We all want to achieve wealth in our life. But what is the highest wealth or prosperity one could possibly achieve? To do that we need to overcome the Demon of inertia or laziness in us called “Mahishasura”. To kill him, we need to invoke the Durga or Kriya sakthi in us. Only if the Mahishasura of inertia is killed by the Durga of motivation and enthusiasm is there a possibility of reaching the Lakshmi of Prosperity and highest wealth.
How do we do that ?……….. Will be discussed tomorrow………..
In today’s day and age people especially youngsters crave to be wealthy. Wealth is often understood as money and people get intoxicated about accumulating and hoarding wealth. When we read our scriptures we are surprised to know what true wealth is. In Bhagavad Gita Krishna says true wealth is your own skill. Meaning, being creative at work, soft and humorous in words and positive in reactions. The person who embodies these skills is an asset to the society and hence loved and respected by others. Any other kind of wealth is transient and the attraction it brings diminishes as it disappears. However, the qualitative wealth of inner transformation brings care and respect. Everyone should use their opportunities to develop this Lakshmi of inner wealth who sits on a lotus implying that such a skillful person never fails in life. Now, how do we develop this wealth? How long does one have to acquire such skills? We will discuss this tomorrow……
Let us take a closer look at acquiring the “skill” as we talked about yesterday. It is possible to acquire some skills with training and practice, but those skills don’t necessarily relate to a person or his whole personality. Real skill is in being able to provide interesting and inspiring communication, maintain a balance in attitudes and courage in facing adversities. True wisdom comes through the right relations and friendships. Good friends always provide an impetus for positive transformation, while bad company would pull you down. You can contrast the alliance of Arjuna with Krishna and Karna with Duryodhana. Karna was a warrior mightier than Arjun, but the wrong association forced him to support the evil acts of Duryodhana. It cost him his life in return. He could not ask for Dharma to protect him as he was on the side of Adharma at crucial situations. The true wisdom that comes to us from good friends and alliances represent Saraswati. Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge. We say she resides in letters. Letters form words, and good words translate into positive feelings. It is important to educate everyone on the importance of Satsang……..To be a positive presence in other people’s life and always associate with inspiring people. Apart from these great ideas the festivities of Navarathri provide us a lot to learn, which we will discuss tomorrow……..
Hinduism is a religion of multiplicity and innumerable pathways to the eternal truth. Upanishads form the cornerstone in guiding us to discover the purpose of life. A variety of scriptures in various tracts, direct us to highest dimensions of our existence. Today, we see ourselves as a mixture of two factors. On one side is our qualifications, wealth, professional status etc. and on the other is our inner qualities and character. However, there is an increasing disparity between qualification and quality. Education does not necessarily translate into improved values. For us to be acceptable, appreciated and admired it is important that we chisel out the negativities in us. The pictures of Goddess Kali depicts her with a furious face and garland of human heads. This is not to create a fierce female to be afraid of, but the multiple heads are just representations of all negative qualities in us like kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya etc. We have to destroy these qualities uncompromisingly and with enthusiasm. Along with it, if we develop an attitude to share, help, guide and support we will evolve to be useful beings. We talk about “BHADRA KAALI”. If we live a life of “Kala”, or live the art of an inspiring life, such a life will be “bhadram” or well settled. Such a beautifully serene and artistic life is the inspiration we need to derive from Bhadrakaali…….
Like every other story in our scriptures, the stories of Devi also have powerful messages to convey. Unfortunately we often miss out on proper understanding and are intoxicated by the rituals. During Navaratri we hear stories of Devi killing several Asuras. Mahisha, Sumba, Nisumba, Droomralocha, Chanda, Munda, Rakthabeeja etc. If we study the Lalitha Sahasranamam, we understand Devi is not another female but the feminine powers in us that we need to invoke. She represents the intuitive and motivational wisdom. Now, let us see who these Asuras are. Mahishasura represented by a buffalo stands for the inertia or lethargy in us. When overwhelmed by him we eat and sleep like a buffalo, without motivation to do or achieve. For us to achieve, we need to desire growth as well as dedicate our efforts to it. Hence our Ichasakthi should combine with Kriyasakthi. When we put both to work for us, Divinity will come to us. Our sages have advised us to start our day at Bhramamuhurtham (right before sunrise) to stimulate the Saraswati Nadi through which the thought functions travel. It is the seat of emotional control and memories and if stimulated stops us from falling into memory loss. Hence overcoming laziness, getting up in the morning and starting your day with enthusiasm is the Devi in you, killing Mahishasura. This applies to all of your activities as well. We will look at the other asuras in the following days……..
