27 Sep 2014

Navaratri Day 2 - Brahmacharini Ma

The second night of Navaratri, we celebrated Brahmacharini Devi.

Swamiji gave an explanation about the glory of this aspect of Devi, and what benefits one receives by worshiping her:

“Today is the second day of Navaratri, which is dedicated to Devi Brahmacharini. She is a great tapasyani, actually. She is Tapasyani Devi, who encourages one on the spiritual path.

Yesterday was Goddess Shailaputri and you have seen how She killed the two demons Madhu and Kaitabha. Shailaputri represents the Yogamaya of Mahavishnu. You see, the dormant aspect of Narayana that the Devi Saptashati talks about, is the dormant aspect which is present within oneself. Even if one is on the spiritual path, yet the deepness of spirituality stay always dormant. It can be awakened only when one receives the Grace of meeting the Guru, because only the Guru can really awaken this dormant part.

That's why Shailaputri represented as the Guru, She is the first. According to the story, by Her Maya She awakens Mahavishnu from His yoga nidra. This means that She is the One that gives the Shakti, the power to push your sadhana forward, to activate it inside of you. She is the blessing of the Master, which one receives when one goes on the spiritual path – if you are lucky to meet your Master in this life. She is the first blessing of sadhana-bhakti for you to start your spiritual path, to start your inward journey. On the inward journey, this blessing, is very important because it destroys the pride, the ego.

However, your part is also to strengthen it. It's like: when the seed is planted you have to water it. This is the path of Brahmacharini, where you take the sadhana; you take what the Guru told you, without any question, without any hesitation and you follow it. And Brahmacharini Devi is this second blessing in the form of sadhana.

You'll notice that She is holding a kamandalu and a japa mala – She is showing life in reality. What you really need in life is not all that you think you need. Life is very simply, in reality. If you take all the glamorous part of your life, you will see that in reality a person doesn't need much to be happy. Especially, if you are on the spiritual path, what do you need?

In Her left hand, She is holding the kamandalu, which symbolises purification, because on the spiritual path you are always going through purification; it symbolises also food, shelter and clothing. So, this means that if you are surrendered everything will be taken care. All your needs will be taken care as long as you are fully surrendered. But if you are surrendered, there should not be questions in your mind like, “Why is this and why is not that?” To surrender means that you count completely on the Grace of God. And of course you are doing your duty, but you trust that the Divine looks after you.

In Her right hand, She is holding the japa mala; this symbolises not just the daily japa kriya, but your spiritual sadhana. When you receive the blessing of the Guru, the mantra yoga is very important – the mantra kriya. That's why in Atma Kriya we emphasise that even if you don't do all the kriyas, at least you should do the Japa Kriya regularly. Because by chanting the name of God you start to reflect the Divine qualities and of course if you have your Guru mantra that will help you a lot. But if you don't have it, then chant OM Namo Narayanaya until one day you'll receive it.

As you know, a few months back I said that I don't give any Guru mantra anymore, because one has to deserve the Guru mantra. If somebody just plainly receives the Guru mantra and then later on they come, like today morning somebody said, “Oh, I forgot my Guru mantra.” You can forget about everything but the Guru mantra you should never forget about it! That's why it is said to keep it secret. That's why it is said to treasure it, not to say it loud. Because this is ‘manas’, the guru mantra has to be chanted only in the mind.

So, Brahmacharini Devi is emphasising that the sadhana is important. If you want to reach somewhere, you can't say, “Oh I don't need to do anything! God will do everything for me!” No. Your effort is needed but the blessing will always help you, giving you the strength to advance. That's why here Brahmacharini Devi is saying, “If you can't do anything, if you can't do any sadhana, any tapasya, the best of all is to do japa. Chant the Divine name. Chant the name, ‘OM Namo Narayanaya’. That will also free you.

Can you see how merciful God is? You don't need to do much! In the most simple way, He has given you His name, so that you can radiate what you are, in the deepness of yourself.”