second one is seen as more considerate of cultural norms and is called Bhadra Kali. Kali of the crematorium. The first one is seen as more fearsome and is called Smashan Kali.

The latter Kali was also called Tara. It demanded that the aspirant break free from the social structures. Such a confrontation could also transform the vira into a rasa-siddha.

Bhadra Kali is nature that is understanding of human shortcomings. That is why Kali was also a venerated deity in the nath-sampradaya. Bhadra Kali.

In nature. Confrontation with fears jolted the vira into wisdom. One in which she steps on Shiva with her left foot and raises a sickle in her right hand. If he succeeded in doing so. Be that as it may. In a similar vein. It reminds us that nature is sovereign. Human gaze judges sex and violence in ethical. Smashan Kali is nature that ultimately consumes humanity.

Kali who is modest. The idea of gopis or milkmaids swooning over Krishna. Her name was Radha. From the twelfth century onwards. Poster art of Tarini. Gita Govinda. When Radha appears. Radha makes her appearance in the Hindu imagination in Prakrit works. But her popularity is traced to the thirteenth century Sanskrit work.

Odisha Since Kali was connected with Shiva. And yet. This makes the relationship extramarital. When duty beckons. Unlike the self-contained hero of earlier works. She quarrels with Krishna. Radha admonishes him for offering intellectual remedies for their emotional despair: She does not expect him to return. Thus she becomes the embodiment of true unconditional immersive love. M iniature painting of Radha and Krishna intertwined Unlike the gopis who are subservient and even admonished for being possessive.

This grants the nature of the relationship a very Tantrik theme. When Krishna does not return and sends Uddhava to pacify the heartbroken milkmaids. She describes him as a honey bee whose nature it is to go from flower to flower. She is described as a married woman in some songs. Krishna promises that he will return but Radha knows he will not. Radha is demanding. It is interesting to note that Radha as an idea emerges after the arrival of Islam. The psychological intensity of the romance was not mirrored physically.

But it arose in the eastern areas of Odisha. Temples depicting Tantrik iconography were torn down to cater to the increasingly conservative mindset. There were fierce arguments whether Radha was parakiya. It reveals the discomfort with all things Tantrik commonly seen in mainstream society. The idea of Radha flourished primarily in the Gangetic plains. M iniature painting of Radha and Krishna in M adhuvan Not everyone was pleased with such breaking of boundaries.

Radha emerges. Thus the overtly Tantrik traditions were tempered. Bengal and Assam. The folk traditions and regional literature were comfortable with the idea that Radha was married to another man. In medieval regional Ramayanas. Sita is able to kill a Ravana who has a hundred heads.

From a forbidding force she became a forbidden force. It is this Kali-side of Draupadi that makes her take the vow that she will wash her blood with the hair of the men who abused her.

They were only known to those very few people who were steeped in Tantrik mysteries. In the nineteenth century. In fact. Ram and Krishna only to satisfy the bloodlust of Kali. Draupadi transforms into Kali at night. Kali terrified them. When the Europeans came to India in the sixteenth century. This was reinforced by medieval Sanskrit stories and plays where sorcerers sacrifice men.

In the Tamil Mahabharata. Clash of two worlds There are stories. M iniature painting depicting rise of the Shakta cult By the fifteenth century. They became convinced Hindus were worshippers of the Devil. While Tantrik rituals. Sita and Draupadi. In the Adbhuta Ramayana. Despite her fierce form. It is this Kali to which Vivekananda and his guru. Kali was seen less in terms of power and more in terms of love. In the eighteenth century Kali started becoming the object of devotion.

She inspired poets like Ramprasad Sen and this created a new musical genre called Shyama Sangeet. Ramakrishna Paramhansa. In all probability. But the image of a murderous tribe inspired by Kali had such an impact that even today they inspire tales not just in Hollywood Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. This devotion to Kali was clearly an extension of the larger bhakti movement that swept India from the thirteenth century onwards.

This colonial gaze embarrassed the natives of India. Shyama means the dark-one. At another level. With the rise of the freedom struggle. Two ways of seeing Kali Increasingly Kali is becoming part of global neo-paganism and neo-feminism that seeks not to confront masculinity but embrace it in its fold. Kali became an image of revolution and subversion.

This story is steeped in patriarchy. In these. She steps on him. She was seen to embody raw female energy before it was forced to conform to patriarchal norms. But they gave it a different spin. In post-colonial times. She was also seen as female energy that will ultimately triumph over masculine hegemony. It appealed to the sensibilities of those newly educated in European ways. So Shiva throws himself to the ground in her path.

