The Divine and Demoniac Mahisha's Heroic Struggle with Durga

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Item Code: NAB025
Author: Carmel Berkson
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Edition: 1997
ISBN: 0195643712
Pages: 318 (B&W illus.:28)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.4" x 5.5"
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Book Description

Of the many images of divine female power in Hindu iconography, the strongest is arguably that of the Goddess Durga slaying the Buffalo-demon, Mahisha. Basing her discussion on the classical Hindu version of this legend, Carmel Berkson intersperses her analysis of the psychological meaning of the narrative with observation of how the present-day attitudes and behaviour of Hindu men bear out such an interpretation. Hailed as an 'encyclopaedic work' in a foreword by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty, The Divine and Demoniac succeeds in combining a thorough, fully contextualized study of myth and ritual complex with the author's own vivid personal interpretation. Written in an engaging style and illustrated with photographs, this book is an essential read for all those interested in religion, sociology and psychoanalysis.

Book Reviews:

'Berkson's book... combines copious referencing with a bold psychoanalytical framework, into which she further unhesitatingly brings personal insights, experiences and feelings.'
Kamala Ganesh.

'She has read deeply into Sanskrit shastras. And she has revealed in her book' the startling changes of myths by various imaginations.'
Mulk Raj Anand, The Hindustan Times.

About the Authoress:

Carmel Berkson is a well known photographer and writer on Indian sculpture, based in New York, Israel and Bombay. She is the author of Ellora: Concept and Style, and joint author( with Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty and George Michell) of Elephanta: The Cave of Shiva.


List of Plates Abbreviations

One   Family and Society in Contemporary India
Two   Birth of the Hero
Three The Labour of Mahisa
Four  The Demon/Deity Spectrums
Five  The Mahisa/Devi Encounters
Six   The Battle
Seven The Battle as Sacrifice: Mahisa as victim 
Eight Festivals: Myth/Rite Equations
Nine  The Life Stages of the Hero: Depiction in Stone


I.   Birth of Mahisa
II.  Sacred Marriage
III. Struggle with the Mother
IV.  Death and Resurrection
V.   Animal Associations

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