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How To Bring A Goddess Into Being Through Visible Sound

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Chapter Summary

That language may have more important tasks than "meaning" was axiomatic for Sanskrit grammarians and poeticians. Śabda-pradhāna texts may have “meaning” of one kind or another, a classic discussion in the Mīmāmsā decides in favor of the meaningfulness of the Vedic mantras, but semantics matters much less than the automatic effectual and creative powers inherent in pure sound. Sounds seemingly have an autonomous, non-adventitious career. Upaniṣadic-style correspondences between sound and psycho-cosmic entities become routine in much later Yogic and Tantric texts, although, as we shall see, the ritual uses of such correspondences are radically reconceived. The Saundarya-laharī (SL) celebrates the goddess Tripura-sundarī, “the most beautiful in the tripartite cosmos,” who is the main deity of the Kaula system known as Śrī-vidyā.

Keywords: Goddess; pure sound; Saundarya-laharī (SL); vedic mantra

10.1163/ej.9789004158108.i-377.82
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