It speaks of how Kali. In her nakedness and refusal to submit to the male gaze. The characteristic feature of Hindu mythology is the great emphasis on the mind. After humanity. In culture. Kali is nature. Calendar print of Jagadamba. Gauri is culture. Calendar print of Balambika. This form of Vishnu is called Narayana.

7 Secrets of the Goddess - Devdutt Pattanaik

On the waters Vishnu sleeps. Humanity however deludes itself that Brahma created prakriti first. What came first? Who came first?

7 Secrets Of Shiva Books

Was it water? Was it air? Was it the sky? Who witnessed their creation? Who can testify they came first? This Nirriti is often identified as a proto-Kali especially since Kali is often addressed in later literature as Dakshina-Kali. Nirriti embodies the human discomfort with the dark side of nature. But there is reference to one Nirriti. This is also identified as a proto-Kali due to the references to the tongue and unbridled sexuality.

Dirgha-Jihvi is much pleased. Seeing Sumitra transformed thus. With fire Agni as their medium. The women. During this journey we shall see how the idea of Kali is more ancient than the name and form that we today associate with her. Dirgha-Jihvi is momentarily immobilised.

Here we find clay figures of naked but bejewelled women alongside images of clay bulls. The bulls represent untamed male virility. So Indra gives that man many manhoods. Indra sends a young man called Sumitra to overpower her. In Jaiminya Brahmana. Different people visualised God differently. And for still others. For some. Buddhism and other sharmana ascetic traditions — which rejected the materialistic obsessions of society — grew.

Words like karma and moksha gained popularity. The yagna gradually went out of favour. There was talk of meditation. In later iconography. For others it was Vishnu. It is at this time that the name Kali appears for the first time. One can only speculate if the flame called Kali is in any way linked to the Kali with flames for hair. This literature spoke of a single.

Poster of birth of Kali from Durga's brow. Each school of thought vied for supremacy. The post-Buddhist period saw the gradual rise of Puranic literature. No deva was able to defeat Raktabeeja.

Unlike the Puranas. Any attempt to strike him with weapons only made matters worse. Vishnu and Devi. In the Devi Mahatmya. And the Goddess rode into battle in two forms. These goddesses embody folk deities associated with wild and domesticated spaces. Vishnu also expressed helplessness and directed them to Shiva. These collectives include benevolent and fecund goddesses alongside also malevolent and morbid goddesses.

Shiva also expressed helplessness and appealed to the Goddess. Kali appears as a discrete goddess. From around CE. An asura called Raktabeeja had obtained a boon from Brahma that if a drop of his blood rakta.

In Buddhist literature. Maha-vidyas and Yoginis. While these goddesses are also mentioned in the Puranas. In them. Here we find Kali and Kali-like goddesses such as Tara. Jain and Hindu mythology that became more elaborate during this period. Tantrik literature began to be composed. The earliest stories of the Puranas are found in the epics. Chamunda or Chinnamastika appearing with increasing frequency as part of a collective of three.

Both Kalaratri and Korravai are Kali-like goddesses associated with rage and violence. So the devas led by Indra went to Brahma. In Tamil Sangam literature.

The second was Kali of outstretched tongue. Chandi struck the many Raktabeejas with her weapons. The first form was of the multi-armed Chandi on a tiger ready to do battle. Appropriation of grama-devas into more mainstream codified religions was common in this period.

She either had one foot on him. But while Kali is shown standing or sitting on Shiva. They seem to belong to a single continuum. Down south. What distinguished her from all other goddesses was her nakedness.

She is the Goddess who makes him God. Some addressed this Kali as Maha-Kali to distinguish her from other Kalis. Shiva is called Bhairava. It often becomes difficult to distinguish Kali from Kali-like goddesses in Puranic and Tantrik literature.

She is power. Devi is identified with nature. In the Kalika Purana. Bhairavi and Shiva are seen as a pair. Human society is created within her. In some tales this head cannot be placed on the ground and so Bhairava and Bhairavi take turns holding it. Their images are also found on Jain temple walls indicating their popularity. Bhairava is often shown holding a human head. He is identified as her husband. Bhairavi is often linked to Kali.

