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Title: The early history of the Cult of the Mother Goddess in northern Indian Hinduism, with special reference to iconography
Author: Rahman, Mukhlesur
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1965
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The present essay aims at a critical study of the cult of the Mother Goddess in North India from prehistoric times to the end of the 12th century A.D. It consists of a preface, five main chapters, a concluding chapter and two appendices. Chapter I discusses the position of goddess worship in the Vedic period and analyses the attributes of some of the Vedic goddesses to determine the extent to which they have anticipated the Mother Goddess in Hinduism, Chapter II is devoted to some of the non-Aryan village deities and the Matkas. It analyses their functions and attributes and points out their place in Hinduism vis-a-vis that of the Mother Goddess. Chapter III traces the development of the concept of the Mother Goddess in Hinduism from the Vedic period and analyses the evidence of her worship from early Indian literature, Puranic mythology, folklore and epigraphy. Chapter IV examines the archaeological evidence concerning the rise and development of the cult of the Mother Goddess in the prehistoric and historic times in North India. Chapter V makes a critical study of the icons of the Mother Goddess and analyses the various forms in which she appears in the iconoplastic art of early and medieval India. Chapter VI in conclusion gives a brief resume of the salient features of her cult and reviews the place the Mother Goddess now occupies in Hinduism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral