Sri Ma Amrutvani Navaratri Celebrations Ninth Day

Sri Ma Amrutvani Navaratri Celebrations Ninth Day

Desires are endless. The mind is constantly wriggling wrenched by one desire or the other, small or big. Today, man is unable to understand why he is so discontented. He does not know what he is going after. He is unaware of his real goal. He is constantly hankering after worldly goals. No sooner does he achieve one desire than he is ridden with another wish. His wish-list seems to be never ending. Material wants bestow pleasures but not even a little bit of happiness. Since man does not get happiness on obtaining a certain material object he wishes for some other material thing thinking that the happiness he is searching for must be in that. He feels that by gaining materially he will become really happy. He tries his luck at one venture after the other and makes a desperate attempt to gain happiness through material means. However, happiness remains as elusive as it was in the beginning. Man continues to remain discontented and distraught. Youngsters desire for a good job or business, good food, clothing and a luxurious home. Then they want a good spouse and a happy family with two or three happy and healthy children. In this manner desires keep on multiplying. Even after getting everything the mind continues to pine for something else. The mind wants eternal happiness.

Eternal happiness is the goal of all created beings. The Jeevatma (Individual Soul) does not know that real happiness lies in liberation. It continues its journey amidst sensory objects deriving pleasure from their contact and remains oblivious to the resplendence of the Divine Spirit, the fountainhead of perennial bliss.

The seed of God Realisation is in all. All living beings have the innate urge to attain infinite happiness. However, the soul looks for happiness in transient objects not realising that the source of infinite happiness is the SELF alone. Hence, there is a constant struggle to evolve into a higher form of life to enjoy the material world better. Nevertheless, reunion with the creator alone can bestow unending happiness. Only on reaching the doorstep of divine wisdom can a soul taste real bliss.

The Devi Mahatmyam, a collection of verses in adoration of Goddess Shakti or Durga, is a repository of teachings of the Ultimate Truth. It has been composed poetically in a story form to convey secrets underlying God’s creations to even lay persons. Most people usually worship Kali, Chandi, Chamunda, Durga, listen to stories of the slaying of the demons, Mahishasura, Chanda-Munda, Shumbha-Nishumbha etc. and get filled with awe and devotion. However, people do not understand the inner meaning, the quintessence of the narration, the secrets, the teachings that can help the soul cut asunder the veil of Maya (Illusion), go beyond material frontiers into the realm of Spiritual Bliss. During the Navaratri festival the glories of the Divine Mother are narrated. Listening to them and understanding their meaning one can make considerable progress on the spiritual path. By doing Pooja during Navaratri one tries to get rid of inimical tendencies and feelings. Every individual tries to proceed towards the door of salvation by worshipping the Divine Mother. How to get rid of desires, how to cease all mental modifications, how to merge in God, and such other cosmic secrets and different types of Sadhana (spiritual practices) are revealed in the Devi Mahatmyam.

The glories of the Divine Mother are classified into three sections in the Devi Mahatmyam. The synopsis of the first section is that the Primordial Mother awakens Lord Mahavishnu from Yogic sleep and slays the demons Madhu and Kaitabha. In the sequel, the Divine Mother manifests as Mahalakshmi and Durga and delivers devotees from the torments of the demons, Mahishasura and Raktabeeja. In the final section, the Divine Mother takes the form of Mahasaraswati, annihilates the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha and furthers the spiritual seeker on the path of divine knowledge. On Vijayadashami the Divine Mother attains victory over all evil. The spiritual significance of Vijaydashami is that the seeker or devotee conquers the five sense organs (Karmendriya) and their five respective knowledge centres (Jnanendriya), goes beyond the confines of mundane existence and beholds the Effulgence of the All Pervading Divinity. This journey from illusion to Illumination has been depicted in three stages.

The demons Madhu and Kaitabha are present in living beings as Kama (Lust), Krodha (Anger) and Lobha (Greed). They must be conquered if a soul is to progress on the path of Self-Realisation. The Bhagavad Gita unequivocally states that Kama, Krodha and Lobha are the triple gates to hell. Hence, they must be destroyed lest should they ruin the soul. However, victory over the above three must not in the least be considered as the final victory. For, three more vices have to be expunged before the soul enters the realm of the Supreme. All mental impressions too have to be wiped out without a trace for a soul to be able to experience Supreme Bliss. Impressions or Vasanas are very powerful and are born from worldly contact. They underlie all actions of living beings. Their erasure is also a must for spiritual growth. Together, the six vices and mental impressions pose a very high peril to the soul as they are covert in their deeds. They are not present outside but inside and hence can inflict unimaginable and inexplicable damage to the soul. They are like the sweet talking person who always carries a weapon hidden under a cloth and can attack to kill at any moment. Inimical tendencies are like a bomb that can not only explode but also implode causing a complete degeneration of the body, mind and intellect. They cause harm to the world as well as the individual. Harbouring them is no worse than committing suicide. Mental modifications arising from them torment the body, mind and
intellect. The mouth utters unbecoming words. Hands and legs perform actions without discrimination. At that juncture, the conscience does ring the bell of guilt but man continues to live a decadent, debased life. The soul plunges into the abyss of hell.

During the Durga manifestation, the demon Mahishasura dons different guises and attacks the Divine Mother. Likewise, the inimical human tendencies also have taken several forms as impressions and are seated firmly within man.

The end of Mahishasura at the hands of Goddess Durga is followed by the depiction of the killing of the demon Rakta Beeja. Every drop of blood of this demon was giving rise to several thousands of Rakta Beejas. When the Supreme Mother beheld this She invoked Goddess Bhadrakali for his destruction. Mother Kali then arose in Her most dreadful and fierce form. Seeing the relentless device of the demon, Mother Kali spread Her tongue all over the vast expanse of the battlefield and collected Rakta Beeja’s blood on it not allowing even a single drop to fall on the ground. Then, Bhadrakali ate up all the Rakta Beejas, their weapons, horses, elephants and chariots. In this manner, Mother Kali rooted out the menace of a replicating evil force.

There is a very deep precept in this portion of the story during the manifestation of Mother Kali. To regulate the mind, to goad it towards God, people try so many things, they resort to a life of solitude, they live in jungles, shave their heads, don saffron robes and take Sannyas, they fast and mortify their bodies, yet the mind does not come under control. Why? Desires and other evil qualities inside humans are of the nature of Rakta Beeja. When one dies, several thousands are born. The already difficult task now becomes several thousand times harder. Mother Kali teaches us that to conquer the mind, vices and their impressions will have to be completely uprooted and thrown away without leaving even a trace behind. When all mental modifications due to Kama, Krodha, Lobha, and their impressions cease the mind commences to wear a semblance of joy. Tamas and Rajas having been overcome the soul enters the domain of Sattva Guna. The soul reaches the penultimate stage of the spiritual journey. Finally, the soul has to even transcend the Sattva Guna to experience the state of God.