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  • Writer's pictureFlorentine Faltin

Who Is Parā-Devī?

"Parā on the Triple White Light Lotus 1" is my favourite image from a series on the Supreme Goddess of the Trika Lineage that I completed a few weeks ago. Parā is usually visualised on a triple white light lotus arising out of the center of being. She is seated (or, as here, standing) on a magnificent lotus towering above the meditator. Her blessing nectar overflows and drips onto the meditator, you, flowing into the center of your being. Her scintillating, sparkling beauty speaks of Her power, but also transmits the love She showers on you.

The Supreme Goddess

But who is She? Who is Parā? I mean, everyone knows Kālī, the fierce Indian Goddess. There are images of Her all over the place, all sorts of people report all sorts of things about Her. But Parā? She still is a bit of a mystery. You’ll have a hard time finding images, though there are more of them becoming available these days. But you’ll hardly find out much more about Her than that.

Paraa-Devi the Supreme Goddess

Parā-Devī is translated as “Supreme Goddess”. She is the embodiment of pratibhā – a Sanskrit term meaning “intuitive insight, embodied instinct and creative inspiration”. She is also said to be the Power of Awareness and the Power of Autonomy or Freedom.

This all sounds very beautiful, you’re probably thinking, but what of it? Why is that important, and what does that mean in practice? Who is She?

As always, I can only speak for myself and of my own experiences here.

A Case of Possession

Parā-Devī turned up for me one day in early Spring a few years ago, completely out of the blue. I had never heard or seen images of Her before. Yet, the instant She appeared I knew who She was.

She appeared. Manifested in front of my eyes, a tangible presence of powerful energy in the form of a female Goddess of unsurpassed beauty, shining white light, pure love and power and energy.

After showing Herself, She started interacting with me, until at a certain point, She slipped into my body, became “me” and I was Her. You might say I was possessed, and maybe I was. If so, it was the most beautiful case of possession I’ve ever had and would gladly take it again any day (and indeed, it happens every now and then).

The Light Goddess 3

This encounter with a Goddess I had never even heard of became a powerful and driving force behind the spiritual path I had embarked on just a few years before. Where before I was looking for awakening in the huge field full of flowers that is spirituality, walking a few steps from one flower to the next, but never finding a way to the other end of the field, She instantly manifested the Path that would take me through that field to where I wanted to go.

I wanted to sing to Her, day and night, to worship and honour Her in every possible way. I was never a religious person, worship always seemed bizarre to me. But now, I was doing it day and night, and couldn’t stop. It quickly became clear to me that “I” wasn’t in control, the show was being run by Her alone, and there was little I could do to stop it.

Which I didn’t want to anyway. So I didn’t.

I went along with what She so clearly wanted. I surrendered to Her, and life became so much better. Not easier, necessarily, or more fun, initially, but there was a clear purpose and method. Not that I knew the method.

Knowing Without Knowing

But if I was calm enough to quieten my mind and get my thoughts out of the way, I heard Her voice inside me. Gently nudging me in one direction or the other. Ideas popping up out of nowhere. Surprising actions that I would never really do – but suddenly found myself doing without hesitation. (Like creating this website…) The inner certainty that a weird or surprising decision must – or mustn’t – be made. “Knowing” something is right or true or good. Clarity, but without knowing anything.

This was and still is the strangest aspect of having Parā-Devī guide my life. When I think I “know” something, it turns out to be mostly useless, vague information that isn’t ever very helpful in getting through life. When I surrender to emptiness, let the still void take hold of me, “I” “know” what needs to be done, and how, and when. Everything becomes so clear and simple. That stillness gives Her space to speak, and me to hear. I know things, know just what to do, and how. Intuitive insight, embodied instinct and creative inspiration.

But – planning becomes more and more difficult.

This blog post started out as something completely different that may yet happen, but I wasn’t getting anywhere with it. I started four times over but never got past the first paragraph. Then, I figured I’d look for a picture I’d like to share more about and within minutes, words started pouring out onto the screen.

Since I’m not a teacher of my lineage, I feel very hesitant to share much about the details of the tradition, as many of the teachings traditionally aren’t supposed to be shared with non-initiates. So, I hadn’t wanted to go into much detail on Her images. Those in my lineage would understand, and others might still appreciate the beauty. But after I’d finished the first paragraph of this post, the second one immediately followed, and the third and the fourth, and here we are. Her doing.

Of course, you could say that I’m the one doing the writing, so I must know what I’m doing, must have some control over where this is going. But I don’t.

I am the vessel for Her words, I have the fingers She needs to type this post. It feels like an exercise in dictation. I never know what’s coming next.

I didn’t even know the point of this post before I started writing though every guide about writing blog posts will tell you that’s wrong and you need to have a plan before starting out. Well, you don’t. And this is how most of my life feels at this point.

Emptiness, Surrender, Listening

Emptying myself, surrendering, and listening to what She’s telling me and then doing it, unquestioned.

No, of course I wouldn’t go out there and shoot someone on the street. But then, She probably wouldn’t indicate that. I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter, now. Because right now, now is what matters, and right now, She’s telling me to write. Actually, to finish up, which I will.

Because now you know a bit more about Parā-Devī. She’s a living presence in my life and the lives of many. She’s powerful, She doesn’t mess around, She’s very clear about what She wants, and She’s very clear about what She gives. Blessings beyond measure.

And I’m blessed to be Hers.

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