Discourse of Parama Pujya Shri Shri Nimishananda Guruji on Day 7/Day 8 of Navaratri [4th October 2011]
According to the Almanac of Santana Dharma, we get both sapthami and ashtami (the seventh and eighth days after the new moon in the lunar cycle) today. Two new Sages have joined the gathering in Naimisha Aranya. They are Nara Muni and Narayana Muni. Actually, these two Sages dwell here all through the year except during Navaratri. In the Kali Yuga, Devi has already told us that her Jnana will flow to all of us from Naimisha Aranya. Nara Muni and Narayana Muni perform intense meditation and austerity to collect this nectar of Jnana flowing from Devi and gather it in two amrutha kalashas (urns of nectar). Again using their tapo shakthi (power of austerity), they make this nectar of knowledge seep drop by drop into the soil of Bharathavarsha (India). Today, if we are reading a spiritual book, attending a satsang, doing sadhana or getting prompts to perform beneficial and helpful deeds or engaging ourselves in any other kind of noble and sublime action, it is only because of this Jnana dhara (stream of knowledge) constantly activated by these two Sages everyday. This is the first truth.
Nara Muni and Narayana Muni take Saraswati who is Gupta Gamini (the invisible river of knowledge) and make her merge with all the holy rivers in India. In fact, it is the mingling of the nectarine wisdom of Saraswati that makes these rivers holy. This is the second truth. When we go and bathe in these waters charged with the Chaitanya of Maha Saraswati, all our ‘paapa’ or negative karma is washed away. What we call ‘paapa’ or sin is not just the negative karma accumulated from the harmful actions of the body, but also from wrong thinking patterns of the mind and impure feelings generated by the heart in our past lives. Whenever we perform any action which is in accordance with Dharma using our body, mind or intellect, it is called ‘punya’ or a meritorious act. When we perform an action that is contrary either to our spiritual/religious dharma or to the man made laws of our own country, it is classified as ‘paapa’ or a sinful act. This is what the Devi Mahatmyam, Devi herself and all the Vedas tell us.
How do we classify our actions as pure or impure? This process is actually very subtle and has been defined clearly through our shruthis and smritis (scriptures). When we follow the scriptures in our daily life, it is like looking at the road through a very clear windshield. With absolute clarity we know which path to follow and which to avoid. However, when we deliberately flout dharma, our mind becomes opaque and stone hard. If we continue to go against dharma again and again, we get a feeling “I don’t care about others anymore. Whether they live or die, whether they are happy or unhappy – how does it matter to me?” This attitude of callous indifference has been crystallized into the character of Prince Duryodhana in the epic Mahabharata. Because of this attitude, he developed a compulsive feeling that he should go on harassing and torturing the Pandavas who were his satvic cousins. In fact, he was so obsessed with this that he made it into a system and allowed it to dominate his whole life.
In the Kali Yuga, the irony is that when we go against the cosmic law or dharma, we get immense encouragement because of the influence of Kali. But, these acts make the points of adharma keep on accumulating until, one day, a time comes when we are blamed for a far greater crime than we have committed. This is the third truth. Let us look at a simple example. If we get into the habit of driving without fastening our seat belt, then one day, we will be stopped by the traffic police. Unfortunately on that very day, we may have forgotten to take our driving license with us. So, the police impose a very heavy fine for these two seemingly trivial offences against the traffic laws. We may smart under this and feel resentful that the penalty imposed is too severe. However, this fine is not just for the offenses we have committed on that particular day. It is for all the ‘undetected’ traffic violations that we have committed in the days prior to this. Even if we look at those who are in prison, we will find that many of them have been penalized excessively for relatively small crimes. This is because of all the bad points of adharma that they accumulated by constantly flouting dharma in the past. That is why the Devi Mahatmyam declares uncompromisingly, “The moment you break dharma, punishment automatically follows.” This ‘punishment of adharma’ has been given a form called Shiksha Deva (Lord of Punishment). The Devi Mahatmyam says, “All the good things in your life will stop automatically and punishments will follow you one after the other when the gaze of the Shiksha Deva falls upon you.” This is the fourth truth. If we want to come out of this cycle after our life has hit the doldrums of punishment, it requires a lot of penitence and atonement on our part. All these qualities and cosmic laws have been given a form or rupa in our epics. This has been done only to facilitate our visualization and understanding and not with the intention of arousing fear in us. Whenever we step out of the realm of dharma, the Shiksha Deva follows us relentlessly. If someone has cheated us through adharma, we need not worry about it. Retribution will overtake him and he will be automatically punished at some point in his life. This is a cosmic law. Nobody can escape it.
