The Introduction refutes the idea that premodern Indian Buddhism was a “mother-rejecting” tradition and argues that, in fact, it had a complex and ambivalent relationship with mothers and motherhood. It clarifies that this book explores maternal imagery and discourse in Indian Buddhism, drawing primarily on textual sources preserved in Pali and Sanskrit. It focuses not on motherhood as a divine principle or universal archetype, but on human motherhood as a symbol, image, trope, or discourse. It limits itself to the Mainstream and Mahāyāna traditions, and leaves Tantric or Vajrayāna Buddhism aside.
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