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Parvati's Tapasya (Illumination, Heroism and Harmony)

Kireet Joshi (Author)

To awaken Shiva from his trance, all the beauty of this world took the form of a woman. Parvati is Nature, Prakriti, and from her union with the Eternal Purusha, a being is to be born who will defeat evil. Parvati is the soul of us all, human beings searching for God. He is destined to met Him and unite with Him. Yet for attaining Him, whom Kama's weapon cannot touch, in a fierce effort she has herself to become the bow, stretched to the extreme, and the arrow, solely pointed at Him. Although She is the great goddess, in order to take her right place on Shiva's lap She has to give up entirely what She was. What a paradox that for conquering the supreme Soul the divine Mother must throw herself into the fire of sacrifice! Even for Her, there is a price to pay, as it were. It is why this story had been called a "supreme fable": it reveals a great secret of human life and demonstrates the nature of action. The present monograph presents an episode of the life of the goddess as recounted by Kalidasa n his epic Kumarasambhava. The poet describes one of the greatest instruments used by ancient Indian seekers in their quest, the method of Tapasya, here undertaken by Parvati herself for the sake of love. Tapasya can be said to include three stage. Firstly, one clearly sees and comprehends that a sacrifice is necessary to achieve one's object. Secondly, one determines to give oneself in sacrifice: integral self-giving, concentration of the will, and gathering of all the different parts of the being around one's purpose are included in this stage. When this is achieved, the desired object is finally attained and the tapaswini or tapaswini experiences a feeling of renewed energy, inner fulfillment and harmony. He or she plunges into great depths of joy and ecstasy. This onograph is aimed at presenting this key-element in ancient Indian culture, and how it could be seen and described through the eyes of a great artist.

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About the author

Kireet Joshi

Kireet Joshi (b. 1931) studied philosophy and law at the Bombay University. He was selected for I.A.S. in 1955 but in 1956 he resigned in order to devote himself at Pondicherry to the study and practice of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. He taught Philosophy and Psychology at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education at Pondicherry and participated in numerous educational experiments under the direct guidance of The Mother. In 1976, Government of Indian invited him to be Educational Adviser in the Ministry of Education. In 1983, he was appointed Special Secretary to the Government of India, and held this post until 1988. He was Member-Secretary of Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratishthan from 1987 to 1993. He was appointed Vice-Chairman of the UNESCO Institute of Education, Hamburg, from 1987 to 1990. In the Ministry of Education, he was incharge of Higher Education. National Commission on Teachers, Languages, Youth Affairs and UNESCO affairs. He had been the Chairman of Auroville Foundation and is currently the chairman of Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR). His published works include: Sri Aurobindo and Integral Yoga, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Education for Character Development, Education for Tomorrow, Education at Crossroads, Philosophy and Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and other Essays and Veda and Indian Culture.

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Bibliographic information

Title Parvati's Tapasya (Illumination, Heroism and Harmony)
Author Kireet Joshi
Format Softcover
Date published: 31.12.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8185636877
length 50p., 8.9" X 5"8cm.