As human beings, all of us are suffering today only because we are going against dharma. Devi says, “Where my Amrita Kalasha (urn of nectar) is established, there is dharma. Where there is dharma, there is happiness, contentment, peace and no hardship.” This is the fifth truth. Today, we often feel that theists face more challenges and difficulties in their lives while the lives of atheists are smooth and trouble-free. However, based on what we have just learnt, we know that this is not true.
Our soul, which is in the human body, is very pure and pristine. When we follow dharma, automatically the Chaitanya of our Soul begins to vibrate synchronously with Devi. This brings us a constant stream of grace from her. However, the very definition of dharma is complex. What is right and dharmic in one situation may become wrong and adharmic in another. So, how do we distinguish between dharma and adharma in our lives every moment? This is where scriptures play a very important role. The Devi Mahatmyam defines dharma, adharma, jnana and ajnana in a masterly manner. This definition is so subtle and comprehensive that we find guidelines to help us in every single situation that we face in life. No aspect is left uncovered. The attention that has been given to every detail can be compared to counting the strands of hair on our head one by one. Nothing is missed out. That is why scriptures are called the blue books or user manuals of our life. This is the sixth truth.
The Devi Mahatmyam has 60 chapters and it takes us a minimum of 40 days to digest each one. Such is the amount of wisdom packed into each and every line of this scripture. In fact, many sadhaks who begin reading the Devi Mahatmyam during Navaratri find that the next Navaratri has already arrived before they have completed one reading. This scripture not only extols the glorious exploits and wisdom of Devi, it also very graphically describes the leela (divine sport) and lustful infatuations of other Gods as well. An ordinary human being cannot understand and accept that even the Gods and their consorts reel under the influence of lust and passion. All this also becomes fodder to nurture and attitude of cynical skepticism and disbelief in the undeveloped and developing human mind. That is why we should have the right attitude when we read the scriptures. For this, we must first be able to segregate the pearls of wisdom in the scripture. Then, using the light of this knowledge we will understand the symbolism and truth being depicted in these episodes. While we read, we should also be constantly aware that everything happens only through the will of God and each happening or episode depicts a vital truth that is necessary for us to implement in our lives. This is the seventh truth.
Just as each episode of the Devi Mahatmyam has a deep underlying meaning, there is a karmic cause behind our lives. All of us are born to fulfill the karma that we have generated in the past. If we want to transcend karma, we must remove our impurities. When we enter the spiritual path, we see this with greater and greater clarity. The first transformation in us when we turn to spirituality is that we start experiencing guilt. Our conscience should be subjected to these qualms of guilt because only when we feel guilty do we become ready for change. This is the eighth truth. However, in spite of this initial transformation, our cravings and temptations continue to bombard us. That is why today, on Durgashtami, Devi Durga is asking us to give up attachment and go beyond temptations and cravings.
In Naimisha Aranya, the Sages hail Devi as Durga, both for having killed the demon Durgama yesterday and for being the destroyer of durita or misfortune. The Sages say, “Amba, the demon Durgama had so much lustre, luminescence and radiance (which came to him through the Vedas) that even You were blinded by it for an instant as You were vanquishing him.”
