3 Oct 2014

Navaratri Day 8 - Mahagauri

Mahagauri Ma
On the eighth day of Navaratri we celebrate Goddess Mahagauri. Her complexion is totally white. Her garments are also white. She is mounted on an ox and has four hands. Her top right hand is rendering fearlessness and the hand below holds a trident. The top left hand holds a ‘Damaru’ and the hand below is in a gesture of giving a boon.

To have Shiva as Her husband She went through a rigorous penance in the form of ‘Parvati’. As a result of this arduous meditation Her complexion turned dark. Lord Shiva, pleased with the devotion of Parvati, bathed Her in the holy water of the Ganges. As She bathed She turned fair. From then onwards She became known as ‘Mahagauri’.

Sri Swami Vishwananda said, “Mahagauri is the purity. The white that She is wearing symbolises us, our True Self, which is without any stain, without any impurity. Once we have attained our True Self through the Mother’s Grace, we attain the Divine. Once we have cleansed ourselves from all karmic things of the past, as well of the present and we surrender to Her, then Mahagauri can help us. She relieves the people and makes them attain ‘mukti’, salvation."

Abishekam to Sri Swami Vishwananda Padukas (left) and Devi (right)

"Mahagauri is different from Devi Kalaratri, who we celebrated yesterday. Yesterday She showed us all the animal qualities and how wild the animal qualities can be. But today She is showing that once one has renounced these animal qualities and transcended them, one attains purity. Once one lets go of the limitation that we put with our mind, one will see the greatness behind everything. One will see how great is Her creation and that She is present in everything. Mahagauri wants that we cross the barrier of limitation, so that we can realise that we are ever pure. We are ever free."

Yagna with Sri Swami Vishwananda
"Once a boy went to see God. On the way he met a great Sadhu standing on one leg with the hand up. The Sadhu said to him, ‘As you are going to meet God, I have one question: Ask God when will I attain liberation?’ So the boy met God and asked all the questions.

"On the way back he met the Sadhu, who asked him, ‘So… have you met God? What did God say?’ The boy told him that God said, ‘Well, the Sadhu still has some karmic things. He still has to take birth three times before attaining me.’ The Sadhu got very enraged and said, ‘All my tapasya, all my sadhana that I have been doing and still I have to take birth three times?!’ But the boy was very calm and joyful, so the Sadhu said, ‘Oh, I am sure that this is your last life here.’

"The boy said, ‘Oh, my dear Sadhuji, it’s not like that. Do you see this tamarind tree? I have to take as many births as there are leaves and then I will attain Him.’ The Sadhu looked at him, ‘Are you stupid? Why are you so happy?’ The boy said, “Well, it doesn’t matter. I know at the end I will attain Him.’ At that moment he heard a Divine voice saying, ‘All the lives of this boy with the pure heart are erased and he attains mukthi in this life.’

"This shows that it’s not how much one has done, but how one is doing it. Love has to be there. If you do things out of Love, the Divine will run to you. You just need to do one step with Love. Then She will do everything. But as long as there is not this one step from your side, it will be difficult. Mahagauri will help you to become like that, so that this one step can be done with a pure heart."