Tara, aka: Tārā, Tāra; 21 Definition(s)
Tara means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
Tārā (तारा):—She is the wife of Bṛhaspati. She was kidnapped by Soma, the moon-god. Soma (the moon-god) and Tārā begat a son called Budha. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.14.3-14)Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana
1) Tāra (तार).—A monkey who was a devotee of Śrī Rāma. This big monkey was the son of Bṛhaspati. Bṛhaspati made this monkey greater in size and intellect than all other monkeys. This Tāra was the minister of Bāli. (Śloka 10, Sarga 17, Bāla Kāṇḍa, Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa and Uttara Rāmāyaṇa). In the Rāma-Rāvaṇa battle this monkey fought against the demon Nikharvaṭa. (Śloka 9, Chapter 285, Vana Parva).
2) Tārā (तारा).—Wife of Bāli, best of Vānaras (monkeys). There are two stories different from each other regarding the birth of Tārā. One version is that Tārā was born during the churning of the Milk-Ocean. Airāvata, Uccaiśśravas, Kalpavṛkṣa, Cintāmaṇi, Kaustubha, Candra, Apsarases, Mahālakṣmī Tārā and Rumā rose from the sea of Milk. (Yuddha Kāṇḍa, Kamba Rāmāyaṇa). The second version is that Tārā was the daughter of Suṣeṇa. Bāli at the time of his death is said to have spoken thus of his wife Tārā "Tārā, daughter of Suṣeṇa, is well learned and is capable of assessing a situation and suggesting the correct thing to be done at that time. If she says a thing is good, it is never otherwise." (Chapter 22, Kiṣkindhā Kāṇḍa, Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa). From this it can be understood that Tārā was the daughter of Suṣeṇa and we get an idea of the character of Tārā also from this. (See under Bāli).
3) Tārā (तारा).—Wife of Bṛhaspati. She was extremely beautiful. Once she fell in love with Candra (Moon) and leaving her husband started living with him. Candra was the disciple of Bṛhaspati. The devas were angry when they found the wife of their preceptor staying with a disciple of his. Bṛhaspati sent word to her to return home but she did not heed. At last the Devas decided to fight against Candra. Then they came to a compromise and Tārā was sent back to Bṛhaspati. In due course Tārā delivered a son. He was Budha, father of Purūravas. There arose then a dispute between Candra and Bṛhaspati regarding the fatherhood of the child. Then the Devas called Tārā and asked her to name the child’s father. Tārā said that the child was of Candra and so Budha was looked after at the house of Candra. (9th Skandha, Bhāgavata).Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
1a) Tāra (तार).—A monkey chief.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 231.
1b) A God of the Harita gaṇa.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 85.
2a) Tārā (तारा).—The wife of Bṛhaspati, and abducted by Soma. Of this union was born Budha. Through Brahmā's influence she was restored to her husband; (came back to Bṛhaspati after a battle between the Devas and the Dānavas).*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa IX. 14. 4-8, 13-14; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 65. 29; Matsya-purāṇa 23. 30-47; 24. 3; Vāyu-purāṇa 90. 28-35, 43. Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 6. 10-33.
2b) A Brahmavādinī.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 33. 18.
2c) A daughter of Suṣeṇa and queen of Vāli; her son was Aṅgada.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 7. 219.
2d) Also Toraṇeśvari and Tārāmbikā; a Śakti living in the midst of waters that could be crossed only by boats of different sizes.*
- * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 35. 12-24, 58; 36. 16; 44. 80.
2e) The goddess enshrined at Kiṣkindhaparvata.*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 13. 46.
2f) One of the ten branches of the Harita group of Devas.*
- * Vāyu-purāṇa 100. 89.
