Sunday, 2 October 2011

Shubh Navarathri

Aum Namo Narayanaya

|| Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||                               

In a special hymn to the Divine Mother, Shri Shankarcharya said, Jagadambe vichitramantra kim paripurna karunasti cenmayi aparadhaparamparavrtm nahi mata samupekshate sutam.
“O mother of the Universe, there is nothing to be wondered at if thou should’st be full of compassion for me. For a mother does not forsake her son even if he has numerable faults”.

As aspirants are on a quest to unravel the mysteries of the universe and cajole their interpretations within the framework of science, their task becomes unattainable as the grace of God continues to mesmerise the most lettered through the process of creation, sustenance and dissolution. This concept eloquently described as Siristi, Sthiti and Vinashnam in the Devi Mahatmayam.

Mother Universal Kali

But Master Sri Ramakrishna explained in the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

What is the need to know the amount of branches or leaves on a tree when you have come to the orchid to eat mangos. Will our finite mind and intellectual capacity be able to understand this great maya of the perceived world.

It is good enough for us just to have love, devotion and faith in God and according to our nature we will perceive the divine. Although many religions are quite patriarchal in their approach, Hindu Dharma is essentially liberal - allowing the devotee or aspirant the opportunity to approach God in his most comfortable form with the underlying basis that God is one.

It is no wonder then that hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world have taken the Divine Mother as their ishta (personal God). In the two branches of thought, ie. monism and dualistic - one can see God as another or one can understand that God and the self are one. In the dualistic approach which forms the underlying foundation of bhakti, a very special relationship is developed with the ishta.

While growing up we can all give beautiful accounts of the special bond and relationship that we have developed with our mothers. A mother is the reservoir of love and compassion irrespective of your character and appearance. She no doubt is the embodiment of selfless sacrifice. Mothers have lost countless hours of sleep nursing her sick child, worked extreme hours to feed and clothe her children - knowning well one day they will leave her.

Such love is beyond words. If such love is possible by imperfect human beings can you ever image what is possible by the eternal Divine mother of the Universe?  The unconditional, unrestricted river of love that embraces every part of creation is the tonic that can cure the maladies that afflict this world.
But what is the secret to get the attention of our Mother universal? There is no other life documented that has portrayed the most beautiful relationship between a mother and son than that between Sri Ramakrishna and the Divine Mother.

His life demonstrates how the intense yearning and crying for the vision of the Divine Mother culminated in the most divine experience and vision which set out to change the entire course of his life from a mad God man(as called by many in Kolkata ) to Paramahamsa. This episode clearly gives credence to and augments the thoughts of many sages and saints that God does not come to one through elaborate book knowledge; but through intense longing and love, one can then experience God. Yes, God has to be experienced not read about.

When a child is occupied with his toy in a cot, the mother is quite content with her activities and is satisfied that the child is not in need of her. But at the instant that the child starts to cry or scream the mother will immediately drop whatever she is doing to attend to the child. This is the secret to get the attention of the Divine Mother as well, said Master.

We are so intently enjoying the comforts of this world that we have not sent even a glance of a thought towards the Mother. Although She is mindful of us, She will only come to us when we call. Can the toys of the world ever equate to the loving embrace of our mother? Can all the cuisine of the world give nourishment to our soul?

As Her children we undergo many challenges in this world. They can be very overwhelming and stubborn at times. We need not undertake these challenges alone though - like how she took us to school on our first day, or saw our first dance recital or sat with us through our matric exams - in life too we can seek the comfort of our mother universal.

As Durga, She is the fort of our lives, ready to protect us against the challenges of life. Ma Kali is the remover of all our desires which is the biggest obstacle to our joy and happiness. Mother Lakshmi bestows prosperity both materially and spiritually upon us and gives us aim and direction in life. And finally, as Mother Saraswathi, She gives us knowledge of the world but most importantly knowledge of the self to know that we are divine children of her.

Then, why do we behave like beggars? When we want money to buy clothes, or are hungry and want food we go to our mother. Then why are we so shy to ask our mother universal that which is rightfully ours? Take this opportunity my dear brothers and sisters to reconnect with your Mother Divine… cry and intensely long for her… she will undoubtedly answer your call.

I pray sincerely that her love and grace flows abundantly upon all. I conclude with the most loving words of Mother Sarada, “Whenever you are in distress , always remember you have a Mother”.

With love and prayers always

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