Scene from the Veda Purusha Jnana Yajna held during Dasara, October 1988
( Esoteric Significance of the Veda Purusha Jnana Yajna )
During the Navaratri celebrations, the Divine Mother is extolled in various names and forms. All names and forms are based on your feelings. God has no differences whatsoever. No one can comprehend the nature of Divinity. Actually, the principle of love that exists in all beings is the principle of Divinity. Love has no specific form. Divinity transcends name and form. Love is God. Live in love. Truth is God. Truth is all-pervasive.
During the Navaratri worship, you have to express your love to the Divine Mother in nine different ways. Sravanam (listening), Kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), Vandanam (salutation), Archanam (worship), Dasyam (servitude), Sneham (friendship), Atmanivedanam (self-surrender). God wants your love and nothing else. Your love should not branch out in different directions. It should flow directly towards God. If you love others, you will be loved in turn. If you utter harsh words, they will come back to you as resound. Fill your heart with love and compassion.
True Navaratri celebration lies in giving up Dehabhimana and developing Atmabhimana. You can see for yourself what an exalted position you will attain once you give up body attachment. You may be weak physically and mentally. But when you develop Atmabhimana, all your weaknesses will vanish in a trice. Establish yourself in the firm faith, "I am God".
Divine Discourse: October 5, 2003
What is the inner significance of Devi Navaratri? People worship the Triune Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Sarasvathi during these nine days. Who is Durga? She is the embodiment of all powers. Sarasvati is the presiding deity of speech and wisdom. The Gayatri Mantra begins with "Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvah." 'Bhuh' means materialisation. It represents matter which is subject to change. Bhuvah represents life principle, i.e., vibration. Savitri is the presiding deity of life principle. You must have heard the story of Savitri, who restored her dead husband back to life with the power of her devotion and surrender. Sarasvati is worshipped as 'Jnana Devata' as she confers good intellect and wisdom. This is described in the Vedas as Prajnanam Brahma. Prajnana does not mean worldly knowledge. It is Constant Integrated Awareness, which is changeless and eternal. The divine mother has three names: Gayatri, Savitri and Sarasvati. Gayantham Trayathe Iti Gayathri (Gayatri protects those who sing her glory). Gayatri, being the presiding deity of our senses, helps us to master the senses. Savitri, being the presiding deity of the life principle, protects our life. Sarasvati bestows on us the changeless and eternal wisdom. Gayatri, Savitri and Sarasvati are present in every man, but he is not able to understand and experience their presence. Consequently, he is giving room to wicked qualities and indulging in evil deeds, thereby ruining his life. His bad habits are responsible for his downfall. First of all, man has to develop good habits and transform himself. How could Savitri revive her dead husband back to life? She transformed the vibration in her into divine vibration by contemplating on God incessantly. That led to the resurrection of her husband. When you develop divine feelings, nothing is impossible for you. Any mighty task can be accomplished through pure and selfless love.
The Yajna that we are performing now is meant for Loka Kalyanam (good of the world). Do not think that we are performing the Yajna just because people are performing Yajnas elsewhere. This Yajna is being performed with total spirit of sacrifice. We have no desires or expectations. Our only desire is that everyone should be happy. People perform Yajnas and Yagas to overcome famine and drought situations. But I don't take such things into consideration. I do not give scope for such constricted vision. Famine, drought, etc., come and go. Whatever you do should confer everlasting happiness on all. It should help you to attain Divine grace.
Divine Discourse: October 9, 2002
Divine Discourse: October 10, 2002
Divine Discourse: October 11, 2002
Divine Discourse: October 12, 2002
Divine Discourse: October 13, 2002
Divine Discourse: October 14, 2002
Our ancients have prescribed the worship of Maha Kali, Maha Durga and Maha Saraswati during these Navaratris (nine nights). Durga is the embodiment of all powers. Durga represents the combination of all the powers of body, mind and soul. Maha Kali symbolises destruction of evil with the help of these powers. Maha Kali and Maha Durga are not elsewhere. They reside in every man. When the mind and the senses, instead of following the dictates of conscience, follow wicked qualities, man becomes a slave to evil habits and turns wicked. The main purpose of celebration of Navaratris is to annihilate cruelty and wickedness in man to bring forth the principle of the Atma in pristine form
Having absorbed the divine vibrations out of the seven days of Yajna, try to achieve spiritual transformation. Wherever you go, do not give up God and pray for the welfare of all. Tanks, bombs and other armaments do not provide the protection that a constant contemplation of God yields. A true human is one who has strong faith in the Self (Atmabhimanam). Therefore, comprehend this faith in the Self. That is the nature of the bliss that Swami confers on you on this sacred occasion of the Poornahuti.
