Summary: Good book to read
Comment: An interesting book about the Goddess cult of NW India. Very informative. Shows the various temples, pilgrimages, rituals and so on. Feels like you are experiencing it yourself. An important chapter on the embodiment of divinity, about regular women who become possessed by the Goddess. Shows the controversy around the cessation of animal sacrifice.
Summary: To Know The Goddess
Comment: I've been seeking an historical analysis of The Goddess, particularly Vaishno Devi. (When might she have lived? Did she live an ordinary childhood? Etc.) I didn't find quite as much of that here as I'd hoped, but I found more here than anywhere else. What impressed me about this book is that although the author is an American academic, she didn't limit herself to the dry, detached approach that academics usually take. She took her time and participated in many rituals and got to know the devotees and their experience of the Goddess. She even seemed to have developed some passion for her subject. So I feel that I have gotten the Goddess experience as much as is possible from my armchair.
Summary: Beautiful book about Kali/Durga/Shakti.
Comment: A beautiful book! Altho Kali/Durga/Shakti is a well-known Goddess to many in the West, almost all information about Her worship comes from the Tantrik cults of Southern India.
Here, Erndl introduces the reader to the Northern India Seranvali cult, in which the Goddess is worshipped as the Great Mother.
We are taken on pilgrimages to many Goddess sites, walked through a night-long ceremony in Her honor, and told Her important myths.
This book moved me deeply. Jai Mata Di (Victory to the Goddess)!