Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Worship of the Divine Feminine

“O Goddess, remover of affliction, be gracious, be gracious, O Mother of the entire world. Be gracious, O Queen of the universe, protect the universe. You, O Goddess, are the Queen of all that moves and does not move.”..... Devī Māhātmya 11.2

"When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be"
. ..... “Let it be” song by The Beatles

Worship of the divine feminine is one of the most ancient religious expressions in India. It has become a truism among scholars of Hinduism that worship of goddesses has its basis in the Indus Valley civilization ( 2500-1500 B.C.E) or another indigenous Indian culture (Austric or Dravidian) rather than in the Vedic or Brahmanic tradition which was imported into the subcontinent during the second millennium B.C.E. by waves of Aryan immigrants. The general argument, stated with various degrees of refinement, is that the pre-Aryans, being concerned mainly with agriculture, worshiped female (and to a lesser extent male) earth deities who represented fertility, regeneration, and the processes of life and death. The Aryans, on the other hand, being nomadic cattle herders and warriors, worshiped primarily male sky deities. When the Aryans settled in India, the argument continues, they took up agriculture and gradually assimilated the indigenous culture(s); thus, the various philosophical movements and cults that came to be called Hinduism are a synthesis of Aryan and non-Aryan elements.

The early inhabitants of India, in the pre-Aryan era, worshiped the mother godess and the Naga, the snake which was the spiritual symbol of wisdom. The snake as the symbol of wisdom can also be traced to the Sumerian tradition, wherein the first episode of genesis in the Bible has its origin. Later the Sophia in Gnostic tradition symbolised the female wisdom of the cosmic potential which due to the action of the dimiurge (creator deity) descended to to the worldly manifestation. All these point to the need for us to pull back to the original state of recognizing the primary Sophia present in all creation especially in the human species and to fully empower this dimension to raise our consciousness to a cosmic plane.

Today the healing touch of the mother is needed much in this world which is ravaged by alienation from a state of being to a state of greed of having. The earth as the mother which abundantly provides its riches from its very being is the only source of our life.

Be it the ancient mantra of the Devī Māhātmya or the 1970 song of Paul McCartney, there is an inner urge in us to reach out to the divine mother in us, irrespective of the name or iconic symbolism that we may employ.

Love to you all

2 comments :

  1. Hello TIBS,

    What a wonderfully elevating worship to Shakti, the female form, the kinetic dimension of the formless, as manifestation and in the nurturing of all life forms on earth!

    Do enjoy your holidaying at Norwich.
    Bhaskar

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  2. Dear Bhaskar,
    Thanks for your comment.
    I enjoy the visit to Norwich not only because my daughter & her family live here but for the access to University of East Anglia and the Forum Library from where I post my Blogs. I will post a picture on the blog of the library.

    Love to you & your family

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