Essay Example on THE worship of mother goddess or earth goddess

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THE worship of mother goddess or earth goddess was an essential feature of harappan religion the three aspects of the mother goddess as creator preserver and destroyer were clearly indicated by the mother goddess figurines excavated from the sites Since the Harappan script still remains un deciphered assumptions with regard to their political economic and religious life are based totally on the numerous clay figurines seals amulets and phallic symbols discovered from the various Indus sites From the motifs occurring on the seals and sealings and the figurines excavated it has been accepted that the Harappan religion centered mainly around the worship of the feminine principle and that the main deity of the Harappans was a Mother Goddess Holding his belief in the cultural diffusion theory Sir John Marshall observes The generally accepted view concerning them is that they represent the Great Mother or Nature Goddess whose cult is believed to have originated in Anatolia probably in Phrygia and spread thence throughout most of Western Asia The worship of Mother Goddess or the Earth Goddess was an essential feature of Harappan religion In the words of Oppert the Indus Valley people believed in the existence of one supreme spirit of Heaven with whom was associated and admitted to an equal and eventually even superior share of power i e the Goddess of Earth 



The Mother Goddess figurines from Indus valley sites are commonly of the same type Terracotta figurines are commonly excavated from the sites along with statues of metals like the dancing girl which was made of bronze and proficiently crafted Irene Gajjar points out that the terracotta tradition of Indus Valley as regards its relationship with western cultures shows evidence of fundamental links especially with reference to the Mother Goddess cult The similarity is not so much in form as it is in the underlying concept the concept of fertility and plenty Crudeness in modeling is another characteristic feature of these Indus Mother Goddess figurines The faces seem to have been stuck together in a hurry the features often being represented by lumps of clay stuck onto the face A few of the terracotta figurines also have horns attached to them While the figurines from Mohenjo Daro are painted with red slip or wash as in ancient Egypt Mesopotamia and Malta those from Harappa retain no trace of paint Sir John Marshall calls these figurines as representations of Mother or the Great Mother the prototype of power Prakriti which developed into that of Shakti in India She is represented by the grama devatas who personify the same power Ernst Mackay reveals the relation between the Indus Valley Mother Goddess and the present day village deities According to him in India today she is the guardian of the house and the village who presides over childbirth and takes a more human interest in their needs



She is altogether closer to her worshippers than any of the recognized Hindu Gods An interesting fact is that these Mother Goddess figurines found at all levels of habitation suggest that they were also the objects of daily domestic worship The Mother Goddess figurines from Chanhudaro are also of the Mohenjodaro type the only difference being that they stand upon a flat more or less open base which recalls the figurines from the pre-Harappan sites of Northern and Southern Baluchistan The fan-shaped headdress is a unique and rare feature of the Indus Mother Goddess figurines According to Mackay this portion is quite unique outside India and at Mohenjodaro it appears to be confined to the figurines of Mother Goddess A band round the forehead apparently of some kind of woven material served to support them in some of them soot-like stains still remain This remarkable headdress stretched over the ears made the wearing of earrings or fashioning of the ears almost impracticable 



According to Marshall the head dress worn by these figures female figures was also that worn by the better class inhabitants of Mohenjodaro for it has always been customary to dress a deity in a familiar costume It is probable that she was a Goddess with attributes very similar to those of the Great Mother Goddess Lady of Heaven and the special patroness of women whose images are found in large numbers at many early sites in Elam Mesopotamia Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean The unique headdress hairstyles and ornamentations of the Indus Valley figurines have been dealt in detail by E C L Casper According to him a larger study at present in progress reveals an astonishing proliferation of head dresses and hair styles among these terracottas Mackay also puts forth that this hair dress was a feature of Mother Goddess figurines In fact what are generally regarded as images of an Earth or Mother Goddess are practically always nude save for quantities of jewellery a wide girdle and their remarkable head dress The clay figurines were kept in every house and streets of Harappa and Mohenjodaro as a tutelary deity much as the Mother Goddess They are still followed in India as the guardian of the house and the village with offerings for daily needs


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