21 Oct 2015

Navaratri 2015: Day 8 - Maha Gauri

“Maha Gauri represents the purity of 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. Maha Gauri helps release people and helps them attain Mukti, salvation.” – Sri Swami Vishwananda

Devi Name: Maha Gauri

Maha Gauri is a form of the Divine Mother that has a completely white complexion. The clothes that She wears are also white, despite the fact that in India, white is typically the colour for widows. Maha Gauri’s white portrayal is due to the blessing of Lord Shiva. After Her rigorous penance to attain Shiva as Her husband, Her complexion had darkened. Lord Shiva, being pleased with Her devotion, bathed Her in the Ganges river and Her complexion turned fair. Since then, She has been known as Maha Gauri.

Similar to how the Ganges River turned Maha Gauri’s complexion white, She is the one who cleanses the stains of Her devotees. Maha Gauri relieves all the pains and fatigues of Her devotee, and She grants them with a supernatural salvation. Maha Gauri is the Goddess who grants pure and endless devotion. 

Event Highlights:

On this eighth night of Navaratri, the night was especially dedicated to married couples. The night included Guru Puja, Gauri Ganesha Puja, Devi Puja, bhajans, dancing, as well as Sri Swami Vishwananda distributing prasad and talking about the form of Maha Gauri and the value of marriage (see excerpt below).

The night also included a wedding ceremony for five couples. The ceremony was beautiful to watch, as it followed the traditional customs found in an Indian wedding. With the bride and groom tied to each other with a piece of white cloth, they walked around the yagna kund and Sri Swami Vishwananda seven times. At the end, the couples both applied tilaks and fed each other prasad.

Overall, the eight night of Navaratri was an amazing night. It’s exciting to see the new married couples who have all that they need in order to support each other and progress on their spiritual path. It is through the grihastas, or householders, that make what we do here at Shree Peetha Nilaya possible, and by having them live “in the world,” they are truly spreading the light of Sri Swami Vishwananda where it is needed most. Towards the end of the night, Sri Swami Vishwananda also gave a short talk about marriage and Maha Gauri. He said:

What attracts you to each other, this love, is very old relationship. You have a certain – your Atma has a certain relationship with the other Atma. Even if the Atma is the same, the quality which each Atma has and the karma it holds is different. That's what makes you attractive to each other, and want to be with each other. When you look at yourself, when you analyse yourselves as a couple, and look deeply into this love that you have for each other, you will perceive that this love is the love for God. Not only the outside, but the inside also. This is where the human love transforms into Divine Love. Because when the mind stops looking at it from the external point of view, but starts looking at it from an internal point of view, then the Divine Love awakens itself, and the Divine Love transforms you.

That's why there are many saints who were married and were in a relationship, but they held first the Love of God. For sure at the beginning they didn't know about it, but later on, you know, this love transformed itself. This is when the couple becomes a supporter on the spiritual path for one another. They don't hold only onto the physical love, or only onto their own security of the outside, but they hold onto something greater, which is the Love of God. – Sri Swami Vishwananda 

For more impressions from the event, please check out our Facebook page: