Goddess Traditions in India
Theological Poems and Philosophical Tales in the Tripurārahasya
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This book on the Tripurārahasya, a South Indian Sanskrit work which occupies a unique place in the Śākta literature, is a study of the Śrīvidyā and Śākta traditions in the context of South Indian intellectual history in the late middle ages.
Associated with the religious tradition known as Śrīvidyā and devoted to the cult of the Goddess Tripurā, the text was probably composed between the 13th and the 16th century CE. The analysis of its narrative parts addresses questions about the relationships between Tantric and Purāṇic goddesses. The discussion of its philosophical and theological teachings tackles problems related to the relationships between Sākta and Śaiva traditions. The stylistic devices adopted by the author(s) of the work deal uniquely with doctrinal and ritual elements of the Śrīvidyā through the medium of a literary and poetic language. This stylistic peculiarity distinguishes the Tripurārahasya from many other Tantric texts, characterized by a more technical language.
The book is intended for researchers in the field of Asian Studies, Indology, Philosophical, Theological or Religious Studies, Hindu Studies, Tantric Studies and South Asian Religion and Philosophy, in particular those interested in Śākta and Śaiva philosophic-religious traditions.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Introduction; PART I MYTHS AND RITUALS Chapter 1 The Tripurārahasya and the Śrīvidyā Tradition Chapter 2 The Iconic Form of the Goddess Chapter 3 Tripurā as Kāmākṣī and Lalitā Chapter 4 The Island of Jewels and the Śrīcakra PART II PHILOSOPHICAL AND THEOLOGICAL TEACHINGS Chapter 1 Tripurā as Immanent and Transcendent Divine Consciousness Chapter 2 The Reformulation of the Svātantryavāda and Ābhāsavāda Chapter 3 The Goddess as Word-Energy Chapter 4 The Path towards Jīvanmukti PART III SYNOPSIS OF THE MĀHĀTMYAKHAṆḌA OF THE TRIPURĀRAHASYA With an Annotated Translation of the Stotras and of Selected Passages Descent of the Scripture (Śāstrāvatāra); Presentation of the Spiritual Teachers; Story of Paraśurāma; The Sage Saṃvarta; Dattātreya and His Teaching; Tripurā as Mother of the Worlds; The Goddesses as Forms of Tripurā; The Threefold Kumārī; Lakṣmī and the Deeds of her Son Kāma; Kāma and Tripurā; Gaurī; Marriage of Pārvatī and Śiva; Origin of the Cult of the Śivaliṅga; Kāma and Tripurā/Kāmākṣī; Birth of Skanda; Bhāratī; Kātyātanī; Caṇḍikā; Kālī; Durgā; Lalitāmāhātmya; Rebirth of Kāma; Birth and First Deeds of Bhaṇḍa; Maṇidvīpa and Śrīcakra; Antecedents of the Fight between Bhaṇḍa and Lalita; The Battle; Lalitā Triumphant; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index of the Translated Passages and Stotras
Silvia Schwarz Linder holds a PhD in South Asian Studies from the Institute of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, Vienna University, Austria. She is currently a Research Associate at the Institute for Indology and Central Asian Studies, Leipzig University, Germany and Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, UK. Her interests focus on the Tantric religious traditions of the Śrīvidyā and the Pāñcarātra.