Divine Discourse: October 20, 2001
Divine Discourse: October 21, 2001
Divine Discourse: October 22, 2001
Divine Discourse: October 23, 2001
Divine Discourse: October 24, 2001
Divine Discourse: October 25, 2001
Divine Discourse: October 26, 2001
Navaratri is dedicated to Maha Durga, Maha Kali and Maha Lakshmi. These three deities are not different but one and the same. They are the forms of energy. Saraswati is the presiding deity of speech. Lakshmi is the form of Ananda. All three are present in every man. We do not have to search for them elsewhere. Man is Divine, humanity is Divinity. Consider man as Divine and the body as temple of Divinity, enjoy the bliss of God.
The proper study of mankind is man. There should be unity of thought, word, and deed. Especially students should recognize this. It is not enough to praise Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati in poems and songs. When you cultivate good qualities, you yourself will become Lakshmi. Once you control your senses, you will become Lakshmi. When the mind is under your control, you will become Durga. When you speak words of truth, you will become Saraswati. The other name of Saraswati is Bharathi. Some people say that our country Bharat is named after Jada Bharata or the brother of Rama. But who named them? There should be a basis for all these names. That basis is the name of Saraswati i.e., Bharathi.
Brahma is the creator, but the one who sustains the creation is Saraswati. Bharathi is her name. This country is named after her. But this is not very widely known. Indian culture has many such secrets. But none endeavors to know these secrets inherent in the Vedas, Sastras and the Itihaasaas. What is the significance of Ayudha puja? After the slaying of Mahishasura and other demons by Chamundeswari, there was no more use for Her weapons. So the weapons were kept aside and worshipped. This Ayudha puja is being celebrated since ancient times. But of what use are such weapons to us? In fact, our weapons are the values of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema. Prema is more powerful than the hydrogen and atom bombs of today. Why worry when such power is within us?
Divine Discourse: October 1, 2000
Divine Discourse: October 2, 2000
Divine Discourse: October 3, 2000
Divine Discourse: October 4, 2000
Divine Discourse: October 5, 2000
Divine Discourse: October 6, 2000
The purpose of the Veda Purusha Sapthaha Yagna is to attain truth. God is the Veda Purusha. This Yagna is performed for seven days. Seven is an auspicious number for it corresponds to the number of Rishis (Saptha Rishis), oceans (Saptha Samudras), colors (Saptha Varnas) and sounds (Saptha Swaras).
Since ancient times various types of Yagnas have been performed in this sacred land of Bharat. Yagno Vai Vishnuhu (Yagna is the very form of Vishnu). Some people are under the mistaken notion that they can please God by offering highly valuable items. What one has to offer God is the pure heart. Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati (as is the feeling, so is the result). If you are aspiring for good results, offer only good feelings to God and there should be perfect harmony in your thought, word and deed. Manasyekam Vachasyekam Karmanyekam Mahatmanaam (he is a noble soul whose thought, word and deed are in perfect harmony). Adveshtaa Sarva Bhootaanaam (Do not hate anybody).
Divine Discourse: October 19, 1999
Today is Vijaya Dasami. This is the Samaapthi (conclusion) of sacred Navaratri festival. Samaapthi is that which confers Praapthi (deservedness) in every possible way. This also happens to be the day on which Shirdi Baba left his mortal coil. Having left His mortal coil on this day, Shirdi Baba reincarnated here after 8 years. This is an ample testimony to the existence of Divinity in humanity.
Divine Discourse: October 1, 1998
During these sacred nine days (Navaratri), people go through the sacred texts such as Devi Bhagavatha, Ramayana and Mahabharatha. People also worship the deities Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. This Trinity is present in the principle of Truth. Goddess Gayathri has three heads. They are: Gayathri, Savitri and Saraswathi. Gayathri is the presiding deity of your senses. Savitri is the presiding deity of Life Principle. Saraswathi is the presiding deity of speech. All these three are within the same principle of Truth. Gayathri Mantra begins with "Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvah". 'Bhu' means Materialisation (Body); 'Bhuvah' means Vibration (Life Principle}; 'Suvah' means Radiation (Atma).
