Ode to the Goddess!
A meditation teacher, who leads the women welfare and child care initiatives at Art of Living, who also happens to be the sister of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Bhanumathi is the chairperson of the International Women's Conference where her vision is to create a global network of responsible women to catalyse positive transformation in society. She is the author of the bestselling book 'Gurudev: On the Plateau of the Peak', where she gave a rare glimpse into the life of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar from his childhood days. She has been the recipient of several awards including Sadguru Gnanananda National Award (India), Rotary Award for Vocational Excellence and Nari Shakti Award – Lifetime Achievement Award among many others. She has recently penned her second book 'Parashakti: Magical Stories of the Divine Mother' published by Westland Publications and she tells us more in this exclusive conversation.
Excerpts from an interview:
What is 'Parashakti: Magical Stories of the Divine Mother' all about?
The stories of the divine mother have captivated the hearts and minds of millions in our country since times immemorial. I have also enjoyed them as a child. It gives wings to a child's imagination and reinforces faith in a higher power that takes care of us always like a mother. The fantastical depictions open up newer fields of possibilities to a child. However, as I grew up and heard Gurudev speak about the deeper meaning behind these stories I was amazed all over again. The wisdom was so practical and just what was needed to bring the spark of magic into our daily routine. I wanted to share these insights with everyone and wrote this book.
How challenging is it to speak about Hindu philosophy in a book?
Every story from the Puranas has spiritual depth. Only a spiritual master can open your eyes to this wisdom. When you don't have someone guiding the way, then it is a very difficult path to tread. And when you have a guru then the wisdom flows naturally. There is no challenge.
What is your interpretation of the Devi?
Interpretation is at the level of the intellect. The presence of the divinity permeating this entire creation is a tangible reality for me. Gurudev says that we are all floating in a scintillating ocean of energy called the Devi. And this has been my experience.
How have you ensured that an abstract subject is made understandable to the audience?
Our Rishis were very intelligent. They encapsulated deep and profound wisdom into beautiful stories and made it so easy to relate to the knowledge. The way you can use specialised night-vision glasses and see much more than is visible to the eyes otherwise this book is like the lens that is needed to see the pearls of wisdom hidden in the tales.
What is your next book all about?
Well, all I can say now is that it will certainly be a surprise.