Devi Navaratri 2022: Day 2 Anugraha Bhashana by Parama Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji

  • 27 Oct 2022
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ōṁ aiṁ hrīṁ śrīṁ lalita paramaeśvaryai namaḥ
ōṁ aiṁ hrīṁ śrīṁ raja rajeśvaryai namaḥ
Today is Day 2. Who did Mother shower her grace on? Today, we will learn through a story in Devi Bhagavatam and Trishati. We will learn of Mother's grace through an example.
kunṭi karōtu vipadam
mama kuncita bhrucāpānchitaḥ
śrita videha bhāvanurāgaḥ
rakśopa kāra maniśam
janayanjagatya kāmakṣīm
ramaivate karuṇa kaṭākṣaḥ
O Devi Kamakshi, your grace and compassion has taken form as Sri Rama. He has love for the Videha princess Sita. He always bears bow and arrow to show his readiness. That bow is like the Mother's eyebrow. Rama protected the world, and since Rama is a living embodiment of your compassion, it is you who protected the world. Your compassion bestows dispassion. How do we witness your grace, compassion and greatness? In the form of Sri Rama. His incarnation is the form of Mother's grace and compassion. May this grace destroy our difficulties. Sri Mata granted us a human birth with worldly knowledge, we need to fulfill the purpose thereof. Animals do not have this worldly knowledge. We have many senses, but animals have fewer. Animals only know to eat and procreate but humans have many special senses and knowledge. But we are not making use of it. We are degenerating to the limited senses of animals so much so that sometimes it feels like we are animals. It befits the word we often say - "nonsense!" That means there is no sense - in other words, sense-less, like an animal. God has given us six senses, so, barring the human birth, no other birth will enable us to learn about Mother Goddess. We took millions of births, but we never learned about Mother, we are learning about her now. So, how precious is this birth! We must make use of this birth to understand and get closer to Mother. Instead, we are using this birth to give into vices, and while away time eating and procreating.
mitra rupiṇyai namaḥ
Mother is a good friend. Sadguru is also good friend. Yesterday, we spoke about submitting our indriyas entirely to Mother and worshiping her. Today, we take another step forward and talk about Paramatman as a friend. God is our friend. He is a friend of the enlightened souls. Real friends lay down their lives for us but friends these days take our lives, they are in fact enemies. Mitra means one who saves our life. Furthermore, it means friend in Sanskrit. The Sun is also called Mitra. Like a friend, Mother protects those in difficulties. Like the Sun, she dispels darkness. We have some darkness in our lives, we should get rid of it. Do not ever think all doors are closed on you, Mother will surely protect you if you have devotion for Her. "Please protect me Mother. I submit to you completely". If you pray in this manner, she will surely protect you. Mother is our friend. At home too, we consider our mother our friend. Sri Rama is the best of friends, Lakshmana is the best of brothers. Sri Rama and Lakshmana were great friends, and both were born in the lineage of Mitra (Sun).
Let us learn today about how Sri Rama revered His friend, Mother Goddess, through this story. You know that king Dasaratha had four sons. One day, Guru Vishwamitra came to Ayodhya and asked that Sri Rama and Lakshmana be sent to the forests – you know the story here. Sri Rama, with great devotion, followed the instructions of the Guru. Sri Rama incarnated as a human, and He had all the virtues of a perfect human. Though we all have taken a human birth, we have the perfect qualities of animals - we do everything in extreme. We have no virtues of Sri Rama. Sri Rama had all the virtues - He followed the Guru's words, then married Sita Devi. Later, due to Kaikeyi and her envy when the family got into difficulties, Sri Rama wanted His father's word to win and He showed His devotion to father, mother and Guru. He left for the forest with His wife and brother. He established Dharma even in the forests while living with the forest dwellers.
One day, the wicked Ravana devised an illusion and abducted Sita Mata and took her to Lanka. The best among men - Sri Rama, was aggrieved. Even though He was divinity, He grieved like a human. He grieved, not for Sita Mata, but for the Shakti form in Her. He was so desolate that He wanted to take away His own life. He showed how much love He had for His wife and His devotion for Jaganmata. During these difficult times, the advice of true friends works as good medicine. A true friend is the one who protects our life and honor. Those words of real friends dispel our sorrow and motivate us to make the needed effort. Sometimes, when difficulties overpower us, we do not know what to do, we make no effort and are resigned to fate. At that time, a real friend's words act as medicine. Lakshmana, as a friend then spoke to Rama: O brother! O dear friend! Gather courage, grieve not, I am here for you. I will kill Ravana and bring Sita Mata back. You are a hero, you must be in equanimity during good and bad; in prosperity and in adversity; you are the best among men, this despair behooves you not. Uniting and separating is not in our hands, they are in the hands of God. The one who separates us will also unite us later, so, why do you grieve? Give up grief. We are going through a bad time, so, please be patient.
The great Sri Rama was subject to exile and suffered so much, and in addition, Sita Mata was abducted. Sometimes, we injure ourselves repeatedly at the same spot in the body. Sri Rama, who was so great, could not see His father in his final moments, He could not even offer the final rites to his father. We grieve about losing our loved ones during Covid and not being able to offer final rites.