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)
Tārā (तारा, “star”):—The second of the ten Mahāvidyās. She represents the cosmic power of consumption. The human absolute need for food resembles the cosmic force of hunger. The ten Mahāvidyās are the emanations of Mahākālī, the Goddess of time and death. She is depicted as a fearful laughing goddess with four arms entwined with poisonous snakes in her hair. She has three red eyes, a wagging tongue and feaful teeth. Her left foot is standing on a corpseSource: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
The Star (Tārā) is the first force that arises in the Bindu [Golden-Embryo — Hiraṇya-garbha], the cosmic location from which the universe evolves. The nature of the Golden Embryo can well be said to be hunger and its power lies in the ability to devour. The name given to this pure and absolute, hunger is — “the Star” (Tārā).
Although the word Tārā means a star, the Tantras take its etymology to mean “that which leads to the other shore.” “She who brings us to the other shore (Tārāti) is Tārā.”
Just as the nature of hunger is twofold - ravenous, all-consuming, driving, forcing before consumption, and the other pacified, peaceful and contented after consumption —Tārā also is depicted in a dual aspect, the one fierce, fearful, all-devouring, the other pacified and luminous. This is duality is also the nature of the sun and of all beings.Source: Red Zambala: The 10 Great Wisdom Goddesses
Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.
Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)
1) Tārā (तारा) refers to the “eyeballs”. It is one of the parts of the human body with which gestures (āṅgika) are performaned, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. These nine movements of the eyeballs (tārā) are followed by the corresponding nine gestures of the eyeballs (puṭa). These gestures form a part of the histrionic representation (abhinaya).
There are nine kinds of gestures defined for the eyeballs (tārā):
- bhramaṇa (moving round),
- valana (turning),
- pāta, pātana (relaxing),
- calana (trembling),
- saṃpraveśana (drawing inside),
- vivartana (turning sideways),
- samudvṛtta (raising up),
- niṣkrama (going out),
- prākṛta (natural).
2) Tāra (तार, “high”) refers to “high pitches” and is one of the ten characteristics (gati) of the jāti (melodic class), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 28. It is also known as tāragati or tārasvara. Jāti refers to a recognized melody-type and can be seen as a precursor to rāgas which replaced them.
According to the Nāṭyaśāstra 28.93-94, “the high pitch movement (tāra-gati) depending on the first five notes, e.g., The raising of the pitch from the any of the aṃśa notes (svara) should be up to the note fourth from it, or it may be to the fifth note even, but not to any beyond it”.Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra
Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).
Tāra (तार, “high”).—Illustration of tāra-grāma (highest group of tones) according to 15th century art.—The colour of the body of tāra-grāma is light-red. He holds a vīṇā (Indian lute) with both hands. The colour of the scarf is blue with a red design and the lower garment is yellow with a black design. He is well-dressed and his ears, throat and the head are well ornamented.
The illustrations (of, for example Tāra) are found scattered throughout ancient Jain manuscripts from Gujarat. The descriptions of these illustrations of this citrāvalī are based on the ślokas of Vācanācārya Gaṇi Sudhākalaśa’s Saṅgītopaniṣatsāroddhāra (14th century) and Śārṅgadeva’s Saṅgītaratnākara (13th century).Source: archive.org: Illustrations of Indian Music and Dance in Western Indian Style
Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.
Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)
Tara (तर).—tad. affix तरप् (tarap) added to bases showing excellence (अतिशायन (atiśāyana)) when the excellence shown is between two persons; e. g. अनयोः सुकुमारतरः सुकुमारतरा, पचतितराम् (anayoḥ sukumārataraḥ sukumāratarā, pacatitarām); cf. Kas. on P. V.3.57. The affix तरप् (tarap) is called घ (gha) just like तमप् (tamap); cf P.I. 1.22.
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1) Tāra (तार).—Elevated, high; a place for the production of words; cf. T.Pr. XVII. 11;
2) Tāra.—Recital in a high tone which is recommended in the evening time; cf. तारं तु विद्यात्सवने तृतीये, शिरोगतं तत्र सदा प्रयोज्यम् (tāraṃ tu vidyātsavane tṛtīye, śirogataṃ tatra sadā prayojyam) com. on T. Pr. XXIII. 12.Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.
Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)
Tāra (तार) or Tārāgama refers to one of the upāgamas (supplementary scriptures) of the Yogajāgama which is one of the twenty-eight Siddhāntāgama: a classification of the Śaiva division of Śaivāgamas. The Śaivāgamas represent the wisdom that has come down from lord Śiva, received by Pārvatī and accepted by Viṣṇu. The purpose of revealing upāgamas (eg., Tāra-āgama) is to explain more elaborately than that of mūlāgamas (eg., Yogaja-āgama) and to include any new idea if not dealt in mūlāgamas.Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva
Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.
General definition (in Hinduism)
Tara is the wife of Brihaspati. She bore him seven sons and a daughter. She commited adultery with Chandra and gave birth to his son Budha.Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology
In Hinduism, the goddess Tārā (तारा) meaning “star”, is the second of the Dasa (ten) Mahavidyas or “Great Wisdom goddesses”, is a form of Durga or Parvati. Tantric manifestations of Durga or Mahadevi, Kali, or Parvati. As the star is seen as a beautiful but perpetually self-combusting thing, so Tara is perceived at core as the absolute, unquenchable hunger that propels all life.Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism
Tārā (तारा).—The wife of Bṛhaspati. She was kidnapped by the moon-god.Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary
(Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)
Tārā (तारा) is the presiding deity of the western lotus of the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala, according to the Vārāhyabhyudayatantra. She is the presiding lady (kuleśvarī) of the padma (Amitābha) family. The central deity of the vārāhyabhyudaya-maṇḍala is the twelve-armed Vajravarāhī, which is modeled upon the twelve-armed Cakrasaṃvara, thus inhibiting many similar iconographical features.
Tārā has three faces of three colors (red, yellow and green) and is to be visualised as naked and wearing only a agarland of heads, dancing upon the four māras. She has six arms and her attributes include the cihnam (family emblem), the vajra, the double vajra, a red lotus and a wheel.
The lotus upon which Tārā presides has 6 petals and corresponding goddesses residing in pīṭhas (sacred site):
- Śyāmā in Kaliṅga,
- Subhadrā in Lampāka,
- Hayakarṇā in Kāñcī,
- Khagānanā in Himālaya,
- Cakravegā in Pretapurī,
- Khaṇḍarohā in Gṛhadevatā.
The Vārāhyabhyudayatantra is an explanatory tantra on the Laghuśaṃvara, but its verses are largerly extracted from the 10th century Abhidhānottaratantra, a scriputre describing various sādhanas (path towards spiritual realization).
2) Tārā (तारा) is an alternative name of Narteśvarī: a deity to be contemplated upon by a practicioner purifying his correspondences (viśuddhi), according to the Abhisamayamañjarī. Narteśvarī is alternatively known by the name Tārā, one of the traditional consorts of the Buddha and a mother of the yogatantra system. The contemplation is prescribed as a preliminary ritual for a yogin wishing to establish, or reestablish the union with a deity.
Tārā is associated with the element wind and the color green. She is to be visualised as assuming a kāpālika form, naked with loose hair and holding tantric attributes in their four arms.
The Abhisamayamañjarī by Śākyarakṣita is a Buddhist tantric text closely related to the Herukābhisamaya by Lūyīpāda, which in turn is probably based upon the Yoginīsaṃcāratantra.Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayogini
Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.