When we start worshipping Devi as Durga, we become aware that it is our own guilt which is separating us from bliss. At some stage, somewhere, we have committed a heinous crime and are suffering from that subconscious guilt. Or, we feel that we have missed a wonderful opportunity in the past which would have changed our whole life. So, we go on condemning ourselves for our lack of foresight. This also fills us with guilt. When we worship and adore Devi as Goddess Durga, this guilt is completely erased and we are filled with a feeling of benevolence towards ourselves and others. That is why, the Devi Mahatmyam says – “Try your best to do good and noble deeds if you can. Do good at least through your mind, intellect and heart. Even if you cannot do this, never ever harm anybody. Do not be sarcastic, crude or rude. Do not react. Always remain calm and cool. Pray for everybody in your mind and channelize God’s grace and blessings towards them.” This is the ninth truth.
Why should we remove our guilt? Erasing guilt is one of the most important parts of internal purification because guilt makes our life miserable. For example, if we are caught red handed in a lie, we feel very embarrassed and guilty. When we meet the people to whom we lied, we are ashamed to speak to them. However, if they behave normally and make no reference to our lie, we soon feel comfortable again. That is why, most of the time, we don’t repent for our mistakes. Devi says – “While telling lies comes very naturally to you, you find singing the kirtans of God much more difficult. I will now give you some guidelines which will motivate you in the process of purifying yourself by erasing your guilt.”
1. Whenever you go against your conscience, it is like pouring ink into a container of crystal clear water. Each drop makes your mind darker and darker. At this moment, it is so dark that the hue may soon seep into your skin and dye it a dark blue like Shyama Krishna’s. Then, though you may have the outer color of Krishna, the inner effulgence will still be missing!
2. If you feel that something you have done is wrong, atone for it immediately so that your internal purification can begin. When we don’t remove our impurities, whatever we do is marked by obstacles, hindrances and lack of success.
3. I have blessed each and every one of you with some talent or skill. Each human being is immensely creative because I have embedded my own powers in you. At the very least, you have enough talent to win the Nobel Prize.
4. When you are so packed with power, why are you still lagging behind? The guilt and impurity that you have retained is like a big blot that blocks your power and mars your beauty. It is a blot on your mind, talents, skills and internal prowess. Each and everything that you are doing in life is tainted by this blot. If you want to become completely creative, you must remove it.
5. I have established the Amrita Kalasha in Naimisha Aranya in order to purify you because you lack mental purity. I have also placed another Amrita Kalasha within you in the form of your own soul.
6. All your inner strengths must be brought out so that your life becomes bright and glorious. They have been suppressed and buried for too long (That is why we feel frustrated at the lack of our own success and compare ourselves to others who are doing better in life. For instance, we wonder how a classmate of ours who was very mediocre in college has now attained a very good position in his profession compared to us).
When we use these motivational guidelines given by the Divine Mother, we will be propelled from the realm of limitations to the realm of infinite accomplishments. This is the tenth truth. Devi Durga is the greatest and most important Shakti who removes our Durgati or misfortune and throws it out.
Although She has already slain the demon Raktabeejasura in the Devi Mahatmyam, we continue to be haunted by our desires. For instance, when we go to a friend’s house, we begin to evaluate their audio and video systems and calculate how much it must have cost. Instead of this, we should first check whether our own inner audio and video systems are functioning properly. When we sit down to meditate, do we get divine visions or hear divine melodies?
When one desire of ours fructifies, many more arise. When none of our desires fructify, we get completely frustrated in life. That is why Devi says, “Shed your desires. When you worship Me, you will get all that you need. Why are you allowing yourself to be unhappy when happiness is your birthright? Why have you marooned yourself in the desert when I have filled you with boundless abundance? Bring this out by tapping your inner power. When you do this, you need not seek success, success will follow you.” This is the eleventh truth.
On Durgashtami, Devi Durga manifests as a little girl, virgin, married woman and old woman representing all the stages of a woman’s life. This is how the tradition of Kanya and Sumangali pooja began. During Navaratri, She comes in one of these forms to every house where She is adored in order to bless and recharge them with her grace. (Since our fore-fathers were aware of this, they began the tradition of putting rangoli in front of the house to welcome Her.)