By this time. Kali emerges out of the collective and starts being seen as an independent goddess. But he is not a demon she has defeated. As a pair they invoke violence. It is said to be the head of Brahma who dared seek to sexually dominate Bhairavi. Tara of Hinduism invokes compassion in Shiva and transforms him into a caring householder. Thus in nature. Tara of Buddhism invokes compassion in Buddha and transforms him into Bodhisattva who delays his own liberation to help people out of the ocean of suffering.

Stone image of Chamunda Chamunda is distinguished from Kali by her gaunt form. She is emaciated. Here the sexual act is about procreation. Thus she kills and nourishes herself. She severs her own neck and her detached head drinks the blood spurting out of the neck. She also sits on Kama and Rati. Tara is indistinguishable from Kali. M iniature painting of Chinna-mastika Chinna-mastika means one whose head has been severed.

She is both a Buddhist and a Brahmin goddess. In Bengal and Odisha. In the more masculine Shaiva literature. Everybody and everything has a soul that needs to be respected.

Kali sits on top of Shiva. It also explains why Shiva is worshipped as an erect stone linga. She is associated with dogs feeding on corpses either in the aftermath of a battle or an epidemic.

Shiva does not stop and so the rishis declare that Shiva would be worshipped only as a symbol. Bronze image of Shiva dancing Stone image of Lajja-gauri Both Shaiva and Shakta literature tell the tale of how sages stumble upon Shiva and Shakti when they are making love. This story explains the name Lajja-gauri. She evokes despair and suffering. Thus we have stories of how Shiva competes with Kali in a dance competition only to triumph over her by taking up positions that Kali is too embarrassed to assume.

In one version. This literature evokes the consciousness of man. Only by engaging with her does he turn into Shiva. Shiva enables the domestication of Kali on the request of Brahma and the other devas.

There are two versions of what follows. Shiva is able to bind Kali by evoking marital and maternal desires in her. Kali does not merely step on Shiva. Everybody and everything needs to be controlled. As temples were built to enshrine Shiva. She simply sticks out her tongue.

In the other version. Kali wants Shiva to pay attention to her for the benefit of humanity. She refuses to be invisible. If she was nature that is indifferent to the mind prakriti. So she covers her face with a lotus flower. But in the more feminine Shakta literatures. There are also stories where. This form seems to embody decay and drought. In this literature. In the less subtle Tantrik imagery. Human gaze judges sex and violence in ethical.

If he succeeded in doing so. Such a confrontation could also transform the vira into a rasa-siddha. The second one is seen as more considerate of cultural norms and is called Bhadra Kali. Smashan Kali is wild and free. Bhadra Kali. The latter Kali was also called Tara. One in which she steps on Shiva with her left foot and raises a sickle in her right hand. In Kali-kula Tantra. Kali who is modest. It reminds us that nature is sovereign. Be that as it may.

Kali of the crematorium. In nature. Smashan Kali is nature that ultimately consumes humanity. In a similar vein. The first one is seen as more fearsome and is called Smashan Kali. It demanded that the aspirant break free from the social structures. Bhadra Kali is nature that is understanding of human shortcomings.

Confrontation with fears jolted the vira into wisdom. That is why Kali was also a venerated deity in the nath-sampradaya. Bhadra Kali offers the strength to cope with the limitations of a domesticated life. Poster art of Tarini. From the twelfth century onwards. Gita Govinda. The idea of gopis or milkmaids swooning over Krishna. But her popularity is traced to the thirteenth century Sanskrit work. Radha makes her appearance in the Hindu imagination in Prakrit works.

And yet. Her name was Radha. When Radha appears. Odisha Since Kali was connected with Shiva. She is described as a married woman in some songs. Radha is demanding. She quarrels with Krishna. Radha admonishes him for offering intellectual remedies for their emotional despair: This grants the nature of the relationship a very Tantrik theme.

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Unlike the self-contained hero of earlier works. She describes him as a honey bee whose nature it is to go from flower to flower. Thus she becomes the embodiment of true unconditional immersive love.

Krishna promises that he will return but Radha knows he will not. When duty beckons. M iniature painting of Radha and Krishna intertwined Unlike the gopis who are subservient and even admonished for being possessive. She does not expect him to return. When Krishna does not return and sends Uddhava to pacify the heartbroken milkmaids. This makes the relationship extramarital. M iniature painting of Radha and Krishna in M adhuvan Not everyone was pleased with such breaking of boundaries.

Temples depicting Tantrik iconography were torn down to cater to the increasingly conservative mindset. The folk traditions and regional literature were comfortable with the idea that Radha was married to another man.

