Navaratri Satsang - Day 3
During this Navaratri the Divine Mother has revealed to us how important it is to keep our minds stable if we want to go beyond the external form of Divinity and transcend time and space. Now that we have seen the important role shlokas and mantras play in stabilising the mind, we must also remember that faith and devotion are indispensable if we want our lives to be smooth and successful. When we have implicit faith in Devi, our lives are free from anxiety, fear and worry. The Devi Mahatmyam assures us that when there is a crisis in our lives which we unable to resolve, The Divine Mother manifests Herself to set things right and balance our lives. With total faith that is free from expectations we should say – “Mother, I have offered this problem at Your Lotus Feet.” Then we should completely stop thinking about the problem and sing or chant Her stutis [hymns that extol the qualities of Devi]. The Divine Mother will take care of the problem and resolve the crisis for us.
It is easy to understand this if we relate it to the way a mother takes care of her child. Till the baby is able to walk, the mother carries him in her arms. After he is a little older, she holds him by the hand and teaches him to walk. When he begins toddling unsteadily, she walks beside him to prevent him from falling. When he begins running around confidently, she stops following him around, but she always keeps a vigilant eye upon him. Even if she is out of sight when her child gets into trouble, he only has to say – “Mother” and she is beside him in a trice cradling him in her arms. When a human mother is so loving and protective, how can the Divine Mother be any less compassionate? When we, as Her children offer everything at Her Feet with complete faith and call – “Mother”, She comes running to us. However, as long as we have the delusion that we are in complete control of our lives and feel we are managing everything on our own, it is impossible to see Her though She is always with us.
Most of the time we get into trouble and face crises in life because we lack discrimination. We do not know to whom we should be attached and from whom we should be detached. We do not know what our priorities should be. We are not aware of the future or the karma that is in store for us. So often the decisions which we think are right land us in great trouble later. That is why we should offer everything at the Lotus Feet of the Divine Mother who is all-knowing, all-powerful and ever compassionate. When somebody gives us a child to hold, we automatically hug him close to our chest. Devi is the same. Once we offer ourselves consciously to Her care, She holds us securely in Her arms. She will take complete charge of our lives and protect us from the shackles of karma we have fashioned ourselves. She will never allow fate and destiny to work in our lives anymore. Without Devi we remain in the merciless clutches of time and fate. Only Devi can protect us and liberate us.
Devi Mahatmyam of the Kali Yuga begins with the meeting between King Suratha who has lost his kingdom through treachery and the businessman Samadhi who has been swindled of all his wealth through betrayal by his own family. Both of them are deeply hurt by the disloyalty and deception practiced by their relatives and are grieving over their lost status in life. In spite of all this, they are still attached to those who plotted against them and find it difficult to come to terms with this sudden crisis in their lives. They come across each other in the forest outside the hermitage of Sage Medhas. After sharing their sorrow with each other, they are wonder struck by the similarity of their predicaments. They decide to enter the hermitage and seek the guidance of Sage Medhas in resolving their problems. They are hospitably welcomed by the Sage who listens patiently as they pour out their grief and says –“Yes, troubles and sorrow come to everybody in life, but remember that this can also be a blessing in disguise. If you surrender to the Divine Mother and pray to Her to resolve your crisis, She will certainly intervene. Your coming here together is not a coincidence, but truly Her Divine Providence. Let me narrate the greatness and leela or divine sport of Devi to you…” Thus begins the narration of Devi Mahatmyam in the Kali Yuga.
Through these three central figures in the Devi Mahatmyam we understand many subtle truths:
- Attachment can make us blind to the true character of people and hide their flaws from our gaze, throwing us open to betrayal as it happened to King Suratha and the businessman Samadhi.
- Excessive attachment or ‘vyamoha’ also makes it impossible for us to accept life as it as it comes. It fills us with expectations which sap our peace of mind, contentment and joy in life. So we become obsessed with our problems and forget to count our blessings or rejoice in them.
- ‘Suratha’ means ‘golden chariot’ in Sanskrit. Just as a miner recognizes the gold in the ore, we should recognize the divine strengths in others and make them blossom. Instead of thinking of ourselves and our needs all the time, we should think of others and do whatever we can to resolve their troubles and problems. Each one of us should become a golden chariot to take others to peace, contentment and bliss. When we have absolute faith in Devi it will empower us to use our name, fame and power to ignite the same faith in others and transport them to the benevolent refuge of the Her Lotus Feet.
- ‘Samadhi’ means ‘perfect equipoise’. In the Devi Mahatmyam, Sage Medhas tells Samadhi –“Let go of all the resentment against those who betrayed and cheated you. Let go of your attachment to them. Let go of all your expectations and grievances. Then you will be filled with peace and contentment. Your mind will be at rest. You will reach a state of complete equipoise where nothing and nobody can shake you.” We too should let go of any resentment that we have against others. The feeling of animosity is nothing but slow poison – it poisons our mind and makes our life bitter. It does not allow us to sip the nectar of Devi’s Grace and prevents it from flowing to others through us. Forgiveness releases us from the bondage of enmity and allows us to shower the sweetness of the Divine Mother’s love on all beings.
- Medhas means ‘Jnana’ or knowledge. ‘Medini’ is another name for Mother Earth who nurtures all of us. Sage Medhas represents the epitome of perfection and knowledge that we can all attain on Earth when we offer ourselves at the Lotus Feet of the Divine Mother in complete surrender.
Today, let us sit for a while in solitude and pray to Devi –“Mother please remove the excessive attachment that is within me and give me the awareness that nothing belongs to me because it is Your Divine Will that creates, sustains and dissolves everything. Make my faith in You strong and abiding. Mother, as Your child, I offer everything at Your Lotus Feet. May Your love always envelope me.”
May the Divine Mother always walk with you. May all beings be happy.