Religions

Durga represents universal principle of holy vibration of the cosmos

September 22, 2017 07:11 AM

M N Kundu

The human mind being finite, cannot conceive the abstract idea of infinite Brahmn, the non-dual one without a second. Ancient sages therefore contemplated suitable symbols for progressive realisation of the Divine through various levels of God-consciousness in our march from lesser truth to greater truth towards ultimate realisation. Durga Puja encompasses the entire gamut of spiritual process of realisation.

We witness progressive departure from nature worship to worship of material prosperity, military prowess, learning, fine arts and intellect, leading to the realisation of the ultimate futility of all these being impermanent and delusive. 

A fortnight before the pujas we start tarpan or offering to ancestors till mahalaya. It is intended to work out the genetic bondage to enable us to proceed to the Divine and awaken our divine consciousness on the first day of the puja.

The image of the goddess is enigmatic, being a spiritual metaphor synthesising a quantum leap from matter to spirit in and through an evolutionary process. To a man with an empty stomach, food is God and hence the first human worship had always been towards nurturing nature, worship of trees giving fruit as food. On the first day on mahashasti worship is made to wood-apple tree as the abode of the goddess. On mahasaptami, the second day of the puja, nine leaves and a banana tree called navapatrika are placed for worship. The paradoxical presence of the four offsprings of the goddess in the battlefield is symbolic and we need to decipher the meaning. When subtle intelligence represented by Ganesha is applied to nurturing nature, wealth in the form of Lakshmi evolves. Material prosperity begets two associates ­ learning and fine arts represented by goddess Saraswati and military prowess for protection and preservation represented by Kartikeya. All these four offsprings of the goddess are worshipped for worldly achievements.

Material prosperity and military prowess invariably beget arrogance and egotism unless these are accepted as gifts of the Divine and used as steppingstones for further progress. But the pernicious ego, under the sway of beastly ignorance (buffalo in the image) and identifying itself to be omnipotent, breaks the natural law of harmony and peace. At this stage of spiritual crisis, primordial nature, in the form of Goddess Durga, intervenes to vanquish the ego and makes it surrender to her. It is victory of the universal life force over individual egoism and upholding of cosmic cause over untoward interests of the indomitable ego.

With ten weapons in her ten hands and the wisdom of the third eye, the goddess transcends the ego-bound ten human senses of perception and action represented by Mahishasura. She represents the universal principle of energy or holy vibration of the cosmos.

We witness progressive departure from nature worship to worship of material prosperity, military prowess, learning, fine arts and intellect, leading to the realisation of the ultimate futility of all these being impermanent and delusive. Thereafter, the ego is made to surrender to the omnipotent cosmic energy of goddess Durga.

The journey to Self-realisation ends with awakening cosmic consciousnesss as the destination. Above the image of Durga there is Shiva, representing cosmic consciousness. On the fourth day of the Puja or the day of special victory, Devi is united with Shiva after her worldly play is done for establishing divine realisation through an evolutionary process. Hence all peripherals are immersed into the ocean of consciousness of Shiva, which is the culmination of spiritual progress along with the dissolution of delusive manifestation of the apparent reality.

 

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