Growing a Kingdom: The Goddess of Depth in Vizianagaram

Don Handelman, M. V. Krishnayya and David Shulman

The denizens of wilderness often differ from those of civilization and kingdom. People of the wilderness enter into and are specialists in the flowing, recursive depths of cosmos. They are fishermen who plumb the currents and depths of water, like those who aid in the creation of the goddess Paiditalli. They are hunters who roam the steep heights and depths of mountains, about whom myths abound. They are healers who plumb the deep interiors of human beings (and deities).

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There is a dimension of intimacy in the goddess’s relations with human beings. Her sense of intimacy and caring is an interior quality that relates to the depths of others or, more accurately, to the deepening of these depths.

Originally published as a chapter of One God, Two Goddesses, Three Studies of South Indian Cosmology, Leiden, Brill, 2014.