Devi: The Great Goddess

Devi (in Sanskrit and in English)
HomepageAspects of Devi
Click for full image and description. Full image and description.
River Goddess Ganga on Her Fish Mount. Lent by the San Diego Museum of Art.
Ganga and Vasudhara
Tara and Ambika
The concept of water as potent energy in liquid form appears in the sacred Vedic texts that date back to 1300 B.C. By the start of the current era, the rivers Ganges and Yamuna were personified and invoked as life-giving waters. The celestial Ganges came to earth (starting in the Himalayas and flowing into the plains below) so that the cremated ashes of ancestors could be immersed in her waters thus enabling them to attain salvation.
Click for full image and description.
Full image and description.
Vasudhara, Goddess of Abundance. Private Collection, courtesy Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.
Like her Hindu counterpart, Lakshmi, Vasudhara is the Buddhist goddess of wealth, good fortune and abundance and is one of the most popular household deities of Nepal. Devotees appeal to her for earthly riches and for fertility of the field and womb. This six-armed goddess holds four precious, life-sustaining symbols: a book of knowledge, a sheaf of grain, an auspicious water-filled vessel, and a cluster of jewels.

| Devi Homepage | Text Only |
| Who is Devi | Aspects of Devi | Interpreting Devi | Tantric Devi | Sackler Homepage | Acknowledgements |

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560.
All presented material is copyright © Smithsonian Institution, 1999 except where otherwise noted.