General definition (in Buddhism)
Tārā (तारा) refers to the “shining goddess” and represents one of the “four Goddesses” (caturdevī) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 4). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., caturdevī and Tārā). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha
Tārā Skt. (Tib., Dolma), lit., “savior”; an emanation of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, said to arise from his tears in order to help him in his work. She embodies the feminine aspect of compassion and is a very popular deity in Tibetan Buddhism. The cult of Tārā was propagated in the 11th century, primarily by Atīsha. Since that time, veneration of Tārā as a yidam has been quite widespread. There are twenty-one forms of Tārā, which are differentiated iconographically by color, posture of the body, and differing attributes, and can in addition appear in either a peaceful or a wrathful manifestation. The most frequently encountered forms are Green Tara and White Tara. The two consorts of the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo (7th century) are regarded as having been embodiments of these two Tārās.Source: Shambala Publications: General
General definition (in Jainism)
Tāra (तार) participated in the war between Rāma and Rāvaṇa, on the side of the latter, as mentioned in Svayambhūdeva’s Paumacariu (Padmacarita, Paumacariya or Rāmāyaṇapurāṇa) chapter 57ff. Svayambhū or Svayambhūdeva (8th or 9th century) was a Jain householder who probably lived in Karnataka. His work recounts the popular Rāma story as known from the older work Rāmāyaṇa (written by Vālmīki). Various chapters [mentioning Tāra] are dedicated to the humongous battle whose armies (known as akṣauhiṇīs) consisted of millions of soldiers, horses and elephants, etc.Source: archive.org: Een Kritische Studie Van Svayambhūdeva’s Paümacariu
Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.
Languages of India and abroad
tara : (adj.) (in cpds.), crossing; passing over. || tārā (f.), star.Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Tārā, (f.) (Sk. tārā=Gr. a)stήr, a)ζton (=Lat. astrum, in E. disaster), Lat. stella, Goth. staírnō, Ohg. sterro (: E. star), perhaps loan word from Semitic sources) a star, a planet Sn. 687 (tārāsabha the lord, lit. “the bull” of the stars, i.e. the Moon).
—gaṇa (tāra°) the host of stars Pv. II, 967 (cando va t. -gaṇe atirocati). —maṇivitāna “star-jewel-awning”; canopy of jewelled stars Vism. 76. (Page 299)
— or —
Tara, (see tarati) (n.) crossing, “transit, ” passing over Sn. 1119 (maccu°).—(adj.) to be crossed, passable, in duttara hard to cross S. IV, 157; Sn. 174, 273 (oghaṃ t. duttaraṃ); Th. 2, 10; It. 57. Also as su-duttara S. I, 35; V, 24.
—esin wanting to pass over J. III, 230 (Page 298)
Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.
ṭara (टर).—f Ridiculing, jeering, deriding: also ridiculed state. v uḍava, kara, uḍa, hō.
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ṭara (टर).—f (Imit.) The whirr! of a spinning top or whirligig.
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ṭāra (टार).—a Wild, wicked, unruly, full of pranks and mischief--a child.
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ṭāra (टार).—m A term for a horse in mentioning the four things of which the price or value is ever varying, or which carry off money beyond all computation; viz. ṭāra, nāra, gāra, sāra, horses, women, jewelry, draughts (i. e. dice). ṭāra n is A puny or sorry horse, and answers to rip, jade, hack. Hence applied angrily to a little and mischievous child.
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tara (तर).—f (S) A ferry-boat: also a raft or float. 2 A ferry. tarīpāra karaṇēṃ To ferry over; to deport over the seas; to transport.
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tara (तर).—ind An adjunct to Sanskrit adjectives, denoting the comparative degree; as duṣṭa, duṣṭatara, Bad, worse.
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tara (तर).—ad Then, in that case; correlative with jara If &c. 2 tara occurs variously as an expletive, and often with great significance and force. Ex. hō ātāṃ mī jātōṃ tara I will not budge a peg; tumhī tara lākha rūpayē māgatāṃ āṇi mī tara kēvaḷa garība paḍalōṃ. madhyēṃ tara disatēṃ or āhē Expresses contingency or conditionality. See parantu.
