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DEMYSTIFYING THE MYSTERIOUS CULT OF YOGINIS


SPEAKER:

Professor Anamika Roy is the Former Head of the Department of Ancient History Culture and Archaeology, University of Allahabad. She is a fellow of The Cambridge Philosophical Society, UK. Some of her notable books include, Amaravati Stupa, Brahmi inscriptions of Northern India, Perspectives in Comparative Religions, Sixty-Four Yoginis : Cult, Icons, And Goddesses, and On the trail of the Goddess, Recognising Radha (forthcoming).


SYNOPSIS:

Intriguing temples dedicated to the worship of #yoginis , group #deities symbolising the sacred feminine force, are scattered all over Central and Eastern India, but remained largely unknown and unstudied by scholars till mid-20th century. Even today the beliefs and practices of those who worshiped in these temples remain steeped in mystery.


Who built these temples? Why were they hidden away in forests and deserted areas? Why do they diverge so drastically from the Indian architectural norms? For what sort of powers were the Yoginis worshipped? Is it true that the rituals involved alcohol, blood, and corpses? How prevalent were such beliefs? Were lower caste and tribal people allowed inside these temples? And finally when and why were they abandoned? To answer these and many related questions about the Yoginis we have with us one of the best scholars on this subject.



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