The focus of this thesis is on Rādhā, consort of the cowherd god Kṛṣṇa. She is a popular in Bengal and the Braj region, and is beloved by many traditions that venerate Kṛṣṇa. However, she has many facets and means different things to different communities. She is often presented as a model devotee of Kṛṣṇa, but is also frequently venerated as the supreme Goddess. This thesis is an analysis of how the category of texts known as the purāṇas have portrayed her. By analysing the purāṇas’ depictions of Rādhā, this thesis will primarily fill in some gaps in our understanding of the history of this goddess. The purāṇas’ function as vehicles for transmitting different theologies, mythologies and practices for so many people and communities render them a valuable source in understanding Rādhā and her development. An analysis of Rādhā in the purāṇas will not only be valuable in and of itself as filling a gap in the scholarship surrounding this goddess in the purāṇas specifically, but will aid in our understanding of how she is portrayed beyond the purāṇas as well. By discerning Rādhā’s place in the purāṇas, we will have more tools to understand how Rādhā theologies in different traditions and communities may have arisen and developed. 

HPI Student Milestone, Lotte Scheel

Venue

Room: 
E356 Forgan Smith East