Reality Software P.O. Box 105 Waldoboro, Me 04572 April 25, 1992 Introduction to the Great

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Reality Software P.O. Box 105 Waldoboro, Me 04572 April 25, 1992 Introduction to the Great Goddess in India and Tibet Welcome to an exploration of the Great Goddess as she lived, and still lives, in India and Tibet. In this region, she is still very much alive, and with the spread of Tibetan Buddhism to the West forced by the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet 40 years ago, the religion of this Great Goddess has actively spread to the West. Although the Great Goddess can be found in one other literature, Celtic mythology written down during the Middle Ages, the wealth of texts and living cult practice is unparalleled in India and Tibet. The complexity that appears is almost overwhelming. A serious academic controversy continues as to whether or not a single Great Goddess exists/existed in South and Central Asia; the number of apparently distinct goddesses, both 'major' and 'minor' that can be tabulated is striking. I proceed from the assumption that the Great Goddess was/is a global phenomenon, although it is easy to loose the 'single pre-eminent deity' when looking at her numerous ephiphanies and manifestations. I sympathasize with those who cannot see see the unity behind the apparent 'ten thousand things'. In any case, this presentation lacks a single skeleton upon which to hang the discussion. The complexity of these mytho-poetics will not allow for that and no overiding theme will be forced on this study. Let us revel in the complexity for its own sake and for the extraordinary diversity of human behavior that is accepted under its umbrella. Hinduism and Buddhism are, perhaps, the most tolerant religions yet to appear on this planet. They are an extraordinary achievement of the human mind. Indian and Tibetan mytho-poetics have long impressed scholars with their complex, multilayered metaphors. In all of history, they may represent the most impressive cultural achievement in this realm for these societies valued intellectual pursuits very, very highly. Ultimate 'knowledge' was experiential, forever beyond intellectual study and accomplishment. Nonetheless, the development of a first rate intellectual mind and the commitment to in-depth, difficult study was always viewed as the essential beginning steps on the road to enlightenment. Such a view is rarely held in the West, where we have such a passion for what is quick, ego-centered, emotional and expressive. We do not have a deep cultural commitment to that which requires a major commitment to deep information gathering and tight, logical philosophy. Integration of such experiences into a life requires, above all, maturity of thought and discipline and the ability to make serious choices for the long-run gain. In our adolescent, ego-riented culture forever obsessed with only today, we spin out accolades for those coming to meet us from Hindu or Buddhist realms. However, we rarely understand them because their message cannot be reduced to cartoon level, easily assimilated, self-help cleverness, however much we try to do just that. The other barrier in confronting these mytho-poetics is sex, something all Westerners are convinced they know a great deal about. As a culture, we are entirely unfamiliar with sexual practice integrated into religion. Within the context of Judao- Christian thought, such ideas were never acceptable to he mainstream and early in the history of both religions were branded heresy and totally sinful, to be persecuted wherever found. The mainstream theology of the West has been puritanical and moralistic since the early Middle Ages. Nonetheless, for several centuries, Gnosticism contained sects which practiced sexual rites within the context of a philosophy that drew heavily upon the New Testament. These Gnostic sects are discussed at some length in the beginning of this study in order to introduce rituals that were practiced in the West that bear some relationship to the integration of sexual rites within the Goddess cults of both Hindus and Buddhism. These practices are spectacular and extreme and their description will challenge many of your basic assumptions about public and private ethics and morality. I have chosen not to avoid these issues, because without them a study of the Great Goddess in India and Tibet would have no meaning. Sexual rites, tantric and otherwise, were central to much cult practice because of the Goddess' intimate association with fertility and life-giving in both the human sphere and the ecological environment at large. (The historical record of sexual ritual in the West has yet go be explored fully and discussed thoughtfully.) The historical record in South and Central Asia is clear, from both written evidence and first hand observation. This is not to say all Goddess ritual was sexual, far from it. More than half of this study is concerned with other matters as the table of contents makes clear. However, when we enter the realm of the Goddess as Giver of Sovereignty and Tantrism, sexual ritual appears in a context loaded with complex metaphysical philosophy. My commitment is, above all, to historical reality. What was, or is, must be witnessed and understood. Understand, that I am a researcher only, not a closet cultist who practices strange rituals, sexual or otherwise. In presenting this material, I am not advocating that myself or anyone should, necessarily, experiment with such practices. Context is everything and by that I mean traditions with deep mytho-poetic meaning that support daily life, secular and ritualistic. The cultural context for these practices, except for some Tantric rites, is forever gone and cannot be recreated. In any case, they were only intended for royalty under special circumstances as explained in the text, or for those of unusual pyschological strength who were naturally inclined and thoroughly prepared to explore pyschic realms that for most people were very dangerous and carried with them the possibility of madness. The potential benefits to the few who entered these realms are discussed in the study. The potential benefits to simply reading about this facet of religious history is that we might broaden our understanding of human nature and see a more complete, complex picture than before. If such an exploration is offensive to you, please do not undertake it. No benefits will accrue; there would be no point in simply getting angry at me or feely morally superior. I strongly recommend that this material not be read by young people, who will not have the maturity or educational backround to properly consider it, or anyone simply after sexual titilation. In either case, the time spent would simply be wasted. The Great Goddess in India and Tibet Table of Contents Introduction.................................................. 