During these nine days Goddess Shakthi (Principle of Energy) is worshipped. Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Forgiveness are all the expressions of the Principle of Shakthi. Truth is the primal cause. There is nothing other than this. All faculties of energy are present in this Truth. So consider Truth as your mother and follow it. The Vedas proclaim, "Sathyam Vada; Dharmam Chara", which means speak Truth and follow Righteousness.
Divine Discourse: September 25, 1998
Navarathri means "nine nights". What does the nine signify? There are nine grahas (planets according to Astrology). The human body has nine openings. If a deep enquiry is made, it will be found that mankind is dependent on the planets (grahas). Although astrologers speak about nine planets, in reality, there are only two "planets" that matter. They are raaga (attachment) and dwesha (hatred).
In the worship of the deities during Navarathri, every day, one of them should be worshipped, not externally but with one's heart and soul. Bodily actions are ephemeral. The body derives its value from the spirit within. Hence it should be regarded as a sacred temple. During the Navarathri festival, for the purpose of eradicating one's demonic tendencies, the deities were worshipped with kumkum (sacred powder). The red powder is a symbol of blood. The meaning of this worship is offering one's blood to the Lord and receiving in return the gift of peace from the Lord.
Therefore, the Navarathri festival is observed, by contemplating on God for ten days, cleansing one's self of all impurities, to experience the divinity within. The penultimate day of the festival is dedicated to what is termed Aayudha Puja (Worship of weapons). The weapons to be worshipped are the divine powers in man. When the divine is worshipped in this way, one is bound to progress spiritually.
Divine Discourse: October 14, 1994
Bharatiyas have been celebrating the Navarathi festival from ancient times as a mode of worship of Devi, the Divine as Mother. They worship Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati during those nine days. Who are these three? They are the three forms which have fascinated man. Their esoteric significance is represented by three potencies or shakthis. They are: Karma, Upaasana and Jnana.
The significance of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati has to be rightly understood. The three represent three kinds of potencies in man. Ichchaa Shakti, will power, Kriya Shakti, the power of purposeful action, and Jnaana Shakti - the power of discernment.
Saraswati is manifest in man as the power of speech, Vaak. Durga is present in the form of dynamism. Lakshmi is manifest in the form of will power. The body indicates Kriya Shakti. The mind is the repository of Ichchaa Shakti. The Atma is Jnaana Shakti. Kriya Shakti comes from the body, which is material. The power that activates the body that is inert and makes it vibrant is Ichchaa Shakti. The power that induces the vibrations of Ichchaa Shakti is Jnaana Shakti, which causes radiation of energy. These three potencies are represented by the mantra: Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvaha. Bhur represents Bhuloka, the earth. Bhuvah represents the life force, conscience in man. Suvaha represents the power of radiation. All three are present in man. Thus Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati dwell in the human heart.
Men are prone to exhibit rajasic qualities like anger and hatred. They are the menacing manifestations of Durga. The extolling of the Divine in song and poetry and the pleasing vibrations produced by them indicate the power of Saraswathi. The pure qualities that arise in man such as compassion, love, forbearance and sympathy are derived from Lakshmi.
When people worship Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi externally in pictures or icons, they are giving physical forms to the subtle potencies that are within them. The unfortunate predicament of man today is that he is not recognizing the powers within him and developing respect for them. He goes after the external, attracted by the physical forms. The relationship between the material and the subtle has to be understood. The remedy for man's life is contained within himself. But man seeks remedies from outside.
What is it you should do during these ten days of the Navarathri festival? Convert your ichchaa sakthi into a yearning for God. Convert kriya sakthi into a force for doing Divine actions. Convert your Jnaana Sakhti into the Divine Itself.
Divine Discourse: October 9, 1994
The term Devi represents the Divine power which has taken the Rajasic form to suppress the forces of evil and protect the Satwic qualities. When the forces of injustice, immorality and untruth have grown to monstrous proportions and are indulging in a death-dance, when selfishness and self-interest are rampant, when men have lost all sense of kindness and compassion, the Atmic principle, assuming the form of Sakti, taking on the Rajasic quality, seeks to destroy the evil elements. This is the inner meaning of the Dasara festival.
When the Divine Goddess is in dreadful rage to destroy the wicked elements, She assumes a fearful form. To pacify the dreaded Goddess, Her feminine children offer worship to Her with red kumkum (sacred red powder). The Goddess, seeing the blood-red kumkum at her feet, feels assured that the wicked have been vanquished and assumes Her benign form. The inner meaning of the worship of Devi with red kumkum is that thereby the Goddess is appeased.
During the ten days of the Dasara, the Rakshasas (demons) in the form of wicked qualities have been routed. Rakshasas do not mean demonic beings. The bad qualities in men are the demons. Arrogance is a demon. Bad thoughts are demons. Ravana is depicted as the king of Rakshasas. He is said to have ten heads. He was not born with ten heads. Who is this Ravana and what are his ten heads? Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Moha (delusion), Lobha (Greed), Mada (pride), Maatsarya (Envy), Manas (the mind), Buddhi (intellect), Chitta (Will) and Ahamkara (the Ego) - these ten constitute the ten heads. Ravana is one who has these ten qualities.
Each one can decide for himself whether he is a Ravana or a Rama according to his qualities. Rama is the destroyer of the bad qualities. When engaged in this act of destruction of bad qualities, He manifests His Rajo-guna. But His Rajasic quality is associated with His Satwic quality. Even in cutting off Ravana's ten heads, Rama showed His love. This was the only way Ravana could be redeemed.
When the Lord metes out a punishment, it may appear harsh. But what appears externally as Rajasic is in reality Satwic. In a hailstorm, along with rain there will be hailstones. But both the rain and hailstones contain water. Likewise, there is Satwic quality even in the Lord's Rajasic actions. Similarly there may be Satwic quality even in Tamasic actions. These depend on the time, place and the circumstances in which the Lord acts. Butter can be split with a finger. But a powerful hammer is needed to break a piece of iron. The Lord deals with Satwic persons in a Satwic way. He applies the Rajasic weapon against Rajasic persons.
People worship the Lord as Roudraakaara, attributing dreaded forms and qualities to the Divine. This is not proper. The Divine has only one attribute: the embodiment of Love. It has been said: "Love is God. Love pervades the Cosmos." Hence, one should not view the world from a worldly point of view. It should be viewed through the eyes of love.
Embodiments of Divine Love! All the festivals of Bharatiyas have been designed to promote Divine love among the people. It is to confer such love on the people that the Lord incarnates on earth. He Himself demonstrates how love should be expressed. He showers His love and teaches everyone how to love. Hence, experience this love and joy in your life and live in peace.
Divine Discourse: October 18, 1991
In the human body the Divine flows through all the limbs as Rasa (The Divine essence) and sustains them. This Divine principle is called Rasaswaroopini (Embodiment of Divine sweetness). Another name for the same is Angirasa. These Divine principles that permeate and sustain the physical body should also be worshipped as mother goddesses. Then there are the great sages, the Maharishis, who investigated matters relating to good and evil, right and wrong, what elevates man or degrades him, and, as a result of their labors and penance, gave to mankind the great scriptures, indicating the spiritual and mundane paths and how humanity can redeem its existence. These sages have also to be revered as Divine Mothers.
The cow, the earth, the presiding deities for the body, the sages and the guru are all worthy of worship as the embodiments of the Divine Motherhood. Although these five appear in different forms and names, they have one thing in common with the mother. They play a protective and sustaining maternal role for mankind and hence should be revered and worshipped as Divine Mothers.
Conversely, the mother of every child displays in relation to the child the attributes of these five entities. The mother nourishes the child, provides the necessaries for its growth, teaches the child what it should know and what it should avoid and leads it on the path of righteousness.
The life of a man who cannot respect and love such a venerable mother, is utterly useless. Recognizing one's mother as the very embodiment of all divine forces, one must show reverence to her and treat her with love. This is the true message that the Navaratri, the nine-night festival gives us. The supreme Shakti manifests herself in the form of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Durga grants to us energy - physical, mental and spiritual. Lakshmi bestows on us wealth of many kinds - not just money but intellectual wealth, the wealth of character and others. Even health is a kind of wealth. She grants untold riches to us. And Saraswati bestows on us intelligence, the capacity for intellectual inquiry and the power of discrimination. The Navaratri festival is celebrated in order to proclaim to the world the power of the goddesses. One's own mother is the combination of all these Divine beings. She provides us energy, wealth and intelligence. She constantly desires our advancement in life. So she represents all the three goddesses that we worship during the Navaratri festival.
Divine Discourse: October 14, 1988