Navaratri Satsang - Day 8
Yesterday we understood that without the Grace and Guidance of a Guru, it is impossible to vanquish our negative ego symbolised by the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha. We also offered our prayers to Devi asking Her to come into our lives in the form of a Guru to liberate us from the tyranny of the demonic forces within us. Today, on the auspicious day of Durgashtami, the Divine Mother manifests as Durga to remove all our troubles and problems. In Sanskrit the word Durga is expanded as ‘Dur Gacchathi Durga’ which means ‘the One who drives out troubles is called Durga’. Nobody is free from troubles in this world. Why are we always inviting troubles? Why are we always experiencing problems?
While around twenty five percent of our troubles come from the karma of our past lives, the other seventy five percent is generated by our desires and expectations in this life. All our troubles and problems manifest first as frequencies of energy at the level of the mind and intellect and then percolate down to the physical level. If we analyse the kind of problems we face in our lives, we will discover that our karma manifests in five basic ways:
- Through the health and well being of our physical body
- Through our power, status, name, fame, reputation or self respect in society
- Through our profession, finance, wealth, property and possessions
- Through our intellectual and mental abilities and well being
- Through our relationships
If we have problems in any of these arenas in our lives, it means that our karma is still active. We are aware that intense spiritual sadhana burns all our karma to ashes. However, though we perform so much sadhana and go on so many pilgrimages, we are still unable to dissolve our karma. This is because we do not have enough faith and belief in our sadhana. So we join more and more courses to learn different techniques of meditation. What is meditation? It is very simple and easy. All we have to do when we meditate is to keep the mind focused on Divinity. We should simply keep our attention on our own Chaitanya or consciousness, either with a divine form or without one. This process is much easier if we have the Grace and Guidance of a Guru to empower us.
Meditation is a ‘Pushpaka Vimana’ or flying chariot that can transport us to any of the seven subtle worlds. We can sit comfortably in our own houses and travel to Vaikuntha, Kailasa, Satya Loka or Manidweepa [the divine abodes of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Devi] whenever we like if we only know how to meditate. We do not require a passport, visa or air ticket for this journey in the realm of Consciousness. All we need is the ability to keep our minds focused on Divinity.
Why are we finding this so difficult? There is one basic mistake that most of us make in our spiritual practice. As soon as we sit for sadhana we begin to meditate without giving the mind enough time to relax or settle down. So instead of focusing, the mind goes into the spiral of hyperactivity and jumps constantly from one thought to another or it slips into lethargy and tends to go to sleep. So most of our time during sadhana is spent in battling with the mind and trying to bring it under our control. Instead of this, as soon as we sit down for sadhana, we should first chant a few shlokas to invoke the grace of Divinity and then begin to chant a mantra. If we have a Guru we can chant the Mantra we have received from Him. If we do not have a Guru, we can chant a mantra of Devi or our favourite deity. When we begin to chant this mantra with our eyes closed, the mind unwinds and relaxes. As we continue to chant, the mind becomes more and more stable and focused… we feel very light inside… our minds become free…we experience a feeling of great peace…without being aware of it, we slip effortlessly into meditation. When we practice this everyday, meditation becomes easier and easier and we experience more and more joy and peace as our karma begins to dissolve. Our external life is also transformed because it s a reflection of our inner state of fulfillment.
During the first three days of Navaratri, we understood the significance of the Divine Mother’s external form. On the next three days we refined and defined our feelings of faith, belief, devotion and surrender to assimilate Her contemplative form. Today let us intensify our sadhana further so that we can experience the meditative form of Mother. To accomplish this let us chant the mantra ‘Om Dhoom Durgaayei Namaha’ and allow it to lead us to a meditative state very naturally and effortlessly. When we chant this mantra, it envelopes us in an armour of Supreme Divine Protection. That is why it is also called the ‘Maha Kavacha Mantra’. It protects us from all kinds of hazards including danger from thieves, anti-social elements, schemers and connivers, political manipulators, animals, natural catastrophes, ill-health and accidents. It removes all our fears, anxieties and worries. So we can also chant this mantra whenever we feel scared, tense or stressed. As we begin to chant it, all forms of Devi come and dissolve into Goddess Durga to nurture and protect us.
We may think that exercising regularly and eating moderately is enough to protect us from ill-health. However, along with this we must also chant the name of Devi constantly because we need Her armour of Protection more than anything else. When fear, anxiety and worry sap the vitality in our ‘nara nadis’ or energy meridians, we are throwing ourselves open to all kinds of illnesses. The powerful mantra ‘Om Dhoom Durgaayei Namaha’ removes all our miseries and bestows us with robust health and mental strength. It removes all our fears by giving us the experiential awareness that Devi is always with us. So we never feel alone or lonely anymore. We can also chant this mantra before we begin homas [fire rituals], pujas [ritualistic worship] or sadhana to ensure that these are not interrupted by disturbances of any kind.
All of us know that we have many flaws and need the Grace of a Guru to make us perfect. So let us invoke the Divine Mother as our Guru today by chanting this mantra. Let us all close our eyes and pray – “Mother, as our Guru please remove all the impurities and imperfections in us. Give us mental solitude and concentration so that we may constantly experience Your meditative form from today.” Having offered this prayer at Her Lotus Feet, let us make a Sankalpa or resolution asking Devi to remove any one trouble that is bothering us most… We need not have any inhibitions about revealing our innermost secrets to the Divine Mother because there is nothing She does not know… Now, let us begin our meditation by chanting the mantra “Om Dhoom Durgaayei Namaha...” together….[Chanting and Meditation]
Slowly open your eyes. On this auspicious day of Durgashtami, when your Sankalpa Shakti or power of resolution is most powerful, you have made a resolution offering your trouble at the Lotus Feet of Mother Durga who is the absolver of all hardships. A mountainous load has been lifted from your hearts. Have total faith and belief that the Divine Mother, as your Guru will protect you completely so that no trouble comes near you from today. The stronger your faith, the more effective your Sankalpa. You will begin to experience the power of your Sankalpa within 48 hours and it will fructify completely within 48 days.
May the Divine Mother remove all your troubles. May all of you be blessed with physical, mental and spiritual strength. May all of you enjoy good health and a long life filled with peace, prosperity, contentment and bliss. May the hardships of all the beings in this world be removed forever. Let them all be enlightened and lead joyous, blissful lives in the light of Your Grace. May all beings be happy.
Jai Matha. Hari Om Tat Sat.