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Freud's IndiaSigmund Freud and India's First Psychoanalyst Girindrasekhar Bose$
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Alf Hiltebeitel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190878375

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190878375.001.0001

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The Oceanic Goddess in the Gift to Freud

The Oceanic Goddess in the Gift to Freud

(p.253) 9 The Oceanic Goddess in the Gift to Freud
Freud's India

Alf Hiltebeitel

Oxford University Press

With the premise that the Viṣṇu on Freud’s desk implies an unmanifest goddess, chapter 9 answers why Bose’s gift was not a Bengali goddess like Kālī or Durgā. It looks further at the iconography of Ananta, Viṣṇu, and the Goddess at the south Indian Vaikuṇṭha Perumāḷ temple studied by Dennis Hudson, and then at the Śākta or Goddess-oriented text of the Devī-Māhātmya. Vaikuṇṭha Perumāḷ temple panels show Pañcarātra vyūha manifestations of Viṣṇu’s creative and destructive roles, and also images of Viṣṇu’s two wives plus an invisible Nīlā as his yoganidrā, who awakens him. The connection with the Devī-Māhātmya comes through in this temple’s iconography of Madhusūdana, related to Viṣṇu lying on Ananta. The Devī-Māhātmya, a pan-Indian text especially popular in Bose’s Bengal, supplies a version of the Madhusūdana myth, and is Bose’s likely reference point for his gift to Freud.

Keywords:   Vaikuṇṭha Perumāḷ temple, Pañcarātra, vyūha, Devī-Māhātmya, Madhusūdana, prakṛti, yoganidrā, unplumbable navel

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