By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Parasakti, ParAZakti, Paraashakti
Parāśakti literally means ‘the great Śakti or power’.
Religion considers God not only as the Father but also as the Mother of this universe. If God is Parabrahman, he is also Parāśakti. These two aspects are inseparable just as fire and its burning power. According to the Śaivāgamas, Śiva as the highest Principle differentiates himself, at the time of evolution of this universe, into Parāśakti, all the while remaining himself unaffected.
From Parāśakti evolves Cicchakti; from Cichhakti comes Anandaśakti; from Ānandaśakti emanates Icchāśakti; from Icchāśakti issues Jñānaśakti; and from this Jñānaśakti emerges Kriyāśakti. Sometimes the five aspects of Śiva like Sadyojāta, Vāmadeva and so on are said to have been derived from the five aspects of Śakti. The word Parāśakti is more frequently used to indicate Pārvatī herself.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore