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Next Event – 9th July, Sunday, Guru Poornima – Datta Poojan from 19:30
Denominations of Hinduism Series – Vaishnavism, Saivism, Shaktism and Smartism – we previously covered Vaishnavism and Saivism, we will now briefly discuss Shaktism.
God as Mother – Swami Sivananda and Swami Chidananda – (Divine Life Society)
Since the dawn of civilisation, when the primitive man lived in a matriarchal society, the worship of the Divine Mother came into practice. Later on, as civilisation progressed, the matriarchal pattern gradually faded out, and the father became the head of the family unit, where he was treated as the man in authority and to whom everyone looked for guidance and approval.
Consequently, there was a change in the concept of God as such; the Fatherhood of God was established. But Mother worship persisted simultaneously, since this concept was psychologically more appealing to the devotee, the mother being nearest in filial affection to the child. Subsequently, a synthetic harmony between the Motherhood and Fatherhood of God was developed by the Hindu religion; the people worshipped Shakti and Shiva, Lakshmi and Narayan, Radha and Krishna or Sita and Rama or together.
The concept of the human mind is based on relative experience. Subjective idealism, therefore, in its initial stages, takes the aid of objective and relative analogies. God is neither limited to abstract or concrete concepts. But it is easier to establish a conscious relationship with the Providence in terms of benevolent fatherhood or affectionate, kindly motherhood than by the concept of an unfathomable void. God is devoid of qualities, in reality, but a relative superimposition of the positive ideals of goodness and virtue is essential for self-culture and spiritual progress of the aspirant.
Mother is very kind to her child. You are more free with your mother than with anybody else. It is the mother who protects you, nourishes you, consoles you, cheers you and nurses you. She is your first preceptor. She sacrifices her all for the sake of her children. In the spiritual field also, the aspirant has very intimate relationship with the Divine Mother.
The Upasana or the worship of the Universal Mother leads to the attainment of knowledge of the Self. The Yaksha Prasna in Kenopanishad supports this view. Approach Her with an open heart. Lay bare your mind with frankness and humility. Lay your thoughts be pure and sublime.
Become as simple as a child. Pulverise your individual entity, the egoistic nature, cunningness, selfishness and crookedness. Make a total, unreserved, ungrudging self-surrender to Her. Chant Her Mantras. Worship Her with faith and devotion.
Navaratri is the most suitable occasion for doing intense Sadhana. These nine days are very sacred to Mother. Plunge yourself in Her worship. It is an occasion symbolising the victory of the higher, divine forces over the lower, negative qualities that find their expression in injustice, oppression, aggrandisement, greed, selfishness, hatred and a host of other undivine forces that add to the suffering of man.
Worship the Mother in all Her manifestations.
She is the creative aspect of the Absolute. She is symbolised as Cosmic Energy. Energy is the physical ultimate of all forms of matter and the sustaining force of the Spirit. Energy and Spirit are inseparable. They are essentially one. The five elements and their combinations are the external manifestations of the Mother. Intelligence, discrimination, psychic power and will are Her internal manifestations. Humanity is Her visible form. Service of humanity is, therefore, the worship of the Divine Mother.
Feel that the Mother sees through your eyes, hears through your ears, and works through your hands. Feel that the body, mind, Prana, intellect and all their functions are Her manifestations.
The one, universal life throbs in the heart of all. How can there be any room for hatred and selfishness, when by hating another you are but hating the Mother, when by being selfish to another
you are but denying your own self. Drive deep this consciousness within your heart. Always meditate and practise this ideal of divine oneness.
Mother’s grace is boundless. Her mercy is illimitable. She is pleased with a little purity of
heart. The sacred Navaratri is approaching. Do not lose this glorious opportunity. Make a definite
and sincere attempt to obtain the grace Of the Mother. She will transform your entire life, and bless
you with the milk of divine wisdom, spiritual insight and Kaivalya!
May you all obtain the grace of Mother Durga!
This exposition of the Devi Tattva goes to explain to us how the Supreme Shakti is all in all. It tells us that whatever we see, whatever we perceive in this phenomenal universe before us, is nothing but the outcome of this supreme power of the Para Brahman, viz. the primal force. She is called the Adi-Shakti. She is also known as the transcendental power—Para-Shakti. She is known as the superlative, the great power—Maha-Shakti.
What exactly is the relationship between this great-Divine Power and the ultimate Supreme Being the Almighty, is a question that is very interesting and which occupies the minds of all great thinkers. Varied explanations have been given but sages of realisation have stated in illuminating terms the secret of this relationship between the deity as they conceived of in its aspect of Supreme Mother and the deity in its transcendental aspect. We are told how the Para Brahman and His Supreme Mysterious Power of World-illusion whom we call Maya or Devi are in fact one and the same in essence. They are apparently different, but yet they are one. It is a distinction without a difference in fact. That is the relationship between them. As it were they are the obverse and the reverse of the self-same coin. You cannot conceive of the Para Brahman without conceiving of the Devi; and the conception of the Devi automatically pre-supposes the conception of the Para-Brahman.
They explain to us how the Devi or the Supreme Divine Mother is the mysterious link between the manifest and the unmanifest. She is the medium that connects the un-manifest with the manifest. For instance, there is an effect and a cause which is responsible for this effect—but what is the thing which connects the effect with the cause and the cause with the effect? There is some mysterious link which connects these two and makes them one. Though apparently two, they are in reality two terminals of the self-same process. This process of the cause becoming manifest as the effect, this power that makes the cause appear as the effect is known as the Maya, the illusion or the Devi.
