The Hidden meanings of the nine goddesses or the Nav Durga.

By HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji

Nav Durga

The Mother Divine manifests herself in nine different forms with each form signifying something subtle and deep. Discover the hidden meanings of the nine goddesses or the Nav Durga. The Second Manifested form is known as Brahmcharini.

Brahmacharini

The second name of the Mother Divine is Brahmacharini.

What does Brahman mean?

That which has no end, no shore nor beginning; That which is omnipresent and beyond which there is nothing; It is the ultimate and all-pervading.

If you close your eyes and meditate, then you will realize that when your energy rises to the peak, it becomes one with the Mother Divine; it gets soaked in the energy of the Mother Divine. The Divine is within you, and not somewhere outside.

You cannot say, “I know it”, because it is infinite. The moment you know it, it becomes finite. Nor can you say “I do not know it”, because it is definitely there. How can you not know? Can you say “I do not know my own hand”? Your hand is right there. It is there hence you know It, and It is infinite so you do not know It. Both of these realizations go hand in hand. Are you confused enough?

If someone asks you, “Do you know the Mother Divine”, you can only keep quiet, because if you say, “I do not know”, then that is not true, and if I say, “I know”, then you are limiting that ‘knowing’ through words and the limited intellect. It is infinity, and Infinity cannot be comprehended or contained.

“Knowing” means containing or restricting something. Can you contain infinity? If you contain infinity then it is no longer infinity. Brahmacharini means one who is present and moves in the infinity. She is energy that is not stagnant or inert, but moving in infinity.

This is a very important thing to understand – one is movement and the other is presence. This is what Brahmacharya means. Brahmacharya means not indulging in small things, not getting stuck in small limited things but indulging in the whole. Celibacy is also said to be synonymous with Brahmacharya because in that you are dealing with the greater whole and not with limited parts. Lust is always in parts, it is the localized movement of consciousness. So, Brahmacharini is the consciousness that is all-pervading.

What is sattva?

This world is made up of five elements and these five elements have three qualities, that is:

  • Sattva (the quality that brings forth positivity)
  • Rajas (the quality that brings forth activity)
  • Tamas (the quality that brings forth inertia)

All spiritual practices such as meditation, chanting, fasting, silence, etc., increase the level of sattva in us. When sattva increases, it bring forth knowledge, alertness, awareness and joy in life, as these qualities come along with sattva. That is why taking out time to follow all these practices, such as fasting, chanting, meditation, etc., is very meaningful. It enhances the quality of life and brings forth more joy and happiness. Fasting greatly increases the sattva level of the body as it detoxifies and cleanses the system, which many a times gets stressed by overindulgence in food. Besides fasting, eating proper food on a regular basis also increases the sattva in the body.

Eating proper food means eating only as much as is essential, that can be well digested. You don’t feel too heavy when you go to bed, or when you wake up in the morning, or when you sit for meditation. The right amount of fresh food which is gently spiced is sattvic food.

 

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