Sharada Mai A New Look

Sharada Mai A New Look

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Item Code: IDK940
Author: Som Ranchan
Publisher: Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9788129113931
Pages: 70
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5” X 5.5”
Weight 100 gm

Sharada Mai: A New Look examines Mother Sharada in a new light, using the perspectives of Eric Neumann and Erich Fromm, on the Feminine and Productive Love respectively, Marilyan French’s views on feminism and Jungian formulations on levels of the Feminine as a mother, companion, medium and Amazon.

Sharada Mai: A New Look has a regular format. The introduction outlines the scope of the book and the perspectives invoked. It states and argues that Mother Sharada, considering her sway over the West, should also be explained in contemporary conceptuality. So far she has been projected only in terms of Vedanta, Yoga and referentially in terms of the Indian cultural archetype of the Eternal Mother Sharada embodies Saraswati, Lakshmi, Bhavatarni Kali and Bagla. That Mother Sharada embodies Bagla comes as a surprise. Swami Vivekananda was the first to give expression to this idea of Sharada being mild on the outside, but endowed with great strength within.

Sharada Mai had no formal education. In fact, she never went to school and couldn’t read or write. But she had Indian myth and lore on her fingertips. Besides, she was a siddha yogini who could predict the past, present and future of people who came to meet her and could easily read their mind. But these weren’t powers she exhibited too often or to too many people. Though unlettered herself, she could bestow the gift of knowledge on seekers.

As a young girl, she was always cheerful, not being subjected experience. Neither did she crave for the company of others. Holy Mother had no problem with solitude and was centered in supreme knowledge.

We cannot know this occult, mystical side of Mother Sharada. Even Sharadananda admitted to feeling quite inadepuate in comparison and declined to write her biography. I am not concerned with her noetic realities in this book, which is an attempt at presenting her in contemporary/modern terminology for the reader of today. Even in India the attempts to analyse Vedanta, yoga and the India cultural archetype are few and far between, though we invoke these all too familiarly in a flat counter cliché manner.

Sharada Mai: A New Look dares enter where angels fear to tread. I have made a humble attempt at writing this book because I am a sporadic devotee and somewhat familiar with depth psychology, though I have been a teacher of English literature-romancing myth, folklore, and archetypes-right from the undergraduate days.

This book spells out her life narrative in the introduction to serve as a ready reckoner for the interpretations made in the next three chapters which deal with her coniunctio with her spouse, seeing her through the prism of feminism, and as a Puella Sophia respectively.

The introduction-“Sharada Mai: A Narrative’-has been abstracted and adapted from Swami Tapasyananda’s Sri Sarada Devi. It gives a bare outline of her life. One wishes that a writer like Kazantzakis had written her biography. He would have dramatized it in a simple epic sweep.

Back from the Book

So far Mother Sharada has been portrayed in terms of Vedanta, Yoga, or as the archetype of the eternal feminine. But Sharada Mai: A New Look gives us a glimpse of her in the context of contemporary conceptuality. This book examines Mother Sharada in a new light, using the perspectives of Eric Neumann and Eric Fromm, on feminine and productive love, respectively. Marilyn French’s perspectives on feminism and Jungian formulations on different levels of the feminine as a mother, companion, medium, and an Amazon also contribute to this discourse.

Prof Som Ranchan prefers to call himself a resilient scholar and a sporadic devotee. An essayist, a poet, mythologist, folklorist, therapist, and critic, he has authored many books. Som Ranchan was the head of department (English), for a decade, at H.P. University, Shimla. He has worked with the California State University for several years and also has a vast experience in university administration.


Acknowledgments ix
1Sharada Mai: Narrative1
2Sharada Mai: As Magna Master17
3Sharada Mai: The Puella30
4Sharada Mai: A Feminist Mirroring50

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