As we purify our minds more and more, Devi not only comes to our house, she enthrones Herself in our own mind because she loves and seeks purity. That is why, as we learnt yesterday, Goddess Saraswati was born from the lips of Radha, the fount of purity and unconditional love. By invoking Goddess Saraswati, Lord Krishna prepared the earth in many ways for the advent of the Kali Yuga. Though all of us who are born in this Yuga have souls which are wonderfully pure, the impurities around the soul prevent us from attaining Shuddha Vidya or knowledge.
Until we become staunch followers of dharma, the jnana of Saraswati will never come to us and our inner power will not blossom. That is why, out of a population of ten million people, only ten are blessed with jnana. Here, jnana does not necessarily mean spiritual enlightenment. It is the blossoming of a skill or science, which makes these souls stalwarts in their fields. What are the characteristics that make such people so special?
1. They are internally very pure.
2. All of them follow a principle in their lives and they have total devotion and dedication to it. This could be a principle related to any field like spirituality, science, education, charity etc. They don’t care whether others believe in their principle or not but they remain firmly rooted in it.
3. Such achievers may or may not believe in God. For them, their principle itself is God. So many of them do not need external worship.
4. They are recluses and don’t seek the accolades and appreciation of others. However, they never harm anybody.
5. They are very simple and have few desires.
6. They are eccentric and don’t care what society says about them as long as they are true to their principle.
That is why the Devi Mahatmyam asks us to follow a principle and live a principled life. This is the twelfth truth. Our soul is bereft of our body. So, whether our body, mind and intellect exist or not, our soul continues to exist eternally. But we will understand this only when we live a principled life. However, we should be true to ourselves by following a system or principle only when we have complete faith in it. We should never follow it out of a hypocritical desire to please others. This is the thirteenth truth. We should not follow it because of any kind of external pressure. (For example, let us say we go to a particular temple which has been highly recommended by our friend, with a desire to obtain something transactional. If our prayer is not answered in the way we expect, we will stop going there and say that that deity is useless.) So, this kind of false belief weans us away from God instead of taking us closer to him.
Devi is giving us some more tips about how to evaluate our own present state in life.
1. You are a winner. This is a spiritual truth and not a management technique. How often do you operate from this strong inner conviction?
2. Are you satisfied with yourself?
3. Are you contented with your life?
4. Are your mind, intellect and body working in tandem with your soul? Are the transactional and spiritual realms of your life completely harmonized with each other?
5. Are you always at peace?
If your answer to all these questions is yes, then you have Devi Shakti. You have understood the power of your own soul. This is the fourteenth truth.
This kind of approach takes us to the formless aspect of divinity or Nirguna which can be sustained only if we are highly evolved beings. In fact, compared to our forefathers, we have evolved a lot internally. Though we use logic more than necessary, our intellect is very sharp compared to theirs. Due to our sharp intellect, an enquiry is constantly going on within us. This is also an inner strength given to us by Devi. However, we should use it only in the transactional realm. Once we come to spirituality and are exposed to the scriptures, we should simply accept these truths without question. This is the difference between a theist and an atheist. A theist knows when to use his logic and when to function in the mode of acceptance. An atheist continues to use his logic and intellect to probe into the existence of divinity. Referring to this, the Divine Mother says, “Accept all the truths in the Devi Mahatmyam. Then they will empower you and My blessings will always be with you.” This is the fifteenth truth.
At some point in life, we should turn our enquiry inwards and ask – “Who am I? Where am I heading? What is the purpose of my life? When I am awake, I have a transactional identity, but when I sleep, who am I?” In the Devi Mahatmyam, the Divine Mother says, “If a king and beggar happen to be sleeping next to each other, they are equal in the state of sleep because they are no longer aware of their transactional identities. Only when they wake up do they realise their difference in status. So, it is your identity that is creating a crisis in your life. To overcome this, spend some time everyday in introspection to find out who you are.” This is the sixteenth truth.