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tāra (तार).—f ( P) A wire; a piece of catgut; a string of silk &c. 2 A filament or thread of any viscous or inspissated substance. 3 Intoxication: also dullness from watching; dimness of vision from bile &c. v caḍha, yē, lāga. 4 fig. Habitual mind or bearing: also fixed attention; earnest engagedness. v lāga. 5 (Esp. in pl tārā) A low and allusive term for a hair of the pubes. Hence tārā upaṭaṇēṃ, tārā upaṭaṇārā &c. in the vulgar tongue. 6 fig. Thread, train, tenor, connection (as of a discourse). v lāva, lāga, dhara, sōḍa, suṭa. 7 Long-continuing train, proceeding, or subsisting (of a work, as of ploughing, writing, singing, or of any state, as of raining, shining, blowing); a consecution or course gen. v lāva, lāga. tāra ōḷakhaṇēṃ or jāṇaṇēṃ g. of o. To understand the mind, leaning, inclining of. tāra rākhaṇēṃ-sambhāḷaṇēṃ &c. To preserve the good will of. tārēsa ubhā rāhaṇēṃ or tārēnēṃ vāgaṇēṃ or cālaṇēṃ g. of o. To walk in the ways of: also tārēsa ubhā karaṇēṃ, tārēsa utaraṇēṃ g. of o. To meet the pleasure or mind of. tārēsa lāgaṇēṃ or asaṇēṃ To be engrossed by the desire or contemplation of. tārā tōḍaṇēṃ (To snap the chords.) To roar or bellow (overbearingly). gaḷā tāra āhē g. of s. (His &c.) throat is a musical chord. Said of a vocalist.
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tārā (तारा).—m (S) A star. 2 The pupil of the eye. 3 A meteor; a falling star. v tuṭa. 4 A firework,--a kind of rocket. 5 In astrology. The quotient resulting from dividing by nine the number obtained by counting from janmanakṣatra to any candranakṣatra. 6 A term for a smart, expert, clever fellow; an adept, a dabster: also for a beautiful or handsome person. tārē tuṭaṇēṃ To shoot--stars. 2 fig. To shine (in singing); to warble divinely. Said ironically of wretched screaming. Ex. kāya gāṇyācē tārē tuṭa- tāta hō! Said also of foolish talking. Used also, in praise, both of singing and of talking.
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tārā (तारा).—m (tāraṇēṃ or taraṇēṃ) Fordableness or a ford (esp. of creeks and inlets at low water). 2 Floating (upon water or in the air); as jahājācā- mahāgirīcā-vāvaḍīcā-ghārīcā-tārā.Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
ṭara (टर).—f Ridiculing, jeering, deriding also ridiculed state.
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ṭara (टर) [-kan-kara-dinī-diśī, -कन्-कर-दिनी-दिशी].—ad Imit. of the sound in rending.
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tara (तर).—ad Then. f A ferry-boat; a raft. A ferry. tarīpāra karaṇēṃ Ferry over; transport.
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tāra (तार).—f A wire. A filament of any viscous substance. Intoxication. Habitual mind. Long-continuing train. tāra sambhā- ḷaṇēṃ To preserve the good-will of. tārēnēṃ vāgaṇēṃ To walk in the ways of. tārēsa lāgaṇēṃ To be engrossed. tāra tōḍaṇēṃ To roar or bellow.
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tārā (तारा).—m A star. The pupil of the eye. A meteor. A firework. A clever or hand- some fellow. tārē tuṭaṇēṃ To shoot-stars To warble divinely, said ironically of bad singing, also of foolish talking. Used also in praise of good singing or talking.Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
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Search found 60 books and stories containing Tara, Tārā or Tāra. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Indian Buddhist Iconography (by Benoytosh Bhattachacharyya)
The Shiva Purana (by J. L. Shastri)
Chapter 17 - Ten incarnations of Śiva < [Section 3 - Śatarudra-saṃhitā]
Chapter 14 - The origin of the Jyotirliṅga Somanātha < [Section 4 - Koṭirudra-Saṃhitā]
Chapter 50 - The incarnation of Śatākṣī etc. < [Section 5 - Umā-Saṃhitā]
The Vishnu Purana (by Horace Hayman Wilson)
The Gautami Mahatmya (by G. P. Bhatt)
The Devi Bhagavata Purana (by Swami Vijñanananda)