1 The Goddess and Tantra........................................ 9 The Goddess and the Horse Sacrifice........................... 17 Evolution of the Indo-European Mare Ritual.................... 22 Of Snakes, Venom and Milk..................................... 22 The Taming of the Goddess in India............................ 23 The Doomsday Mare: Indian Society as a Fusion of Two Mytho- Poetics, the Neolithic Great Goddess and Indo- European................................................. 25 God and Goddess: Sky and Earth................................ 33 The Still Living Indian Goddess: Tantra....................... 34 Denial and Acceptance......................................... 36 Gaia and Sovereignty: Sri Lakshmi ............................ 38 Indo-European Neolithic Goddess Balance: Ménage a Trois....... 46 Creativity, Complexity and Chaos.............................. 47 The Radha Goddess, Smallpox and Mythic Reality ............... 48 Tara: The White and Green Great Goddess in Tibet.............. 52 BIBLIOGRAPHY.................................................. 67 References for Indian and Tibetan History Basham, A.L. 1954. The Wonder That Was India. New York: Grove Press. Shakabpa, T.W.D. 1967. Tibet: A Political History. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press. Snellgrove, D. and H. Richardson. 1968. A Cultural History of Tibet. Boston: Shambala. Wolpert, S. 1991. India. Berkeley, CA.: Univ. of California Press. Yeshe Do Project. 1986. Ancient Tibet. Berkeley, CA: Dharma Publ. REGISTRATION The complete text (indtib.dos or indtib.wpw) comprises 63 single spaced pages and provides an extensive bibiliography. These references are invaluable if your interest motivates you to pursue any of this material further. You also have the option at registration to purchase a version of this package in which the files are formatted for Word Perfect for Windows (WPWIN). These files are identical in content to those formatted for old fashioned ASCII Dos Text but they utilize a desk top publishing format that includes bold, underline, italic and special characters and they have professional 'clean' look. If you have WPWIN and wish to own files with a splashier design, consider registration with this option. The WPWIN package also contains three maps not included with the Dos Text package; see intbbegn.doc. Upon registration, you will also be placed on our permanent mailing list to receive future updates of this study at special reduced rates and flyers about future publications from Reality Software. If you purchased the complete package you will have the complete 63 page study of the Great Goddess in India and Tibet. In addition, you should have each of the files from the shareware package (except sharew.hlp) plus readers.hlp (about the structural design of the presentation and how to use the references); graphics files of a lovely group of Buddhist temples in Thailand (thai.gif), a majestic gold statue of the Buddha (watsuand.gif), and the ancient Japanese House of Lords which is a striking pagoda (JX2VF.gif); a file explaining our study on the Great Goddess in China and Japan (chjapreg.reg); a file explaining our text on the Great Goddess in Celtic realms (celtreg.reg); an on disc flyer describing our study of the White Goddess in Neolithic Europe (whgdsreg.reg); and a file describing our historical timeline that would be a valuable contextual complement to this package (timereg.reg). These graphic files are freeware I have downloaded during my BBS browsing. Some contain advertising which I consider quite legitimate considering the time and effort that goes into their creation. They all quite attractive and a definite visual enhancement to this package. The WPWIN package contains three map files* not included in the Dos text package because they are in .wpg format. They are a political map of India (indiapol.wpg); a topographical map of India (indiatop.wpg); and a topographical map of Central Asia (tibettop.wpg). If any of these files are missing contact RS immediately and we will send you, free of charge, the missing file(s). File Lists DOS TEXT: A Text Files: (1) intbbegn.doc; (2) indtib.doc; (3) indtib.dos; (4) indtib.reg; (5) celtreg.reg; (6) chjpreg.reg; (7) timereg.reg; (8) whgdsreg.reg. B Graphics Files: (1) JX2VF.gif; (2) thai.gif; (3) watsuand.gif. WPWIN A Text Files: (1) intbbegn.wpw; (2) intbdocd.wpw; (3) intib.wpw; (4) intbreg.wpw; (5) celtreg.wpw; (6) chjpreg.wpw; (7) timereg.wpw; (8) whgdreg.wpw. B Graphics Files: (1) tibettop.wpg; (2) indiapol.wpg; (4) indiatop.wpg; (5) JX2VF.gif; (6) thai. gif; (7) watsuand.gif. April 24, 1992 To register, simply fill out the form below and mail to: REALITY SOFTWARE, P.O. BOX 105, WALDOBORO, ME 04572. Name ___________________________________________________ Street Address __________________________________________ Town or City _______________ State ________ Zip _________- GREAT GODDESS IN INDIA AND TIBET TEXT and Docs.* Disc Size 5 1/4" (Quant) __$16 (ASCII) __$17 (WPWIN) Total ___ (US$ each) 3 1/2" (Quant) __$18 (ASCII) __$19 (WPWIN) Total ___ Method of Payment. Check ___ Money Order ____ (Made out to Ben Blumenberg) Where did you obtain INDTIB.ZIP ?____________________________


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank