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Shakti: Realm of the Divine Mother Paperback – 21 Jul 2008
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"A thoroughly interesting and memorable book." (Yoga Magazine, Nov 2008)
" . . . 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 authros, 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)
"This is an excellent introduction into the world of Hindu culture, easy to understand, yet filled with details that will titillate your mind and imagination." (Sonia von Matt Stoddard, Awareness Magazine, Vol. 16 No.1, Jan/Feb 2009)
From the Back Cover
RELIGION / HINDUISM
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 aspects 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 Auribindo, 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.
MATAJI DEVI VANAMALI has written six books on the gods of the Hindu pantheon, including The Play of God and The Song of Rama, as well as translating the Bhagavad Gita. She is the founder and president of Vanamali Gita Yogashram, dedicated to sharing the wisdom of Sanatana Dharma and charitable service to children. She lives at the Vanamali ashram at Rishikesh in northern India.
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