CONTENTS:- 1. The Concept of Female Divinity in Hinduism. 2. Village and Urban Sacred Places. 3. Village and Urban Goddesses: Origins and Associations. 4. Power and Impurity. 5. The Protective Nature of the Goddesses. 6. Local Ritual Practice. 7. Reassessing Local Goddesses.
"At the feet of the Goddess: The divine feminine in local Hindu religion" is an investigation of local Hinduism. It embraces ritual, worship and iconography, rather than philosophy and metaphysics, in two communities. In each of these sites, as is common within many local communities across India, it is female deities that predominate. Although local worship is based on ritual and grounded in tradition that may not be fully comprehended by its adherents, it is also partly based in, and is a reflection of, a more complex metaphysical undercurrent. Local goddesses, in particular, while representing anthropomorphized figures for the majority of their devotees, are concurrently the personifications of the abstract concept of Sakti - female divine energy. This book, which contains colour plate illustrations of temple shrines and goddesses, is a major event in the study of goddess beliefs and practices in India.