YS 208 | Devīmāhātmya: Greatness of the Goddess

Available for Self-Study


Course Description

This course offers an in-depth study of the Devīmāhātmya, the foundational Sanskrit text of Indian Great Goddess worship. Composed some fifteen centuries ago, it signals the Brahmanical sanctification and crystallization of indigenous Great Goddess traditions thriving on the Indian subcontinent for untold centuries prior.

We will perform a close reading and analysis of the monumental feats of the Goddess Durgā, who quells demonic forces and restores the sovereignty of the gods. She is the refuge of all, restoring order to the cosmos in times of peril. We will also examine the four hymns to the Goddess incanted by the gods throughout the text, paying special attention to the theological vision of the feminine divine they advance.

Reading the Devīmāhātmya

Beyond the “world within the text”, we will also look at the “world beyond the text”, turning out attention to the vibrant ritual life of the Devīmāhātmya during the Nine Nights autumnal Goddess festival, and the role the text plays in the worship of the Goddess across the Hindu world.

In this course, we will be reading selections of the Devīmāhātmya in English translation based on the Thomas Coburn edition. 

Join Dr. Raj Balkaran and a global cohort of students for a captivating journey into the tales of the Goddess as recounted in the Devīmāhātmya.  

Course Modules

Students Will Receive: 

  • 12 pre-recorded class sessions (90 min each)
  • 5 YS Credits
  • 18 Hours of CE credit with YA
  • Course Syllabus (PDF)
  • 6 Multiple Choice Quizzes (for fun)
  • Yogic Studies Certificate upon completion (PDF)
  • Access to the private Yogic Studies Online Community Forum

Dr. Raj Balkaran

Continuing Studies Tutor, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies

With Hinduism degrees from the University of Toronto and University of Calgary, Dr. Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Hindu mythology and author of The Goddess and the King in Indian Myth (2018) and The Goddess and the Sun in Indian Myth (2020), both published as part of Routledge’s Hindu Studies Series.

Alongside his academic training, Raj apprenticed with an Indian master for twelve years as part of a living oral tradition dedicated to the preservation and application of Hindu philosophy. He therefore brings hundreds of hours of traditional transmissions on yoga philosophy to the table, which he dovetails with academic rigor and captivating storytelling to deliver impactful instruction at Yogic Studies.

A seasoned online educator, Raj also teaches online courses privately and at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. Beyond teaching and research, Raj enjoys a thriving consulting practice and hosts the New Books in Hindu Studies podcast.

Website: rajbalkaran.com

Enrollment is OPEN

Regular Tuition


One-Time Payment

  • Lifetime access to YS 208

Regular Tuition

$100 x 2

Two Monthly Payments

  • Lifetime access to YS 208

Membership Program


Monthly Subscription

  • Access to YS 208

  • Access to all YS + BS courses—including live and future courses 

  • Access to SKT 100a + SKT 100b


This course is eligible for 18 hours of Continued Education (CE) credits with Yoga Alliance

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