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Devi and Evolution – The Meaning of Navaratri – From Amma’s Heart – Series – Episode 34

From Ammas Heart brings you the nectar of Amma’s wisdom to your life. Beyond material prosperity, Navaratri gives the message of a seeker’s step-by-step evolution towards the final goal of Self-realization. Jagadambika removes the impurities and destroys the ego of the seeker who has made God-realization his life’s goal. In the stillness thus created, she awakens one to the Inner Self. During the nine days leading up to Vijayadasami, Devi is worshipped in different manifestations. Durga is worshipped for good health and success; Mahalakshmi, for wealth; and Sarasvati for knowledge. To achieve material success, each of these is essential: health, wealth, and knowledge.

The greatest hurdles in spiritual life are inertia, laziness, and ignorance. When a mind is steeped in tamas [inertia], rajoguna [the quality of action] is often more effective than sattva-guna [the quality of purity] to bring one out of it. A child who has woken in the morning but is too lazy to get out of bed will only curl up once again if you lovingly sing a sweet song to it. But if it knows that it will get a spanking, it will jump right up. Most often, our mind is like such a child; it is in the grip of tamoguna. Inertia is conquered through action. Devi helps us do this. Beyond material prosperity, Navaratri gives the message of a seeker’s step-by-step evolution towards the final goal of Self-realization. Jagadambika removes the impurities and destroys the ego of the seeker who has made God-realization his life’s goal. In the stillness thus created, she awakens one to the Inner Self. On Durgashtami, we keep our books and tools for worship and take them back on Vijayadasami. This symbolizes offering our lives to the Divine and receiving back what we offered as prasad. It is like making a new beginning after imbibing the ideals of the remembrance of God and surrender to the Divine. When we experience success, we say it is all because of our own capacities and talents. When failures come in life, however, we blame God. This shouldn’t be our attitude. We have to see ourselves as an instrument in the hands of the Divine — like a brush in the hand of a painter or a pen in the hand of a writer. Whatever be our profession — be it a soldier or a tailor or whatever — we place our tools for worship on Durgashtami. The objective here is to remember that God is the real doer and power behind our actions. It is an act of surrender to the Divine. It helps us to be less egoistic in our successes. Remembrance of God and surrender to the Divine are what make our life truly blessed. Through knowledge coupled with the right kind of effort, we become receptive to grace.

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