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Sixty-four Yoginis : Cult, Icons, and Goddesses (Hardcover) (Anamika Roy)
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The Sixty-Four Yoginis are the lesser known forms of the Goddess Shakti in art and religion. Variously portrayed as malevolent goddesses, deities of tantric rituals, and yoginis of flesh and blood, they are seen as the sixty-four forms of the goddess and the sixty four embraces of Shiva and Shakti. Abandoned temples, stretching from Banda in Uttar Pradesh to Bolangir in Odisha, were once witness to the evolution of the mysterious cult of these goddesses. Shrouded in secrecy, knowledge about them is, till date, closely guarded by the tantric Acaryas. Sixty-Four Yoginis: Cult, Icons and Goddesses deciphers the complex forms of the Yoginis by engaging with the subject historically, aesthetically, theologically and anthropologically; identifies the Yoginis of the temple, of the Puranas, of the tantric texts, of folklore and finally of the Yogini Kaula; and examines the different layers of the complex phenomena based on rigorous fieldwork in the hitherto untraversed terrains where the Yoginis have their abode. The book offers valuable insights for researchers in the fields of religion, myth, culture, history and gender studies. The text of this handsomely produced volume is supplemented with a rich collection of photographs.