When we begin this inner enquiry, we get the discrimination to understand what is right and wrong. We begin to get established in dharma. So, unless and until we are mentally purified, we will be unable to bring out the power in us.
In Naimisha Aranya, Devi says, “When the inner mind is pure, your Vakshakti will get immense power.” As we learnt yesterday, out of 840,000 species of living beings on earth, only man is endowed with Vak Shakti. As our inner purification begins on Durgashtami, the mantra ‘Om Aim Kleem Maha Saraswatyei Namaha’ is created by the Divine Mother to empower our speech. As Lord Krishna’s Chaitanya is also in the ascendant since yesterday because of the manifestation of Saraswati through Him, His beeja mantra of ‘Kleem’ is also interwoven into this moola mantra of Maha Saraswati. Since Durga fills Saraswati with Chaitanya today, the Sages channelise this Chaitanya to us through her beejamantra ‘Aim’. However, to receive this power and utilisize it, we must be completely pure. The more tainted and impure we are inside, the less powerful is our speech.
We may ask, “We have been speaking from the time we were born. So, what is so great about this power of speech?” Here we must understand that we can say that our speech is powerful only when we are able to communicate with others without any problem. When ‘Aim’ is established in us, we can communicate clearly, freely and easily, without wasting words. This is effective communication. The ‘Aimkara’ in us goes into the minds of the people we talk to. So, they understand everything easily and readily agree to cooperate with us all the time. Is this happening to us today? Don’t people question our opinions, instructions and decisions? Don’t we spend most of our lives trying to convince others that we are right? All this indicates that we don’t have ‘Aim’ established within us. This is the seventeenth truth.
To understand effective communication, we must look at the Sages and Sadgurus. Since they understand and communicate their knowledge through ‘Aimkara,’ their commands are rarely questioned. Also, every blessing that comes from them fructifies completely in our lives. When a Sage says, “May everything go well with you”, we feel very blessed and happy. However, if an ordinary human being says the same thing, we may immediately feel insecure and ask, “Why are you saying this? There is nothing wrong with my life as it is.” Since the power of communication is conferred upon us by Maha Saraswati, today, most of us choose this auspicious day to begin the education of our children. Even those who want to pursue learning the fine arts choose this day to begin their training. Maha Saraswati establishes ‘Aim’ in us filling our lives with yashas and karya siddhi (success and accomplishment). That is why Devi says, “When ‘Aim’ gets established in you, Krishna’s bija mantra ‘Kleem’ intertwines the four cosmic breaths (Prana, Vyana, Samana and Udana) together and awakens the God within us called Prananatha who is none other than Lord Krishna himself. When we worship Prananatha i.e Krishna, Saraswati will bless us with the power of communication.
How do we worship Prananatha (the Lord of our vital life force)? Devi says that we must practice Pranayama (yogic breathing techniques) everyday while chanting the mantra ‘Om Aim Kleem Maha Saraswatyei Namaha’. We can chant this mantra in our mind. If we find this difficult, we can chant it aloud. As we do this, we are invoking the madhura bhava (unconditional love) of Lord Krishna’s and the supreme wisdom and Vak Shakti of Goddess Saraswati. This completely recharges our communication skills and we attain new heights. This is the eighteenth truth.
Yesterday, we understood how Goddess Saraswati transforms herself into speech in us. She begins as Para from our Soul, comes to the base of the neck as Madhyama, enters our voice box as Pashyanti and comes out through our mouth as Vaikhari (refer to discourse of day 6). We also learnt that all these four components of speech must be used correctly if we want to communicate effectively. Many times, we may have excellent writing skills, but very poor speaking skills. On the other hand, some of us may be very fluent orators, but bad writers. To have mastery over both is very rare. If our success in our profession is based on the effectiveness of our communication, honing this skill becomes very crucial. When we begin this powerful practice of pranayama and chanting, we will begin to experience its results in 48 days or much earlier. Referring to this, Devi says, “The Devi Mahatmyam gives you effective spirituality in your day to day life.”
