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Carlos Cruañas

Two Goddesses of a Yogini Group
Uttar Pradesh. India
11th Century AD
Pink sandstone

In the Kaula and Tantric traditions, Yoginîs were regarded both as flesh-and-blood women with whom male practitioners had intercourse and devouring semidivine beings who were the object of worship cults. [1] Subsequently assimilated by traditional Sanskrit religious cult, they were also considered to represent different aspects of the Great Goddess or Mahâdevî and, as such, were given a preeminent status. [2]

This fragment is particularly interesting because it combines two of the principal aspects of the Yoginîs: a mother with the appearance of a beautiful woman holding her child and a fruit, and a second figure with woman�s body and a mare�s head, holding a bowl and her child with foal�s head.

The Yoginîs are esoteric deities from whom the devout besought magic powers. Temples dedicated to them are found throughout Northern India.
This panel is almost certainly from the area of Rikhiyam in Uttar Pradesh. In this case, it belongs to a group of four.[3]

1 White, David Gordon. The Kiss of the Yoginî. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003:8-10.
2 Dehejia, Vidhya. The Great Goddess. Washington: Arthur M. Sacker Gallery/Smithsonian Institution, 1999: 242.
3 Dehejia, Vidhya. Yogini Cult and Temples. New Delhi: The National Museum, 1986: 118-121.

all text, images � Carlos Cruañas


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