There were fierce arguments whether Radha was parakiya. The idea of Radha flourished primarily in the Gangetic plains. But it arose in the eastern areas of Odisha. It is interesting to note that Radha as an idea emerges after the arrival of Islam.

Radha emerges. It reveals the discomfort with all things Tantrik commonly seen in mainstream society. Thus the overtly Tantrik traditions were tempered. The psychological intensity of the romance was not mirrored physically. Bengal and Assam. While Tantrik rituals. They were only known to those very few people who were steeped in Tantrik mysteries.

Ram and Krishna only to satisfy the bloodlust of Kali. Kali terrified them. In medieval regional Ramayanas. Sita and Draupadi. In fact. This was reinforced by medieval Sanskrit stories and plays where sorcerers sacrifice men. In the nineteenth century. When the Europeans came to India in the sixteenth century. They became convinced Hindus were worshippers of the Devil. It is this Kali-side of Draupadi that makes her take the vow that she will wash her blood with the hair of the men who abused her.

Draupadi transforms into Kali at night. Sita is able to kill a Ravana who has a hundred heads. M iniature painting depicting rise of the Shakta cult By the fifteenth century.

Clash of two worlds There are stories. From a forbidding force she became a forbidden force. In the Tamil Mahabharata. In the Adbhuta Ramayana.

But the image of a murderous tribe inspired by Kali had such an impact that even today they inspire tales not just in Hollywood Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. This devotion to Kali was clearly an extension of the larger bhakti movement that swept India from the thirteenth century onwards.

At another level. In the eighteenth century Kali started becoming the object of devotion. This colonial gaze embarrassed the natives of India. It is this Kali to which Vivekananda and his guru. In all probability.

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Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Despite her fierce form. Shyama means the dark-one. She inspired poets like Ramprasad Sen and this created a new musical genre called Shyama Sangeet. Kali was seen less in terms of power and more in terms of love.

It speaks of how Kali. This story is steeped in patriarchy. So Shiva throws himself to the ground in her path. In these. She steps on him. But they gave it a different spin. Kali became an image of revolution and subversion. It appealed to the sensibilities of those newly educated in European ways. Two ways of seeing Kali Increasingly Kali is becoming part of global neo-paganism and neo-feminism that seeks not to confront masculinity but embrace it in its fold.

In post-colonial times. In her nakedness and refusal to submit to the male gaze. She was also seen as female energy that will ultimately triumph over masculine hegemony. She was seen to embody raw female energy before it was forced to conform to patriarchal norms. With the rise of the freedom struggle.

Gauri is culture. The characteristic feature of Hindu mythology is the great emphasis on the mind. In culture. Calendar print of Jagadamba. Kali is nature. After humanity. We are conditioned to assume that mind is superior to matter. Humanity however deludes itself that Brahma created prakriti first.

The question persists: Evolutionary biologists are clear that nature came first. Calendar print of Balambika. In the Vedas. Life on earth began a billion years ago. Madhu and Kaitabha. That being said. Thus prakriti came first. What came first? Who came first? Was it water? Was it air? Was it the sky?

Who witnessed their creation? Who can testify they came first? The gods? But are even the gods creations of the mind?

What existed before the mind? Who created the mind? Can we ever know? Later Vedic texts clearly distinguish between prakriti nature. They steal the Vedas and create havoc. These are the three worlds we inhabit. When a sage spurts semen in the presence of a nymph. The narrative in the Puranas begins with pralaya. The attribution. This form of Vishnu is called Narayana. That is when the twin asuras.

So deep is his slumber that Vishnu is not aware of himself. The relationship between man and woman. Nothing exists then but waters that stretched into infinity. There is no escaping this. Who got rid of them? It was the Goddess. Semen then. On the waters Vishnu sleeps. These are our negative thoughts.

She is called Maya. This makes Brahma. Yoga-nidra is reality but Yoga-maya is perceived reality. Narayana here is our sleeping mind. She is Yoga-nidra: But what do they create. Calendar print of the trinity of the Puranas Brahma. But nature. Vishnu and Shiva are commonly identified as the creator. Pahari miniature of Yoga-maya But how do we know?

Was there a witness? Who was the witness? It was Brahma. When Brahma. He seeks to control her. Positive thoughts. That is why God-mind is associated with verbs: What is being continuously created. The Goddess in this story is nature. She is called Shakti. His mind has no notion. She is also Yoga-maya: What is the name of this perceived reality? She is called Adya. She is the mother.

