Overview for Mother of Bliss
Feminist theologians in the west have urged a reappropriation of ancient Goddess traditions, arguing that such female religious images would empower women and create a more balanced and humane society. In India, however, Goddess worship is very much alive today. A continuous tradition dating back thousands of years in regions where the worship of the Goddess is most prevalent, it is believed that she can take birth as a human being. This book examines the life of one such figure, Anandamayi Ma, who, until her death in 1982, was widely revered as a saint, guru, and incarnation of God. Born into a poor Brahman family in 1896, Anandamayi Ma became one of the most renowned Hindu holy women of modern times. Finding her religious vocation early, by 1926, Ma had begun her ceaseless travels around India, attracting devotees wherever she went, among them such prominent figures as Kamala Nehru and her daughter Indira Gandhi. By the time of her death, Ma's devotees numbered in the thousands and today they continue to worship her daily in their homes and gather each week to participate in spiritual practices in her name. Drawing on extensive interviews, literature from Ma's movement, and a vast array of other sources, Lisa Hallstrom paints a fascinating and vivid portrait of this extraordinary woman, her ideas, and her continuing influence.
Lisa Lassell Hallstorm (Author)
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