The Supreme Brahman is also described as perfectly beyond all movement and motion because being of the nature of limitlessness and infinity the very question of motion does not arise.
The Supreme Power whom we call Devi is described as the dynamic aspect of the Para Brahman. They say that they are as inseparable as the whiteness of the milk and the milk; as the heat and fire; as a snake and its zigzag motion. The moment you think of milk, automatically you think of whiteness. The moment you think of fire, you posit also the heat. If the burning property is taken away from fire, you can no longer call it fire. Even so, Para Brahman and Shakti are as inseparable as the burning property of fire and fire itself. If Brahman is fire, Shakti or Devi is the burning property of fire. A more up-to-date analogy which we can draw to illustrate the mysterious connection between Maya or Prakriti or Shakti and Brahman is this. We have the power of electricity when it is inside a battery. When the power of electricity is here within the battery, it is not manifest. It is not dynamic. It is static. The battery can be taken from place to place: no one will know that it holds within itself the tremendous force.
There is no indication to give us an idea that it contains within itself this marvellous power. But the moment this self-same electric current is made to spring into dynamism through a system of wiring through a circuit, we find this static force springs into a wonderful dynamism. It travels with lightning speed; it is able to give a shock; or to make an electric bulb spring into incandescence and manifest as light; it manifests itself as the whirling motion in a fan; it manifests itself as freezing cold within the refrigerator and as abnormal power of heat in an electric heater; it is able to burn things; it manifests as sound in an electric siren—this power which is held in a static form within a battery becomes manifest as light, motion, heat, cold, sound and any number of aspects manifest and tangible and perceivable through the senses.
Even so the Supreme Power in its transcendental motionless static aspect known as the Para Brahman is nameless, formless, unmanifest and the self-same supreme power when it springs into manifestation, into creativity, is projected as names and forms, into countless dynamic forces which pervade the entire phenomenal world. Mother is electricity, the brightness of the sun, the depth of the ocean, movement in the hand, the smell and fragrance in flowers, the musical note in sound, everything in this universe, invisible as well as visible, all motion, all force, all movements; and She is present in the human being as intelligence, as mind, as Vrittis, as emotions—everything that we perceive in this world either within the individual or without in the forces of nature. She is the very life of the universe. She is the very source, the sustainer and ultimate dissolver of the universe. Sarvam Shaktimayam Jagat; this is the ultimate truth.
Whatever there is in the universe from the grossest thing to the subtlest, the least to the greatest—everything is the variegated manifestation of the Supreme Mother Herself, the Transcendental Power of the Supreme Being. It is this cosmic Power who appears as all names and forms, who is the very source of all embodiment, of all manifestation. It is on account of the Mother that manifestation is made possible.
It is this Supreme Force that we worship during the nine days through the medium of certain forms. This great power of all powers is conceived of by the devout worshipper in certain distinct aspects—in her three aspects as Mahakali or Durga, Mahalakshmi and as Mahasaraswati. The nine-day worship is divided into three groups of three days each—the first three days we worship the Mother as manifest in and through the form of Mahakali or Durga. During the second group of three days we worship the Divine Mother as manifest in and through our conception of the form of Mahalakshmi. And during the last three days we worship Her in and through the form of Mahasaraswati. This particular order of the worship has got a very deep and very vital meaning, about which we shall refer during the subsequent days.
Forth-Coming Religious Events 2017
|9th July, Sunday||Guru Poornima||Datta Poojan||from 19:30|
|16th July, Sunday||Geeta Recital||fom 7:00am|
|23rd July, Sunday||Samooh Satya Narayan Katha||Katha||9:30|
|24th July, Monday||Shravan Month – Starts||Panchayat Devata Pooja – Daily||18:00|
|30th July, Sunday||Sheri Satam||Pooja||from 07:00|
|1st August, Tuesday||Noli Nem||Pooja||from 07:00|
|15th August, Tuesday||Krishna Janmashtami||Pooja and Bhajans||from 19:00|
|21st August, Monday||Shravan Month – Last Day||Havan||18.00|
|25th August, Friday||Ganapati Choth||Sthapan Pooja||20.00|
|27th August, Sunday||Ganesh Visarjan||Procession||15.30|
|10th September, Sunday||Samooh Shanti Havan||Havan for Ancestors||10.00|
|21st September, Thursday||Navratri – Starts||Garba – Daily||20.00-22.00|
|28th September, Thursday||Matani Athem||Havan||18.45|
|5th October, Thursday||Sharad Poonam||Garba||20.00-22.00|
|19th October, Thursday||Diwali|
|20th October, Friday||Navu Varsh-New Year||New Year Havan||05.30|
|20th October, Friday||Navu Varsh-New Year||Annakoot Aarti||12.00|
|29th October, Sunday||Garba for Tulsi Vivah||Garba||19.30-21.00|
|29th October, Sunday||Mandir’s 44th Anniversary||Flag Hoistng|
|31st October, Tuesday||Tulsi Vivah||Tulsi Vivah||17.00|
|30th November, Thursday||Geeta Jayanti||Recital in Sanskrit (all 18 chapters)||from 18;00 onwards|
Download or listen to Audio Lectures on Vedanta, Sanathan Dharma,
Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda (MP3)
3. Lectures on Vedanta and Yoga by Swami Tyagananda, Monk of the Ramakrishna Order [over 50 lectures]