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.
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.
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.
Dr. Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Indian mythology and a spiritual adept. A seasoned online educator, he is also the Founder of the online School of Indian Wisdom where he creates and delivers original online courses integrating scholarship, storytelling and spirituality to apply Indian wisdom teachings to modern life. Beyond teaching and research, Dr. Raj runs a thriving life coaching practice, delivers public talks, and hosts the Indian Religions podcast. See https://rajbalkaran.com for more information.
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