Shakti: Realm of the Divine Mother
Vanamali provides a clear and eloquent explanation of the different functions of Shakti and how they are an integral part of the Absolute. For disciples of Shri Anandi Ma and Dhyanyogi, the stories she shares from the ancient texts will provide background and meaning to enrich the Lakshmi puja and Kali chanting that are hosted annually by Dhyanyoga Centers. more details in product description
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Symbolism provides powerful metaphors for understanding Indian philosophy, and since ancient times, pictorial representations of God took on both masculine and feminine natures. The universal absolute and formless state became associated with the masculine form while manifested energy of nature became associated with the feminine. One can't exist without the other. Vanamali provides a clear and eloquent explanation of the different functions of Shakti and how they are an integral part of the Absolute. For disciples of Shri Anandi Ma and Dhyanyogi, the stories she shares from the ancient texts will provide background and meaning to enrich the Lakshmi puja and Kali chanting that are hosted annually by Dhyanyoga Centers.
From back cover: Shakti is synonymous with the Devi, the Divine Mother or divine power that manifests, sustains, and transforms the universe. She is the womb of all creatures, and it is through her that the One becomes the many. Our first and primary relationship to the world is through the mother, the source of love, security, and nourishment. Extending this relationship to worship of a cosmic being as mother was a natural step found not only in the Shakti cult of Hinduism but also in ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Babylonian cultures. Shakti presents more than 30 goddess incarnations of the Divine Mother that represent both the beneficial and malefic goddesses of the Shakti force. From Lakshmi, Parvati, and Saraswati to Durga, Chandika, and Kali—each of the different functions of the female goddesses in the Hindu pantheon is revealed, accompanied by traditional Sanskrit hymns, classic verses by Sri Aurobindo, and discussions of tantric philosophy. The author draws from the Devi Bhagavatham, which describes all the stories of Shakti, and the Devi Mahatmyam, the most powerful scriptural text that glorifies Shakti in her form as Durga. Using these texts she shows that through the power and grace of the Divine Mother we may be released from the darkness of ignorance and taken to the abode of knowledge, immortality, and bliss—the source from which we have come.
Paperback 314 pages, four appendixes and a glossary of Sanskrit terms used. Reviews: " . . . what makes this book different is that Vanamali goes beyond the stories of over thirty avatars in order to discuss the esoteric significance of each incarnation. Vanamali has accomplished the gargantuan task of bringing the many different aspects of Devi into a single book. . . . spectacularly researched . . . " (Sunitha Jayan, Feminist Review, Nov 2008) "Too often, our sources of information about the Hindu Great Mother arise from Western authors. These authors, no matter how sincere, tinge their works with Western ideas. Vanamali moves us past that blockage. Her understandings are authentic and innate, steeped in the cultural frame she's lived amid. Vanamali takes us beyond the superficial into a deep understanding of the divine balance between Shakti and Shiva." (Moondance, Feb 2009)