Devi defeated SUMBHA AND NISUMBHA as well. As life progresses we move away from battles fought on the base level of our nature and the material plane of our existence to a battle fought on the mental plane. This time the chief demons are Sumbha (“I” or “Me”, the pseudo-self) and Nisumbha (“Mine”, the attachment we feel). The story says when one brother is knocked off, the other rises. Exactly as in our mind, if it is not about ME….it is always about MINE (me, my family, my wealth, my job, my feelings etc). These thoughts come to us out of our own “Agjnanam”. Agjnanam does not mean lack of knowledge. We live in a world of information, which we deem to be knowledge. However, there is a big difference between the superficial knowledge of things and wisdom of life.This often is the reason for the conflict between generations. Youngsters rely on their world of information and tend to fight seniors who rather rely on wisdom gained through experience. Religions give away informations as well, to sway their followers into “beliefs”. The real truth is what supports our existence. Though externally we all look different, we know the same air and same heat sustains us. As long as we are at the level of the mind it will force us to see differences and categorize as me, mine and not mine. We can oppose or dislike something only if it is “not mine”. So to destroy this negative and destructive Sumbha and Nisumbha (ego and attachment) in us, we have to invoke the Jnanasakthi in us, or rise to the level of the intellect, from the level of the mind. Once JnanaDevi dawns as true understanding of Universality and we learn to look upon everything as part of one truth, Me and mine,(Sumba And Nisumbha) will be killed. If identifications fall off, only the awareness of oneness remains and such a society will be be rich and prosperous with respect and honor. Lakshmi and Saraswathi will exist there together.
We are going to analyze SUMBHA and NISUMBHA in a different context today. We spoke about Mahishasura who represents Aalasya, Sumbha represents Agjnana and Nisumbha is Aviveka. Sumba and Nisumbha are represented as brothers as one sustains and supports the other. Nisumbha, or destructive tendencies in words and action happen because of the presence of Sumbha or ignorance, in the mind. If mind carries kama or desire…. krodha is the external expression when the material of desire is not obtained. So negativism in the mind perpetuates negativism in words and deeds. So it is important that they both are uprooted together. Jnanasakthi (wisdom) to overcome Sumba and Ichasakthi(determination) to overcome Nisumbha are needed. if we provide happiness to others through our words and actions life is an asset. However, if we focus on our happiness and cause misery to others, we are expressing Nisumbha, and life becomes a liability. It is important to know the Asuras that Devi is fighting is within us. We will learn more on overcoming our weaknesses in the following days.
What does the word Asura means? “Assu ramanthe asura” meaning one who indulges in selfish perspectives and uses others to get his things done, is Asura. They are hoarders of wealth and luxuries as well, and wish they own everything that is splendid. They deprive others of valuables, always demand for more, extract from others and exploit the maximum. On the contrary, divinity is in sharing a word or deed with love and compassion. If you look at great relations there is a willful giving without demand or exploitation. Such caring and sharing comes with mutual respect and understanding with no need to ask, request or demand for anything. To reach that blissful state everyone has to forgo their ego and commit to the togetherness. Such a transformation is easy in the presence of positive-minded people or in Satsang. Navrathri should also be a season to vow on self-transformation. A society of such transformed individuals will make the world a better place……
We have all seen the pictures of Ardhanareeswra. However, we know there is no such form as half man and half woman. Ardhanareeswara is the representation of the masculine and feminine powers in us. We all are in fact a blend of Shiva and Sakthi. Meaning, we have male characteristics and female characteristics in us irrespective of our gender. Shiva is the personification of the intellect and discrimination in us. Sakthi, on the other hand, represents our creativity, compassion, and intuitive powers. There is varying expression of these characteristics in each individual. And their expression is irrespective of your external gender. Only if these two powers balance within us, can we reach the higher possibilities of being human. Being too intellectual without compassion or too emotional without discrimination, will result in bad outcomes. So understanding these two powers as two sides of a coin, promoting both and more importantly balancing them within us, is vital to spiritual growth. Only then the flowering of the consciousness happens to take us to the peak of our potentialities……
A child does not try to “know” the mother. But the child considers the mother his world and has ultimate faith in her. In the strength of that faith, his life is taken care of. Each name and form of Devi adorned during Navarathri celebrates a certain attribute in us. By meditating and worshipping her in those forms we enliven those qualities in our lives. Goddess is depicted as riding a lion or tiger alluding to the aspect of courage in our essence. When we have the courage to understand the pitfalls in our personality, we are blessed by Durga. If we ward off those negativities, we are blessed by Kali. The motherly love, sharing and serving attitude is awakened through Parvathy. An attitude of helping and donating is supported by Annapoorna. Passion in action and work is blessed by Lakshmi. Awakening to learning from experiences, guiding and motivating self and others is guided by Saraswathy. The journey through Navarathri with these divine forms should ultimately get us to a life of success at the highest levels of our abilities. We sincerely pray for that grace to dawn on everyone who took this Navarathri journey with us this year……