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Four Goddesses and a Liṅga: The So-called Śaktiliṅgas and Similar Sculptures

Sakta Conference 2011
Somerville College, Oxford
Professor Gudrun Bühnemann
Sunday, 11 September 2011 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

The paper will discuss types of liṅgas featuring four goddesses facing outward. These include a complex Tantric sculpture from Nepal (17th century) and its possible prototypes, the so-called śakti- or devīlingas found in Bengal, dating from the 9th to 13th centuries. A major problem is the identity of the four goddesses and the significance of these sculptures. The paper will also address the more general phenomenon of feminine liṅgas, namely liṅgas serving as a focus of goddess cult worship.

Gudrun Bühnemann is Professor and Chair of the Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia, The University of Wisconsin-Madison. For more information, see her webpage,