Lakshmana continued: O friend! O brother! Never lose hope, just as difficulties came our way, happiness will too. We die to be born and we are born to die. (In today’s parlance we think - We eat in order to digest the food, and we digest food so we can eat) Good days will come, we will get Sita Mata back, and You will regain the kingdom, this is the truth. Now, Sugriva's vanara army is setting out in search of Sita Mata, please have some patience and gain courage. Joy and sorrow follow each other continuously. We are so happy today, we should be ready for impending sorrows tomorrow. We should always be ready and not assume we will always be happy. Our mind should always be in equanimity. If we can be that way, we will surely win this battle of samsara. We should never lose mental courage whether we are going through good times or bad; we should always be alert and brave. Man is drowning in the ocean of grief, and is always weeping. You should not cry, because a man who gives into grief will not be able to experience happiness even during good times. Brother and friend Lakshmana gave so much courage and motivation to Sri Rama. We should encourage and motivate those around us instead of weeping along with them. One who loses courage is good as half dead.
At that exact time, Sage Narada arrived there. He is a great Guru and friend and his arrival was timely. Sri Rama worshiped and seated him. Sage Narada said: Sri Rama, I already knew beforehand that Sita Mata would be abducted, I heard this in Deva Loka as well. Do not grieve over this, Sita Mata is not an ordinary woman, she is Mrityu Mathani. (In other words) She is Mother Goddess who is verily Death herself. Now, she has gone to Ravana as if to indicate, he is to die. Ravana out of his foolishness brought kalaratri (dark night) home in the form of Sita Mata with great happiness. Sita Mata was a daughter of a sage in a past life. A man held her hand and forced her to marry him, she then cursed him that she would be the cause of his death in the next life. After pronouncing this curse, she jumped into fire. Agni, Mrityu and Yama are all one. Can you carry fire in your pocket or your purse? You cannot even carry a pudding in your purse, let alone carrying fire. Ravana foolishly embraced Death. Death embraces all, but imagine going and embracing death voluntarily.
The sage continued, “You are an incarnation of Vishnu, and you will slay Ravana. Gain courage. You are worried she is suffering from hunger and thirst. Sita mata will never be hungry. Causing hunger is God's job and Indra sent Kamadhennu's milk in a golden bowl for Sita Mata. That is divine nectar. Sita mata drank that nectar, so she will have hunger no more. She is observing strict disciplines and doing penance for you. In the remote event that Lakshmana gained ego due to his power to influence Rama, Sage Narada said all this to quell that ego, and clarified for Sri Rama the status of Sita Mata. Narada said: You have an important task ahead of you - to slay your enemy. Listen, the lunar month of āsvīyuja is starting, you must perform Devi worship during this Navaratri. You must observe this while fasting”. We should all observe fasting during Devi Navaratri, we should atleast skip one meal. This Devi worship was observed by Indra, Vasishtha, Vishwamtra and all the seven great sages. They all received the grace of Mother Goddess. So, you observe this vrata too, and gain the grace of Mother Goddess.
viśeṣeṇa ca kartavyam
pumsām kaṣṭa gate na vai
This is especially to be performed by those going through difficulties, therefore, you must necessarily observe this vrata. Indra before slaying Vrtra, Shiva before Tripurasura, and Vishnu before slaying Madhu and Kaitabha observed this vrata. So, you must too. Then, Sri Rama asked, “O great sage, who is that Devi, where is she, what is her greatness, how should I observe this vrata? Please tell me in full detail. The sage meditated on Sri Mata and with great happiness spoke about the Goddess who was like a Mother to him.
śrṇu rāma sadā nityā
śakti rādya sanātani
sarva kāmapradā devi
pūjita duḥkha nāśini
Rama, listen to what I say. That Devi is Adi Parashakti, She dispels in a trice, the difficulties of those who worship Her.
kāranam sarva jantunām
brahmādinām raghu dvaha
tasyā śaktim vinākopi
spanditum nakṣamobhavet
That Devi is the primordial cause for this moving and non-moving world, She is the Lord of the trinity - they cannot move without her Shakti. Every function we carry out is due to Her energy. She is the energy enabling Vishnu to sustain these worlds; She is the shakti that enables my father Brahma to create; and She enables Rudra to destroy. Mother is the cause for even the tiniest object moving; not even an ant can move without Her consent. Mother was there before this creation - that formless Shakti then took on a form to make this creation. That Devi is Maha Vidya ruling all the worlds. By studying the Vedas, one is freed from this samsara. Sri Mata has as many names as the permutations of all the alphabets and syllables that exist.
tām jñātva mucyate jantuhu
janma samsāra bandhanāt
sāvityā paramājñeyāh
vedakhya veda kāriṇi
On an even plane, on a platform, a kalasha must be set up by invoking Mother Goddess. There, Mother must be worshiped all day. Sage Narada said, “I will be your priest these nine days, and I will participate in this divine task of yours”. Immediately Sri Rama prostrated to the sage and set up an altar for worship. Sage Narada presided over the worship and exactly on the 8th day, Sri Mata gave Darshana to Sri Rama in His dream. Seated on a mountain summit, she spoke: “O Rama! O great one! I am very pleased with your vrata and your faith and devotion. So, ask for whatever boon you want. You are Narayana, and you took this birth because the Gods prayed to you for slaying of Ravana. An aspect of my energy is always in the vanaras; they will help you. Lakshmana is Adi Sesha, he took birth to slay Indrajit. You will slay Ravana and will rule for 11,000 years.
Then Sri Rama finished the rituals appropriately and built a bridge on the ocean, crossed over to Lanka, killed Ravana and won Sita Mata back. So, this Navaratri, worship Mother carefully and win Her grace. Use this time wisely and immerse in Mother. May the grace of Mother be on you all.
ōṁ śrī mātre namaḥ
Bhajan ID 2240: sanmūrtē tribhuvana gatirasi hē
Bhajan ID 8193: bhaja bhasmāṅkita śivamaniśaṁ