Madhu and Kaitabha are our thoughts emerging from the partially awakened mind. The God-mind draws wealth. For him. She can also be the daughter. Gauri is daughter. Vishnu is our awakened mind. He saw the birth of Madhu and Kaitabha. By controlling her. He is the tapasvin. The Goddess-matter.

The assumption is that they create. He creates culture by domesticating nature. He balances the two and so is the preserver of culture. Killing these knowledge-carriers or brahmins was considered the greatest of crimes in the Hindu world as it meant the loss of Vedic knowledge that enabled humanity to turn nature into culture. This knowledge exists in the forms of poems called mantras.

Shiva is embedded so deep in our consciousness that even we are not aware of it. Disgusted by the incestuous cravings of her father. The purpose of life is to invoke that hidden unexplored potential.

Devi seeks to marry him. Each reading is valid. The keepers of these brahamana texts were known as brahmins. Her disgust gave rise to Shiva.

This is what makes him the destroyer of culture. She can also be mother. Devi is sister. Symbolic readings of mythology are problematic for many reasons. Details about these yagnas are compiled in manuals known as brahmanas. It is pure. But Brahma desired her. Modern academic education is based on scientific principles as well as Euro- American bias that are more comfortable with the literal. He understands the insecurities of Brahma and the value of Shiva.

Only he appreciates Kali and Gauri. When Shiva awakens and acknowledges Shakti. He pursued her. Poster art showing Kamakhya Vishnu is our wise mind capable of understanding perceived nature. From Brahma comes knowledge or Veda. Vishnu is born. Gauri is more commonly known as Parvati. Ram performs austerities to rid himself of the demerit earned for his brahma-hatya-paap. That is why Brahma seeks dominion over Devi.

The Vishnu Purana tells us that Ravana. In her previous life.

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That is why Brahma is unworthy of worship and that is why his ritual of yagna. She is also called Uma. It can also be seen historically as a reference to the end of the old Vedic culture of yagna that was eventually replaced by the later Puranic culture of puja. We do not know who we are and what the purpose of our life is.

For Vishnu understands the fears that make a Ravana behave as he does. While Shiva does not apologise for beheading Brahma. What is this misbehaviour? It is the assumption of property: Ram as Vishnu and Hanuman as Shiva.

M iniature painting of Bhairavi. Vishnu is the human mind that does not condone this misbehaviour. This assumption is dependent on another assumption: But it is more meaningful when seen symbolically and Brahma is recognised as the human mind that seeks control over perceived reality. In folk tradition. In this narrative. Ram ultimately overpowers Ravana with the aid of a monkey called Hanuman. Sita is the Goddess. She is associated with the household.

Images of the Goddess in north India are often flanked by images of Hanuman also called langur-vir and a childlike form of Shiva Bhairav-baba holding the severed head of a man. Shiva is the human mind that vehemently rejects this misbehaviour. This symbolic explanation clarifies why Brahma is not worshipped in any Hindu temple. Shiva and Devi. It is Kali who domesticates the hermit Shiva and in the process gets domesticated herself as Gauri. Ravana can be seen as Brahma.

Daksha makes offerings to the devas and expects gifts in return. Calendar print of Bhadra-kali destroying the yagna. During the yagna. It forms the cornerstone of human society. Daksha conducts a grand yagna where he invites all his daughters and his sons-in-law. He fears disobedience as he thinks it will herald the collapse of the structure he has created. The tapasvins ignore him and do not care about his yagna. So Brahma consults Vishnu and they evoke the Goddess who promises to help by taking birth as the daughter of Daksha.

Daksha despises the tapasvins. He offers them his daughter and they. When her father does not grant her permission to marry him. He demands obedience from all his daughters and his sons-in-law for the sake of stability and predictability. They value tapa. To teach her a lesson. Humans are capable of exchange. Tapa evokes thoughts that make a man wise. Animals do not exchange. Daksha fears indifference.

M iniature painting of devas invoking the Goddess The story is elaborated in the Shiva Purana. So it comes as a huge shock for Daksha when his youngest daughter. More than disobedience. Daksha is associated with the yagna. He contributes in order to consume. For Daksha. Calendar print of Bhadra-kali destroying the yagna Sati. No more is he the detached hermit. He performs tapasya and ignites tapa to outgrow hunger and fear. He is covered with ash. Still the yagna continues.

