one - many
one – many
it seems to me that it is india which has solved the one-many problem more creatively and successfully than any other civilisation. elsewhere, a monotheistic God displaced the pagan plurality of pantheism; but when the God shuts out their gods, then other intercessors such as angels or saints come crowding in. there was a sadder fate, however, for the goddesses who were driven out of the kaaba. when the holy site was cleansed of polytheistic matriarchical traces, though something was gained by way of clarity and purity, surely a lot was lost.
in india, though the goddesses were incorporated in the patriarchical pantheon as spouses of gods, they did not lose their independence totally. in popular iconography, the most well known goddesses – sarswati, lakshmi, and durga are depicted without their spouses. moreover, the shaktas still accord primacy to the Eternal Feminine as the creatrix of the universe. every woman, consequently, is regarded as embodiment of that primordial energy. to us in india, the motherhood of God is as acceptable as the fatherhood of God.
(from 'sacred india' by makrand paranjpe included in book 'making a difference' edited rukmini sekhar – spic macay publication)