Parashakti, the sublime energy, pervades all of nature. She is manifest creation, complementing the supreme consciousness Purusha. Beyond space and time, she is the seed of dynamism, beauty, equanimity and nourishment.
The Lalita Sahasranama describes her through a thousand different names. As the powerful Durga, she is the destroyer of evil. As the vibrant Kamakshi, she is the source of desire. As the wise Saraswati, she bestows knowledge. As the graceful Lakshmi, she leads a person on the path of their lakshya, or goal in life. As the magnificent Mahakali, she is both infinite time and the present moment. As Chhinnamasta, she represents advaita, the non-dual self. As Maya Shakti, she is beyond Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva.
Through tales from the Brahmanda Purana, Devi Bhagawatam, Shiva Purana, Srimad Bhagawatam and other texts, this book takes us on a spirited adventure into the world of the Devi. These stories are open secrets. For those who know how to see beyond the words, perceive the formless through the form, the Goddess comes alive with new meanings that are as insightful as they are inspiring.
Bhanumathi Narasimhan is the younger sister of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. She shares his vision of putting a smile on every face on the planet. She is a meditation teacher. Her workshops have brought about an experience of deep inner peace to thousands of people worldwide. The outer expression of this peace is service to humanity.
Bhanumathi leads the women's welfare and child care initiatives at Art of Living. From a small, free school with thirty children of construction workers, the Gift a Smile project now supports 618 schools with over 64,000 underprivileged children. As the chairperson of the International Women's Conference, her vision is to create a global network of responsible women to catalyse positive transformation in society. Over 5000 women from eighty nationalities have participated in these conferences so far.
She holds a master's degree in Sanskrit Literature from Bangalore University. Trained as a Carnatic singer, people across the world wake up to her soulful albums of sacred chants and melodious bhajans. She has written Gurudev's authorised biography, the bestselling book Gurudev: On the Plateau of the Peak: The Life of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
WE ARE ALL FLOATING IN AN OCEAN OF A SCINTILLATING and vibrant energy called Parashakti. The search for Parashakti leads you gently from the mundane into the subtler realms of creation, and further beyond to the Self. Every time you take a dip and emerge, the world, as you perceived it, will change. There will be light, love and peace. There will be patience, courage and compassion. There will arise many virtuous qualities and, perhaps, intuitive abilities. As the Shakti within you rises, the magic will begin to unfold.
`Shakti' means strength, power, energy. Shakti is the womb of all creation and is expressed as the material aspect of the Divine. Shakti is the seed of all dynamism, radiance, beauty, equanimity, peace and nourishment. Shakti is the life-force.
`Para' is that which is beyond. `Parashakti' is the energy that is the basis of creation, sustenance and dissolution. And this Supreme Source is adored as Mother Divine.
The Vedic tradition refers to the ultimate consciousness as Brahman. The Shaivite tradition calls it the Shiva Consciousness.
Gurudev says, 'To know Shiva, Shakti is needed. The chairs, the walls are all there, but you see them only when light falls upon them. Similarly, the truth is there in the consciousness but to know it, you need energy, Shakti. In a sleepy state of consciousness, you cannot attain anything. By increasing your energy levels, by awakening the Shakti within you, you can see. Shiva is experienced only through Shakti.’ This book, Parashakti, is an effort to take the readers on a beautiful adventure into the vast realms of the consciousness with the help of vibrant stories of the Divine Mother recounted in the various Puranas. These stories are open secrets. The highest knowledge is hidden between the words that tell the tale. But, to solve these riddles, the grace of the Guru is essential. Knowing the deeper meaning helps one look beyond the form and the story and manifest the qualities of the goddess represented by that form in our life.
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