But when the yagna stops. He is unfit for civilisation. He simply does not value himself through social structure. He becomes Rudra. So angry is Sati at being unable to get through to her father that she leaps in the pit of fire in the ritual precinct and burns herself to death. Vishnu appeals to Shiva and begs him to restore the yagna by bringing Daksha back to life. Out come the sword-wielding Vira-bhadra and Bhadra-kali. But Daksha does not listen. The Shakti-peethas Shiva then picks up the charred lifeless body of Sati and wanders the world.

He is now the lover inconsolable in his loss. Shiva does that. He drinks poison and narcotics. Daksha does no such thing. Daksha is given an animal head. He tears out the locks of his hair and strikes them to the ground. Instead he insults her and her husband explaining why he is not worthy of an invitation to the yagna. His pain and suffering disturb the gods who beg Vishnu to put an end to it. He has no family or friends. But when the gods send Kama. Thus is born the six-headed Skanda.

Unlike Kama. Shiva shuts his eyes and resumes his meditation. It boils Ganga. It is so fiery that it burns Agni. These fall in different parts of the world and became Shakti-pithas. And she promises to help. And so Shiva marries Parvati and takes her to Kailas. Their paradise has been attacked by asuras. He is content living in caves during the rains. For they are in trouble. The devas need a commander to lead their armies. Their king. Chola bronze of Tapasvini Parvati Parvati makes Shiva open his eyes and marry.

In other words. Shiva finally appears and agrees to come to her house as a groom comes to receive his bride. Such a child can only be produced by a man who has been celibate for a long time. Here she makes a home even though Shiva does not understand the concept. Parvati takes the six children in her hand and fuses them into one.

She begs Shiva to temper his form to the satisfaction of her parents. So the devas turn to the Goddess once again. Unlike Sati. With Sati gone. Shiva opens his third eye and lets loose a missile with his glance that sets Kama aflame and reduces him to a pile of ash. She simply prays to him by refusing to eat.

Eons pass before the devas remember Shiva and want him to open his eyes. Parvati and Shiva make love. Skanda and Ganesha. Skanda fights the asuras and provides security. When Shiva does not grant Parvati what she wants. The second marks the destruction of the desire to control culture.

Shiva beheads Brahma. Calendar art of Shiva agreeing to marry Parvati M iniature painting of Shiva's wedding procession Skanda. Shiva refuses to indulge this wish as he says children are needed only by mortal beings who seek rebirth.

The two sons of Shiva. Thus is born Ganesha. Parvati thus embodies that aspect of domesticated nature. The first marks the destruction of the desire to claim ownership over nature. When Shiva discovers this child. Thus the sons of the hermit Shiva indulge all the desires of the householder. Shiva beheads Daksha. They would not exist if Parvati had not come into the picture. Shiva also beheads Vinayaka. Parvati now wants a son of her own. Parvati argues that children are also needed to receive and give love.

He is immortal and so has no need for children. With each beheading. The third marks the destruction of the desire to block access to nature. In a fit of rage and jealousy. When Vinayaka blocks his path to her. The hermit tapasvin becomes a contributor yajaman in the yagna. By creating a child on her own.

When he finally makes loves. When married. But by then Shiva needs her. But the low value given to emotion in Buddhism was addressed by bhakti traditions. In the yagna-way. She no longer dances on his chest as Kali. Parvati declares her autonomy. Sati exists in the old Vedic way. He refuses to give Parvati the child she wants.

In the puja-way. Devi thus has successfully domesticated him. This violence indicates Shiva. She now sits on his lap as Gauri. She does not need Shiva. Sati is destroyed and when she is reborn. Sati rejects Daksha. He wants to be with her. Shiva transforms into the dancer Nataraja and the musician Vinapani in the presence of Parvati.

If Sati embraces death. She rejuvenates and revitalises Shiva. She asks him questions on the nature of reality and the world. Parvati brings forth life. The domestication of Shiva The yagna-way valued fire. This fire ultimately consumes Sati. She gets Shiva to break the fall of the river Ganga as she descends from the sky and makes its way to earth.

In Hindu tradition. Fire consumes death but water helps in rebirth. Calendar art of Annapoorna. The bull transmits the knowledge of sensory pleasures. The puja-way values water. The birds transmit the ocean of stories. Parvati draws out the heat from within Shiva until the ice melts. The fish transforms into Matsyendranath and transmits esoteric knowledge.

Shiva tells Parvati that he does not feel there is any need for a kitchen in Kailas. She smiles and says.