Unlike the Sadhus and Sages, we cannot sit under a peepal tree giving up all our duties and responsibilities. All of us are very, very busy people in the Kali Yuga. We have no time for anything. However, we must remember that if our communication skills are ineffective, we will either confuse people or bore them to death. Neither will promote our success in life. So, ultimately we waste a lot of time in trying to convince people, but gain nothing from it. Instead it is far wiser to invest sometime everyday in making our communication skills crisp, concise and effective. In addition to being busy, most of us get trapped in the cycle of boredom. We can’t do the same thing day after day because we get extremely restless. We need constant change and find it very difficult to sit quiet in one place. We call ourselves ‘dynamic go-getters’, but we are ‘going’ only from less tension to more tension and lower stress levels to higher stress levels. That is why Devi says, “Change your internal state once and for all and you can live like a free bird that flies and soars effortlessly in the sky.”
The difficulty that most of us face is that we have very little control. We are constantly bombarded by temptations and cravings which bind us. We should be free from all this. Otherwise, meditation becomes just a painful or mechanical exercise which yields no fruits. We should be able to sit in sadhana without our mind running around everywhere. When we have complete concentration, we will become totally free and nothing will stick to us. This is the nineteenth truth.
It is our temptations and cravings that bind us to a particular place or object. We should not be attached even to our own parents, spouse, children, siblings or friends. We should be good to everybody, but never feel that we cannot live without them. Only when we have this kind of relationship with others, love oozes out from us every moment.
Attachment has many faces and manifests itself in innumerable ways in our lives. For example, let us say that your wife has gone on a long visit to her parents’. If you call her everyday and keep asking her to come back as soon as possible on some pretext or the other, it shows that you are very attached to her. On the other hand, if you have had a disagreement with your wife and she has gone away to her parents’ house in anger, if you keep wishing that she should stay there as long as possible, that is also attachment. When you seek her company it is moha and when you want to distance yourself from her, it is vyamoha. Both are different facets of attachment. In every marriage, the husband and wife have many expectations from each other. As long as we continue to function within this framework of expectations, our relationship is only based on conditional love and attachment. The secret of a successful relationship is very simple. It is to operate from the constant feeling, “I love you as you are. I accept you with all your imperfections because I love you for your soul.” We have a saying, ‘Love is Sacrifice’. This is the twentieth truth. Without sacrifice, there is no love. If we have the right knowledge and good communication skills, we know when and how to sacrifice our ego to maintain and nurture a healthy relationship with everybody. Love lasts only when we are aware when to set aside our ego. Then we are able to take everything in our stride and remain cheerful, loving and happy. Maha Saraswati says, “After marriage you should keep your ahankara (ego), abhimana (self respect) and svabhimana (self esteem) aside and accept each other as you are.” This is the wisdom that Devi is giving us today through the twenty first truth.
Attachment also manifests in another way in our lives. The moment we are attached to a place, person or object, we begin to experience a feeling of familiarity and take them for granted. Over a period of time, we develop an attitude of contempt towards these things. If we find this happening to us in any realm of our lives, we must immediately realize that it signals attachment. Without attachment, we are happy wherever we are. We are happy whether we are in solitude or in the company of others. That is why Devi says, “Cultivate mental purity and mental discipline. Then nothing on Earth can bind you anymore.” This state comes to us when we realize that all the objects to which we are attached are temporary. This is the twenty second truth.
Instead of being bound to objects in this way, we should allow ourselves to get bound to a principle and offer our body, mind and soul to it. Then, we will be free. This is the twenty third truth. We must have a direct goal or aim in life and try to achieve it with total faith, devotion and dedication. Behind the accomplishment of every great person there is at least 20 years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication. This is manava dharma (the cosmic law that rules human life). That is why Devi says, “When you devote yourself to a principle or cause in this way, don’t expect results overnight.”
