Thursday, February 26, 2009
Sarasvati Riverine Goddess of Knowledge: From the Manuscript-carrying Vina-player to the Weapon-wielding Defender of the Dharma - Catherine Ludvik
This is a fascinating depiction of the transformation of the Indian riverine goddess from the manuscript-carrying vina-player to the Buddhist weapon-wielding defender of the Dharma. Drawing on Sanskrit and Chinese textual sources, as well as Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist art historical representations, this book traces the conceptual and iconographic development of the riverine goddess of knowledge Sarasvati from some time after 1750 B.C.E. to the seventh century C.E. Through the study of Chinese translations of no longer extant Sanskrit versions of the Buddhist Sutra of Golden Light the author sheds light on Sarasvati's interactions with other Indian goddess cults and their impact on one another.