By HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji
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. Thet third Manifested form is known as Chandreghanta.
The third form of the Mother Divine is Chandraghanta.
What does the word Chandraghanta mean?
Chandra (Moon) means the mind. The mind keeps having its ups and downs. Usually we fight with our own mind. Negative thoughts such as jealousy, hatred, etc. come in the mind and one starts struggling to get rid of them, but it does not happen. You cannot get rid of your mind. Running away from your mind does not help. The mind is like your shadow.
We become dejected and restless the moment our mind is gripped by any negative feeling. We try to wash away all these things from our mind by doing various techniques, but it works only for a short time. After a while, the mind comes back to square one! Do not struggle to get rid of that.
Chandra also signifies the various feelings or shades of emotions and thoughts (similar to the different phases of the waxing and waning moon).
Ghanta means a bell from which only one kind of sound arises. Do you ever hear multiple sounds from a bell? No matter how you play it, only one kind of sound comes from the bell. In the same way, when the mind that is scattered and entangled in different thoughts and emotions gets consolidated and established at one point (in the Divine), then it gives rise to the Divine energy within us which becomes one-pointed and rises upwards. This is what is meant byChandraghanta. Her name literally means (The bell of the moon).
It means that state where the scattered mind becomes steady and consolidated towards one thing only. Do not run away from the mind, for the mind is also a form and manifestation of the Mother Divine. The Mother Divine is present even as sorrow, misery, hunger, and peace as well. The essence here is to take everything together – whether harmonious or unpleasant – as a collective whole, bringing all thoughts, emotions and sounds as one Naad (sound) like the sound a bell or a large gong makes. This is the meaning behind the Devi’s nameChandraghanta, and the third day of Navratri is celebrated to honour this form of the Mother Divine.
The three Gunas
This Mother Divine is a symbolization of the creation, and the entire creation is made up of five elements. These five elements have three qualities. These are:
These are the names given to the three qualities, and everything in this creation is governed by these three qualities. They also relate to our state of consciousness, such as waking, dreaming and sleeping state.
Now, there is a broad understanding of what Sattva is, what Rajas is and what Tamas is. Sattva is the quality which is responsible for clarity, wisdom and righteous action. When Sattva is dominating in our environment, or in the body, that is when we feel light, happy, pleasant, joyful, alert, awake, and our perceptions are very clear.
Rajas is the quality which is responsible for activity in the body and mind. We cannot ‘act’ without a certain level of Rajas. Rajas has its benefits when it is in balance with the other two Gunas. However, when Rajas increases or is dominating, we get lots of thoughts, we feel restless, we have too many desires and too many things to be done. Also, we either feel very happy and excited, or extremely low. This is the effect of the Rajo Guna.
Tamas is the quality which is responsible for rest in the body and mind. Without a certain level of Tamas, one cannot ‘sleep’. However, when Tamas is not in balance, that is when delusion, wrong understanding, dullness, etc., come forth.
At any given time, one of the three qualities dominates our life. When Sattva dominates in our life, then Rajas and Tamas stay in the background and their effect is minimum. When Rajas dominates, Sattva and Tamas are in the background. And when Tamas dominates, then Sattva and Rajas are in the background, and their effect is minimal. This is the whole mechanism of life in the world.
These three qualities are also present in our food. Our food can be Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic. Our mind and intellect can be Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic. Our attitude and actions can be Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic.
These three Gunas come in cycles, one after the other. It is natural to experience these three qualities from time to time. Sometimes you feel happy, joyful, and alert (Sattva). Sometimes you feel restless, sad, burdened with too many things to do, and have many desires (Rajas). And sometimes you just feel dull, sleepy and lazy (Tamas).
Though we experience all the three qualities from time to time, we can still keep our levels of Sattva high by leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Spiritual practices such as meditation, chanting, etc., also contribute towards keeping the Sattva levels high. The higher the Sattva, the more happiness and clarity one experiences.
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