When we interact with the people around us, we often rake up incidents that happened in the past and begin fights and arguments about it. This makes our relationships bitter. We must never kindle old ashes by raking up incidents that are long past. They are over and we should not allow them to go on influencing and shaping our lives and defining the way we relate to others. We should simply forget the past and make a fresh start every moment. If we want to unload the baggage of unnecessary conflicts, resentment and bitterness, Devi says that we must base our lives on the philosophy, “Yesterday was yesterday, tomorrow is tomorrow, but today is with you right now. Just live in the present and let go of what happened in the past. Don’t anticipate what will happen in the future.” When we live like this, the shackles of attachment fall away on their own and we welcome every moment with exuberance and energy. This is the twenty fourth truth.
When the pressure of our expectations is lifted in this way, our inner powers, abilities and communication skills come to the fore. We realize that we cannot change others, but we can certainly change ourselves. With this realization, our transformation begins. To our great wonder, we see that as we change, the people around us are also automatically transformed for the better. So, change begins from our own inner core and encompasses everybody in our ambit. This is the twenty fifth truth. We must be aware that our own lifestyle and behaviour is constantly setting an example to our own children and shaping their future. So, this is another reason for all of us to begin the process of transformation as early as possible. Today, on Durgashtami, Devi Durga says, “My child, why are you suffering unnecessarily? You are yourself holding on to misery with both hands, but complaining that misery has trapped you. The moment you let go of attachment, you will be on the highway to bliss. This is the only wisdom I want to give you today because I have already slain the demons in you. I have to return the weapons which all the Gods and Goddesses gave me to fight these demons. Their weapons are stained with the blood of the demons. So, before I return their weapons to them tomorrow on the day of adyudha pooja (the day when weapons are worshipped), I have to clean them very well. No demonic qualities should be transferred to the Gods. Only when I purify and recharge their weapons before I return them, will their Chaitanya be completely replenished.”
Based on this philosophy of the Devi Mahatmyam, we have developed the custom of cleaning and decorating all our implements, tools, equipment and vehicles on the day of ayudha pooja. In actuality, we should be worshipping our own inner skills and faculties that we have received from Devi. Our body, mind and intellect which are the instruments of the Soul should be offered at the Lotus Feet of Divine Mother tomorrow with the prayer, “Mother, all this has come from you. Please purify, rejuvenate and recharge them. Let them be used constantly to chant your name and spread your wisdom.” This is true ayudha pooja. This is the twenty sixth truth.
Although there is no necessity to worship your implements, tools, equipment and vehicles tomorrow, there is no harm in doing so, if dropping this custom makes you feel guilty. Let us always have a deep awareness of the intention and purpose behind every action. Otherwise, we will not have clarity about which of our beliefs are rooted in spiritual tradition and which of them have sprouted from superstition. So, we should never engage ourselves in any belief system unless we have complete faith in it.
On the day of Saraswati pooja during Navaratri, most of us have the custom of keeping books in front of the altar and worshipping them. Many times, these books are full of dust because the last time we touched them was only during the previous Navaratri. Once the pooja is over, we dust the kumkum (vermilion) and turmeric from them and push them back into the dusty bookshelf. How can this be considered to be the worship of Saraswati, the Supreme Goddess of Wisdom? If we really want to revere knowledge, we must take the Bhagavad Gita or any other spiritual treatise and read at least one chapter on this day. All this is practical philosophy or spirituality. Most of the time in our lives, we keep the departments of religion, spirituality, profession and family in water tight compartments. In actuality, they are one integral whole. When we follow a spiritual principle with supreme devotion and dedication, it guides us constantly and consistently in each and every department in our life. This is the twenty seventh truth.
Today, let us turn with total surrender to Devi. It is She who has given us our faculties. It is She who has to help us to purify and recharge them and it is She who has to give us the Jnana or knowledge to use them effectively.
May your communication skills blossom through the grace of Goddess Saraswati and Lord Krishna. May all your difficulties, troubles and problems be removed completely by Devi Durga. May your life overflow with wisdom, contentment, peace, prosperity and success. May the grace of the Divine Mother Shri Shri Nimishamba always envelop you. May all beings be happy.