Contents: Foreword. Preface. 1. Introduction. 2. Mother Goddess in the pre-and proto-historic period. 3. Mother Goddess in the Vedic period. 4. Mother Goddess in the post-Indus and pre-Mauryan period. 5. Mother Goddess in the Maurya-Sunga-Kusana period. 6. Mother Goddess in the Gupta and post-Gupta period. 7. Mother Goddess in Hindu and Buddhist Tantras. 8. Folk Goddesses. 9. Sakta Pithas. 10. Rituals and festivals. 11. Resume. Bibliography. Index. From the Foreword: Man from the very beginning of his evolution has been wonder struck at the mystery of creation. Seeing the mother as the concrete creator, he has bestowed both respect and awe for the female principle. It is no surprise then that when man began to entertain even rudiments of religion, statues of Mother Goddess crudely carved stone Venuses of the upper palaeolithic times-were his first religious symbols in anthropomorphic form. Since then the worship of Mother Goddess has become universal in all communities down the ages. India was no exception, and a miniature terracotta figure of a Mother Goddess found at Oriup in Bhagalpur district in Bihar may be one of the earliest such figures of Mother Goddess belonging to Neolithic-Chalcolithic period in Eastern India. In the Harappa culture also, the worship of the Mother Goddess was very prominent and in the Vedic pantheon female Goddesses are quite numerous and important.