By David R. Kinsley
Goddess worship has lengthy been an important point of Hinduism. during this booklet David Kinsley, writer of The Sword and the Flute—Kali & Krsna: darkish Visions of the bad and the elegant in Hindu Mythology, types out the wealthy but usually chaotic heritage of Hindu goddess worship.
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Extra info for Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition
He is indifferent to the doings of Daksa until Sati kills herself because of the insult to her husband. Sati comes from the realm of established religion, the order of dharma, and marries into the realm of asceticism, thus combining in herself the two opposing worlds. When she kills herself she precipitates a clash between these two worlds, between Daksa and Siva, which is initially destructive but ultimately beneficial and creative. Sati's role is as a mediating influence between the two religious poles, both affirmed to be central, in the Hindu tradition.
Together they combine to generate the fertility that is necessary to all life. In the Vedas the deities Dyaus and Prthivi* are a good example of this type of divine pair and the reciprocal roles they play in generating and sustaining life. Sri-Laksmi in association with Indra seems to represent a later version of the DyausPrthivi1 couple. In this symbiotic relationship the male deity, associated with the sky, is said to fertilize the female deity with his rain. 23 Some traditions also associate Sri-Laksmi with the god Kubera.
Second, elephants suggest royal authority. Kings in ancient India kept stables of elephants, which formed their heavy artillery in military campaigns. Kings often traveled on elephants in ceremonial processions, and in general elephants were considered an important indication of royal authority. 12 To ensure the kings' beneficial influence, it was probably important for them to keep several elephants for their power to bring fertilizing rains. In the king and the elephant, then, are brought together two central themes in the imagery of Sri-Laksmi, royal authority and fertility.