The Goddess in the Hindu Tradition Research Paper by immortal

The Goddess in the Hindu Tradition
An exploration of the significance of the Goddess within the Hindu tradition.
# 47266 | 4,192 words | 17 sources | MLA | 2002 | AU
Published on Feb 03, 2004 in History (Religion) , Religion and Theology (Eastern) , Women Studies (Spirituality)

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A very involved and thorough examination through both primary and secondary textual sources of the figure of the Goddess within Hindu tradition. A history of Hinduism and the development of its deity plurality is outlined, with specific reference to the many and varied female deities. A more detailed history of the development of goddesses is included, outlining the symbolic and mythical purpose of the female figure to the male figure. The Shakti principle is discussed, along with specific Hindu philosophy as found in the numerous Puranas, or Hindu texts. The importance of the female aspect in life as creator is highlighted specifically in regards to the Tantric tradition. The paper's final conclusion outlines the underlying, two-fold way in which the Goddess has gained theological significance within the Hindu tradition.

From the Paper:

"Goddesses have been worshiped throughout the world for thousands of years. However unlike most cultures, goddess worship persisted within the Hindu tradition and continued in to modern times using a combination of both traditional and original forms. Today goddesses exist alongside masculine deities as some of the most important figures within the Hindu pantheon. The Hindu tradition itself has not remained unchanged however. What is understood as "Hinduism" today has been the result of a dynamic and ever-changing tradition which continues to evolve and adapt as time progresses. The nature of this spirituality is therefore such that it almost becomes impossible to identify one religion or one tradition that can be truly identified as "Hindu." Similarly, the concept of the goddess figure within this tradition has also changed, her theology evolving to reflect the differing stages of the Hindu tradition. As such, the significance of the goddess today does not reflect an accurate account of her historical place within this tradition. To discover the significance of the goddess today an exploration of the development of Hinduism is necessary, as well as an understanding of the transformation the goddess figure underwent from individuated identity to unified "goddess" energy. This will thus lay the foundation for an examination of the two prime theological functions to which the goddess became attached for within the Hindu tradition."

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