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The word Shakti in the Sanskrit language translates to power. Physical Science has thought us that energy can be classified into various categories namely: mechanical energy, kinetic energy, elastic energy, nuclear energy and so forth. Last night I was blessed to attend a dance drama production entitled 'Shakti'. The drama was held in honour of the Divine Mother during this auspicious period of Aadi. It is during this month that South Indians mainly the Tamil speaking community glorify and worship the Divine Mother. The drama was so emotively choreographed that it raised our consciousness and bhav to the point of tears of love and extolled admiration for the divine.
At this point, questions may be raised on the contradiction that presents itself... where on one hand we say that God has no gender, is formless and is omnipresent and on the other we say that God is a female and to be worshipped as Mother. Hinduism goes further to eulogise the Mother as the creator, sustainer and dissolver of the universe - a function which in some schools of thought is delegated to the patriarchal hierarchy. This in no way unearths any confusion or weakness in concept but brilliantly exposes the strength of Hinduism in its ability to embrace and reach out to humanity at their level of consciousness and understanding. Religion is a belief system that is handed down through time. It is Hindu dharma alone that has the ability to resonate with the evolving mind. There is no strict theology but an allowance for humanity to raise their levels of divinity from the current to the highest level.
Hence man who has come into contact with his own Mother... having experienced and witnessed her strength, compassion, dedication and unconditional love at the physical level can but only think that God who possesses these qualities in infinite proportions to be the Mother of the Universe. Scriptures refer to the supreme energy as Brahman (potential energy) from which this creation is born (kinetic energy) which is collectively called Shakti. Our country's history speaks volumes of the gigantic role played by our Mothers in the dark and turbulent days of apartheid. They single-handedly supported, raised and defended their families whilst their husbands where either exiled, jailed, killed during conflicts or sent to far-off places for employment. Testament to their great efforts and sacrifices... we find many of their children today hold high ranking positions in society. Today Swami Vimokshananda in the Tirukurral class so beautifully dissected Sri Tiruvallavars message that a Mother's joy is beyond expression when her son shall be prominent in society.
So in the context of the global world that we live in today that is plagued by such grief, anguish, starvation , conflict and insecurities... nothing can be as comforting as the embrace of a Mother. We therefore in this auspicious month cry out to her with intensity... as Sri Ramamkrishna once said: "a mother will drop all that she is doing in an instant to attend to her crying child."
The festival of Aadi finds its origin in the South Indian town of Samayapurum which during this period was struck by an epidemic of measles and drought. After the impassionate pleas and worship from the community... relief came to the town. A Mother clad in yellow mysteriously appeared in the town nursing the sick with a mixture of turmeric and syringa paste coupled with hot porridge. These simple natural remedies helped to eradicate the disease that debilitated the village. The Mother was now ready to leave and asked the community to pray sincerely and to offer porridge and distribute it to all during this month. After she left the village, torrential rains swept through the southern parts of India releasing them from the clasps of the severe drought.
This incident is a constant source of inspiration and faith to humanity that sincerity in prayer and faith in the divine shall be the panacea for all mans' problems. The story in itself is a beautiful allegory for the predicament that man always finds himself in. The happiness and peace that we seek is polarised by the deviation and deflection of our thoughts away from divinity towards the world. Our pursuit of wealth and pleasures has become the sole purpose of our existence. Through this path... greed, lust, anger, hatred and jealousy have become the disease that is debilitating mankind and in the course of this, there is a severe drought of spirituality and morality in the world.
The use of simple ingredients by the mother to cure the measles is representative of the simple ways that we need to follow to rid the world of disease of unrighteousness. Speaking the truth; sincerity in word, thought and deed; acting in love, peace and in a non-violent manner are simple yet effective means to raise man to the heights of his divine nature. When he has achieved this state of divinity then the drought of spirituality and morality is removed by the torrential grace of God that flows through us all.
May we all sincerely take refuge in the Divine Mother seeking Her blessings and guidance in making the world peaceful and joyous for all. In prayer let us all strive and contemplate on the inner transformation and journey. In this month of August when we celebrate the achievement of women and also bring to the spotlight the atrocious crimes against women, let us take inspiration from Sri Ramakrishna who lived by the principle that all womem are the manifestation of the Divine Mother. Swami Vivekananda gave prominence to this ideology when He declared that where women are respected and treated with dignity... that society will prosper.
May Mother Adi Parashakti bless us all with peace, love and prosperity is my sincere prayer.
With my palms together in surrender at mothers feet