Articles By H H Maa Purnananda Ji

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Worship Sree Yogmaya Devi & Bhagwaan Sree Ram

By H H Maa Purnananda

“Ya Devi Sarvabhooteshu Vishnumayeti Sansthita; Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namah.” – (Sree Durga Saptashati – 5/16)

The Shlok given here indicates that single-pointed and reflective inner equipment is the basic requirement for invoking the Supreme. Inner integrity achieved by regular spiritual practices, such as Japa and Dhyan along with consistent scriptural reading with utmost faith and fearless acceptance of the same, would lead the seeker to the required focus of mind with the support of comprehensive intellectual understanding of the Sacred Path. Gradually, such a devoted practice transforms the subtle existence of the seeker into a constant and steady union with the concept of the Auspicious Self within. The potential force of pure Consciousness thereafter begins to function through the available subtle and gross bodies of the seeker, opening up the channels for him towards the macrocosmic energy. Henceforth, every thought, word and deed of his exhibit Providence.

Nine Holy Nights of Devi Puja, and on the ninth day itself, at noon, the devout celebrates the Incarnation of Bhagwaan Sree Ram, the Sacred birth of the Lord as the son to Queen Kaushalya and King Dashrath of Ayodhya.

Our Rishi-s and Saints have presented in their inimitable style, the methods and practices for human evolution that would take the sincere seekers to their Ultimate Goal, Self-realization. Though the Navraatri-s fall in every month of Hindu almanac, the auspicious Chaitra and Shardeeya Navraatri-s are chiefly observed due to their connection with Lord Sree Ram. As mentioned, the ninth day noon of Chaitra Navraatri is observed as Sree Ram Navami and the tenth day of Shardeeya Navraatri is observed as Vijaya Dashami, again, victory of Sree Ram over King Raavan of Lanka. All this would not be just a story or just history! But yes, surely it is His Story that conveys very special message to the seekers.

As per the tradition, the seekers observe austerities and worship Mother Goddesses Sree Maha Saraswati Devi, Sree Maha Lakshmi Devi and Sree Maha Durga Devi, by means of Puja, Japa, Dhyan and Sacred Chants of Sree Durga Saptashati for these nine days and nights. All this, when practiced sincerely and with proper understanding, surely turns out to be appropriate means for purification of mind-intellect equipment of the worshiper. Over the years of such practices, slowly this inner equipment (Antahkaran) of the practitioner gets transformed and thereafter gradually the worshiper gets prepared for invocation of the Higher within him. Reading, understanding and contemplation upon the ideas and ideals presented in the marvellous Epic Sree Ramayan, enlighten such a prepared seeker. The true joy and privilege of being with the great Ideal Sree Ram is experienced by the seeker, which further encourages him to pursue Spirituality with more sincerity and determination.

For a student of Vedant philosophy it is important to try to understand the symbolism and significance embedded in Sree Durga Saptashati, which is contained in Sree Maarkandeya Puran as Devi Maahaatmyam. Mere reading this Text year after year, without understanding its import might not fetch the desired results in spite of devotion and sincerity. Of the 13 chapters of Sree Durga Saptashati, how and why the Incarnation of Sree Yogmaya Devi has been conceptualised and depicted as Sree Brahmgranthi Bhedini in the 1st, as Sree Vishnugranthi Bhedini in the 2nd to 4th and as Sree Rudragranthi Bhedini in the 5th to 13th chapters, is to be minutely observed and meticulously practiced. In fact, all the 13 chapters put together, explain the whole process of Spiritual Awakening.

In the 1st chapter itself, the annihilation of the two demons Madhu and Kaitabh is mentioned, which symbolizes the first requirement on the Sacred Path. To begin with, it is of foremost importance for the seeker to practice dispassion towards the worldly objects, which is well defined and explained through an interesting anecdote. The anecdote runs through the 13 chapters, though the focus remains on various amusing and valiant Incarnations of Mother Goddess Sree Yogmaya Devi to fulfil different purposes.

The 2nd to 4th chapters, the annihilation of the infamous demon Mahishaasur is mentioned in a very interesting way. Mahishaasur symbolises the animalistic nature of a human being. The seeker, once sufficiently dispassionate towards the worldly objects, has to thereafter practice to drop his animalistic nature which compels him to act instinctively. Thoughtless and instinctive activities are the biggest impediment on the Spiritual Path. The seeker needs to work hard upon himself to grow out of it at the earliest.

The Rishi continues to explain further about the intense Saadhna, which is required to be practiced by the seeker, when he would be able to introspect and dig within his inner equipment to pinpoint the deeply ingrained my-ness and I-ness in it. Now, he will have to eliminate these, carefully and systematically. Apart from annihilation of the demons such as Chand, Mund, Raktabeej etc., the conclusive annihilation of the demons Nishumbh and Shumbh who characterise ‘my-ness’ and ‘I-ness’ respectively, is mentioned in 5th to 10th chapters. The elimination of these two demons is followed, in the concluding 11th to 13th chapters, by Stuti-Glory of the Mother Goddess, Phalashruti-benefit of the Text and Varapradaan-blessing with boon.

This is an extremely short and insufficient write-up on the beautiful Sree Durga Saptashati, which demands a thorough understanding and deep contemplation. On the auspicious occasion of Chaitra Navraatri and Sree Ram Navami, our sincere prayers to Mother Goddess Sree Yogmaya Devi to bless us with better understanding and proper worship along with appropriate practices, for us to prepare ourselves for invoking Lord Sree Ram in our hearts!